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Hurricane Sandy: You CAN Help

5 Nov

Fact: You can’t do everything but you can do something.

Hurricane Sandy has affected millions along the East Coast including our friends, family and strangers.  My heart is heavy for all of those that are affected.  Being 200+ miles away, as we go about our daily routines, it’s easy to forgot that there are still so many families suffering from the damage Sandy has caused.

I asked you to join me in collecting CLEANING SUPPLIES including paper towels and TRASH BAGS for those in need.  We will be making 2 trips to New York City this week and it is my goal to fill the car both trips with the donated goods.  I don’t have the means to donate thousands and thousands of dollars but I do have the power to make a small difference that could brighten someone’s day when the city is full of darkness.

For more information, please email me at kearstinharrington@gmail.com.

Visit the American Red Cross to see how you can help or Text 90999 to ABC to donate $10.

10 Things To Stop Doing Right Now

24 Oct

This post doesn’t even need an introduction.  Just read.  It’s that good.

Happiness–in your business life and your personal life–is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.

Consider what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

1. Blaming.

People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.

So you blame them for your problems.

But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.

Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering–because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.

And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

2. Impressing.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

3. Clinging.

When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.

An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.

Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.

Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

4. Interrupting.

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”

Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.

They’ll love you for it–and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

5. Whining.

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.

If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just be the shoulder they cry on.

Friends don’t let friends whine–friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Controlling.

Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.

Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.

Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure–none of those let you feel good about yourself.

Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.

And all of you will be happier.

7. Criticizing.

Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.

That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.

That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.

Just like everyone else–including your employees.

Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people–and yourself–in a better light.

8. Preaching.

Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.

The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything–and to tell people everything you think you know.

When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

9. Dwelling.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

10. Fearing.

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.

So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.

Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.

And so do our dreams.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get started on it today.

If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.

Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.

Today is the most precious asset you own–and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.

Happy Hump Day Y’all!

The Pregnancy… Thus Far

5 Jan

I have yet to blog about my pregnancy but I guess you can say it’s been kinda uneventful (which is a great thing, if you ask me)!  If there was one thing I would tell mothers of 1 it is to not expect pregnancy #2 to be anything like pregnancy #1.  I feel the exactly opposite this time than when I was pregnant with Jayden.  With Jayden I was ill (morning sickness, vomiting, etc.,) just about the entire time and I’ve experienced little to no sickness but major body aches and pains.  Our bodies amaze me.

Here are some random pregnancy questions answered…

When did you find out?  I found out in the middle of July.  At first I thought the heat and 3 straight weeks of basketball camp was tiring me out but come to find it it was a little more than that.

How far along were you?  I was a little over 8 weeks when we first found out.

How far along are you now?  33 weeks and counting!

Due Date: 2/22/12

Did you have any morning sickness?  As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t experience the same amount of morning sickness as I did with Jayden.  It was clock work with him, I knew when I was going to get sick.  I did get sick a few times but nothing too bad.

Have you had any weird cravings?  In the beginning, all I wanted was juicy fruits and now any type of cheese and milkshakes.  I went from eating healthy to not wanting anything healthy.  Boo!

Do you want a boy or girl?  Believe it or not, I always said I wanted 2 boys and then a girl.  But right now, all I pray for is a healthy baby!

Do you have any names picked out?  We honestly have not decided on anything.  It will be what my husband says, “a game time decision.”  However, according to Jayden if it is a boy his name will be Dirk Rondo Harrington.

How much weight have you gained?  TMI!  I gained 63 lbs with Jayden so I am trying to keep it under 50 lbs this time around.  So far I am on track!

How long have you been in maternity clothes for?  Believe it or now, I can still wear some of my non-maternity shirts (the longer style ones, of course).  However, not so much in the pants department.  Thank God for leggings and jeggings!

Anything different from your previous pregnancy/pregnancies?  I mentioned some of this in my introduction but another thing Adam and I both have noticed is how fast this pregnancy is going by.  I honestly feel like we just found out I was pregnant.  I guess that’s what happens when you have another little one to care for!

How random were some of these questions?  Super random but I hope you enjoyed them.  I would upload a belly picture but I wouldn’t want to scare anyone!  For now, if you have any name suggestions please send them to me.  I’d love to read them!

Two on Tuesday

28 Dec

…on Wednesday!

I swear there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Or maybe it’s the fact I need at least 10 hours of sleep these days to function all day long.  Either way, my blogging has taken back seat but stay with me.  My hopes to be a better blogger in the new year will happen.

What I’ve learned this week is:

1. 1 gift is just as special as 10.  It all unfolded the Christmas of 2009 when Jayden was just 2 years old.  We had bought him so many gifts; gifts to just unwrap and by the end of the holiday I was an emotional disaster.  It got to the point that Jayden would unwrap a gift and ask, “What’s next?”  He didn’t even look at what he was getting after a while.  I knew something had to change.  So for the past 2 years Adam and I decided we were going to slash the stash and we did.  This year it wasn’t hard because Jayden’s Christmas List consisted of about 5 things; Toms shoes, a baseball helmet, pants, batting gloves and a jersey.  It was so special to see Jayden sit down and really enjoy what he was getting without asking, “What’s next?”

2. Giving is an important lesson for anyone; at all ages.  As I mentioned above, we “slashed the stash” and we also showed Jayden how amazing it feels to give.  Adam allowed him to go to the store and picked out a couple things for me for my stocking.  He picked out a pink hair brush and lemon juice (I love water with lemon – ha).  When I opened those two things up his face was glowing.  He was so proud to give me a gift.  We also did this by adopting a family at church.  Jayden went to the store and picked up gifts for a little boy who according to him, “doesn’t have enough money to buy any gifts.”   It’s the little things at Christmas like giving that will forever make an impact in the heart of a child.

Keepin’ It Real

5 Dec

As Martin Luther once said, “How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.'”

I procrastinate.  A lot.  It is a awful habit that I have learned from my dear mother (who happens to be a bigger procrastinator than myself).  For example, I have 2 forms I need to fill out and return by mail on our desk for a solid 2 months now.  One of them was supposed to be returned 2 weeks ago and even though I knew that I still continued to let it sit there.  Why?  No idea, I simply didn’t feel like taking the time to fill it out or I always found something more important to do.

The biggest problem with my procrastination is my husband is the exact opposite (90% of the time).  If he says he is going to do something or has something to do he will get it done immediately.  That sometimes even means being late to the dinner table because he HAD to make that last phone call.  Or if he says he was going to email someone and it’s 10 PM and he is tired, he will hold going off to bed just to send that last email.  Unlike myself who would’ve waited until the morning.

Anyone else out there with me?  I found these 7  Steps to Stop Procrastination to help me when I find myself procrastinating:

1. Stop thinking.  Start doing.

2. Don’t blow a task out of proportion.

3. Just take the first step.

4. Start with the hardest task of your day.

5. Just make a decision.  Any decision.

6. Face your fear.

7. Finish it.

We all procrastinate at one point or another (some of us do it more often than not) so don’t feel like your alone.  If you get stuck, remember these 7 step!

Two on Tuesday

29 Nov

A Day Date - Poland 2010

1. I have learned a lot about gallbladders this past week and I am praying mine starts functioning properly.  If not, I may stop eating until Baby #2 enters this fabulous world.

2. I have learned that it’s all about the simple things in life, especially when the holiday season arrives.  As you are out shopping for the little ones or the big ones remember what is really important.  For example, pass up on the doll house this year and make a coupon book for a date night with Mom or Dad.  I promise the date night will leave a lasting impression.

Two on Tuesday

22 Nov

I’ve learned many interesting things this past week but I’ve also learned two (new-to-me) amazing songs that I have to share with you.  I’ve wrote about the power of music before and my beliefs still stand; music can change your mood!  In the past week, whenever I’ve listen to one of these songs I found myself clapping and prancing around the house with a huge smile on my face.  Listen and enjoy!

Hillsong – Born Is The King (It’s Christmas)

Michael W. Smith – A New Hallelujah

What did you learn this week?

Let’s Keep it Real

16 Nov

Do you ever read blog posts, facebook statuses or tweets and think “Gosh, that must be too good to be true?”  Can everyday really be so orderly?  Starting out with a healthy breakfast being served to perfectly behaved children who got dressed, brushed their teeth and went to the bathroom before coming to the table and before you even had to ask them.  Or having dinner prepared and ready at 5:30 PM with all the fixings, napkins on their laps and the blessing being said without having to remind your child that there are no toys at the dinner table, we use our utensils and we do not wipe our mouths on our shirts that’s what napkins are for.  Let’s not forget the entire day in between where our husbands were pouring compliments on us, did the dishes and laundry and even made the bed.  And our kids were playing so kindly and had lollipops after lunch because they were perfect all afternoon.  Now on to bed time, when 8 PM rolls around and the kids are showered and dressed in perfectly pressed pajamas, laying in their beds with their bible and patiently waiting for us to tuck them in.  As soon as your shut the light off and close the door you don’t hear from them again until 8 AM the next morning.  What?  This isn’t what a day looks like in your house?

Well, it’s time to be honest.  This is NOT what a day looks like in our house.  In fact, I usually have to remind Jayden 3 times to go to the bathroom in the morning, breakfast consists of toast with a yogurt and fruit, playtime, when he doesn’t have school, consists of me telling him 1000 times that balls are made for outdoor activities even though he insists that basketball is played indoors, nap time starts off with again me telling him to use the bathroom and usually finishes with one of us having to wake him up which is always fun.  Then comes the time after his nap and before dinner when he asks for at least 4 snacks because “his belly is telling him he’s hungry” and I have to say that silly phrase, “no.”  When dinner is served the first question is, “Do I have to eat all of this?” and the answer is always yes.  After some more playtime comes bath time when I am always reminded that he doesn’t take baths anymore, he showers like Daddy.  During the shower I always end up with a puddle of water on the floor which according to Jayden, “He is no idea how that could’ve got there.  Maybe there’s a whole in my curtain.”  And then 8:15 PM rolls around and the bedtime routine starts: he needs to go to the bathroom, again, needs a drink and we always need to pray.  His prayers range from 20 seconds to 10 minutes depending on how long he is trying to stall.  What?  Your child doesn’t stall at night?  I shut off the lights and say good-night only to hear “Momma” 10 seconds later, right after I sat down for the first time in hours, to go in and say, “Yes, Jayden, it’s nunights.  Can I help you with something?”  And every time he says the same thing, “Yes Momma, I just wanted to see what we were going to have for breakfast” or “I just wanted to tell you I love you!”

So what’s the point of all my rambling.  At time point on blog posts, facebook statuses and tweets we have to keep it real.  So once a week, I will be writing at least one “Keeping it Real” post.  I am a sinner saved by Grace, my marbles are not all in the right basket, I love my husband but our marriage is something we work at everyday and I am a young Mother learning as I go. However, I am beyond grateful I am to not doing this alone, thank you Jesus!

Tomorrow I will share with you my first “Keeping it Real” post.

Two on Tuesday

15 Nov

This week I’ve learned that:

1. Inviting someone to church could change a life.  If they turn down the offer, give them a week and ask again.

2. Water with lemon continues to be the greatest drink ever.  It’s so delicious!

Thank You.

11 Nov

There are times in life when the phrase “thank you” just isn’t enough.  Today, as America celebrates Veteran’s Day, a sincere “thank you” from the bottom on my heart will still not justify how grateful I am for all of our Veterans; past, present and future, for their service and commitment to this country.

To all the men and woman currently serving remember:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9