This is a story that I like to tell people, so I figured I would put it here as a post; something fun and different to alleviate the brain drain of this week.

When Kent and I were shopping for wedding bands, we decided to have them engraved with the word “Always,” followed by his initials in my ring and mine in his ring. At the time of purchase, I had to decide whether to use my maiden or my soon-to-be married initials for this engraving. Kent wanted my married initials, so no further decision required there. However, I hadn’t yet given any thought to whether I planned to use my real middle name or my maiden last name as my new “legal” middle name. On the spot and without thinking it through, I chose “A” for my middle name of Adrianna. Mostly because I’ve always loved it.

Is it obvious where this is going yet?

I don’t know why no one caught it when the order was being written. We didn’t discover until we got the engraved rings back that the inside of Kent’s read Always MAD.

We tried to have it corrected but were talked into keeping it that way as a conversation piece. So to this day, Kent’s ring reminds him that I am always mad. It’s a good thing he has a sense of humor!

Needless to say, I never again used “A” as my middle initial.

The Writer’s Digest website gives a weekly writing prompt as an idea starter. Here’s the one for this week, with my attempted response. I’m going to try to address these here when the mood strikes. This one in particular caught my attention.

Writing Prompt for 6/7/2005:

Read through old diaries and journals to relive your memories. Nostalgia can get your pen moving.

My Response:

First of all, I must comment on how timely this writing prompt is. Coincidentally, I actually DID just take out old journals to read them this past weekend, and it had absolutely nothing to do with this prompt, which I didn’t see until today. Since I was starting this blog, I wanted to revisit some of the things I used to write about. I hadn’t read those journals in YEARS! It was really fascinating to see how much some things about myself have changed and how much others have stayed exactly the same.

I wrote about everything… random daily events, friendships, hurts, frustrations, insecurities, crushes, how much I missed my college friends after graduation (although in hindsight I had no reason to as I’ve kept in touch with nearly all of those to whom I was closest), a travelogue of my summer in Europe, and meeting Kent. Toward the end I wrote exclusively about Kent and I really started to sound like a broken record because everything was wonderful and I was falling in love. The last entry was when he proposed, which was appropriate, I think. I suppose there was no need to continue writing once I had achieved that level of happiness. I never journaled again after that, until now. Although this is a lot different, and broader, than what I wrote about back then. It is mostly a vehicle to keep me writing regularly about things that are important to me, and even about things that are not so important.

The nostalgia component was so much fun, too. I wrote about things I had forgotten… they would be memories lost forever had I not documented them. The journal also traveled with me during my summer in Europe. I spent that summer after college mostly in Spain, but backpacked solo through Europe for 3 weeks. One of my favorite memories from that trip was the prearranged meeting atop the Arc d’Triomphe in Paris at high noon with friends who were traveling on a slightly different schedule. We had no plan other than the meeting date and location, and spent a couple of days exploring that city together before we went on our respective ways. I also had some scary experiences with strangers… one in particular that really frightened me. There is some danger in traveling alone as a female in countries where you don’t speak the language, but I’m a smart girl who wasted no time in removing myself from problem situations.

What a mentally exhausting week this has been for work. That’s good, because I’ve been professionally energized, but with so much going on, I’m wiped out. I can’t complain though. I’d so much rather be busy (if it’s productive), than bored. I attended the ASTD conference this week, immediately followed by an annual (now to be biannual) meeting of our company’s Training & Education Advisory Council. As a result I have identified a couple of new professional goals for myself:

  1. Get myself published in a professional journal or trade publication. This has been percolating in my head forever and I’ve even had the submission guidelines for The eLearning Developers’ Journal sitting on my desk easily since the end of last year, but have done nothing with it. My current plan is to take a presentation I’m giving on “Lessons Learned in eLearning” at a conference next month and, if it is well received, turn it into an article.
  2. Get myself educated on emerging trends in Human Performance Improvement and Competency Modeling. There is some very compelling information out there on these subjects and I’d like to establish myself as the internal expert and champion, so I can credibly push a couple of new certification and management development initiatives at work.

I’ve already been very vocal about these goals so that people will hold me accountable. However, this will all have to wait until next week. I’m cooked and have taken the day off to decompress a bit.

Footnote: See posts titled Mission accomplished (12/5/05) and A personal goal fully realized (7/20/07) for updates on the success of goal #1.

My family

Of course it’s only logical to begin with an entry about my wonderful family. I have many other things that I plan to write about, but priorities first. I can’t say enough good things about how lucky I am here. I don’t even know where to begin.

I’ll start with Kent. He is kind, sensitive, loving, supportive, understanding, hard working, and the Best Dad Ever. He’s also funny, and silly (a big kid!), and he keeps me from taking myself too seriously, which I tend to do sometimes. I always tell people that I must have done something right in my life to deserve him and all the other blessings that surround me, but I’m sure I don’t know what that something is. This is a poem Kent wrote for me a couple of months ago, which really explains it all in a few simple words better than I ever could in lengthy, rambling paragraphs. It is posted with his permission.

for You

I wake, there’s a feeling
clear & crisp, thank God for feelings
I must not be dreaming

You, me, its sunny doing this and that,
we read each other, it’s you
eye contact, hands together
do you know, I love you

What more is there to say? I’m loved, and I love equally in return.

Now, my children. I’m a biased mama, but of course I think they are the cutest, smartest things ever. They always surprise me with the funny, or insightful, things they say or do. Maia is a little smarty who loves to read (she inherited her Mommy’s “smart” genes), and Noah is quite the comedian (he got Daddy’s funny bone). He thinks everything is funny and laughs constantly. We are also teaching them to be responsible, polite, helpful, and respectful to authority, and it shows. I’m so proud of them all the time!

Goodness, if I keep up with this level of mushiness I’ll never be able to let other people read this blog, so I’ll limit any further bragging for now. But I know I’ll be writing many more family stories as time goes on.

Trying this out

I haven’t the foggiest idea what makes a good blog, but everyone else seems to be doing it, so I figured I’d give it a try too. Yes, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. But I’m not telling anyone. Not yet, anyway. I have to get comfortable with this idea first, and experiment with what I’m willing to write about that other people may see. Maybe I’ll share it someday, and maybe I won’t. It depends very much on how I end up using this thing. Mostly I’m hoping that this type of format will give me the motivation and discipline to do more personal writing. About anything. I actually write quite a lot (and quite well, judging from the response of colleagues and clients) in my professional capacity, but that’s a completely different type of technical writing beast.

So whoever you are, if you were invited by me (or somehow found this on your own), you have the good fortune (or misfortune) of sharing in the inner workings of my brain. That’s kind of scary! I have to get used to this idea of writing for public consumption.

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