Four Years – 2017

Still can’t believe it’s been four years. So much has changed in that short span of time… marriages, divorces, babies, graduations…. life has continued even though there were days we didn’t think we could make it another minute, let alone another day..

With so many changes a lot remains the same. I continue to be in awe of Rick and Roxanne… their strength is beyond anything I have ever seen. Their faith remains in tact.. and their love for one another is unwavering.

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Isaiah, well.. he has probably taken this better than all of us combined. His smile can light up any dark day you may be having and all you have to do is look at him to know that God definitely exists. He is the perfect example of acceptance, strength, grace, and faith.

He will forever be my hero and one of the loves of my life. I will continue to pray for a miracle and continue to remind myself of the lessons that have come from this… let go of what I thought should be happening and rejoice in what IS happening. ❤️❤️

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My July Books

I have this thing about reading multiple books at a time. I have one for when I want to get away, one that’s good for me, one that’s just for fun, and one to teach me something. Up until the last few years, I have never had trouble “keeping up”. I could pick up a book and jump on in, knowing exactly where I had left off and what was happening. These days, though, it hasn’t been as easy.

Forget that I have had NO time to actually READ any of these books but, even when I do, I spend more time having to go back and reread so I know what the hell is happening. But that convo might be for another time…

Nonetheless, here are my current BOOKS IN PROGRESS:

The Book to Teach Me Something: Unleash Your Inner Money Babe by Kathrin Zenkin. Ok, so the fact that I even BUY this many books at a time should tell you that I have some serious spending issues. Issues that need to be resolved ASAP, as in NOW. So I thought I would dig deep into what the hell makes me NEED to buy so much crap ALL THE TIME.and teach me a thing or two about manifesting; a topic I am SUPER into right now. Sounds like a win-win.

 

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I wish this chic luck; she has her work cut out with me. (wonder what I will do with that extra $1k)

So, occasionally, The Book to Take Me Away and the Book that’s Good For Me are one in the same. This month I am reading Jodi Piccoult’s; small great things. I have read ALOT of Jodi’s books and, for some reason, I always have a hard time getting into them. Then when I do, I cant put it down. And when I’m done, I am, literally, worn out. She has a way of touching each and every emotion that leaves you spent. It’s amazing and exciting and exhausting all at the same time.

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This book has been no different. I have struggled to get through the first 100 pages. Each character is so complex. I keep having to go back to figure out who each person is (or it’s the age thing, again, who knows). Anyway, I’m on page 102 and have been for a while now. I think I have everyone figured out and I even think I know the outcome but things are never as they seem with her so the odds of that are slim. Nonetheless, I’m inching along. Page by page, person by person, decade by decade…

 

The Book that’s Just For Fun: I stumbled across a new (to me) author in a used books store the other day and I REALLY REALLY like it… Jamie Brenner, and her Forever Summer was a real enjoyment. It was easy to get through, the characters were super relatable and I really liked the ending. It wasn’t anything that made you ponder life as you know it but I did shed a tear and, maybe, even belted out a laugh or two. I totally recommend if you are laying on a beach somewhere.. which is where I was when I read this.

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Friends are like a Rubik’s Cube…

I read somewhere that friends were like a Rubik’s Cube. The quote said something to the effect of; “Sometimes all your squares line up and sometimes they just don’t!”

I loved this analogy as I can completely relate to it; especially when I think of these two amazing women.. 
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There are so many different “squares” that make up our lives: health, children, relationships, work, finances etc. It’s practically impossible to get each of these squares to line up, neatly creating that perfect square of color, not just on one side but on all.

I remember the days of frustration when I just couldn’t solve that cube so one day I peeled all the colored squares off and stuck them back on to make it look as though I had actually conquered that stupid thing.. only to find out that It didn’t really work. The edges eventually started to curl up and peel off on their own. Lesson learned that day- you can’t force it.

And that’s us… we may not spend every single day together, we may go weeks without a single conversation, our edges may even begin to curl up and start to peel off, but when we need one another, we’re there. Somehow our personal rows align and all our colors magically come together- no forcing necessary.

In the end, I don’t suppose we really want ALL our squares to line up all the time, do we? If they did, the game would be over and where’s the Fun in that? 

She’s a Girl!

(original post from 2016)
My daughter took her car to a sleep over for the very first time. A part of me was pretty pleased to have reached this milestone; I didn’t have to get out of my comfy bed to drop her off, and even better, I didn’t have to get up early to pick her up. That was especially helpful since I hadn’t slept much thinking of all the things that could be going on now that she had her car with her and listening out for sirens all night (a trait I clearly inherited from my mother).
What gets me is – my boys did the exact same thing at her age. Why is this time so different?
I’d like to say it’s because she’s my baby and I am having a hard time letting go but I think the real reason, sadly, is that she’s a girl!
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THAT goes against everything I have ever tried to instill in her.. I have told her every chance I got that her gender plays absolutely no part in what she can and cannot do. It would play no part in what I ALLOWED her to do.. I even reminded my boys that the fact that she was a girl had no bearing on how they were to treat her.. was it all bullshit? Did this only apply to UIL related activities but not real life?
A friend of mine and I were having a conversation about an outing after PROM. We were both struggling with letting the girls attend. Her daughter reminded her that her brother had gone the exact same year.. she took me aback when she said; “yes, but she’s A GIRL!”.. I wasn’t taken aback that she said it, I was taken aback that I agreed!
So is everything I have ever told her about being “a girl” all bullshit?

Less is more..

At the beginning of this year, I wrote Back to Basics . This basically described my plan to take it down a notch; a streamlining of sorts..

Since then I stumbled across the cutest lady on Netflix who was all about this. Marie Kondo describes how everything in your “space” has one purpose and that’s to bring you joy.. OK, I get that.. So where do I start?

First thing Marie tells you is NOT to sort by location but by category.

OK – so what’s bugging me the most right now?

Shoes! I have sooo many and I always wear the same ones (Tieks, in case you are wondering) which I keep in a bin. Right now I don’t know if I wear them because I really do love them or because they are the easiest to get to.

Anyway, here we go..

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These are the shoes in ONE of my THREE closets. I sorted and found that I, pretty much, hated most of them. I gave a few to my mom, put a few on Poshmark, and donated the rest… this is all I have left.

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Do I feel better? Lil bit.. Question is, where do I go from here?

Back to Basics

2019.. another year is behind us.. a brand new one is right before us..

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This year I decided to forgo the usual resolutions I make each and every year.. to skip the annual Jan 1st through Jan 5th diet and only promise myself one thing.. go back to the basics..
What does that mean? I don’t really know for sure.. I think it means that I will look at my cell phone a lot less and stare at my kids faces a lot more; draft a few less emails and send a handwritten card in its place every now and then – yes, with an actual stamp (that is still a thing, right?) Maybe I’ll pass up one weekend of Netflix binging and take a drive to the beach instead.. who knows.. right now, the possibilities are endless…

Twenty Five! You are TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD!.​

Twenty Five! You are TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD! Your dad and I were “children” ourselves when you were born, or at least we felt like it.

The day you were born was probably the scariest day of our lives. Parenthood started by me climbing out the window of your tia Minnie’s house. That, alone, should have been a clue as to the adventure that we were about to go on. One that continues until this very day.

We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but there you were, eight pounds, eight ounces, and, probably the prettiest baby in the nursery (and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mother, it was true). We held you, we fed you, we slept at the foot of your bassinet until that thing could no longer hold you and fell so we had no choice but to put you in a crib that was on the other side of the room. You would think we had put you in another house the way your dad was carrying on, constantly getting up to check on you.. We weren’t perfect parents, not by a long shot, but we loved you as much as any two people could love another little soul. While we know we made a FEW mistakes, we’d like to think we did a pretty good job. Here you stand before us; one of the most strong-willed, compassionate, intelligent men I have ever known.
And yeah, you may be an adult already but there are still some things you need to know; so here goes: MOM’S WORDS OF WISDOM ON YOUR 25th BIRTHDAY

Everyone needs friends.

I get that you are an independent soul and prefer to have your time to do whatever you want, when you want- EVERYONE needs to have a small, handful of friends they can count on. Find that tribe.. and don’t ever let them go.

Write down your thoughts.

I know you think that we have ZERO things in common but we are much more alike than either one of us cares to admit. So I’m telling you now; write something every day. Even if it’s just what you did that day, write it down. Fears, song lyrics that struck a chord, things that made you smile, random thoughts that popped into your head out of nowhere – write them down. Look back on your notes every now and then and relish in the memory. You are going to have to just trust me on this one..

Family is important.

It still amazes me how different the three of you are from each other. As an only child, I didn’t really understand the dynamics between siblings until I had you guys. As much as I would love to say that we have raised all of you the same, who are we kidding? Not even close… But that’s only because each of you are your own unique person. We’re actually quite proud of your differences, knowing that each of you has a quality unlike the others, but at the end of the day, we are all FAMILY and being a family is so important. So as crazy as we may make you know that we are the only people that’ll support you no matter what. No matter how far away we are, how busy we may be, we, your family will always love you..
And even if you don’t agree that Michael Keaton was the best batman around, I still love you with all of my heart and I always will – whether you like it or not.

Your life is what you make of it.

Last, but not least, this is YOUR life, so make of it what you want! Be a lawyer, be a plumber, own a comic book store – doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with it. There is only one stipulation; if you’re gonna own a comic book store, it HAS to be as cool as the one in the Big Bang Theory, otherwise, be a lawyer.

I hope your day continues to be a great one and I hope your love of pancakes never, ever goes away!

Happy Happy Birthday, Derek. We Love you to the moon and back!

About Me

One of the first assignments I was given when I first decided to go down the Mass Comm road was to create a blog. At first, it was an assignment, but after a while, it grew on me and I decided to keep it up. I even went as far as buying the domain and creating other social media accounts tied to it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I LOVED everything about social media – and I do mean all of it.  In no way does that “define” me but that, and taking pictures, is a HUGE part of who I am.

It’s amazing how things change. One day, I was a wife and a mom and THAT defined me, then before you know it, im not “just” a mom anymore; as they have grown and left and I have to find new things for myself. It really is a very strange transition.

Luckily, I managed to get through it, relatively unscathed, and now here I am.

My family is still my #1 motivator but now its me I work on and myself I try to do for.. the rest you can read here.. (About Me)

Top Five Places to Visit

Top 5 Places to Visit

I love to travel… I will go anywhere, anytime – all I need is a few minutes notice and I will be packed and sitting by the curb waiting for someone, anyone to pick me up.

I am lucky enough to say that I have been to some pretty amazing places.

My five most favorite are as follows:

  1. Washington, D.C.

There are a TON of monuments to see in DC but everyone said that you could not go there without seeing The White House so we did.. and it was.. well.. white.. Ok, so I’m from Texas and we have HUGE houses here.. so I really wasn’t all that impressed.

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  1. St Louis, Missouri

I became quite the tourist while in St. Louis.. One of my favorite places I think you should check out if you are ever in the area is the Budweiser Brewery. They give you free beer. Do I really need to say more?

 

  1. Mexico City, MX

Mexico City, actually Mexico, in general, has gotten a bad rap lately with all of this bad press regarding safety. The truth is; it’s a BEAUTIFUL place to visit and one of my absolute favorites. Just like anywhere else, you need to be aware of your surroundings, you need to remain vigilant at all times, but that’s just common sense. The city itself – stunning! The architecture, the people, THE FOOD – absolute best!

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  1. New York City

What is there NOT to say about NYC? It’s an amazing place that has a little something for everyone. My last visit there was with my daughter during a time she was obsessed with Gossip Girls so our entire trip consisted of all things GG. We stayed at the Empire Hotel, we visited the spots in Central Park the cast frequented, we basically reenacted an entire season – and I LOVED every single second of it!  You can read more about it on my blog here.. Gossip Girls Take on NYC

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  1. Las Vegas

I like to call this place the “Adult Disneyland”. For me, it is, literally, the happiest place on earth. I was JUST there this past weekend and although I have been there soooo many times, I loved just as much as I always do.


There are so many new activities now that extend so far beyond the gambling and drinking; though, who are we kidding, that’s still why I go but, if you should choose to make it a family trip, rest assured, there is PLENTY for people of all ages to do. There are shows and exhibits and “experiences” such as the High Roller, and shopping! The shopping there is THE BEST! There are restaurant galore- and the shopping! Wait, I think I already mentioned that!

Holy Crap! You’re TWENTY!

Holy crap! YOU ARE TWENTY YEARS OLD! How did that happen? WHEN did it happen? Wasn’t it just the other day we were getting you ready for your first dance recital?

 

You have always been more mature and wiser than your years so there isn’t a whole lot for me to tell you. If I remember correctly, at this time I was telling the boys not to get too ahead of themselves, to slow down and enjoy the view, not to drink too much; you know, typical college student stuff. But that isn’t you at all. A part of me thanks GOD every single day for this and the other part wonders where the heck you came from because that clearly isn’t anything you learned from me or dad.

And yes, I desperately tried to refrain from sharing my annual Words of Wisdom but I failed miserably so the tradition continues…

MOM’S WORDS OF WISDOM ON YOUR 20TH BIRTHDAY

*Quality over quantity

Just like your brother you are so blessed to have a great group of friends that have been there through it all. Cherish them, love them, tolerate the growing pains you may all be suffering and get through them together; just like you have gotten through everything else.

*Self-care is key

Always make time for yourself. You can’t take care of all of your very important school obligations if you don’t take care of yourself first. This will apply when you get a job, have a husband and a house to run, have kids…. Whatever stage you may be in life ALWAYS make sure you leave a little “me time” in there and don’t EVER feel bad about it. EVER.

*Counting calories isn’t worth it

Being healthy is important but counting calories is just a waste of time and energy. Try and eat right, stay active, and you will be fine.. you managed to get through your first year and a half of college without adding an ounce; I think you’re safe..

*Makeup isn’t always necessary, but sometimes it is

You are beautiful inside and out (of course, I’m your mother so I’m sorta biased but whatever, it counts). You don’t always have to wear a ton of makeup. It’s ok to be natural.. SOMETIMES! There are times when you do. When you feel your best, you reflect the very best. Just make sure you take care of your skin.. don’t wait till your 40’s to figure that out like I did.

*Take risks

We never regret the risks we take, only the ones we didn’t. Sure, it could turn out to be a mistake of ginormous proportions, but oh well… life will go on… I promise.

*Follow your passions

You’re going to be in the workforce for quite a while so find something you’re passionate about. Go into a field you love no matter what the pay is. If you enjoy what you do, money won’t matter. I still believe you would LOVE the world of plastic surgery – just saying.

*Be open minded

We live in a diverse, ever-changing, always evolving world. Be open-minded about everything. Learn as much as you can from the people around you, especially the ones who think differently than you do. Appreciate the differences, don’t judge them.

*Pay attention to the political issues

Please don’t become one of those people who can speak of nothing other than politics but pay enough attention to the issues so that if/when you enter into that sort of conversation, you give an educated, well-informed opinion. And if you should come across someone who’s opinions are in complete contrast to yours (and you will) don’t be ugly about it… listen to their views, try and understand where they may be coming from, stand your ground, and vote your conscience. You don’t always have to agree with everyone’s opinions in order to remain friends but you do have to respect them.

While we may not be there to celebrate with you physically, know that our hearts are with you every second of every day; especially today.

Have an amazing day, my baby! Mom and Dad love you to the moon and back!