Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Random Post-Holiday Thoughts

Just a quick update...
  1. If you'll recall, I was fighting an illness last week that had me down for the count. Because it was the end of year at work and the holidays, I didn't have much time to rest. Now, due to a tired immune system, I'm ill with a sinus infection. I literally feel like I'm floating outside of my body. That feeling isn't conducive with the amount of business I still have to finish before the end of the year. I've been keeping up with my wellness arsenal... but could still use more downtime.
  2. Infection Weapon
  3. Even though my children were downright mean to each other on Christmas Eve morning, and after Mommy threatened to keep Santa far, FAR away.... that evening and Christmas morning was pretty wonderful. We were able to see friends and family, open gifts and have a nice meal before their father picked them up mid-day on Christmas. I was completely spent when they left and yet the house still felt really sad after they were gone. I guess I get used to the chaos and miss it when it's quiet.
  4. My girls & I snuggled up on Christmas Eve
  5. Christmas night, I slept for 12 hours. Um... guess I needed it.
  6. Looks sooo comfy
  7. My mom bought me a Vitamix for Christmas. I seriously plan to add even more whole foods to my diet with this thing. Do you know I can make soup AND heat it up in this thing? Dude. If I could marry it, I would.
  8. Best Smoothies Ever!
  9. My man is coming to see me for my birthday and through New Year's. I'm so excited to have him here to celebrate with me. We won't have too big of a New Year's Eve, though, because I'll have the kids starting that afternoon. Until then though, and when I start to feeling better, HUBBA HUBBA. At least we'll have semi-alone time until then. His teen son can entertain himself.
  10. Nuff Said.
  11. My youngest daughter is having a birthday next month too. She's asking that her party guests donate money to a charity instead of gifts. Proud. Mommy. Moment.
  12. They want to make a better world.
  13. I'm very excited that my Saints won the NFC South last night and Drew Brees clinched an unbelievable passing yards season record. It was an inspired moment to watch. And he's such a good guy!
  14. Drew Dat!
  15. I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be a busy year filled with much greatness. When I can think more clearly, I'll write about it.
How about y'all? Did everyone else have a great holiday break?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

by Sarah McLachlan 

The lake is frozen over
The trees are white with snow
And all around
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go

It's late and morning's in no hurry
But sleep won't set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me
When silence gets too hard to handle
And the night too long

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

Oh I miss you now, my love
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,
Merry Christmas, my love

Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and I see
Your star up there

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

May the warmth, peace and joy of this Christmas day surround you and those you love throughout your holidays and the new year.

Many blessings and much abundance to you, my bloggy friends!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's for the kids

Tonight the kids and I are meeting my sister, my nieces and nephew, and my mom for a fun Christmas outing. This wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't been dealing with family drama for over a year now. If you'll recall, my sister and I haven't spoken in months and haven't seen each other in 18 months.

When I informed my daughters this morning that they'd be seeing their cousins and aunt, they were excited. Then my oldest asked, "Mom, do you think you and your sister will get along now?"

Oh I have no doubt that we'll "get along" tonight. We're a family of hiding uncomfortable confrontational drama in person. (Gentleman Jack noticed this over the Thanksgiving holiday when my brother came around for the first time since lying to me about staying at my house while I was out of town. Of course, GJ would have none of our avoidance tactics and forced us to talk it out. My hard headed man and his honest ways...)

I'm actually excited about seeing my sister tonight. I'm not looking forward to hearing about her other life with strangers that I know nothing about. That'll be weird. But I know the kids will really enjoy seeing us together. They actually SHOULD see us together, working out our differences.

After all, I remind each of them, often, how important it is to have a sister.


I was out of town visiting Gentleman Jack this past weekend. Unfortunately, Saturday night I came down with a mystery illness that kept me there an extra day due to absolute misery and weakness... so much so that I was unable to drive home. Of course, my boys enjoyed having me around a whole extra day, even if I was either in bed or lying around on the couch being waited on hand and foot. Who wouldn't want to stay?!?

The next morning, my mother (who was watching my kids for me) called to inform me that my younger daughter was ill and would be staying home from school. Mom, who works in retail, had to go to work (obviously) so she would be unable to watch my sick kid.

I dragged myself from the warmth of my sick bed, packed up my bags and drove 3 hours for my child. I, even though I was recovering, was actually still more ill than my daughter. Honestly I wonder if she didn't have a case of the I-just-wanna-stay-home-itis that my mom couldn't see through. Nonetheless, she was home with me, wanting to be nurtured when I could barely take care of myself.

That evening, I put my daughters to bed as soon as I could so that I could also get some rest. I'm still not 100% recovered from whatever kicked me out of service this weekend... but the Christmas shopping/wrapping/planning/partying/decorating must go on, right?

My kids need me... whether I'm well or not.


I love my kids. LOVE. MY. KIDS.

Yes, I find myself in uncomfortable situations by being a mom. I have to be a good role model, even if I don't want to be. I have to take care of myself and them, even if I'm too ill to do so. I have to have my stuff together, even when I don't. I have to have a village of back up providers due to an ex-husband who travels 95% of the time with work.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to raise these beautiful little people. They entertain me with their funny ways of looking at the world. They offer hugs and comfort when I'm down, physically, mentally or emotionally. They teach me something new and often delightful every single day. They are my heart, broken into two whole people walking around outside of my body.

It's not always easy to do the things I do for my kids but I really cannot imagine life any other way. Even on those nights that I just want to put myself to bed but there's so much more mothering to be done, I still feel honored for the healthy, amazing girls sleeping in the next room.

Thank You, God, for the blessings that I call my children.... and all the "stuff" that goes with it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Sensitive Man

A few weeks ago, Chopper Papa wrote a post titled, "Women really don't want a sensitive man." (He's written several posts since then... including this awesome co-parenting post. I need to catch up on my blog reading.)

Anyway, I put a note in draft that I wanted to write about this topic because I am dating a sensitive man. I also dated one before this one. And I was married to one too.

The problem was... I didn't realize how sensitive Soldier and my ex-husband were because they chose to hide their feelings from me.

When I see how completely vulnerable Gentleman Jack chooses to be with me, I am taken aback. It's not that I don't want a sensitive man, it's that I've not been adequately trained how to handle one. Society doesn't teach us that men have feelings. Society teaches us that men are "transactional". Get in, solve the problem, get out. Society teaches us that it's women who need relationships, not men. I don't believe that's true at all.

I'm still learning, however. There are a few things I've learned so far... but I still have a ways to go.

Let's start with sensitivity in general.

Gentleman Jack and I each have a youngest child who seems to vie for more attention than our older children. I also have a few friends who seem pretty obvious about wanting others to notice them more. For some reason, this obviousness gets under my skin. Knowing that what makes us crazy is usually a mirror, I will admit to my own attention seeking behaviors.... and that awareness is the first step.

Our youngest children and my friends seem to be more sensitive and I have no idea how to handle it. I believe it would start with accepting my own obvious behavior but in the moment, when someone is SCREAMING for my attention, I want to say to them, "The attention you'll be receiving from me right now is not genuine. At all."

Then I feel bad... because that's not a nice thing to say at all, is it?

With the children, I try to give them words:

"I am feeling very sad right now and could really use a hug."


"My owie doesn't hurt as bad as I'm pretending but I really love the extra mothering you're giving me."

But how do you do that with adults?

Even Gentleman Jack, as honest as he is, will sometimes have a very ugly feeling that I can see right through... but he'll deny it. I think most adults will deny when they feel a need for more attention. It doesn't seem very adult-like to say "I could really use a hug." However don't we all feel that way sometimes?

Aren't we all SENSITIVE in our own way?

Wouldn't we all enjoy our feelings being validated?

Wouldn't it give us all the permission to have feelings, after all?

With that said, I'd like to apologize to men...for all the women and other men who seem to stomp all over your feelings and sensitivities... so much that you deny your feelings or pretend you have no feelings at all.

We actually do the same thing to ourselves.


Are you dating a sensitive man?

What do you do when your child is "milking" it for more attention?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Must be nice

I have a friend who enjoys following his college football team to their games. After posting something this past week about flying out to another game, someone commmented, "Must be nice..."

And it totally rubbed me the wrong way.

I know this friend has struggled through his life. I've known him since I was a pre-teen and saw his rough childhood. I know all about his failed first marriage and the toll it had on him. Now, to see him happy with his new wife, to see what a great father he is to her children and that he's earning enough extra money to fund something that means a great deal to him.... it pisses me off to see someone give him hell for it.

I too have heard this from family, friends and others in my life. Does anyone realize that when you throw out a sarcastic "must be nice" you're actually telling the universe that you are not worthy of such things yourself?

"People who lack strength to be themselves are always trying to tear down those who do."

I get it. I've done this myself. I understand that this "envy", because that's really what it is, comes from a sense of lack in our own lives. The truth of the matter is that we're NOT lacking. And if it appears that we are, it's because we're not feeling grateful for the greatness of our lives as they are. I've also noticed that I feel a lack of gratitude when I see things as impossible... or I'm lacking a dream.

Have you noticed a trend yet?

I've been writing about this idea of having a dream because this is where I am right now. I've been slacking on the blogging because I'm focused, like whoa. The weekends are my only respite and it is then that I allow my brain to take a break, avoiding the computer as much as possible. Not that the holidays aren't busy enough, add to that the second job (and at times, even 3rd job) that I'm steadily building, and networking... trying to find balance... but amazingly, through it all, I've been able to keep a positive attitude. I've been able to find gratitude throughout the holiday rush and craziness of gift buying, still feeding my children and still staying on top of bills!

It's not all roses but my outlook is getting better and better. I'm going to predict wonderful things for 2012 and it all started with the simple question, "What does YOUR dream look like?"

That was when I remembered that I worthy of having a dream again.

That was when I remembered that, prior to divorce, I was always someone WITH a dream.

That was when I remembered that, when I show up, when I look forward, set an intention and take action now, when I am fully present, focused and determined, amazing things happen in my life. They're happening now.

I hope that reading this, you won't say to yourselves, "Must be nice..." I hope for all of you that you, too, feel worthy of the good in your life and believe in the goodness to come. YOU TOO deserve a dream come true. Focus on your dream and surround yourself with others who believe in your dream too.

And if you do find yourself saying, "must be nice", to me, to others on Facebook, to the person who seemingly has what YOU want, let it be a reminder for you to show up and be present in your own life. Maybe what you really want to do is add what you're admiring to your target, focused list. Give blessings to the person who appears to have it better than you (they don't, by the way). For when you bless them, you're blessing yourself too.

"You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible."
~ Deepak Chopra

Monday, December 5, 2011

6 Impossible Things

As I mentioned last week, my chiropractor gives me words, questions or phrases that she believes I need to ponder. My question last week was, "What ELSE is possible?"

Do you remember this scene in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland?

Right before this scene, she declares it impossible to slay the Jabberwocky dragon. The Mad Hatter responds, "Only if you believe it is."

Then she remembers her practice of thinking of 6 impossible things before breakfast.

It is an excellent practice, isn't it?

If you think of it, there are things that YOU may believe are impossible that someone else does everyday. It may take a bit more effort but as the Mad Hatter so eloquently stated, it's only impossible if you believe it is.

Pondering the question, "What ELSE is possible?" allows me to open my mind to much more than my seemingly limiting circumstances. When I open my mind with nothing more than a little willingness to see that perhaps my wishes and dreams ARE possible, then my eyes open as well. Suddenly I am able to recognize the opportunities and the "how's" right in front of me.

Try this practice in your life. Let me know how it works for you.

What are 6 impossible things you can think of?

Here are some of mine:

1) Using olive oil to clean my face at night and honey to clean my face during the day, has nearly completely cleared up my acne. Adding oil helps remove oil? Who knew?

2) I am able to pay my bills every month, on time, and feed myself and my children. (Truly feels like a miracle some times.)

3) The New Orleans Saints went to (for the first time) and won the Super Bowl last year. Seriously. As a long time 'Aints fan, it was an unbelievable thing to witness.

4) The Texas Rangers went to back-to-back World Series last year and this year. Again, as a long time fan, it was awesome to witness a first time championship for my favorite baseball team.

5) I work 2 jobs that require a ton of my time and have my children nearly all of the time.... and I'm somehow able to find balance there. And I'm blogging! Hey!

6) I'm a triathlete. Because from someone who never played a sport in her life, who hated running, who decided to tackle long bike rides and learn how to swim, REALLY?

And a few to grow on... 7) I have a college degree. I am the only one in my family with a college degree. Which makes it seem pretty incredulous to me.

8) My man and I have had a successful and lasting long distance relationship for over 2 1/2 years now. Who'd have thunk it? Not me!

What about you? Would you be willing to expand the possibilities in your life too? Give me one impossible thing in the comments below... or write a 6 Impossible Things post of your own and leave the link in the comments.

I can't wait to hear about your dreams coming true too!

"The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes