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Monday, November 25, 2013

Hey... Guess WHAT????

It is really OK to laugh.  Laugh at others, laugh at yourself... laugh with others AT yourself...

It is OK to laugh.  Sometimes as adults we forget to laugh, even if we want to cry.

"A merry heart does good like a medicine..."

EVEN WebMD says laugher is good for your health, and if WebMD says it you KNOW its gotta be true.

So, I BE SPEAKIN' THE TRUTH HERE PEOPLE....

I don't know if it is a sense of humor, the laugh itself, or the situation but by laughing it causes your endorphins to rise.  In church yesterday our pastor preached on love and a personal relationship with God... one of the things he talked about... LAUGHTER.

God says, "If you really love ME you would be happy."

WOW. Listen to the power in those words.  Be happy.  Laugh more.  Laughter is contagious.

My job is very stressful... and I make it a point to LAUGH with my students in class.  I want them to relax and be happy while learning this new world of financial mumbo-jumbo.  I have a very high success rate with this, why? I don't know... maybe we take the scary test and we turn it into something we can laugh with... the endorphins kick in and they remember the information...

According to WebMD (the know all of all medical researching stuff online, HOLLAH and a shout out) --
"We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues."

I like the idea that my body will send more oxygen to my tissues and my muscles will stretch.  This to me is an amazing side benefit of laughter. YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE?  Once you start laughing, it becomes a habit and you will keep laughing.  The more you laugh, they happier you will feel. 

Think about the joy of your children.... their carefree spirit, and how they can just be in the moment.  They laugh from the very gut and its this deep belly laugh.  Are you like me? Do you sit there and look at your child with amazement wanting to know HOW do I get a laugh like that?  How long has it been for you?  When is the last time you laugh so hard you cried or snorted? (I am a HUGE snorter...)

Statistics:
* A child laughs on average 400 times a day
* An adult laughs on average 15 times a day

Statistics are scary.  We sit here and wonder why our kids are so full of joy and they rebound so well.  Maybe it is because of how much they enjoy their life and they LAUGH!

So next time, when your child gets the giggles... start laughing with them. It may feel forced in the beginning, but you just need the practice.  Eventually it will not be forced... and you-- my friend-- will laugh more than 15 times a day. AND methinks you will start to feel happier.  YOU will find your inner giggler.

“The most radical act anyone can commit is to be happy.” - Patch Adams

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving...

So, the past week has been a challenging one, you know... ups and downs... like a roller coaster. BLAH BLAH BLAH... Work has been crazy, I have hurt my neck so I am sore, and I have no money. Can I get a HOLLAH and an AMEN? Like, how many of you KNOW what kind of week I am talkin' about?

Through out all of my stresses, there is one thing that remains constant my love for my kids... And man, my 10 year old son has a heart of compassion.  His love for others AMAZES me.

Last Sunday tornadoes reeked havoc throughout the Midwest- over 70 tornadoes in total touched down.  We were watching the news when my 10 year old son said, "Mom... we need to do something to help them."

And you know me, I am a bit too sarcastic for my own good from time to time-- So I actually responded... "we don't HAVE anything." 

He looks around and said... "But we have a home."


Yes my friends, that was the slap in the face I needed.  My son is right...  He is TOTALLY right, we have a home.  He is off school, and I have 18 vacation days to burn up until December. So WHY not do something??? I remember when my sister organized a trip to help tornado victims in Oklahoma. I remember her words, and the pictures... I felt a tug on my heart strings... we HAVE TO do something to help. 

So that is how it started... my week.  It started with an event on FaceBook inviting others to help us gather items to take with us to Washington, IL.  On Monday morning when we started it... we had NO destination planned. I honestly was going to drive my Kia Soul and make a delivery of a few bags of things.  BUT as it has turned out... we are now renting a PENSKE truck (donated by one of the most giving friends I have, and she does it not to get recognition, but to show her love for people)... My son said, "Wow, that is such a blessing." When he found out about the truck.  And I say, "Honey... this is all because of you..."

We have had so many people donate things --- my brain just cannot comprehend the love the community has for another community in a time of need.

Within an HOUR I found a location to drop off the items to and met a WONDERFUL woman over the phone who runs a non-profit organization... someone who can help us get the items to the people who need them! So we had a plan, we have a vehicle, and we have things to take....

My cup runnith over full of love, and joy... 

This my friends is what thanksgiving is all about.  Isn't it? I mean, it is sitting around a table and eating turkey until you fall asleep... AND watching football... but thanksgiving is about celebrating and uniting together.

The Marion Webster dictionary defines thanksgiving the best...

 

The act of giving thanks...

A prayer expressing gratitude...

A public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness...


So, I publically acknowledge the divine goodness of my friends and family and the friends and family of my friends and family... A prayer of gratitude to you for your sacrifice so that others can have.

So this week started off a bit in a turmoil... but just think of the awesomeness that surrounds us every day... Take a look:

What has happened in less than a week?  We have food, water, toys, gift cards, strollers, car seats, high chairs, dressers, washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, TVs.... but most importantly?

We take with us LOVE... 


From one community to another... I plan on collecting hugs... I want those who are going through this tragedy to know that they are not alone. 

And my friends, this will be the first trip to help... it won't be the last.

Please keep Denny, Kennith, Heather and I in your prayers for safe travel. AND that our love will touch someone and make them smile just once or laugh that day. 

In the Bible it says that we should have the faith of a child... have the joy of a child in all things.  I also think He wanted us to have the compassion of a child to do things that we would not normally do. 

This is one of the greatest life lessons I have learned... and I learned it from my son.  Take time to listen to your children.  Help them put their thoughts into action.  Help them be the change we want to see in this world. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

When Life Hands You Lemons...

You know that old saying...


When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?

 
I question who came up with it. And did he add sugar to the mix? Or just lemons and water?
 
I mean, I love lemon in my water, but I want more -- SOMETHING! Like a splash of grenadine in that glass.  (haha, or a shot of vodka, let me be totally real here...) NOT that I am a huge vodka drinker.. err, I mean lemonade... or both, but this saying came into my head today and I was like --> THANK GOD I didn't settle for the lemonade.  Can I get an AMEN?
 
Anyway, I was thinking about my life and the ups and downs I have been through in the last year.  For a while, I felt like I was on an endless downward spiral and had no way of seeing past it. I didn't realize how lonely I felt in a marriage where I wasn't shown love, and I quite possibly didn't show love in return... I was so depressed- even on a daily regimen of antidepressants (I am no longer on them, WHOOT WHOOT).
 
I even tried to date someone after my split with Phillip, but I wasn't "feeling" it as I should.  Do any of you EVER go through that? You don't want to be alone, you date someone.. they are OK to be with and you like them.... but maybe the spark is brighter for them than you? I am not trying to come across as insensitive or OH LOOK AT ME AND MY HOTTNESS... I am trying to just be real.  Or what about future intentions? What if you (by you I mean me) don't want to really have a serious relationship but they do?
 
Have you EVER stayed in a relationship due to fear? Fear of moving on by yourself? Whether it is a love relationship, a friendship, or a work relationship?
 
 
I know I have and why?  Why did I stay in that relationship for a couple of months if I didn't feel anything? I mean, I wanted to... I tried to, but I really didn't feel the way I should have... I had lemon water and I wanted a vodka lemonade with a splash of grenadine, damn it!
 
So how do we make the change? RIP OFF THE FRIKKIN BAND-AID!!  If you stay in that "place" for a longer time, not only are you making your life miserable but the other person's as well.  WHY sit there in a state of falsehood when you KNOW it isn't the perfect match for you.  WHY settle for cooking fries because it is easy but makes you fee miserable when you KNOW you could do something else that would fulfill you? WHY???
 
I know why...
 

It is because you

 

are

 

scared.

 

Scared of what? Failure? Disappointment? Hurting someone else's feelings?  Not ever finding your niche or your 'person'?
 
OK. So what? I mean really... So what.  So you fail at one thing, there are plenty of successful people who fail, we all do.  Disappointment? In yourself? Worried about what other's think? Last time I check -- I have free will.  The only person I care about disappointing is GOD and even HE forgives me. Hurting someone else's feelings?  This may happen.  They may hurt, and be manipulative and use these crazy hurtful tactics... but when we hurt we lash out.  Give them the space... When I split with my relationship person after Phillip, I was so scared to hurt him, I broke up with him and then I took him back... ONLY to break up with him again.  WHY did I take him back? Because he hurt and I wanted him to be happy, even if that meant I was miserable.  People will hurt. We are built to feel and react. 
 
Why worry about what other's think?  Child, please... Everyone has their own cross to bear and if the other person showed all of their dirty laundry, you would be pure as the driven snow.
 
Never finding your niche or your 'person'?  Well, if you don't go out there and try you will never know what exists.  Put yourself out there and be open to the possibilities of WHAT can be.
 
Because you never know when that vodka lemonade with a splash of grenadine will just wander into your life and make you realize that all the worry and fuss from before wasn't worth it... You realize that your future as you prescribed it just may change in the drop of a moment... because YOU were handed the lemons, and you gave them back shouting... "SUCK ON THIS!" You just knew there was something better down the road, because you didn't for once want to settle.
 
Be in the moment.  Live YOUR life... make your own lemonade....
 
 
 

*** Edited to add: I haven't blogged in about 2 months so I am ALL over the place.  It may be because it has been so long, OR it may be that I have so much to say and very little time... Maybe it is just the ADHD kicking in***
 
 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Recipe Time: Quinoa Veggie Noodle Goulash

HI there and happy November.  It has been so busy "up in here" that I have not had a lot of time to blog. 

Like, school starts... activities pick up with the kids, and there is NO me time. (BWAHHHAAA, as if there EVER is any me time for a parent.)

Where was I? Oh... Since we are trying to be more "health conscious" but we still love our pasta, I wanted to try something a bit different.

I made some Quinoa Veggie Noodle Goulash

I have to admit, I was freaked out at first bout the quinoa veggie noodles, as we have tried other gluten free alternatives and they basically... well they sucked.  So I was ready to eat tuna salad if this didn't turn out.

Ingredients:

1 8 oz box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta - veggie curls
1 lb of lean ground beef or turkey, cooked (crumbly)
1/2 lb of Italian sausage
1 - 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce (I used the garlic/basil one)
1 small jar of pasta sauce
any veggies you want (I added mushrooms, onions and peppers)
salt, pepper, garlic to taste

Directions:

Brown hamburger and sausage, rinse off fat.
In a crock pot, add meat, diced tomatoes, tomatoes sauce, pasta sauce and veggies, simmer on low for 4 hours. 
In a pan on the stove, cook the pasta according to the recipe and add the pasta to the sauce mix at the end.  If you add the pasta too early it can become a bit smushy. (My technical word)

Happy eating!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Talk to Remember

Today marks the 12th anniversary of 9/11/01.  I cannot believe it has been 12 years since that very day.

For a lot of you who know me, you know that I can close my eyes and see it, hear it... even smell it. For all of us who remember ---we remember where we were, who we were with, even some of us remember what we were wearing, or what we had with us. I was wearing a grey dress, and I had my family scrapbook to show to my works friends...

Today as the 9/11 footage came on the morning talk show, I decided that this would be a good time to talk with my 9 year old about the day... and more importantly, about my story.

He and I talked about terrorists, who they were, why they did it, and that even though they did it in the name of their religion, their religion doesn't practice that kind of cruelty or hate.  He understood...

He started to get sad for all of the people who died and their kids... and then he cried... I cried, and we just held each other...

AND THEN...


we talked about 9/11 miracle stories... you know, the ones of the people who were supposed to be there but they had a freak accident.  Like the chef at Windows of the World who broke his glasses and ran down to the mall in the basement to get them fixed... Like the employee whose daughter started kindergarten that day, so he took the morning off... a lady who worked on the 74th floor who got delayed at the cosmetic counter in the basement... the couple who stopped to shop at the outdoor market for fresh baked goods... about a random train that stopped dead in its track because a crow flew into the electrical part and stopped it...

I told my son, on that day a tragedy occurred, but there were also mini-miracles. Lives spared without thought... and hard to explain or even fully comprehend the WHY part, even 12 years after... There have to be reasons why these people lived... why they were spared.

He said, "I know.. to do good things." I said, "Yes.  To do great and wonderful things..."

I then told him about my experience on 9/11... where his dad was, when we finally found each other... the fact that I cried for days and days afterwards.  I told him that I knew it was going to be ok because after it happened all I could do was start singing to God... my kind of prayer... and as I sang, I felt more confident that He was protecting us.

Some people may not believe in God... they may not know that blessings and miracles happen every day.  My life is one of those miracles.... MY KIDS are miracles.  I truly believe that I was protected that day and pulled out of harms way, and NOT by accident.  When you walk by faith (and not by sight can I get an AMEN) you walk in His love, His protection... You walk in positivity.

Today I remember those we lost... I celebrate my life... I never will forget or take it for granted.  I celebrate having a child with a compassionate heart... I celebrate the fact that I get another day on this Earth...

So, silly as it sounds... Being a person on the train that got taken out by a crow on 9/11... I got a tattoo a few weeks ago as a symbol of my gratitude... Here it is!  A cross with the wings of a crow setting it free...




Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Get it NOW. I Mean, I REALLY Get IT!

Hello, sunshines and happy Thursday!

This week has been an emotional roller coaster... Monday we brought home Rosie, a beautiful miniature dachshund who is absolutely amazing.  It was by chance that we acquired her and she is a loverly addition to our family.

Tuesday we spent at the university hospital with Madelynn.  She has become very aggressive and I think it is the medication doing it to her.  I have approached her physician on more than one occasion as to the behavior changes after starting on the medication they gave her for her thyroid.  So before this appointment I went in armed. Armed with what?  Knowledge from research and the word of God kind of armed.

Anyway, when we were at the doctor's appointment Madelynn all of a sudden turned on me.  She got mad and she hit me, bit me, scratched me on the forehead, and she started to scream uncontrollably. I asked the doctor if there was another medication we could put her on, because she the aggressive behavior started after the medication started... she said to point blank... 'NO'. 

NOW, mama bear rears her head. This mom has done research and she knows there are other alternatives out there for medication. I asked the doctor about type of blood tests she did on my daughter. Did she check just the T4 or did she look at the T3? When I asked her why she is on a medication to treat a T4 deficiency and we don't know if she has a deficiency there because the test was never done, and maybe the T3 deficiency is what we should look at... the doctor said to me, "IF your daughter had a T3 deficiency she would be retarded."  

THAT sent me over the edge.  First off, who uses the word retarded anymore, let alone a medical professional who deals with CHILDREN.  I honestly needed the grace of God to get through this appointment.  The doctor is snarky, Maddy is screaming and I feel like I am bleeding from a scratch on my forehead.

I then asked the doctor, "WHY did you tell me there weren't any alternative medicines when there is a great one out there that is not synthetic it is natural."

She said, "because your daughter will have the same reaction to that medication as she does the synthroid."

I politely responded, "isn't that my decision to make? I would like you to run the following tests (and I listed them) and I would like you to prescribe her the alternative medication."

The doctor shook her head at me and said, 'I have never prescribed that medication before.'

In which I responded, "this is the time you should prescribe it." She then went on to tell me that my 4 year old is displaying actions of a child who is bipolar and that she would schedule my daughter with a psychiatrist at the university for her to see.  WHY I asked... she responded, because I have several children who have Hashimoto's who also have mental problems.  To which I responded, "do you think it is the medication you prescribe? I would like to try my daughter on an alternative medication before she has a psychological exam that will end up labeling her for life."

I really wanted to scream with Maddy and shake my fist at the doctor... maybe even play cavewoman and bang on my chest to show my superior knowledge or something. LOL Instead, I took a deep breath and waited. And gathered myself. THEN....

The doctor decided that we should try the new medicine.  And that she appreciated my fortitude (she didn't use that exact word, but dang it... fortitude sounds fantastic, right? LOL) --- and she promised to wait for the psyche evaluation until we see how the new medicine works with Maddy.

So, I walked out feeling somewhat victorious and I wait for the results of the appointment.

Then another doctor visit with my son, who has a HUGE wart-like thing on his hand.  We are sitting there and the doctor said that it is NOT a wart that it is this thing called a granuloma and it should be removed and biopsied.  Dear Lord, let me have strength.  My son was a rock star through the procedure.  I held his free hand and had him go through a nursery rhyme with me (ONE TWO... BUCKLE MY SHOE...)  He got through it, I on the other hand almost passed out. LOL

A LOT for us to go through in ONE day.  And we made it through... and a bit stronger than where we started from. 

In the Bible it tells us to be light and salt unto the world.  I always THOUGHT I knew what it meant (be a light amongst the darkness and preserve what you believe in). 

But after a day like I had ... being SALT is more than preserving.  Being salt means healing.  ( I have this cut on the inside of my lip and it hurts.. so I put some salt on it.. and when I woke up the next morning, it was healed. KINDA like that, but more a practice of being salt. LOL) Use your words, your actions to heal not to destroy.  And talking about healing it is not of the physical sense, it is of the emotional sense.  God has called us to be his hands, and his feet... his voice... I am making a point of my life to be a healing kind of salt. 

What does that look like?

Actively listen when spoken to... really focus on what the other person is saying and for me to try and NOT think about my retort.

When someone acts out in anger, counter them with love.  I don't know what my daughter is going through that causes the rages, but I do know I will only try and respond with LOVE and compassion.

Be there. In the moment.  Hold your children when you get the opportunity to now, because someday you won't be able to.

Be more thoughtful.  Really take the time to show caring and concern.  Take time for others.

When someone flips me the bird as they drive by, instead of raising my middle finger back at them, maybe I will shout YES I KNOW I AM #1!!!

Pass the salt.  THIS is important.  It is important to encourage others to pass along the healing power of kindness.  Be a light of the world and the salt of the Earth.... Matthew 5:13-16



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Recipe Time: HOT PIZZA DIP! --- Can we say HELLO, YUMMY???

For those of you who have to "PUT UP" with my crazy experimental cooking, I thank you.

I made this yesterday for a get together at Steve's mama's house.  It was fantastic and I would eat it again and again and again... matter of fact, I am making this again for a shin-dig tomorrow!


HOT PIZZA DIP


Ingredients:

2- 8 oz bricks of cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 package of pepperoni diced
1 teaspoon oregano (plus a pinch)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (plus a pinch)
2 cups shredded provolone and mozzarella blend
Crackers or tortilla chips

Directions:

1) Mix cream cheese with 1 teaspoon of oregano and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
2) Spread cream cheese mixture on the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.
3) Spread pizza sauce over top of cream cheese.
4) Add diced pepperoni to top of sauce (here is where you could also add any of your other favorite pizza toppings--- like black olives, sausage, pepper, onion... OYE YEY!, I thin tomorrow I will make Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza dip! WHAT??)
5) Top with shredded cheese, and sprinkle oregano and garlic on top
6) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (until cheese is bubbling on top) OR you can microwave it in a microwave safe dish for 4-6 minutes.

Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips... maybe even some crusty bread! YEAH!

Now I am getting ready to head to the store for more cream cheese... I think I want (ERR NEED) to make this dip Hawaiian style!

Happy Labor Day!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Recipe Time! BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes

I am a lover of pulled BBQ chicken sammiches.  However, on this new quest to be gluten free (or mostly gluten free) I am trying different alternatives to "bread".

My kids absolutely LOVED this dinner.  They loved the fact they were able to smash their own potatoes and then put what they wanted on top! 

Ingredients:

Large russet baking potatoes (one for each person)

3 chicken quarters
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water

1 1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard (any type and can be increased or decreased as desired)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons of liquid smoke

green onions
butter
sour cream
shredded cheese


Directions:

Place chicken quarters, chicken stock and water in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.  Remove chicken and let cool. dump chicken stock out in sink. De bone and shred chicken.  Place shredded chicken back into the crock pot.

Clean potatoes and poke holes in sides with a fork, cover in foil.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hour.

To make BBQ sauce:
Mix ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and liquid smoke in a bowl until fully blended.  Pour over chicken and stir, let warm up on low heat in slow cooker.


To serve, open up warm potato and top with your favorite potato toppings and the BBQ chicken!

DELICIOUS!


Recipe Time- Chili Cheese Hot Dog Skillet

Do any of you ever have like a 1/2 pack of hot dogs left over after a BBQ or dinner? I know I sure do.  And then I am like, WHAT THE HECK am I gonna do with 6 frikkin hot dogs??? WHAT?

The other night I was pilfering through my cupboards trying to figure out something we could make that would be good, quick and easy (because it was like 101 degrees outside, so I didn't want to heat up my kitchen for a long time).

As I was rummaging, I found black beans... GOOD.  No-bean chili in a can... GOOD.  Freezer, Hash browns... oh and 6 left over hot dogs, and shredded cheese.

I felt like Jim Carey in the movie, "The Mask"--- "I.HAVE.A.PLAN!"

I decided to make Chili-cheese-hot-dog-hash-brown-skillet... of course I served it with a side salad.  We need some veggies for this deliciousness.

Ingredients:

1/2 bag of frozen hash browns
1 table spoon of butter
1 can of chili no beans
1 can of black beans (drained)
6 hot dogs sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar jack blend)
diced onion, ketchup, mustard (different condiments you like on a chili cheese dog)


Directions:

1) melt butter in pan and cook hash browns until done (I like mine a little crispy on the bottom so at the end I let them sit for 5 extra minutes for crisp-ness).
2) Add black beans, then hot dog slices to the top of the hash browns
3) Spread chili over top
4) Sprinkle cheese
5) Cook on low heat on stove covered until cheese fully melts.

My son loved this SO much he at three servings!  It is a "must make again" in our house!"


Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Change of a Lifetime

So, I am at this cross roads in my life where change is inevitable. SO I am facing a change of a lifetime, not a chance at a lifetime.

The change for me is internal. 


I think that for a  long time I strived to be the best at everything.  The best worker, the best child, the best mom, the best wife, the best friend, the best person you could ask to do something and she would drop it to do it for you kind of best person.

And I was exhausted. It made me physically tired. I couldn't keep up.  I would get mad because I would forget events or even birthdays.  I was too busy trying to be the "best" at everything that I became the worst at one thing... being me.

I forgot how to laugh.  You know, the deep from the belly, rolling up out of your mouth... you cannot contain it kind of laugh.  I forgot how to play... I forgot how to be silly. I forgot to have humor in my everyday life.  I forgot me.

TIME TO REIGNITE!


Not that I am all selfish and stuff, but it is time to reignite me.  I am vivacious, in your face, tell you like it is, but love you kind of gal. I have two feet, I can stand on them.  Enough of this boo-hoo, pitty... woah is me kind of shit.  Time to strap on the boots and stand up.

I have NEVER been one to rely on anyone else for help, and I am very strong willed.  So, no one else can help me put on my big girl panties (because if you read my blog you know I gots me some HUGE big girl granny panties still) ...I have just have to get to it.

So, part of my me-mission is to really embrace the magic moments with my kids.  Whether it is gazing at the stars at night with my son, or playing Barbies with my daughter. I need to be a more "in the moment" mom and sometimes throw my hands in the air and just be.  Just do something that will make a memory with my child. 

I mean, how many times in my kids life have I been too busy working to just be in the moment with them? To really sit down and listen to their stories and laugh? Far too few than I would care to admit.  I mean, I am there, but am I really there? NO. I am thinking about the 17 things I need to do the next morning at work.  Work-aholic.  Yep that is me. I have kicked so many bad habits that this is the last one that haunts me. There is NOTHING more important than my family. NOTHING.  So things can go sit on the side lines like the second string quarterback.  They are just things, this is my family... the children I am raising to be better than anything I could ever be. So why NOT spend the moments with them? I mean, I work from home so I can enjoy time with my kids.

 

WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T I?


I mean who is holding me back from the belly laughs with my mini-mes? ME!! I am the one! 

Take a few minutes to enjoy your kids, they don't stay little for long.  They grow up fast.

Take time to do the silly things.  Today, it was 7:15 am.  My little Maddy wanted to play with chalk outside.  We were both still in our jammies and she had chocolate milk mouth... and I was about to say NO.  We have to get your bath, and brush your teeth, and wash your face, and...and...and

So many 'ands'... instead I said, "Never mind that 'and' stuff.  Grab the chalk sister... let's go play."  And she looked at me and giggled.  She wanted to play hopscotch.  My four year old had me draw the game and she told me how to play.  And I sit here in tears because I knew how to play all along... but when did SHE learn.  She learned it without me.





So, I don't want those moments to slip through my fingers. I want to cherish them as if they are the Willy Wonka's golden ticket and I am just one holder of a select few tickets.


 I want to be part of THAT magic.






Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Want to Be An Astrophysicist

Last Thursday, Kennith, Kennith's friend - Thomas, Maddy, and I took a journey to New Hampton, Iowa.   I was going there to pick up some furniture from my friend, Amy that she up-cycled (which by the way, is A-DORABLE).

As we are driving, I hear Kennith and Thomas talking about what they wanted to do when they grew up.  Now for YEARS Kennith has wanted to be a video game developer (really? LOL).  But this conversation between two nine year olds, revealed something new.

Thomas wants to be a marine biologist, which makes sense. This kid can tell you EVERYTHING about sharks and other water creatures (note: I used creatures here because I am not sure are they mammals? Are they pescatarians? Wait, that is a person who is like a vegetarian but eats fish.. ARGH, anyway...).  As they are having this conversation and it is getting intense about the sharks... Thomas asked Kennith, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I was giggling inside and shaking my head, I knew the answer.  He wants to make video games.  But alas, I was shocked when he said, "I really want to be an astrophysicist."

OK HOLD THE PHONE. 


This is news to me. First off, where did it come from and second was he watching the 'Big Bang Theory' when I was working? AND THIRD... What is an astrophysicist? I am not kidding here, so when I had a second I googled it.

 

According to EHow:


"The universe is a big place, and it's the job of the astrophysicist to try to take that vast unknown and turn it into something a little less mysterious. These highly trained scientists are experts at using principles of mathematics and physics to broaden mankind's understanding of the universe."


So I translate it as my son is wicked smart and wants to use his brain to make stuff easier to understand. Cool... and he will use math, physics, and astronomy to do it. Rock on.

I may not totally understand what the job does, but I know he loves it and wants to do something that will challenge him.

So, I will do what I can to help foster his love for the sciences, even though when I was in high school I almost blew up the chemistry lab making a candy cane. (NO LIE, to the point that my teacher actually said if I DIDN'T participate in any labs I would pass the class, lol).

Sharing this information with some friends, I had a dear friend tell me about the Perseid meteor shower that was peaking last night. So, I asked Kennith if he wanted to get up in the middle of the night and go look at the sky and he said yes.

 

I set my alarm for 3 am and proceeded to get up. 


 It was cold and wet outside... and I really started to second guess getting him up at the butt crack of dawn to see stars and meteors and stuff. But I did.  We put on hoodies, grabbed some blankets and went to the deck.

It was so dark outside and we laid on the lounger on the deck looking at the stars and talking.  He was pointing out different constellations we could see. I was amazed at how much he loves the stars and science. 

We were laying there quietly when all of a sudden, "WHOOOSHHH" through the sky.


 A meteor bright and so fast it made me gasp (and I scared Kennith).  We both got so excited, and then another one, and another.

To hear his excitement in his voice and to see his face when we came back inside was priceless.  It makes me misty.  I am so happy my friend told me about this happening and that I went outside with him to see the meteor shower. It was incredible. I got to see the love in his eyes for something greater than his 9 year old self.

And yes, I am tired this morning, but it is totally worth it... It is my job as a mom to be that memory creator, to help keep that fire for what he wants to do ignited. 

 

It is my job to help him dream big and reach for the stars.





Monday, August 12, 2013

There Comes A Time...

There comes a time when a person has to make a few tough decisions in order to determine who she is as a person, who she wants to be.

I am in this phase of my adulthood.  I don't know who I am as a person... I don't know who I want to be. 

I am trying to figure out what I like and what I don't like. I am really working on this being alone thing. It is not easy, but in order for me to be a better me, I have to take this time to figure out all this... "STUFF". 

Why do I feel guilty?


I was reading this book, "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" and I know who I will pass it to when I am done reading it. LOL  But this book is so me because I suck at letting people down.  I don't like to make others hurt.

This is probably the part of me that I am working on the most.  The guilt ridden me. The one who will bear the weight of the world on my shoulder just so one other person doesn't have to hurt.  BUT it makes me PHYSICALLY sick. My stress manifests itself in physical sickness. 

How many of you are going through a stressful time? You feel sick to your stomach, or your neck or back hurts? You cannot stop the allergies? YOU HAVE A MIGRAINE??  Sometimes if we internalize all of the stresses we face in the world and we have no way to release it, so it manifests itself in the form of sickness. 

DETOX THAT SHIT.


Start to make the changes you need to in order to get to a healthier you.  I own my mistakes. I know I am strong willed, and I am stubborn.  I am now detoxing.  I am shedding my life of all of the things that have been toxifying it and taking up valuable mental and heart space.

I am making a list of the crap that clutters my mind...

FIRST on the list... get over my feelings for my ex-husband-to-be.  I have to figure out how to not love him the way I have always, because it is not a returned thing.  The hurt that ensued after our "split" I turned into spite. I emotionally went "numb" (which is what I tend to do when I am pushed to a place I don't want to go, I emotionally shut down, and then deal with it later). So I now have to deal with it.  I have to figure out how to get over that.

SECOND... I need to clean my room. GOSH, it is worse than high school and any of my high school friends would say it can't be. LOL Plus I owe my sister some suits, I have gotta put those in the mail to her.

THIRD... I have to eat better, drink more water, and take my vitamins. (I hate vitamin taste, but I need the supplements).   I worry about getting sick, so I think I DO get sick.

FOURTH... learn how to be alone. I love alone time, but to truly have to make it on my own with my kids.  I need to do this for ME, I need to know that I can do it and still be a great human being.

FIFTH... stop arguing with Maddy's dad when he calls.  He intentionally tries to hurt me.  So, I have to just tune him out.  Every time I argue with him I get so beat up and I want to just cry... I need to figure out how to detox that prick from my mind.

SIXTH... I have to stop worrying about the fact that I am not really loveable for who I am. It is EASY to say you love someone when you don't know them well enough. I have to learn that I am loveable for my quirks, and I too can love someone else, without worrying about getting hurt.


SEVENTH... I have to learn how to love myself completely...from the inside out.




And until then, this journey of self-discovery continues to forge ahead.






Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yesterday Was THAT Day... YOU KNOW, THAT ONE!

So, yesterday Maddy was resting (we don't call it napping because she doesn't know HOW to nap.  Seriously, lol) and Kennith and I were hanging out.

And that moment... the one I have been dreading and longing for finally came.


The day that he admitted....


He knew that I was the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa.


I don't think we ever know as parents how this moment will feel.  Will we be relieved? Sad? I always wondered HOW I would handle it, what I would say? Because I am the mom... I AM SANTA. 

So I spent a LOT of time thinking about all the things that could possibly play out.  There are TWO different scenarios that always repeat....

Scenario 1:


It would open up with a heart to heart where I would tell my son that even though we have to believe in magic and miracles, that the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa were not real.  They were imaginary and that parents play the role of these mythical characters to show our children to believe in the unknown for anything can happen.  And he would hug me and say, mom you are the best. How did you know what I always wanted.  I love you.  I will always cherish this moment in my heart forever. And then we would bust out our own rendition of "We Are The World."

I call bullshit.  THIS will not happen, lol... it is too 1950s for me.  Then next thing you know I will be wearing an apron and baking an apple pie or some other yummy treat. Wait, I do that. scratch that. LOL but you know what I mean....

Scenario 2:


 Kennith comes screaming out of his room. Crying.  "MOOOOOOMMMMMM"... Deep breath and sigh, "WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME???"  I say, "Excuse me?"  He then goes into this diatribe about how I lied to him all these years.  How I tell him you should always be truthful, because even if the truth hurts it is so important to say... he sobs and sobs.  Tells me I am a liar and I cry.  I start to shake because it is NOT my goal to have anyone hate me, let alone my child...

Then he says, I KNOW.

I say, you know what. I say I know what, what?

He cries, YOU KNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW!

I say KNOW WHAT KENNITH (Now I am getting pissed, and think he is just 'playin' me a fool)---

He takes a deep breath, dramatic pause and sputters.... "That Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are not real and they are you." DEEP GASP FROM MY SON!

And he hates me for life because he is right----I did lie to him.



This scenario was dramatized for entertainment purposes, but not that much. If you know my son you know he possesses enough drama to fill a house.  But this is what I was expecting.


HOW IT REALLY WENT DOWN:


Maddy was "resting" and Kennith and I were just chit-chatting. I took a little break from work and we were talking.  He said, you know what. I said what. I know all about the Easter Bunny and stuff. I said you do? He said... yes, but that is ok. I will still believe, because believing is so fun.

I said, how did you know?

His response? COME ON MOM.  You are not that good at hiding stuff.  I can see when you and Phillip sneak things into the cart at the store. But it's ok.  I will keep the secret for Maddy. 

I said you would do that? He said yes, because it is magic mom... dramatic sigh (because it is MY son after all), and even though she is so mean to me, I love her.

Tears in my eyes I hugged my boy.

We don't give our little mini-mes enough credit.  Here I was worried that he would be sad or angry and you know, he wasn't.  He doesn't feel betrayed or sad... he feels like he experienced something magical AND at 9 he is willing to share that magic with his sister.

The best part was at the very end where he said this.... "NOW can we get a 'Shelf on the Elf' for Maddy? that way she can start being good FINALLY. I will help with it."

THAT's my BOY.  So here it is... We will start a new tradition... Creating extra special magic for Maddy. I just need to get insight from my wicked awesome Elf on a Shelf creative friend Audrey... Then we have another magical moment to share and pass down...


 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recipe Time: Truly Dill, Dill Pickle Wrap Dip

OH MY GOODNESS...


So like, I am totally obsessed with the creamy dill blend dip I have from Country Gourmet Home.  I use it for chip and veggie dip all the time and it is my go to sample to give out at events.

"The Dill Dip I speak Of"

Lately I have been trying different "PINTEREST" inspired recipes but kicking them up a notch, OR for that matter, making them a bit easier...

SO, I decided to take my creamy dill dip and make a totally amazing DILL... I mean KICKIN' DILL PICKLE DIP!

Ingredients:


1 package of Creamy Dill Dip from Country Gourmet Home
www.mycountrygourmethome.com/melihw ---- shameless plug for my awesome side business o being a foodie
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese soften (I used the chive and onion cream cheese)
8 oz diced ham
8 oz diced dill pickles
Crackers


Directions:


Set the cream cheese out on the counter to soften while dicing up ham and pickles.

Blend all ingredients together until well blended and creamy.

Serve chilled with crackers!

ENJOY!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Seasons Change...

The past three days have been emotional roller coasters for me.  Up and down, side to side... I have cried more in three days than I have in a whole year.

After coming across the spread sheet my soon to be ex husband drafted in order to justify financially our marriage for two more years without a love relationship (to make it more cost effective for him), I finally broke down.

I was blind sided.


For those of you who truly know me, you know my heart. It is right here, on my sleeve.  I have been told that I get to emotional, I like to say I live my life with passion.

I am an internalizer. 

I always have been. It is part of me and at 41, I am well seasoned and know how to work with MY issues. I am woman enough to realize what it means to be an internalizer and how to work with it.  It is my goal to not internalize everyone else's needs to the extent that I will suffer instead of them... , I would rather hurt 10 times more as long as they didn't... WHY do so many women do this? It is shit I tell you... shit. STOP IT if you are doing it....  AND YES, I am a hypocrite... lol, This is a lesson I need to learn, so my kids don't try to take on the hurt of everyone and carry it. That my kids don't want to disappoint someone because they A) don't want rejection and B) don't want someone else to hurt.

When I found that spreadsheet, I realized how vulnerable I made myself in the past so I could "find" the one assuming that the other person had the best of intentions.  When my best friend asked me on a date, I was flattered and was instantly in love... WHY? Because I was in love with him when I was younger, and I assumed the man he was then was the man he was still. I was able to open up and love him without condition. He hurt me in the most raw way a person hurts another.  He knew how to manipulate my vulnerability, and I let him. I had my "rose colored glasses" on because I was in LOVE and I didn't see through his mask.. He wins an Academy Award for his role...

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." -W. Shakespeare


When I wrote Academy Award, I instantly thought of this awesome quote from Shakespeare.  When I am in church they talk about seasons.  Not like winter, spring, summer, or fall (did anyone else just sing that like they were James Taylor? Admit it... now carry it on.. all ya gotta do is calllllll)... wait... as I digress... where was I? Oh yeah... seasons.  Everything has a time and a place. It is not by chance or by choice.  When the season is over, it is over and  you move to the next season.  I know my next season will be amazing. Right now I am in limbo between seasons like my own version of purgatory? LOL

 

I have to break the ties the bind me to the past and figure out the woman I want to be.


Most people who "know me" know the silly, happy, laid back me... not the serious, thoughtful, powerhouse who will take you out if needed (and not on like take you out to dinner, I mean take you out- take you out). Kinda like the trailer trash ghetto I was talking with Shannan and Merissa about the other day.  Not the fancy-cool-double-wide kinda trailer park, but the my-trailer-needs-a-generator-and-propane tank-and-duct -tape-to-hold-it-together kind of trailer trash.  It is like my version of ghetto. I never lived in a real ghetto, nor do I want to... BUT I did visit a scary trailer park in a small town outside of Nashville that was all ghetto trailers and NO BOOZE in the county, which didn't make sense to me. THATS the kind of ghetto I am talking about... lol

Now, where was I---- OH,  finding Melissa...

I have to find myself, love myself, be happy in my own skin with me, and do things on my own before I can TRUST someone to be there for me.

I was told by someone that they loved me, more than anyone else.  That they see their life with me. That I was everything they wanted, friend, lover, great parent. And when the money wasn't there as anticipated, he would write it down in a notebook and say I didn't give money on this date and how ungrateful I was. This is the hardest thing for me to swallow, and if you haven't been there you cannot understand.  Up until the last two months of our marriage he was nice to me, kissed me, told me he loved me... all an act.  Once he made up his mind about how he wanted to spend the summer and NOT in a house with me working there and kids... he was ready to let me go. He didn't need me anymore... BUT he did want the THINGS we bought together.  I wanted the love we supposedly built....

I put my heart... my faith...my KID's lives... my job... my family... on the line for this love, because he did everything someone in love should do... yet in the end... there was a spreadsheet. And a note book.  A note book of all of the things he did for me that I didn't appreciate. (I did appreciate it but he decided not to recognize it, oh well)... He journaled every day for two months about my attitude towards him. I was cleaning and one day it was there, and of course... I read it.. WHO WOULDN'T! 

"May 9th: M was pretty descent but fake nice and had that tone" Yeah I had a tone, I was making dinner, getting kids ready, waiting for my mom, and speaking at an event with 200 women.. I was nervous... but I had a tone--- did you even ask why? NO... WTF.

 When he came home from work--- I went into Stepford Wife.  Had to sacrifice my actual job to clean the house after myself, him, the kids so he would not get mad. He documented my behavior as if I was on trial. 

He was the judge... juror... prosecutor to a trial I didn't know I was the defendant for... and he decided that we would never work out. And he kicked me out of the house because I took my own money out of our joint account to save so I could move. That was the day he told me he never loved me... the day he kicked me and my children out of the house we called home.  The home my 4 and 9 year olds had rooms in and in a neighborhood we had friends in... he kicked us out and threatened me.

This was not the man I married. The man I married was fun, he laughed... he danced in the kitchen with me... he took me to the farmer's market and out to dinner...

The man I walked out on was bitter. Played computer games while he was at home and drank vodka secretly all night. The man I walked out on hated me. The man I walked out on only saw me as a meal ticket and not a life love partner. The man I walked out on told me he was miserable... I was like then what should we do? He said if you go or if you stay I will still be miserable...

So, here I wait for my divorce to be final and as it gets closer, I feel more broken.  I want to have that relationship that will be forever, but I fear I will not find it.  I am not guarded here on this site and I freely let anyone read it. I know I am dating a wonderful man (I know, I am not officially divorced but he, it is 2013), but I need time and space to heal. I need time to realize that I am worth it.

I talked to my soon to be ex-husband's ex wife (say that three times while spinning in circles) and asked her a few questions to confirm that he is as selfish as I see him.  When she worked for a car dealer and SHE got the new car, at lunch they met, he took the keys and she never got to drive it again.  She worked three jobs so he could graduate college, he said she never worked and she was lazy.  Sometimes it is all about perspective.

I don't often come on here to bitch and moan, but I am sick, sad, and I have pink eye in both eyes and I have been crying so I am taking a bitch card for today. K? Thanks. ;)

It is about me this time. It is about my needs and the needs of my children.  I need to internalize other peoples needs less, and internalize my needs more. As I stated in my last blog, I don't like hurting others, but I don't like being hurt. I especially don't like it when someone doesn't trust my intentions because theirs are not good (they do something so the public thinks they are such a good person, when really they aren't they just want the fame kind of shit)....

Right now I am so hurt I cry every night.  Someday I will be worth it... not for you, or anyone else... but for me. And until that time, I have to keep on my self healing journey. Honestly... why want someone when they feel broken and they need to fix their heart for herself? 

When my divorce is final.. I have ONE last statement to Phillip... Let me know what you think ---
 

"You know it is a shame you aren't really the caring outgoing person you pretend to be... because he? He would be really happy and love life--- Maybe you need to figure out how to be that personality more."


Too cold? Do I sound bitter? Maybe.  OK. I think I need to bake a cake or something. The smell of baked nummies always makes me smile especially when it is warm and I can eat it with some ice cream, watch the Bachelor finale with it when the kids go to bed.

With that said, I am sad but I am happy.  Does that make sense? I am sad because a season is over, and I did not see the end of the season coming (kinda like 45 degree weather in Iowa in July, WHO WOULDDA THUNK IT)... but I am ready for the next season. I just have to figure out one thing... do I wear shorts? Jeans and a hoodie? Or a parka?

 

I don't know but I am sure it will be fan-fucking-tastic.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

I finally GET Dick....

Got your attention? LMAO

I am sure I did... but really. I finally DO get Dick. Dick is my therapist. Well, was my marriage therapist until the "marriage" was determined to be a financial arrangement versus a real love relationship. But I do get what he was saying.

He told me, "Don't get emotionally involved in a relationship for three months. This will keep you in an objective status."

He meant a romantic relationship, but I applied it to all relationships and really, work in general. I have determined that I am empathetic and vulnerable, so it is easy for me to emotionally attach and I don't like to really hurt people (I know- for most of us this is a "DUH MELISSA" moment, but honestly there are people who strive and "get off" on hurting other people).

I don't like to be the person who:

* Tells you that your dress makes you look fat, when it really does

* Has to tell you your fly is open after you talked in a public venue or had to do something really important.. or really EVER

* Has to tell another person bad news.  I remember having to tell my mom and my sisters about my dad's passing. It was the worst thing I ever had to tell them.  I know how much they all cared about them (even my mom who had been divorced from my dad) and how they would hurt. If I could have figured out a way to lessen the pain, I would have

* Has to fire someone

* Watches as someone else gets verbally "abused" by a friend or other person, but I don't want to step in between, because I don't want to offend or hurt either person


When any of these things happen, I physically get sick. I emotionally connect so fast, it is hard for me to detach and look at it from an outside perspective.

Recently, I have started using the "Dick approach" and trying to look at things from an outside perspective.  It has been very eye opening.  I realize that I have a HUGE tolerance for things normally other folks don't have patience for... and I try (TRY) to have patience and the grace of God when dealing with those situations that require it.

Lately, I feel as if EVERYTHING in my path has tested my resolve.  The resolve to be myself and to be objective and to remove the emotional connection so I can view things objectively.

Here is what I have learned through my "test":

1) I am definitely NOT perfect, I am flawed

2) I do not tolerate grown adults who say things out of anger, and then after they are called out on it, apologize (repeatedly).  If you are an adult, you should be able to conduct yourself as though you are and you DON'T get a do-over. Do-overs are for children.  You cannot consistently be rude to others, while expecting everyone to bow down to you, and then apologize for your rudeness later on.

3) I have wants and they are as important as other peoples wants

4) I can be happy alone

5) I have few "friends" but a lot of acquaintances--- I have always been emotionally guarded (even though extremely outgoing)

6) I am worth the wait--- so if I am hesitant regarding something it is ok, I don't have to rush it (especially with relationships and other big decisions like moving).  If the other (person or thing) is not willing to wait for me, it is probably not the right timing

7) I don't have to settle for less than what I deserve in life

8) People make mistakes. .Forgive often, because you too need forgiveness from time to time. We are not perfect as humans.

9) I may make decisions that are best for me, and I may hurt others along the way unintentionally, and that is OK

10) I am perfect for me


I LOVE DICK!  I never thought I would ever want to say those three words and actually scream them at the top of my lungs until now.

Oh dear Dick. I finally get it and I get it....REAL GOOD, DICK... very well played.  No wonder you are a therapist.  Dick Therapy is what I call it (and then I giggle and snort like, because THAT's my gross personality, sometimes I make jokes that a 16 year old boy would.  Dick Therapy... bwahhaaaa)....

Changes are a'comin... Melissa is a'growin'.  Life is a-changin' for the better.

Lesson Learned: Vulnerability

"Back to life.... back to reality... back to the here and now... OH YEAH... show me how, decide what you want from me..." - En Vogue

So... I sit here thinking about the last three years of my life, and the lyrics from En Vogue haunt me.

They are not lyrics that bring me joy, instead they are lyrics that make me think.

My entire life I have been vulnerable.  Vulnerable to people in my inner circle AND I give those in that circle a lot of "extra credit" (not like a teacher's extra credit, but extra credit in the fact that you can do mean or wrong things and I will forgive you).  After the last three years, I have decided to take a new perspective.


Vulnerability. Weakness. DEFENSELESS.

Really? I have been leading my life with the idea that being vulnerable is a good thing (and to some extent it is good, but to the extent I have been taking it, it is not). I would allow myself to be open to emotional harm. Put MY heart on the line, put MY beliefs on the line for someone else, so I wouldn't hurt them OR I wouldn't see them hurt. I live (or after this, LIVED) my life thinking that if I was the only one hurt because I made myself vulnerable to that, then it was fine.

Is that right? Is THAT what I want to teach to my children? Is that what I want for myself?

For all answers, it is NO.

So, from this day forward I change the world vulnerable to empathetic.  For a long time I thought they were similar but they are not. Empathy means identifying or understanding what others feel.  THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

This is my ME MISSION.  I am not a selfish person by any means.  Anyone who knows me knows I would do ANYTHING to help out a friend, or a cause, or a friend of a friend, or a friend of a friend's cause. What I mean by a ME MISSION is that I can empathize with someone without becoming vulnerable. 

A wake up call of sorts? Maybe.  But there it is.  Praises to the CHEESUS that at the tender age of 41 I finally figured it out.

I have to realize that I have needs, my kids have needs and they are as important or even (GOD FORBID I SAY IT) more important than other's needs. 

WOW. I think I just needed to type that out.... NOW I must start living by it. 

Thank you for reading my 12:49 AM post about vulnerability. Have a wonderful day.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Life: Upside Down and Back Again

So it has been a lot time since I blogged. 

Life has been a roller coaster, I have been twisted around, I hung upside down- suspended in the air, and now I am finally on the descent... you know, the last part of the ride where you are like, "HOLY SHIT... that was some ride, Batman..." but when you get off the ride all you want to do is kiss the ground... and pee.

 

So this is my kiss the ground moment.


Update: After 2 1/2 years of being with my husband... we are in the process of a divorce.  I am not sure why or how but we are.  He said that I didn't show him I loved him.  This to me is sad, because from what I understand from the examples set forth before me are this:

* Love is caring about someone and genuinely wanting to know how there day is
* Love is being there unconditionally
* Love is loving their children as if they were your own, and being compassionate to their needs
* Love is affection (regardless of the S.E.X. piece.  Love is the affection you give each other... hugs, kisses, snuggles)
* Love is attending events together (helping out with school activities, supporting your spouse in their activities, even if it is something you are not as excited about)
* Love is making a dinner for you because your partner knows that you love a certain food
* Love is cleaning up after everyone without thanks
* Love is patient
* Love is doing anything in your power to make sure your partner is taken care of and happy
* Love is laughing together when you really want to cry
* Love is listening
* Love means going beyond the basics
* Love means listening... truly listening and not just hearing
* Love is compassion
* Love is tenderness
* Love means sacrifice without losing yourself in the process of loving

 Webster's dictionary states love is, "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties."


So, although I had a hard time for a while dealing with this fact that I didn't show him love, I now know it was a tactic to move me out, and I did show love the way I learned... an unconditional love that goes beyond giving "things" to the other person.  I also learned that some people will not ever be able to love regardless of how hard they try (thanks to DICK therapy--- Err,  Dick is my therapist... lol).  Love is an action.  Love is a learned thing, and it isn't a skill you just have, it is learned...you learn it from your parents and those around you. If you didn't see it growing up, you don't know how to give or show love at all.

Over the past few months I have learned how to love myself, and I learned the following....

 WHO I am is good enough. 


I learned more about what "ills" my soon to be ex, and I am moving on... the marriage failed, neither he or I did.

So from this day forward, my blog will still focus on my kids... It will still be a random acts of my brain... lol, but it will be from the cuff.

This is my life---- unscripted.


Make sure to spend your life letting those around you whom you love, know you love them and care about them. Don't let a moment go unnoticed.  For those of you who truly know me and my soul, you know how I feel about you through my actions and not words.

I am kissing the ground... thankful that a ride is over... waiting my turn in line... my turn for the ride of my life.  You know, the one that makes you want to ride it over and over and over again 'til the park closes?  That one. That is what I am waiting for.

I am no longer sad. I am the happiest I have been in a long time. Be Blessed!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ye Ol' Bucket List

Hi.  Remember me? Mom-blogger, and lady who is just random?

I don't think I have blogged in a long time. Things have been rather, bat shit crazy to be honest.  Things have just been crazy.

I mean, I could spend time going over the many issues that I have been dealing with over the past month, but kids, I gots so many issues you need a subscription.

BWAAAHHHAAA (I would like to say I came up with that one on my own, but um... I didn't I actually stole it from my uncle).


Anyway, do you have a bucket list? A list of things you want to do before you die? Or before you are 40? or before you are 50? Or before you have kids?


I have a bucket list of things I want to do before I turn 50.  My bucket list is random and odd... and it doesn't have anything like, "GO TO ITALY AND TASTE WINE" or anything that cool.  My bucket list is of things I wanted to do but I:
A) didn't have the opportunity to do it.
B) didn't know where I could pull it off.
C) didn't have time to do it when the opportunity first presented itself.
D) didn't have the money to do it.
E) didn't have the gumption to get out there and do it.

So, my bucket list has stuff like,
* Take the L-SAT (done)
* Color my hair purple just because (not done, but doing it for Relay for Life this year)
* Wear an animal costume at a kid's event (DONE)

and so on.

What, you never had the desire to wear an animal costume? I mean, I don't want to be one of those sex furries or something like that- people... Is that what they are called? I maybe should look it up) SO I am now looking up "What do you call people who wear animal furry costumes for sex purposes? REALLY.... AHHH, I was right.  Furries... EWWW, anyway to each his or her own...

ME? I just wanted to wear an animal costume and bring smiles to kids....

Here is the thing.  I SHOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THIS FROM A SANER POINT OF VIEW.

I played the Easter Bunny for 20 minutes this weekend (to give Alex a break so she could actually eat some lunch)... and what I found is that people are rude.

YOU READ THAT RIGHT.  I don't think we as parents an REALLY appreciate the fuzzy bunny at the mall.  Listen, that costume is hotter than shit... AND you can barely see out of it.  People let their kids manhandle you (or in my instance, woman handle you)... and you have to hold crying babies that you CAN'T SEE and try not to drop them. AND THEN, if you do have a child sit on your lap, is it appropriate to wrap your arm around him/her? What if they start to fall and you grab their leg? I mean, I don't want to be seen as a bunny who gets his kicks (yes his, it was a boy bunny costume) off of grabbing kids.  And then the crying kids. I swear, I don't like it when they cry. I wanted to cry right with them.

FINALLY they came to take me back to change back to normal. AND parents are pissed off. They have waited in line... OMG, I know what that feels like, to be the waiting parent with a screaming kid, but here is the deal... if you haven't been the bunny, don't hate the bunny.  YOU don't know what it is like to be the bunny and have a 2 year old poop his diaper on your lap, have the fumes get trapped in your "bunny head" and you really can't breath... DON'T HATE the bunny.

Instead, love the bunny (but not like, err LOVE IT, I am not promoting the furry lifestyle)... but have a bit more respect.  The person playing the bunny loves kids, or he/she would not do it.  Have compassion.

I remember a song from Urinetown (great musical I was in) and there was a song entitled, "Don't Be the Bunny." I always thought it was odd. I mean, it was a musical about people wanting to pee for free.  However, after yesterday's fiasco... I agree... don't be the bunny. 

So, an item checked off my personal bucket list.  But now I think I want to be a character that doesn't have to wear a big head.  Santa??? Err, maybe boobs and no facial hair could be a hindrance there... Maybe Mrs. Claus.  Yes.  Mrs. Claus... I could pull off grey hair, glasses and rosy cheeks... (NEW ITEM ON BUCKET LIST ADDED).

Wait... Never mind... I don't want to be farted on again.  Just sayin'.....

 



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recipe Time: BACON... How I love thee...

So, I have a confession... I love bacon.

Bacon is about the best thing on this earth for me... besides coffee... but if I could eat bacon at every meal, every day of my life... (AND NOT have a coronary) I probably would.

Here's the thing. I HATE when it splatters on me, and I have way to many bacon grease burns to even go into.

I have friends who have put bacon in the over to cook it.  I never tried. WHY? I likes my bacon crunchy and very well done and I just couldn't understand how it could get that yummo in the oven.

Then, I tried to make it on my own.  EPIC FAIL.  I put the bacon onto a pan and well.... when it was done it stuck to the pan. I wanted to try it, so I had to use my finger nails and chip if off the pan.

So then... I figured it out... what I needed.  Why didn't I think of that first!  So I set out to make my bacon.

This specific blog post is for my sweet and loving brother in law, Scott.  I wanted to show him that YES... bacon in the over is just as good... OR BETTER than on the stove top.

Ingredients:
Bacon, bacon, and wait... more bacon (I tend to use the Farmland low sodium but this time I had the thick stuff)
Parchment paper


Yep.  That is it.  NO special sauce, pepper... or anything.  Just your bacon and parchment paper.






Directions:

Heat your oven to 400 degrees

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking pan (with sides)

Place bacon on top of parchment paper


Once oven is heated, place pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes

Remove bacon and let cook on paper towels.

Eat the damn bacon.


 
 

 

That is it. YUMMO. Have a fantastic Wednesday!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I.HATE... I mean REALLY, RELLY HATE----

I absolutely hate cancer.


I mean, I don't know anyone who really LOVES cancer.... Most of us hate it.  I hate that this disease can take away a loved one in a matter of months... days... years...

I hate the fact that there isn't a "one cure fits all cancers" out there.  I HATE the fact that cancer metastasizes differently in everyone.... so what may work as a cure for some won't work as a cure for others.

I hate that I lost four loved ones in the past year... and more than I can count on two hands in my lifetime.  I am just ONE person.

I think pretty much everyone we know has been touched by this dreadful word... cancer... Either you have been diagnosed with it, your loved one has, your friend has, your co-worker has...  maybe you are a caregiver to someone who has heard those three horrible words... "YOU have cancer."
 I want to shout from the rooftops and tell cancer to bleep the bleep off... but I can't.  You see, it cannot hear me.  It cannot emote and express it's opinion and tell  me how it is NOT FAIR that I center my hate around it... but it can attack.  So how do I fight back?

I am just ONE person...



I am just ONE person in a town of thousands.  How can I make a difference?

I am just ONE person who lost another friend to cancer today.  When I was younger, this nice lady at church would always smile at me, and hug me.  She always asked how I was doing.  She was always there when I needed just a hug, and with no questions.  She was a greeter at my church, and even on the coldest days, she would stand outside in the Iowa winter and shake a hand, give a hug... be there for anyone who needed some unconditional love.  She was a woman who loved me when I was alone, single... a mother of an infant.  While others may have shunned me for having a child out of wedlock (and it was my second child, my son was from my first marriage), she loved me. When my children came with me to church service instead of Sunday school, she loved on them and told them how important they were. She was a natural soprano I, in which I was extremely jealous... lol,  when she sang in her high register, instead of the tone being tinny.... it was thin... strong, and powerful.  Kinda like her.  That is it, her voice was just like her; thin, strong, and powerful. She sent me notes, told me I was on the right track.. I will NEVER know how she had my address, but she did. And every few weeks, there would be a love letter in the mail to me from Mrs. R.  She made such a difference in my life... more than a difference, she made me feel like I was important in the eyes of my family, and God. Even though I know she is in a much better place... I know she is in heaven, I mourn her departure from this earth, and I know I will see her again.  I just wasn't ready to say good-by yet. And I don't know if we ever are really ready to say good-by to those we care about...

 She fought.... and she fought hard. 

So why can't I? I mean, I have two working feet, a cancer free body (thank GOD for technology and me finally wising up).... What can I do?

I am just ONE person...


Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the fact that I am just ONE person, I forget there are a lot of ONE persons out there. People like me, with their own cancer story to share.  Whether it is one of surviving, like sweet Dawn (YOU GIRL are an inspiration), or one of caregiving.... God bless oncology nurses... my mother is one and what you do every day I cannot imagine doing.  Or maybe you, like me, have lost one too many family members... lost one too many friends... There are a lot of US out there.

I am just ONE person... with a dream of a cancer free world. 


I started walking in Relay for Life after my mother in law (my ex-husband's mother and one of the most amazing women I have ever known) was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  I continue to walk, and raise money for American Cancer Society in her honor, my way of giving back to a woman who was taken from us too early, because of cancer.

So, I am going to turn my ONE person journey and invite others to walk with me.  You can walk in spirit, you can come out in June to walk beside me.  Help me make this ONE person--- ONE HUNDRED....

Relay started with ONE man... who ran ONE night.... for ONE cause.  Dr. Gordy Klatt...

Why can't we continue his dream? I am going to turn my anger, my sadness...into action...

I will celebrate the time I had with them and the life I have. 


I will remember with honor those whose lives were ended early because they heard three little words too late... "You have cancer."


I will fight back for those who can't. 


I will fight so that my kids will never have to know what it is like to hear those words, ever.







Monday, February 4, 2013

Big Win!

The Superbowl was pretty good this year. 

There were no wardrobe malfunctions during the halftime show (but how you could have a wardrobe malfunction with very little clothing? HAHA).... The teams played a solid game that kept me on the edge of my seat... the power went out at the stadium (how does that even happen?)... AND the commercials were pretty good except for a few.

Big win goes to all of the writers for every commercial aired.  I loved the Coca-Cola commercials with the "race" , the viva mas  Taco Bell commercials (come on, nothing cuter than 80-somethings partying and carrying on like that) but my most favorite was the Dodge commercial.

There was one where we all reacted with a huge, "EWWWWWWWWWWW, GROOOOOOSSSSS!!!!" with the rest of America... Thank you Go Daddy for your horrible on air kiss. Maybe MTV will give you the worst.kiss.ever. award.  I mean it was pretty gross but it got my attention. And any attention is better than none, right?

How many of you watched the Superbowl and you can remember the Go Daddy commercial because you were so disgusted by it, yet you don't remember what you had for breakfast on Saturday?

EWWW, seriously. Why must the Go Daddy commercial keep popping in my head. Hum...they are a local company. I wonder what they do. I should google them.

See what I mean? They got my attention and NOT in a good way...

Any attention is better than no attention at all... keeps coming back to my mind.  Kinda like with my kids... if one is getting attention, the other one will act up to get MORE attention because they will get in trouble and have a time out... and what happens is the good child will wait for me to come back. So, how do we resolve this idea --- "any attention is better than no attention at all"...

I am going to really work hard on giving positive attention and making it count and minimizing my time with negative attention... to see if it works.

I will PRAISE my kids when they do something kind for someone else... I will do it right then and there and make them know how proud I am of their choice.

I will NOT spend over FIVE minutes when a child has an outburst, and for time out I will put them in a spot where they cannot see me (or bug their siblings).

I will encourage good choices and reward based on that.  With Maddy, I will use more words like, "That was a great choice Madelynn... how does that choice make your heart feel?"  She is my toughest one when it comes to getting negative attention... maybe it is being the youngest, maybe it is her age... But she is very stubborn and she can have a diva-tude. She honestly will do ANYTHING to get attention (she will even lick random strangers, or pretend to be a kangaroo....)


I will look over homework with each child and acknowledge the good things they did and actively help them with their struggle areas and homework.

I will start speaking in Spanish with Alex to help her with it and to have something for just us to share.

I will be silly from time to time and dance in the kitchen with them while making dinner just because they LOVE being silly.

Just a few fun things to do to award good behavior and give the attention to each child in the manner he/she will appreciate it most.

So kids... they are like Superbowl commercials.  They just want your attention and they will get it however they can, even if they gross you out while doing it.....