Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex and the City Friday!!

YAY!! Can you tell what I've been looking forward to this week??

I admit it, I am one of those women who are going to line up tonight and see it on opening night, I've got a girlfriend I'm picking up on the way and we are going to see how the drama unfolds.

I've been anticipating todays post all week - (odd, I know) I've debated a few ways I would take it but have decided on the only one that truly suits me..."Why are we so enthralled with SATC?"
The show ran for six seasons on HBO and then turned around (did a little editing) and re-ran on cable TV. I watched it on HBO, bought the series on DVD and on occasion I still catch a late night episode on cable tv when I'm all caught up on TiVo. But what's with the fasination?

All week long there's been articles written about the impending movie release:
Love Lessons from Sex and the City
Sex and the City Number of sex partners true?
What I learned from Sex and the City
Where we got by watching Sex and the City

But none of these can really capture what that essence was that grabed us and had us watching the episodes. When the show aired I was not 30 something, single-yes, business successful-no, drinking cosmos at upscale bars with awesome friends-no and yet I tuned in faithfully. Many years later, I'm knocking on 30 something's door, married, still don't drink cosmo's at upscale bars or hang out with awesome friends, but I can at least say that I have experienced this from time to time, just not on a regular basis.

In an effort to be fully ready tonights movie going experience, I have been re-watching the series on DVD and one thing I've noticed is that while the show touches on issues that are real in the dating/relationship world the rest is not likely to happen (at least not nearly as often as they make it happen.) Seriously who picks up a new guy each week? Even when I was single and a little free spirited I didn't do that. So once again, why did I watch? Why do most women watch?
I can't speak for other women out there, but for myself it was good entertainment. In the moments when I was single I could relate to looking for love in all the wrong places, of wanting the one person (Mr. Big) who was unavailable and of needing the good friendships to get me through the rough patches when it seemed like the world had a twisted sense of humor and I would be forever alone. Even as a married woman, I still have relationship issues, sometimes my commitment phobeia flares up and I want to run for the hills, but now I know (and treasure) those friendships that have suffered thru many a drinking/male bashing night.

It wasn't just about sex it was about friendship, the cornerstone of any good relationship that kept me coming back. The issues were never far fetched (growing older, looking for love, break-ups, unmarried/unplanned pregnancy, commitment fears, infidelity and others) and so I could relate...the outcomes might have been a little far reaching at times, but it was always entertaining to see how they were going to get there.

Did you watch ever watch the show?? Why?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Geek Humor

After yesterday's post, I thought I would share a bit of humor. I've mentioned before that I work in computers (and have for 10yrs.) I've done my time as help desk/support (the people you talk to on the phone when there's a problem), Network administration (the people behind the scenes who fix the problem) and Management (the people with the big title who 'play nice' with the bosses and generally run damage control.) With the recent article The Customer Service Hall of Shame I thought I would post a few of my favorite gems as seen from the 'other' perspective.
**DISCLAIMER** This is not to say all users are less than computer savvy, just that there are a rare few who should not be allowed anywhere near them!

Entered on 04/22/2008 by Robert :
Have been on leave since noon Thursday to Tuesday morning. In that
time, 900+ e-mails - all spam - have accumulated in my web e-mail account ... all spam. Is there a way to filter this out? Or, at a minimum to temporarily disable the
account until the spammers stop using my account ID, etc.? Thanks for
any help you can give. (I left the spam e-mails in the account so you can
see what I'm talking about. The web account is spammed@haha.com

Yes Robert, let me use my Jedi mind tricks and convince the spammers not to use your account anymore. I'm sure they will understand completely as soon as I explain that you do not like having 900+ emails in your inbox while you are away. In addition to this, you really should ask those porn sites you keep visiting from sharing your work email address with spammers (you wouldn't have to use your work address if you weren't hiding from your wife.)

Entered by Dwight :
Email eror

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Subject:
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

wavier@can't-spell.com
The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this
message was sent to. Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient
directly to find out the correct address.

(Please see attachement of screen shot of settings, I need to send email to do work functin)

Dwight, I understand that email does not come with spell checking capabilities within the address field, however as evident from the other misspelled words within your request, you might want to invest in a dictionary. The email in fact does not exist as you have spelled it, waIver is the correct spelling and that email DOES exist. Respell and try again.
Some of my all time favorites -
"Why isn't the printer printing my document...I need this right now? It says it's out of toner, does that mean it won't print?"
Sure it will print....it will only take a minute for it grab a pen so it can write it all down and then you can have your copy.
"The meeting just disappeared off my calendar, I didn't delete it, I didn't touch it, poof..it is just gone. Do I have a virus?"
Um, no virus is going to steal just the one calendar event. BTW...check your deleted items as I do see the calendar event you are referring to in there, it might have been an accidental deletion, even though I know you are perfect and would NEVER make such a mistake.
Do you ever have any of those I-D-ten-T's (go ahead and write it out, you know you want to) in your office that make you go ?HUM?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Letter Unspoken

Dear You,

Today is your day and while part of me is happy and excited for you (because I am a mother and know the joy a child can bring) I can't help but feel there are a few things I need to say to put it all to rest.

I've never taken the time to speak what is on my mind. I've been too preoccupied with the belief that you would wake up one day and feel miserable for walking away from a piece of you (and secretly hoping you would get your karmic payback) all the while believing I would be the "bigger" person, the accepting person, the one who would be better than letting your young, stupidity reduce me to the same level. I was wrong. Instead of moving past this I have harbored secret ill will towards you for six very long years. I have learned this has done more to me than it ever will to you and that it is time to move on.

Six years ago my life changed (ultimately for the better.) I can remember the day as vividly as if it was yesterday how things began to unravel. I had just found out that I was pregnant and I couldn't believe it, I was not excited and I didn't know what to do. We had talked about 'accidents' and if one should happen what we would do, I swore I would never tell you and you admitted that you wanted to know. That day I broke down in tears and I called. You were on your way to play football with the guys and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to say to someone - and I wasn't even face to face.

We talked and I tried to put on a brave face saying I would do what needed to be done and talk to you once it was over - we[you & i] were never meant to last, I didn't want to be tied to someone and I really wasn't ready for this. In the end, I couldn't do it. I laid on that table and heard the sound of her heart, I saw the tiny, grainy image on the screen and knew there was no way I would be able to go thru with the procedure and I left. I drove 2 hours to see you and remember buying a "daddy's bib and a book" for you, you said you would support me and you said you wanted to be there for her because your father had never been there for you...I believed you that day and thought (in my own young naivety) that we were strong enough to make this work unconventionally.

I laid next to you that night and put your hand on the little 'bump' still forming in my belly and wished with all my might that you would love her as much as I. I wished for some sign I was doing the right thing, something to steady my thoughts and reassure me I was not alone, I didn't want to be alone with this. Shortly after, I met your family and as scared as I was not knowing what they thought of me I was beginning to believe it was all going to work. One day, we would all be 'friends' and "our" child would have a happy and loving family even if it was unconventional.

It was New Years Day 2002 when you boarded the plane headed overseas - you promised you would only be a phone call away and it would be ok. It wasn't. Within weeks I was in the hospital scared and alone being told I was in labor and they couldn't stop it. There was a very real chance I could lose this baby and there was nothing they could do but hope and pray. I called you then - drugged and a little sluggish to let you know and you said nothing. What was I hoping you would say? What could you say? That was the first time I ever hated you - that moment right there, I hated you for doing this to me, I hated you for being gone and not having your life turned upside down. I hated you for being able to be young and do what you wanted without any second thought...I just hated you.

Over the next few months I was in and out of the hospital. I was an emotional wreck and I relied on you to reassure me that I was not alone. I thought my life was over and I would always be a "mom" I would never be looked at again as sexy, beautiful, desired...remember I too was young and wanted to be just that. I never regretted the decision I made that day in the clinic, but I did regret with each passing day ever telling you. I regretted knowing you and I regretted thinking it would ever work between us as friends.

The day she was born, I called you that morning, it was evening your time and you were getting ready to go to work, you said you'd call after you got off work. Later that night, after it was all said and done you called and wanted to know if she had all her fingers and toes and if she looked like you or was she 'pasty' like me. I laughed it off, but even then I knew you were not connected to this life. You had no ties to this beautiful little girl who had already won my heart and you would never be much more than a phone call. Two days later I offered you a reprieve (or so I thought) in the form of "being friends for her sake. Nothing should keep her from knowing you and I won't be the wicked witch in this story. We had no feelings for each other and we both knew from the start it was not meant to last, but with her it was." You accepted and agreed that should be the way.

I never put your name on the birth certificate, that would have required your signature and I guess deep down in side I knew you wouldn't stick around. I was selfish and thought if I didn't list you then you would never fight me for what was mine, I thought you could never interfere in my choices with her if you had no rights. You did come to see her briefly when she was 2 months old, I let you stay at my house and sleep in my bed, but it was wrong, it felt all wrong and it was strained. You left 2 days later and despite all your 'kind, but empty' words you never returned. I tried to maintain contact with your mother and family for the first year, but that too eventually became strained and felt awkward. I guess it was about the same time another baby came into their lives and it was obvious that she [our baby] was not apart of their world. My plan to be one happy extended family had failed.

Many times you relocated, but I always knew where you were. I always had a way to contact you in case I needed it - I wanted to know when your life went to sh*t and I secretly always hoped some other woman would take you for all you were worth, I wanted to watch karma come back and get you. We played 'tag' on and off though out the last 4 years, you've apologized and said you didn't deserve a second (third or fourth) chance yet each time you asked and I obliged. I let you communicate with her via telephone and I let her know you were 'daddy.' She wanted so badly to have a father and I just couldn't bear to lie to her or crush that hope because you just weren't around.

Time after time you would promise to come visit, even your wife (girlfriend at the time) inquired about you coming to visit only to end with a lame excuse as to why you could not. I reached my end and told you that I wanted her to be adopted by the only man she had ever known as a 'daddy' figure. You said ok, but began calling each week and doing the things that should have been done sooner. When I questioned you, you admitted that the idea of her being adopted translated to "you not being her daddy." The truth is, you've never been her daddy, it doesn't matter if that is what she calls you, you aren't. Never once have you kissed her booboo's, read her a story, tucked her into bed - you've never even seen her!?!?! I couldn't believe what I was hearing - we moved and I stopped answering my phone. We needed time to adjust, time to move past you. I couldn't answer her questions anymore and she blindly loved you, how could I tell her you hadn't met her because you were to stupid, scared, young to get past yourself and get on a plane?

Over the next year you were married and I made contact again, this time with her too. I had vowed this year would be different and I was going to let go of the hate that I'd been carrying around all this time. It was then that I found out your wife was pregnant, she was due in May (on the very same day as my daughters original due date). Not only was she pregnant, but she was having a little girl and you were excited. It was like someone had knocked the wind from my sails. All my talk of letting the past go came to a halt - how dare you go and have a little girl (you should have had a boy) and in May (seriously there are 12 months to choose from...couldn't you pick a different one.) Yes, I know these are irrational thoughts, but they were honest.

I've spent the last few months getting to know your wife and watching her progress with her pregnancy. I prayed your child would not come early, would be no where near my daughters birthday and happily we escaped that. Today, your wife is being induced and even though I've been supportive throughout, I found it hard to be happy for her and for you when she emailed to say the baby was coming today. It just felt twisted and painful.

For many years, I've projected my thoughts of what should be onto you. I've projected my idea of what life should be like for my daughter and every year you've let me down. It's not so much that it didn't happen as much as it is that for all these years I believe you when you said you would be there. I have always believed you even when I knew better. For six years I've dreamed of the day you would have your very own child, for the day you would get that slap in the face from reality and show you all that you've missed. Today is that day and it doesn't feel good - not like I thought it would.

I've never voiced my true feelings because if I did, that would make them real and I wanted to believe I was better than feeling this way. I wanted to believe I was evolved and mature enough to not care, this just goes to show I'm not. I have however grown enough to admit to my short comings and work to be better than them. You are not entirely to blame for the events that have unfolded over the years, but you are not exempt either. Despite all this, I do wish you a wonderful birth-day of your daughter today. I do wish you all the special moments I've gotten to share with mine and most of all I wish for you the wisdom that comes with age - the kind that can show you how to right the wrongs and let the past live in the past. I'm not saying it will be easy and that I won't feel this way anymore, but for today I am pouring these words, these thoughts out of my soul and setting them free - setting myself free.

Every minute and every choice I've ever made has been worth it, without you I could have had no her.
~K

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2 wolves legend

I've thought long and hard about today's post and actually started a few different drafts, but in the end I thought this would be best.
An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren into the forest and sat them down and said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight and it is a fight between two wolves. One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed. The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness, humility and love.” The children were very quiet and listening to their grandfather with both their ears. He then said to them, “This same fight between the two wolves that is going on inside of me is going on inside of you, and inside every person.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked the chief, “Grandfather, which wolf will win the fight?” He said quietly, “The one you feed.”

There is a fight going on inside me and it has been for a little while now. I'm sure this is part of the 'growing' process, but it is none the easier. I do not want to feed the wrong wolf, but it seems difficult to coax the other wolf into eating what is on offer.

Which one will win..."the one you feed" replied the grandfather, but I believe it is the one with the biggest heart.

Do you ever feed the wolves or have you learned to subdue them?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

To all the military members who serve everyday, past and present, today is for you.
Thank You!



Friday, May 23, 2008

Perseverance

Today's post is inspired by my daughter D.Q. (drama queen)

Yesterday was race day (Zoom thru the Zoo 4mi - 47min finish) and I had come home from work and was changing when she came up to the door and started to talk. I could hear her coming so I decided to head her off -

Me: DQ, I'll be out in a minute
DQ: But mom, I just..
Me: Honey, I said I'll be out in a minute, it can wait.
DQ: Um, I just wanted to tell...
Me: Is it an emergency?
DQ: No, but I wanted...
Me: Then it can wait a minute. I'll be out and then we can talk.
DQ: Ok ... but I was just going to tell you...
Me: DQ!
DQ: Ok...


I heard her wander away from the door chattering to herself and I'm sure your wondering why I just didn't let her talk (we could have had the conversation in the time it took to explain to her I wasn't going to have the conversation.) I hate talking thru the door. Anyhow, during this evolution I noticed something - they don't give up. Kids that is but adults on the other hand, they do.

When did we start giving up on the things that we wanted?

What I mean is where did the drive go to push for something that we want? As a kid, they will try any means necessary to get what they are after but somewhere along the way we learn to give up. I say learn only because it seems they are not born with that as their initial attitude.
Do we give up because we are tired, because we are broken by always being told NO? What about the things that we tell ourselves we cannot attain - those things that we would like to have but can't because of A, B or C.

I want to run a marathon.
I want to lose weight.
I want to become more financially secure.
I want to have a better job.
I want to ....

There are many things that I want to do or accomplish so what is holding me back? Nothing but myself. I am currently the only obstacle in my path and the only reason why I cannot do these things is because I have told myself I cannot. As kids, they find a way to do what they want - tell a kid they cannot have that or do that and they will think about it until they find a way around your reasons or restrictions and attempt to do it anyway. As adults, rarely do we push the envelope. We tell ourselves NO more often than not and (at least in my case) I accept the default reason of "why I can't do it) as proof I cannot and rarely ever look for an alternative method.

Prior to my race yesterday, I was nervous that I would be tired and worn out by the end of my race. I never doubted I could finish, I just thought I would be exhausted and I would look like a fool. Truth is I applied this childhood logic to the run and you know what?? I finished and I wasn't exhausted or worn out. I actually felt like I could keep going - just keep putting one foot in front of the other and the distance would keep melting away.

Maybe that is what we all need a little more of in our lives...perseverance- from a child's point of view.

Do you give up because someone tells you no? I am challenging you to take one situation where there was something you wanted, but didn't go after because you or someone else decided you couldn't and come up with an alternate reason for why you still could do it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hump Day Graduation

Today my little girl graduated kindergarten. The official last day of school is friday, but today was the program and final report cards. It was so sweet to watch the kids sing their songs and see the world thru innocent eyes that think 'anything is possible.'

I am so proud of my little girl. It's hard to believe she's growing up so quickly. I think back to the moments when I used to think this day would never come (or couldn't come fast enough) and now I can't slow it down.

It's an incredible world out there little one...reach for the stars!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Patience is a Virtue...

...that I do not possess and I believe will prove to be my biggest pitfall in future success. Why? Because of 2 reasons actually:

1) I see the end goal and focus on getting to that point (I want X tell me how to get there - NOW.)
2) I don't want to take the necessary steps to get there (if that step requires time) I want to know what I can do to get there in my own time frame (once again, NOW)

I have officially signed & paid for a coach to help prepare me for my upcoming Marathon. I did a couple of trial runs with the coach to see if I thought we would be a good fit and if I liked his style of training (of which I did) and decided to make this a more permanent thing. Afterwards, I was chatting with the coach about goals, training techniques, etc and I realized that we have different views. I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong (although it's been said that mine are closer to wrong) I just believe that I should be able to get from A to C and not necessarily have to go thru B.

Case and Point
I will be running the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis in December '08. This will be the first marathon I've ever attempted (hopefully not the last) and in the planning phase of this process I started doing massive research on marathons, training techniques, personal experiences of others, comments on the specific marathon etc. I have loaded my brain down with LOTS of information. My goals for this race are not only to complete it, but to complete it within 4 - 4.5 hrs. I've given myself 6 months to train and am willing to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.

My coach has other ideas.
  1. No time goals for 1st marathon (complete it then set time goals for next)
  2. aerobic training (endurance) - not anaerobic training (speed) which translates into training for a marathon and not doing monthly 5k's. 3-no race challenges (I had planned to participate in a circuit run which consisted of each 5k, 5mi, 10k, 10mi, half marathon from July-November that he says will interfere with my training.)
My thoughts were simple - if I know what I want and I pay you then I am expecting to be told how to achieve my goals, not told that I only need to be running 3 days a week and my first goal should be to complete a marathon...SERIOUSLY?? I don't want to just complete it, I want to strive for something more...why can't I?

As posted before, the hub is well versed in coaching/training/exercise so I went to him to whine about not getting what I want and you know what...the hub totally backed up the coach. Talk about surprised (not that I didn't think the coach was right, but the hub wasn't keen on me having a coach) so now it is no longer me against the coach but now I am against the coach and the hub.

To be coach you have to be willing to be trainable and I agreed to try and be trainable. By default, my nature is to make nice and do what I want anyhow, but I really want to attain this goal so I think my best bet is to listen, no matter how difficult this may be. Only time and proper training will tell if the end result is what I want and I'll never get there if I don't start somewhere so I guess it all begins here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I've been tagged

Jen at Semicharmedwife tagged me to participate in this meme. I had to think about a few of these for a minute, but I still had fun - so here goes...

Four Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Retail Store Manager (in the mall)
2. LifeGuard
3. IT Manager
4. Defense Contractor

What are four ways you know you are living your life’s purpose?
1. I'm growing and expanding my mind on a regular basis.
2. I'm happy with the direction I am headed
3. I'm look at myself thru the eyes of my children and try to be the best role model I can be
4. I have started attaining goals I set for myself years ago

What are four things you do to take really good care of yourself?
1. I exercise/run regularly (plan a marathon)
2. I find ways to relax (too much stress is VERY bad!)
3. I use sunscreen...very important to aging gracefully! ;)
4. I learn something new everyday

What are the four events that have most formed how you live your life today?
1. Being adopted. This has influenced my life and my decisions many times over.
2. Becoming a parent and taking on the responsibility of a child alone. Nothing bring you back to reality faster than someone who is soley dependant on you.
3. Joining the navy. It provided the structure I crave with the opportunity that I was looking for. It allowed me to become 'myself' without any predetermined ideas/perceptions of who I was supposed to be.
4. Falling in love - it has made me want to be better than I ever am.

What are four things you do to keep your motivation up to work out and eat healthy every day?
1. Post notes/goals/plans in plain sight. (Calendar at work & home, refrigerator, bathroom mirror etc.)
2. Commit myself to activities where someone is counting on me such as running with a group or racing.
3. Provide myself a 'reward' for attaining a premeasured goal (take 4 minutes off my time and I can buy a new running outfit)
4. Carry a mental image of my daughter when she is so excited to say her mom"races' and she is waiting for the day I come home with a medal.

Name four people who have been the most influential in motivating you to change your eating and exercise habits:
1. My Hub. He keeps me on track
2. My blog buddies...they keep me on track/motivated and hold me accountable for what's in print
3. Kristin Armstrong
4. Madison

What are your four top reasons for staying off refined sugar and white flour?
1. I had to take insulin shots while pregnant and I don't want to increase the chance of having to do that again in the future (diabetes runs in the family)
2. Don't like the way they make me feel
3. They keep me from reaching my weight goals
4. I want to teach my children healthy habits.

List four ways that blogging has helped you attain or maintain your goals
1. Allows for an outlet to address issues rather than 'eat' my way thru them
2. Holds me accountable for what's in black and white
3. Provides other like minded individuals who face similar situations and provides comfort in knowing I'm not alone
4. Reading about what other people have attained is a great motivator for what I can accomplish

You’ve been tagged!
1. BuddhaBelle
2. SingleJenn
3. Twenty Six Point Two
4. Shelia

The Rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Post the rules on your blog
  • Share four things in these themes (or replace them with your own “four things” questions)
  • Tag four random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  • Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Social Networking

Today's post is fueled by a headline in the news that I've been following since it hit the media.
I don't know how many of you are familiar with the story of Megan Meier, but here's a quick recap. Megan was a 13 year old girl who was befriended by a boy whom she thought was near her hometown. They chatted on Myspace for about a month before he started sending her mean and hateful messages. One of which stated "the world would be better off without her in it." Shortly after this message, Megan was found hanging in her bedroom closet by her mother and died at the hospital a day later. Fast forward 6 months and the parents of Megan overhear someone talking about the incident and it comes to light that the 'boy' Megan had befriended was actually some girls from school and their Mother(s).
As of yesterday, the mother (who wanted to know what Megan was saying about her daughter) was indicted and will stand charge on 4 counts:
one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress on the girl.
This bothers me on many different levels. I don't know how familiar any of you are with social networking - I am a fan of Myspace and Facebook primarily because it is easier to keep up with friends and family that are scattered around the US. I, however, am not 13 nor do I use this as a means of making friends so it has a different affect on me than in the case in question. I can remember (it wasn't that long ago) being 13 and wanting to be accepted by my peers so I can only empathize with the children who use this as that type of outlet.

Children can be cruel. I think it is hard enough growing up, being a pre-teen/teenager and dealing with social akwardness and your peers much less dealing with a mean/spiteful and sneaky adult. I think this woman, Lori Drew, should face the consiquences of her actions in this situation. She is an adult and she should never have gotten involved in this, much less perpitrated the internet as a teenage boy in hopes of baiting this teenage girl into talking bad about Drew's daughter. Seriously...what would she have done had the girl said something 'ugly' about her daughter?

On a different level, this bothers me because it just shines a light on how much we don't really know about what is going on, on the other end of the computer. As an avid computer person who not only surfs on a regular basis, but also works in the industry and has seen first hand some of the damage that can be done with a computer, it is a bit scary thinking about what the next few generations are up against. We are all aware of internet preditors, people who might not be themselves in hopes of luring kids into unmentionable acts or otherwise. We are trained to look for that type of behavior, to warn our kids of the dangers and to stay alert/be discreet with our personal information. What do we do in instances like this? You know, the kind of instance where the other end of the computer is really someone we know (a neighbor) who just wants to inflict mental harm? How do we avoid or prepare our kids for that?

There was an article about a month ago "Myspace can bring shy kids out of their shell" that addresses the flip side of this coin. Basically this article states that myspace provides a social networking tool that kids can use to gain confidence by finding a group of like minded individuals. The anonymity provided by the use of the internet allows kids to project a more confident image and help them define/understand who they are. Can I see the logic in this arguement, sure. I remember being an awkward teen (back when internet chatting was 'new' and not everyone did it) and creating an online persona where I felt more confident than I did in person. Did this make me more confident in real life, no. However when I finally got away from my very small home town, I was able to create the same type of persona with my new surroundings. It may have helped provide me with the tools I needed to feel confident when I was in a different environment but it did not change my behavior in my previous environment.

I am saddened by all of this. I don't believe there is ever a reason for a young child to die, it's even sadder when they choose to take their own life. With todays technology, we are limited by how much we can do to protect our children however I don't don't believe the adults (mothers/fathers etc) should advocate cruel behavior or participate. As adults we should know better - if nothing else, put yourself in a mothers shoes and think "if this was my child, would I want someone doing it to them?" I sure don't.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

TMYS

Did you ever think "if I had only known then what I know now..." if your like me, I'm sure you have. Take a minute and hop over to BuddahBelle and take a look. This week she is doing a series on Letters To My Younger Self which I think is pretty cool (not to mention I participated in).

I always find it interesting to look back at our lives and reflect on the things we wish we'd known back then. I like to think some of my advice to myself would have made a difference, but who really knows. I was kind of a head strong person who thought she had it all figured out (ok I was a know-it-all) but as I've gotten older I realize that there are more shades of gray than I ever accounted for. In all honesty, I am kind of grateful for some of the 'screw ups' I faced. You know the kind I'm talking about - the ones that could have been avoided. I think it was those moments that helped me become the person I am today, not to mention I know I'm stronger for having survived them. So in the end, maybe it was all just a 'necessary evil.'

What about you...do you think your "words of wisdom" to your younger self would have made a difference? Do you think you would have listened to your own advice??

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May Madness


May is a month I think needs to be wiped off my yearly calendar...ok, THIS May specifically. Why? You might ask...well, for starters I have over crammed my already cramped calendar. Even now as I look at my desk calendar I notice there are very few 'blank' days that haven't been scheduled for something.

I must admit, this is my first year with this problem and I had always thought I would be better prepared for this day, but it sneaked up on me and here I am. Usually I am a rather organized person who likes to have things planned well in advanced, I try to be punctual and effecient, but this month has gotten the best of me. The little drama queen started school this year and May is chock full of school stuff. We have field trips, field days, awards ceremonies, school programs and family picnics. We have soccer games and end of season parties. I have multiple family birthdays this month including D.Q's b-day party. End of the month brings scheduling summer schedules for the kids (D.Q. and Jr(step-son)) as well as major family vacations/time off work and in addition to this year, the hub and I are graduating college. Typically we take our 'getaway' vacation in october but since we are graduating we are doing it early. Also, kind of a last minute throw in....we decided to host a 'Memorial Day celebration' at our house with our friends.

So the party actually started out as a small get together with some friends, but with the timing and amount of people the hub likes to 'invite' why not go all out and throw a big bash! As of yesterday, I volunteered to pull together a end of season party for D.Q's soccer team because the coach is going to be too busy to put it together and I think the kids deserve more than just a "thanks for playing - here' s your trophy." Unfortunately for me, the last game is Saturday, of which, this weekend is booked up at the pool and next weekend is end of school/memorial day and I don't want to interrupt parents plans. So...where does this leave me...thursday. Yep, that's right, if I can pull it off I'm going to throw a mini-pool party for the kids after practice tomorrow night. I'm kind of disappointed because I had planned to run hills with MIM, but I'm sure there will be other Thursdays.

As for Memorial Day party...what to cook? Need to get the new patio furniture, book the bounce house, check the outdoor lights, decorations?? Do I need decorations?? (Of, course!)

I've talked to a few people and they all say the same thing...May is a busy month for them. I don't ever remember it being like this, what happened?? I think in my case it was kids, but who knows! hahahaha

So, here's my question for you (ok, 2 questions.)

1) Do you have a month (this one or another one) where life seems to pick up pace and you rush to get it all in?

AND

2) Do you have any food/drink/dessert suggestions for my Memorial Day Celebration? I was thinking B-B-Q, but don't know what sides/desserts to fix with it. I'm looking for something new and a little different but not difficult, but some of the internet recipies you just don't know about until you try them - I might have to do a trial run on food options this weekend...hehe (see picture above!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding My Identity

Over lunch today, a conversation ensued regarding the hubs disbelief that I could 'pay' someone for running advice when he [the hub] specialized in this in college, has a degree in the subject, has personal and coaching experience and knows me better than this stranger. I obviously do not care for his opinion when I go out and do this and yet come back to "give him a play by play and rub it in his face."

It was hard to hear these words because they stung, truth is that I care very much about the hubs opinions on the subject, I just do not want to be 'coached' by the hub. Contrary to his popular belief, it does not have much to with him but everything to do with my own personal flaws. These are the things I am aware of, but try desperately try to hide. I will go so far as to allow someone to think the wrong idea so that I do not have to point out my weakness.

This is not how it is supposed to be, but it is how I am.

Problem: I do not know who I am. (There, I said it.) I am many things, but at the core of who I am, I don't know. This is a struggle I've been dealing with for many years now without any real answers. I can tell you that thru all of this, I have found many things that I am not but not the one thing that I am. I seek the answers only to find that I desperately cling to anything I can call "my own" until I can define what my own is. The hub, on the other hand, is very comfortable in his own skin, sure of who he is and what he wants so he cannot fully understand this dilemma I have.

Identity is your backgrounds and genetics, culture and religion, traditions and hobbies. It is what makes you. (wikipedia)

It is said that "To know who you are, you need to first come to know who you are NOT." For me, that is the easy part. I was adopted when I was a year old and raised by a family who did not hide the fact that I was adopted. I was raised in a town where my biological family resided and everyone around me knew who I was and where I began this life. I was not part of the family I was raised, I didn't look like these people, I didn't share the same gene pool, for all intense purposes I wasn't in the age group as any of the other kids either. I was just...me.
Eventually I came to know my bio-family members, but by then I was 18 and I was not like them either. I looked like these people, but 18 yrs had provided a certain way of thinking and these people did not share the same ideas. A decade after the fact, I know these people, but I do not necessarily think of them as family or as my own.

So how do you begin to define yourself, to know yourself if you don't know (don't associate) with any beginning or perhaps associate with multiple beginnings?

For me, having a past such as this allowed me the opportunity to redefine myself many times over. Each time I learned what I was not
- I was able to throw caution to the wind and change paths. The problem with 'growing older' is that eventually your backpack becomes a tote which turns into luggage and massive self-redefining changes aren't really conducive to that environment. I can admit that with each change I've taken valuable lessons from who I was and who I'd like to be, sort of like a piece of the puzzle of who I want to be. I've collected many of these over the years and today I am trying to figure out where they go and how each one fits.

What I struggle to find, is the words to convey to the hub (as well as myself) that I'm not finished. I am a work in progress and even though I am older, a little wiser and a lot more determined I am still a piece of everything I once was, which means I still don't know how to not rush to the ending and skip over the middle. I am looking for what defines me, what one thing will flip that switch so the light bulb shines brightly and I can say - this is me.

I don't know if this is a pipe dream or if I am living in reality with this grand notion of "me," but that hasn't stopped me from trying. I have goals that allow me to define the direction in which I am moving at this moment...I may continue down this path long term and I might find something along the way that detours me onto a new path. I struggle to find my inner identity, my voice. To define who I am in relation to who I want to be. I just find it hard to define myself when I see so much of myself in the hub. In all fairness, I can't say this is the hubs fault, because I've always found it easier to fight the pull of authority/more knowledgeable people. It's not that I think I know better, I just want to know both sides before I make a decision.

Do you know who you are? Want to be? Have you struggled with 'finding yourself?'

Monday, May 12, 2008

Team Training

Today was the first day of my running with MIM. I haven't officially joined yet (trial evaluation period) but I liked what I saw today. Actually, I am thrilled after my first workout. The first thing I noticed was I wasn't alone...there were other 'newbie's' like myself, second-I had seen many of the faces I saw today. Only difference was they weren't passing me at the race...I was running along side them. I actually held a conversation with some of them, it's funny how I noticed them yet, they don't remember ever seeing me. haha

We started with some sculpting exercises, did a few short runs, did some running drills and then did a few longer runs. Mark 'the coach/trainer' came up along side and provided some pointers and support for my running technique - I can't say that I had ever thought of it that way, but I am willing to try something new to my random method.

For the most part I had been running distance, pushing myself to run when I was tired or out of breath...I just thought that if I kept going eventually it would get easier. Mark disagrees and has a different plan so why not. I had done quite a bit of research on marathon training schedules, user advice, etc. I don't however have the first clue about actual training technique...I've always just gone out and run, no real form or technique, just all out running and eventually it gets easier and I go farther. It was never about speed so I guess it didn't matter, but now....now it's about speed baby!

Can you tell I'm excited?! Yes, there isn't much that could deter my mood except for my bad motherness. In my excitement to be running with MIM today I totally spaced on the schools awards ceremony. It wasn't until I was almost home and I saw people at the center that I thought it might have been tonight. Yes, it was and now I feel horrible. It was the only thing not put on the calendar, she didn't even realize about the awards ceremony otherwise she wouldn't have let me forget. Yes, I'm a bad mom-I feel selfish for going but happy that I did. I guess something had to give and this was it.

You live and you learn...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day


It is mothers day and it has been a wonderful weekend. I will keep this short and sweet (only because I am exhausted).

Friday was busy busy...soccer practice for little miss then rush off to the zoo for our 'mothers day zoo snooze.' Yes, it is exactly as it sounds, we spent the night at the zoo and did a twilight zoo tour. The next morning, we toured some more and then rush back to get to the soccer game on time. Well, with the weather being crazy lately, the coach got swamped with game overlaps so she didn't make it and we needed a coach...guess who got the privilige?! Yep, yours truly!

I must admit..it was a great feeling, coaching those little kids, they tried so hard, they didn't even quit and they were so tired. Our team was really short players so the ones who were there had to work twice as hard, but they did it. We've been undefeated this season and even though this game wasn't a win, it was a tie and I'll take that! I enjoyed my short lived coaching experience...glad I don't have to do it on a regular basis

Other than that, it's been go go go...non-stop. On the up side, we watched speed racer...that is how I felt this weekend...exhilarated!!!

I hope each mother out there has had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Identity Crisis

Have you ever had that moment when someone tells you "Guess what I am thinking about doing...it's going to be ********." And all you can think is, ok but I already do/want to do ****** and then you feel as if they are stepping on your turf? Well, perhaps not, but I do-specifically with the hub (Mr. Flash). (stop, you can get your minds out of the gutter...it's his favorite comic book character)

Anyhow, Mr. Flash has been going thru some classes to transition from military life to civilian life. This is not new to him, he functions well (job wise) in the civilian world, but the training is required. Mr. Flash and I both work in the technology industry - computers, however we have different specialties or areas of interest within the field. I - am in managment, he - is well versed in mulitple areas but his primary one is developing. We have both just completed a BS in Information Systems, once again I in management and he in technology..so yes, I am working towards my goal. Yesterday, out of the blue, he proposes that he needs to take a job as an IT Manager in order to incorporate all his skills. Well, yes, that is the easiest way to encompass all his knowledge, however all I felt was like he was butting into my area. (No, I never learned to share well as a kid)

I support Mr. Flash is whatever it is he decides to do, but I can't help but feel as if I in some way compete with him at the same time as well. My first thought yesterday was "great, not only do I have to compete with strangers for a job but now I am up against my own husband (and I know his resume). The logical part of me rationalized this as ... "great, now we have double the opportunity to get the job (where I'm not qualified for it, he is and vice versa).

I find it strange how the qualities that I first found attractive in Mr. Flash so many years ago are the same qualities that make me want to scream. Truth is that I see alot of myself in this man, at least the person I would like to be one day and it's hard to live up to an image I've created. This isn't the first time Mr. Flash and I have wanted the same thing or that I felt he 'butts into my space.' It's like I come up with an idea (run a marathon) and he tweaks it and wants to be apart of it too (become a decathalete again).

I struggle with wanting something of my own, something that is just mine and not shared by him - yet there are so many things out there that I don't know of any one thing. Perhaps I'm having an identity crisis. I did some looking into this:
Identity: "a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image."
What is my identity?

"Erik Erikson, the psychologist who coined the term identity crisis, believes that the identity crisis is the most important conflict human beings encounter when they go through the eight developmental stages in life."

Eight Stages:
Infancy - Birth to 18mths
Muscular-anal stage - 1 1/2 - 3 years
Play Age - 3-6 years
School Age - 7-11 years
Adolescence - 11-18 years
Young Adulthood 19-40 years
Middle Adulthood - 40-65 years
Late Adulthood - from 65 years
According to this I would be in the young adulthood stage which centers around intimacy vs. isolation and the idea that a balance between the two can teach someone truly how to love. Erikson also argues:
“Intimacy has a counterpart: Distantiation: the readiness to isolate and if necessary, to destroy those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to encroach on the extent of one’s intimate relations”
Is this where I am at? Is this all a natural part of growing as a person? I don't have a clear plan of what it is that I really want from this life and he seems to be so sure of himself. I will admit I am envious of this, I wish I had it, but there are so many choices out there and I am not ready to settle for just one...I still want it all. Perhaps it is not really an identity crisis, maybe I am just learning who I am and in turn who he is-after all we are constantly evolving!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My baby


It's hard to believe that on this day 6 years ago my life changed forever. It seems like just yesterday I was waddling my way down the street - preparing to go into surgury and deliver my very first child.

I was so scared and so excited all at the same time. It had been a very long and difficult pregnancy, I had braved the hormonal roller coaster alone and other than my job, I did not know how I would manage my life beyond that point. I remember when she was lifted out of my belly and I could feel the weight being taken off me, it was kind of a sad moment because we were no longer 'joined' but only a single tear fell as I realized that we were forever together.

Six years ago at 7:31 am, my daughter made her debut into this world. Together we've put on a brave face and headed straight into the unknown. She is very much my daughter in her attitude and mannerisms and outlook. I cannot deny that part of me runs thru her veins, just as I cannot deny that she is also part her bio-father.

She does not know him (and I don't know if it will ever transpire far enough for him to reach for that) but she is him too. She is, cliche' as this sounds, the best of both of us. In six years, I've watched my baby grow into this amazing little girl. She is no longer the bright eyed wonder who doesn't understand, but more an intelligent observer of all that is around her. She is inquisitive beyond her years and stubborn beyond anything I've encountered but I wouldn't change a single thing about her.

Please don't mistake, she drives me crazy somedays and there are moments when I wonder why on earth anyone would put them selves thru this, but these are the moments that provide insight into endless possibilities of life.

So to my oldest...happy birthday baby...you never cease to amaze me. I love you!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tequila and Salt


I didn't really have anything special in mind for today's post, but I received this from a dear friend and thought it might be fitting for today. I'm not a fan of email forwards, but found that some of this 'advice' does indeed make my day a bit brighter...enjoy! (comments in green are from me)
~K



Tequila and Salt


1. There are at least two people in this world

that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world

love you in some way.


3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you

is because they want to be just like you.


4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone,

even if they don't like you.
(smiles are contagious)


5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you

before they go to sleep.


6. You mean the world to someone.


7. You are special and unique.
(there is only one ME)


8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.


9. When you make the biggest mistake ever,

something good comes from it.
(lessons come from the strangest places)


10 When you think the world has turned its back on you

take another look.


11 Always remember the compliments you received.

Forget about the rude remarks.
(harder than it sounds)


When life hands you Lemons,

ask for Tequila and Salt !

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Madness



I thought I would try something new today - Monday Madness. I usually scan the news headlines and I typically enjoy some of the most off the wall stuff. It really amazes me what makes the news so here are a few of my favorites.






MSN and FoxNews reported on a traffic sign violation in Oak Lawn Ill. It seems, in an effort to get traffickers to stop they changed the 'stop' signs to other creative signs. "At the time, Heilmann said he thought the remarks would get motorists to pause, if for nothing else, to read the phrases." Did I miss something here-when I went thru drivers ed I was taught STOP ment I had to STOP at the sign, not just pause to read the word?! The signs are being replaced with more traditional signs.

  • How would you like to answer your phone to find out that your dead? A woman in Massachusets received just that. "Someone played a cruel prank."

  • Irony at it's best is when you pull into the parking lot with a "no parking" sign attached to your front bumper and have no idea how/when it got there. Perhaps you should not be driving either.

And because I absolutely LOVE these...Darwin Award for Monday May 5

37-year-old man was killed trying to cross the Manasota Key drawbridge on his motorcycle. Wearing only swim trunks and sneakers, the man was seen racing at high speed towards the gap as the bridge began to open.

Bridge designers had anticipated such lunacy and invented the crossing guard. The closing gates swept him off his Suzuki and over the side of the bridge, in the water and out of the gene pool. By a twist of fate, the motorcycle continued up the ramp and made it across to the other side!


Happy Cinco De Mio!

White Sangria (pictured above)
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed colorful bite-size melon pieces
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 750-ml bottle crisp white wine
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons Triple Sec
  • 3/4 cup sparkling water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime or starfruit slices
  • Small mint sprigs
DIRECTIONS
Stir melon and sugar together in a large pitcher. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out the juices. Just before serving, stir wine, brandy, Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur) and sparkling water (or club soda) into the pitcher. Add ice cubes to 6 glasses. Fill the glasses with the sangria, spooning some of the fruit into each glass. Garnish each drink with a slice of lime (or starfruit) and a sprig of mint.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Running


I ran another 5k today. I started running as a way to boost my mental image of myself, perhaps if I worked towards something and saw results I could get out of my funk. While I've been able to see results (and yes it boosts my mental perception of myself) it is all very short lived.

Maybe it's because of other things going on, I don't know, but lately I've felt very alone. It's a big world and the internet is vast, people everywhere, I can't even be alone in my own house but deep down I am so alone. I'm obviously dealing with something bigger than running and I'm sure it has more to do with other circumstances that I'm not ready to discuss here I just keep thinking if I get thru it it will go away. It doesn't.

Running away or running towards something else - have you ever run so far or so fast that you lost track of where you were going?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Relationship Growth


He cheated! Rebuilding a marriage rocked by infidelity was a headline on msn about a woman who's husband cheated on her with another woman who shared their social circle. It caught my attention as I've been struggling with my own trust issues. No, I'm not saying that my hub is cheating, but recently his ex has begun sending business his way...business that has them spending more time on the phone than before.

I feel silly for even thinking...I mean, this woman doesn't live in the same state as us, not to mention I know my husband loves me. What this did, however was get me thinking about my marriage and how far we've come from where we started(which was a rather questionable place to begin with.) The University of Missouri posted

"Most spouses start out full of hopes and dreams and are truly committed to making their marriage work. Yet as the reality of living with a less than perfect spouse sets in and the pressures of life build, many individuals feel less romantic and do not find as much satisfaction in their relationships."

Less than perfect, of course, we are human. We lead busy lives; both work full-time jobs(he also a has a side job from home), have two energetic daughters, attempt to socialize with friends, and sustain some type of hobby/sport/individual activity. This coupled with balancing a marriage can leave the best of us feeling beat sometimes. I love the hub, but ever since the birth of our second daughter I've felt like things are off kilter. I'm not sexy enough, I'm not focused enough, I'm not fun enough. If only I could be the girl I was 5 years ago then perhaps.....sadly enough I am not, nor will I ever be again.

What has happened is the relationship has changed, we've changed - we've grown. There have been moments where we've grown together and moments where we've grown apart, but we have always supported each other. UofM states that "positivity, empathy, commitment, acceptance and mutual love/respect are the keys to making marriage/relationships last. I agree, this is not always easy for us to do, but we have always been willing to work on it. That much is still true today.

I guess what I struggle with the most is accepting that he loves me for who I am today and not who I was back then.

What have you learned about/from your relationships?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Beginnings

Today is my 2 year anniversary with blogging - I'm starting fresh, again. It all started two years ago, but I feel like my time has come to spread my wings a little and venture out, maybe even grow. Truth is, that in the past two years I've grown quite a bit, even when I thought I was standing still...I was in full motion.

My blog has watched my relationship blossom from that of a struggling/drowning relationship to a full fledged marriage. He is my best friend and my foundation, I could not imagine my life without him in it. My blog has been filled with the many trials and tribulations that come being a first time parent. Although, I don't believe being a parent for the second (or third, fourth, etc) time become any easier. It's been there for my daughters first day of school, for new jobs, new friends, and even the birth of my second child.

It hasn't always been good - together we've shared the pain of betrayal, the insecurities of being a single parent, the pain of learning to let go and move forward, fear of not being able to control circumstances and just simply - the unknown. No, it has not always been easy to share my thoughts so openly, but for each small step I've grown.

I've learned in the past 2 years that I am not always right, that hind sight really is 20/20, trust is a precious thing that can easily be broken but love can heal. I've learned that giving in does not always equal giving up, that to let the past go you have to acknowledge it's existance, holding a grudge hurts yourself more than you realize and that letting go is harder than saying "I forgive you."

I don't have anymore clarity for what the future holds than I had when I started this such a short while ago, I do however, understand that I am human and I will make mistakes, I will stumble, I will get up, keep going and sometimes, I too, will succeed. There are no guarantees in life, today is my now and I should embrace it because who knows what tomorrow might bring.

So here's to new beginnings...may the next few years be as exciting, adventurous, revealing and overall insightful as the last!
~K