Thursday, August 30, 2012

Family Matters... yeah we're cool.... What?!!

Baby J, me, middle C and their wives.
I got all my brothers and me....

My son has told me time and time again how great our family is.

We are lucky!
It warms my heart.

I'm the oldest (and the only girl) with two baby brothers.  We are approximately 6-7 years apart from the next.  Making my baby brother about 13 years younger than me.  So growing up, me and baby J weren't that close.  Actually - me and middle C weren't that close either.  I was mean and jealous (and a bit rebellious) and middle C became someone for me to pick on  ;-)   And dress up like a girl.... and
**Story** convince to eat a banana- which I so lovingly placed a booger on... yeah - he threw up.  And still to this day can't eat a banana (MAN I was mean!)

So all added up - it cracks me up when we are all together.  Growing up so far apart in age and really not that close..... but VERY competitive of one another nonetheless.....
We are SOOOOO much alike, yet all SOOOO very different, and taken such different paths in life.  We have had ups and downs and round and rounds....  but all in all.... I'm so very thankful for my little baby bros.  They keep me young.  They keep me on my toes.
I still to this day don't believe that THEY can do anything I can't do!!!

**Story**  Thus why when I was DEFINITELY OLD enough to know better, my baby brother jumped a bike ramp in front of me in the back yard.  I used to ride bikes too.... it's cool.  I'm COOL.  I can do that.  So what did I do?   Threw on some too big tennis shoes of my brothers...
(cuz I was smart enough not to jump a bike in flip-flops - DUHHH)
and I JUMPED that bike ramp
(which was a recycle bin with a piece of wood over it!  Are you getting a mental picture yet???!!)
I jumped it!
OK - I more "road over it" than jumped it.
Because when you "jump" a ramp, apparently you pull back on the handle bars... I seemed to have forgotten that part of the procedure.
Which landed me flipped over the handle bars on my hiney, with a broken collar bone!  LOL
yeah - whatever.......  I still tried  ;-)

Big or small, laughing or crying.... mad or happy - I wouldn't trade them for the world.  OR any of the stories and inside jokes that we have to share.

I read this from a mother recently and it makes me a little sad that baby Z is an only child......
"You can argue all you want here at home, but when you go out into the world, you stick together."

"Be nice to your siblings.  
They are your best link to your past, 
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future"


I guess I'll just have to let baby Z borrow my brothers...... I hope he knows either of them would do anything in the world, not just for me - but for him too!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Breaking ground over here!!

Making my own rules and crossing lines.... it's my 'thang' right....

I have no fear........  I'm FEARLESS!!!!!
(plus I'm highly motivated and determined!)

This week - -   I'm crossing a line
it's something I never thought I would do...
but I did it.
I'm doing it.  Every day  :)

Wanna know what it is?????

I put my chicken on a scale and WEIGHED it.
That's right.
I weighed out my food!!!


I'm no crazy body building Arnold Schwarzenegger - looking to win some competition.... but I have been working out and building muscle and DANG IT - I'm determined to be able to see these abs I'm working so hard at toning...
to do that.... I gotta drop some BODY FAT!!!

"Abs are built in the kitchen, not the gym"

So I'm counting calories and carbs and sugar and....weighing the food
and dropping some body fat
and I'm gonna find those abs down in there.... hopefully sooner than later.

Another thing I said I'd never do.

Never say never!!!

I got this!!!!!!!

If you're gonna work out - you darn well better look like you do!

You don't get it by staring
You don't get it by wishing
You don't get it by drooling
You don't get it by hoping
You don't get it EASY
You get it by
getting off your butt
working for it
every second
of every day
for the rest of your life!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Motivational Monday :)

Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug....
Today -  CHOOSE not to be THAT bug!!!
Don't let life run you over!
Hold your head high and face Monday with PRIDE and a big ol' smile!!!

I have recently spent a little time in my pit. (in case you hadn't noticed from my last few posts!!)  ha!

I read a book some time ago that I have lent out several times called "Get out of that pit" by Beth Moore.  Oh how I love her story... and that book in particular.
Anyway - she speaks of things in her life that should and could very easily break ones spirit and leave you in a pit... where you wallow around in self loathing and pity.
I myself have found myself in that pit from time to time.  Whining about what life (God) has "let me" go through.  Complaining because I don't have this or can't have that... Taking things people say way too seriously and letting those things break my spirit.

As I read my daily devotional - it reminded me of who I really am... and the things and people I have in my life to be THANKFUL for!!!  It reminded me of how far God has brought me and what he has given me and blessed me with.  It reminded me of GRACE!
And I got out my ladder and stepped back out of that stupid pit I had fallen into.

I would like to share my inspiration with you today!

Grace be with you.  I Timothy 6:21
Without sharing the entire story with you - I just want to share the line that moved me.
"What has happened has happened.  You can face it all with bitterness, or you can face it all with grace"
And with that - I realized... I have made mistakes, and I'll continue to make mistakes... in parenting, in friendships, in my daily walk, and in life!  People have hurt me with words and actions and sadly - I have done the same.
All that is left to do is forgive those who hurt me and most importantly - forgive myself.

And each day vow to pass along....  just a little bit of grace... a little bit of caring.... a little bit of blessing.... a little bit of hope... a little bit of inspiration....
THAT is what this blog has always been about.

Some of life's best gifts come in small undramatic moments.

This is a new day;  Face it with Grace!

Friday, August 24, 2012

I am NO parent.....

I am but HUMAN....

I must admit, there are times when I love who I am today because of choices I have made... I am strong, I am independent, I am successful, I am a MOM.
But there are also days when I wish I could take so many of those steps back.
They brought me here.. and sometimes break me here.....

I have walked down a road that I never expected to walk.
I did bring a child into this world at a very young age.
I KNOW how hard it's been and I KNOW how hard I've tried.  And I'm proud of that.  Because I know there are so many other ways things could have gone.

I also KNOW how many times I failed.  I know how many times I've cried.  I know how bad it's hurt....
And I feel it when the world crashes around me.

I've gone to the wrong places, I've had the wrong friends, I've made bad decisions and I've walked the wrong roads.... I have not and will not ever claim to be perfect.

so..... before you speak....
Who are you to judge?
 Do YOU want to walk my road?
Who are you to hurt me?

When you've grown up and moved away from home and can tell me you DON'T have nights where you lie awake feeling the guilt and pain from the heartache you inflicted on your parents,
THEN you can tell me how YOU were the perfect child.

When you grow up and raise children of your own and they never talk back and never break rules and never break your heart -
THEN you can tell me how YOU are the perfect parent.

Until then - don't judge me and don't tell me how you would do things different.
It just hurts.
I don't need to relive every mistake I've made.  I don't need to be told how I mess up every day.
I can only do the best that I know how to do...
One day at a time.

I found this from another blog and had to share........

You have not walked in my shoes
You have not been down my road.
You have not cried my tears.
You have not carried my load.
Why do you judge me?

You think you know my story.
You think you know my pain.
You think you know my future.
You don't even know my name.
Why do you judge me?

You were not there to see me stumble
You were not there to see me fall.
You were not there to pick me up.
You were not there at all.
Why do you judge me?

Copyright April 2010.  All rights reserved by Sam Bristow

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If you can't say something nice.... then what?

Don't say anything at all??
Where's the fun in that?  Or the healing??

So I guess I'm breaking all the rules today.
Being politically "UNcorrect"....
Not biting my tongue.
Letting it all hang out. 
What's new there?!  ha
I don't intend it to be ugly - but today - I guess I'm just gonna write as if no one is reading..
quite frankly - no one probably is......
And maybe... this will be just another one of those blogs that gets lost out in the internet abyss.
Just a little open ended, having a bad day, wanna break something kinda blogging.

Today would have been my 2 year anniversary.

2 years ago I did "that thing" that everyone.... most..... some.... look forward to.  
You too guys....
Admit it.
Maybe not so much the act of getting all dressed up and walking down an aisle - but the security in knowing that someone has pledged their undying love to you.  The day that you honestly believe that there is another soul on this planet to walk with hand in hand.
The day that you put your complete trust and love and all your hopes and dreams into one other individual.  Forsaking all others.... and trusting that they feel and are doing the same.

It's the day that every LITTLE girl looks forward to  (I say "little" because as a young girl, all we know is to grow up and get married... we dress up in sheets and carry pretend flowers and believe that one day all our dreams will come true.  Then we grow up and realize, that is not ALL that life has to hold for us!!!)

You see....... 2 years ago, I fell into the belief that I had truly found a man who loved me.  Truly, honestly loved me.  And I had been fooled before.  Believe that.
I had waited and waited and held out on trusting a man fully with my heart.
2 years ago - I gave mine away.
Only to quickly find out - I was a band-aid... a piece of tape.... over a piece of gauze.... hiding all that was the "truth".

2 years later - I feel like such a fool.

Because now I look back and see all those red flags..... The ones that I ignored for "love"

And sadly enough... I see the path that has been taken since we divorced and I see he is doing the same exact thing to another woman.  Ironically - the one that he was wooing behind my back.
Another one that thinks... "Ohhhh - he loves me.  He's gonna be different this time.  I'm special.  this is real"  Because he makes you believe that is true.
On the outside looking in - it's easy to see all those signs... all those red flags.... all the warning signs.
And part of me wants to SCREAM at her and show her all that is being gauzed and taped and hidden with band-aids.  Part of me wants to warn her.....
Not to hurt him.
Not to judge him
But more to protect her.  And I don't even know her
But then I realize too  - that while he was wooing her while HE was married.... she was ALSO wooing him KNOWING he was married...... AS WAS SHE!!!!!!!
And I owe her nor him NOTHING.

2 years later...  I know that I am better off.
I know that he is the exact man that fooled me and BETRAYED me....
And I see that he is still that same man... walking the same path...
I KNOW that in 2 years I have healed and grown and have become a better woman for what I have been through....
I KNOW that!

And I know that I am now TRULY loved, respected and cherished by a man who knows me and believes in me and loves me like that other man NEVER did.

I am TRULY loved......
and I'm lucky.  And thankful for that.
I'm thankful to know what real, honest, love you above all others LOVE really feels like.

But I am really struggling today with letting go of the anger towards a man who robbed me of that infamous little girl day "dressed in sheets and carrying my fake flowers down the aisle"

And honestly today..... I should be celebrating and thankful that I got out when I did

I never thought I would have to say that.
I guess no one does.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just a cruisin'.....

And ...... we're back!
From a fabulously awesome.. sunshiny.. blue water.. Caribbean.. relaxing.. carefree.. week away!!!
The best part and another reason why  I 
L. O. V.  E.  my job.... I love the people I work with and what I do - but I could actually walk away from work on Friday and not think a thing about work until I got back this morning!!!  (at 7 am... blahhhhhh)  THAT my friends .... is a VACATION!!!!!
AND a much needed resting of the mind body and soul..... I've had a rough year!!  :-/
couldn't have picked a better person to spend it with.

We laughed... we tanned.... we played in the casino.... we snorkeled....  we made fun of people (WHAT?!!)... we made memories.... we bought souvenirs for all those we love....  we slept in.... we ate.. and ATE.... and ATE.... we watched shows.... we played Bingo (LOL).... we fell in love with our cruise director and assistant cruise director - for they were quite possibly BIGGER smart butts than we!...

I don't know how many of you have or haven't cruised before  - but I highly recommend it!
We plan to take Z man for graduation next year and I'm HOPING (fingers crossed) it can be a family affair - I mean the WHOLE big family!  I'm planning in my head already!!  :-)

Anywho.... please allow me to share some of our funnies and highlights!  :-)    There are soooo MANY!!

As you may or may not know - on a (Carnival) cruise, you sign up for dinner in the dining room each night.  At dinner, you are randomly placed with others to enjoy your dinner!  WE were luckily placed with "mouse" and "music man" as we so lovingly referred to them  :)  **yes - that is the kind way we referred to them...I won't tell you the ugly names!  I don't wanna ruin my sweet reputation**
So anyway - first night at dinner, we are seated with this lovely young newlywed couple.  They were very friendly... and chatty.... and inquisitive... and chatty.....asked a lot of questions etc.   But within 5 minutes of being at the table and the first real interaction, I was spent.
On a cruise, you are presented with an every day menu and a special dinner menu that changes every night.  On that special menu are exotic things that you might not venture to try any other time.  Each night there was an appetizer.... Above it was the word "DIDJA" in bold capital letters.  Below it - were the words "didja ever wanna try???"  and below that, a few line spaces below that was an appetizer that would be considered edgy.  Something you wouldn't pay just to try under normal circumstances.   Well... On this particular night, the appetizer listed under the above mentioned lines was "Escargot" with a description of course of SNAILS!!!   When we were seated, mouse was eating an appetizer (as we were a bit late for dinner) - I said "OH - are you trying the escargot?"  Mouses reply.... "NO - it's the DIDJA.   I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's some kind of mushroom"
And THIS is who we are to enjoy dinner with each night.
A lovely lady at the table to my right leaned over and said to me... "it's the escargot"
At that point - I raised my hand and asked to be moved to HER table!!!!!
being the sweet lovely patient person I am - we endured the next night of dinner with mouse and music man.  It was after all "FORMAL" night and I didn't want to miss out on wearing my new dress!  So we joined them again....  I can't even begin to share the conversations.... I erased them immediately from taking up space in my head as we walked out the door.
That was the last night we ate in the dining room.
FORMAL NIGHT -   also known as the ONLY night I fixed my hair on the cruise!  HA!
But we did dress up nice!  :)

Moving on........

One of my favorite and most anticipated events of the cruise was ....... snorkeling.  It was AWESOME!!!  Don't get me wrong - it took a bit of getting used to - I mean you are forcing yourself to essentially breathe while your face is submerged in water.  And when you breathe through that snorkel, you DEFINITELY sound like Darth Vader...  so in the beginning when I tried to breathe, I laughed.  That doesn't fair well with a mask on your face.   Needless to say - I swallowed a bit of the ocean there in Grand Turk!   And SPOILER ALERT...... although snorkeling was awesome and we saw some pretty cool fish... and coral... and anemone... Under water does NOT look like this......   
CURSE you NEMO!!!!!
I look more like THIS - big ol' dork!  Stylin!!
And the sea.... a bit more like THIS

And THIS!!!!

Don't get me wrong - it's GORGEOUS - just don't head in expecting NEMO....  LOL

So not to get into too much more detail about the rest......  we had emergency training at "Muster Station C" (we were supposed to be in B!) with Rob Schneider (well..... I think it was Rob's Latino twin!!  We later saw him rockin the bass in an old school rock band in the casino - GO Rob!!!)  LOL

We saw a 12 year old "sassy pants" WHITE girl - ROCKING some Christina Aguilara like it was her JOB!!  I mean - NObody can karaoke Christina - but this little 12 year old brought down the house!!!

We witnessed a "Hairy chest contest" that was not fit for public TV....  3 girls judged.... the men had to dance with the first girl, let the 2nd girl feel the "hairy", and the 3rd (the grandma from the crowd) sniffed their armpits.... oh YES she did!!!!!!!

I could go on and on....
but you get the idea.
FUN was to be had by all!
And there is NO such thing as embarrassment.... our cruise director and assistant held nothing back!!!  

All in all....... our ship was AWESOME!  Our cabin steward was fantastic.  (his name was Alexis, but he said we could call him "Allstate" - cause we're "in good hands"   I called him ALLSTAR!  lol).   Food was good.  Beaches were gorgeous.  Weather was perfect.

a MUCH MUCH needed fantastic vacation.

Here's one of our pet towel animals "Allstar" left each night  :)

Have a great week!

Bon Voyage Caribbean
Hello real life!