Thursday, July 31, 2008

Been one of those days....

Do you ever just have one of those days?

I do and today is one of them. That would probably be why it has taken me so long to get this post up as my thoughts are a bit jumbled and I can't seem to decide what is going to be put in print. It's more like one of those weeks, but I'm not really complaining because I know it could be worse.

Funny thing is that it isn't a bad week per se, just a rather scattered week. So in the spirit of all things goofy and off the wall I thought I would share with you a little bit of child like logic. When my daughter was a few years younger her class had a big board where they could write their thoughts or about their day. Actually, the teacher would ask them if they had anything to share with the class and then write what they decided to share with the class. Here are a couple of my favorites.

"My mom yelled at me for NO REASON" Griffin
(as most 5yr olds, of course there was no reason...little boys, especially this one, are not mischevious at all)

"I went to visit Jesus so my brother could love on him." Hunter
(visit jesus huh? Some days I wish Jesus would visit me)

"I went to the doctor so he could check on the penny. He took and x-ray and pulled down my pants.) Caleb
(money is such a yummy snack....even better on the way out.)

What's your funny?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I can't have a Big Mac?

Everywhere we look there is something new pointing to the dangers of being overweight. Now laws are being passed banning this or enforcing that in an effort to make consumers aware of what we eat.

Yesterday a headline read: "L.A. wants to clamp yearlong ban on fast food" in which
"The City Council was poised to vote Tuesday on a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand-in-hand with obesity."
We are now going to have our choice of food restricted by the city and/or state because they are grouping all of us as obese? What about those of us who are not? I know McDonalds might not be the healthiest choice for dinner, but on occasion I like to go and eat a Quarterpounder and fries.

A few weeks ago this article was released "New York City Resturants post calorie information but others lag behind."
The new rules are part of an anti-obesity campaign that has also included a recent citywide ban on artificial trans fats in restaurant food.

Calorie information has long been made available to the public via websites and pamphlets in the eateries, however in many instances (as made public by the movie SuperSize Me) many times this nutritional information is not properly posted or is unavailable at locations. With the ruling in New York, the calorie information will be posted next to the food item in the same size font as the price. Talk about a shocker.

As an avid eater food conossour I am always interested in food trends and health. In early July, the latest results of of the 'fattest states' were released. My state ranks #3 on this list, so perhaps I should care less about the regulations, but I think perhaps there is more to blame than just the food.

  1. Activity -It is a well known fact that we, as americans, are not the most active group of people. If you think about it, most of us spend 8-10 hours in an office, typically behind a computer. The only real workout we get is our fingers going type-type-type on the keyboard. Technology affords us the luxury of not having to get out of our chairs by enabling us to email documents instead of hand walk them, google information instead of manually searching thru stacks of books. Just for giggles wear a pedometer to work one day and see how many steps you actually take from the time you leave your house to the time you leave work - if I don't make a conscious effort at work to get up and move, I don't get very many at all
  2. Cost - Along with health news there is massive information floating around drawing our attention to the economic turmoil all around. Recession, depression, economic downslide, fall of the dollar-these are all terms that have been spouted at some point in time. Fall out of this...higher grocery prices. Milk is right at $4 a gallon. Come on - seriously, a cow's milk cost that much and we're not even talking organic. Fresh vegetables have gone up, fresh meat has gone up...what items are cheaper in the stores??? Frozen, prepacked goods and canned items. The larger your family, the harder it is to buy all fresh all organic.

It's a sad thing when I can go to the grocery store and buy 2lbs of lean ground hamburger meat, a package of buns, lettuce, tomatos, pickles and cheese and spend $20 when for the same $20 I could have gotten 2 value meals and 2 kids meals for the same price - which included fries and a drink. Bottom line, fast food is cheap.

I thought it only fair to mention this article "Heavy? It might be your neighborhood"
A new study found that the year your neighborhood was built may be just as important as diet and exercise for shedding pounds. Those who live in neighborhoods built before 1950 are trimmer than their counterparts who reside in more modern communities, the study reported.
I agree with the take away message of the study:
“The take away message is that we’ve got to start building communities the way we used to. Prior to World War II, we basically built walkable communities, but for last 60 years we’ve been building sprawl and people don’t have to be physically active as part of their daily lives.”
I like having things within walking distance and am more apt to walk there as opposed to drive across town for the same thing (especially with the rise in gas prices.) But even still, food is only part of the problem, activity levels are another part.

Don't get me wrong - I'm an advocate of healthy eating, teach our children and ourselves how to eat properly and it will go along way. I'm also a fan of being busy. We do not sit in front of the computer/Wii all day, we get out and take bike rides or walks in the neighborhood and play sports. I just don't think that rules and regulations should be imposed on me and my family's choice of foods.

What are your thoughts on National Obesity and the changes taking place?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I came across this article by Amy Bloom called "Life Lessons." Obviously I am not of the age where wisdom comes with hindsight and lessons learned through time, but I found it comforting in relation to an instance that took place not long ago in my life.

By the time I was ten, I had really learned quite a bit: (1) Being lost is only temporary; (2) there are mean people everywhere (but fewer in the library); (3) knowledge is power, but make sure you know what you need to know (e.g., I may have had vast knowledge of Charles Dickens’s books, but socially this was no substitute for my failure to grasp the nuances of The Barbie Game); and (4) the gap between what people say and what they feel is like the rain forest: fascinating and uncomfortable.
The article is written about her perspective on forgiveness and how things/memories change over time. Bully's forget how cruel they were and people placate others for the sake of "polite social interaction." I fall into the latter of the two categories. I am notorious for saying things are just "peachy" when things are anything but. Just a few weeks ago I initiated a conversation with a person I hadn't spoken to in years because I wanted to be 'polite' and say hello. Pass on a complement or two and convey a sense of "no hard feelings." In the end, I was discarded by the wayside and have spent many days agonizing over why this happened.

What stood out for me was the fact that I am kind of like that bully in her story. I am focused on making peace with myself for any wrong I think I did that I don't see/I don't understand when someone else responds coldly. In the instance of being discarded - I had done nothing wrong to begin with, I was not her bully or foe from the past, but still I was trying to make amends.

Forgiveness is a two way street. You can seek forgiveness from others for what you've done (or think you've done) but if you do not forgive yourself then the guilt will remain. I am an advocate of telling it like it is and being as 'real' as it gets except with myself. I'd much rather live in a world where everyone things I'm OK than have them all know I've been hurt. Which usually leads to silent agony on my part while I plot your demise. (ok, not really the demise part)

Truth is time flies by in the blink of an eye and before we know it we are looking back on when instead of looking forward to what will be. I don't want to get there and then be filled with guilt - perhaps I should take the forgiveness lesson to heart.

What life lesson have you learned?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Madness - Traffic

Summer is quickly coming to an end which means back to school time! As I ventured out this past weekend I encountered some early signs of what is to come and boy am I dreading it (as I do every year.) I do not shrink away from the shopping because of the people in the stores...NO...the people in the cars are much worse - as they think their car is some sort of protective bubble and they can do whatever they like. So in the spirit of all things driving...

Monday Madness - 9 Traffic Circles of Hell

1. You buy an insanely hot and expensive car. But this pearl has been cast before swine: Rather than honor thy automotive fortune, you thumbeth your Blackberry and peek at its profane texts, all whilst straying from the path and coveting your neighbor's lane.

2. Three freeway lanes are shrinking to two, as signs brighter than burning bushes have been suggesting for miles.You finally stop within inches of the flashing merge arrow. Only then do you try to squeeze in line—while feigning utter surprise that your lane has disappeared.

3. You drive a Camaro.

4. I walk through the valley of the shopping mall, yet I shall fear no evil. Until you zipped in front of me into that parking space, even though freakin' Lazarus could have seen that I was there first, meekly waiting to inherit that patch of earth.

5. You worship at the black altar of Harley-Davidson, but you're no biker. You're a normal, suburban guy hiding behind leather Village-People outfits and a wall of assaultive noise.

6. That new BMW or Benz is virginal and pure. Yet you make of it a cheap prostitute, adorning it with 22-inch golden rims, smoky-eyed windows, and a glittering wing on its back.

7. You've spent an eternity in the fast lane, doing 59 mph, holding up charitable souls with an actual destination. Finally, cars attempt to pass on the right—and you respond by flooring the gas to cut off their opening.

8. You're a committed Greenie, a tireless apostle against global warming, evil corporations and any SUV. Your mode of transport? A decrepit, Woodstock-era VW bus that spews more pollution than a dealership full of Hummers.

9. You buy an SUV of Ark-like proportions, insisting you need room for all the world's species, off-road capability for the coming flood, and the towing capacity and mighty V8 to tear down the very walls of Jericho. Yet your household has begat a single toddler, plus a toy poodle. The biggest burden you've ever pulled is potting soil from Home Depot.

What actions do you think deserve banishment to the traffic circles of hell?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Do you know?

What do you want?

Simple, yet very effective, as far as questions go. Do you have an answer?

I was left to ponder this question, not long ago, after a conversation about my future. I did not have an answer. What did I want?

I want it all.

"Not a good enough answer" I was told. This answer requires focus and more specifics - I did not (do not) have them. The difference between then and now...I know what I want, at least part of what I want and the answer came to me like a light being switched on in the dark.

I run each week. I run 3 days a week and try faithfully to reach my goals when training for my marathon in December. I have always run. Looking back thru my life, I have been running for a very long time. I have never run these distances before, but then again I spent most of that time running FROM something as opposed to running TOWARDS something. I have run so far and so fast that I missed many things along the way.

When I started this process, when I was desperately searching for something, some part of me to cling to, I found running. What I didn't realize until today is that I am running towards something and no longer running away. It takes a lot of dedication, determination and drive to set out to run a marathon. The training and time put into it is work and the reward is personal - very few of us will have a reward other than personal accomplishment.

But for me, while this will be an accomplishment, it will be much more than that. I want to break out of my self imposed limits. The rules I've set that say what I can and cannot do. The labels I've put on myself because this is the mold I want to fit in...this is how I've chosen to define myself. At this moment - the one where I ran 6 miles of hills in the suffocating heat, covered in sweat and sore all over - this moment, I want more than anything else to achieve this goal. Everything it takes to get to the end, seems small in comparison to what will be once I get there, almost as if anything is possible, if I just do this first.

Perhaps this sounds a little halmarkish, but I'm not talking just about running a marathon. Each of us are different, each have different desires and wants and needs. Where is our drive to achieving what it is we want? Have you already found yours - achieved yours?

If the world was an endless possibility - what would you want?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Human Nature

I often wonder if our human nature is really as flawed as people make it sound? If you read the paper or watch the news there is so much going on around us to make us question it, it would be hard to think of it as anything but flawed. But then there are glimmers of hope in which it is obvious people out there are not inherently evil, but can have compassion for others without an alternate motive in mind.

I am not saying that I believe people are perfect, I know we are human and can only do so much, but for the most part I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, until given a reason otherwise. Right now, I think I am facing that reason in a situation and I'm not entirely sure I want to believe it.

I am not always a very trusting person, however I have pretty good instincts and can usually gauge how much trust to give. There are time the sirens go off and the lights flash and I choose to ignore them because I want to believe this person is good - unfortunately I typically end up with the result I originally thought would happen.

I recently rediscovered an old 'friend' via the Internet and we began chatting. We shared a few conversations but they were limited to what information they could see via our social medium. I think this lack of information prompted a 'friend' request. They were able to then see photos and all other 'personal' content I keep hidden from the public view. Within 3 days I noticed I no longer had them as a friend, however they had copied a photo from my site and uploaded it to their own.

I am not entirely sure what to think of this. I want to think this was an 'accident' and not intentional however my instincts are screaming otherwise. What I don't understand is why? Why would they do this? Why take a photo of something they clearly have no desire for? Why say the things and act as if they care if they really do not?

I am not perfect, I do remember a conversation a little bit ago where someone said something very similar to me and all I could try to explain was that they were mistaken - it wasn't any of that at all. Perhaps this is my karma or perhaps this is nothing more than what it seems. The sad thing is that I see quite often how deceitful a persons nature can be when hidden behind a computer. It's almost as if this is their shield and it's not wrong because they aren't really doing it. Perhaps it gives them the illusion of not being accountable because they never have to leave the comfort of their own home.

I don't know, but maybe I should pay more attention to my instincts in the future.

Have you encountered a fake persona on the Internet by someone you thought you knew?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life isn't fair

Recently I was reminded that life "isn't fair." No, not by some event affecting my personal life, but by my dear, sweet, 6yr old daughter.

The other night, we all went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. All in all, there were 4 boy's and D.Q. (dramaqueen) was the only girl. Typically, this is not a problem, that night however, it was. You see, all the boys were talking and enjoying themselves and then they started sharing secrets and she suddenly believed they were talking about her. In true dramaqueen fashion, she got upset and proceeded to start trouble.

I, as a parent, do not like to be embarrassed in public - actually I HATE to be embarrassed in public by my child who knows much better than to act like a fool in a restaurant. But this did not stop her, she proceeded to be loud and stir the pot so we took a moment to "chat" about it at which time she started to cry...

"Nobody likes me, nobody wants to be my friend, they only want to be my brothers friend ... cry cry cry"

Really, I did feel kind of sorry for her, she was the only girl, but seriously? All this act over just that?
As the evening would have it, she did not completely straighten up so by the end of the night she had lost her bedtime movie, but her brother had not. She was very disturbed by this and could not understand how, if he was being mean to her, why she was being punished and he was not. She understood why she was being punished - but in her mind he needed to be as well. I tried to reason with her - like a good parent, but no, there was no reasoning to be had.
Oh, yes, she understood and accepted her punishment, but wanted him to be too.

So why is life unfair, you ask?

Well the conversation went like this...
DQ - But he needs to lose his movie too, he was mean to me.
Me - Yes, but you are not being punished for being mean, it is for x, y, and z
DQ - I know, but...
Me - Do you think you should be punished each time he does something wrong?
DQ - No, but tonight is his night.
Me - It doesn't work like that.
DQ - Life isn't fair.
Me - Why do you say that?

Oh and here is where she pulls the only card a kid can on a parent to make them feel uber guilty...

DQ - You love him more than me!
Me - Why do you think that?
DQ - Because he is the new kid in the house?
Me - Hum, do you think we love your sister more than you?
DQ - No
Me - She is the new kid in the house, not him - but no honey, we love you all the same.
DQ - Well, he isn't being punished?
Me - No, he's not tonight, but I'm sure tomorrow there will be something ....

As a parent, I think there is amnesia between then and now? I remember thinking life isn't fair because I wasn't "old enough" to do something, but there is SO much I don't remember about being 6 and why life wasn't fair.

I really think somewhere along the way all that information got pushed out to make room for something newer....oh how I wish I had that info back so I could not feel like the uber guilty parent!

What "life's so unfair" thing do you remember about being a child?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Running While Intoxicated = RWI

I don't usually blog about my running (mis)adventures here at CafeKel (you can read them over here) because it is really just about running. I would rather reserve my whining about stuff to at least something interesting. wink wink But, while at practice the other day I overheard a conversation that filtered into my everyday life and I just couldn't help but wonder....

So, I was at training and there was a group of us women who were running along a trail, chit chatting to pass the time and forget about the overpowering humid heat that we were all suffocating in. As we each took our turns to lament about the heat etc. one woman said,
"Yeah, I was on my way home and needed a to get a beer for 'beer can chicken' tonight so I stopped and got a six pack, but after I got home I was thinking how cold and yummy that would be so I grabbed a couple and downed them right before practice."
I am not judging, I too like an alcoholic beverage (i.e. crisp shot of vodka) on occasion, but I'm pretty sure I have not drank one, or even a couple, before I go run a few miles. If I'm going to drink I'd rather enjoy it than have to go sweat it out in the miserable heat here. I just found it interesting someone would do this BEFORE a run...not after.

For the most part I have given up alcohol while training for my marathon. Yes, I still have some on occasion, but I limit it to a glass or two and then switch to water. Being that this is the season of outdoor get togethers with friends, it has become more difficult to do. I say this because I've noticed a trend recently - whenever we get together with friends I'll usually have something non-alcoholic, no big deal, I don't give any is just what I want to drink. However, they will usually start with the "awe, come on - have a ..." or "you don't want that, I'll fix you a ..." Inevitably I'll have something else and then quietly switch back to water later when no one is paying attention.

I even had a conversation with a friend at a backyard party who said "well he stopped drinking and I'm happy for him, but I'm not on the bandwagon so I'll have another. I think he was more fun when he drank." It made me think about what she thought about me when I stopped drinking.

In this instance I am talking about drinking, but this is not limited to just drinking. What about diets? If someone starts one do we try to entice them to cheat? "Come on, I'll just cut you a small piece of cake - it won't hurt anything." I'm really no better to my friends than they are to me because I am guilty of this. Or a friend who is cutting back on spending and I call and talk them into having lunch with me because I don't want to go alone. "Come on, it's just $10 dollars, you can spare that."

So my point is, in our own ways do we hinder rather than help our friends because we don't like to be alone? I know I've been guilty of it a time or two, but it's not much fun on the other side.

Have you ever been enticed to do something you would rather not?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Madness

Monday Madness
Fashion Flubs

1. Flip flops - They are the fashion crazy, but in a suit at work (no matter how 'cute' they should not be worn.
(I like them, I wear them, I even wear them with some cute dresses...I NEVER wear them to work)

2. Cleavage - Sexy can make some people feel more confident, for women it can distract and be used as a tool to 'get your way.' Most people do not enjoy seeing it in their face at work.
(I have many styles that are cut for 'after hours' even though I wear them for work...invest in an undershirt/tanktop to cover up!)

3. Perfume - overpowering = overbearing
(we all like to smell nice, but if your 'scent' lingers long after you are gone and people can follow your trail thru a need to wear less or change perfumes)

4. Makeup - The magazine show us wild colors and crazy styles, these are not kosher for work!
(I used to work with people who were up to date on the latest fashion eyeshadow up to there, was not their strongest look at work.)

What are the biggest everyday fashion flubs you see?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wrap Up

Well it's finally friday - TGIF! I thought I would wrap up my week of body image with a quickie.

Yesterday evening the hub and I went out to a rooftop party downtown. We have been talking about the festive summer rooftop parties for 3 years, but until last night, had not attended one.

Let me say - it was a blast! We don't go out very often without the kids so this was a real treat, but the party itself...I wish I had done it sooner.

What I noticed most about the party was not what people were doing to make it great, but more the diverse crowd that was there. People of all ages, decked out in their summer, party attire, out to enjoy the music. By all ages, I'm saying ages between 18 and 60 - EVERYONE was having a good time.

To be comfortable enough with yourself, to dress in the latest fashions and party like a rockstar at ALL ages is one of the coolest things I think I've seen in a long time!

So go have a great weekend and enjoy being you!

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I've been on a body issue week and the first few posts seemed rather easy in their relevance (at least in regards to my life.) Now, I've admitted that I have a few body issues, but for the most part my issues are resolved to a couple of major ones and most of the rest don't apply, however in my search for a song I heard recently on the radio I came across another one by the same artist that struck a chord with something I've long since forgotten about...pain.

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut
Let me start by saying that, personally I was never a cutter, but I've been very close to a few and even though I did not carry out this act, I was addicted to pain and found relief from my misery by inflicting it on myself. I'm talking physically hurting myself, pushing my limits just to see how far I could take them - someone once told me "pain makes us stronger" - I took that literally.

This was many years ago, when I felt powerless, confused and trapped. The circumstances outside of my control led me to seek the only things I could control; me and my body. I am not alone in this, unfortunately, because not everyone gets past it. It can be a very dark place in someones life and can carry on for a long time. Fortunately for me, I was able to move on and found wonderful people who were able to accept me for what I "thought" was me which helped me to start the process of accepting myself.

To those angels who carried me thru some dark times...I can never thank you enough. I often wonder where I would be today if I hadn't gotten past those feelings, the hurt, the feelings of powerlessness. It's hard and our coping mechanisms for our emotions come in all forms, shapes and sizes. So do the people it affects. It is not always obvious, on the surface, who is facing these demons - I was active in sports, school, socially...yet in the quiet hours alone I would face my thoughts and hide in the only comfort I knew...pain.

Why do I reveal this? It's simple - this is not me, not anymore, but it was me, a long time ago. Each day I go thru life, one day further from that person and those thoughts get buried underneath everything that is now, but this still happens around me.

You are not alone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swimsuit Brigade

Continuing with the Body Image theme I thought I would take today to highlight another brave woman who is calling it like she sees it. **don't worry I'm clothed!** hehe

I became aware of Suzanne and her campaign for the 2008 Swimsuit Brigade (2 years running) shortly after I accepted the sexy challenge. "What a honest, self empowering, contradiction to what we see each and every day" I thought, but I would never do that. I, like most women out there, dread the summer months. No, not because it is hot - I actually look forward to the heat, longer days, the ability to play out doors and the variety of activities that become available for me and the family during this time of year. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy the outdoors and swimming...I hate wearing a swimsuit. Once again, the battle scars that reflect the life (and love) I've had, make me want to hide myself in the shadows of a clothed body.


Yes, despite my last post (or any other previous information put out here) I am very self conscious of my body in a bathing suit. I can say that a lot of this self loathing for the way I looked started years ago with my first failing marriage. I hate to admit it (because I like to think I am mentally stronger than this) but I let this person mentally abuse me and belittle me and learned to hate my body because it was not the "perfect" size, it was not tight or toned or curvy or voluptuous or any of the other 'wants' he desired at that time. I have since come to terms that I will not be "perfect" however these things still lurk in the back of my mind. So in reality, while I can pose 'seductively' I do not feel as exposed as I do in a mere bathing suit.

Sad..I know. Hypocritical..possibly.

This is not to say that I don't believe this should be ignored or over looked just because I'm "shy." There are many of us out here who, for whatever reason (media, past experience etc.) believe we should be ashamed and cover up ourselves.

So today I am casting off my bathing suit cover up and joining the 2008 Swimsuit Brigade.
Will You?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Last week, the Sexy Diva posted a video of herself doing a 'sexy' dance and then proceeded to challenge the rest of us Sexy Women to do the same. Ok, so she didn't say we had to post the sexy dance, we could do a sexy picture or a sexy thought or pretty much anything that made us feel sexy. So me being me, and not being able to resist a good challenge, decided to participate.

Well this participation couldn't be just any ol' 'sexy' photo - I was determined to make it one CrAzY sexy photo, silly and probably over the top. To me, the best part about being sexy is being fun. Now where in the world am I going with this post...just stay with me and you will see.

This got me to thinking about "sexy" or really what it is that I think is sexy compared to what I am led to believe is sexy from the media. Now we all know sex sells, why else would we have half naked women running around commercials about cars (or any other product?) No, I am not a prude and can appreciate the human body with the rest of them, but if I look at it from a mothers stand point - what do I want to teach my children?

Do I really want my daughters growing up in a world where they think they have to show skin to be sexy? To be liked? To be popular or cool? No, but in reality, this is what is portrayed by the media and in all honesty, I am no better.

Case and point: My first idea for a photo to this challenge...

Once upon a time, I thought of myself as sexy. Over a decade ago I would have gone up against anyone who challenged that just to prove them wrong. 10 years later, that belief is gone...I wouldn't even attempt to consider myself "sexy" outside the 4 walls of my very own house, but even still...I proceeded to play along.

The thing about being a woman, about growing up, is that no matter what age I am, I still want to feel sexy. I want to make my husband smile that sly smile when he thinks of me, I want to be as attractive outwardly as I feel inwardly. So what has changed me from the what was to what is?

Battle scars of life.

  • I have had 2 beautiful little girls - I've got the scars and stretch marks to prove it.
  • Saggy body parts - I've gained and lost weight over the years, gravity is now taking it's toll
  • Wild Youth - I wanted to be cool when I was younger, I now have scars from piercings years ago

But are all battle scars of life bad?
  • Are the laugh lines that are beginning to appear from a life filled with good times considered unsexy?
  • Are the wrinkles around my eyes really that bad if it shows the sleepless nights I've spent with a sick baby?
  • Are the callouses on my feet that bad if it reveals my love of late night dancing with my friends?

We look at life as we grow older and try to hold on to pieces of our youth because this is what we see each day, all around us...but what if we changed our perception of what is sexy? What if what was real became what is sexy?

The moments we don't care about our hair or striking a perfect pose for the camera?

The moments we are caught 'in the moment' and unaware
of anything around us?

The moments when life falls into place and we couldn't ask for more?

I'm talking about life...what if life became sexy and by enjoying life, we believed we were sexy. Wouldn't that be a concept?

Will you show the world your inner sexy? What do you think is sexy?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Madness

After a very interesting and challenging weekend (thanks Krissy) I have decided to dedicate a few days this week to body image. I never really stopped long enough to acknowledge the role in played in my own life until this past todays Monday Maddness is
Body Image

1. 90 Calorie Snacks. Are they really that much more healthy for us or do they just package 90 calories worth of snacks for us?
I am known for stocking my pantry with these because I am too lazy to portion out my own stuff in baggies...I'm such a sucker for marketing.

2. Air Brushing. Does every magazine have to airbrush away the wrinkles on the models?
I buy the creams and lotions, but not yet has my face turned back 10 years of aging.

Sexy. When did Cosmo and Maxim become the experts on Sexy?
I know, I buy the magazines too, but theres got to be more too it than smoky eyes and a come hither look, right?!

Makeover shows. We make them popular by watching, but are we watching to root for the people going thru it or are we watching to prove to ourselves that it really can be done?
I used to watch the swan and think that could be me with a little more effort and a lot more money...nope, still haven't gotten there, nor do I have 10 weeks to devote to "the biggest loser" ranch. Guess I'm S-O-L.

What are your biggest peeves with the unrealistic expectations the media portrays of women?

*As a note - I want to say Thanks to all of you for your wonderful ideas and inspirations for how to keep the blogging going! It was much appreciated!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Got Questions?

I've got a question.

But I've always got a question, you say...well that is true, but this one is a blog question.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I know, many of us out here are mommy bloggers and I think kids provide a great source of inspiration (mine, at least, provide LOTS of humerous blog topics, remember broken nuts?) But kids aside where else does it come from and here's the do you determine what you want to write about?

I ask, not because I want to steal your ideas, but because I have those days where I seem to be floundering out there in the sea of blog words with nothing to least nothing write worthy. I try to write about things that relate to my life, highs and lows in my life, sometimes the kids, sometimes goofy things at work and sometimes I can't help but mention some of the crazy stuff that happens in the news that has caught my attention. But there are many days where either I've run out of ideas or better yet, I have a bunch of ideas and I can't pick the right one.

Take for example yesterday, I blogged about my alarm clock and how much I hate to hear it go off. Funny thing was that I had spent many hours prior to that trying to decide what I would write about. I just didn't have it, nothing, I was drawing a blank. Then the whole alarm thing went off and I just couldn't get it out of my you, wonderful readers, got to hear about it.

Lucky You! (wink wink)

What I find most fascinating about all of this is the fact that I am rarely ever without anything to say. I've always got something to say on a topic or two, seriously, I chat ALL DAY LONG at work (and yes, I could provide stories for days on that one) but really, it can't possibly be good to talk about co-workers when they know you blog!

So, once again I am back to my original delimma. Where is the inspiration?

How do you find your inspiration for blog topics?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Time to get up already??

Beeeep - Beeeep - Beeeep rings the alarm clock and I quickly reach over to hit Snooze.
Ten minutes later Beeep - Beeep - Beeep it goes again.

Do I get up?

Nope. Instead I hit snooze and lay there debating whether or not I really want to get out of bed.
Me: Is it that time already?
Voice: Yep, but you've got time?
Me: But I should get up, that way I won't be rushed.
Voice: Ten minutes won't hurt you.
Me: But that means I won't have time to dry my hair...
Voice: Seriously, you don't dry your hair most days
Me: I really should get up...
Voice: but you've already wasted 10 should just stay home.
So why do I do this? (besides a bad case of neuroses) That is a good question. I am, and always have been, a morning person. Once I actually drag my behind out of bed and get my shower in, I'm quite peppy and ready to go. My day's have started early for many years, long before I had kids (I was the college kid who chose 8am classes) so why do I feel the need to debate with myself if I should get out of bed now or 15 minutes from now?

Last week at SemiCharmedWife she issued a positivity challenge and I've been working on my own end to be aware and 'correct' my ego (my inner voice) since reading A New Earth. I think the morning conversations I have with myself fall into this realm of thought. Do I really need to try and talk myself out of getting up for a mere 10 more minutes of sleep? In this months Self magazine there is an article about self expression entitled Talking Myself Up. The author (Deanna Kizis) writes about how her inner voice(named Stan) is always there being negative and overly self critical.
...after I finished a long phone chat with a friend he said, "your boring her to death. Every word you speak is one less breath your friend will ever take."
She writes about some of the negativity that comes from Stan but then she goes on to say that she "vowed to talk back to Stan everyday" to shut him up. It seems her practice of talking to Stan could be classified as Cognitive Therapy.
"Cognitive Therapists ask people to pay attention to any negative thoughts, evaluate their validity and, if the thoughts aren't accurate, swap in more realistic beliefs."
Well what does this have to do with me and my 'snooze button' compulsion?

Each day I do the same routine - hear the alarm, hit the snooze button and try to squeeze 10, maybe 15 more minutes of sleep time before I get up. Truth is that from the time the alarm rings I'm brain is going 90 to nothing and even though my eyes aren't open I'm already beating myself up. That's a helluva way to start the day, don't you think?

I never realized before just how detrimental to my self image I can be. I've been practicing this technique (verbalize to myself "I'm a strong, fit, runner" and "I will run the marathon, I will complete it") as part of my marathon training, but not as part of my everyday life. It has been working really well in that area so I am issuing a personal challenge to myself to see if I can change this habit.
Be aware of my habit in the morning and replace it with much more positive statements like "It's going to be a great day."

Is your inner voice talking you down? How do you shut it up?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Recently I had a conversation and the topic of what we want came up. That however is a broad topic and can encompass what I want to accomplish for today, big projects for this week or month or even long term goals, so just to say I want this... would not necessarily make it happen.

For anyone who reads this blog or knows me, is aware that I've been looking at my life in terms of 'what I want' from it for a while now. Many times I've felt frustrated because I know people who seem to know just want they want out of life, they seem so focused and know just how to go about getting it. I, on the other hand, look out my window and see a vast and open world full of possibilities and just don't know. The options seem limitless and appealing, but I want to know what is the right path for me, I want to know what is going to work and how to get there - I DO NOT want to wander around trying this and that only find out I am no good (translate=have failed) and need to start over. This is not to say I am not happy for the people I know who have 'found' their path, because I am, I just wish MY time would come. I wish they would impart on me the secret to their enlightenment, I just wish I had the answers for myself.

Recently I mentioned that I had started reading Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth and had taken it on my vacation to re-read some sections. One that caught my attention (previously overlooked) is a section that discusses change.

"Some changes may look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge."

I had never thought of it like this, but it makes sense to me. My problem with this statement is not the change itself, but the negative look of change. I have struggled with the idea of failure for a very long time. So long, in fact, that I do not remember when it started or even why it is/was such a big deal to me in the first place. I've often been heard saying 'failure is not an option' and been proud to admit that "if I thought there was a chance I would fail...I would rather not attempt the challenge at all." Never once has it occurred to me this logic is faulty, but just a few days ago I saw the gigantic flaw that was smack in the middle and can no longer overlook this.

"When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change."

I read this and the light was turned on.

I have thought that because I was willing to do things other thought 'scary' or 'unconventional' I was a risk taker, but the truth is I saw the outcome as positive and never had any doubt I wouldn't succeed at the task. This does not however, open me up to change or the possibilities that come with change. Uncertainty is my fear - my paralyzing fear that has stopped me dead in my tracks many times before.

Being aware does not make it disappear into the night, it does however make it less easy to over look when that is my sole reason for not giving an option a try.

Has uncertainty negatively impacted your decisions before?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Home at last!

Last week the family and I embarked on (and yes, I say embarked because it is a journey of wild proportion) a family vacation. Each summer we take the kids back home to visit my side of the family (I don't venture that far south very often) and we spend a few days frolicking in the sun and surf. The kids look forward to this from the time school lets out until it is over.

This year was no exception. The big difference this year was that we decided to pack up the SUV and drive south (14hrs) and visit BOTH sides of the family along the way. I've blogged a bit about it throughout the trip but here is a quick recap of events:

  • Drive south
  • Hub 'detours' for the longer route (because it was fun..HA)
  • Visit his family
  • Drive south some more
  • Meet up with my family at the beach
  • It rained (it NEVER rains in hell...seriously its been 4months without any rain)
  • Think because it is cloudy no sunscreen is needed (hub looks like a lobster and I'm branded)
  • Run from rain after we get settled at beach
  • Drive north, stop and let kids run rampant in hotel pool
  • Drive north some more - get home, safe and sound.

I think back to all those parents who have done 'road' trips before me and believe they must be insane. Seriously...I just spent 34 hours total there and back in the car with 3 kids (who liked to tell me "I'm bored.")

The funniest thing about the whole trip (despite my children's antics) would have to be my daughter (who is convinced she is grown). On the way home she was scolded for bothering her sister while she slept. DQ then decides she does not want to 'talk' to me, about 20 minutes later we stop for a restroom break and I'm chatting to her (of which she does not respond) but I only get side glances from her. So I proceed to not speak to her anymore. I wash my hands and walk out without waiting for her. She is kind of thrown for a loop - mom ALWAYS waits for her - 10 minutes into the drive later, she decides she is done and WANTS to talk to me, but I do not answer.

The hub looks at her and says "But I thought you weren't talking to mom?"
DQ responds with "But I want to now."
The hub then thru a succession of conversation bets her that she cannot say MOM for the next 100 miles (we have left of our trip).
OF COURSE DQ takes him up on this offer and proceeds to sing song mom-momma-mommy for the next 30 miles. I couldn't help but laugh at the ingenious of it...she hasn't stopped talking to me since we got home!

Ha...score one for the MOMMA!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Madness

In honor of finally returning are a few things I found 'wrong' along the way.

1. Speed-do not drive 50 in a 70mph on the highway.
2. Flat tires-pull completely off the road to change your tire.
3. Beer-if I can read "miller lite" as I pass, you should not be drinking it.

What are your driving pet peeves?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

To know or Not know...

...That is the question of the day.

A conversation came up today about knowing what lies ahead or what lies in store for each one of us. Obviously we each have free will and can choose our individual paths, BUT if it was possible to know you were headed for trouble would you want to know?

I'm talking more in terms of - if someone said to you..."I can tell you what is going to happen (good or bad and you don't get to choose) and you cannot change it, you cannot stop it, all you can do is know that it is coming and prepare for it ahead of time"... would you really want to know?

A few years back the hub and I lived in Gulfport Ms and had been there for a few years. Hurricanes were not new to us, we had weathered the storm for a few that came near us. Each one someone would say "We'll get ours, we are due" and predictions from weather forcasters said with the increase in activity it was likely. But did we There was nothing that said "it would happen" but it odds were very likely.

Even as we watched Katrina move closer and closer to land, knowing we were in the path, we did not leave. It was coming and we could not stop it - all we could do was prepare for the damage it would bring. Even at the time, we did not fully comprehend how life would change because of this, but we did what we could to prepare. Looking back, if someone had said "Kel, there is a deadly storm coming that will forever change your life and your family's life," would I have left and headed for safer ground or would I have stayed once again, to weather the storm?

Personally, I believe if it is going to happen then I have no control over that, but I can prepare myself and continue on my journey. Granted, the above is only an example and this situation is hypothetical to say the least, but...if we could know what is up ahead would it really make a difference?

What do you think? Would you want to know?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Road Warriors

I'm started vacation today (or so they tell me) :)
Seriously though, I'm so addicted to blogging that even now here I sit...yes a little late in the day, but hopefully you'll excuse my tardiness. As mentioned previously, we decided to pack up the car and head south for a little fun in the sun with 3 kids in tow. All in all it will be a long (did I mention LONG) drive to get there, but we have a stop a little ways into our trip to visit some additional family.

So far:

Dual DVD player for occupying kids = $200
Snacks to carry in car to decrease stop time = $45
Beach supplies (everyone needed new "toy's") = $50
Gas for 1st half of trip = $140
Extra gas needed because hub got lost = $40
Getting to snuggle with the kids after and hearing them say "I love you!" - Priceless

What's your best road trip memory?