Saturday, October 4, 2014

All the Single Ladies...

Remember that clogged dishwasher in my kitchen?
My husband has not quite gotten around to dealing with that yet.  In other words, I have spent the better part of this week cleaning up after the messes my lovely children (and husband, of course) have left behind.  My daughter is particularly gifted at making mac and cheese at any given time of the day, eating about 3/4 of a cup of it, and then leaving the empty box, cheese package thingy, pot of leftover noodles, (with the spoon in it...shellacked with cheesy, noodley loveliness) on the stove top, and the un-rinsed bowl and fork sitting somewhere in the vicinity of the sink.  I LOVE IT!!! I can't think of anything I would rather do than try to scrub that cheese-glue off of those dishes!  I wish she would leave more for me to wash!! Oh wait....she did.

So, today, I have decided to pretend I am single and childless.  Just take a day and imagine what my life would be like if I had my own house, a sugar daddy, and all the time in the world.
First of all, I would be living here:
 In my adorable little cottage with a front porch and white picket fence.  

Now that I think about isn't much different from my current house....just a smaller, Beth-sized version.  And it has a front porch.  And a picket fence.  And no weeds.  And is just soooo much cuter.
(and yes....I just ran outside and took a picture of my house.  In my pajamas, of course.)

I could give you an entire pictorial tour of what the interior would look like...but we can save that for another day.  Just be assured that it would indeed include this:

Really, that is all I need to be happy.  Front porch, claw foot tub, chandelier.  Ok...there are other things, but these three items are deal breakers.

I have discovered some important things during my time as a single woman.  I think I will share them with you.

1.  I have no problem laying in bed for 5 hours watching TV before I get up for the day.
2. My dogs have no problem staying in bed for even longer than that.
3. When I do finally get up, and it's 1pm, I do not feel very good about myself.
4. The reason I don't feel good about myself is that I have blown 95% of my single woman time before those damn kids get home from school.
5. Next time I become a single woman, I should really clean the house first.
6. Being a single woman for one day is the equivalent of allowing yourself one piece of chocolate. Ever.
7. I wasn't kidding when I said I would need a sugar daddy.  If I were a single lady....I certainly would not want to leave my make-believe world (aka: perfect dream-cottage) and actually have to go to work and pay for it all by myself.
8.  I would be a kick-ass single lady.  (Until I got lonely)  I'm guessing....2 weeks max.
9. My dogs would be soooo happy if I were a single lady.
10.  My house would be clean and beautiful...ALL the time.
I decided to try out another theory I had....because why not?  I have obviously not gotten around to tackling that "to-do" list yet, so I thought I would at least engage in some "learning opportunities" for the time being.  I decided I would head to the grocery store, and shop as though I had only to worry about myself.  These are the items I came home with:

As you can see, my first goal was to choose only the healthiest foods.  I am a stickler when it comes to eating well, and treating my body with the love and respect it deserves. 

The second goal was budget.  I was looking for foods that were not only bursting with nutrients, but were also going to give me more "bang for my buck."  As you can see, I certainly did an excellent job there.  I mean really....why would anyone pay $1.99 for a box of brownie mix when you can get 6 pre-made brownies for the bargain price of $3.48?!!!  
I forgot to take a pic....but let me tell you...those deviled eggs I bought..(there were SIX...that means they used THREE WHOLE EGGS!!) for the low price of $3.01!!  Yes, I could have purchased a dozen for $1.59....but I would have had to BOIL them MYSELF!  It was SO much easier to just buy them already deviled!  And they almost tasted like they might have used real mayonnaise in the mix!
I'm not sure...but I am thinking that the $60 I spent at the grocery store last night (ok....there was a 6-pack of beer, and a jug of sweet tea also) might have been the best $60 I have ever spent!

As for the caramel apples.  It is a very good thing they are seasonal.  I buy them 4 at a time...since they are 2 for $5.  Yes, $10 worth of caramel apples every time I go to the store.  Luckily, I am the only one who eats them.  (Probably because the kids don't like them with peanuts, and I never buy them without, because I am a mean and horrible mother.) I picked up my typical four last night....and forgot to mention it to my husband.  This was maybe a bad thing, since I had also asked him to pick some up for me on his way home.  I now have 8.  
Have I mentioned I want to lose 20 pounds?

So, to summarize.
1.  I should never be allowed to shop alone.
2. I am pretty sure that I am too much for even a sugar daddy to deal with.
3. I may very well be, forever, washing others people's dishes.
4. Pinterest was invented for people like me, who need to pretend they will someday have a clean, beautiful home....all of their own.
5.  The deli section at the grocery store is the source of all evil.
6.  "Death by caramel apple" has not yet been proven to be a health risk.  Yet.
7.  I have 15 minutes before my kids get home.  But they do not have a house key.  Just saying...
8.  I need to investigate the possibility of having my house reduced in size and increased in "cuteness" once these teenagers who live here go to college.  Perhaps I can add a porch and reduce a mortgage.  Perhaps I'm living in la-la land.
9.  The ONLY thing I have accomplished during my ENTIRE day is to write about all of the things I did not accomplish during my ONE day of being free to potentially accomplish something.  
10.  My kids are home.  I forgot to lock the door.

So much for my life as a single lady. 

Happy Saturday! ;)

Friday, October 3, 2014


Today is a special day.   It's one of those days that I have had my eye on for awhile.  You might think that I have something fun and exciting planned for today.  It's actually quite the opposite.
This is my day today:

I honestly can't think of anything I enjoy more than an empty box on my calendar.  
It usually looks like this

I am both a fan of the "old school" paper calendar, and of "crossing out the day" when it's over.  You may recall that office supplies were on my "temptations" list.  My calendar would fall under that category.  I love it.  I look forward to picking out a new one each year.  If I can't find it at any point during the week, I am screwed, because I have absolutely no idea where I am supposed to be, what I am supposed to be doing, and when it is supposed to happen.  The key to my entire life resides inside this one book.
It is a lovely book, however.  So that makes it ok.
 My husband stores his life on his phone.
I know that this is common for many a person.  I, however, will never be one of those persons...for several reasons:
1. I love paper.  
2. I love to write on that paper.
3. I don't trust technology 100%.
4. My phone is much smaller than my calendar, which makes it much easier to lose track of.
5. It takes twice as long to type words with my thumbs than it does to just write them down.
6. I have lots of great bags, in which to put my calendar.
7. I am pretty sure I was actually a bag lady in a former life.  And I don't mean a lady who sold bags, so even if I wanted to, I am incapable of leaving the house without several bags.  And I need to put something in my calendar.
8. My calendar will never have a dead battery.

So, what on earth will I do with an entire day of whatever I want?  I sat down with my "Want To-Do List," pondering the possibilities.  This could be the day I take on one of the bigger projects.  I could get all the grocery shopping done, and the meals planned, since this weekend is going to be a bit of a nightmare.  (Let's get nightmare.)
Next week, everything is going to kick into overdrive.  The lessons I teach at home start, rehearsals at the schools I accompany at begin, and I have weddings every weekend to play for.  Concerts, senior shows, meetings, appointments, extra church name it, it is happening this month.

So, on this one magical day of nothing, I think I am going to add to my "Want To-Do List" an extra task:
"Whatever my little heart desires."

Who knows?  Maybe I will suddenly feel like organizing the pantry!  However, if I don't,  and I choose to light some candles, grab a big fluffy blanket, and spend the day snuggling with the dogs and a good book, well, then I think I will have accomplished exactly what was supposed to get done today.   

Sometimes we need to create our own calm before the storm!

Have a wonderful (and relaxing) Friday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What do YOU Want?

I'm officially "linked up."  The "31 Day Challa'nge" (it's French now) begins.

Today started like every other day.  5:58AM hits...and it's the end of my peaceful slumber.  
I, of course, do not have to get up for a couple of hours.  I could get up now...but why on earth would I want to?  My husband is not aware of the fact that there are ways to go about ones morning routine in a less barbaric manner.  I am pretty sure he thinks he is doing a good job of "being quiet."  He begins by turning on the hall light, which shines directly onto my side of the bed.  Often times, he will add the bathroom light, and closet light...both of which are also on my side of the bed.  Then, comes the delightful "choosing of the garments."  His side of the closet is on the wall directly behind our headboard. From what I can gather, his shirts actually reach out to him, beckoning him "wear me! Wear ME!!" So, he must have to bat them off...causing the hangers to slam into the wall, over and over again.  This really is a lovely addition to the bright lights that are currently blinding me, as I attempt to ignore him and go back to sleep.  It is a bit frustrating for all of us.

When he finally left, I did manage to sleep again.  Obviously, this challenge was heavy on my mind, as my dreams, once again, led me down strange paths.  The first, literally, involved a path that loomed dangerously close to an edge that just dropped off...with no bottom in sight.  Of course, there were people who were just leaning over the side, trying to see what was down there, completely freaking me out.  (I am assuming this has something to do with the "edge that I was perilously dangling over" yesterday.)  Then, I was transported to my church choir rehearsal.  Seemingly safe and innocent.  Except the church had been rearranged, and tiered, and now there were ridiculously high tables and chairs.  And my Alzheimer's laden mother, who has become more and more bent with scoliosis, decided that she was going to jump from table to table (extremely unsteady tables, I might add) to go grab her water bottle on the other side of the room.  Seriously?!!
So much for once again attempting to "ease into the day in a relaxing manner."  
Then I looked at the clock.  9:30.  So far, this whole "conquer the world and kick some butt in October" has turned into "over sleep and become a complete disaster."

No time for yoga this morning.  I have a meeting at 11:30.  My house is a disaster (again), I need to write this post, and a bath would be a lovely idea.  
I cut up my last caramel apple. (Don't you worry...I am going to buy more.)  Mixed up my Spark, and headed for the tub, a little anxious about having another miserable bubble bath experience.
But I didn't. 
First of all...I used a much less ugly glass for my Spark today.

Then, instead of looking forward at the mess, I turned my phone around, and took a picture of what was behind me.  And it didn't look so bad.
(There is a pic of my dad and me when I was a baby.  That always makes me smile.)

And then I looked up and my painting of the "bathing beauties"...which I LOVE.

I saw this painting in a magazine and fell in love.  My brilliant husband said "why don't you see if you can buy it?"  To which I guffawed and said "Yeah!  For a million dollars!"  To my surprise, the artist sold prints of it.  Maybe I should listen to the guy more often!

Then a miracle occurred. I realized what my problem was. (I kind of always knew what my problem was...but a solution presented itself.)
I hate being told what to do.  Notice those last two words?  "TO-DO."  My "31 Day Challenge is "Taking on the "To-Do" List."  Can we see the problem here?  
And oh yes...there is one heck of a "TO-DO" list:
When I look at this list, all I see is "HAVE TO-DO"....and I want to poke my eyes out.  Or throw myself off a cliff.  Or sleep until 9:30 and then get up and be crabby and do nothing all day.

Until it hit me.  Make a "WANT TO-DO" list.  
Quite frankly, everything on this list is something I want to get done.  I just don't want to have to do it.  And I don't want to have to do it on a schedule.  So.....I am officially changing my challenge to "Taking on the "WANT TO-DO LIST"
Some days I might want to sit in bed and watch TV....and that's ok!  (As long as I don't do it for 31 days.)

Today, my friend Sharon is coming over so we can plan.  We are going to find some things we WANT to do this month to help with our weight loss goals.  I suppose I might need to assess my caramel apple intake.  Or maybe I will just give up something else instead.  Or maybe, tomorrow, I will actually get out of bed and do some YOGA!

I'm feeling better already.

Have a fantastic Thursday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm Challenged...

It's here.  October 1st. Day one of the "31 Day Challenge."
This "challenge" is really about writing...but since that isn't much of a challenge for me (I would seriously spend all day everyday writing if I could) I have decided to make it more of a "I'm going to challenge myself to do something that IS actually a challenge for me...and then I will write about it each day."  Yay!  Exciting!  It will not only give me subject matter, but also will force me to be productive in some shape or form.
So, I decided to go with a vague, yet all encompassing theme:  "Taking On The "To-Do" List."
I am limited, as far as space, for my "theme," as I had to make a "button" to use as a link.
(You can see it if you look to your right.)---------->
And we will also pretend that I have ANY idea what I am talking about.  Buttons...links...good God, I have NO idea what I am doing.
(By the way, there are hundreds of bloggers doing this challenge...which is why I need to link up.)
Let's just say that I have made promises I may later regret with my hubby.  He is going to try and figure out the whole "link up" thing that is supposed to happen at 8pm tonight while I am at the studio teaching.   It took me a week to figure out how to make the darn "button"...and that was EASY! 

Moving on.
Today.  Day One.  
My plan was to begin gently.  Ease myself into this month of productivity, good-habit-making, renewal, organization, increased health of mind, body and soul.  Yes, this is more than a regular old "to-do" list.  This is a list of items that need attention.  Not just projects around the house, but projects to feed my spirit.  Oh yes, this is a month of miracles.

It began a little strangely.  Mark had an early morning meeting, and left at 5:30.  I was in charge of making sure the teenagers woke up at 6am.  I accomplished this feat, and went back to bed....hoping to ease into the morning, feeling refreshed.  Instead, I had strange dreams about back stairways, hiding from strangers, and people holding what looked like toddlers, but when they turned around, they were all elderly people who had shrunken down to baby size...but still had normal sized heads and bad grandma perms.  Very disturbing.
I decided to just get up.  I asked the boys if they wanted to go outside.  Usually they respond enthusiastically. Today, I got this:

I finally had to just lift them out of bed, and carry them to the back door.  Cooper (the white one) is sometimes a bit above going in the backyard.  He is really more of a front yard kind of dog.  I typically have to walk down into the grass in order for him to lower himself to backyard standards.
Very unfortunate for me, considering the temperature, and the fact that the grass was also wet.
(Note to self: Leave shoes by the back door.)
While standing there (for a full 5 minutes...he is also extremely particular about where he pees..) I noticed that even the squirrels were working against me today.

I closed my eyes, and imagined how I would change the path my day was taking.  My day one plan was "incorporate yoga into your daily routine."  Yes...that is exactly what I would do.  I pictured a nice, relaxing time of stretching and focusing on the positive.
I might even pretend I was blonde.

I would imagine meditating in that cool chair I have been wanting for years....
While listening to my Zen fountain..
Yes.  This would turn my day around.

Then I opened my eyes.  And saw our dock.  It is no longer a "deck" because Mark sawed all the railings off of it this summer.  They were rotting, and he figured someone would lean on them and crash to their death.  So, now, I pretend it's a dock.  From inside, if you squint really hard, you can almost imagine water beyond it.  Green water...but water.  We really have taken the time to make the dock look extra beautiful this year, as you can see here:
Actually...the plan is to just tear it down...but we can't afford to put another one up. So, for now, the dock remains.  And obviously, I should probably put THAT on my to-do list.

Okay.  Look past the dock...look past the dock.  Walk toward the good chakra!  Sadly, our kitchen is in-between the dock, and the yellow-brick-road-to-good-chakra-aka-zen-land.  
I went to bed early last night.  I thought maybe the kids would cut me a break. Maybe?
Oh hell no.
one more....just so you can feel my pain

I seriously stood amidst this vision of....I can't even think of words to describe it...and didn't know how to react.  Tears wanted to come...but the anger inside me didn't allow them through.  I started thinking "I watch A LOT of crime shows.  I am pretty sure I can commit murder and get away with it.  Who is going to miss a couple of teenagers and a husband anyway, right?"

I stepped away.  Cut up a caramel apple.  Mixed up a glass (I use that term lightly..tba) of Spark, and took a bath.
Now, one would expect that Calgon could take it all away.  Nope.  Not even close.  I enjoyed the apple.  Very much.  Then I just sat there and looked around. If I looked up and wasn't horrible.
But it didn't hold my attention....because now my mind could only focus on the mess.
All I wanted was quiet and peace today.  Instead, all I was getting was chaos and clutter.  There was no pill that would cure this.  I could light every damn candle in the house, and it wasn't going to calm me down.
I looked at what SHOULD be a beautiful, relaxing oasis...MY beautiful, relaxing oasis, but I saw nothing but a bunch of crap.

NO amount of Spark is going to get me through this day.
And what is with these horrific "glasses?"  
I realize that, yes they are nice and big, and they were handy when "Bennett the Wonder Dog" lived here, and would try to get in the tub with me, and inevitably knock the glass over.  But they are SO UGLY.  I HATE PLASTIC GLASSES WITH DUMB PICTURES ON THEM.
Why don't I have pretty plastic glasses that LOOK like glass?  Why???

Can you see how peaceful my thoughts are today?

I head back to the kitchen.  Leaving the disaster there for my darling children is not an option. 
1. It will push me over the edge (from which I am currently dangling....perilously)
2. The piano tuner is going to be here in 15 minutes.

I empty the dishwasher, thinking "I'll just put all this stuff in the dishwasher, and call it a day."  Until I find this:
Why yes!  That's murky water that is sitting in the bottom of my CLOGGED DISHWASHER!
And another one of those ugly a$$ cups.

Ironically, I find hand washing dishes therapeutic.  A bubble bath for my hands, while taking any aggression out on the stuck-on food.  I almost find it similar to bathing a baby...(sans the aggressive scrubbing, of course.)  I think it is also the reason why kitchens typically have a window in front of the sink.  I washed, and watched 15 birds (I counted) frolic around the feeders.  Then they would come and sit on the edge of the dock, look out on the (green) "water" and gab a bit, while they enjoyed getting rained on.  I LOVE birds, by the way.  It's unhealthy, as I get very emotionally attached to baby birds who make nests where I can see them.  I usually have a mini break-down for a day or two when they fly away.
Here is my last family.  Peep is the one on top.  We won't talk about it.

So, the dished calmed me down, and the kitchen looks a little less like a bomb went off.

Then the piano tuner arrived.  I knew it was time for me to be quiet, and time for me to write this darn thing. (So sorry for those who read this with your coffee.  I am four + hours late.) :-/
Stress brings on headaches for me.  No, actually LIFE brings on headaches for me.  So I had one brewing already.  Then I sat down to write.  If you have ever listened to a piano being tuned, it involves the tuner POUNDING on one note at a time while he listens to the vibrations.  It is annoying as all get out.  Let me share the proximity of my computer to my piano:
In other words, for the past 90 minutes, I have had my head practically INSIDE the piano as my tuner man has POUNDED on EVERY SINGLE NOTE ON MY PIANO.

There he is! (I was super sneaky when I took this pic...I am pretty sure he will NEVER read my blog.)

SO now, it is 1:15.  I have two hours before I have to look presentable, and go teach piano lessons for four hours.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  :)

What I know for sure is this.  Day one of the challenge has been a challenge.  Tomorrow, I have fun things planned, which will actually push me toward my goals.  Today, my goal is:

(This includes me, and every member of my family.)

Let's get OVER this hump day!  
Happy October! xo

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Don't Tempt Me

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It sounds like the title of an episode of "Revenge."  (I love that show)

I am resisting temptation right now.  Like SERIOUS temptation.  Ever since Lexie got her drivers license last month, I have been using her as my personal "errand girl."  (She hasn't figured out that this isn't supposed to be fun yet.)  ;)
Sometimes, I throw in a little incentive, such as "there are oreos in it for you!"  That always works.  Of course, the definition of "oreos" is not the same for both of us.  For me, that means "yes, you can buy a pack of oreos."  For her, that means "yes, I can buy three packs of oreos, because I need one all for myself, because, well, I just do.  I need to get one for my brother, because he hoards food, and he would take the one pack, and hide it somewhere so no one else could have any.  And then, I suppose, since they are paying for it, I should get a third for my parents."
Oreos, however, do not tempt me.
I made a mistake and told Lexie that she could "go ahead and pick up a 12 pack of soda" while she was on her Target run the other day.  She chose Pepsi.
Now, it is sitting in the garage refrigerator.....just whispering my name.  " you feel that mid-afternoon slump?  I know you are thirsty, and that water you are drinking just isn't hitting the spot, is it?  Just imagine the sound of the can when you crack it open....and all of that bubbly goodness.  Mmmmmmmm.

I usually don't drink soda.  When my sisters and I get together, our "big treat" is a pepsi.  I don't know what the lure is...but it is our forbidden fruit.  All those calories, all of that sugar...we try to avoid it like the plague, but sometimes, temptation wins.  

It's funny, the things that make us temporarily lose all control.  We all have our vices.  I guess I should be happy that mine is pepsi, and not cocaine.  What I wish I could understand is why all of the "temptations" that we encounter are typically considered bad.  Why am I never tempted to scrub my floor?  Or run three miles?  I suppose I might be tempted to do it, but not to the point that I am practically chaining myself to the deck railing to resist it.  Heck, not even to the point of actually doing it!
I would be lying if I said pepsi is my only vice.  I might as well just come clean.  There are a few.
Some are really more weaknesses.  I am going to just lay it all out here.
Beth's Vices: 
Baked goods.  Almost all of them...I do not discriminate.
Pretty things.
Shopping for those pretty things.
Shopping for shoes.
Pasta. (specifically with marinara sauce)
Bread (fresh, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside, and still warm.)
Office supplies...but they have to be pretty.  I can't resist.
Finnottes Caramel Apples...with nuts.
CBS on Thursday night.
Jamie Fraser.  (If you read/watch will understand)

^^^^need I say more??!!^^^^

Now, I do believe my life would be better...or at least more productive if I were able to rewire my brain to switch up the things that tempted me.  For SURE I would have a "bicycle tire", as opposed to the "monster truck tire", that currently resides around my waist.
So, once I figure out how to re-program my brain, the following with become my new vices:

Exercise.  Not obsessive, just nice and healthy.
Vegetables.  Sans the dip.
Cleaning and organizing.  (Bring on the OCD!)
Jamie Fraser.  :)

Let's hope I can figure out this re-wiring in the next 24 hours, because October is almost here...which means this "31 Day" thing I signed up for is going to start.  The procrastinator in me is thinking "you still have a day to change your theme!  You can write about anything you want!  You could do 31 Different Ways to Take a Nap!  Or 31 Days, 31 New Pairs of Shoes!" (Wait...trying to stop doing that.)
Well, maybe I will try to spend less time thinking up excuses, and a little more time staring at that picture of Jamie Fraser....I mean, getting prepared for October 1st.
But right now, I am going to go have a conversation with that can of pepsi.  I'm not sure who is going to prevail...but at least I only have one more day of "weakness" allowed.  Maybe I just need to finish that damn 12-pack up so I don't have anything left to tempt me.  Because, really, eliminating the temptation is the best way to conquer it!  (Crap, I just sent my husband to the store to get me some more carameled apples.  I better eat those up by Wednesday too.) 

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rumor Has It

Monday, September 29, 2014

The summer between my sophomore and junior year in college, I lived in a big old house on 16th Street in La Crosse.  It was divided into two "apartments," as it had full kitchens on both levels.  We all lived in it as one big house though.  It was full of bats and centipedes, and we figured we would all enjoy all of our furry friends together.  (Excuse me a moment, as I recover from my skin crawling.  It's been over 20 years, and I still haven't gotten over it.)
At the beginning of that summer, I was single.  I'm not sure if it was "blissfully" single....but it was definitely single.  I have to admit, I wasn't very good at being a single girl.  I hadn't learned how to enjoy my own company I got lonely really quickly.  I don't think I was capable of eating in a restaurant alone until I was 30.  Luckily, I was involved in theater, and I played in a band, so my evenings were always filled with something to do.  During this time, I noticed a boy/man starting to take some interest in me.  I'm not sure that he had earned the title of "man" at this point.  I shall henceforth refer to him as "guy."  Our paths had often crossed through mutual friends, and we had always been somewhat flirtatious with one another.  You should probably take into account that this occurred in the olden days, before cell phones and internet, so the only way to communicate was to actually call each other on the TELEPHONE, or leave it to fate and hope your paths would cross.
Well, he started stopping by my bat house in the afternoons.  I found this a little odd, since callers who wanted to woo young ladies would typically stop over in the evening, and attempt this crazy thing called a "date."  Yeah, that never happened.  Anyway, whenever he would come over, I'd say "what do you want to do?"  I don't recall him saying much...but if I would do something like turn on the TV, he would usually leave within 5 minutes.  This was the strangest "relationship?" I had ever been in.  As the days went by, I noticed that he DID have a goal.  It had nothing to do with getting to know me.  Let me rephrase that.  It had nothing to do with getting to know my personality.  Since subtlety IS my specialty, I will state it this way.  If the TV had been located in my bedroom, it is very likely he would have chosen to stay for longer than 5 minutes.  Thank God it wasn't.  Once this became blatantly obvious, my interest in trying to figure out this guy ended.  Abruptly.  Seriously dude?! gets better.  About a week later, I ran into him downtown.  With his GIRLFRIEND.  (And I knew her.)  Now it all made sense.  This is why he came by in the afternoon. (She was probably still at work.  He wasn't that ambitious....he didn't work.) This is why he had zero interest in having a conversation or just hanging out.  I was to be his conquest.  Why? I have no idea.  All I knew was that I was thoroughly disgusted, and had lost ALL respect for this guy.  And that disgust lingers today.  And guess what....that sweet, pretty girl married him. 
The reason I bring this story up?  Well, I have steered clear of this guy's life, even though we have several mutual friends.  I have no idea what kind of husband or father he is.  I hope the best for his wife and kids.  Sadly, my opinion of him has not improved.  It would appear that perhaps, since he is no longer able to chase after his potential conquests, he now choses to stir up trouble for others instead.  I know, because he did it to me.  Yep.  A friend of mine offered to walk me and my kids to our car one night when there were a lot of people out, and many had been drinking.  I thought it was a chivalrous gesture, and accepted.  That guy saw us walking together, and a rumor began.

I will not pretend that I am not judgmental.  If you wear leggings as pants...and your top does not cover your butt...I will JUDGE YOU LIKE CRAZY!  If your 18 month old has a bottle filled with pepsi hanging out of her mouth, I will probably be inclined to judge you.  If you do ANYTHING mean or hurtful to an animal or child...I will not only judge you...but I will probably go ballistic on you, and it's going to get really ugly.  Consider yourself warned.
However, when it comes to your private life.....I will NEVER judge you.  There is nothing that bothers me more than when people make assumptions, gossip, spread rumors, or stick their noses into other people's personal business.  How can anyone pretend to know what is going on in another person's home or in their heart?  
I think we all become very good at outside appearances.  We look like we have everything together.  We present our very best for the world to see.  We smile, our children behave (on good days) and look adorable (on good days), and our marriages appear to be loving and enviable.  The world would be a beautiful place if that were actually the case for everyone.  You have to wonder how many of those pretty, smiling moms are just holding it all in until they finally get to their car, so they can let go of the tears they have been choking back for the past hour.  Or how many of those married couples get in that car, without saying a word to each other all the way home, only to retreat to their separate bedrooms for the night.  None of us can know what it is like to walk in anothers' shoes.  None of us has the right to make the assumption that we do.  I think of all the people I know who have been hurt because of the cruelty of others.  Other people who somehow allow themselves the right to interject themselves into a situation they know nothing about.  People who see what they want to see, and create a false story around it.  People who perhaps have become bored with their own lives, and instead, feel the need to force themselves into the lives of others.
How do we know?  I remember getting a letter from my aunt telling me my cousin was getting a divorce.  I had JUST been with her the month before.  She was with her husband....everything appeared fine.  I had NO idea. Two months later, she was killed in a car accident.  It breaks my heart everyday that I wasn't there for her during that difficult time in her life.  If I had known, maybe I could have offered her my support...or done something to help her.  But I am sure she said nothing....because she didn't want to be judged.  
I think of friends who have had their dirty laundry aired publicly.  How many news stories do we read that only give us half the information?  It is so easy to to place the blame on one person, and shine a negative light on them.  But I have to wonder, how many people reading these stories actually take a step back and think, "wait a minute....why isn't anyone reporting about the other person's perspective?  Why are we only getting half of the story?"  I think we can be too complacent, and simply let ourselves believe everything we hear or read. I wonder how many lives have been damaged beyond repair, simply because their side of the story was never reported.  No wonder people hold things in.

 How many people are in our lives right now...hurting, and alone, yet too afraid to say anything?  Think of how much easier some situations in your lives would have been, if only you could have opened up and talked about it, without the fear of being judged.  Without the fear of becoming the latest gossip.  Why is it that the most hurtful, heartbreaking parts of our lives are exactly what the people that live to spread gossip feed on?

Many years ago, I made a pact with myself...and continue to strive to stand by it:

1. Never judge anyone unless you have walked in their shoes.  (you haven't)
2. Never make assumptions.
3. There are always TWO sides to every story.

My hope is that you can make this pact with yourselves as well....and that you will never be on the receiving end of unfair judgement.  You never know what the person next to you may be going through.  A little compassion and understanding goes a long way.

xox Here is some love to start your week!! xox

Side note:  I questioned whether I should publish this post or not.  I think the message is very relevant, but the topic is also sensitive.  I have actually been feeling a lot of turmoil this weekend over all of this....for several reasons.  This is the time of year all of this happened a few years ago.  Also,   I was invited to a gathering that I would have loved to have attended, for several friends I haven't seen for years were going to be there....but so was "he" I stayed home, and missed out.  I have to laugh, considering the fact that only a few days ago I was writing about how I "haven't felt this peaceful and content in years"....and then one memory hits, and it throws me into a tailspin.  I am sure we have all dealt with that...which is one reason I will send this out into cyberspace.  The other reason is this:  I started writing this before playing for church Saturday evening.  I definitely felt like a power higher than myself was sending me a message when the Second Reading began.  Allow me to share a portion of it with you...
Philippians 2:1-5
Brothers and Sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.  Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others.  Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Good Things

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Birthday to my niece India!  
(Sorry if I embarrass you India, but it's my job.)
So, India is gorgeous.  She is the one child out of the 12 kids my sisters and I have birthed from our loins that actually has dark hair AND dark eyes.  Like really dark hair and eyes.  My daughter always comments after a family gathering: "India should be a supermodel." (I'm sorry Emily...I know we want to keep this one humble and sweet.  I will stop now....well, in just a sec.)
Happy birthday India.  Yes, I stole a pic off your fb page.  I chose not to use one that you look 25 in, but rather, the beautiful 15 that you are. :)
(told ya she was a cutie) is one she looks 25 in.
And here is why she could be a super model.  Good Lord.

However, despite being ridiculously gorgeous, this girl is also hilarious, brilliantly sarcastic, (a quality I appreciate...a lot) artistic, musical, and a baking genius...and these are just a few of her amazing qualities. So there is that.

Sundays are my "GOOD THINGS" day, and India is definitely a "good thing." :)


I had hoped to spend today on a little adventure, that I would share with you.  However, I am tired, discontent, and cranky.  I think my day would be best spent pondering what the heck my problem is while I sit in the luxury of my bed. (aka: take a nap.)

I will, however, share some other good things with you, before I retreat to my cave.

Apple pie.  Because the fact that I eat a caramel apple everyday isn't quite enough.
and yes...I make mine fancy....this time I added flowers.  That is cinnamon, btw.  I didn't burn it. ;)

My bountiful garden.  
Need I say more?  I am very close to earning the title "Master Gardener."

My beginners yoga finally arrived!
plus a cardio video...for when I'm feeling extra ambitious

And even more importantly....everything in my yoga kit....along with the fabulous tote I ordered...
coordinates with my furniture.  Because this is VERY important.

No matter where I little fluff ball is ALWAYS there.
He knows I appreciate a soft foot stool. ;)

And my very favorite good thing of new shoes.
Now I have them in charcoal gray (I think this is my new favorite color)

Hilltopper purple.  (I have to support my kids school!) ;)

And is time for Ms. Grumpy Pants to take a nap.
^^^^Grumpy Pants^^^^

Happy Sunday Everyone!!   I hope your day is filled with GOOD THINGS!