Standing Up for What We Believe

First off: I love that this blog is here when I need it. Obviously, I have ignored it! However, I am glad I can return when I have thoughts on my mind. I had intended to use this blog for a personal journey this year - one that created a more strong family culture, spiritually and emotionally. I believe I have done that but of course this is always more you can do!

I am excited for this Holiday season - I have been making plans to make it charity and Christ focused as well as enforcing gratitude.

But what was on my mind this morning was how many people are ridiculed for their beliefs in God. I have been following the story about Angus T. Jones, who is the actor who plays the son on "Three and a Half Men." He has made videos proclaiming his testimony and asking others to stop watching his show because it's "filth."

I say, "Good for him!" I'm glad someone in Hollywood is finally standing up saying "This is enough."

 A lot of people are saying he's biting the hand that feeds him. Here are my thoughts on that. 1) I'm sure he is in a contract and unable to get out of right now, so when you say "If you don't like it, leave" I bet he can't. 2) When he joined this cast he was very young. He also hadn't converted to his church. His family probably had no idea how long the show would last or what evolution the show would take over time. 3) People are saying, "Then give the money back." Maybe he will donate it, or maybe he will be smart and save his money and be grateful for the gift he was given. After this show, who knows what jobs he will get. He is not in the wrong here. I'm sure he has gone through his own process. He is not proud of his participation in a show like this, and it's his own personal experience to deal with.

The part of this story that has hit me hard are the commentary (professional and amateur internet!) They are quick to say "Have him give up his $350,000 an episode salary and see how fast he still follows God." I would hope that this young man will follow his convictions, even when the money stops coming. They also ridicule the idea of a belief in God, following his commandments and call him a fool for doing so. It's interesting to me, but this all sounds like stories we have heard before in the scriptures! I am reminded in the Book of Mormon where time and time again prosperity led to wickedness (Helaman 6 for example.)

I'm a big supporter of freedom of speech and religion. The people who make this show have every right to make it. People who want to watch it have every right to do so. Angus also has the right to say what he believes. I'm sure he will have to quit or recant what he said. So far he has just said he didn't mean to disrespect the makers of the show. He didn't take back what he said, and I hope he stands his ground.

(Forgive the randomness of this - it's early but I just wanted to get my thoughts out!)



I got a little wrapped up and carried away for a while. School, sports, music, life, house - it all gets to be a little crazy. The end of the school year is here and for some reason I'm finding myself thinking what I could've done. I don't know why I do this to myself. I have at least 10 things in my head with stuff that I'm thinking I didn't do right or should have done better.

Then, as my head spins around and around about little things here and there and it brings me back to an idea, 'I could blog about this.' THEN I realize how long it's been since I've blogged and the negative thoughts seep back in. Crazy cycle!


I have to learn this - that my life is my life. I need not live someone else's. I need not compare my blog activity, my children's achievements or my household appearance on anyone else. I also need not compare my life to some imagined standard that I must live up to.

One of things I'm thinking about today - there are several going on in my head right now - is that today was end of the year awards. Apparently, the 5th graders were told to "wear their best," and my son never returned home with that memo. It occurred to me that he shouldn't be wearing sport shorts and a t-shirt, but when he came downstairs in plaid shorts and a school t-shirt I deemed it ok. Somewhere in my head I thought about getting him a polo, but in reality I was too tired and I did ask him if they were supposed to dress up. Of course, he said no. Some kids were dressed like him, some were polo shirts and shorts, others were in a suit! In my head I beat myself up a hundred ways from Tuesday. "I should have known better, I should have listened to my gut. I had a kid go through 5th grade before, I should have remembered." Then I also blame him, "He should have listened to the teacher. He should have known better." All this for what reason? I make myself sick over it, when I can't change the past. What harm is there? Are people judging me for it? Maybe, someone actually asked if he wouldn't dress up, and I told her we just didn't know about it. He would had if he knew. Was he bothered by it? No - and that is what is important to me. I don't want to create what I have going on in my MY head. I linger on things when there is nothing that can be done, and it doesn't matter anyway.

I looked this up - and this problem is called "Rumination." Like a cow chewing it's cud. Over and over and over. I have big problems with this. I don't like it - and I went on a mission today to try and stop it, at least minimize it. I found this article:

6 Steps to Overthinking Your Life

I learned a few important things from this article. Here are the 3 that stood out for me:

1) Don't hash it out. Don't call people so you can "vent." I did this a little bit in this post, but like I said - I have quite a few going on in my head right now! You really don't do yourself any good by going over and over it again. So, I blogged about it and I'm done. I'm not going to talk anymore about it, complain about it, bug my son about it. It's over. Done.

2) Do something to keep your brain active. Do another activity. Play a game. I like this. I am going to focus on what today means for our family - celebrating the end of the school year and summer starting. I'm not going to stress about all the "what I could've done more this school year," and enjoy this moment. I'm proud of my children, I'm proud of being more involved at their school year, and I want to live every moment with them.

3) Mindfulness. I was really interested to find out that this problem of rumination can be a part of depression and practicing mindfulness can help with both. The act of mindfulness has been on my radar for quite some time and something that I really am trying to participate in. To see it again to solve my over thinking problem really gets me that kick I need to incorporate it more.

So that's that, any more talk and it can count as still "hashing it out." I'd like to add one more to the list. Go hug your kids and be grateful for your life. Being grateful for what you have at that moment can make you less concerned about either what you don't have, or what you think you should have.


Six Word Saturday - sacrificing my day for my children

Driving to Austin for a conference.

 I have no time, I'm pushing it by being online right now! Jeans are in the dryer and I should be getting mostly ready right now. In my goal to find my passion, I stumbled upon the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Students. I found there is a conference this weekend, and I signed up. I have two boys, the oldest has been in GT since Kindergarten and the Kindergartner just qualified. I was in GT in school as well, and always thought "I never lived up to my potential" Or maybe I'm just hearing my teachers, and mother's words over and over in my head. ;) I hope to get some good information and find out more about the association, as well as advocacy. Our school district is very supportive of the program, but I want to make sure my child feels challenged. That is all - totally off topic of what I normally do here, but I'm running out the door!


What are you good at?

Who are you reading that inspires you? I'm finding my way in this blogging world (another post churning in my head....) I'm reading a few people to get me started and this morning the post by The Gypsy Mama fits in perfectly with my February theme.

Her post for today is "What you’re not good at is only half the story" I highly recommend it!

This morning I have a list of things to do. It's all stuff I am capable of doing but I do tend to procrastinate. I tend to stress that I won't do it "right." I put off the housestuff until it's really bad or someone comes over to visit! I've had a hard time sleeping lately, and in turn I'm sleeping in way too late. (Yes, I realize the two are connected!) By the time I'm getting around to what I should be doing, it seems I have so little time because then those kids walk in the door and I feel like my "workday" is over. So, like Gypsy Mama, I was thinking about how frazzled I am. I had a list of things I'm not good at and what I could do better - how my floors really need a good cleaning (and I need to find a better method for cleaning my tile floors,) how I haven't done meal planning lately, how my projects sit undone and how I REALLY need to clean off my kitchen table! 

Instead, to start today, I'm going to copy  emulate her, and think of a list of stuff I am really good at. 

  • I type fast - so anything I need to get done on the computer gets done pretty quickly.
  • I'm good at composing letters, memos, etc. for various meetings. (Which I need to do for tomorrow.) I summarize well and edit even better. (Don't apply this to my blogs, I do tend to ramble here and let it be what it is! That is it's purpose for me....)
  • I am spontaneous. We go for random Frozen Yogurt trips, make cookies at 7:30 at night, play a board game when they come home from school or go for a nature walk. I like that, and I think my kids do too.
  • I know where EVERYTHING is. I am organized, yet messy - go figure. I might have too much stuff, and I might have places for "random" stuff, and stuff goes unorganized - yet, I know where it all is! I am "The Supreme Finder Of All Things" in this house, and it has been proven many times over. I have been known to tell friends where their stuff is, in their own house. I'm THAT good.
  • I think I decorate well. May not be showroom decor, but I love what I do. I also bargain shop fantastically!
  • I shop for presents well. I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I really like doing it too, and see above - I am a fantastic bargain shopper.
  • I am not competitive, nor a sore loser. I am a good sport, mostly. I hate that my hubby tends to win but I rock it out at Trivia. No one can beat me there, and yes I could be more humble about it but it's really the one good thing I have. Not so hot at scrabble, words with friends, charades, pictionary, any physical sport or video games.
  • I learn quickly. (One bad thing though, I'm not the easiest to teach - especially if I'm not catching on....) I do like to teach myself!
  • I remember color. Show me the shirt or the pillow you want to match, I will go to the store with you and find the match nearly 90% of the time. Yeah, it's easier to bring it along just in case - but if I don't have it with me I can match it up pretty dang good, and it's a proven fact. 

Thanks for going with me on this journey today, and thank you Gypsy Mama for the inspiration. I hope you don't mind the plagiarism, tribute. Mockery really is the best form of flattery! 


Be What You're Like

One of my favorite quotes comes from a They Might Be Giants song, "Whistling In The Dark." I used to sing this with my daughter and she ended up having a version of this engraved on her class ring.

"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself"

It's a silly little song, but it has a cute message. Be what you're like. Be like yourself! 

As I got more involved in playgroups, PTA and other events where mostly women congregate, I noticed one thing. We compare ourselves. We can do it in either direction (looking down on someone, or looking up to them.) However, most of us tend to have pangs of jealousy or envy when we see the woman who *seems* to be able to do it all. We see someone who is fit, well dressed, has cute and well-behaved children, someone who has a clean house, cooks dinners every night, volunteers in every capacity, makes homemade gifts and party favors and actually has time to read or take classes. There are people who exist like this. There are people who genuinely do this and do it well. Good for them. 

The old story is that we don't know what is really going on in their life. What we want is for there to be a dirty secret. They have a bad relationship, they are secret hoarders in the rest of their house or they are on crack. Of course all this is negative, and I would never wish that was the case for anyone. Thinking that someone who appears perfect on the outside has this secret does help those who come off as anything but perfect. But it keeps the vicious cycle of comparison and jealousy going. 

In this circle I see two types of people. Those who emulate and want to be that perfect mother and those who ridicule the lifestyle, making jokes about eating kids eating Cheerios off the floor. Actually, I hope there are 3 types of people, those who acknowledge we are a little of both. We can try to do better - clean the house, make healthier meals, volunteer more and at the same time be realistic noting that some things fall to the wayside, like folded clothing, stylish hair-dos and exercising everyday. 

I enjoy the humor in all this, and there is plenty out there in the blog-o-sphere. But in the end, I have learned that we are all different. We can't try to be someone that we aren't. We can appreciate the person who has the ability to organize the fundraiser, and we need to acknowledge what we are good at. We might be great at reading stories in the library or helping with trays in the cafeteria. We don't need everyone to run the PTA meeting or cut out all the turkeys for Pre-K. We do what we can, and we base it off who we are. If you are at a point in your life where helping at the school isn't possible because right now you are taking care of twin toddlers and washing cloth diapers - then that is where you are and you are where you are needed. 

We also need to find that time of our life where we are ready to step out of our comfort zone and trust that we can try something new. We don't have to be a copycat of that woman we look up to, but she can provide motivation of what we could do with our life to push ourselves just a little more. In the end, you have to be you, and be like yourself. I can't handle watching other women beat themselves up because of what they observe another woman do. I am not that woman, and I don't want to be her. My life, my husband, my kids and my lifestyle was made for me. If our life isn't making us happy, then it's up to us to make any changes we need to make our life what we want it. Not what we think it should be, but what we want it to be. 

Be your self. Live your life. 

I'm going to end with another favorite quote - from Dr. Seuss. 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”


On to Being Me

I spent most of January talking about life, well most of January was not blogging because of everything else (i.e., Life!) However, when I did, it was about life. It was about how I wanted to just accept life and live it. Still learning that little tip.

This month, well - tomorrow, February, I want to focus on the first part of my blog title. Being me.

I used to be nostalgic of what I thought was "old me." However, "old me" didn't always make me happy either. I was fairly outgoing in my teen years, yet I was also impulsive and self-centered (which teen isn't?) When I got to college, I realized I wasn't as outgoing as I thought I was. Self-doubt and depression has been a part of my life for the past 20 years, and I looked to what I thought was "old me" often. 12 years ago I married the love of my life, and he knew me in the "old me" days. Some of that came back, and I was happy. I learned to find the old and mix in what I had learned over the years to create a "new me." For the most part I was happy with the "new me" but more depression and self-doubt had me questioning myself again.

The past 5 years I have been actively working on me. Physical me, social me, spiritual me. Some days, weeks, months and years are better than others. Recently I had my 20 year High School Reunion and I can say I went to that confident and didn't question who I was. It felt good. Yeah, I could have weighed 50 lbs less, but I really knew who I was and where I was in life. That was 6 months ago, and I already feel a "remaking" of me coming on! It's not a bad thing, I think it's our purpose in life. I've recently moved and gotten to know new people, and it's made me think more about how I appear. I had become complacent with myself and my attitudes with my friends I have had for the past 5 years. When you meet new people, you somehow end up evaluating how the current "real you" comes off.

One goal for this next month is to try and reach out to one friend a day. It doesn't seem that difficult, but just to spark an old friendship or kindle a new one. Be kind and be who I want to be. I enjoy being around others, and I think putting that out there will in turn rejuvenate myself into being more social, friendly and overall happier. I am grateful for friendships and this month I want to show it.

The other is just to start each day by paying some attention to me. I have to expend so much energy for others (family, school, etc.) that I get lost. Little things like watching a video or reading an article that interests me, or taking the time to make sure I have my favorite outfits and jewelry, make me feel more like ME. If taking care of others makes me forget what it is about myself I like, then I need to step back and change things. A key factor in that is getting enough sleep so I can wake up rested and get ready, not sleep in and rush around. I know that my day is better when I look nice, am properly nourished and get my "wake-up" time in the morning!

I'm getting old enough that I know what makes and keeps me happy! Call it routine, but I call it keys to happiness :)


Life gets in the way sometimes...

I should have gotten up last night to write what was on my mind, but I was just too. tired. to. move....

The past 2 weeks have been a whirl. My oldest child, my daughter, had a pretty major surgery 13 days ago. I had lots of help here, my husband took time to work at home and my mom and step-dad were here as well. It was rough, the hardest part was seeing her in pain and we could do very little about it. The first week was every four hours with pain pills, every 2 hours with pillow adjustments and sometimes 4 hours at a time sitting with her comforting her because the pain pill never relieved her. Tears, stress, frustration and extreme tiredness. She got depressed sitting in her room and having no control. I got depressed stuck in a house for almost a week. There was a point when I thought, we aren't going to make it through this!

But of course, like all things - we did.

Last night we slept almost 7 hours, a first! I have been allowed to sleep while someone else took care of her but I still get up when I hear people moving around. Last night was 7 hours of solid sleep from head hitting the pillow to the "beep beep" of the walkie-talkie (her way of communicating with us!)

So - I had a goal to blog, and I probably should have through all this but I didn't. In my head 'Another thing started and given up.' But then, I had to tell myself 'No, you didn't give up because you are going back. Who cares? And isn't that the point of change, working toward a goal?' So.... all those thoughts in my head were spinning and I didn't really have a point this morning just that I am here, and I want to continue. I have things in my head that I want to express and I will continue to do so. My time is limited, but I'm not giving up.

Some randomness:

Hubby and I are starting eating better today. And then exercising next week. Eeks...

I am researching getting my Master's online. Double eeks!

I need to finish decorating my house, because I need to then start on decorating my mom's house, since she just bought one in my neighborhood! It's going to be a rental possibly, and then their "winter home."

I want to either scrapbook or make a t-shirt quilt, something to keep busy and feel accomplished.

I need to also finish the blog from my new house, it's been completed for 5 months and I have only 1/2 of the "The House is Done!" post up. Then, when I'm done decorating I'll do another one.

Life... we say it gets in they way, but it really is the way. We can't avoid it or let it sideline us. We just have to go with and enjoy the ride. Life is the ride, and if something takes us off our supposed course, well - maybe that course wasn't the right path in the first place! We must have needed whatever it was that happened. That really was the purpose of this blog in the first place. Learning to live in the moment and not keep saying "After..." I could say "After my daughter heals from her surgery, life will be normal." But instead, this IS our life right now and we can all live in it and learn from it.

See, I knew I should have come here sooner - all I have to do is take my own words of advice (from my own blog earlier!)

Enjoy this day, and live each moment!


Turning It Over

I took my decision to "live in the moment" and "let things happen" just one step further today. Maybe two steps.

I need to tell a little bit of a back story without getting too much into detail first. My daughter was due to have a surgery last week, but another problem was there and that needed dealt with first. I was frustrated and did all the common things. Guilt that I hadn't done the right thing, frustration that the doctor had messed up and possibly given us wrong information, played the "what-if" game about things we could have done differently. All of this was due to stress and worry and doubt and frustration. I felt insecure, I felt out of control of my emotions, I felt how you feel when you don't put your best self forward. Our hopes was that the surgery be done sooner than later - due to his work travel, my parents staying here for only another week and her starting online college classes soon.... all things that we could have worked around, but ideally this surgery was best happening now in our mind.

Today, we went to the Dr. hoping that the surgery is going as re-scheduled tomorrow, and I have been praying. Surprisingly to me, my prayers were not "Make this happen because we want it to." I asked Him to "Please guide the Dr. to make the right decision and that the surgery will happen when it needs to, and that she gets the best possible care." This morning while waiting to see the Dr. I prayed and I continued to read 1000 Gifts (see previous blogs.) I felt overwhelmingly at peace.

During our wait time in the office, we could hear the Dr. talking to three other patients before us. Each of them were challenging him, either out of fear of the surgery or upset that things weren't going their way. I heard my voice in theirs. They felt guilty that maybe they hadn't done what they needed to to heal properly, they had doubt about this being the right choice for them and they questioned the Dr's decisions. He was very patient with each of them, and I realized he had also been with me last week. I was already very peaceful at this appointment, but sometime during the 2nd patient he spoke to, I realized something.

I had turned it over to God. I turned it over to the Dr's decision. I relaxed and I told myself whatever this Dr. came to tell us, I would say "Ok, thank you," and get the information needed to do the best for my child. I had no fear. I had no doubt. I felt as if my prayer of asking for the best for my child was going to be done with this decision made by the Dr. any minute now.

I don't do this very often. I tend to bargain with God. I ask for very specific things. Yesterday and today, I did ask for a specific thing but it was to have the right decision be made, not the decision I wanted made. In the end, it was what my husband and I were hoping for, but I was prepared to accept anything.

The rest of my day was also mostly peaceful (as it can be with a family of 5 and 2 visiting parents, 2 people in the house recovering from ailments, and so on...) I felt gratitude in every small thing. I have been listing my gifts, but not as many as I should. However, the act of doing so already in the first 9 days of this year have done wonders for my outlook.

I go into tomorrow hopefully still at peace, and continue to turn it to Him.


New idea - Six Word Saturday

Unplugging and spending time with family.

There you go - that is my goal for today, this Saturday (which I'm now adding more than 6 words....)

Have a great weekend - and try the 6 Word Saturday! Linking up here:


It's not a habit yet... developing my attitude of gratitude

I slipped back into "old ways" today. I shouldn't be so hard on myself, we all act or react in ways that don't make us proud. For the past few years I have REALLY worked on my behavior, tone, attitude with my family. Sometimes the initial snarky response still comes out and then I immediately correct and apologize. I have gotten so good that I can even edit in my head and have the positive response come first!

Enter stress. It makes me cranky. It makes me rude, and then I realize that others in my family are being rude too. So, thus the reason I am actively working on being better. Enjoying the moment, and not sweating the small stuff. What do I do when things go wrong? Try the Oh Well method and move on. Smile about it. Think of ways it could be worse and stay positive.

Except for today. Now, it wasn't just today. I've seen my attitude slipping around the holidays when we were hosting family and friends, children were busy and others in our family had medical needs. I think that was a lot of the reason I felt the Christmas Spirit lacking. New Year's Eve I was not feeling the joy that I normally do by entertaining friends, even though I really am glad we did. The small moments that don't quite feel right are what sparked me into more actively working on my gratitude and attitude.

Back to today. Medical needs again, long wait, not perfect news. After the visit the husband said to meet him for lunch. Ok, daughter and I are both not wanting to eat fast food, but sure. On the way, traffic and misdirection. All for lunch at a fast food place I could do without. What do I do? Greet the husband with frustration about the drive and complain that all that effort was made for something I didn't really want. Impression made? That I didn't want to spend the time with him, and a half hour where we could have been enjoying the precious moments were wasted. Sigh...

First off, I am so glad I have an amazing husband where this won't be an issue. It's just a small little pebble in our road of life, and our marriage has great off-road tires :) For myself though, to move on and really work on my attitude, I need to increase my gratitude. I am sorry for those hours where I could have been a happier person and also spread that joy to others.

I am thankful that I have a car that gets me were I need to go and live in a town where great medical care is 20 minutes away. I am thankful I have a husband who supports our family, and I get to stay home to deal with the medical, physical, personal, educational, spiritual and emotional needs of our children. I am also grateful he thought to spend his lunch hour on a busy day with his two girls. I am thankful we can afford the small luxuries like eating out every now and then. Mostly I am thankful for forgiveness that we can make mistakes and move on.

If you haven't read about the 1000 Gifts - I encourage you to do so! It's not to late to start recording your 1000 gifts!

January's Joy Dare



The title of my blog is "Being Me and Living My Life!" In the window tab when I clicked 'Create Post' it says due to abbreviation: "Life! - Create post"

I started thinking when I saw this (because when I clicked "new post" I didn't really know what I was going to type)  there it is "Life - create post" or as I saw it in my head "Life! - create a moment." That is what we all are trying to do. Sometimes we spend so much energy preparing for that moment, we miss all the other ones along the way. I am guilty of this, yet so actively working on overcoming this. For the past 10 years or so that I have been either blogging or active on forums, I have been intrigued by the thought of "When" I have written several posts on this, and I will continue with those thoughts today.

It's always "When." When my kids are older, when we have money, when we go on vacation, when I feel better, when, when, when. There are always reasons why you can't do things, and yes - kids, money, health are all reasons to wait. However, you don't wait on your life - you might just wait on a certain experience.

When my kids are older is a common one. I had to stop and realize that I needed to enjoy the moment that was happening. Yes, there are difficult stages in rearing children. But if you always wait for a phase to pass, there will just be another one waiting! Saying "Oh I can't wait until they sleep through the night" is not a terrible thing to say, however if you are not cherishing those moments of rocking your child back to sleep, then you are missing out on the real purpose of life.

There is a very frequently used saying that I adore, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."(Vivian Greene) It is so true. Another great one is "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." (Abraham Lincoln) We can't keep waiting for a better day, we have a life that is now and we need to live it. THIS is what I think on a daily basis to keep me going. THIS is what I have to keep reminding myself. My previous post about Ben Breedlove I can't stop thinking about. We don't know how many years will be in our life, so we must make the most of our years.

It's life, so create something wonderful!

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

Henry David Thoreau