Follow on Bloglovin> Be Mini Couture

Reasons to Live Friday #8- Happy Birthday McSweetie!

HHHHHappy Biiiiiirrrthhhdayyyyy TOOOOOOOO yoooooooou……….in my best breathy Marilyn to JFK voice. I’m sure McSweetie would love it if I got that slinky, sparkly dress to serenade him in.

McSweetie’s birthday is today!!

Guess what?? He’s one lucky guy. Not only is he married to, yours truly, and I make him so happy. But I dedicated my bloggy blog today to him. If you think this is a sweet, sentimental road down McSweetie’s life, you are sorely mistaken.

Does he want that? Hmmm, I’m gonna say… no. He’s sentimental, sure. But privately. He doesn’t do PDA. He didn’t propose in public. His thought of an endearing Facebook status is, “Happy birthday today to my wife.” Yeah. He’s deep. But really, he is! When it’s just the two of us. So I’ll save all the mushy, smushy stuff for him later. When I’ve got my riding crop and tassels to wear to give him my gift. OH DARN IT!! I spilled the beans! If he reads this at work, he won’t be surprised tonight. Shucks. <giggle>

So I got him what he wants. Okay, sort of. You know how I have a thing for Mr. Daniel Craig. Well, he kinda has a thing for Ms. Kate Beckinsale. Only he’s a little more discreet than I am.  So I’m giving him a whole blog page today with Kate Beckinsale photos! yay!! Isn’t she somethin’? Now, don’t get me wrong, you know what team I play for, but this girl could have tea and biscuits and make crumbs in my bed, er our bed, er, wait…. that’s just weird. Okay…..

For you my sweet husband- some eye candy. Happy Birthday.

You are my reason to live each and every day!

Balloon gram for a McSweetie, is there a McSweetie in the building?

She plays the villain in the new Total Recall. She really handles that well.

Dayyum!! I can’t decide which is prettier.

Does she have to be THAT beautiful?

Oh wait one more-

Hey this isn’t Kate!
Oh yeah, baby- you’re all mine- smooches!

Blue Steel- it doesn’t get any cooler than this. I know he’s my soul mate when I say ‘Blue Steel’ when we get our picture taken, and we both bust out the Zoolander.

Now before you go all bent out of shape of this wife posting pics of another woman for her man’s birthday. Just know that I am THAT secure in his love for me, and I know what a giggle he’ll get out of this. I love making him laugh. Or the smile he gives me when I think he wants to roll his eyes, but he’s too busy laughing.

Birthday Namaste.

The wind beneath my wings- RTLF #36

I’m going to get so sappy here people. Grab some tissues. I’ll be so sappy that by the time I’m done, we will be a bucket of syrup. Eh? Oh yeah!

Do you have that one person in your life that will love you and do ANYTHING for you? ANYTHING? It’s hard to know what people will do when they are tested. But my mom is the person in my life who would do whatever I needed. She would. And it’s not whatever I want- no. It’s whatever I NEED. So if it’s tough love, sweet love, bail money, whatever…. she’s there.

Please know, that my husband is A-#1 in my life. His blog post is coming later.Trust me, he’s a saint.

Some things have become apparent in my life this week. Some ‘fan hitting shit’ things apparent. No, I didn’t rob a bank. Or cheat on my McSweetie. But I might as well, because I felt like dirt. I felt like pond scum and I don’t even know why I let myself get this way.

I’ve been a crappy housekeeper and financial planner for the family. If money is the root of all evil, I let it get in my way of running my family properly. That sounds so vague and weird, but everything is fine. I will be expanding on these items soon. When I can get the words. Because I know there’s a lot of you out there who feel the same way.

If there were some Oprah ‘A-Ha’ moments, this was the week.

A-Ha #1- I let myself get in a dark place of self loathing where I only focused on my aging face, my flabby body, and my feelings of inadequacies. (Duh, I know) Stupid? Well, why do alcoholics drink? Why do Anorexics not eat? None of it makes sense. Smart people do and think dumb stuff. This I do know.

Am I surprising you? I know. Happy little, funny Frugie was down in the dumps. Was it depression? I don’t know. I don’t have a professional opinion of what all this is. I just know I was destructive in my self-talk.

A-Ha #2- I married the best man on earth. He’s smart, patient, understanding and most of all- forgiving. And I think, gosh darn it, he loves me. He loves me so much he puts up with my fuck-ups, my female hormonal break-downs, and my prison pajamas. No, not an orange jumpsuit – gray sweat shorts and a gray t-shirt. Ala Target, it’s most unflattering.

A-Ha #3- My mom is the most selfless, giving, wise woman on the planet. Some of you already know this. I know this. But even through her struggles of looking after my dad, my sister, herself, she is there for me.

How lucky am I to be the daughter of such a woman?

My dad is recovering nicely after his broken hip. She will have her own health issues to deal with soon. And my sister is a disabled adult living at home. She takes care of all of them. The last few months have been a trial for sure. But she’s getting through it. We both are.

The woman is freakin’ Mother Teresa!

If I text her, call her, email her, with my woes- she lends an ear. Always.

Does she tell me straight to my face what I don’t want to hear sometimes? Yes. Does she still have the look in her eyes and that pursed mouth of when I was ten and I sassed her or something? Yes! The look. One look from mom and you knew! Oh, you knew!

She always reminds me of my gifts and my talents. She builds me up so I can go back to my job of mothering, wife-ing, volunteering, blogging… whatever.

I want to do so much for her. Because I know she’s tired. She’s worn out. But life keeps chucking shit our way, and then I need her too. So she gives and she gives. I’m still the daughter. I might be 40 years old. But I still need my mom.

And thank God she is there for me.

Are we sappy yet? Have we made syrup? I’m starting to cry in tissues again, so I’ll stop here.

There’s more where this story came from.

I’m fine. Really. And everything is great. I’m full of blessings and gifts I can’t take for granted. My mom helped me get there this week. She did. She is the wind beneath my wings.

<tissue please>

 

 

 

PET Scans and Ultrasounds and Dream Miles – RTLF #35

This is my one year anniversary of Reason To Live Friday (RTLF) and yes, it should read #52. Well, too bad I didn’t post one every week!  Okay? Geeze!

As you might remember, I started this series after some dark times and a friend of mine took her life. That same week, a fellow PTA volunteer at my daughter’s school died suddenly from a heart condition. And over the years, friends have lost their children to cancer. Life can be pretty shitty. So I wanted to remind myself that there is always something better and brighter out there to look forward to. Yes, living in the moment is pretty great. But what motivates me is having something to look forward to.

Last week I had an ultrasound. I knew something was wrong with me since each month it felt like my ovary was trying to kill me. As I’m doubled over on the bathroom floor shoving Advil down my pie hole as fast as I can, I’m cursing my monthly curse with  a raised fist saying, ‘damn you ovary, what did I ever do to YOU?’  Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but it was pitiful.

So my lady doctor, who is in fact, a lady, ordered an ultrasound. Now this is the fun part. No, it’s not. It was one of those ugh, I can barely type it, let alone think it, TRANS VAG INAL ultrasounds. With the long pokey thing that looks like a cross between a sex toy and a curling iron, but isn’t at all as much fun as either of them.

The doctor noticed my ovary loves my uterus so much it wants to be friends. Somehow it has attached itself to the uterus and isn’t floating out in ovary land like it should. So I guess I’m thankful for modern medicine to see these things for me and I don’t have to just make a wild guess at handling my evil cycle every month with more advil and more exercise. Which is what one doctor told me many years ago would help with my endometriosis. More exercise? I wanted to kick her in the taco.

Anyways, I don’t have a plan just yet. We’ll see if the IUD is the answer or surgery. Gee it sucks being a woman, doesn’t it?

PET scans. No, these aren’t where you take some kind of device up to your dog or cat. A Positron Emission Tomography scan is a really fancy test for cancer or where cancer is in the body. The definition includes the words gamma rays, so it sounds like Spiderman or something. My mom went in for a PET scan last week. I went with her for moral support. It’s a long process. You have to have a no carb diet for 72 hours, like seriously, no carbs. Not even an olive. It registers on the carb scale believe it or not. By the time I drove her to her test, she was weak and had lost 7 pounds. No wonder people swear by the Atkins diet.

We knew she had a spot in her chest that needs removing from uterine cancer she had 10 years ago. What we didn’t know if it was anywhere else in her body, or if it had grown bigger.

Yesterday she met with her oncologist to discuss the results of the scan. And. The news. WAS GOOD!! Just the same old spot from before that they’ll remove with surgery and it’s not bigger or anywhere else. Praise Jesus!!!

The fear of chemo or radiation in her future was underlying, and being able to virtually see in the body like that and know she only needs surgery, what a miracle of science!

And last on my list- The Dream Mile at Owen’s school. A tradition of 20 years where the fastest runners of the mile get to compete in front of the whole school. The top 12 boys and 12 girls are picked from their qualifying PE fitness tests. Owen qualified this year and was excited to race. He runs constantly with soccer practice and soccer games. This seemed like a piece of cake. Only, the catch was he hadn’t played soccer in about 3 weeks since he’s between seasons. The body de-conditions rapidly.

But regardless of his waning stamina, he was mentally ready! He was so excited. Even wore his new Nike lunar glides.

I went to the school to cheer him on along with the other parents. The whole school was out on the field and playground. Each class had made signs. Owen’s class made some for him. Now, I might have teared up and started to cry. It’s a good thing I was wearing sun glasses. I didn’t see any other parents crying!! But the cheering and fanfare for the runners was so special.

Just the gift of running and being healthy is such a huge wealth and I don’t take for granted my kids’ abilities.

The race started and I knew he was going to burn out faster than he hoped. But that’s okay. He ran strong, I could see he was fighting the pain of a side ache.  He came in 5th. I think he was a little bummed. But his classmates were supportive and he has already started planning his strategy and training for next year.

I was so proud!!

So there you go. My silver linings of the last couple weeks. I hope you can count your silver linings and look for the bright side.

 

 

Reason to Live Friday #32- 54 years and counting

So if there’s any reason for me to get up in the morning (hence the Reason to Live Friday posts in the first place), it’s my dear sweet parents who are rocking 54 years of marriage this week.

That’s right. 54 years. That’s almost 55 years, which is almost 60. Just stop. That’s getting ahead of ourselves.

1959 these two people married in another country, came across the Atlantic on a ship to New York, set up home in Chicago and made a living.

In 1961 they had my brother. Then in 1964 they had my sister. Then there was- two foster kids (who were black and Native American, and this was the 60s folks!), a trans-continental move aboard the Queen Mary to England, a devastating illness for my sister, another move back to the US, then came me in ’72,  then just years of living, thriving, earning a living, health, traveling to Europe to visit family, graduations, sending kids to college, cross-country move in a Ryder truck, weddings, battling cancer (both of them), grand kids, baptisms, two hip replacements and a new knee (all my mom), an emergency heart procedure (my dad) and somewhere in there- 10 cats – not all at the same time, but over the years.

They’ve been busy.

None of my life would be possible without what they’ve made. I’m humbled, grateful, and brought to tears.

This is the bedrock of my family. These two people.

Thank you.

 

Reason to Live Friday #31- Stuff the Boy says

Today I give you some Owen snippets. They are gems and he keeps me entertained.

Don’t forget to vote for me in the Circle Of Moms Contest. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Reason to Live Friday #29 I am ______ Who are you?

I am ____________ Who are you?

 

 

I’m stealing this idea from my friend Tara and her blog You Know It Happens At Your House Too, who took inspiration from the Self Worth Action Project from the blog Craughing- “Here is what I want you to do today.  Sit down for five minutes.  I know that is not always easy, but this could be the best five minutes you have spent on yourself in a really long time.  Open your computer, grab a pen and a piece of paper (ACK!  What is that???), open up an app on your phone. It doesn’t matter what you use, just use something that you can save.  This is NOT a mental exercise.  You must put this on paper (either real or virtual) so that you can refer back to it on those bad days.  Set a timer for five minutes and write.  Write using the prompt I AM ______________________.  Don’t edit, don’t proofread, don’t change it.  You are not required to share it with anyone, even though I hope you do, but keep it close by so that on those days when you are feeling really horrible about yourself (we all know that we have those days), you can look back and remember all the things that make you wonderful.  I will start, here is my list;” (text quoted from YKIHAYHT)

I am Rebecca

I am a daughter, sister, mom and wife

I am proud of the little people I made and their lives thus far.

I am a loyal friend and try to smile any chance I get. Unless it’s before my first cup of tea in the morning.

I am unassuming and will trust you unless you prove me not to.

I am generous and charitable. If you need it, I will get it to you.

I am a sucker for a cute furball. Even the uncute ones. I have rescued countless lost dogs and have even driven across county lines to get a stray cat to a shelter.

I am happy of the life I have made with my husband. Making that first phone call to him so he would finally ask me out was the smartest thing I ever did.

I am never getting into politics despite what my mom thinks I should do.

I am grateful and honored for the life my parents gave me and the people they are.

I am fiesty and proud of it. I annoy people I’m sure, but I’m pretty happy with my gumption.

I am proud of this blog and the people it’s brought me to and the possibilities to come.

That was fun! Now you try. I took five minutes is all and ignored the oven timer and the dog barking. Just kidding! I did this after the kids went to bed.

 

And you know the cool part? I could’ve added more. Yep, I guess I’m cooler than I thought.

Now share with me yours if you’d like. You can put the link of your blog in comments, but only after you’ve done the exercise. You can email me at frugalistablog@gmail.com or message me through my Facebook page.

I want us to feel our worth. Not get hung up on resolutions and shortcomings. But be happy today with the person we are. Right now.

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.

Reason To Live Friday #24

This annoying dang holiday season. Are you wondering if I’m giving you whiplash? Do I spin a 180 turn each and every post? First complain, then gush? I know. I know. Try living with me.

Last year I wrote about how the holidays suck for some of you if you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are like a trigger of emotions. They make you ponder on Christmases past and when life has changed permanently, it can be hard.

But then I thought of something. Maybe those little reminders are like the loved ones past speaking to us. Bear with me.

When my friend Reshma lost her daughter to Siona from Leukemia, she woke up one morning with a pressure point on her chest over her heart in the shape of a butterfly. You know when you sleep hard and the pillow case leaves an imprint on your face? Like that. I know, weird. But butterflies were a favorite of 6 year old Siona and this silhoutte of one was perfectly formed. It lasted several hours before it just faded. Reshma cherished her little butterfly form she had over her heart for the few hours it was there. Like Siona had given her a kiss.

Now don’t get all weird on me. I’m not saying that there’s messages from beyond. I’m not going into paranormal stuff here. You can think that or not. I’m cool with it.

I’m saying that the holidays hold so much hope and joy. That I’m going to hold on to the parts that are dear to me. I’m thinking about my dear, dear old friends who are living through their first holiday without their mom, sister and daughter after she took her own life in May. Their grief is palpable. Their grief is ripped open anew with each box of ornaments.

So here’s my list of what to do to get through:

Ready? Take a deep breath and go into downward dog yoga pose. Just kidding.

But breathe deeply anyway.

Hug the ones that are with you. Yep, just do it. Even if they piss you off. Stephen Stills was right with his song, “Love the one you’re with”.

When you see a reminder of a loved one gone- smile at it. Close your eyes and hold it to your heart. Say, “I miss you and I love you and I know you’re still here with me.”

Take last year’s coat or boots that don’t fit anymore or are hardly used and bring them to a charity. Someone needs those more than you.

Write down your feelings. If you blog or not, write that stuff down. You don’t ever have to read it again, but getting it on paper is helpful.

And one more time, love the ones you’re with. Dang it. Hug them, smush them and tell them you are happy they are with you.

Well, I’m not Dr. Phil. I’m not a trained professional. I’m just trying to lend a hug, and let you know I’m here for you. We can do this together.