Sunday, December 13, 2009

J. J. Challenge: Week Two

Made it another week... barely! I did 200 jumping jacks each day (if you read the comments from week one you will know why.) I made it to 65 - 70 J. J. this week before feeling as if my legs were softened macaroni (which I ate too much of tonight; feeling full and ugh.)

I am ready to face week three of this challenge and I am eager to hear from each of you and how your weeks have been. I hope that you are continuing on, even if it has been difficult.

Remember, 'One small jump for fun, one GIANT leap for our health!'

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Journal Blessings

Over a year ago, I felt in my heart that I needed to purchase journals for my son, Studly, and my daughter, Baby Girl. Not for them to write their thoughts in, but for me to share memories, hopes and dreams for them and their future.

This idea was born from my past and I wanted to share a small (I know I probably won't keep it short, but please bear with me) piece of it with you.

I remember as a child, sitting in the kitchen, at the dinner table, or in the living room listening to my mother tell stories of my past. Things that were unique to me; who I was and who I was becoming. The intricate things that only a mother knows.

Like how I was (still am) a "night owl." My father would be on one of his many missions, (he served his country in the Air Force for 26 years) and because I would not go to sleep early, I would stay up with my mom and be her company. Sometimes I would sleep with her at night and she would have to shake me from my slumber and send me lovingly but earnestly back to my own room. (Turns out she didn't like having feet in her face while sleeping; who knew?)

Stories of mannerisms that I had (have) of talking fast and too much! Hearing her tell me how I could fall asleep anywhere, while my sister had to be in her bed at bedtime, or she would let her disapproval be known to all.

Feeling her kisses on my cheek during the middle of the night, because she had gotten up to check on my brother who has asthma. I remember mom saying, "That once her son was born, she never got a full nights sleep again for many years." Her mother's intuition had woken her during the black of the night, on several occasions, where my brother would have been knocking on death's door if mom had not been there.

Waking each morning to mom making coffee and all sorts of breakfast for her children. Cream of wheat on the first day of school each year; I think it was by chance at first, but then a tradition was born.

She had a gift for being able to "tune her children out" until she heard a blood curdling scream that signified a line had been crossed and someone was about to get beat. (I envy that gift at times.)

She let us create and use our imaginations in the house and outside. We built forts in the dining room that could be left up for a week. The backyard and surrounding fields were our battlegrounds, circus rings, zoos and whatever else our eager minds could dream.

As a child I took for granted that I would always have mom there to share my life with me and to help me create some of those same memories for my children. But as fate would have it, this will be our 5th Christmas without her. She is home in heaven rejoicing with our heavenly Father and celebrating eternity with Him.

My kids love to sit and pour over photo albums for hours. They giggle at stories from their small pasts and beg to hear more. They crave knowledge of who they were such a short time ago, and dream of who they will become in the following years.

The memories that I have from my past seem to fade a little each year with so many precious new memories being lived. So I write in their journals. I record who they are today, so they can share their yesterdays with their tomorrows.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

J. J. Challenge: Week One

It is Sunday night, the end of the first week of the Jumping Jack Challenge. Were you able to get the 100 J. J. (jumping jacks) done each day?

I was able too, but oh my goodness (I know that today it is acceptable to write omg, but what the heck, why not go "old school".) I am amazed at how difficult it is to get 100 J. J. done without feeling like my legs are limp noodles and my chest is going into convulsions! Not to mention the fact, that after 50 or so J. J., it feels as if the floor is sucking me down and gravity is working extra hard to keep me on the ground. (It's a conspiracy I'm sure; gravity has it in for us ladies.)

I am a fighter though! I would take a look in the mirror (ouch) and say, "Not today you don't! Today, you are NOT a quitter!"

My hope is that, if this has been hard for you to do, that you will not give up. Keep at it!!! Do 4 sets of 25, or 50 in the morning and 50 in the evening. Send text messages to friends to encourage one another. Set the alarm on your phone to remind you. Place a note on your fridge, refrigerator, icebox (whatever term suites your dialect.) Do what is necessary to help yourself!

If you are substituting the J. J. with another more flexible exercise for yourself, then let us know. Let's whip this gravity thing in the butt (literally) ladies; and any men taking this challenge.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Natural Heat Source

Ahhhh winter months! I love a good, cold, chilly winter! Warm blankets, good books, snuggling on the couch, hot chocolate, thick coats (no; not my husbands unshaven face) and gloomy days (to make me appreciate the sunshine) orchestrate a spectacular winter wonderland.

I am extremely warm blooded, to say the least. I was the child found curled up in the snow by my mother, simply because I had worn myself out playing in the frosty air and needed a nap. Instead of going inside (like any sane child) I chose to make my bed on the frozen ground with the sun shining down on my rose colored cheeks.

Last winter I kept the air conditioner on full blast at work, to a coworkers dismay, due to overheating from constantly moving about. I have been asked numerous times to get my thyroid checked by many "concerned and frozen" peers. Unfortunately for them, I am perfectly "normal." (According to my husband, "normal" is still open for debate.)

Each night, as we prepare for slumber, my husband is so very thankful for my overabundance of natural heat. As he shivers in the icy night air with smoke billowing from his mouth and icicles hanging from his nose, he looks over at me (picture a child gazing at his parent with begging eyes for just one more cookie) and then smiles. For I am already lying on his side of the bed taking the chill off his sheets and warming them to a cozy 98 F.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Big Mike

If you have seen the new movie Blind Side then you have truly seen a treasure of a movie! It is so, only because it is based on real life. The inspiration or emotions evoked from the natural are so much more powerful than those of fairy tales.

Therefore, I must tell you about our Big Mike. Saturday afternoon, before heading to a matinee showing of Blind Side, my husband and 9 year old daughter trekked out into the world for some good ole greasy fast food. Shortly before reaching their destination, fate stepped in front of our vehicle. A tiny, frail abandoned kitten was in the middle of the road and would not budge.

My husband is not known amongst family and friends as an "animal lover". He enjoys watching other people with their pets, but does not want a relationship with them or a share in the responsibility that follows (probably due to the lack of having a pet growing up.) But at this juncture, he was faced not only with the frail life standing in front of his powerful mechanical force, but also with the compassionate, sensitive, impressionable, tear-filled eyes of his 9 year old Baby Girl. What was he to do? Exactly what any good father would do. He picked the tiny kitten up and handed him to his his Baby Girl and brought him home.

The little kitten was in dire need of food, medicine and love. All of which he has received in abundance under the watchful eye of my husband and daughter. Both have taken up the cross of sacrifice and shared their hearts with this young precious life.

Some of you may think this simple and easy... but do not be fooled. My husband has hand-fed, cleaned a mucous nose and eyes, washed the floor of urine, taken up vigil when the kitten has needed watchful care and has worried about this life that stood in his path. We speak often of compassion and are amazed when we see others share it. But too often, when given the opportunity to practice it, we have a million reasons as to why we can not. We have a destination we must be at, bills that are piling up, our own kids needs and wants, a new job to focus on, Christmas and birthdays, ball games, parties and no time... this time; but NEXT time will be different.

I was told once by a coach, "That practice does not make perfect; it makes permanent." If we practice compassion in small ways and "insignificant" times, it will come naturally to us when it is a dire time for someone else. We can truly take up our cross and follow Him!

Who is this Big Mike I spoke of earlier? He is now the newest member of our family. Sometimes big things come in small packages... and that is why he is our Big Mike!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Challenge Has Been Issued

Alright folks (faithful few that you are)! I am issuing a challenge to myself and to you. For the next 30 days I am going to do 100 jumping jacks each day prior to getting in the shower. What is the significance of doing this prior to showering? Absolutely nothing. Most people shower everyday (hopefully), and it is an easy time to remember to do this.

Why only 100 jumping jacks? I am keeping it simple on purpose. Too many times I set lofty goals for myself and wind up giving up after a few weeks. Sometimes because it's too hard, but most of the time, it's because life throws a curve ball, and the time I thought I could allow for working out, has been sucked up by more urgent matters. One hundred jumping jacks only takes 2 - 5 minutes and can be done everyday without excuse!

I am going to be checking in with you each Sunday night; posting my progress and hoping to hear from you about yours.

So, the challenge has been issued! Will you accept? Yes, it is the holidays. But what better time to be concerned about your health then when you are the most prone to forget about it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Studly and Me

It would seem that I have only one child, because I have only mentioned my son, "Studly", a time or two. But it is quite the contrary. There have been many occasion for me to dote on him and his accomplishments; I just have to share computer time with my dear husband as well, and so I haven't made the time to dwell on my son. But I am now!

I have actually set down several times and started typing this out... but for whatever reason (kids complaining, food needing to be prepared, floors needing to be vacuumed or clothes getting up and walking out asking that I please wash them) I have not been able to complete my thoughts.

I need to share something near to my heart concerning Studly. He has recently entered the time of young adulthood. (I do not believe in teenager years. That is a term engineered to allow a child to be excused from responsibility for several years, and I do not agree with it. But I will save that ranting for another day.) Studly is beginning to find his place in the world of responsibility and freedom. He is learning that hard work and giving your best, not meer half-effort, are necessary building blocks in a young man; qualities he can develop throughout his life.

He is not always eager to learn such lessons. But who is? It requires sacrifice and willingness to admit 'you' don't always have the answer. It requires placing trust in others to accomplish tasks so they can learn to better themselves. It requires patience (ugh, a dirty word, I know) and lots and lots of practice. But he is giving a good effort, none the less, and we are proud of him!

He demonstrated this a few weeks ago. One of his friends invited him over to 'hang out'. Now you have to remember that we are home schooling this year. It is with the K12 program, so it is 'public school' at home. (If that just sounds weird to you, the website is and you can look into it more.) We have the same guidelines for time spent in the "classroom" each day as do public schools, but with home schooling freedoms.

Studly's friend was to be at home, and not at school the next day, in celebration of Veteran's Day. He begged and pleaded with me to allow him to skip school for this adventure. His reasoning was that he was making sufficient effort in his classes and that he should be allowed this freedom. I, on the other hand, completely disagreed. He was doing what was required of him. I asked him, "If I show up to work each day, as I am supposed to, does that obligate my boss to reward me for doing what was expected?" Absolutely NOT! My reward was the satisfaction of knowing I had fulfilled my obligation. Now, if I had made the effort to go above and beyond what was required, then a reward would not be out-of-line. But, I would not expect to receive an award; that would be at the discretion of my employer.

He was not too fond of this; as none of us are. We all want to give little and expect a lot. What fun is there in expending a large amount of effort when we can do meager and satisfy status quo? Again, I want more than just enough for my kids. I want them to give their best in all they do and not let status quo be their standard.

So Studly reluctantly agreed to MY conditions. (Seriously? Did he really think a 12 year old would set the terms?) He was to complete all of his lessons for that day and the day of the 'hang out', and do so with a positive attitude. If he accomplished this, then he would be allowed to spend the next day with his friend. And so he did.

He left the next morning at 8 AM and arrived back that evening a little after 6 PM. I was on the computer completing some tasks when he entered the office. He wrapped his arms around my neck and laid his head on my shoulders. He stayed there for about 3 to 4 minutes before I finally asked if everything was okay? He kept his head on my shoulder and replied, "I'm fine; I just missed you mom." My heart melted into his hug and I sighed a sigh of relief. I had not been too harsh. I was what he needed me to be, and he was better for it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heart of Courage

Babygirls's basketball team played their 10th game last night. Their record is 2 - 8. Not that they are a terrible team; they've just lost some very close games.

Last night they only had 5 girls to "fight the battle" on the court. This meant that no one on the team got a chance to rest; except for typical timeouts and time between quarters. The girls stepped out bravely and faced their opponent with courage and strength.

We took the lead in the first few minutes of the game and all of the girls were giving their best. (You have to remember... this is the first season these girls have played together, and for some of them, it is their first time playing basketball period!) It has been quite enjoyable watching these girls morph from lanky, scared, apprehensive players into brave, strong, courageous warriors. They are learning the meaning of team effort; to celebrate one another's successes and to share defeat.

Babygirl has been one of those shy apprehensive players. She has given her all on defense, but has been timid on offense. Many times, in games past, she has been given the ball and has immediately passed it to another player or has tried to move around without dribbling. Each time she has received encouraging instruction from her coaches, teammates and mom and dad of course. In each of those games we have prodded her to shoot the ball and try to make a shot. She has always smiled that innocent grin, shrugged her shoulders and carried on.

Last night was different. I think it had something to do with only having 5 girls and knowing that each one of them had to "step up their game" for the betterment of the team.

The stage was set and all the pieces in place. Babygirl was in her position at the top right of the key, while on offense, and opportunity came knocking. She was given the ball. She dribbled a little closer toward her goal and then it happened... she shot the ball! It hit the rim, bounced off and the rebound was picked up by the other team, but a milestone had taken place. Babygirl realized that even though she is one of the smallest girls on that court, she too can make a difference.

The next time our team took possession of the ball the girls came barreling down the court. The ball was again passed to Babygirl and this time, with determination on her face, she dribbled in and shot the ball. It made no sound except for the "swish" of the net!!! Cheers rang out throughout the gym from her family, coaches and teammates! You would have thought we had won the championship game with the sound of triumph being sung by those cheering her on! Her teammates rushed over and hugged her, before quickly heading back down the court to set up their defense and continue on in their battle for victory.

The score at the end of the game did not reflect what had happened there last night. A team had come together and small victories were won in hearts and in minds. Size does not matter! It's the determination in your heart and the support of those around you that matters at the end of the day. We left that gym with smiles from ear to ear! Proud of who our daughter is becoming, and proud of the team standing beside her!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CAUTION: Patience in Progress

Home schooling woes have been held to a minimum in the past week or so. All of the crying, complaining and fussing has just about withered away; and my children are doing much better as well! I had become convinced that I had made a terrible mistake (having children period) and that I needed to allow someone with more wisdom, patience and bravery to teach my offspring.

What, might you ask, has made a difference?

Ear plugs and muzzles! JUST KIDDING!!! (well... maybe)

Honestly, I had come to my wits end. My dear daughter was/is struggling with reading and comprehension. She was a straight A student in 2nd grade, but was recommended for summer school due to her reading deficiency. ( I know, weird huh? Straight A student going to summer school? Sounds like we are having some issues in the public school system... but that is another blog story.) Understand, that I am not blaming the public school system for my daughters challenges in reading. As her parent, that is my responsibility and I accept it fully. But starting this year, 3rd grade, we have had some "catching up" to do.

We have worked and worked and worked at critical thinking in reading, and it just seems as if the day is never going to come when the light bulb will turn on and she will grasp it. Her favorite words, when the going gets tough, are, "I don't know." Nothing boils my blood more than to say, "I don't know." There is always an answer... you may just have to work to get it, but it is there. I have a competitive nature within me that pushes me beyond normal limits. Don't tell me no, or that I can't, because then I will.

I want more for my children then just okay. I want them to reach their full potential; to be who they were created to be. That is not to say that I am choosing their destiny for them, but I am not going to sit by and let minimum effort be enough. My son has told me numerous times that the effort he has put forth on his work is comparable to other kids his age and grade. Not good enough! If comparable is all we want in life, then we will have to be content with giving up the status of being the greatest country in the world and settle for a 3rd world country, because that is where we will wind up. Competition drives you to be your best, to give better, to try harder, and to not set limits for yourself. Saying, "I at least made an effort" is weak and futile.

Back to my daughter. I had tried numerous things to help her grasp comprehension and critical thinking. I talked with other home schooling parents and public school teachers. I complained to friends and family on countless occasions, and was always met with the same thing each day; the words "I don't know." In frustration and despair I went into my room, and through tears, turned to the One I knew would have the answer for me. I cried out to God. I pleaded my case before Him, and in utter frustration was about to give up and send her back to public school. And then I said it; "God, I just don't know what to do anymore."

We have a gracious heavenly father who puts up with a lot from us! In the true spirit of a father who loves His child, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and heard a whisper in my ear saying, "You are using the exact same words that you have told your daughter not to use. You are telling her that she can solve and push through this, but you are about to give up on her. I am trying to teach you the same lesson. You do know the answer! It's just that it is hard. You have to keep on keeping on. She will get it! Don't give up on her, because I'm not giving up on you."

I left my room a few minutes later not fully aware of the impact that little revelation from our heavenly father would have on me. But in the 2 weeks following, I have had a change of heart. I have never asked for patience that I am aware of (unless having children is an automatic request, which i fear it might be) but, I am receiving a renewed abundance of it each morning. I look forward to the challenge each new day brings; and my daughter... lets just say she has had some shining moments!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It was something... then it was nothing

I have decided to devote this post to something new. I have spent most, if not all, of my past postings trying to bring a little bit of humor to some of the things I deal with in my daily life. I enjoy laughing at these little things, and I have tried to share some of that with you (my faithful few.)

But today, there is a different stirring in my heart; one that I can not ignore. It is born out of the journey I am walking (just because running takes a lot of energy) and I felt a need to share some of it with the wide open spaces of the internet (meaning you.) : ) (Is it weird that I put a smiley face on a blog post?) (Ok, now I'm talking to myself in a post.) (See... this is the whole reason I refused to start interneting in the first place! It's bad enough when you talk to yourself at home alone... but taking it online... that's a whole new dimension of weirdness.) (Enough of that... back to my stirring in the heart thing.)

Well, I got interrupted in the middle of writing this post to allow my daughter to do some school work online, and now I have lost my train of thought. I'm sure I will find the train again when it comes around. Until then, this will just be a very random post about nothing.

You are all now privy to a little bit more of what makes me uniquely me!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One Proud Momma

Bless my daughter's dear heart. She is playing basketball on a city league team for the first time. They played their fifth game tonight and lost by one point in the last seconds of the game. They have not won a game yet, although they have come close a few times.

Tonight, Baby girl, gave an amazing effort! She is one of the smallest girls on the court each game. She is not aggressive by nature and has a hard time practicing that on the court. But tonight she really played hard and was an affective player on the team. The very last quarter was extremely aggressive with fouls and free throws being given left and right. The last 5 minute quarter lasted 30 minutes!!! But in the end we lost the battle by one point.

Baby girl listened to the speech the coach gave them and then headed towards us. The closer she got the less she could control her emotions, and the tears began to flow. She and her team had fought a valiant fight and in the end the scoreboard said they had lost.

I quickly grabbed her and scooped her up in my arms. I hadn't expected this kind of reaction from her. She is compassionate about family and animals, but I just hadn't expected that compassion to leak over into the competitive realm as well. I did not realize how much this meant to her. It broke my heart to see her so torn up over this. I also felt a little bit (ok a lot) of pride in her. She gave everything she had out on that court... her blood, sweat and tears. She had given it all and left nothing to regret. I'm proud of her and wanted the world to know! (or at least those of you reading this)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Manly Men

It is no secret among my family and friends that I am a huge football fan!!! I can't wait for the season to get here. I am the type of person that has to watch the pre-game, post-game, interviews and commentary throughout the week. I enjoy going to games and watching them on tv. I will watch by myself or with friends (just so long as you do not interrupt my game). Hehe (no seriously)

This past Monday my team, The One and Only Pittsburgh Steelers, were playing against a good Denver Broncos team (this year). We had friends and family over to join us in the celebration of Monday Night Football! I made sure that we had dinner prepared in time for us to be able to eat and then sit in front of the tv to watch not only the game, but pre-game as well.

Kick off comes and goes and my friend Sophie and I (dressed in my jersey, team hat, and terrible towel) are in the living room cheering on the Steelers! A few minutes goes by and suddenly we both notice that our husbands are still in the kitchen talking, while the women are in the living room watching and cheering on the sport of football. It must have donned on them as well, because a few minutes after our realization, they came strolling into the living room ready to reclaim their rightful place as "men."

Patience... Ugh

The definition of patience (according to Webster) is the quality, state, or fact of being patient; the ability to be patient.

Since that definition didn't really clear things up for me, I had to take it a step further and practice patience (which I know nothing about at this point) and look up the word patient.

The definition of patient (again, according to Webster) is demonstrating uncomplaining endurance under distress.

WOW and then WOW again!!! Uncomplaining endurance under distress?

Uncomplaining: to NOT express grief, pain, uneasiness, or discontent.
Distress: to cause suffering of mind or body; pain or suffering; severe physical or mental strain

So I am to understand that exercising patience means that I will not complain when I am suffering either physically or mentally due to grief, pain or discontent?

You ever hear the old saying, "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it." I don't ever remember asking for patience, yet I am finding myself having to "practice" it on a daily basis. And I use the word practice on purpose! I assure you that I am no where near being an expert at patience and so I will have to continue practicing for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Week Later...

For whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, my family seems to think that they need to wear a different set of clothes EVERYDAY and that dirty ones should be washed. Dishes that were clean before they used them have to be cleaned AGAIN. Dust seems to never stop gathering on my furniture, and the cat doesn't follow the rules: NO SHEDDING FUR and CLEAN YOUR OWN LITTER. The floor doesn't vacuum itself, although I have asked it to numerous times. Soap scum still builds up in my bathroom and simply walking in there and saying "be clean" doesn't seem to make it disappear. Halloween candy keeps jumping into my mouth even after I put up the No Trespassing sign. My children (including my husband child) seem to think that asking for 3 meals a day is a reasonable request, leading again, to the dirty dishes problem. Home schooling my kids means I actually have to participate daily in their learning process and I can't slack off one bit. And gosh darn it, simply thinking about exercising doesn't have quite the same results as actually doing the exercises!

What am I learning about myself? That I have a "unique" situation that no other person on earth has ever had to deal with before, and I need a reality tv show to come in and make my life better!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Run child Run!

You ever have one of those days where if you don't get a few personal minutes of freedom (for me it would be running 5 miles or doing something to where I sweat) you feel like your chest is going to burst open, your arms are going to start flailing about and heads are going to roll? And that's the G-rated version!

Well that is me today! As of Friday last week I became a stay-at-home mom until we move (in a couple of months). And did i mention that I also took up home-schooling my children this year? Bless my dear children's hearts, they just don't know what they have gotten themselves into!!!

I am by nature naturally stubborn, red-headed, Irish, outgoing, stubborn, adventurous, constantly moving, stubborn, OCD, competitive and stubborn. I don't like to sit all day and I certainly do not like to have to repeat myself. (Go ahead and laugh at that one.)

I am going to be learning a lot about myself over the next few months and I fear my children are as well! Oh dear...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Opportunity Knocking

Weekend projects are fun! You have your list in front of you, full of the things you have wanted to get done for a few weeks (be honest... years and years) and you have finally found (set aside) the time to get them done. Nothing feels better than check marking those boxes as complete. It gives you great pleasure to sit back and look at your masterpiece (at least for your sake I hope it is) and say, "I did it!!! And it wasn't that bad. It wasn't the teeth yanking, hair pulling, mind boggling project I thought it was going to be."

Well my husband and I had that adventure this last weekend. We woke early in the morning (early in my house is 9 am on a Saturday) and set out for the day ahead. I went after a few needed items to complete some of the work and my wonderful friend Sophie accompanied me. (She loves a good project day just as much as I do.)

We are getting our home ready to put on the market and so we have to get a few things done to it. My husband got up and headed out the door, after I left, to begin his part of the adventure.

When Sophie and I returned to the fun station (my home) she left to go get some lunch and return with 2 little helpers; aka her 2 oldest children. My children were of course thrilled at this! Not only were their friends there with them, but they were sharing the workload. This makes for happy parents (since the whining is then held to a minimum).

My husband was busy trimming bushes that were as tall of the Empire State Building. (It was either trim them, or start charging a fee to view the city from the top of them. Although earning extra income would be exciting we figured it would all be lost in insurance and personnel so we decided it was best to go with trimming them.)

I began power-washing our front porch. If you have never power-washed anything, let me just say, WOW! This is an amazing experience! I had to control my urge to power-wash the entire house. I had to focus on the list and get those things accomplished first. (But the power-washer will return, hehe.)

Sophie took a closet door off it's hinges and took it to the backyard to begin the transformation. We are painting it white to match the trim ( we should be getting a medal of honor for this or something because we are getting rid of the orange tinted stain that it had been for many years). My husband brought her our brand-new (bought 2 years prior to sand and paint the doors then) electric sander. He then proceeded to the front of the house where I was still blasting away at the dirt invading my front porch and sidewalk and made this statement... "You women are always taking the mens' pride moments." I did not understand what he meant so I asked him to elaborate for me.

He then began a long and pitiful story of how I had taken both of our vehicles over the 100,000 mile mark and that he didn't get to watch the dial role over on either one of them and so on. He ended by pouting about how Sophie was getting to use his sander before he was. She was breaking it in and he had not had the opportunity to do so! She, a woman, had stripped him of this vital right as a man, just as I had done with the vehicles and other such things.

Now let me remind you... said electric sander had been purchased 2 years prior to this day and 104 weekends had passed when there had been opportunity to advance himself in the "man kingdom" and break in this tool. But is was, of course, the fault of the one who had "heard opportunity knocking" and had answered the call.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Women vs Men

I hesitate on the title of this post, but only for a moment. This is not about women being better then men, or more insightful then men, or even more logical (my husband will laugh out loud at that one) then men. It is simply about the communication women share amongst one another that men can not follow. It bears note that men have their own version of this; it's called grunting. (I know you're all picturing Tim Allen.)

Women simply do not have to complete our sentences when we are having a conversation. There are many versions of this (as there are dialects in the english language).

Example One... My sister and I can be talking about our kids and I will be sharing my abundance of wisdom in child rearing with her and she will complete all of my sentences for me... out loud... with enthusiasm... to my dear husbands dismay. (Not that he doesn't enjoy her company, it's just that she speaks very loudly.) I will of course let her do this as it makes the conversation proceed much quicker. Quicker in the sense that we have more opportunity to repeat ourselves as we women love to do! Repetition, it's good for... (annoying men) memorization, getting your point across, (annoying men) applying what you've learned .

Example Two... My dear friend Sophie and I will be sitting at the dinner table with our blessed husbands sharing what has been going on in our lives. I will be telling a story, or making a point about something, and will simply not complete my sentence/thought. (Picture 2 woman continuing on with their meal and 2 men holding their next bite in their hand, wide-eyed, mouth agape waiting for the climatic conclusion.) At this my husband will break the silence with a question, "Could you please finish what you were saying?" I will simply look at him as if he just asked me what color the sky was (duh) and say, "Sophie knows what I meant/was saying." That is because we women tend to repeat ourselves, so we can just recall a previous conversation similar to this one and complete the thought. Therefore, we can finish each others' sentences! Brilliant of us! (My husband and Sophie's husband don't think so.)

Example Three... If you are a woman reading this, you have already thought of your own. If you are a man, my apologies...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Random Blurting

Have you ever been in a room or a car enjoying some peace and quiet and then had someone blurt out the randomest (yes that's a word or at least for me it is) of words or comments? If you answer yes to this question, then you have most likely been in a room with me. Along with my D & D condition, I also tend to randomly blurt stuff. What does that look like you might ask? Well let me take you on a journey into my mind (buckle up cause there is no telling where this will lead).

Picture four young adults driving in a car heading for a weekend outing. The sky was clear blue, the air outside as thick as marshmallow cream and hotter than microwaved steamed veggies. But the air inside the vehicle was a pleasant 63 degrees and conversation had just come to a lull. Each passenger was in there own deep thoughts (or shallow, whatever the case may be) about the weekend ahead of them. The quiet settled in and the the outside landscape had become the entertainment of the individual mind.

We were headed south through the great state of Texas, and had just entered some heavy traffic. Out my passenger window I saw a blue truck with a load of randomly thrown bricks in the bed of said truck. Now my mind immediately went to my backyard project where I had laid bricks for a fire pit, and before I knew it my mouth spoke the word "Bricks!" Yes, just that single, excited, all by itself little word spoken into the silent void of the car. This, of course, broke the silence and caused laughter to belt out of the other 3 weekenders who were wanting to know where and why this random word flew out of my mouth. Of course no explanation offered by me would suffice to explain why I felt that word needed to be blurted out for all to hear. But it has since led to many moments of reflection and laughter.

It is not my only moment of random blurting but I believe you have an idea of what I am trying to convey. What am I trying to convey? Good question...?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

D & D Diagnosiss

I have a health condition. There I said it! I call it D & D for short, but the actual diagnosis is termed Deepth and Depth. The condition can be quite debilitating at times and interrupt my normal life pattern and schedule, but I am trying to cope with the symptoms as best as I can. At this time there is no known cure, but there are studies being conducted to see what causes it and if there is any remedy.

It has affected my family and friends and at times my condition is so bad that they can't help but be brought to tears by it. I do all I can in and of myself to not have them bear this burden with me, but at times I have outbursts and there is nothing I can do for them or for me. They are very patient with me during these times and the bonds that we are forming because of it are indescribable!

It wasn't as noticeable in my youth, but as I mature it has taken a more frequent role in my daily life. It seems to be accentuated by lack of sleep, hectic schedules and my darling children. (Bless their hearts! They are not only witnesses to this, but are part of the cause.)

What is it exactly? It is more commonly known as blunders in speech or tongue twists. Yes, I am a language blunderer. I say things like deepth and depth when I mean to say deep and depth. I say parking spices and I mean parking spaces. I read signs as Belt-One when it is written as Beltone Hearing Aids and is pronounced Bell-Tone. I ask my husband if our cat Jazz is petting him, when I truly mean to ask if he is petting her. I have slip ups more often then I care to remember or be reminded of.

But I do have a good support group of friends and family that are there for me during these times to console and cry with me. (Although the tears are usually from laughter at my condition, I still choose to accept it as support.) It is also comforting to know that I am not in this alone. At times the condition can be contagious and it affects others around me. And when it does, I return the same love, compassion and support that I receive from them ten-fold! After all, what are friends for?!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Death on a disc

My dear husband and I started a new fitness program on Wednesday to better ourselves. I have always been extremely motivated when it comes to working out while my husband takes a more relaxed approach (meaning he watches people work out while sitting on the couch eating chips and salsa). We purchased the P90X fitness program (which we found out about while watching an infomercial in our hotel room on a weekend vacation) and read up on it and decided to make the commitment to do this.

We wanted to do this together to help keep each other motivated. My husband works the day shift while I work evenings, so we have been encouraging each other through text messages. I was extremely pumped about starting this because I love challenges and setting and reaching goals, especially when you get to see and experience the results.

Because of our different body make-ups, I am doing the lean program and he is doing the classic (which means he will soon be speaking with an Arnold Schwarskahoochie accent) while I will just be doing a lot of toning. So on today, day 3 of this blessed fitness journey, I did arms and shoulders and the ab ripper x. My chips and salsa husband had already done the ab ripper x on a previous day, and had commented/complained on the difficulty of this workout.

Let me give you a brief description of what this entails. Pain, lots and lots of pain!!! I text my husband/partner in this adventure and explained briefly what I thought of this particular exercise today. I summed it all up in one brief sentence, "The ab ripper x is the devil!" He responded with an I told you so comment of support for me and asked how did you do? Wanting to remain the motivated and encouraging partner I responded truthfully but positively. I text back that I simply curled up in a ball, rocking on the floor, sucking my thumb.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I have the very "annoying" habit, or so I assume it is based upon family and friends responses to me, of repeating myself over and over. Now I personally do not understand how commenting briefly every once in awhile upon a subject matter can be so annoying, but apparently I am misinformed or uneducated or lack proper social skills. Whatever the case may be, it has come to the forefront of my mind due to my husbands newly acquired habit.

I will give you a brief example... My husband and I will be sitting in his office looking at some riveting article online (that I must read immediately or I will be placed upon the "you are not an informed person" list permanently) and I will casually comment that his trash needs to be emptied. He will acknowledge the comment and we will continue in the present matter of educating me for the outside world. After what seems like an eternity, I will notice the trash once more and offer a reminder that when we are done, it would be an ample opportunity for him to empty his trash. He will continue on with the conversation without acknowledgment.

Now at this point I am faced with the utmost of conflicts. Did my husband hear me and choose to ignore me, or did he not hear because he was enthralled with what he was doing online and I need to offer the bit of helpful advice once more. I will toil with this matter for quite some time. Mind you, I am not only having to pay attention to life matters that we are discussing, but I also have to make a decision on wether or not I need to help remind him about the trash (because all women know that men are completely incapable of remembering the simplest of task when they are busy solving world issues). So before too much time passes, I will make the decision that my husbands welfare is more important than my need to listen to him, and I will politely wait for a break in the conversation where I can gently remind him once more about the full trash can that is sitting next to his desk about to explode onto the floor.

This is where my husbands new habit kicks in. He then tells me that I have only reminded him about the trash 3 times in the last 25 minutes and I will have to wait until my daily quota of 10 has been met before he can empty said trash. Now this is clearly an overreaction on his part as I was only looking out for him and the welfare of his office.

But I am trying to be the bigger person in all of this and extend some grace to my husband with his newly formed sarcasm. For he will inevitably thank me one day for consistently reminding him about simple tasks that must be completed for life in this universe to continue as we know it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rotating Brains

My husband and I were having a conversation one afternoon and being the good wife that I am (I seem to have the How To Annoy Your Husband manual memorized) I interrupted his thoughts with my own life altering, world changing, can't wait another second words of wisdom. My husband graciously extended me the floor (which needed to be mopped) and allowed me to spew out a few sentences. I began to feel guilty for doing this to him AGAIN so I felt the need to explain why I had done so. I looked him squarely in the eye and was just as honest with him as I could be. I explained that if I had not grabbed the thought as it was going by in my head (picture a scrolling marque) that my brain would rotate and I would lose the thought probably forever. Understanding the urgency of the situation for me, my husband just smiled the bless your heart smile that I seem to receive often from him and continued on in the conversation. Only now he looked at me with a little more love in his eyes. For he was now privy to a little bit more of what makes me uniquely me... Not quite sure what that is but is seems to make him smile.