Monday, December 9, 2013

A million great nights

Recently someone asked me what the best night of my life was.  I couldn't answer.  I still can't answer.  It has been days since I was asked this question and it's been on my mind since.  I'm 30 something years old [I just don't want to write the whole number at this moment!] and I can't think of my best NIGHT ever!??? Leading me to think, [I know everything leads me to think] have I had my best night ever?  I have been married [ok a few times], and I have been divorced [ok a few times]  given birth, had some great relationships, partied like a rock star [ok sometimes I still do], lived away from my family, overcome numerous obstacles, purchased homes [ok a few times] [curse I am starting to see a pattern here...] point is what the curse is my best night ever? What is wrong with me that I can't name it?

Here comes the list that has been running through my mind:

As a mom I am suppose to say the best days of my life were the days I had each one of my children.  NOTHING and I mean NOTHING in this world could compare to feeling of your newly born child in your arms.  But [always a but...] the day you give birth really isn't so great.  It HURTS!  You have strangers looking at you, you are [hopefully] given something to "help with pain", your body is in another world, your mind is in a place I can't describe.  Once the little one has arrived it is AMAZING! But, it also really's uncomfortable...I wanted to be home and my life had just changed in ways I couldn't have even imagined. And did I say that it HURTS!!! As a mom it's easy to answer that the best day/night of my life was when each one of my children were born.

As a mom I can also name numerous events which qualify as "best days", for example, my sons graduation from high school,  the first Christmas the kids can recognize presents and the joy of Santa, the first time my youngest son saw the Castle in Disney and he cried. Their first steps.  The first time you hear them say "I love you" or "momma".  Having a teenager, and now a young adult, it's so rewarding to see my son looking after his younger brother and growing independent. There are a million things I can think of that made my day "the best" with both of my kids.

As an adult I can name various triumphs in my life, my first 1/2 marathon, getting my master's degree, being offered jobs that I really wanted, overcoming some sort of obstacle and feeling as if I conquered the world.

 In relationships there are always great nights... first phone calls, first dates, that first date that really makes that person "click" in your mind,  the first time you hear the words "I love you" from a person you love also, first kisses [if they aren't awkward], the first time you hold hands.  Then as a relationship progresses there are those moments of comfort, and the first time you feel comfortable is also a great feeling.

As a friend I can name a million GREAT nights.  I actually had some recently with my favorite girls. 

I suppose I can't name one specific night because I have been blessed.  I have a million great nights.  As far as the best one, my answer is a question.  This week?  [ again with my optimism...sorry don't curse me]. Sometimes I am not optimistic, just ask my coworkers or my friends.  But I try....

Thursday, November 28, 2013


 Since my last post many things have changed in my life.  Once again I have found myself as the sole provider for my children, the queen of the castle "you can call me queen bee" [ that is a quote from Royals, yes I quoted Lorde. I love the song].  I have to admit this is not only the scariest thing in my life but also the most rewarding.  And for some reason it seems as if this is the path for me.  And so, I accept it. 

I find it amazing how one moment life is moving along, even boring at times, and the next.... one thing,  one event can change it.  It's probably the most exciting and terrifying idea ever.  Here is what I have discovered.  Fear should NEVER hold you back from anything no matter what the outcome is if you are smart you will learn from moving through it.  Everything truly happens for a reason.  Sometimes the worst things in life turn out to be the best! And optimism truly can help you get through anything. 

I haven't really had an opportunity to thank my family or friends for helping me through a really rough patch, because I normally spend most of my days on "one speed...GO" [that is a quote from Charlie Sheen. Yes, I did quote him].  So, here it goes...Mom, thank you for your love and support.  Your strength and your lessons in life, your attitude about being a woman and a strong woman at that.  Thank you for always being there even in a moments notice.  Thank you for being everything a mom should be.  Thank you to my friends, for listening, for making me laugh, for being there no matter when or what I need.  Thank you Shannon and Kelly for helping me through one of the worst days of my life and for making me laugh during that time.  Sandy and Mark thank you for spending an entire weekend listening to me cry, complain, worry and pace your house for hours.  Mark is a great guy for dealing with it and an awesome brother in law.  And Cody, my Prince.  Thank you for gathering your friends and moving once again.  You are growing into an amazing young man and I know you will always have a heart even with your stone cold expressions. 

Since Thanksgiving last year I have gained a greater sense of the value of my family and the support they will always provide to me, I have gained a greater sense of the power of friendship and how amazing the girls in my life are. I saw that through all of the chaos and schedules and busy life events in my life I have managed to teach my sons the value of caring, support and respect.

I am also very grateful for the new people who have entered my life.  I have made some great friendships this year and I have also met some people with wisdom and experiences that I haven't had and so I am learning from them.  I am thrilled to experience new things and I am grateful that I get to do this.  

So, no matter what life presents, no matter what path I find myself on I am grateful.  Live, learn and most of all be happy.  We only get one round and I choose to make the best of it.  I was going to quote Miley here, but I won't.  Maybe quoting Charlie and Miley in the same posting is too much??  I will twerk my way into the kitchen to prepare my Turkey instead.  Happy Thanksgiving. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Welcome to the Jungle

Sometimes (mostly when I am running) I enjoy some different music, and yes that includes "Welcome to the Jungle". There is something about Axl's voice when I really need to pump things up.  Then there are those days when the sound of that voice sends direct pains into my brain and I cringe at the sound.  Why the [curse] am I talking about Axl Rose?  Well, yesterday marked my first full month in my new position at my job.  And take this as you want, but when I was walking down the school hall way against a crowd of about 100+ children and about to open an office door where I had just instilled a million changes amongst my staff that song popped into my mind.  And in that moment I also flashed back to when I worked in a bar/restaurant many moons ago and before opening the doors to open for the night, the owner would say "It's Showtime".  Just that one phrase would either make me smile or cringe depending on the day.  My next thought
" should I open the door and say either of these?" I opted for my safe zone and said "Good Morning"....

All of this has made me think about how much one song, phrase, or even word could change based upon someones own mood.  Here is another example,  I will say to my oldest son, " Where are you going?"  and most of the time he answers, yet there are times he will elude to the fact that he is 18 and can go where he wants to go!  [so, he doesn't exactly elude, he usually says "I am 18 and will go where I want"] That usually ends up with an argument and he is forced to answer. [anyway...]

Now think about how you may approach your family members, for myself, I know some days my family will approach me with a "can I have?" question, which is really code for "will you do/get/make" something for me?  Some days, it's welcomed, others I want to explode and point out how many things I have already done for this life sucking family!  [oops, I may have gone too far there] 

My point here, be kind.  Weather you are having a "Feeling Groovy" [Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel just have the kindest voices] kind of day or "The Beautiful People" [Marilyn Manson is definitely a scary dude] day, there is something to be said about kindness.

 "It's Show Time" regardless of your feelings for the day, just be kind, it is a jungle out there! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012


One more holiday season almost behind me.  What a mad rush, what an expensive mad rush.  What a crazy amount of time I spent cooking.  What a crazy amount of time I spent cleaning [and cleaning...and re-cleaning...and cleaning again!  My hands are cursing raw from the cleaning].  Yet, when all is said and done my children are happy, my blended family is happy, and it was a nice Christmas. Ok, [I have to do some complaining] in spite of having to move that creepy elf around every night, and then watch my son sadly say "good bye Jingle.  I will miss you" on Christmas Eve, and in spite of the millions of lies I had to tell him about that stinking elf.  And in spite of worrying that I didn't give enough, or I didn't buy enough for the kids, or that I didn't have enough time to wrap everything.  And in spite of not being able to work out/run at all, and in spite of not eating well at all.  And in spite of not following my dream to have everything done and being able to sit on the couch and watch Christmas movies.  It was a nice holiday season [hahaha...] And for the first year my Christmas tree is flourishing with minimal needles falling and I don't want to fling it out of the closest door already [thank you Bennies Tree Farm].

Now we forge ahead into 2013.  I LOVE changes.  The thrill of the unknown if very exciting.  Last year I made some plans for the 2012 year, not all happened but some did and for all that I accomplished I am grateful, and for all that I did not [curse it!] I will just try again this year.   Which brings me to my point of New Year Resolutions.  Do people still make resolutions?  I actually don't hear about it often anymore.  Or do people just keep it to themselves?

Following my tradition [ok, there is also something to be said for tradition and certainty] I resolve the following:  1. go to the doctor on a regular basis for check ups. 2. ask the doctor for help to quit my bad habits. 3. run another 1/2 marathon. 4. WRITE a book [this doesn't mean just a chapter. I promise you self, you can control your lack of attention]. 5. SAVE MONEY.  6. Well I don't think I will add a 6, maybe I will just stick with 5...that will keep it possible to complete. 

For those of you who don't make a resolution maybe you should.  It's not a bad idea to contemplate some things you would like to change and then try to change them.  I mean didn't Michael Jackson even have a song about changes??? Something about starting with the man in the mirror [that one is for you Kelly].  However, if you try and don't succeed it's not the end of the world.  I look at it like dieting.  If you have a bad day and finish off the bag of chips or eat just three more cookies, or eat just one more piece of pizza [ok, that's me I am talking about] then you just start over the next hour/day/ minute.  See how wonderful changes can be! 

Now that I have motivated you to change some bad habits or complete a desired goal [or at least put the idea in your mind] think about the feeling of accomplishment.  Then think about the reasons for not accomplishing it.  It works doesn't it?  The good out weighs the bad! 

So, Happy New Year!  Relish the possibilities of changes, and be excited to begin a new journey. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good People?

I began this post a few weeks ago and never got to publish it.  I wasn't going to put into words how sad and hurt I was over the shootings in Connecticut.  Mostly because I can't even accurately describe my feelings...I deleted "sad and hurt" 3 times before deciding if those were the only words I could use.  However, I could never describe my own feelings  simply with words, yet I feel the need to express something, and so I tried my best.

During one of my evening runs I allowed my ipod songs to play through without skipping and shuffling through to my favorites.  One song I forgot I downloaded was Jack Johnson Good People.  This was the day of the tragic shootings in Connecticut. As a mental health provider in the school systems, as a mother, as a friend, as a person who loves children, as an aunt, as a human being this event made me sick, sad, horrified, helpless, hopeless, and just numb.  I am sure I am not alone with these feelings as our nation was grieving over this.  Since those events I have read and heard the debate about mental illness and gun control.  I watched our president tearful on national television and stating we need to change.  I have read and listened to people discuss " absence of God" and then I  read FB postings about wanting the shooter to rot in "hell".  I sat through speakers discussing what to do in the case of an emergency within the schools.  I have pondered in my own mind what could I do to help the kids in the classrooms I am in if something like that were to happen.  I have cried, I have cried, I have prayed, I have cried. 

So, back to the song...the words rang in my ears, for anyone who hasn't listened to the song listen to it.  Where have the good people gone?  [my thoughts at first] and then as one last stitch effort to find the good within I began to watch the heroic instances of the teachers and first responders and parents involved.  And then I prayed again.  I prayed for all of them.  And I prayed for myself and my family, I prayed I would be able to see some good in mankind and find a way to enter a classroom on Monday and not feel worried or at least appear worried.  I prayed for help.  And guess what?  Once again GOD IS.  I was out of town on Saturday when my oldest son called frantically upset that he lost his wallet.  A wallet holding his social security card and his entire savings.  He closed the account.  I assured him we would take care of it.  I admit I was upset [ ok, how the curse did he loose that wallet.  How could he be so irresponsible? my internal thoughts].  And then a few hours later he called me back.  This time I could hear the happiness, "mom the police called and a man walking his dog found my wallet and returned it to the police.  I picked it up and everything is in it".  Here it was, God is.  My answer.  The good people are right here.  The good people are everywhere, however, we don't always see the good people.  To me this man should have been on the news, praised for his honesty, praised for his kindness, praised for his moral sense of right and wrong.  However, I don't even know who this man is.  Making it even more important, he returned the wallet because it was the right thing to do.  [Amen.]

My opinion on gun control, my opinion on mental illness, my opinion on the shooter, my opinion on school safety, my opinion on religion in schools...won't be stated here.  What I can say is this, we all agree we need some kind of change.  We all agree this change needs to be immediate.  HOW??? is the question.   I wish I knew the answer. If I did I would be a miracle worker instead of just a social worker...[lol] My way of making change is going to be in my home and with the people I encounter everyday.  What if we all just start in our homes?  Let's just start with working on showing our families how to do the right thing because it's the right thing.  If we find money, return it.  Hold a door open while walking into a store/restaurant/place of business for the person behind you, if someone drops something bend down and help pick it up, say "please" and "thank you",  acknowledge good things others do even just by saying "good job" and "thank you". 

Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.  I know it won't change the world and free us from all the terrible things in life but  just maybe it will make a difference even on a small level.  We all have the potential to be "good people" and sometimes we just might need a little help seeing it.  Help everyone see it.  Live up to your potential. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Taking Time!

I am hairy! There I admit it!  While I was removing all the wild hairs on my body either by way of tweezer or razor for oh--- about 30 minutes or longer  it made me think of my friends.  [sorry girls I will explain]  I have very dark hair and the hair on my body is equally as dark, therefore, I have to shave and tweeze daily.  I don't feel I am alone in this endeavor because I have heard stories of other women who carry tweezers in their cars and pluck and pull out hairs all day.  Once I even had the pleasure of watching someone pluck hairs with a tweezer by a pool [ what the curse is that about you ask? Well, don't ask realize strange things happen to me all the time.  Enough said! ]  Anyway, I was cursing the [curse] out of my hairs [In the privacy of my home not in public...]  when I remembered something about my past.

When I was in about 8th or 9th grade I decided I would be a "hippie", I stopped shaving, stopped eating meat, pierced my nose [and for the record that was WAY before every girl had a diamond stud on the side of her nose! The principal of my school called my mother to have me sent home because it was "causing a distraction". Yeah, I was a rebel!]  I only listened to Freedom Rock, Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Grateful Dead and most importantly I told everyone I was a "hippie" therefore I was! 

Meanwhile, my best friends rode the wave.  They didn't follow [thank GOD] but they stood behind my strange ways.  They tolerated my music and my hair -- well...the locker room was a bit tough and they did complain a bit about the hair but none the less they still stood by me.

Years passed and thankfully I outgrew my "hippie" ways.  I welcomed back the 90's [ "Hello Salt n'Peppa!"]  And good news! I welcomed back my razor, granted they didn't have the awesome 6 blade babies I use today but nonetheless my Daisy freed me from looking like a version of cousin IT from the Adam's Family.  Moving forward I went through many, many more changes.  And guess what?  My friends were still there.

The other day a certain situation came up involving someone from my past.  Once again my friend was there!  Before she made a decision she asked me first.  Once again proving how important our friendship is. I can't really go into a lot of detail here I can only say that one text message made me realize again my friends are always there!  [thank you Clancy] 

Once again all of this makes me realize how the ordinary things in life could strike a memory within making us aware of something so important.  During your busy days take some time to appreciate your ordinary things in life.  They just might mean something.  And take a minute to give a compliment and/or say "thank you!" Even if it's to yourself.  It feels good.   

Today I am grateful for those wild hairs because they reminded me of my friends and how many things we have all been through together.  I am grateful to have a circle of girls for the last 20 to 30 years that know me better than I know myself sometimes!  [Raise a glass...]  Thank you all...for understanding my hair, for putting up with my ever changing world and for being the best friends anyone could have. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bieber, Obama and T-shirts

Okay, what do Justin Beiber, Barack Obama and a t-shirt have in common?  First I will address the Bieb.  Two weeks ago my niece, my sister, my son and I attended the Justin Beiber concert in Philadelphia.  And let me just say that boy is so talented!  We were at this concert and my son asked me for cotton candy I went to get it with him.  My niece and my sister stood in a line at least 75 people deep to  buy a $35.00 dollar t-shirt [what the curse is wrong with these people?] While my poor sister waited and pushed and got pushed in this line she yelled to me across the crowd asking if my son wanted a shirt also.  Of course the heat of the moment led to him saying "YES" [At which time I am thinking, OH curse, I do not see this as a good thing and OMG we are a part of these  people spending our money on 35.00 t-shirts!].  Next he immediately removed his cool shirt (the one I picked out specifically for the concert) and put on his t-shirt [now I am looking at my 8 year old boy in a shirt with a another Male's face on it.  And it isn't Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix or Mick Jagger! I immediately worried what others would think of him] .

 We had a great time, we danced, we sang, we watched  Justin fly on stage with wings, swim underwater off a ship, we saw fireworks and fire on stage!  It really was a great concert.  My sister did a great job getting us through traffic and we got home around 1:30 AM.  Monday morning, my son was aloud to stay home from school due to the late hour we got home and my sister and niece staying over.  Monday morning my son immediately put the shirt back on.  Wore it all day. And asked to wear it to school on Tuesday.  I washed it and discussed the following with him:  Kids are mean.  Kids might make fun of you for wearing this shirt.  Are you prepared to deal with what other kids might say to you for wearing this shirt?  Are you sure you want to wear this shirt?  His response, " Mom, I like his music.  I am proud that I went to the concert.  Some people like rap, some people like country, some people like pop."  That is a quote.  I stood behind his decision.  And after school he said only one "4th grader" said " Justin Beiber is gay".  I have no idea of knowing if anyone else said anything and I am not sure if he knows either [mostly because he truly didn't care] but what courage this boy had!  Even with all my negative talk about the potential teasing he stood by his decision.  How could I not be proud of that?  How could I not admire that?  What a cool kid!

That same week the next day was election day.  I NEVER discuss politics at work or with co-workers and because my fiance and I agree for the most part on our political views we rarely discuss opinions and views at home.  We do encourage being informed and we do encourage the democratic process.  Some people mentioned the election on Monday and Tuesday and then on Wednesday the results to me I found myself worried to state my own political views.  I felt ashamed in front of some people and I felt worried to voice my opinion in front of others due to either lack of knowledge or fear that I would say the wrong thing.  As most people know I often have little difficulties voicing my opinion [I have a blog for God's sake].  Anyway, my son and his Bieber shirt came to mind on my ride home from work that day.  If only I could have that same carefree attitude as he did.  If only I wasn't afraid to speak my mind as he did.  Then it made me wonder if I was like him one day? Fearless of others opinions, fearless to speak my mind, and what happened?  And then I began to think of all the things I am afraid to speak up about and I thought "WOW I am a coward"[curse]!  And I realized how worried about appearances I am.  And how often I tell my children to make a good impression and to think about how others will judge them!

Leading me to this next point [sorry I am getting there] Who the [curse] am I to put the idea in my son's head that everyone will laugh at him over a t-shirt?  Who am I to pre-judge people and assume they will feel a certain way about me for voicing my opinion?  Who am I to underestimate myself and others so much that I am afraid? [ WOW I am pompous, self-centered, egotistical and afraid]

And here is what Bieber, Obama and t-shirts have in common, no matter what we can't control what others say or think about us and we will never know what others feel if we just "go with the flow" and maybe by standing up and being ourselves we can help others to feel confident to do the same.  I guess what I am saying is that it's ok to be different.  I know that sounds redundant we all here it all the time.  But really think about it.  As parent's how many times have you told your kids they couldn't wear certain things, or do their hair a certain way, or purchased things for them just because they had to have it because every other child in their class had it?  As adults how many times do you refrain from voicing your opinion in work or with your friends or your family?  How many times do you stop and think about how you will impact others by saying or doing certain things?  I am not saying we need to cause controversy or chaos wherever we go or disregard other's feelings or opinions.  Actually I am asking that we all do the opposite, we accept others and their differences, we accept and listen to differences in opinions and we stand by our own points of views. 

 I will continue to tell my boys they need to dress appropriately for certain events and they have to look clean and be polite and courteous to others.  I will also remember to tell them to respect others differences and to keep their own views but to listen to what others have to say. Maybe all of us need to accept other's perspectives and make the effort not to discourage self-expression.  And that is where the "it's ok to be different" thing really starts to make sense.  [to me anyway] 

"We want everybody to act like adults, quit playing games, realize that it's not just my way or the highway."
Barack Obama

“Two people can look at the same thing and see it differently..”
   Justin Bieber

"Some people like rap, some people like country, some people like pop."
  Grant Smith