Friday, January 28, 2011


                             Start the day off right.
                         Set your thoughts on the right path.  
                 Decide what your intention is for this day. 
                My intention for today is not to struggle. 
                What is yours?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Getting Closer!

Yesterday I received a letter from Cherokee High School regarding fall enrollment.  My son is in the 8th grade.  This fall he will be in high school.  High school?  Seriously?  I just don't understand what happened.  Writing this and reading it back to myself it seems impossible, absolutely impossible, that he will be in high school.  It's probably harder on my digestion than it is my son's. 

Now let's break that down.  What we will be dealing with are the 3 Ds;  Dating, driving and declaration of independence.  I would also like to throw another D in  for good measure, damage control.  I can remember doing a little bit of that while in that 8-10 year learning curve.  Of course I'm still in a learning curve only it doesn't seem to be so big, damage control isn't the focus of my life anymore. 

Dating is first on the list because I can almost feel that "dating" will happen any day now.  What's up with "dating" these days?  I thought dating was reserved for those around 16 who can actually drive their date to their destination.  If you can't drive yet, where are you going to go on a date unless someone  takes you there?  "Back in the day," the only dates we had at that age involved going to school dances  once or twice a year. We didn't call it dating.  When we were 14 or 15 there was no going to the movies with your girlfriend or boyfriend, or to the mall or anywhere else for that matter.  

Driving is next on the list.  Who is going to teach him? Even though I'm use to it, others are scared when they are in the car with my husband so if he's teaching our son I don't even want to know about it.  I say I'm all for driver's training.  They don't offer it in school but that's okay with me.  I will pay someone to teach him. Something about being in the same car with someone learning to operate 2 tons of metal is a little scary.  Thank goodness I still have a couple of years to forget about him getting behind the wheel.  Right now he talks incessantly about what type of car would make a cool first car.   Well, he'll be driving a bike to school unless he steps it up in the savings department.  His other options are I drive him or he takes the bus. I'm sure that would go over well.  

Last of all,  at least he's taking it slow on his declaration of independence. Okay, first I had to let go of the school work and now this.  What's next?  Am I going to have to let him make up his own mind about a career, marriage, ...  That is a lot to wrap my brain around. So far I think I'm doing fairly well.  I'm trying to remember I'm just along for the ride.  I'm along for the ride until I find out that he needs steering in a different direction. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Growing Into Her Own

I can't wait to see the woman my daughter will grow into someday. She is passionate about her views.   She is passionate about helping people and  helping animals.  She is also is passionate about doing her best in whatever she does and she isn't afraid to try.

She cracks me up sometimes with her own sense of style and her sense of being okay in her own skin. She's 10. I'm trying not to squash this although sometimes its hard not to when she comes downstairs as if it were mismatched day at school. After letting her know, as gently as I could, what she had on didn't really go together, she decided to start asking me if "this matches."

I say that I can't wait,  and I can't,  but  I'm truly enjoying the time I have with her now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Did You Vote For? An Innocent Question

It's very interesting how teenagers perceive how the world works.  Many times if your opinion is going against the opinion of others in a group you are considered not normal so I could see how this could hamper a teenagers freedom of speech.  This in a sense is true for adults too.  As the cliche goes, what exactly is normal and who should really care.  

My daughter posed a question directed to me. 

                            "Who did you vote for?"

To which I replied, "What do you mean?"  "Are you talking about the presidential election?"
                            She said, "Yes". "Did you vote for Obama?"  

At this point in the conversation my 14 year-old son couldn't hold back a comment so felt compelled to jump into the conversation while my snickering husband was left in the background.


 My son, in his vast life experiences at 14, says 
                           "Oh, well look where that has gotten us."                               

I bet you might be able to guess how the conversation further played out
                           "What do you mean by that?" 
                           "Obama and this health care mess we are in."
                           "Please explain."
                           "Well, you know.  First it's global warming and now it's health care."
                           "Oh really, I'm sorry you feel that it is all President Obama's fault."  I actually wanted to say, "What the heck are you talking about?  Seriously!!"  "What don't we throw in the economy along with anything else you can think of."  "Just who have you been talking to?"  

                     "You know, it's pretty incredible he did all of this by himself and in such a short amount of time."

He understood my point.  It didn't happen overnight and it wasn't just one person. Not only that, a lot of the mess we are in has nothing to do with anything except greed. We need more of it right now and the bigger the better. If we reverse that thought the world might even be able to recover.

 I also let him know that he might be pretty surprised how many of his friends may have voted the way I did if they had a chance.  Some teenagers, as well as some adults, do not feel comfortable voicing their opinion on a subject if it may create controversy and ultimately a good ribbing or worse.  It's hard enough to be true to yourself in given situations as an adult let alone during your teenage years.  

My hope is that we could all just recognize that it's okay if we all don't think alike and don't share the same opinion.  Imagine what the world would be like if we did.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Redefining New Year's Resolutions

Usually I do not make New Years Resolutions.  I don't make them because I always thought why wait until then when I can start now.  The only problem is that now doesn't come around very often.  I do try to plan things out though so I guess my resolutions are more like goals.  Also resolution implies loosing something.  I may not want to lose all of something but only an aspect of something.  Therefore a goal to me is a little more focused.

Martha Beck has an interesting idea regarding getting a clearer picture on what you want.  She tells people to use adjectives instead of nouns and verbs so that you are describing what it feels like to have reached your goal or completed your New Year's Resolution.  This is the place you want to be at.

Think about something that you would like to attain.  A lot of people set goals to lose weight around this time of the year.  The gyms are full of people who are striving to reach their goal, or so I've been told. They are passionate about it for the first month and then, for whatever reason,  their goal changes or completely disappears.  To stop this from happening, Martha Beck suggests that we think about how we would feel once we have reached that goal.  Does it make us feel complete, energetic, fearless, ... Now write down those adjectives that describe how you would feel.   What you do in your daily life that can be described by using those same adjectives.  This can bolster the "I can do it!" attitude to get you through the tough times.  If you can find these adjectives in your daily life now then you already have successes in your life? Count those blessings too!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Did It!

Yesterday I finally decided to step up my exercise. Yoga is wonderful but I needed something that pushed me a little further physically. I'm not giving up gentle yoga but took a step outside of the box and went to a Jazzercise class.

7 or 8 years ago was the last time I put a foot inside a Jazzercise studio. For over 2 years I have been thinking about it, because I love it so, but the fear of the now unknown is what kept me out. Would I be so totally out of shape that it's pointless?  Would everyone in there look awesome leaving me all by my lonesome? Would the owner, who I know,  take one look at me and think, or even worse say,  something to confirm all of these thoughts? 

Class begins at 4:45 and I got there extra early so I could sit in the parking lot and work up the courage to walk through those doors. I sat and wrestled with myself for quite some time until 15 minutes before class.  It's tough to be your own cheerleader but if you want it bad enough you'll reach for it.  If the good stuff out weighs the bad stuff then you are in good shape. I went in early to fill out the bit of paperwork I had as a walk-in client and so far so good.  

The owner of this location is also the instructor for this class. Class is almost ready to begin and up on the stage is not my friend but another instructor filling in for her.   This instructor I had before and it was surprising and I felt a bit of a relief to see a familiar face.  Things were coming together better than I could have imagined.  

It's as I remembered, Jazzercise is fun.  It is also more intense than I remember.  The class incorporates aerobics, pilates, resistance training,... and all of this is set to high energy music and guided by an over-the-top instructor. I do not mean anything by that other than to teach a class like this you need to be high energy, outgoing, friendly and comfortable in your own skin or else fake it well. If you are having a grogy day just step inside this studio in particular and you will begin the transformation. For me this is it. The other good thing is that I didn't forget those basic Jazzercise steps. I was able to keep up through most of the class without tripping or falling over because of lack of coordination or passing out due to lack of cardio. 

Jazzercise attracts people from all walks of life, this is something else I forgot. People older than me, some younger, some who are fit and others who aren't all in attendance. I appauld those who are getting out there and moving even though to look at them you think that must really be a struggle. I need to lose about 30 and it's not easy,  but to see someone who needs to lose 60 or more pounds, doing way better than I am, is pretty impressive. 

When I left there exhausted and drenched I still felt good.  Ready for dinner, a hot shower and my soft, cozy bed the soreness started to sink into my body.  At first I felt it in the places you would expect and this morning I woke to every part of my body loudly crying out. I had forgotten what it felt like to be sore in more places than I care to mention. It's been hours since I got up and I expected to reap the benefits of the ibuprofen I took earlier but I'm still pretty sore.  I do, however, feel a little stronger if only in my heart. I did it!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Empty House

I was a bit perplexed at what transpired today. I was, I have to admit, looking forward to today. This would be the first day the kids and husband would go back to their routines of school and work. I had planned a day filled with yoga, writing, going through job listings and catching up on the household stuff. Shortly after the kids were off to school I had breakfast and got a shower. From there I was on my way to yoga.

 The drive to the yoga studio is only about 25 minutes and is so worth it! News interrupted the music on the radio to let me know the interstate was a mess. Yes the same interstate that I take to get to yoga. There had been a major accident. I decided to go the backroads. It would take longer but who knows how long I would have been on the interstate. I was determined to get to class but in the back of my mind I had a slight suspicion that I would not make it in time. I was right. By I time I got there yoga had already started. I decided to run a few errands instead.

After that I was almost looking for things to do to fill up a space. That empty space was where my family was. After being together for 8 days straight it was a little harder than I thought to give them up.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King's Birthday

I think we have finally thawed out and right now everyone in this household is in a better place. We can go somewhere.  There is nothing like not being able to get out of the house when you want to.  Well, I guess you could say that we really needed to.

This morning I woke early,  forgetting for a moment that it's a holiday. Martin Luther King's birthday is today.  Really!! I started thinking about how my kids really should be back in school today and that we don't need another holiday, a.k.a kids day to sleep in late...Later I realized how selfish that thought is.

Martin Luther King has definitely earned a day to be recognized and remembered. It actually made me a little upset when I started recalling people, I'm included, suggesting that the kids begin making up snow days today. I understand they missed an entire week of school but should we forgo MLK day? Would we have given up any of our other holidays so easily? Well, in the end,  those snow days were pardoned except for one. That one will be made up during the furlough days in the months ahead. Don't even get me started on furlough days!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Enough Already!

I am so over this frozen tundra and I'm so thankful this is a once in a decade kind of thing. I am beginning to think I'll never thaw out and that my kids will never go back to school. They were out the entire week for goodness sake! Monday is MLK day and they are off then too! I love my kids to death but I think we are getting ever so close to strangling one another. My lovely husband is included in the mix. He's the lucky one in times like these. He has a job outside of the house.I, one the other hand, do not. I will say this though, because of this I have stepped up my job search. Yesterday, the last day of being trapped inside the house, I was applying for just about any kind of job I could find. Anything to even get an interview. Nothing yet. Despite that, I would have gotten out before today, the kids are now old enough to stay home alone, but I don't drive in/on the ice. If I really had to I would but I really didn't have to. Next time I guess I could at least go out to get a breath of fresh air :0).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day (Part 3)

Yes, I didn't think this would happen but the kids are home yet another day.  Fortunately there is still plenty of snow on the ground for them to play in.  Just enough snow for my daughter to make one more snow angel. Three snow days in GA  is just unheard of.  I am going a little stir crazy though because for the past 3 days I've been unable to get out of the house.  Yesterday I think we, our family,  needed some alone time.  Alone time as in you go your way and I will go mine.  Entirely too much togetherness and it is not good.  I decided to pour myself into my job search and my writing.  Not to mention a little "Angry Birds" time on the iPad.  It is beautiful outside though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day (Part 2)

Yet another day of snow.  No more snow falling and it does seem as if a lot of snow has melted.  The roads are a little slushy and it will be interesting to see what the morning holds. The temperature around here isn't supposed to get above freezing.  

If the kids have school tomorrow I have carpool duty tomorrow:(  Yikes!!  My husband has graciously offered to take the kids to school for me.  Yeah!!  I don't like driving on ice because no one can drive on ice.   For those of us with school aged children it could be another day with the kids home though.  At least they aren't looking for something to do. 

My two have spent most of the day outside in the snow.  Kids are funny.  Here I sound like my mother when I yell,"Make sure you layer your clothes.  Come inside for cocoa when you get too cold.  Don't take your mittens off."  I could go on and on but if you are a mom I'm sure you've said it.  Funny how the old-fashioned notion of playing outside is okay to a kid when there is an adventure to be had in especially in the snow.
Stay safe!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

Very few are venturing out in this weather. The Atlanta metropolitan area is shut down all due to the newly fallen snow that has blanketed the city. Next comes the ice. School is closed for today and the kids can enjoy the winter wonderland for as long as it lasts. With temperatures remaining at freezing or below for the next several days, things are going to stay this way for a while.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pandora, Pandora!


I have yet one more thing to say about Tis' the Season and then I'll be quiet.  Well, okay, maybe two things but one for now.  It's about giving gifts to our children. Parents with more than one child, moms in particular,  always try to keep the total dollar amount spent on our children even, especially at Christmas.  Christmas is the one gift giving moment that it's easy to compare gifts, one sibling to the other. 

If one child asks for a "big" gift, and we decide to buy it, and the other child didn't have a "big" gift on their radar then they get enough smaller gifts to equal the bigger gift.  This year that is what happened.  By "big" gift I mean expensive.  It may also be big in size but it's always expensive.  My son wanted an PS3.  Those aren't cheap so that was his "big" gift.  My daughter, on the other hand, didn't have "big" items on her list.  She had 2 or 3 medium sized items.  His "big" gift was $350.00, not including games and another controller.  We decided that because he wanted it so much we,  along with his grandma and aunt,  would go in on it.  It also wasn't just a gaming system, he would also have to have another controller and a game.  What would a game system be without a game?  Our part in that gift was roughly $250.  

At first glance the most expensive thing on her list was a Vera Bradley purse.  The purse would be roughly $45.00.  After I bought the purse and some other things to try and equal things out, I saw that she had Pandora on her list.  Now I wasn't that familiar with Pandora.  I did know it's popular and kind of expensive.  My daughter talked about it a lot. While out Christmas shopping I decided to go into this boutique.  The shop sold baby and toddler clothes plus some jewelry, namely Brighton and Pandora. I still had to get my daughter about $50.00 worth of something to "make it even." I decided to check out Pandora.  

There was tray after tray of goodies all varying in size and color.  So many different charms that my eyes were beginning to glaze over. Actually I think there is something in those trays that hypnotizes you.  I began to get sucked in.  I had to do something so I took my eyes off of the trays and opened up a Pandora catalog that was sitting on the counter.

  I don't know if this is a common thing but the trays of Pandora jewelry I was looking at did not let you know how much the items were. The catalog, however, did tell you.  Seeing the prices of the various pieces was all it took to snap me out of it.  Holy Cow!!  I had no idea.  That could have been her "big" gift but now it was too late. The necklace alone was $78.00.  Then I thought, "Well, I could get her just the bracelet without a charm."  I thought she would like the necklace better though so I decided against it. 

 As I turned around to tell my husband my discovery, sheepishly telling him that I had made a mistake,  what to my wondering eyes did appear but an assortment of Brighton to brighten the year.  I had no idea!!  Brighton carries jewelry that looks like Pandora for almost half of the cost.  "Big" gift issue was an issue no longer.  I picked out a necklace and a charm to go with it. Yeah!!!  I was proud of myself but in the back of my mind Pandora kept singing out to me, "You made a mistake!"  "You made a grave mistake!" In my moment of self-absorption,  I tucked that thought away.  

That thought returned December 25, 2010 around 5:30.  I heard the kids stirring.  They emptied their stockings and we waited until 7 before the battle of the Christmas wrap began. One after another after another gift was unwrapped.  Then came "the gift."  She unwrapped it with careful abandon, took it out of the Brighton tin and looked up at me.  She knew.  She knew it wasn't Pandora.  She just said," Oh."  That was enough for me.  That's when I began to beat myself up.  I should have just bitten the bullet and bought the Pandora but I didn't.  Yikes, what have I done.

In the end it was all okay and she forgave me.  I know it sounds like she's spoiled.  She really rarely asks for anything and when she does it isn't much.  She's a good girl.  All she wanted was Pandora.  Well, she does have a birthday in about 6 months :0)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sleeping In

I remember when the kids were little. They are still younger but no longer little. My teenage son would sleep till noon if he could and my daughter is sleeping in more and more. It's kind of nice. Up until they were about 6 or 7 they would wake at the crack of dawn. The only thing on their minds were racing each other downstairs to the TV. First one there gets to pick the show. Not any longer. They are both maturing, realizing there is more than one TV in the house. The change is bittersweet though. More time is spent away from one another. I guess that's just how it goes. Occasionally we sit down for a family game. Those are nice. Last night it was a card game, spoons. A lot of fun. Some good memories!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We Are All The Same

I was having a discussion last night with a group of friends.  One in particular is looking for the way in.  He is looking for the way into being connected,  cohesiveness that leads to joy.  He mentioned that everything was clicking for so long and then it just stopped.  

That has happened to me before.  For me I think it's a matter of not being in touch with myself.  Doing too much for others can create that feeling of I don't know who I am because I'm not even recognizing what I need.  I catch myself living for others without regard to my own needs.  That isn't good because it isn't balanced. 

That's easy to do especially if you are inclined to try to help whoever you run across that asks for help.  You can help without it consuming you though.  Sometimes helping isn't in your best interest because either it's not a positive situation for you or you are the one who needs self-reflection.  You have to trust your instincts and live your life for you.  

We all go through periods of being out of balance.  We just need to open our eyes to this. As I tell my kids, never say never because one day you will find yourself in the same situation. Keeping this in mind allows you to feel connected to others, no matter how different you think you are, you are just like they are.  Changing the way you think changes how you feel.  Realizing everyone is the same, you feel connected to the energy of the earth as well as the energy of all of those around you. 

Open Yourself Up

We have opportunities everyday, every moment. The thing I'm looking forward to the most in 2011 are my opportunities.  My opportunities are endless and it's what I do with those opportunities that shape my life. This is true for everyone. If you choose to do differently your life will be different. It's up to you. God, the universe or whatever you call it, provides those gifts to each one of us. What are you going to do? I am intentionally choosing to remain open to the possibilities. I'm excited!!