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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! 


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
sour cream
shredded cheese


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!


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.


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)


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.


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.



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."


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. 


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?


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.


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


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!


1 package of Creamy Dill Dip from Country Gourmet Home ---- 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


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!


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 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.