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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!