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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Personal...And Yet It Isn't

Merry Christmas.... I love this time of year.  

Talking with my kids, knowing that Christmas is more than a tree, presents, and a crazy Elf that pops up out of no where doing random things every night and then POOF the Elf (who has a personal name) is gone after Christmas... My daughter is a good girl, her Elf moves... it comes down to an ELF to motivate us to be good? Anyway....

I was chatting with some friends both at church and online today and I asked them, "If you could get rid of any holiday tradition, what would it be and why?"  

I wasn't surprised... I felt comforted actually in the fact that the thing I would change is the same thing they would.... and here is the thing, we all come from different walks of life, celebrate Christmas differently, practice our religion differently... we don't wear the same style of clothes, we don't drive the same cars, yet the one thing we collectively agree on is what we would get rid of as a holiday tradition. 

Guess what it is? You got it... and no, it is not the creepy little elf. HA!

I know you are thinking exactly what we discussed.... gifts. 

Yep.  There I go saying that the one thing we should get rid of at Christmas is the gift stuff.  

Gift giving any more is not even a thoughtful thing at the holiday time. It is an obligation. Something we MUST do to keep up with the proverbial Jones.  We make our kids do lists and search Amazon or Toys R Us... make them take pictures of the exact Lego Minecraft toy so we don't mess up... we buy online and don't even go look in a store for something, we have taken all thought out giving gifts. 

And what does that say about us? 

Are we so disconnected in our technology filled world that we don't know WHAT to get someone so we have to ask them? (or in my case, send them a text while they are in the same room)

Are we too worried because if we pick something out we will let them down? Are we afraid our gift won't be enough? Isn't the whole idea of a gift supposed to be a surprise, something that is OF THOUGHT and shouldn't a gift be something we truly think about and make it special for the other person? Have we become so ME ME ME, I WANT I WANT I WANT that we don't even care about WHO the other person is, just give me the list, I will get you what is on the list.  Task completed. We are not drones, or machines... we are human, we deserve some thought don't ya think?

And maybe that is why I HATE IT when someone asks me what I would like for Christmas or my birthday... I have everything I need and I want. I have my God, my kids, my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my cats and my dogs, and a roof over my head. I want for nothing. Even through some of the darkest times of my life I rejoice in the fact that we are happy, we are good... and we lack nothing of importance.

Christmas... December 25th.... this is the day that CHRIST was born.  Originally this day was not created to celebrate each other, it was to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. God's son, CHRIST. 

It is the day we are to reflect on the gift we were given by our God. 

Think on that for a second.... Jesus is our Emmanuel, which in Hebrew means, God is with us.... He created this baby to grow into a man to walk with us... God himself is WITH us through HIS son.  God with open arms said, here people of this world... take my son, my only child. He is here in the flesh and I KNEW from the moment he was a little bean in Mary's belly that His son would die for you while on this earth so you could forever live in eternity. That is the gift God gave you.  That is the gift we celebrate on Christmas. 

When God gave us HIS son, did He go, hum... I wonder if Jesus will be good enough (I type this and I laugh, that just sounds ridiculous).  Do you think that they will return him and not even open up this precious gift I have given? I really should have sent the people a rocket ship instead. NO. 

When God sent His only son as a gift on Christmas, He was thoughtful. He sent us the most precious, amazing thing He could think of because God thought we were important enough... He thought of everyone when Christ was born. And God didn't need a list (let me give Esther a pair of socks, and Mary deserves a baby--- NO).... He knew us before we were born, because like Jesus, we are His children. 

This is so personal to me and I feel so raw and vulnerable as I post this because I know a lot of people who say HAPPY HOLIDAYS and that is fine... but on December 25th it is MERRY CHRISTMAS. It is the day that we celebrate the day Christ was born. I will keep saying Merry Christmas because it is very personal. Christ is my savior, my refuge, and my relationship with Him is very personal, but I love sharing His love with others, so on the other hand it is not personal. 

(OK, so inappropriate movie line, it's like from Dirty Dancing... NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER.... don't put Christ in the corner because it makes you uncomfortable, and don't chastise me because I say Merry Christmas, Christ came before Santa. *PREACH IT* SPEAKING TRUTH *BOOM, there it is*)

God is my daddy (for those of you who know Ms Vickie, I just typed that as if I channeled her because she talks about God as her daddy and that is what He is...), and the gift He gave puts all other gifts to shame, no other earthly gift will ever compare. 

Imagine holding your baby you just gave birth to, the one you felt grow in your belly for so long... remember? Yes, moms you do... like it was yesterday...

This is a young me... almost 4 months pregnant with Kennith, I think I always rubbed that belly
Yep. This is me preggo with Madelynn (3 weeks to go). She loved to kick my sciatic nerve and take my left leg out, and how funny that her personality is spit fire just like that of the baby in my belly.

I remember my mom telling me when I was pregnant with Kennith, "You think you know what love is... you don't. You will know that unconditional, I would do anything, so protective kind of love when you hear your baby cry the first time."

And she was right. I loved him from the day I prayed for him. I felt him grow in my belly. I remember the first kick. I was on the New Jersey Transit train going home after working a long day in Manhattan, and I felt the kick, I though that there was something touching my belly, then I realized it was coming from the inside and that this little human was saying, "HEY MOMMY... look at me." I got home and he started kicking again and I screamed at my husband to come feel the kicks... but he couldn't. Those precious little kicks are only for mommy, I cherished them, for it was just for me. Then as Kennith grew, he would kick so hard it would shake my whole belly. Everyone could see him kick and I would smile and as a pregnant mama, I glowed from the joy of having this child grow inside me. I remember teaching a class... my son got the hiccups and I was 8 months pregnant... I kept teaching... all of a sudden this student raised his hand and goes, "Um, your belly keeps moving?" In kind of an I AM FREAKED OUT YOUR BELLY MOVES-- question/ statement.  I said, oh... I didn't even realize it. He has the hiccups, he gets them all the time. I was getting so comfortable and used to him growing inside me I didn't even notice, he was a part of me from the inside out, and I was full of joy. 

We read to him when he was in my belly using the belly button microphone (LOL), nurturing that relationship before he was out of my womb... and every day I thanked God for this precious baby because for 7 years I was told I had "unknown infertility"... 

So, initially when my mom told me I didn't know the truest type of love yet, I remember laughing at her and I don't know what I actually said, but if you know me it was something like, "Are you smoking crack, whatever...."

Then my son was born. And I am crying as I write this because I heard him cry and this THING swooped down inside me and took over my heart and my mind and I then KNEW what my mom was talking about and I cried and cried..... I have loved my son and my daughter with a ferocious kind of love that a mom can have, from the moment they were a little peanut in my belly.  I hold them and love them and I protect them. I would die for them, without even thinking twice, they are MY children, they are of me.... 

I challenge myself and you... spend some time right now. Close your eyes. Wait, not yet... look at my babies first and then close them. *SNORT*
My Kennith as a sweet baby... I see this and I smile with misty eyes thinking that time goes way to fast.
The day Madelynn was born. I see this and I remember crying saying she is perfect. My first moments really seeing her for the first time (Mandatory C-section, so as soon as she cried, they showed her too me, whisked her off and put me back together. LOL)

Imagine that baby in your arms... look into those eyes, count the toes, the fingers. Look at this little human you created with so much love. 

NOW.... just stop.... and imagine....What if you were Mary? 

What if you were Mary holding Jesus, knowing... His purpose. Your love doesn't change, you don't know how long you get him, and look at those tiny arms, someday they will be stretched out on a cross with nails, but God blessed you with him... imagine you were told by an angel that you, imperfect you, who loves your God with ALL you have that YOU are highly favored and God picked you (see Luke 1:28). God gave us Jesus as our baby boy, not just Mary's.  We hold him in our arms and in our heart, he grows inside us and we can FEEL him move in our spirit, our soul. This was freely given to us because OUR God loves us fervently. 

I am talking to YOU. 

YES.  YOU.  This is YOUR story... it is YOUR beginning.... He loved you so much.... He says not only do I love you with this ferocious kind of love my child, but I love you so much I gave you my son. I know he will die, I know his walk, but I give Him freely to you so you can have an eternal life with me. Imagine holding YOUR Jesus as a baby, knowing everything his life would mean for yours. 

Christmas is the day that we hold the baby that was born on earth so we could live eternally. 

It is personal. I am bawling. I think of my love for my children and then I take a step back because MY GOD loves me more than I can even imagine, I cannot even wrap my head around it...  He loves ME, flawed-snarky-sentimental-inappropriate-imperfect me more than what I can even comprehend.  Why do I say that? I am a parent, I have children... and I love my babies so much I would die for them... BUT, let's be honest...I could never imagine giving them up to save the world. I just couldn't. But GOD did... without hesitation, for you.  

Christ was born. He lives.

He lives in me. He lives in you... It's personal. Christmas is YOUR legacy. 


That is one gift I could never top. That is a gift of thought and is full of impact and when you think about it you know the gift was given freely and intentional to change you forever.  

So here is what I don't understand...

Why do we return it without opening it? Are we afraid? (I say WE because I have been there... UM HELLO CHOIR, I'M PREACHIN. LOL) 

Why do some people deny the birth, the cross, and the resurrection of the one person who walked this earth PERFECT but died to save us as imperfectly perfect as can be. Are we too afraid to open it? Maybe we could just pretend to like it and re-gift it? (Picture it... Oh, thanks... this baby is cute *fake smile* person leaves and we put the baby in the closet to give at a White Elephant exchange next year.... WHHHAAATTT???) 

Or maybe we should just sit the quiet, close our eyes, and just imagine... this perfect baby, given to us so we could have eternity. Let that simmer....

So, maybe when we are sitting by the tree, laughing, opening gifts... we can just take a few minutes to reflect on the actual day and the meaning... it is not Merry Santamas or Happy Holidays. 

It is Merry CHRISTmas... don't ever forget the reason for the season and how much you are loved beyond measure. God will never reject you or walk away... He gave the best of Him on this earth for you--- His one and only son... it's personal.

I think tomorrow I am going to sit down and make something for my loved ones for Christmas. I will get them stuff off their list, but I want them to know that they are so important to me, I thought about them and I made something for them and took time from my day for them. A craft or a drawing or a letter is nothing like what God did, but it is with thought and love. It is getting back to creating authentic connections with others, something that so many of us lack. That is the gift of Christmas. Love one another as you are loved. 

 John 3:16-17 NLT

"For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."

The old me would NEVER have written this because I used to be too concerned with offending someone. The new me says, if you are offended by my blog He must be stirring you up... Open the door just a smidgen for him to show you 1/4th of his love... and when you experience it, you will long for a deeper connection with Him, and you will rip the whole door off. 

Merry Christmas. May your family be blessed beyond measure. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Am I *BLEEP* Enough

Happy day post Thanksgiving!

I am not sure if any of you are Black Friday shoppers, I am definitely not.  I am not born to bet up at the butt crack o' dawn to go outside and stand in line in the cold and wait for a ticket to wait for a thingy for a discount. I would much rather sleep in and wake up slowly, drink some coffee, contemplate the day ahead of me and go for an adventure or two with the kids.

Today we went to NewBo market for an early lunch (and well, to pick up pasta and sauce for Turkey Tetrazzini for dinner), and then out to the winery for a sip and shop event with local vendors (UM, they had a bra lady. She sells bras. they are amazing bras. I bought a bra or like 2 of them and WOW) and it was fun to see some friends and meet some new folks. Anyway, look at the amazing before and after shots of new bra purchase? I know, every mid-40s woman without a boob job is like I GOTS TO GET ME ONE OF THOSE! :) LOL

But what has been on my mind for a few days is that I know I am a good mom and a great friend... but sometimes I truly wonder if I am enough.

I mean, I have had MANY failed relationships, I struggle to make ends meet from time to time, and I have days where I am like WTHeck????

I recently went on a trip and I spent a bit of time by myself thinking... am I enough? I mean... really?

I work hard, I think I am a great person to be around, and I will do whatever you want to do for fun, but if there is something I want to do, can you just sacrifice 30 minutes to walk with me or enjoy "my stuff?" and then if you can't I start thinking... what is wrong with me. Why am I NEVER enough....

How many times do you sit there and have that same thought? So you slowly bow out of a situation because in your own mind you are not enough.

You sit there and have these thoughts....

Am I enough?
Am I smart enough?
Am I funny enough?
Am I strong enough?
Am I crazy enough?
Am I worth enough?
Am I compassionate enough?
Am I understanding enough?
Am I successful enough?
Am I God fearing enough?
Am I talented enough?
Am I enough?

And the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on.....

STOP right there.

Why do we do that? We are created the way we are and regardless of what others thing, we are enough.  And it shouldn't take someone else to make us feel that we need to be enough, we should already know it.  We should matter to those around us and we shouldn't have to always question if we are enough....

So instead, I say... change the way you think, the way you AM I *BLEEP* ENOUGHing it.

Write it in window marker on your bathroom mirror, write it out on sticky notes and put them all over the house.  Change your view of yourself because you are more than enough.

So when those thoughts come into play, SWITCH TWO words!

I am enough.

I am smart enough.
I am funny enough.
I am strong enough.
I am crazy enough.
I am worth enough.
I am compassionate enough.
I am understanding enough.
I am successful enough.
I am God fearing enough.
I am talented enough.


YOU are enough. 

Your life is not a question... It is a mother *BLEEPING* statement.

Own it.  Shake it. Work it.  Let it simmer in your soul.....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let it GOOOOO!

You totally thought I was going to start "type-singing" the theme song from Frozen right? HAHA, nope.

I am totally NOT going to do that yet... I mean, Idina Menzel is muh favorite Broadway star and when she belts it out, I want to just dance around in my party dress and sprinkle snow everywhere and just let it go, man.....

What am I talking about? 

Fully surrendering that THING... that thing that you know you have to just give it up and surrender.

LET GO and LET GOD, right?

I so have a hard time with this. I mean, I walk in faith... and I love and trust God, but I have a HARD time letting stuff go, I want to have control over certain things.  How am I supposed to just surrender it and walk away and wait.... and wait .....and then do I build my ice house in the mountains and just stay there creating storms and snow and ice  and freeze things with the wave of my hand? Or do I just rest in peace and wait? The waiting is the hard part for me. I like to think I am patient, but when it comes to the HARD stuff I have to surrender I have a hard time FULLY letting it go.

HAHA, this reminds me of when our pastor was talking about this in church and Peter (the worship leader) was playing "ALL OF ME" by John Legend... and the song really says, "Cuz I'll give you all, all of me... and you give me all, all of you"..... And we feel all emotional and oooey gooey and sapppy....

 Imagine if the song lyrics were... "Cuz I'll give you pa--arrr---arrrt of me... and you give me all, all of you."  

(credit to Peter, our Worship Team Leader for the above amazing song redux)

The person you are singing the song to (or maybe you called into the radio station and requested a love song go out to your loved one, LOL).... would be like WHAAATTTT THE BLEEEP BLEEEEEEEPPPPPP????!!!!??!

Why do we have such a hard time just letting IT go.  That wall.  The wall that surrounds us and protects us from ever getting hurt by someone or something or from every letting anyone in.  When we chose not to let the wall down, we are saying NO to something that could potentially be amazing. WHY DO THAT?

In every successful relationship we need to surrender...there has to be some give and take.

The first relationship I have to learn to FULLY surrender to is my relationship with my # 1 man in my life, God. Man, it is hard.  Have you ever sat there in prayer at your desk and in prayer fully give your career up to HIM?  Or maybe you are struggling with bills.  When did you lay that down before him? I mean REALLY?  Sit in prayer holding your bills and your checkbook, debit card, whatever physically represents your finances to you and PHYSICALLY give it to him while you are in your quiet time?

See, we spend so much time complaining about what is bad in our lives our how we work to pay bills, or I am horrible at dating and when men get to close I SHUT THEM OUT, but seriously.... HAVE YOU GIVEN UP THE CONTROL TO MAKE IT COME TO FRUITION?

Why do we have such a hard time giving HIM our all?  Giving up control? and being patient waiting for His resolve??? WHY??? 

Here it is kids.....

If I have to give it up, I am admitting I am not perfect and I cannot do everything and I love being in control. THAT'S WHY!

Shoot, I am comfortable with calling myself out here. HELLO. :) And I KNOW I am not perfect I am FAR FROM IT....

So, I am on a new journey of finding self  I have surrendered my future to HIM and guess what? I was accepted into a master's program and will start taking classes in January on my way to getting a doctorate in Christian Counseling and Theology.  First step is my master's degree.  God has made each step perfectly aligned in this crazy venture. AND if he can make this happen, what would happen if I surrender my finances, my relationships, my kids... 

See, we tend to forget that God is our father, our Daddy as Ms. Vickie says.... and he loves us more than what we could even imagine.  I look at my son and I think, MAN I would do anything for him to protect him... God's love for that little boy is 1 million times that. I cannot even imagine. 

So why not surrender? If you haven't tried and you are floundering take a few minutes to talk to YOUR DADDY in heaven... sit in his lap, hold his right hand and......

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Things I Want to Do Before I Die -- {my inappropriate bucket list}

Sometimes, I sit here and make lists. Its how my mild OCD tendencies are carried out in my life. I am a list maker. I like checking stuff off. Nothing cooler than going to bed with a list full of crossed off line... YEAH BABY....

Before I die, there are a few goofy and inappropriate things I want to experience... some are absolutely insane. I don't know if I will ever get this list done, but I have decided to have my list of 43 and my goal is to get all 43 things done before my 44th birthday.

43 Things I Want to Do Before I Turn 44:

1) Write 43 blog entries.
2) Wear a mustache with my kids at the Farmer's Market or NewBo market and walk up to 10 random folks and say, "I MUSTACHE YOU A QUESTION..."  in an accent....
3) Visit one of the four states I have never been to (like Utah, let's go skiing)
4) Take at least 4 weekend road trips with my kids to experience new things
5) Make Beef Wellington for giggles
6) Eat breakfast 4 out of 7 days a week EVERY week (I never eat breakfast)
7) Start on a master's degree
8) Drink 8 glasses of WATER / WATER daily. And not WINE. It is not water *SNORT*
9) Don't tell my son... learn what this MINECRAFT CRAP is all about and maybe play it with my kids.
10) Eat at a KFC in Kentucky.... LOL
11) Make every Sunday afternoon/evening a video game/ cell phone free night and actually get creative with my kids
12) Eat at the dinner table 5 out of 7 dinners.  Have a basket for all phones, no phones at the table (ERR, I am talking to me and my crazy desire to take photos of my damn food)
13) Teach myself how to play the piano
14) Read the entire Bible from front to back
15) Get rid of stuff we don't use... every month clean it out.
16) Participate in no spend September
17) Participate in BOOB SMASHING OCTOBER
18) Participate in NO SHAVE NOVEMBER (EWWWWWW)
19) Spend a day at a spa and just relax, even if they tell me to get naked. *SNORT*
20) Compliment a different person every day
21) Say NO when I want to SAY NO....and be ok with it
22) Exercise daily
23) Run a 1/2 marathon
24) Go Christmas caroling with friends in the neighborhood just because we can carol and stuff
25) Volunteer at my kids' school

26) Read at least 4 books for pleasure

27)  Turn on EVERY Scentsy pot I own with a different and dramatic scent in each year

28) Drive an expensive sports car

29) Go to a nude beach (UMM MOM, I didn't say I would go nude, I just want to go..)

30) Learn how to ballroom dance

31)  Complete a craft I start

32) Go catch snowflakes on my tongue with my kids just for fun

33) Listen more to others to really listen to them and not be formulating my response.

34) Hold BACONFEST 2015

35) Stop saying IM SORRY all the time when stuff happens and I am not responsible for it OR wait.... I am really NOT SORRY.

36) Make my bed every day for one whole week.... (THIS is gonna be a challenge)


38)  Say yes to helping out events or other stuff that will not just take from my emotional bucket but will pour back in.

39) Make my own fun YouTube music video

40)  Raise $1,000 for relay for life in 2015 on my own

41) Always tell my children I love them before they go to school and before they go to bed

42) Dress up as a random super hero and go shopping.

43) Make my own wine

My bucket list is ready to welcome year 43 on this earth.  I wonder how much of this I will get done? I bet there is an APP for this... NOW THAT is what I am talking about.... OCD in check and bucket list ready.... bring on the new year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Always the HARD Way... Lessons Learned

As November  comes to a close, we all start getting misty and overemotional about the things we are thankful for.... yet, we often neglect those who have impacted our path... be thankful for them... regardless of the outcome --> they lead us to the future us --> who is the us today and let's face it... the us today is more wicked awesome than the us a few years ago, right???? Without them (the haters, naysayers, questioners of our own abilities....) we wouldn't be who we are today, right?



Over the past few days, I have been BOUNCED into reality and I realize that those who are meant to be in my life will stick... I can weather any storm... Even when told by my mother that an ex of mine is dating someone of the SAME SEX --> which drew a TON of emotions... LIKE FROM GIGGLY TO WHAT THE HECK.... (so even though I have may friends and loved ones in same sex relationships, it is NEW to me to be on the "I was dating and/or married to someone who ended up in a same sex relationship Maury Povich kind of smack in the face reality).  Yeah, lots of questions, especially since I already wondered...and wondered, and wondered... THEN WAS LIKE EWWWW, was he having the S.E.X. with another person while we were together? And then I have to just let it go... I can't change the past and I have had an STD test done the last time I was at my OB for my VA-JAY-JAY exam and I have the ALL CLEAR, so who cares? I would have had the exam REGARDLESS, so its like a BONUS it was really needed...KWIM??? (OH THAT WAS BAD, BUT SNORT-TASTIC) I didn't cheat or think about it... anyway after my last OB appointment I verified the following ---- my hooo-haaa is OKEYY DOKEY and ready for POKEY... Just kidding... It is not ready for that, it just rhymed and was funny, GIVE ME A BREAK, I am trying to lighten the "I was with a man who is now with a man and we did the nasty because it was BIBLICALLY acceptable, if you know what I mean". But that is really about me and how I felt almost betrayed... I mean, why hide your truest self from others and let other's believe it (especially if they care for the core of you?).

Long story short: My kids and I deserve a family unit, I truly long to be Mrs. Cleaver. You know... from Leave it to Beaver? But a more 2014 version... And someday, it will come... I know it will. But with a twist. Like both parents work and respect each other and my husband will love my kiddos as if his own. He can appreciate me for my quirks and the fact that some times I have to work late and vice versa and we just "GET" each other.... Not much more than that... just someone who wants to be an US and not just a dating couple.

I am not ready to settle for less. What is so hard is to listen to my kids talk about what they view as family and how their little lives will be satisfied by having this "family unit".  I have to remember this walk I am taking is not selfish...It is NOT about me cuz let's face it.... lately  I am satisfied with a dinner at taco bell and a rental movie of my choice, LOL. Oh golly, by far it is NOT selfish... 




It is about HIM first, my kids second...

For paths directed by Him will lead to kids being fulfilled, and my life being fulfilled. I walk with HIM, in HIM, through HIM... every millisecond of every day. Things happen for a reason. People move forward. Sometimes you pray the people stick... and sometimes they do, sometimes they don't... they CHOOSE not to weather the storm with you.... and it is all good, because we are uniquely designed to do great works...  We have to remember this life we lead has a fully designed purpose, a reason... we are on a mission of sorts. 

And during that journey, we will offend some... we will lose some... but  at the end of the day, as long as I have my kiddos and my GOD, I will always be HAPPY and FULFILLED.  PERIOD. END OF STORY. FINITO.

Life is about making moments that stick forever in the corners of your mind... the ones that come back to make you smile or draw a thought near to your heart.  Life is about playing with mustaches after a seriously hard play therapy with your 5 year old.  Life is about changing EVERY ROOM in your home to make sure that 5 year old feels safe and happy....even though the clutter is driving you insane, and you WANT help, but you are TOO STUBBORN TO ASK for it....

 Life is about breathing in those moments... the silly, sappy, crazy moments that most people push to the way side. Life is about sitting in the conference for your 11 year old and hear his teacher describe him as emotionally deep and profound for his age... that he is an OLD SOUL.... and you smile and nod in agreement...

Life is about making mistakes and SUCKING IT UP when you do... admitting your fault with GRACE and dignity. Don't hide that sh*BLEEP*t. Seriously... too many people place blame, and if you MESSED UP own it, because I respect those who MESS UP and go, "WHOOPS I MESSED UP" versus those who NEVER take admit they made a mistake. Taking ownership of WHATEVER is better than leaving it. KWIM? What if David said? That lion? What lion? I didn't kill a lion? We would all be like, WHO IS THE FOOL IN THERE? :)

Life is about apple picking with your son when he is 4... and when he is 11 he remembers THAT day as one of his bestest days ever.

Life is about making every day count as your last.

I mustache you a question... what will you do today to make an imprint in this world? What will YOU do to change someone's perspective... what will you CHOOSE to do that will impact someone forever...

It is really your choice on how you chose to live... I live in freedom through my Lord who saved me... I live in HOPE and everlasting LOVE.  I live KNOWING that my tomorrow will be better than my today or ANY yesterdays... why? because I live and love without putting limits on anything.

OK. I should head to bed. Tomorrow is a school day and I am making my sissy's (Megan's) homemade donuts in BUTTAH... I must rest before I fry. *SNORT*

 And yes. In the picture below I decided to have a mono-brow for 5 minutes. Let's not hate on the upper facial stache. ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shedding Toxic


Gosh, it has been forever since I have actually blogged, blogged, if you know what I mean.

The last time I spent time bloggin' the REAL stuff was such a long time ago... (err, MAY... MAY was the last time).... I CAN NEVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN.

Actually, I have been doing a lot of shedding of the excess.  The toxic so to speak.  I realized that with my strong desire to help others, and my compassion, I was inviting toxicity into my life without even knowing it... to the point of depression and sickness. 

See... toxic relationships will destroy you.  No lie, and they will subtly take away any self-esteem you have and can even make you physically ill because you are so over burdened with crazy up and down emotions you cannot handle the roller coaster.

TOXIC by definition is POISON. 

Have you ever been in a relationship that is toxic? It may have not started out that way, but it may be that way now.  How do you handle it? Can you shed the toxic? Do you even want to? I mean seriously.  If you don't want to shed it, don't... but know that the feeling you are going through will NOT go away until you let the toxic go.  WHY do I know that? I held onto toxic for a very long time, because I thought that the way I was treated meant I was actually cared for and loved.

There it is kids, the sad truth.  I held onto toxic relationships because hey... I carried a ton of baggage from my yout (said like Danny DeVito in "My Cousin Vinny"... I wonder if that is on Netflix. Lemme check....nope.  Darn it --> OH HOLY squirrel moment)... As I was saying, I carried so much baggage from my childhood.  I really only felt I carried ANY value when I was helping someone or doing something for someone that THEY wanted. I learned from a very young age that if someone needed me, they must love me.  If I could help with something or be there or do something or give of MY time... they cared about me for who I was, and not what I provided.

I pimped my emotional self out, kinda like a crack howwwa without the crack or the howwwa part, but the desperate, I have a safety pin holding up my pleather emotional boots and I won't kiss on the lips, Julia Roberts kind of way in "Pretty Woman" (is that even on Netflix? NO!  But Dirty Dancing is on Netflix... NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER.... Sorry, ADHD is truly kickin' in). 

I didn't understand that when they needed me for something it wasn't really love, it was being used... especially if friendship reciprocity never existed.  How many times in my life do I have to ask for some help or invite someone over and be let down before I get it? How many times do I have to help someone and then when I ask for ONE LITTLE THING in return get the door slammed in my preverbal face time and time again. 

I never thought I deserved better.

Who feels exactly what I just wrote. You don't feel like YOU deserve to have friendship reciprocity and you are OK with helping others and always being the reliable go-to person without having anything given in return?

AND if you don't help someone, the toxic invades.  A toxic relationship is a never ending roller coaster that is NOT fun but keeps you jumping and guessing and you get your hopes up and are continually let down, but then it becomes YOUR fault. You are always off balance, there are curves, and you all of a sudden have random bouts of anxiety? And you feel bad to let the toxic person down, yet you are the one suffering. BUT... if they are ok and they are happy... that is enough.

Guess what.  YOU deserve better. You deserve friendship equality.... friendship reciprocity.  When you say YES all the time to toxic, you are saying NO to the REAL friendships that could develop and you are saying NO to yourself and your own worth.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... easier said than done.  BUT, I have done it. I did take the time to shed toxic.

Everyone is different and here is how I did it.  I am much happier today than I was a month ago. I love myself more... I hug my kids more, and I have decided to blog again, because I have value in me.  I am worth sharing my story and possibly helping someone else along the way.

Shedding toxic is not easy.  Sometimes you may think you need to change some friendships, and you him and haw about it... but then it takes an AH-HA moment.  My AH-HA moment came in the package of a very sweet blonde haired friend who is so nice and calm and we talk about everything but SHE LIT INTO ME.  SHE CALLED ME OUT (how dare she, right? LOL).  And I listened. And I agreed, I mean... I was already thinking it.  She held me accountable for me... and for feeding the toxic relationships and dropping EVERYTHING to make sure the other's needs were met. And as she and I were shopping for a pair of steel toed boots that the friend NEEDED (didn't ask me for them, more demanded them, and even though I said I didn't have a lot of money didn't really give me the chance to say no, so I was going to buy them anyway and I was crying... because I couldn't say no)... at that moment, I knew that I needed to end this type of relationship in my life.

Some toxic relationships are worth salvaging, some are not.



Relationships worth salvaging... how do you approach them?

1) Talk to them.... have a REAL conversation.  Tell them how you feel, make sure to use I words and have examples of events to back up your REAL talk.

2) YOU set the tone for the relationship moving forward.  Let them know what expectations you have, set boundaries. When the other person is teeter-tottering on entering back into toxic, bring them back in. SPEAK UP!

Toxic Relationships you have to just say good-bye to:

1) Talk to them... Have a real conversation. Tell them how you feel, make sure to use I words and have examples of why you feel the way you do so you are not just talking you can have a very real conversation with you.

2) Tell them that you cannot do "this" kind of friendship. It hurts, and let them know how you feel.
3) Walk away... love them from a distance. Remember... wait and see if they realize what they have done and if they want to work on a friendship again, then decide whether it is worth it and if so, set a tone for the relationship to move forward.

Honestly... what I noticed is that when you end a toxic relationship that is TRULY toxic, sad but true... the other person never tries to invest back into you or your life ever again. They know they got what they wanted and that door is closed. They walk away seeking out someone else to use.

Which hurts, but it hurts worse to stay in the toxicity.

So with that said, my pumpkins... live the life you have and love those around you who love you with all they are in return.

Appreciate your unique self... you were created to be an individual.  In church today, our pastor said something that resonated with me... and anytime you have to change who you are in your core for someone is not the way you were born to be. God made you the way you are and don't ever think you have to be someone your not to serve God. If God created me, and made me in His image, then why can't I just rest in that and know that as I am... I am enough. For truly I am.

Don't think you EVER have to be someone you weren't meant to be. Be you. Be your truest self. 

Show them your crazy, quirky, silly, serious, happy, artsy, animal lovin, silly dancing, loud music singing self.  For that uniqueness is what makes you amazing.  Don't hide you...

Acceptance is where it starts.  And it starts with you....

Accepting you...

For who you are...

For what you were created to be...

And what you will forever be...

For me? It is this mom. The one who plays and dresses up for Halloween and acts silly... this relationship... this being a mother thing? Is the most purest form of happiness and so opposite of toxic... These are the moments I cherish... this is me. HI, I am Melissa.. It is nice to meet you... XO

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sesame Garlic Kale Chips

I cannot wait to make another batch of these tasty little morsels!

I swear, they were a hit in our house the past few days! 

AND they are addictive BUT healthy... WHAAAATTT???


1 bunch of kale (leaves separated from stems, stems thrown out, and leaves broken up into bite size pieces-- washed and completely dry!)
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 table spoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Place kale leaves and then all of the ingredients in a zip lock back and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE it to get the leaves all coated with tasty deliciousness.
Place coated kale leaves on a baking sheet (single layer, may need two baking sheets)
Bake for 10 minutes, check them, flip them, and take out the pieces that are already crispy (the small ones)... bake for an additional 10 minutes.  If they are still not crispy to your liking, bake 5 more minutes.

EAT!  :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

NewBo Farmer's Market Pasta Salad

Oh my goodness, it surely has been a long time since I have blogged.  Lately, it has been crazy around here and I haven't had the time TO blog!

So, I wanted to just start off with a recipe blog.  Saturday night, I combined all of my lovely veggies from the farmer's market and decided to make a pasta salad for Sunday's lunch.  IT was so delicious, I had to just jot down my notes here!

NewBo Farmer's Market Pasta Salad


1/2 lb cooked chicken breast (shredded)
1 small cucumber. diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 lb small tomatoes, large diced pieces
1 banana pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 lb of cheddar cheese, cubed
1 can of large, pitted black olives drained
1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1/2 lb dried lemon mint penne pasta


1) boil pasta according to directions on package (I purchased my pasta from Pappardelle's in Cedar Rapids at NewBo market their website:
2) drain pasta and rinse with cool water, set aside
3) dice all veggies, cheese, and combine with noodles, black olives, and shredded chicken in a large past bowl. mix it all together and coat with balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing.  Serve!~

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Walk It Out.

Sometimes in life you just have to walk that stuff out.  YOU have to be able to let go and move past the storm.  You have to really walk it out.

I have been working a lot on letting go and becoming a bit more vulnerable. I have come to realize that I don't trust many people and I want to try and control everything... but I have to let it go.

I have to surrender that all to God.

I have to say I am fortunate to have found some of the most amazing women in my life through church.  Without them I don't know where I would be.  Sure we have shared laughs and tears and we may have yelled at each other, but they have helped me in ways they will never imagine.

Things I have learned about life and myself in the past year through these amazing women who help me walk it out with God on a daily basis...

1) I am happy a LOT, and that is because of my relationship with God.  I could have all the money and things in the world but I would not be happy.  Most selfish people are not generally happy.

2) You plant a garden where you can tend to it and nurse it.... it grows.

3) When you find something that builds you up and makes you better hold on to it like a winning lotto ticket.

4) When you find something that doesn't complete you or doesn't make you feel your best, get rid of it. Fast. For it may be beneficial for someone else.

5) Always be true to yourself.  No one else, besides GOD has your back.

OK.  That is it  Walk it out people. walk it out.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Letter to My Son's Principal

Back story:

Yesterday, at my son's school... Michael Cobb (former NFL tight end for the Chicago Bears) spoke to the kids.  His message was one about making positive choices, because they lead to positive outcomes.  He used personal stories about growing up and the violence he faced... telling the kids about when he was a teen and they had been drinking... long story short, his friend was killed by gunfire. He said that he always found peace because of his relationship with Jesus Christ.

FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD... He talked about guns, alcohol, and religion in a public school. So what happened?

Our principal had to send out a letter to parents regarding the speaker.  To quote a direct line, "The topics of guns, alcohol, and religion were not what we had envisioned when arranging for this assembly."  This line made me think that maybe people were complaining to the school regarding the guest speaker, and WHY?  We hear of gun shot victims all the time here in our small Iowa community.  We have to help our children prepare for reality.  And unfortunately reality in today's world includes guns, alcohol and HOPEFULLY Jesus Christ.

So, I was prompted to write a letter to the principal:

Dear Principal:

I am writing to you regarding the assembly the school had yesterday with Mr. Michael Cobb. Thank you first and foremost for having him come and speak at the school.  I think that in society today, children experience a harsher world at a much younger age.  Guns and alcohol are things they see every day anymore either on TV or maybe at home. How many children see their parents drink every night?  I know that my son did for a long time, when we lived with his dad. AND how many kids hear about Jesus Christ spoken proudly, especially in a public forum??

More and more we are hearing about gun violence here in Cedar Rapids.  People getting shot, young kids getting killed and as a parent, it is just plain scary.  Our children need to know that they can have a positive outlet and they can be a shining light in an ever dimming world.

My son came home yesterday and he was excited.  His eyes were sparkling and he couldn't wait to tell me about his assembly.  He said Mr. Cobb was so fantastic and he went through a lot of hard things in life and he made it to the NFL.  He told me he really never wants to drink alcohol EVER and that when Mr. Cobb asked the group if they would rather have $1 million or Jesus, my son said Jesus.  Every time he would say Jesus.  Mr. Cobb gave my quirky, amazing, smart 10 year old HOPE that he can do something BIGGER than what he even expected. He told me that he could set his sights higher and reach those goals.  Everyone has to work hard.

So, I am sure you are receiving a lot of complaints about the speaker.  I can only assume what you have heard, but I wanted to let you know that this parent is proud to have had her son in the presence of someone so real, so honest, and so God fearing as Mr. Cobb.  Keep doing a great job.


And for Michael Cobb I have a few words for him as well.  Keep being real.  Keep telling your story.  There will always be naysayers.  Your gift has brought my son a bunch of light spots.  Thank you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Too Set in My Ways

This is a completely random blog.  Random because I am just going to write from my heart because I need to write, and my blog is my place where I go to "THINK" and "RELEASE".

I think, I think too much.  Like as a mom, as a friend, as a girlfriend of sorts.  I have too many responsibilities to not think ahead.  Like, will you be kind to my children? Will you go to church with me and at least try it? What are your religious beliefs? IF you are atheist we probably cannot ever date... What is your personality like? Will you yell at me? Do you have abusive tendencies?


Maybe I have become a bit bitter.  Maybe a bit seasoned? Someone who knows what she wants? Someone who knows what her life is like and how complicated it is?

YEAH.  That one for sure.  I know how complicated my life is, duh... I live it every day.  And guess what? I am happy... even in my worst moments, my darkest times I find a way to be happy and to find something happy in the middle of crap.

Often people have asked me HOW I can do that.... HOW can I go through a lot of crap and still smile all the time. Still have hope, blah-blah-blah-bla-blah (said in the voice of Dracula from Hotel Transylvania, FYI)....I have hope because I always have surrendered my life to God... giving my bad stuff to Him, because I don't have to carry it alone. Sharing the good stuff with Him, because He makes it possible. I never question it. I never doubt it. OH believe me, sometimes I don't want to surrender to Him, but I need to... and it maybe takes my sister to kick me in the butt and remind me.

Maybe I am this way because I was raised in a non-denominational church, and I had a grandmother who TOLD IT. PREACHED IT. BELIEVED IT. AND made you feel the fear of GOD in her words...that is why I never doubted it. AND I will never doubt it.

This believe I have has been the deciding factor in a lot of areas of my life... business, relationships, and how I try and live my life every day. I know I am not perfect.  I am FAR from it... but I try to become a better person every day.  I try to remind myself of my walk and why I am here. And I try not to complain about my life, because at least I am here to live it, RIGHT? PREACH IT SISTAH.

So maybe bitter is to harsh of a term.  Maybe I am looking for something that doesn't exist... but until I find it, I won't settle.  I have met a lot of amazing people on my journey and I never regret those who have come into my life... but we ALL deserve to have someone in our life that meets the desires of our heart and who is perfect for us in our eyes and in God's... someone who completes the hollow parts of our soul.  Maybe this isn't even a someone but maybe it is a something... if that makes any sense. Like, I am comfortable being on my own... I am NOT good at dating. I am horrible at it. LOL

And to bring up a burr in my butt from over a month ago..... because it still frustrates me...

Being someone's "FRIEND with BENEFITS" is not acceptable for me or really for ANYONE out there.  It is a frikkin' cop out to having REAL feelings.  I don't care how many times you tell me you want me to show up half nekkid for you so you can do your thing... If I told you ONCE it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for me, dude... it is not good enough. Don't stalk me, don't bring it up randomly... and DON'T ask me to wear fishnet stockings and an overcoat to your house. REAL LIFE IS NOT PORN.  AND better yet, I am not trying to get YOU to do something you don't want. I am setting MY frikkin' boundaries.  DON'T push me. This person is not anyone I have or will date, for OBVIOUS reasons, but don't come at me and be all GOD this and GOD that with misguided intentions.  I see YOU.  YOU pretend to be someone you are NOT... your mask only hides you from your real self and others can see right through you. SO friends, fine.  BUT do NOT think you will be able to EVER take the happy train ride in the tunnel, GET WHAT I MEAN? True Story.  The tunnel is closed for maintenance. LOL


Acknowledge. Accept. MOVE ON.

Here is the hard part though in my journey:  I meet people who are lovely.  They have wonderful personalities and are fun to be around, but I have kids... I have a conviction of how I want them to be raised.  I have deep routed beliefs that I cannot change, nor I wouldn't want to.  I need to stay close to my grounding... every time I am pulled away slightly bad things happen.  I need to stay focused and stay on track.  And I will not apologize for what I believe. I will not say I am sorry for who I am.  I will stand solid in my beliefs for I know I don't stand alone.  He will always be with me -- even though I have failed Him a ton of times, HE never left me. HE has always been by my side... I cannot and will not ever turn my back on Him.

Tuesdays... deep thoughts for Melissa....

Monday, April 7, 2014

Parents... Be the Adults You Want Your Children To Be!

Oh, what a great day today was. I worked, met a friend for coffee, grabbed my niece... met another friend for lunch... loved on my kids... played at the park, and then an ASSHOLE moment happens.

So I am running... (when I wrote this, I felt like Forrest Gump... "JENNY I AM RUNN-ING") and I am watching Madelynn play on the playground at the school by our house... there are a few high school boys playing basketball and everything is right in my world.


One boy starts making fun of the other.  They start throwing down words and saying crap like, "YOU BETTER WATCH OUT OR I WILL CUT YOU" to which I think... not on my watch... NOT on my watch. WHY? Because I am cool like that... I feel like I am the neighborhood watch all of a sudden (OH did you see that movie? OMG it was wicked funny)...where was I... yeah....

So, I am pretending to be listening to music but watching and listening to the boys.  The one boy who was being tormented got on his bike and just left.  I was like, BRAVO.  BRAVO. Be strong, and walk away.

Madelynn kept playing... All is right in the world.  The three boys who were left playing basket ball calmed down, and I wanted to have a little talk with the one dude who caused drama, but I am not his mama, and well... what if he did have a knife and decided to cut me? I just ran....

All of a sudden, as I am in "cool down" and helping my Madelynn... this couple come barreling into the play ground YELLING at the boys who are left.  Now it is two of them, not three... and what I assume is a mom starts screaming at them...

WHICH ONE OF YOU THREATENED MY BOY? I am F*CKIN' talking to you??? YOU need to have some respect and F*UCKIN come over here... this is a F*CKIN' play ground with kids.


NOW, these young men walked over and said yes ma'am.  They were polite to this REDICULOUS mother.  As a mom...I was embarrassed (which you know takes a whole lot).  I walked over to them and was pissed for the two boys left.  I said to the mom, 'Hi.  I was here for the altercation between your son and the other boy, what was his name?" and they boys told me.  I then went onto say that the two boys she was yelling at did not say ANYTHING to her son.

She did not apologize.

I was so upset. So here is what I learned:

1) If you want to be treated with respect, I don't care who you are dealing with... show some respect

2) If you don't know if someone caused an issue, DON'T assume, it just makes an ass out of you. Not me....

3) DO NOT... I mean DO NOT treat someone inferior because of their age or color... I think this pissed me off the most. Here there are two young, polite black men.  They were so kind to Maddy and I-- and it was the OTHER other kid with them that caused the problem... HE was the one who was mean, and guess what... he was white and making fun of your son. Don't EVER assume that someone is in the wrong based on their skin color, hair color, or eye color... if you do, that makes you an asshole in my book.

4) If another child says your child started it by calling names (and in my book this was a serious one, he called the young gentleman who was talking the N word... you NEVER use the N word, I don't care who you are... you will see me cut you, kind of like if you called me the C word... watch out now) -- you need to talk to your child.  And the kid who was basically bullied by this parent's son did NOTHING to retaliate... HE was in the right here! And parents -->This world is diverse and your child needs a wake up call.  Teach them by leading them.

We sit and say how entitled our youth are... yet we are the ones entitling them. AND we need to remember to lead by example.  The parents were WRONG in my eyes.  Sitting there using the F bomb like candy with other kids at the park, talking to two teens who did NOTHING to their son in such a ferocious tone.  WHO DOES THAT? Maybe we need a parent intervention....

So yes, I was pissed and apparently I still am.  I come from a very diverse family.  NO ONE EVER does that kind of stuff around me, I tend to get scrappy.  So what did I do?

I decided to lead by example.  Not for my 4 year old sake, but for those two boys.  I did intervene and I did tell the parents that I was running and that they had the wrong boys.  And I thanked the boys for helping Maddy and I and I told them how much I appreciated how they stayed out of the altercation between the other boys.  I patted them both on the shoulder and told them to keep up the positive stuff in their lives... enjoy their child hood.  To the parents? I did say something to them... I said it was worse having parents yell the F bomb at the playground than what else occurred.  And that my 4 year old now wants to know what the word fuck means.  I brought her over and asked the mom to explain it to her. (I did this with some teenage girls once at a KFC in Sioux City with my friend Shannon and it worked that time, LOL)

AND THAT is how I roll....

I waited and waited... and I finally said, "No? You don't know how to explain it to my 4 year old? Then maybe we shouldn't be saying it on the playground." (in that condescending mommy tone we mommies get)

I winked at the boys, smiled and walked away....

You have to leave a strong, good lasting impression with kids... even if they aren't yours. 

I really hope I see the boys again at the playground on Wednesday when I go do my run. They taught me a valuable mom lesson. To think before I say ANYTHING in front of kids... show them what a strong adult is...

Be a role model....

I think I have ADHD.... Random Thoughts

I think sometimes I try to mold myself to other's expectations of what I think they want me to be... I try not to, but I do and I think we all tend to do that a bit... but when I can be my quirky, silly self and play on a playground and NOT feel like an old lady playing on a playground with a child... that tells me something....

Sometimes a person needs to just be comfortable in their own skin.

I love my friends and family to the moon and back.

Coffee is my favorite beverage of choice... I do like a glass of wine from time to time.  My favorite color is green. 

I really do have HAZEL eyes... although they appear blue most of the time...


I am the reason we watch FROZEN almost every day. I try to blame it on my 4 year old but truly it is me. I want to sing with the characters, and when my daughter let's me be Anna it warms my heart.

I love to sing...I will sing at the top of my lungs every given chance.

I care for people easily which I will not change...ever.  Sometimes I get told I care too much... but I would rather care too much than not at all.

I love Ritz crackers, and I don't eat a lot of sweets.

Have I mentioned that coffee is good? 
I love my kids so much it hurts sometimes. 

I started going to a hip-hop dance class that is so much fun... I laugh so hard I snort.

OH, I snort when I laugh from my belly....

I would like to do stand up comedy one more time before I get too old to tie my shoes.

If I could change the world I would. (DUH people, DUH)

I do have prejudice.  I am prejudice against people who are prejudice.  I don't understand how someone can hate another person based on their gender, skin color, sexual preference, happiness level, marital status... I just don't get it. So I am prejudice... I used to say I am not prejudice, but let's face it... I get really pissed off when people cast judgment against someone without even knowing them based on those "things" that make that person a PERSON.... TRUE??? I think so. How dare you judge someone like that without walking in their shoes. OK?

I get freaked out when the University hospital calls me on a Monday asking for me to bring my daughter on Tuesday for an appointment... Even when I know it is just probably a medicine update or blood work that needs to be rechecked... but it freaks me out.

When a friend tells me something I listen... I may ask a lot of questions... I may try to problem solve because that is my nature, but if you tell me to just listen I will.

If you tell me you don't want to talk about it, I won't.  If you tell me you want to talk about it but you don't want to be asked about it, I won't ask you about it but I will want to....but I will wait for you to bring it up. MAKE SENSE?

I am smart but sometimes not so much. Sometimes I am a ditz.

I love to dance.

Cheese is one of my favorite food groups. I know it is NOT a food group but it should be, as well as tacos.... tacos should be a separate food group...or they could develop another part of the food pyramid that is called, "CHEESY SPICY MEXICAN FOOD" and it would make me happy. Get on that FDA... get on that.. Make it happen (LOL).

I love flip flops. I would wear them in the snow if my feet wouldn't get cold or wet. 

I'm just a girl.

That statement is powerful for me. I mean, I am a business woman, a mom, a crafter, a toy player, a chauffer, a best friend, the biggest cheerer in the stands at a game... but at the end of a the day... I may be older, but I am still a girl.  A girl who maybe someday doesn't want to walk through this life all by herself.  BUT alas, I can do it.  I have this far and I can do it... if I am lucky enough to end up walking it with someone, I know I will be truly grateful. But until then, I got this.... this crazy roller coaster called life...

Say What You Mean

So many times I have heard -- "say what you mean, mean what you say."  Most of the time from the lips of my mother, but she taught me well.
I am going to random babble about this because I always try and say what I mean, and mean what I say, but man... AM I communicating properly?
Have you ever took a few minutes to really reflect on the fact that the words you say, the words you put out THERE (wherever THERE is) you cannot take back? 
They are words and they can either lift up or tear down someone else in an instant.
So why say things to someone on purpose that you KNOW will tear them down?  I guess I don't understand that.
I was at an event yesterday and I cringed.  I know I am not the best mom ever, but I am a great mom.  I listen to my kids and I love them a lot and they know it. With that said, I cannot handle it when a parent SCREAMS at a child and tells them how horrible they are.  Are they horrible or is the action horrible? I mean, my kids can be obnoxious, out of control... and sometimes downright naughty... they are NOT inherently naughty, it is the action that is naughty... so why scream at your child and tell them how horrible they are? And then when you do it in public, that means you are wicked comfortable doing it which is another topic for a different day.
Don't get me wrong.  I have a child who has an autoimmune disorder that destroyed most of her thyroid. SO she doesn't have traditional and normal hormone function, with that comes other "THINGS" that took her  to see 8 different medical specialists.... And to be honest, she can be a total asshole.  BUT, there is a difference... I may say she is 'acting like an asshole' to my friends as a joke because they know she has behavioral challenges but I would never TELL her she is an asshole... or even really believe that she had the power to be asshole-like her whole life.  She just has asshole moments (don't we all?).  She is my miracle baby and she is an amazing child. But she challenges me.
So truly, live on purpose.  Don't just do things on accident, do them with fervent desire to change your world and the world of others around you. 
Think before you say a word, think about the impact it will have on those around you.  Truly to take a moment to live outside yourself.
OH and while you are at it, when you talk to someone... look them in the eye. Engage, and if you truly want to know them, ask for more information about them.  It is OK to show you care a bit.  Try a few times to be vulnerable.... and it is ok to set expectations... with relationships, with your kids, with family.  Setting expectations is key... I think this is what I need to really work on.  Boundaries and expectations... That may be tomorrows blog. lol So be expecting it. HAHAHA

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Comfortable Place

OK.  So this single mom stuff sometimes is for the birds. I kid you not. But I would say that given the good, the bad, and the ugly... I would NEVER take it back. I would NEVER change my life decisions and I would never want to go back to the way things were.

In life we make decisions and we live with the consequences of those choices for a lot longer than the day we make the choice... sometimes they can haunt us or champion us for many days, years, decades to come. 

As parents we make a lot of choices we may tend to regret, but here is the thing... did you learn from that choice? Did your child learn?

As long as we are continually learning then sure... there will be mistakes, it is normal... just don't repeat the same damn mistake over and over and over and over and over again.

So I am speaking to myself.  Sometimes when we make choices that are wrong --it is because we cannot say no.  We tend to be yes people (I was gonna say yes men, but let's face it... I am not a man and I don't pretend to even understand what goes through a man's head let alone...nor have I played on TV). 

Why is it hard to say no?  Lately I have found that I am so overextended with obligations by CHOICE that I cannot say YES to things I really want to do, the things I desire.

So why is it... Why can't I say no...

1) We don't want to say NO because we don't want the other person to NOT like us
GET OVER IT.  IF YOU SAY NO and they don't like you because of it they really weren't worth it to begin with.

2)  We don't want to say NO because we don't want to let the other person down. 
Really? There are how many other people out there who can say yes?  Quit with the guilt.  Say no, be confident and if you let them down it is temporary, but be true to yourself. You live with yourself EVERY SINGLE FRIKKIN DAY.  Don't let yourself down.

3) If I say NO I seem selfish.
SO WHAT.  You are allowed to be selfish

4) If I say NO I am a horrible person.
No you aren't and you are not a martyr so just say no and be done with it.

5) If I say NO but I have time it will seem like I am ungrateful to the other person for what they have done for me in the past.
Not true. You show your gratefulness through your actions and words.., and everything has a season... maybe you need to take a season off...

So here is the thing.  Be in your own comfortable place with you. Don't feel like you have to do something, go somewhere, have your kid involved in a multitude of sports and cultural activities.  Spend time together... get in that comfortable place where you can just be....

Challenge yourself to stand up for a cause... stand up for your own sanity and your own comfortable pair of slippers and a nice robe...

Just try it.  Saying NO may be one of the most healing things you have ever done, especially if it comes from the very root of your being and a genuine place.  And just to keep it real, making a conscious choice to say no to something or someone else, means I am making a conscious choice to say YES to my children... this is the kind of consequence I choose to live with.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When People Fail Me...

When people fail me, I always give them a second, third, seventy-second chance.  I truly try to believe that people can change for the better... they can become their best self. HOWEVER....

I am having a very hard time right now because I am trying to help in a very difficult situation. A situation where I thought that things would somewhat change and it would be fine, but I am starting to think things are definitely NOT fine...

Recently, someone important in my life left an abusive marriage.  She was choked, provoked... she was ridiculed on a daily basis and was controlled.  I listened to messages from her "husband" screaming at her telling her that she was HIS property and that she had to come home to HIM because he owned her.

Screaming, yelling... high and drunk while doing it all....

He is getting help NOW for the drug and booze issue, I am proud of him for that, but what he is not doing, is dealing with the abusive nature he is so accustomed to.

NOT to give him any slack or justification, but he grew up in a very abusive house.  He is his father's son... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that jazz... (his father is/was a verbal and physical abuser)...So how is he going to fix the original demon that he carries like armor? How is he going to stop being abusive? I personally thought that when he got help through NA or AA it would help with the abusive behavior, but unfortunately it has not helped.

I feel caught between a rock and a very hard place on a small ledge with no where to go but down...

The actual public post on FaceBook. I hid the names to keep all parties free from identification on my blog

I want to help, because I love the child... but it is too much emotional roller coastering.... from him that I don't think I can do this anymore.  I have lifted it up to God for help because I cannot do this.  Especially when his father and he talk poorly about my sister and on Facebook where friends can see and share it... it makes her depressed... and it truly is uncalled for.  I will not use any names here to protect them all and really this is MY blog to blog about whatever comes to my mind... so this is it...

I want to scream from the roof top that the baby's mom is NOT partying or doing anything besides raising her baby and trying to gain employment as any single parent would.  And I don't really take care of the baby. I help out from time to time and I coordinate visits.  THAT IS IT. I don't feed her, I don't change a poopy diaper, and I don't do any of that... SMH... I want to cry because we spend so much time in this world blaming others instead of just fixing our own stuff and forgiving... (that is a different blog for a different day)....

I guess I have to sit here and remind myself that I cannot fix it.  I never could.  The abuser has to want to change, and if he/she can get her way by being a bully and by being rude why change? It has worked in the past.

And on a side note tangent, why do we expect that we can CHANGE people? We cannot change a person, they change on their own... so I cannot change this person... I can only be myself and show him a better way to communicate...


So, when people fail you... what do you do?  Does it even make sense to get mad back or call them out or does it make the situation worse?

I find that here I am... I the person who helps facilitate the pick ups and drop offs.  I do it with a happy heart.  I have to abide by a court document and I can be a bit flexible with it, and when I do and give him more than what is required he or his father shows true colors... Is it worth my happiness and my sanity?

Look up in the sky to the everlasting Father, my Daddy with eyes and heart and mind of a child....

  I have to always say as I am getting ready to do something, "GOD... let it be YOU who speaks from my mouth and not me, because right now I cannot do this... I need YOU."

I also have to remember that people will always fail me and fail each other... we are born imperfect, a creation of strung together successes and failures... we are born to fail and without the help of God we will continue to fail... but with HIS love we will change, and walk in Him.

Maybe I need to just rest my faith there.  Rest in the fact that God will watch over the situation and bring some light at the end of the tunnel.

Until then, what would you do?  Would you still continue to help facilitate the meetings or step down?