Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Madness

Recently I did a monday madness about travel and all the wonderful things that come with it, now however we are getting ready for our big family vacation so in honor ... todays will be
Monday Madness - Summer Vacation

1. Drive or Fly. Growing up, we never flew anywhere, then when my daughter was small, we flew because it was much easier with a baby than to drive 10+ hours. Now...prices are so high, we are back to driving.
(We like to call it old school - the parents could do it, why can't we?)

2. Gas. Seriously - need I say more?
(Everything that goes up, must come down .... right?)

3. House cleaning. Is there any logic behind cleaning the house right before you leave for vacation?
(We don't even get to enjoy it because we're gone and when we get home it only lasts long enough for us to drop our stuff on the floor.)

4. Shopping. Nope, not the kind done while ON vacation, but the kind you do right before you leave because you NEED all this extra stuff for the trip?
(Yep, I'm at wal-mart at 7am this morning, getting snacks and last minute things for the drive there.)

Do you have quirks when it comes to summer vacations and preparing for them?

Friday, June 27, 2008

TGIF!!

Can you believe it is finally Friday??

If you're anything like me, it took too long to get here and won't be here long enough. Good news is that Wall-E hit theaters today and I'M EXCITED!

Yep, that's right, me...not the kids...just me. (I'm a dork, I know)

I've been reading about it this week (almost as good as Sex in the City, but not quite) and it has gotten really good reviews. Everyone keeps referring to it as a relatively 'silent' movie, but that is only because the robots don't have traditional people voices, they are ROBOTS...they communicate with robot sounds. It is said that there are thousands of sounds in the movie to convey how they feel.
I can't wait.I am a HUGE fan of PIXAR films...why? Because they always have a 'pre-cartoon' and usually I laugh more than I do in the actual film. Have you ever seen the For the Birds cartoon shown before Monsters Inc. I think it's funny and yes, I have watched it numerous times...each time I still laugh till I cry.

Anyhow. It's Friday and I'm off. Enjoy your weekend!

What's your favorite funny movie?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogging in Dreams

Have you ever dreamed about blogging?

No?

Well, then I guess I am the only crazy one who composes them while I sleep! HA Seriously though, I was dreaming about the posts, what I was writing - and you know, they were some pretty good ideas...too bad I can't remember them this morning. I guess the context is more than the the actual content.

I'm wondering if perhaps that is the message I was supposed to take away from it [the dream], the message that while content is important to the overall picture, the context in which it is displayed or presented has a bigger impact.

Dictionary.com defines both as:

con·text
the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

con·tent
something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts

I bring this up primarily because I have been re-evaluating my career path. I started out many years ago headed down a path in communication. I started college and began working towards this, but alas life took a different turn and I gave up school for another trade. Although, I was still interested in communications, that was sadly not an option (they said my skill set in another area was stronger) so I ventured a new route into electronics and computers. I've since spent many years perfecting this ability all the while nurturing my personal love of communications.

I do what I do because I enjoy it - I don't however see myself in my 'life long career' at this moment. I don't believe my skills have been a waste and do not want to give them up, but still I search for something else to use them with. To this effect...my skills would be my content and my job would be its context. If I change the 'context' then the content is likely to have a different meaning, even though it is still essentially the same.

According to Dr. Patricia Garfield(dream expert), she states one belief of why we dream is "The current thinking is that dreaming is an important component of memory and that we do know that when people are learning new things, they take a language immersion course, for example, dreaming literally increases." Based on this way of thinking, it is possible that the energy that I've been putting into a few alternate career options, is trying to sort itself out and make sense of the new information I am processing.

I'm sure there are many explanations of why this could have happened (perhaps this is the beginning signs I've finally fallen off my rocker) who knows. What I do know, is that while I don't remember the specifics of the dreams I had, I did wake up feeling refreshed and re-energized with a vague sense of direction in my personal life.

Have you ever had a dream 'guide' you in your daily life?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lyrics to Life

Music has been around for as far back as people can imagine - people sing for happy occasions, they sing for sad, they sing to make the work pass and they sing just because. Music is a form of self expression. It's been said that music is most link to memory recognition...it can transport you or bring them to the surface faster than many other methods.

So today I ask - what's your Life play list? If you had to sum it up what would best convey who you are?

Over the years I've had a few - they've seen me thru the good and the bad and the ugly, here's a few:
  • Closing Time by Semisonic
    "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"
    (Just learning about life)
  • Angel by Sarah McLachlan
    "Spend all your time waiting for that second chance For the break that will make it OK"
    (First taste of bitter sweet love)
  • In My Daughters Eyes by Martin McBride
    "She was sent to rescue me - I see who I wanna be"
    (Birth of my first daughter, changed my life)
  • When I'm gone by 3 doors down
    "There's another world inside of me that you may never see"
    (First taste of war)
While each one of these has it's place and invokes memories of the person that once was, that is not who I am today. Perhaps remnants of me still exists somewhere, but if I was going to choose just one song then this would be it (click on the title to hear it):


I wonder through fiction to look for the truth
Buried beneath all the lies
And I stood at a distance
To feel who you are
Hiding myself in your eyes

And hold on before it's too late
We'll run til we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives

And the risk that might break you
Is the one that would save
A life you don't live is still lost
So stand on the edge with me
Hold back your fear and see
Nothing is real til it's gone

Hold on before its too late
We'll run til we leave this behind
Don't fall just be who you are
It's all that we need in our lives

So live like you mean it
Love til you feel it
It's all that we need in our lives
So stand on the edge with me
Hold back your fear and see
Nothing is real til it's gone

What is YOUR song?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That's Mrs. Jealousy to you...


...Wife to Mr. Insecure, daughter of Anger and sister to fear.

Around here I try to be pretty frank with my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts - what you have never heard about though is my take on jealousy. Recently, another woman brought to my attention some jealousy issues they were having with me - I was shocked.

Seriously, is it possible to be 'jealous' of me when I am not involved in their life outside of the Internet?


It made me stop and think - and yes, it is possible because I have faced the exact same thing, a while back. Let me recap a bit...

I met my husband roughly 5 years ago (I'll spare you the sordid details, but he was getting separated from his wife, mother of his child when we decided to get together) and we started on a rocky road. It was a friend thing, meant to be not much more than something fun while it lasted (who knew we would end up here.) I was a mom and she was my priority - he had a son and an ex-wife he still was very close to. Over time our 'friendship' evolved into a relationship, but I never made that cross into his personal/family life. Translate, I never met his family, he had conversations with his ex-wife and I was usually in another room. He saw his son often, but rarely (if ever) was I around his child. A year and a half into this relationship, I was transitioning out of the Navy so I moved in with him to save on housing costs...moved into the house he and his ex once shared. This is when Jealousy reared it's ugly head.

I couldn't help but think every time I looked around that she had been here, she had painted this or that - it didn't help that I repainted some things, changed out the carpet, rearranged furniture - it was still part hers. During this time she became pregnant and my hub was a "listening ear" for her. Oh boy, did I struggle with that one. Not only did she have his son (I wanted to have his child and he did not) but she got to have another one and he was very sympathetic to her cause. She even got to talk to his mother and sister - I'd been with the man for 2 years and never been allowed to do that. (*note, neither had I asked to) Basically I had built this woman into everything I was not during that time and she was one amazing person.

What I had failed to realize was that she was flawed just like me and because I didn't know her - I could make her out to be my worst enemy. Was she, No. Once I realized this, life became much simpler. Was it done over night - no. It's taken us 5 years, but each day it is a little stronger.

In an effort to combat the issues I delt with, when I realized DQ's bio-father was married and having another child - I offered to her a chance to get to know me, it was also a chance for me to get to know the person who might, one day, be apart of my child's life. Oddly enough, she too has faced/is facing her own issues - "I was jealous of you because you had something with him that I did not. You had experiences with him first, that I got to have second." Sound familiar?? I could have written those words myself once upon a time.

Wikipedia lists jealousy as:
Jealousy typically refers to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that occur when a person believes a valued relationship is being threatened by a rival.

I asked a few friends for their thoughts on jealousy in their lives
Jaysey: in long term relationship

Jaysey said she she had not been jealous of any previous women in her boyfriends life, but had experienced it with a previous relationship of hers.
  • And I was jealous of the women in his past--pretty much all of them--even though I'd never met most of them.

When asked: Do you think jealousy becomes more of an issue or less of an issue with age?
  • I don't really think age matters. Well, I sorta take that back now--I think some of it may be maturity, but I think most of it is trust and respect and whether or not you're truly with the right person.
Jenn: Married

Jenn said when asked if she had experienced jealousy with women in her husbands past
  • I wouldn't say I was jealous, but his ex-wife definitely made me uncomfortable.
When asked: Do you think jealousy is something that can be overcome in a relationship or do you think you either have it or you don't?
  • It can definitely be overcome! I think some people get jealous when they feel insecure. If their partner can take steps to make them feel secure and loved and special, I think the jealousy usually goes away for those people. I think it's much harder for people who have an innately jealous nature. Those people have to make a conscious decision to change, and that's tough.
Apryl: the hubs ex-wife (who has been kind in helping me expand my views on extended families)
Said she doesn't remember ever being been jealous of another woman

When asked:
What is your take on extended/blended families?
  • Extended families RULE!!! More to Love!!! Yes, I've always felt this way!
Three women, three very different view points from three different experiences and they've all had to deal with their own 'issues' of insecurity. Not each one was jealous, but they learned to accept it for what it was worth and continue on. I'm not saying all women are jealous, but I think jealousy is linked largely in part to the unknown.

It's easy to create images of the 'perfect' other people who came before us and even though we know they weren't perfect (because the relationships didn't last) I think we secretly measure our own insecurities against what we perceive about them. Jealousy is not a friendly person - but if you are brave enough to face it, then you are surely going to defeat it.

Have you dealt with Jealousy in your life?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Madness

We all love summer - the vacations, no school, warm weather, beaches and many more, but what about all the things summer brings that we don't look forward to?

1. The kids are out of school. I'm not talking about the little kids, nope, I'm referring to the mass quantities of teenage kids that have just gotten their license and are driving up and down the road with a car load full of their friends. Can you say crazy drivers?
(yes, I was one once upon a time - it doesn't mean I was any better, just look at my multiple fender benders back then.)

2. With the kids out comes the shopping. Forget trying to "run to the mall just to pick up a quick item." Trust me, the parking lot is full, you'll park in BFE only to find the store is probably out of what you are looking for.
(I used to go during the week to avoid weekend crowds, yep I'm old, now I just avoid the malls)

3. Swimsuits cannot be found come May - let alone in June. Something about the warm weather that brings people out in droves, but if you fail to purchase a swimsuit in March (when it's still cold) the odds of finding one in your size (i.e. big for me) will be slim to none.
(Don't let it fool you - finding one in small, such as baby 6mths, will be hard too)

4. Why does it seem (no matter what time of day OR what day) groceries are always out of stock?
(I never knew cheeseburger hamburger helper was that popular)

What do you find happens during summer that quirks you?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

15 Years

Queen of Mayhem tagged me for a meme that would sum up the last 15 years of my life. I love to chatter about my life (see previous posts) so I will do my best to sum up, as well as provide 'new' info you might have not known.

This meme is: 15 Years in a Nutshell

Think back on the last 15 years of your life. What would you tell someone that you hadn’t seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life?

You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love.


1. I had a full acidemic scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin

2. I went for 3 consecutive semesters before I quit to join the Navy (school was BORING)

3. I spent the next 6 years getting as much school as possible (nicknamed me the professional student)

4. I've traveled around the world and fought for freedom.

5. 2002 brought the unexpected joy of my 1st daughter - she is a mini-me

6. 2003 I met my husband - I had to travel half-way around the world just to realize we had been following each other for 4 years (and didn't even know it, never crossed paths before)

7. 2005 The hub, myself, my daughter and his son all survived Hurricane Katrina (we lived in Gulfport MS. at the time and weren't not planning on leaving for the storm. Sunday before it made landfall, we realized it was a cat 5 and thought we should leave - luckily for us we had friends in Florida where we stayed and watched it devistate the coast.)

8. 2006 We finally made it official - the Hub and I tied the knot.

9. 2007 I gave birth to my second daughter (also a bit of a suprise - made sure there would be no more of those...wink wink)

10. 2008 - obviously the birth of my second daughter made me go partially insane, because I am running my first Marathon in Dec '08.

Ok, that's me in a nutshell. Some you didn't know and some you probably wish you didn't know now. Enjoy!

NOW for the tagging:

SemiCharmedWife: because she's like a my sister from another mother :)
Kellan: because we both share a love of 'KEL'
JoJo: because I love her candid humor
April: new around here and I'd love to know more about her.
Krissy: because she's more fun than a barral full of monkeys and isn't afraid to say what's on her mind!

Don't think this means you lucked out...you can play too!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Broken Nuts & Vacation

Summer is officially here - today, yep thats right, it's the first day of summer so break out the piggy bank, a map and start planning!

Ok, so not entirely, but it's a great idea, right? One of the things, in my household, we try to do each year is plan one major family vacation(coming up in a couple of weeks). We will always throw in a couple of smaller trips and family things, but we like to have something BIG for the kids to look forward to that is out of the ordinary.

This year we are taking the kids to the beach. "The beach? What's so special about the beach?" you ask...well no, it is not the first time they've been to the beach, but I have some water lovin' kids and where we live, there is no beach. This year we are planning on spending 5 days in a condo on the beach where the kids can stay and play ALL DAY LONG! (and hopefully wear themselves out too.) They are excited...sand and sun and surf - they want to fish and play on the boogie boards and build sand castles...it's really cool to see their faces and listen to their chatter.

Why do we do this each year? 20 years ago (which seems like forever) times were different. Yes, I know, ALL parents say this - but truth is, they were. My mom would kick me outside in the morning and I wouldn't return home until the sun set. I would run rampant thru my neighborhood with my friends and never once did my parents worry. Each summer, my dad would pack up the car and we would take one trip...usually to a mission or some other historical site where we would learn some history and then we would head home. I would get to explore some new town away from home and then it was back to typical summer life. I always enjoyed the getting away and seeing something new...this is what I try to do for my kids now.

In a world full of computers and electronic games (especially when it is super hot outside) it is hard to get the kids to want to go out and enjoy something different. I know that right now, my kids are young enough that their worlds don't revolve around their friends and I can still pack them up and leave town for a week. I doubt this will last forever, but maybe, if I start now, this will be something they too will look forward to when they are older.

On a side note (***update to yesterdays post***) - Jr came home after camp and I asked him how his day was...what did he do at camp?

"Oh I played with some lego's - it fell on it's bum and said "I think I broke my nuts." (laughter)

"What?! - "Did you say you played with some legos and it fell on its bum?"

"Yep, and it said "I think I broke my nuts." (more laughter)

(trying not to laugh out loud at the humor in this statement) "Oh, ok."

(Daughter from the background) "Ewe, mom - I know what bum is - he's talking about his butt again. What are nuts?"

Oh dear lord...the joy's of raising both boys and girls....

What is your fondest summer vacation memory?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Poop

It's no secret around here that I am a mom to girls (I'm also a mom to a boy but we'll get to that later.) When I had my first daughter, I was convinced the gods were trying to punish me because 'boys' were easier. (I had 3 nephews to base this assumption on) I was never a 'girlie girl' and I just knew she would put me in my grave before my time. HA (she's still trying)

I am not an expert, nor will you ever catch me claiming to know how to parent (I fumble blindly like the rest of us) - I still don't know which is easier, or if either gender is easier to raise. I do know however that boys and girls are DIFFERENT.

I am a girl - I like to think I understand (at least have a better understanding) of girls and how my daughter is. Fundamentally boys and girls are different, different interests, different ideas, different reactions to the same situation...do you see where I'm going?

Take for example...when my daughter was younger and we were potty training if I saw her 'holding' herself it usually meant she had to go to the bathroom. My stepson (who is only a year older) used to hold himself...I ALWAYS asked him if he had to go to the bathroom...nope, never. Finally one day he looked at me and with as much frustration as he could muster at the age of 5 he said "NO, why do you always ask me that?" I questioned the hub about this and he informed me "that is what all boys do...they like to make sure it is still there." WHAT?! NOTE** girls do not fear that our 'parts' have fallen off, we always know they are there. hahaha

Anyhow, I digress...

So fast forward a few years, D.Q. is 6 and Jr. is 7. Each year he spends the summer with us as well as a few holidays. There is always an adjustment period for the kids, but it is relatively short lived. I on the other hand spend the summer learning how to parent a boy and just when I think I've got the hang of it...times up.

So this summer starts off normal as usual. He gets here and everyone is excited. There's only one catch - for some reason he seems to be enthralled with the word "poop." Yep, not sure why, not sure how to stop it, but ok, we'll just let it go for now. He manages to slip it into conversations he is having with DQ and let me tell you, she does not find this nearly as funny as he does. After a few days she comes to me and says..."Mom, is it time for Jr. to go home?"

"No dear, why would you want him to go home?"

"Because he's always saying poop and I don't like it. That's gross."

All the while, I can hear Jr. somewhere in another room just laughing it up because he's learned to drive her crazy...

Yep, boys and girls are definitely different!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Offensive


Today, I was faced with a situation - I've thought about it, I've dreaded it, I've looked forward to it - and today I live it.

Part of blogging, is the ability to speak your mind, some dedicate their talents to just certain areas, I like to talk about all things that touch my life, my soul, my heart. I don't censor my thoughts -- I've never been given any reason to. What I think, I write...it's what I feel and I do it without remorse. In general, I don't have readers who are in my close circle of friends. Blogging is not a secret, but unless they ask I don't offer up where I'm at.

I find that it is kind of liberating to be able to speak my thoughts freely without worrying what someone close to me will think. Will they wonder if I'm strange because it's taken me 6 years to get over myself? Will they snicker because I struggle with my weight...which I've now made obvious what it is?

The Internet offers anonymity to speaking your mind, you can have feed back from others who don't know you and yet there are times we share some really personal stuff. My point is, for me at least...what is out there is real, no pretense, no fake smile so no one will ask questions, no shiny polished surface so I don't feel rejected...just me.

Today, I had my first encounter with someone offended by something that I'd written. At first I was bothered...not because I had written it, but because they were hurt - when never did I say anything hurtful about them. I didn't understand and I immediately went to defending myself and trying to explain my actions. It wasn't until after I started this process that I realized - I'm not sorry...if I'm not sorry then why am I explaining or defending my position?

I was not sorry for my words, only sorry for the way they were perceived by the reader (even though they were not directed at them.) So then what? Is having a friend or family member hurt by my writing about my feelings worth me censoring my thoughts?

What are you thoughts on having 'personal' people read what you write? Do you take that into account when you write you blog?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Weighty Issues



Weight, it's what's on my mind.

Yesterday was weigh day for me - one I will say I was very excited about. Everyone has an ideal weight they would like to be at, for me, it's somewhere I don't think I'll ever see again (note 125) but after 2 kids and a growing age by the year I'm content to settle for a different weight. (note 135) I say all this because I have fluctuated the scale quite a lot over the last few years and will admit that it wasn't until then that I thought my weight really mattered.

Somewhere around 21 (when I last weighed 125) after a failed marriage, I took up food as a replacement for my self-esteem. It made me feel good and it was always available. I gained 10lbs over the course of 6 months and went to 135, no the numbers don't look so bad but at 5'6", trust me, 10lbs makes a difference. I didn't really notice it at first until I had to suck in to get into my favorite pair of jeans, but at that age who cares if your jeans are skin tight...I still look good right?

Eventually I got over my 'man hater' phase, but I kept my love affair with food. I started working out regularly but the weight didn't come off, even still I didn't worry about it. I got pregnant with my first baby and gained 40 pounds. At 5'6" - 175lbs can make me look pretty round, but I was convinced I was young and I would lose it. Within weeks of my daughter being born I started taking appetite suppressing pills with energy boosters. I became obsessed with my weight and wanted it gone. Never mind that it took me 9 months to gain it, I wanted it gone yesterday. I spent the next few months diligently watching what I ate, exercising, popping appetite suppressor pills and some of the weight came off...not all. I had gotten back down to 145 and just couldn't break the weight, then I went on deployment (military) and got down to 138. I was excited - thought I looked like a million bucks.

It was easy when I got back to let my love affair with food take over. I had spent many months without my favorites (Popeye's, WhatABurger, Krispy Kreme) and I made sure I made up for lost time. Over 10 months I went from 138 to 155. By the time I realized what had happened I was on my way taking diet pills and cutting back my eating to just what was necessary. I started exercising again but even then I only managed to lose 8 pounds over 6 months. I would starve myself and then I would binge on alcohol and fatty fried foods, convinced I could eat like this because I had only had a carrot stick to eat that day.

Eventually I fell back into my old habits I regained the 8 lbs I had lost and it wasn't until I saw myself in a photograph that I realized just what I looked like. Back at 155lbs I decided I would start Weight Watchers and try to do it the right way. I worked and followed their plan - food wise and lost 10 lbs over 6 months. I couldn't bring myself to do the exercise part, but over time I had learned to love my constant battle with food - eat what I want, starve, reduce portions, eat what I want, starve (vicious cycle continued.) I had gotten so used to punishing or rewarding myself with food I didn't even notice what I was doing.

At 146 I got pregnant with my second child and once again I gained 40 lbs = 185 at delivery. For someone who still dreams she is 125 lbs it is hard to watch those numbers climb on the scale each month. It doesn't matter what the reason (baby or not) my first instinct was to cut back. I spent those 9 months with pregnancy induced diabetes and had to give myself insulin injections 2x's daily. I HATED THIS!!! Not only did I have to give myself insulin, but I had to monitor my blood 4-5 times a day, monitor what I ate and learn how each food effected my sugar levels.

There were moments during all this that I wanted to just say "F**K it" and not take the shots, not do the tests, just eat the pound of french fries and gravy that were calling my name, but I didn't. My unborn child needed me to take care of it and that is the only thing that kept me doing what needed to be done. During this process I fought with myself but I also learned many a valuable lesson about myself.

  • I have always had a love of food - mainly because my mother cooked so much growing up.
  • Traveling around the world only expanded this love affair.
  • I also learned that food is my 'security blanket.' When life gets crappy I want the things that make me feel like I'm in control, things that bring about happy emotions and for me - it is food.
  • Being that I had diabetes while pregnant (borderline w/first child) I have the possibility of developing it later in life.
In the months following the birth of my second child, I have taken up eating healthy (I still like fried chicken and pizza) I have started exercising and thru a brief moment of 'body image/fat' talk from my oldest I learned that much of what I say and do effects her. In six months I have gotten down to 145lbs, (lost all the baby weight) and am continuing to work towards my goal weight by being healthy.

Why do I bring all this up - mainly because I have many friends who are expecting their first child in the next couple of months and we've all gotten caught up in body image. It's hard for anyone (child or not) not to get caught up in it. It is everywhere we look, the clothes we buy, the articles we read (we're too fat or we're too skinny). It's ok to want to be 'healthy' but it's self destructive to have unrealistic idea's of how we would like to look.

Do you struggle with body image?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Madness

There is a song by Gnarls Barkely called Crazy -

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there

Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?


On the radio station (where I used to live) they would have callers call in and voice what makes them crazy: here are a few of my own oddities to ponder...

  • My only pet is a cat - one who is well trained to use the litter box - and my neighbor has dog (8 of them). I do not like to constantly clean up dog poo in my yard and my neighbors seem not to care if their dogs do their business at my house...Does it make me crazy if I pick up said dog poo with a plastic baggie (ziplock variety) and take it over to the neighbors house for them to dispose of??

  • This weekend I took D.Q. to the swimming pool, we have recently purchased a new swimsuit for the summer (pool requires a one piece) it would seem that no matter what size I get the child (bigger or smaller) it always crawls up her butt. Does it make me crazy if the entire time we're at the pool I'm the mom yelling "D.Q. pull your bathing suit out of your butt."

  • At Wal-Mart they have the self-checkout lanes...my wal-mart is always so psychotic with people that these are usually the fastest lanes (if you can find an empty one) Now when I grocery shop these are usually the only lane I will check out at. Does it make me crazy when I get to a lane and the person in front of me can't seem to work it that I will scan and bag their stuff to make the process faster?

Do you have any oddities that make you wonder if perhaps you're crazy??

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Fun

Summer is here (unofficially of course) which means school is out, the kids are running rampant and if your anything like me...your just trying to keep up. Many moms around blog land have been writing about the joys of having their children home, the fun and exciting things they do etc. I work - all day everyday and so my kids have to find somewhere to go during the day during the summer.

This is the first year that both of the older ones (DramaQueen and Jr.) are old enough to experience and enjoy summer camp. The difference is that they do not go to one summer camp...no, that would be too easy, they each go to their own summer camp - this way there is NO WAY for them to spend the day together and get on each others nerves (yes, my children like to drive each other crazy as well as their parents.)

So what's the big deal, you might ask? Being this is the first week for Jr. to start camp, his first day was not so good. He came home very upset, said he didn't make any friends and spent the entire day BORED! We have a schedule of events that they are supposed to follow and I wouldn't think it was boring, but what do I know, I'm a parent. D.Q. on the other hand was attending her second week at camp and had really enjoyed the first week, but had since taken up the attitude of her brother (after she heard him say he didn't like camp) and had decided she too didn't really like camp after all.

Each day, we've asked Jr. what he thought about camp and each day his opinion has gotten better. Yes, he's decided that camp isn't so bad after all and he kind of enjoys it (I never knew 7yr old boys could be so picky.) Yesterday, after picking up D.Q. I was inquiring about her day when she piped in "Mom, this is the best camp in the world. Please, please, please, please, please promise I can always go to this camp when it is summer."

To my surprise, D.Q. was rather excited (she had liked camp before but never said it with this much enthusiasm) so of course I was curious to find out what made today SO much better than the previous ones. To which she replies:

"Well, Megan ask the counselor if she could write on her hand and she said 'Sure' - and you know what else?" "We don't even get in trouble for writing on ourselves."

This time I look in the back seat and I can see a little pink marker smiley face drawn on her hand. I respond with " is that why you have a smiley face on your hand?"

She says "Yes and I have a submarine and a spider on my other one too." "Isn't that cool?"

Me: "of course dear."

DQ: "So can I mom? Can I come here forever?"

Me: (grins to myself) "Sure thing, if that is what you want to do...I'm sure it can be arranged."

Oh, the joy of summer, being a kid - when life was a simple as being able to draw on your hand!

What was your favorite thing about summer?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ego in Parking

I've been reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle which focuses a lot on our ego and how it effects our daily lives in ways that we are often unaware. My personal cheerleader Jenn and I set goals each week and work to keep each other motivated and on track...one of my goals this week was to be aware of my ego.

I mention this only as a reference to today. Each morning I drive to work, I arrive early and usually there are very few cars in the parking lot when I arrive. Because of this very empty parking lot I have my pick of any spot and have thus picked the one I like and silently claimed it as 'mine.' People who arrive to work early are typically people who park in the same spots ... we all know each other and know each others parking spots. Today, I had a brief encounter with my ego over this - to my amazement, I won.

Let me set the scene:
I am driving along, peacefully, windows down, enjoying my morning cd, winding around the last bend when I notice a car from the other direction stopped in the road with it's right blinker light on. It is stopped directly in front of the parking lot next to the one I am going to turn into. About 50yds from where I am going to enter the parking lot the car begins to move so I slow down and they enter the same parking lot as I, I then turn in behind them. The parking lot is like an oval with two rows of spaces in the center and all along the outside. I follow my typical route and go around the front so I can drive head into 'my' space, the other car goes along the outside and speeds up, zooms around the double row of spaces and then heads directly towards me. I have no choice but to stop inches from the driver. I wait. The driver then puts his car into reverse and begins backing into MY space.

Yep, that's right...there are a ton of other perfectly good parking spaces and he zoomed around the lot only to park in mine. The first words out of my mouth as I sat there watching this unfold were "Who does he think he is? I know he is not going to PARK in MY space." Of which I suddenly realized what I said. My space-as in it is soley mine. I own it.

I do not, I can park in anyone of the other many open spots just as well as he can, but because I consider this my spot, I am offended that he would think to put his car there - does he not know that is where I park?? (once again, who am I??? No one special.) Oddly enough as I smile to myself knowing this is just what the book was talking about and I was able to identify my ego, the driver meneuvers into the parking spot directly next to the one I had preferred to park in so now I can park in the original one.

Rather than get upset and have my day start out "ruined" I said good morning to the other driver and went on about my day. The book points out that ego is merely a sense of mine, my or I. As if it belonged to us...if we are able to identify this then we take away its power over us and open ourselves up to something more.

It reminds me of a story:

A young lady was waiting for her flight at a boarding room of a big airport.

Her flight was delayed and she would have to wait for many hours. She purchased a book and a package of cookies and sat down in a chair to spend the time. Beside her was an empty chair where the package of cookies lay and a man was sitting in the next chair reading a magazine.

She took a cookie and the man took one as well! She was irritated by said nothing and continued to read. But thought to herself, “Whoa, he’s got nerve!” For each cookie she took, the man took one as well. She was infuriated but did not wish to make a scene in the crowded airport.

When only one cookie remained, she thought I wondered what this rude man will do. As if reading her mind, the man picked up the cookie broke it in half and handed it to her without looking up.

That was it; she got up, gathered her things and stormed off.

Later after she boarded her plane, she reached into her purse to get her glasses and she pulled out a packet of cookies….she suddenly remembered that she had placed HER cookies in her purse. And the man she considered so rude, was sharing his cookies with her with out anger, just pure kindness.

She felt so ashamed and there was no way to make the proper amends.

Ego, the perception that something is belongs to us, when reality is that it does not.

Does your ego sneak up on you?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding with
the passing of a whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon,
they stay in our lives for awhile,
leave footprints on our heart,
and we are never, ever the same.
Anonymous


Recently I've been doing a lot of introspective soul searching, I've been evaluating my thoughts about myself, attempting to redefine myself and simply questioning what once was black and white - is now very gray. In this process, I have put a lot of mental energy into certain subjects, mostly in the form of open ended questions to which I have not necessarily found the answers by way of words alone, but through the people I've met and interactions I've had with them.
A question was raised over at SemiCharmedWife "Can I still be me without my past?" to which has sparked as a massive conversation piece. Personally, I think I am a collective sum of my pieces, a whole of my parts. This being said, my experiences have been a result of the many people I have met along this journey. I've seen some good, some bad and some in the middle. I've placed people on pedestals because I thought they could do no wrong, only to find myself let down in the end. I've also underestimated and judged some people too early only to find they are 'more than meets the eye' and usually a wonderful friend. This is not to say however, that all my first impressions are wrong, it's just that some require more more depth than others.

I've been influenced both positively and negatively by the people I've met. Some have pushed me beyond my limits and I am a better person and some have torn me down, of which I have learned valuable lessons about myself. The problem I have is not the people or the experiences I have had, but the fact that I let them [past memories] control my life, let them define who I am today. The people become a measure of where I want to be (or where I am running away from) and my experiences are a collection of the "me's" that I've been.

What I've failed to see, until recently, is through each of these people, I've learned a little bit more about myself...I am not any one specific person (past or present) but very much unique. I have been able to experience people with admirable qualities and those not so much. I am not a good person because I was friends with Mother Teresa or a bad person because I once ran around with a murderer, but have learned from their attitudes something that can make me a better person than I was then.

They've all come at different times, some when I've least expected, some when I've been in most need and some when I didn't know I needed them at all. Regardless of their timeing, looking back, they were always there when I needed them the most during that part of my life.
I've said many times before, I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe people are no exception. So back to the question that started it all - "Can I be me without my past?" Yes and No. My past would not exist if were not for me, but without it I still could. With it I am just a bit more colorful than before.

Are your friends there for a reason, season or a lifetime and are you better for it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Speak now...


...or forever hold your peace.

The most emphasized line in a movie-sized wedding because that is when someone inevitably brings all unsaid fears to light. But in real life does this happen?

Ok, I am not so much talking about the "wedding scene" per se, but more the moment when someone says what everyone else is thinking and just not saying it.

For example:
Guy: "I finally asked Suzy for her phone number and she gave it to me.
Buddy: "That's great it took you long enough, what's it been like 3 months?"
Guy: "More like 4, but I didn't know what to say.
Buddy: "Well good for you, you going to ask her out next week?"
Guy: "Nope, I called her last night and left a message, do you think it would be bad if called her again this evening to make sure she got my message?"
Buddy: "Yeah, you're totally going to scare her...are you desperate or something?"

While I'm not quite that bad (I get my ideas from somewhere, right?!) I am generally the person who speaks her mind, typically saying the thoughts most others are thinking. Depending on the situation I either elicit riotous laughter or wide eyed stares of disbelief. My intention is never to be malicious (although I have been known to make a few painful jabs) my remarks are merely the obvious as seen by me.

Case and point:
Guy comes in complaining every day for two weeks about something new each day. On the start of the third week he says "I don't want to hear anyone's complaints about this but..." and in chimes me "Neither do we, but everyday we listen to you."
No, This instance did not warrant the response from me that it got, but I have a habit of holding my tongue until eventually it just kind of spills over. I think things like this all day long, I've gotten pretty good at keeping them to myself except on these occasions where they slip out. Lately I've been getting worse-it happens more often.

My wonder now is should I apologize for saying these things or just let them be? Generally I am not sorry for what I said and feel no need to apologize however there are moments when the look of pure shock on someones face makes me feel bad about what was said (it is usually those moments I apologize for hurting their feelings and I explain that I didn't intend for it to come across that way).

Recently another woman - C - posted some pictures of her baby online of which I commented with the appropriate "How cute!" She then posts directly to me to take a look at the photos of said baby at which time I respond with, "She's adorable, looks just like D.Q." and attach photo of D.Q. as a baby. Of which I have not had a single response from C since then.

In my defense I have to admit that C is DQ's bio-father's wife and while I was trying to be nice there was something in the simple comment that rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps I was having an off day or perhaps I did feel that way and wanted to make her share in my feeling - I don't know. I wonder now if perhaps I should apologize or just let it be. I'm not really sorry for what I said(it was the truth,) I just feel bad at the thought of hurting her feelings because that was not really my intent.

Do you speak now or forever hold your peace? And if so, do you apologize for what was said even if you are not wholly sorry?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Madness

It's that time of the week again and in light of my recent travel adventures I bring you
Monday Madness - Travel Edition.

1. You're packed and ready to walk out the door when suddenly you realize you don't have the right shoes ... (the ones you had planned to wear are suddenly not good enough and look pretty crappy.)
Come on now, did you really not notice we were planning a trip for the last month?? (I'm a good planner and know weeks in advance if I'm going to need something...the hub on the other hand.....)


2. You get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, grab a quick snack and head to your gate only to find out that the previous flight has been delayed and those passengers have now been bumped to YOUR flight (which is in turn going to delay your flight about 15 minutes.)
Yay, just what I enjoy sitting arm to arm with strangers, couldn't they just wait the additional 30 minutes so they could take there original flight, seriously they've already waited this long??

3. Finally seated on the flight and ready to go you notice it is unusually warm, the pilot then comes across the speakers and says..."This is your pilot speaking, unfortunately we only have one AC working so it will be a little warm until we get up to crusing altitude, but it should cool off then.
Great, that's like saying I've only got one engine?!


4. In addition to the heat, there is an overwhelming stench coming from somewhere on the plane very near you that has attracted a "lone fly" that is now buzzing incessantly around the row you are seated on.
Where's a fly swatter when you need one or a bottle of spray deodarant.

5. Once again, the pilot comes on the speaker announcing this time "Due to the additional passengers we are going to have to take on additional fuel. This shouldn't delay us too much longer."
Oh goodie...I only have 1 hr to make my connecting flight, this should be fun!

6. Nope, not done yet...one more announcement from the pilot, "We are going to be delayed indefinately, we are not sure why, but we'll keep you updated."
Did you just say "you didn't know why?" Not a chance in hell I'll ever catch my connecting flight now.

7. You arrive at the airport only to find your connecting flight has already left (without you) and the ticket person proceeds to ask you "Why did you wait until the last flight of the day?"
Seriously?? WTF...I thought your planes were on time. (Label this under things NOT to say to someone at 10:30pm after a 2 hr flight delay)

8. A 'distressed passenger' voucher does not equal "free hotel room" - it's for about $15-$20 dollars off a room rate, nor does it include food.
Motel [gr]-8 is not my favorite, a $15 dollar reduction does not make the unexpected stay any better (considering I had already paid for a night elsewhere)

9. Pre-packaged deals (i.e. priceline, expedia etc.) do not give refunds on unexpected delays or changes (even if you bought the insurance)
Yep, that's your bad and they're so sorry for it, but it's still there money! haha

10. Getting selected for random airport baggage checks is not the worst you can think of in an already over-crowded, busy airport--neither is having your panties thrown all over the table...having your iPod set off the 'bomb' detector is MUCH WORSE! Yep, people stop all around to see who you are....only to find out, after the fact, that it is indeed, just a little ol' iPod!
Perhaps, the pretty pink iPod glove wasn't a good disguise, next time I'll try a label that say's "I'm not a bomb, just a MP3 player."

What's your travel pet peeve?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Finally time...

I'm off - but I'll be back on Monday with a little monday madness Airport style! Both the hub and I are graduating this weekend and I'm so looking forward to it, I've even got a rafting trip planned in for some adventure. (hopefully I'll make it back in one piece)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!!
~K

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Perception of ourselves

Have you ever stopped long enough to see yourself through someone else's eyes?

Nope? Me either. Actually, if there is a conscious effort on my part I could try, but rarely am I ever successful at this. More often than not I am quick to point out my flaws and trouble spots, the places where I am weak, notice the things I fail to accomplish and simply put, think of myself in general as a goof.

But is this really who I am? Is this how those around me view me? My hope is that they don't and there are even times that I'm told I am not. (this however is not the point I am trying to make) My oldest, DramaQueen, has taken up a new attitude when it comes to herself and what other people think of her. Just the other day she was overheard saying "you don't like me because I'm a fool."

Normally I wouldn't think twice about some of her statements, but this one caught my attention. Since when did my six year old start calling herself a fool? I am unaware of anyone in my household even using the word fool, much less her getting the idea that she is a fool. She started school this year and has expanded her ideas and views of the world around her, she's been made aware that boys and girls are different, that kids will make fun of you if you wear the wrong clothes or smell funny and that other kids will want to be friends with 'cool' kids or 'pretty' kids. Her innocence is starting to diminish.

I say all this because how often do we actually take what others say or do and apply it to ourselves? We may not, as adults, change who we are because the people at work(or our neighbors) don't like us, but we may alter or hide part of our personality because this would make us part of the catty chatter that happens. One thing about growing up (growing older) is that hopefully we learn to be comfortable with ourselves, be comfortable with who we are and how we define ourselves as opposed to adjusting to childhood and trying to find 'our place' in it all.

Growing up, I was never part of the popular crowd, I never felt really comfortable in my own skin or felt like I was accepted (even though I was Miss this and Miss that and involved in sports etc.) I was told I was smart from as far back as I can remember, but it wasn't until I was in high school that I was ever told I was pretty. By then I had spent a good portion of my teen years 'trying' to be pretty and even though I finally was told what I had been wanting to hear all those years, I never saw it. Even to this day, rarely when I look in the mirror do I see the person staring back at me as pretty.

D.Q. on the other hand has been told she is both smart and pretty with the emphasis on smart. I always feared she would latch onto pretty and think that mattered more. This year, she has learned it does matter, much more than she ever cared before. Clothes won't be worn unless they are 'pretty,' hair has to be cut so that it is 'pretty', the room is 'pretty' when it is clean etc. I understand she is just learning to navigate the social sphere that will be the center of her world for the next 12 years, but I look at my experience and wonder "what can I start to instill in her now to help give her the self-confidence needed so she doesn't rely so heavily on other peoples opinions of her?"

I try to give D.Q. the chance to find out she is smart, funny, brave, strong and amazing by allowing her to do things on her own. By trying and failing and trying again. There are day's when I help pick her up and dust her off and hold her hand as she attempts it again, but regardless of the outcome I tell her she is all of this and more. This is the little girl I see, all she sees is someone who isn't getting it or can't do it. It's hard not to be able to make her understand the possibilities are endless if she just stopped caring if someone thought she was tall enough or smart enough or pretty enough or skinny enough or rich enough or any other enough.

Others opinions often influence our perception of ourselves long after they are gone. Our perception of ourselves influences what we see in the mirror and what we think about ourselves, but how often is it an accurate representation?

When was the last time you looked at yourself through an observers eyes and saw that you already were what you wanted to be?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More than meets the eye?

Do you believe in coincidences?

Do you believe that if you miss some crucial piece of information (life lesson) that it will find it's way back to you, that you will continue to repeat the cycle until you learn/notice this information or that once it's gone, it's gone?

I believe that history repeats itself if we fail to learn from our mistakes. I believe that there are certain things that need to be learned before I can move on to the next lesson in becoming who I am. I believe in second chances and I believe in making amends when the opportunity arises.

Perhaps we see only what we want to see because that is what we are looking for and perhaps still we see these things only because the time is right for them to be revealed to us in the grand scheme of things.

Everything has a purpose, everything has a reason and each thing has its season.

When I was younger I fought my way out of my small town life by earning a full paid college scholarship to the University of Texas only to find (once I got there) that I enjoyed school, but didn't enjoy attending classes. I worked and attended school full time unwilling to give up either, but knowing I couldn't keep both up without burning myself out. Eventually I got to the point where one had to give and the choice was hard...until an opportunity presented itself which allowed me to have both. Little did I understand then, that I would actually achieve my long term goal
of completing my degree (at no cost to myself) but I did. I worked hard and steadily towards this goal and no, it wasn't in the manner I had originally thought it would be, but I got to the end result just by a different path.

Be it fate, destiny, the work of god or some other higher being - I often wonder if our lives are a set of coincidences or a series of opportunities designed to get us to where we need to be or teach us certain lessons in life.

Take for example the picture below. Two babies, two different situations, born
at two different times in their parents lives yet very similar. Perhaps the commonality between these two babies has more than meets the eye.
What do you think - Coincidence, fate, hard work or something more?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Madness

Monday Madness Office Style

Why is it that when people are speaking they speak with puncuation?
  • "I was going to the store however comma I changed my mind."
  • "He is just a bastard period."

Is this some type of emphasis that I just don't get???

Why do people speak with "texting" terms?
  • I tell a funny joke at work and my cube neighbor replys with "LOL."
  • I ask Betty if she knows where I can get some more pens and she responds with "IDK, go ask Amy."
Seriously...I text but I don't 'speak' it.

Why do people walk into a conversation based on "one phrase" without knowing who else is involved in the conversation?
  • Beth (two cubes down) thought she overheard someone say the word fart so she pipes in "John are you farting? Giggle Giggle" and then realizes as she rounds the corner that there is a 'visitor' she does not know sitting in John's cube.
Why do people assume that just because you work on computers at work this automatically means they can ask you to fix their home computer as well?
OR
Why do people assume that just because the computer guy can fix the computer this means that he will tell you how to fix your home computer and you will be able to follow his instructions?
OR
Why do people assume that if you tell the computer guy "My computer doesn't work" that he'll respond with "activate computer powers" and be able to tell you what the problem with it is?

Seriously, when was the last time you walked up to your financial guy and said "Hey I'm over budget this month and my paycheck is already spent" that he responded with "If you adjust your budget to include additional taxes on gas and deducted the cost fuel mileage for driving to lunch each day as well as calculated the cost of ..."
(Yeah sure he would)

Do you have any office pet peeves??