Thursday, February 25, 2010

Girl time is good for the soul!

I have always felt that women are so much more stressed than men. Now all you men out there understand that I am not putting you down at all...It is just that we put so much more on our shoulders and worry more than you do. We try to be the perfect mother, wife etc and sometimes we get lost somewhere in all the craziness.
Now, there are many ways to rejuvenate the soul. You can take up a hobby, read a book, take a mini vaction, or go to the spa (one of my all time favorites). I am a big reader and love to get away on a lazy afternoon. With so many demands on our time it is so important to take the time to rejuvenate. I feel that it makes me a better person overall. I do have to say that my favorite way to truly rejuvenate is to have some girl time with my friends. It is a time to laugh, joke and talk about what is going on in each others lives. I love to spend time with my girlfriends. We are such a diverse group of people that mesh so well together. When we are in our teens, it is difficult to make good girlfriends. There is so much competition in life at that age and it is hard to find those true girlfriends. I found that when I finally "came into my own as a woman" that my friendships became true. The worthiness of a friend should not be judged on the type of house they live in, how much money they have or how connected they are; instead it is the beauty of that person's soul. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. They are a funny, caring, compassionate group of women who come from different backgrounds. We are all different sizes, shapes and personalities but we all blend so well. We celebrate each others strengths and weaknesses and when one of us is weak the others are strong for that person. We have been together for the death of a parent, a sibling, weddings, divorces and illness. We stand together in the good times and bad and try to get together as often as time allows for a little rejuvenation for the body and soul. There is nothing like a GNO for making you a better woman! Remember to make time for the important things in life and there is nothing more important in life than your girlfriends.....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Calling all animal lovers

Growing up we always had animals in our house and they were considered a member of our family. We loved our dogs and I do not remember a time that I was not surrounded by my furples (that is the word that we used in the means fur people). They were always considered members of our family and we treated them as such. We have had Dobermans, Welsh Corgi's, Jack Russell Terriers, a Silky and a Yorkie. When I became an adult (defined as living completely on your own with no assistance from mom and dad), I got my first grown up pet. It was a black cat and her name was CoCoa. She was not a very social animal but I loved her just the same. Then along came my most memorable dog, Colby. He was a Lab/Chow mix and he was a great dog! He loved me and was an awesome addition to our family. Colby is long gone and then came a series of not so great family furples and finally Mac came into our lives. He was the best dog I ever had. He was a Boxer/Shepard mix who loved our family and was a great guard dog. Mac was the same age as Lego-man and we all adored him. We were blessed to have him in our lives for almost 8 years until we had to have him put to sleep. That was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had noticed he was losing weight and so I called my vet thinking he had worms or something simple like that. Turns out I got the call saying he was in kidney failure and there was nothing we could do. My vet asked me what I wanted to do.....Are you kidding me? I wanted to bring my baby home and pretend that everything would be just fine. However, I knew that it would not be. She told me what the progression would be and I just could not allow that sweet, loving, gentle animal to go through that. He had been with me at one of the most difficult times in my life. So, my dad and I got in the car and went to the animal hospital to be with him as they put him to sleep. Missy, that is the name of my vet let me go in the room with him and he put his precious head into my lap and we said our good-byes...I thanked him for his loyalty and devotion to our family and told him how much I loved him. We sat together on the floor and I cried as he went gently over the rainbow bridge. My dad and I sat together and cried like you would if you lost any other family member and talked about the impact an animal can have on your life. I truly believe that God put Mac in my life to teach me about selfless love and kindness....He was truly an awesome part of my life. It took me a long time to decide that I wanted another furple in my life. I told my husband one day about 9 months after Mac that I thought I was ready for another animal in the house. He said baby, we have 2 dogs a cat and 5 kids floating around here....Do you think we need one? I did not think that it would happen so fast. The next day my sweet man showed up at the office with the cutest tiniest mini-dauschund I had ever seen. We took him home and named him Ziggy. He is the funniest, sweetest little spoiled rotten dog you have ever seen. He has been really good for Elvis (my husband's bassett hound) and they play together like brothers. He has many nick-names in our family such as pittimus, ziggy-wig and zig-zag. So, if you are an animal lover like me, kiss your husband each day, your kids and your furples too......They are just as much family members as the rest of the clan. And to my beloved Mac.......I thank you for being a part of our family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fabulous at forty!

I can remember a time when I thought forty was old!!!! Do you guys remember those days? As a child, someone would tell you how old they were and you would think wow...they are gonna die soon. To children the passage of time is so slow and an hour, a day, a week can seem like forever. My mom and dad laughed at a story that I told them one time about my daughter lil ms. sunshine......Gabby's girl scout troop were doing a field trip and her scout leader called to ask if they could go to our family plot and etch the marker. I told her that would be fine and the troop took off to do so. Later in the day, Gabby's troop leader called me and she was laughing pretty hard. She said that Gabby was very excited to share her family history with the other girl scouts. She told the other girls, see that is my Uncle Steve buried there, my grandma boo-boo legs is buried here. This is also my Mi-mi and Da-da's marker and they are not dead yet but will be soon......At the time my parents were about 58 and 67. I thought my dad was going to bust wide open when I told them. It became the family joke to say that you might want to do that since you aren't dead yet but will be soon......Anyway, tell that story to talk about the passage of time and how our perspectives change as we get older. I look at myself now in a totally different light than I did when I was twenty-something and even thirty-something. I look at pictures and I look better now and feel better than I have in years. And another thing I have realized is that life is too short for bull...I just no longer have the patience that I once had for it...Now, I know people who know me well are thinking what the heck???? She has never put up with bull......Some are probably rolling on the floor laughing at this point. However, I have even less patience with it than I used to. Another thing I have learned about myself is that the riches in this world can't be bought or acquired. They must be built through friendships and the relationships that you have with your family. I feel so fortunate that the friends I have in my life are ones that have been with me through good times and bad. They are the type of people who will be there for you without you even having to call or say a word. They just know. Now that being said, I also know that if I get a little up on my high horse, these same friends will be the first to tell me hey "Boss" get on back down here with the rest of us. They love to tease, laugh, make fun of as well as praise me whenever we are together. I can honestly say that forty is best of both worlds for me...I am young enough to have fun and too old to care!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A long line of strong women.....

I come from a long line of strong amazing women.....Genetics is an amazing concept in life and as you get older, you come to note the little things about yourself that come from your mother, father etc. My grandmother is one of the most amazing women that I know. She will be 80 in March and still works at least 3 sometimes 5 days a week. She is such an amazing person, teacher and friend. I like to go over and spend time with her on Saturday mornings. She is such a funny, cut to the chase kind of person. I know that anytime I want an honest answer about something I can go to her and she will let me know her opinion. She has only been in the south for a couple of years and I often laugh at her when she talks about people and things that go on. I tell her "GiGi....this is the south" and things are a little different here. She is a beautiful woman and I can only hope that when I am 80 I am in as good shape, health and spirits as she is. Then there is my mother.....She is the strongest woman that I know. She has faced many adversities in life and she is a survivor. I look at my daughter Gabby and see so much of my mom in her....They have the same features and general attitude in life. I know that Gabby will grow up to be an amazing person too. I often say that it is not fair that neither one of my children look anything like me.......I feel that if I carry them in my body for 9 months then one of them should at least look like me......Nope not at all. My daughter looks just like my mom and my son looks like his dad. Now, my son is more like me in attitude which is not neccessarily a good thing. He is stubborn, opinionated and as hard headed as they come. He and I butt heads quite a bit....I look at him and think, lord son you are in for a tough road if you don't learn to compromise a little more. So, I feel so blessed to have come from such a strong line of women and am so glad that my children will have such a wonderful gene pool to pass on to their children........A day I am so looking forward to.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The ability to love yourself

The journey of life takes us on so many twists and turns and it a lesson is faith, hope and love. There are many disappointments throughout...along with wonderful lessons, joy, tears and laughter.....The one thing that I have learned during my 40-something years is that through it all you have to love yourself...Oh, I know this is not an easy feat...We all have our times in the barrel when we get down on ourselves and life and how unfair it is at times. Hey...put on your big girl panties and deal with it...And while you are slipping them on, whether they be cheeky, thong, granny or BVD's, remember that life is a gift and each day a new adventure. Also remember that you are your own worst critic and if you learn ways to love yourself throughout the tough times, then you will always have something to keep you going. Now, I have an awesome friend who I tell all the time that she is her own worst enemy....She is the most loving, generous, kind spirited person I have ever known. I only wish she knew it and believed in herself more. She lives life as if every second is her last and fills each day with new things, places, foods and people. I love to live vicariously through her and see the world as she does. I tell her all the time how incredibly special she is and how lucky I am to have her in my life.......My quote for the day is " love yourself the way God loves you". He made us all different for a reason. Embrace who you are!

Friday, February 12, 2010

" Friends vs. frienemies"

I recently had a conversation with my 12 year old daughter about friends vs. frienemies......Let me explain what I mean by this. My daughter Gabby is a sweet, easy going beautiful young lady who is very laid back. She has a kind heart and is what we older folks call a late bloomer. She is going to be so beautiful that it makes me worry. Now, I know all parents think their child is the prettiest, smartest, greatest child ever to be born, but I look at her and think...Oh my she is going to be beautiful. She has the most gorgeous hair I have ever seen. It is curly with gorgeous spiral type curls and it can be straightened or left curly. Of course she hates it! She has a beautiful complexion with lips that most women pay big money for and the biggest brown eyes you have ever seen. She is her own worst critic...I am fat, I hate my hair etc......I am sure those of you who have girls understand exactly what I am talking about. So, on to my story....My daughter recently had her hair cut, highlighted and straightened. She was so excited about it and could not wait to show it off at school. She dressed up that day and had her hair all fixed, put a little make-up on and headed off to school. That afternoon, she came home very dejected with her hair pulled up in a pony-tail. I asked her how her day went and she said that one of her girlfriends told her her hair looked terrible. I told her her hair is gorgeous and that the girl is just jealous. Now this little girl is someone that my child considers a friend....I told her that real friends do not treat people that way and are happy when their friends do something great or have a great new hairdo! Girls who pretend to be your friends but talk about you behind your back or say hurtful things are frienemies. My mom used to tell me all the time 'with friends like that who needs enemies". As a teenager I did not understand that concept, but as I got older I understood it only too well. Now I have the best girlfriends in the world ones who love and respect me for who I am. They are happy for me when something good happens to me and share my sorrow when things go wrong. I hope someday my daughter is as lucky as I am.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What happened to accountability?

I have to say that I really miss the days of old when a parent makes a child accountable for their actions. I am amazed daily by the parents of adultsand children that try to come in and take care of the child's responsibilites. I am a big proponent of my children taking responsibility for their actions.
Recently, my step-daughter had a problem with another girl at a football game and got suspended from school for it. I talked to her about it and she admitted that she had thrown the slushy at this girl and gave me some reasoning about she was in a fight with her friend and she has helping her friend. I immediately called the girl's mother to address the situation and get the entire story. The mom and I had a nice conversation about it and then I said something to her that really shocked her...I asked when a good time was for me to bring my daughter over to apologize in person for what she had done....She was so surprised and immediately stated that this was not necessary. I told her that it was absolutely necessary in my opinion and to please let us know what a good time would be. You know, she never did call me back to let us come and apologize. So, instead of letting it go, I made my step-daughter write her a letter of apology. I believe in accountability for your actions. My children might not follow through into adulthood, but right now you will do the right thing. As I like to say " put on your big girl panties and deal with it"!