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No resolutions for this girl. Okay, maybe a few.

Here’s to 2013. It feels surprisingly just like 2012 did. Kind of like when I turned 40 and it felt a lot like 39. Except when I tried the pogo stick on Christmas day. Then I felt like I was 60. Old and unbalanced.

I have some promises I’ve made myself this year. It’s pretty much like last year. Get more fit. End world hunger. Bring peace to the land.

Buy my first unicorn.

Okay, those are very much like everyone’s resolutions, right? Except maybe the unicorn one.

But I also am including these resolutions I’ve listed below. And goshdangit. They’re pretty good.

So won’t you join me too? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did these? I think so.

I was going to put on there, “Make sweet love to McSweetie more often”, but that just didn’t seem very ‘pinterest’ing.

Tell me what you’re going to do this year for YOU and the ones you love that will make you happy. And are do-able. Not that losing weight isn’t do-able, but we’ll just go with baby steps, shall we?

 

Reason To Live Friday #27- We survived Christmas

Okay, we did more than survive it. We sucked the life out of it and showed it who’s boss. Well, really, I just ate too much, drank a little too much and have become a vegetative shell of a human.

This is why bears hibernate during the winter. I don’t think mammals are programmed for much activity once the Winter Solstice kicks in. I’ve been sleeping in and so have the children, except Christmas morning- when Owen came in my room, “It’s 6:04 mom. You said we could get up at 6:00.”  Sure kid, Merry Christmas to you too.

I’ve been eating every carb in sight. This might not be new for you either. Cinnamon bread, scones, and coffee. You’d think I’d have more energy with the amount of coffee and sugar I am consuming. Far from it. I seem to just plan my day around which warm, caffeinated beverage I will have next. What creamer or syrup will it be this time? Gingerbread, pumpkin? Hazelnut? Coconut?

My waistline is starting to resemble Augustus Gloop’s mother’s. It’s starting to form into a tire shape with it’s own treads.

But enough complaining. We had a blast. The kids enjoyed their stuff. They were even (gasp) nice to each other and to us. I shall share with you a Christmas photo montage of our fabulous holiday.

Here goes-

 

But wait, there’s more. My best gift, aside from the Lululemon jacket McSweetie got me, or even the spending $$ my MIL got me, Emma wrote me a ‘vignette’. I writing assignment in Language Arts class that pretty much can have any content, no plot line and not even complete sentences. Sounds like my blog doesn’t it? Anyway- it went something like this-

“Mama is proud of me when I am performing, tears trickle down Mama’s face. Salty hot tears of joy swell up in her eyes. Those eyes that are forests. Forests in autumn when the leaves start to change, crisp, yellow. Mama’s eyes are a burst of all those trees changing, changing, changing. Mama is beautiful.”

Okay that’s all I can type until I start with my own hot salty tears again down my face.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Here’s to the New Year!

Reason To Live Friday #26 – Still trying to find happy

There’s a lot of folks out there that are sad. Sometimes I’m one of them. But my sadness comes and goes. I’ll watch news coverage of a young child’s funeral in Connecticut and burst into tears. I’ll look at my children and think how lucky I am that they are in front of me, and burst into tears. I’m lucky enough to be distracted away from my sadness. Unlike some people’s sadness that’s like a smudge that is stained on their skin. It will need to be washed again and again to start to fade.

I can be gripped with anxiety that makes me think irrational thoughts about my children’s safety. I can start to panic and feel my skin get that cold prickly feeling.

But I can also try to remember that if I don’t get my happy back, I can fall down a rabbit hole of never ending sadness.

When something awful happens to someone else, it brings up our feelings of grief and despair. I know people who have lost a loved one tragically, by their own hand even. I know people missing loved ones from cancer. Little loved ones. I worry about them at times like this. The holidays are bad enough. But to have constant images of grief and tragedy. Motorcades and balloon memorials.

Maybe they feel there is no point for them to go on living. That they too could just leave this earth, and things would go on, and the pain would be over. But that would just cause more pain for others.

Pain and sadness can be contagious. They can be a viscous cycle that doesn’t yield. The dark can keep creeping until the light has been snuffed out permanently.

Don’t let that happen.

We all need to find our happy. We feel guilty laughing. We feel guilty enjoying Christmas movies and cookies and presents. We feel guilty getting to have loved ones to spend these times with.

We need to stop feeling guilty. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to share the happy. Spreading kindness randomly. Sharing joy with others gives them more reason to share it to someone else.

And then it’s okay to be sad again too sometimes. Feelings are good. To feel pain, means that you will feel relief eventually. To feel grief, you will feel joy soon. See the pain as a window, a perspective. Tell yourself, I will look out this window, but only a short time. And then I will close it to open the door of happy once more.

Thankfully, children seem to have the best recipe for finding their happy. If we let them, they seem to flourish in their own lost thoughts. Thank heavens in times like this, their little brains can have the attention span of a flea.

Owen only gets sad if I remind him of sad things. His heart is naturally happy. He has given me plenty to laugh at this week in the area of farts, penis love and boogers. Yes, the Owen trifecta.

At a shop in the mall with all kinds of weird, crazy things like squirrel underpants, and bacon flavored gum, he sees a magnet that reads, I <3 my Penis.  He whispers to me so no one else can hear, “I do love my penis actually. It’s there for me when I’m bored.” Dear heavens son, only in the privacy of your bedroom please. He assures me, only in privacy.

Also this week, in a parking lot, Emma somehow was compelled by the power of song, and decided to belt out at the top of her lungs, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I admit, I laughed and tinkled. I had to be careful not to literally pee my pants. She was skipping and singing, and on key too, as a matter of fact. Who says (almost) teenagers are self conscious?

I laughed heartily at the recent Saturday Night Live episode with Martin Short. I’m sure it was a little bit funny, but I seem to laugh harder when I desperately need it.

I’ll leave you the link to my favorite skit and you can check it out for your amusement. You’re a Rat Bastard Charlie Brown.

I heard the song on the radio “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and thought it was Will Ferrell singing. But it was actually Robert Goulet. Which is funny because Will Ferrell impersonates Robert Goulet singing that song and apparently he does a good job. Or I’m just hard of hearing.

Just remember that there will always be light. We have to focus on that. On the giggles and the belly laughs. The sunshine and the snowflakes. That there is a tomorrow.

Peace to all of you my friends. Be safe. And shine your light.

 

Reason to Live Friday #25- Feed the World

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Reason to Live Friday- so for today, I’m dedicating it to making the world better, one woman at a time.

 

Some of you may flinch at the memory of the 80s hit song- ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’.  Personally, I love it. I do. It was created by Bob Geldof. Not Gandalf. Gandalf is the wizard in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books who has a long gray beard and carries a staff. Bob Geldof is a song writer and humanitarian. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse the two.

Okay, back to the song. There’s a few reasons I love listening to it. The bells and chords in it are pretty cool. Then there’s the game you play to identify which 80s British singer you are listening to when they sing their part. I’ll be in my car going, “oh, that’s Boy George.” Or “is that Simon LeBon?” George Michael and Bono are so easy to identify.

But the words about ‘there’s no snow in Africa’ and ‘thank God it’s them, instead of you’, rips my heart out. The last thing Africa needs is snow. But maybe some rain would be nice. And honestly, aren’t you all glad it’s them and not you?

There’s poor everywhere in the world. But Africa is poor and war torn. The Sally Struthers commercials with the kids covered in flies and their distended bellies always is etched in my mind. She would say, ‘for just the cost of a cup of coffee, you can clothe and feed a child.’ Amazing how far a dollar goes.

Sorry to bum you out. That’s not my point. My point is just to plant a seed of thought in your head.

Have you heard of Women for Women International? It’s this amazing company that teaches women in war torn 3rd world countries how to run their own business to support their families. Every 6 months I receive a new ‘sister’s’ profile and all about her situation. I’ve had women in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Rwanda.

My current sister, Yvonne, is in Rwanda, she is in her 20s and is married but has no children. Rwanda? Can you believe it! Can you imagine living there? No.

I’ve received Easter cards, Christmas cards and photos from my sponsored sisters. Some come with photos. I usually burst into tears because they write that I’m such a blessing and I’ve done this amazing thing for them and their family and they pray for me and my family…. Oh my gosh!!

Yeah. Of course the Christmas card comes at Easter, and the Easter card comes at Christmas because I think they still operate by Pony Express in 3rd world countries. Okay, sorry, bad joke.

Well, I know there’s poor everywhere. There’s poor here in my own neighborhood and hungry children at my kids’ schools. And yes, I do what I can to help them too. But the idea of a woman, who has to fight to survive whether it’s war, rape, famine, drought; who doesn’t know how to read or write; who is treated like property instead of a person; I need to be a part of that change.

I got a message from them to hope I could spread the word this holiday time with the hopes that some of you could do some gift giving through  their program. You know buy some chicks or a goat for a family that needs it. Forget iPads and Prada handbags, these women want a goat for Christmas.

If you’d like, we can all pitch in. Message me if you want to contribute a few dollars and we’ll get some goats and chicks for these remarkable women!

If you are interested in sponsoring a sister, it’s a monthly commitment of $25 here’s the link – Women for Women Int’l Sponsorship

The good news is that this organization rates very highly on Charity Navigator. See here.

So in answer to the 80s song, I think they do know it’s Christmas time. Hopefully some of them do anyway.

b POSITIVE PROJECT

Not as in B+ a blood type sillies! But BE POSITIVE. As in, your life. Don’t be a negative.

It takes work to always be happy. And actually, it’s impossible to always be happy. I allow myself some sad days too. But I try to keep those few and far between. You can feel sad, down in the dumps or melancholy, but still be positive.

Let me explain.

The kind folks at the b Positive Project  reached out to me. They are an apparel company that encourages the glass half full mantra. A guy quit his full time job to start this organization. They sell t-shirts and products and then send a portion of those profits to charity. But mostly, the employees and company of this gig are all about keeping on the bright side of things and spreading that message to the world.

They said I was their kind of gal who could help spread their message. Well, yeah! Don’t you love nice people who recognize nice people? I do. They sent me a t-shirt and now I wear it with pride and a smile.

Won’t you b Positive too?

I’ve said before that on the outside I must look like I live a charmed life. I brag about my kids on Facebook, I do my charity and volunteer work, I have fabulous meals at great restaurants. Heck, I’ve even been to the Grammys. I have an adorable husband. Parents who are close and dear to me, both physically and emotionally. I swoon over Daniel Craig and my husband doesn’t even flinch. I have a bathroom cabinet full of high-end beauty products, that regardless if they are doing their job, I am somewhat obsessed just by the mere having them.

So yeah- that sounds pretty dang good huh?

Well, here’s what you might not see. The husband and I have accumulated quite a bit of debt. I won’t go into this. It’s personal. What? You talk about your sex life, how can this be personal? I know. But it is. Times were tough, and they are better now. We plug on and keep swimming, doing our part and live within our means as often as we can. Minus a few treats now and then. Yeah, I know- Hawaii. Duh.  But that’s just the truth. We whittle away at the debt as we go. Sometimes life hands you some curve balls. We feel we’re still better off than most, so we just keep on, keepin’ on.

My sister is a disabled adult living with my already aging, and sometimes struggling parents. They struggle financially too. My mom lives with cancer and my dad has rheumatoid arthritis (and has recently overcome his heart episode!) and is also a cancer survivor. But hey- they are strong, fit and amazing, wonderful people. Yes, they get tired. But I remind them that old people are supposed to get tired!

The burden of my sister and her constant medical visits, pharmaceutical needs, paperwork, insurance claims, disability bureaucratic red tape, is a large anvil that weighs on my parents.  Especially my mom who is her appointed guardian. Like an ox’s yoke it can be heavy and restricting.

But our faith, our love and our spirit within, get us through. I’m there for my mom. She’s here for me. She has bailed me out of constant dilemmas. Why, we couldn’t have survived my restricted bed rest while I was on the last trimester pregnant with Emma if it wasn’t for her! My dad has fixed a flat tire on the side of the freeway for me. They are without a doubt, the definition of selfless people.

I know God gave me two healthy children because I’m already destined to be my sister’s guardian when that time comes. I don’t want to think about that time. You understand I’m sure.

So that is where positive thinking comes in my life. If we stack up each and every woe we have, it becomes a staircase of brambles and a giant hurdle no one could fathom.

If we take our problems like pebbles, putting them one by one on a garden path to cross each day as they come- it becomes a foundation, a gateway to walk on and see things laid out before us. Flat and less daunting. Not measured by what we haven’t done, but by how far we’ve come.

I think of my friends who have lost children to cancer. Children I know who have lost their mothers to suicide.

So with each warm cup of tea and dog snuggle I get each day, with each phone call from my mom and lunch out with her, and with each warm smile from the McSweetie when he comes home after an exhausting day of work; I remind myself that I am more positive than negative. I remind my children how blessed and fortunate we are. Not for the earthly comforts we have around us, but for the support and love we give to each other.

I will wear my shirt with the hopes of sharing b Positive’s message to anyone who needs it.

If you would like to order anything from their website for yourself or gifts, go on over and put in “FRUGALISTA” in the promo code box and get 20% off your order! For a limited time, so do it right away!

And also, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter, so you can see all the positive they are accomplishing.

https://www.facebook.com/thebpositiveproject

https://twitter.com/bpositiveprojec

http://www.bpositiveproject.com/

Namaste my friends.

RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

Happy Birthday Dad! Reason To Live Friday #20

My dad!

Yesterday was my dad’s 81st birthday. I gushed about him all over Facebook and folks were so sweet to share their admiration. It made me all mushy and weepy inside. Even Daniel Craig played second fiddle to him yesterday.

We went out for dinner to the same fancy place Owen and I have had high tea at. It’s the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle and they have this beautiful dining room called The Georgian room. Owen feels like he’s in Hogwarts when we come to this place.

It does kind of play into our Anglo hearts. They have a Jaguar car parked in front of their valet that they use for their guests AND they have an Omega watch store adjacent to their lobby with Daniel Craig’s poster hanging in the window. It really is a win-win situation.

I’m grateful for my dad because he is loving, tidy, respectful, and funny.

My dad didn’t fit the mold of the sappy dad in Father of the Bride, or Ward Cleaver, or Charles Ingalls even. In fact, I would say that he has become softer since becoming a grandfather. I mentioned in last year’s post dedicated to my dad’s birthday, Ode to My Dad, that he would sometimes yell things like ‘bloody hell’, or get cross with me over tracking mud in the house. He came off as brusk to my friends. But honestly, he is the most warm-hearted, no judgement fellow you could meet.

He wears his Church’s shoes from  30 years ago. They look brand new because he polishes them regularly. He has a sport coat from 20 years ago, a watch from 50 years ago. He takes very good care of his things. He never had much as a boy, so he knows to be grateful for something in case he won’t get another one again.

Heck, we live in a disposable society where we know we can just go buy something new if we change our minds. Not my dad. He doesn’t feel the need to have ‘things’ around. It’s me and my mom that shop for shirts, sweater vests and ties any chance we get. He tells us, no more shirts please. But then, for Father’s Day, I’ll find the perfect plaid Faconnable shirt at Nordstrom, and get it for him. And then he puts it on and looks like he could go hunting with Prince Phillip and I smile with pride. Then he gets a twinkle in his eye and knows he looks pretty good, so he keeps the shirt anyway.

When I was a little girl, heck, when I was in college even, if I had a bad day, he would sit me on his lap and wipe my tears with his handkerchief. There’s a soft handkerchief in his pocket at all times. So much has this habit made an impression, that when Owen has a cold, he has his own collection of cotton handkerchiefs to keep in his pocket. Owen admires his grandfather, who we call Odaddy for short, very much. He prides his British heritage, he has a pocket comb and handkerchief just like his Odaddy, and he takes great interest in the car my dad is rebuilding.

For more than 10 years my dad has been rebuilding a super fancy, vintage 1960s E-type Jaguar. I’m horrible for not remembering exactly what kind, but it’s from the 60s, they are very rare, and it’s a coupe. In it’s day, it was, The Shit. With a limited budget, and aging hands and a tired worn out back, he has rebuilt every square inch with the most immaculate attention to detail. It was just a metal shell when he first got it.

My dream is that some fancy uber rich, car collector will pay him thousands of dollars for it and take it off his hands. That is the ultimate goal. He can’t afford to keep it or drive it. But someone out there will cherish the craftsmanship he has put into it, and give him what he deserves for it.

Gorgeous, isn’t she?

So back to dinner and his birthday. I know that things don’t last forever. I know that getting in your 80s is reaching a place in your life where you don’t know how many years there might be more of on this earth. 5? 20? The latter I hope. He’s healthy, fit and takes good care of himself. And of course, my mom takes good care of him too.

I always get so sappy and teary writing about him. I know not everyone has a perfect father. Or even a father figure in their life to look up to that they can count on. But I am so very grateful for mine. And for my children to have that in their grandfather, I am even more grateful.

Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Me, with mom and dad. Gosh I love these two so HARD!!

A urinal. Would you have one in your house?

You know, I really have my children to thank for many things. My loose and flacid bladder. My jiggly tummy riddled with stretch marks. My boobs that hang down to my belly button like deflated water balloons complete with their own set of stretch marks. But also, I have them to thank for so much blogging fodder, it’s ridiculous.

The Boy genius, Owen, said to me today, that what we really need in our house is a urinal. Now I always know to put ‘an’ in front of a vowel, so is it ‘an urinal’? That’s just weird and I can’t do that. So, I will say just- urinal.

Okay, he said this of course, while peeing in the toilet. Let me describe to you the situation. I’m in the kitchen getting my 12th morning cup of tea. (I jest.) I can hear him in our powder room down the hall with the door open, peeing. Like a race horse. Then I hear a no pee sound. You know, when the stream isn’t hitting the water anymore. Yeah, that’s the sound of the stream hitting the seat or the side of the bowl. You would think by now at 9 years old, he has pretty good aim. Think again.

That sound is like nails on a chalk board to me. That sound is why I have a container or Clorox wipes under the sink in the cabinet. Sure he takes a square of toilet paper and ‘wipes’ up his dribbles. Barely. I mean, it’s not like he’s thorough or anything. There’s a reason 9 year old boys aren’t in charge of cleaning homes. When he was little he would sit on the toilet. Yes, sitting. How I miss those days. He was a lot more accurate then. Now he revels in the power of standing to pee.

And then he says, “You know what we need? A urinal. Why are houses not made with them?”

After bursting out laughing, I thought for a moment. He’s right. A household urinal would be really great. I mean, I wouldn’t be sitting on it. I think it would catch all the wee and there wouldn’t be any stray spray on the wall or floor. It would be handy for other male guests that come to visit. I could create a whole line of scented urinal cakes. We could have pumpkin spice, creme brulee, caramel apple.

Sure, it wouldn’t be pretty. But it’s not like a toilet is that pretty either. We are just used to it. We can get used to the urinal too.

I, personally, would love a bidet. I’ve always wanted a little sit and sprinkle on my lady bits to save time. My grandparents in Germany always had one. I would ask as a little kid when I visited, what the extra toilet is for.

So we’ll just get our home replumbed with a urinal in the downstairs bathroom, and a bidet for me upstairs.

Now I just need to find on Pinterest any powder room decorating ideas for urinals.

Speaking of urinals, don’t forget to enter my prize giveaway.

Nope, no fancy bathroom plumbing or deodorizers for prizes. But real cash! And cook books, and aprons and all kinds of things. Perfect for the holidays. You just click on the Rafflecopter link to the side. For reals. Don’t worry, your info isn’t used for anything. But I appreciate you spreading the love and sharing my blog so your friends can enter too. November 12th we’ll announce the winner.

RTLF #11 Affirmation

I remember an exercise I did at a church youth retreat in 9th grade. We broke up into groups and were assigned names of people from the other groups. We had to come up with a list of things we liked about that person, you know- thought were funny, kind, described them. Anything. And then share them with the big group all together for them to hear.

What I didn’t expect was how I would feel hearing the affirming things that the group said about ME. I was floored. People think THAT about me?? I mean, so often, we know our friends hang out with us, like us, or maybe we don’t know if someone likes us. Hearing things like, “she always makes us laugh”, “she makes these funny facial expressions that crack us up” (hmm, we know about this don’t we?) was a total game changer for me. I always felt awkward, unattractive, klutzy. Now, I realized, people liked those silly qualities!

I came away from that feeling so full. What a great exercise. We need affirmation all the time. Some people are shy of compliments. Some people are compliment whores (ahem, I don’t know what you are talking about!). But whether it is a spoken word, a written note, or an action, affirmation is what gives us that feeling of, “yep, I’m worth it”. Not in a L’Oreal kind of way folks.

When I started this blog, I was hungry for affirmation. I wanted to be told all the time- good job, ooh funny, you are so talented…. blah blah blah. And I did get this. From my mom. From a few friends. It was great.

Now folks are reading that I never imagined would read. I have been mentioned on the Huffington Post for gosh sakes! I’ve been given kudos from a blogger I so greatly admire, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, listed me as one of her top 10 funny bloggers on Babble.com. And even sometimes on Twitter, I’ll get a compliment from someone in the biz, or whatever, that makes me gush.

There’s several blogs and writers out there I admire. Kind of, look up to, like the cool kids on campus. When they share my work, I am overjoyed. Like when my son says something sweet to me. My heart takes wings and soars.

Affirmation feels good when I’m given a Blogger Award from another blogger out there. These aren’t like ones that come with plaques and statues at award ceremonies, non blogging folks, they are like chain letters of the Internets, but in a good way. My first award came from Heather at B(itch)log. I was stunned! She’s all snarky and bitchy, and is a WRITER, that likes little ol’ me. ME? It felt good, let me tell you.

And then when others came along, I couldn’t believe it.

It feels good to be told someone likes you. Likes what you do. Or what you write. That they were moved, or changed by it in some way.

I want my children to feel affirmation every day. I want to smile to them when I walk in the room. Or they come home from school, I want them to see me happy to see them. I want my husband to walk in the door after a long day at work, and know that I appreciate him.

I want bloggers to know how much I like their stuff. How much I revere their writing and their talents. How so many of them help shape me in my posts. It’s like they unlock a little treasure chest in my brain for what is possible. All those things floating around in there that were suppressed with yoga pant wearing Gymboree runs, or serious, studious college days. ( I was such a square.) Now I get goofy ideas, and I think, ‘hey that would make a great blog’. And usually you guys embrace the goofy with me and it makes me super happy.

So my point is, share affirmation whenever you get the chance. Tell your children, your spouse, your mom, what you appreciate them for.

Share writers that you love. Pieces of work that touch you. If you think they are ‘too popular’, ‘too big’ to care- not true. I look at pages with thousands more fans than me, and I know that they too, enjoy compliments.

What I love about blogging, and people who don’t blog seem to always ask me WHY I blog if I’m not getting paid, is that it opens up my world and relationships to people out there dealing with things I may never have been exposed to otherwise. Getting my news and updates from Yahoo or CNN or EOnline is fine. But reading what people have lived, struggled through, overcome; that is what sticks with me throughout the day and shapes me. Not only that, but reading about other people’s episiotomy horror stories or embarrassing things their kids say at Starbucks, can be incredibly entertaining!

So with that, I will mention some big blogs and little blogs that inspire me, entertain me, and make me want to keep writing.

I Want a Dumpster Baby

This girl gets the Miss Congeniality award. Everyone loves Katy! AMIRIGHT? She is pregnant with twins, but her road from addiction and depression, to her struggles with infertility, inspire me every day to be a better me. She chooses happiness and is the most furkin’ positive, hilarious creature. I’m amazed by her.

Craughing

The horrors this woman has come back from and kicked ass through, amaze me. Her perspective and truth about dealing with an abusive ex, will compel you to make a choice each day to be who YOU want to be, and never give up.

Mary Tyler Mom

MTM will grab your heart and change it forever. She has lost her daughter Donna, to pediatric brain cancer, and now, she is chronicling her story of trying to adopt a baby. Her writing weaves in and out of your psyche and doesn’t let go. You will wonder how she gets up in the morning with all she’s been through. But like so many out there, she faces the day with purpose and intellect and soul.

These are just a FEW, I mean, there are SO MANY others. People write of their failure, their fears, their triumphs. I am moved, humbled and enlightened every time I open up one of their posts to read. I hope you will be too. You’ll notice the trend in their writing is their gratitude. Not in a sappy, drippy, make you sick way, but in a ‘wow, if they can find it, so can I’ way.

Remember to smile, give a compliment, tell someone how great they are. It can make a HUGE difference. Just think of what our world would be like if more people felt their worth, their affirmation from those around them. It would be AMAZING.

Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level. ~Alexander Haig

Reasons to Live Friday #7

When I started this list it was after a friend took her own life. I couldn’t imagine any reasons bad enough to end living in this world. Obviously pain and depression are powerful things. And I’m always in a quandary as to how those things can overpower the good. To outweigh not being here for the children, my mom, my husband, friends, etc.  So I’m making a conscientious effort to always focus on the good. To always remember that MY BAD is still better than someone ELSE’S bad and that nothing is so much that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This week my reason for living is- the things you look forward to. You know how kids are forever looking forward to Christmas or their birthdays? Well, I like stuff like that too. I’m always looking forward to SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Whether it’s going to the beautician for my hair did. Ha! I said beautician! I go to a salon with a DJ and there’s an espresso bar and my guy has orange hair and is a fan of Anime. FAR from the beauty parlors of our mother’s or grandmother’s! Which is probably why I love it even more. Who knew how much fun it would be talking to a 25 year old straight guy who loves my take on suburbia, I love his perspective on the club scene and Comic-con crowd. Ooh, I just looked at the calendar and I get to go on Tuesday for a trim and a root touch up! yay!

See! Already- something to look forward to.

I’m freakin’ excited for my daughter’s play that is this weekend. Emma has the theater bug like yours truly. She is in INTO THE WOODS at one of our community theaters for young actors and I know I will just beam with delight when she is on stage. I am truly excited for my kids’ accomplishments. I’m their biggest fan and she always is my favorite entertainer. I mean, we know she brings the funny, right?

Tonight is opening night and I couldn’t be a more proud mama! I’ll get a big bouquet of flowers and clap so loudly. I’ll let you know how it goes.

NEXT weekend is McSweetie’s birthday so there’s all kinds of things to look forward to. I don’t have his present yet. Oh, who am I kidding- I’M his present! hee hee

So there’s my slice of Friday gratitude. Maybe things are hard, job, life, kids….any of those things. But there’s always something to look forward to. Always.