Category Archives: What is life?

When I Stop And Think It Over

When I Stop And Think It Over

During Mama’s funeral I begged God for mercy. I fully understood all the reasons she had to go. But it was so painful thinking of a world without her. A world she had softened for me (all that she could), a world made better when I thought of her, went home to her, embraced her.

From day one all I can remember is my grandmama loving me, teaching me and showing me everything for this life. She even introduced me to the man himself so I’d have everything for eternal life. I would never wish her to suffer here and I do believe to be absent of the body is to be with Christ. But I hurt because she was gone and because I was still here.

I cried because I had grown up in her home, under her watchful eye and in her love. I had a rich and wonderful childhood even though we didn’t have much material stuff. And it’s not to say we had nothing or that I ever went hungry. No. She worked and God provided. I wept when I realized that I was blessed many times over by having my grandma who acted as a mother and a father, because she was truly that. I didn’t cry because I disappointed Mama in my rebellious years or when I was simply disobedient. I cried because she knew all about me and could have guessed even worse that I’d done. Yet knowing me she still hoped out loud, the best things for my life. Mama prayed for me and continued to love me regardless of my faults.

No one has ever affected me like that woman. Never, never a hurtful or discouraging word from her. Later she even admitted her own mistakes and regrets to me as if I were an equal and guided me to the point where I am today. After grieving I realized that if my grandma being human could love me like that, so wholly and completely, then how much more does God love me? I think that was her point all along. Now I get it. So no more tears. Just joy.

Back To The Lab

Back To The Lab

The new year is in full swing and before it gets too far, I think I’d better get some goals down on the internet. I don’t know if having an audience (even of one) can shame me enough into sticking to the list, but I’ll try anything.

1. Come out of the closet. Did I get your attention? I’m a christian and proud of it.

2. Glorify God through my work. More faith based novels, poetry and children’s picture books are on the way!

3. Study the craft. I have a ton of books about writing on kindle and one I checked out from the library.

4. Trust God. Sometimes fear of failure keeps me grounded. It’s time to step out on all fronts.

5. Play with the kids more. We had fun over Christmas break so we are starting family game night and more baking together. Yum!

6. Even more couple time. We have just discovered that we can meet for lunch while the kids are in school. Yeah!

7. Pray about everything and worry about nothing. Think I stole that from Yolanda Adams’ Morning Show,  but it’s so appropriate. Everytime I go to God he answers.

8. Eat less junk and more vegetables. I need to get my 5 to stay alive.

9. Walk more. It’s my thing. Just makes me feel good!

10. Read. Nothing like a good book. The Bible is definitely included in that list! Some blow your mind passages in there. Thanks God.

7 Successful Habits of Highly Reproductive People

7 Successful Habits of Highly Reproductive People

Kids can do a number on relationships between even the most compatible mates. But what, if anything, can you do to keep the romance, excitement and love burning hot in your marriage? The followoing is not a call for more intimacy, but rather a plea for sanity. Drumroll please…

#1 -Ignore the kids. You may want to call the authorities on me, but before you do try this out yourself.  Even if it’s just while they brush their teeth. Choose a  task –any task, and don’t hover. Pop in a short DVD for toddlers who won’t sit down. Take back your freedom a few minutes at a time!

#2-Be a help mate. There’s always a task that would go much faster if you both got involved, like unloading the dishwasher together. Clean dishes can prompt laughter and happy conversation. What else can you two tackle?

#3-Respect each other’s time.  If your spouse is busy then leave him/her alone. It is not couple time. Deadlines and tasks that must be met will only make them bitter if you interfere. Practice the golden rule.

#4- Play switcheroo! Who says you always have to read stories to the kids or he always has to take out the trash? Do the laundry? Cook? Some of my happiest days are when hubby (who can cook, but doesn’t) announces that he is making his famous chili. And don’t let him put hot dogs on the grill. I’m subject to cry.

#5- Do you. No, seriously. DO YOU. Absence does makes the heart grow fonder. If you aren’t taking time for your passion, hobby or some plain old me time, then do it now.  Never aim to neglect your partner, but do have a little fun without them every now and then.

#6- Invite your mate to bed. By bed I mean sleep. Plan a sleep date or just take your honey by the hand and say, “Screw the rest. Let’s go to bed early tonight.” Only include lovemaking if you can end soon enough to get great sleep afterwards. A sleep date can trump a late night romp. While lovemaking is sweet, who couldn’t use some extra zzzz’s?

#7-Cut each other (and yourself) some slack. You’re married with children now! There is no way to always keep up with everything. If the house isn’t spick and span so what? I say a good day is when everyone has on clean underwear and had at least one bowl of cereal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You agree? Yeah! Pat yourself on the back then rush out to buy more Fruit Loops.

What tips can you add to the list?

The End of Innocence

The End of Innocence

Twelve years ago I began a cybermarriage with a certain free email provider.  And now after such a long time of being faithful — never letting my account become inactive, never using any other provider as my primary email, staying even when they forced unwanted changes on me. Now the whole relationship is over because some evil web monkey i.e. hacker ruined it all.  Now I am left to pick up the pieces.  Twelve years of rebuilding to do.

Yes, it hurts but not because I thought the functionality of the email was so great.  I was actually considering something new.  And not because I set up my first blog on their site .  It hurts because setting up a new email account is just like changing your name after you say, “I do.”  In fact, I don’t! I don’t want to go through with this but it has to be done since my account was compromised and crazy emails were sent to all my contacts. I never thought about this happening inside email.  I was more prepared for a virus that would one day come and gobble up my computer as I sat before it, watching it turn to dust.  Eventually, I read that the contact list hacking I experienced could really be the result of a malicious virus.  But no matter the cause.  The result is the same. Separation. Divorce.  It’s over.

I can’t trust the provider to keep my info safe nor to help me uphold my reputation as a business woman. I’m in the early stages of that and I don’t need any editors getting a crazy email in my name, containing  God knows what! (And actually I found out what, cause I just had to know).  So after listening to a “curiosity killed the cat” lecture from my better half, or smarter half I’ll call him for the moment, I relented and recognized that I had just been put over his knee.  I was wrong. I apologized for opening the stupid email and ignoring the risk of more sabatoge to my computer or our network  just so I could know if my contacts had indeed been sent an image of a large penis like one sent to my business account a few months ago. (I can only laugh as I think of this now!) Just imagine me humming a relaxing tune, sipping hot tea and beginning my day while checking for any business to handle.  Then, picture me clicking on the first new message, hoping it is some opportunity to sell books and being met by a closeup of the full monty. Some people on this planet are just awful! (Still I’m laughing). But back to my very, very sad situation.

(Violins resume) I don’t even know how many online accounts I’ll need to change yet, so I’ll have to focus on the important stuff like schools, the latest Target flyer and of course my Facebook updates.  To all else I say good ridance.  My dear, sweet sister and partner Meek suggested that it may have been my extensive backlog of unopened/undeleted/sent email that brought this problem on. Hey! I became very busy once all the kids started school last fall. Besides what’s a few thousand email to an inbox that could probably hold a million? Well she’s right. In the good old days I’d house no more than a few hundred and I’d clean the box out every month or so.  Guess, I learned my lesson the hard way.  I best be off to clean out the new email box before it gets crowded too. You can email me if you want to chat, but please no giant penises !

Resolutions

Resolutions

100_0997_2I’m not going to kid myself since I already know the truth. Most people don’t keep resolutions. Only, that has nothing to do with my ability to list mine here for whosoever wishes to check them. You can ask questions about them and hold me accountable as well.  It’s fine. I absolutely revel in each moment I have to consciously reevaluate my life.  Be it birthdays or new years, or any old time.  I do it when I’m in crisis too.  So with me constantly checking myself I should be better off, right? Well just like you, I’m striving.  Sometimes I can be a mess.  Just a jumble of emotional plans and promises to self that I don’t even know how to keep.  And everytime I say this is it!  This time I’m really doing X.  Then Y comes along and I use it for an excuse to get sidetracked.  But you know what? I don’t even care.  I’m human.  I’m not going to let myself off the hook for goals I let slide, but being too tough and unforgiving of myself is gone with 2009. So now that I’ve said my speech, here are my official resolutions for the year 2010:

1. Work daily on April Flowers. If not that, then I have a list of other stories or poetry to choose from. I would like to produce a draft of the book by December.

2.Always keep something in the mail. That means I will have submitted an article or query to some magazine and am awaiting their yea or nay on my work.

3. Cut down on internet time.  Other than blogging and checking email, I could do less goofing off on the computer.

4. Be active daily. Whether it’s a work out video or just a walk outside, I will find a way to move my body!

5. Plan meals ahead and cook with fresher ingredients. This helps control the grocery bill too.

6. Eat more organic foods. Although more expensive, I can cut some fatty snacks in exchange.

7. Take a bath a least once per week. A good soak is always in order.

8. Go on more dates with my honey. The two of us are having so much fun. It works wonders for our marriage.

9. Take more writing classes and hopefully, finally get a web design class.

10. Find more fun projects and outings for the kids.

11. Continue to declutter the house.  Already, there’s more space in the house from our December cleanup. I’m loving it.

12. Spend less.

13. Recognize, uplift, and glorify God everyday; for he is worthy.

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

It’s 9:30pm so I’m already late for bed. But I can’t put it off any longer. So I’m sitting here. Writing. I’m writing because despite my schedule designed to give me more time to write, I’ve found less. I’ve been running errons for birthday parties, down with a cold, at the dentist, in Walmart, working on Polly&Meek business, in Sam’s, volunteering at the school, in Wegman’s, taking sick kids to the doctor, counseling friends and everything under the sun. So now I’m tired. This isn’t what it was supposed to be and it’s my fault.

The way these six hours of the week wiz by is a crying shame. There’s no way to pack in all that I want. I have to see my time as sacred and I haven’t respected it— at all. So here are the changes I’m making in order to get what I want — a two hour block to concentrate on my craft.

Volunteering in Lainey’s class is the first to go. As awful as it sounds, the teachers need help in class, but Lainey doesn’t.  I think she’ll still be fine if I show up every 4 weeks.  That visit will coincide with my 2 toddlers’ preschool parties which are scheduled once a month.  This way I can multitask by getting Lainey as soon as school let’s out and thus making it to the parties on time.  I’ll tell her teachers straight away.

Next is the running errons.  It’s absolutely out unless they’re seriously business related, like last week when I had to pick up tables and supplies for selling books at SterlingFest. Then there was the week before when I needed to go inside the bank to get change for Capital Bookfest.  Otherwise I can shop after the kids go down. See I can say that now since lights are out on average around 7pm.  Loving it!

However, I’ll be needing to keep my doctor’s appointments. Come on, can you see me at they GYN or dentist with my three?  No, cause I love life and I love them. Being together at these types of appointments would cause one of us to get hurt.  So, basically all that’s left is other Polly&Meek business— not including conference calls because as we all know it’s impossible to talk on the phone when you have children of talking age.  They suddenly need all of your attention or they start getting into everything so as to take advantage of you while you chat.  It’s wrong how they do us, mothers. Yup, a conference call without background chaos is still in order.  I can probably save other Polly&Meek biz til the end of the day.  I need to write in the am, but I can handle marketing at any hour. 

I’m saying all of this because, I don’t want anyone to think that all you have to do is lay out the plan or have the time laid out for you and things just magically start falling into place.  They don’t.  You have to regroup sometimes and be diligent.  Be resilient and persistent.  Forgive yourself for mistakes made and move own.  Then try hard to do better the next day. 

There will always be life lessons.  Stay hopeful to catch on the first time around.

Love Your Body

Love Your Body

Oh wow! We’re back from vacation and it was a blast. I’m so excited to blog tonight because I just ran across this article online that was just what I was thinking to blog to you all about. Pleae read it. It’s a great confidence booster about body images.

We spent the last part of our vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. It was awesome! Great Wolf is an indoor waterpark with lots of outdoors activities and games, etc. for families. So after deciding to go swimsuit shopping for this trip I couldn’t believe I had let mainstream America mess me up like this. I’ve been hiding my beautiful curves under a modest (and ugly) short set of a swimsuit for 5 years. Yes, having one baby forced me from bikinis into coveralls.  Not because I’m modest, but because I thought I was fat.   I vowed to never take them off until I had lost all the weight.   I’m so glad I came to my senses.  As I tried on swimsuits prior to our vacation, I was awed by how beautiful motherhood had made my body.  Now after going to the waterpark and seeing all forms and sizes of other women who let it all hang out and some who tried to cover up I realized, that all that craziness comes from the media. There may have been 1% of women there with perfect bodies and maybe not even 1% maybe only 0.5%. Honest to God. the skinniest people where a few preteens.  And after seeing some nice jiggling bellies I realized what my friend meant when she said belly dancing requires a belly.  You actually need a little fat! I couldn’t believe it.   Get this, it wasn’t just the location of the waterpark either. The crowd was quite diverse. Besides, my family and I had just left the beach in NC where I witnessed just the same. 

Bodies are all different and what you wear depends on you. There were plenty bikinis and everything else on all ages and all walks of life. And I can’t leave out the men who were representing in full force with their guts  a-swingin’. Oh how TV and the internet has played a nasty trick on us! The people at the beach and waterpark seemed happy and confident.  Even if they weren’t as confident, they weren’t about to miss out on the fun of life because of their body images. I loved every minute of that!  Freedom to just be me.

I will forever be trying to eat right and enjoy fun exercise because I want to live a long, healthy life. But best believe I can now see myself in a whole new light. It’s as if all the images I’ve see since I was a girl have been a total lie. Well, I guess they pretty much were. So, I say go for the healthy approach to life and take good care of your body. Then, while you’re working on that, work those curves and flaunt it with attitude.  Love your body!

Today is the day!

Today is the day!

Nine months is a long time.  It is too long when you are waiting for your first niece to arrive.  But today is finally the day!  I shall meet her in a few short hours.  I have two cameras in my purse and one flip video camcorder.  Destined to be the crazy Auntie!  I figure I can spoil her much more than I can spoil my own.  Course I’ll have to get in line because to hear my Lauren tell it, that baby belongs to her.  “I’m going to do everything for her,” she said. “I’ll give her everything that she needs.”  So sweet.  And all she will need is love.

Are You Happy?

Are You Happy?
Picturesque Sun

Every now and again I like to take inventory of my life and think about what it takes to be happy or at least improve my current status.  It’s not that I’m ungrateful for God’s  many blessings.  It’s just me trying to enjoy life to the fullest.  Sometimes I can tell that I’m not centered but I don’t exactly know the reason.  So I start running down the gamet.  As topics occur, I try hard to reach a decision that will make me feel less stressed or make the task, whatever it is, a little bit easier.

I did that analysis a few weeks ago when I realized that I needed to work more  in the mornings and less at night.  Keeping the new schedule is challenging to say the least, but I fought hard to get back to it since I am enjoying more restful sleep and I seem to get more work done before the kids wake up.  On top of that, starting the morning out in solitude has many benefits that I don’t think I can live without.  In a word– I’m spoiled. Just by making one adjustment many areas were affected.  Definitely a good move.

While evaluating life, of  course I eventually question whether staying at home with the children is working or should I switch up and do something else that will make me happier. For example is teaching and nurturing them, while running a business and being a  good wife worth all the blood, sweat and tears?  Would it be better to give up on my writing dream and go earn a fat paycheck, while putting the kids in daycare and afterschool care?   Could I complete the house chores, and still have  energy left for my marriage?  I allow myself to think about it all and I chart it out and write on paper so that I can see advantages and disadvantages plainly.  I am serious when I’m doing this.  Eventually, I arrive at an answer that I can live with or I set myself on a timetable that will get me where I want to be.  Like for now, I have to remember that Eric is still in grad school.  Not to mention I actually like dealing with my children and teaching them new things.  I’m going to be patient at this time in my life; besides my novel still has to be written.  Selling out family and self  will not make me happier.  So I can check that item off the list.

The biggest area for me to evaluate is usually my health.  I determined that being overweight and sedentary isn’t going to cut it.  I am not happy about where I am.  So in addition to changing my work schedule I plugged exercise in as my first task.  That assures me that it gets done on time and that nothing arises later to throw me off.  I got on the scale this morning and even though this is the start of week 3, I don’t see any progress.  I can only hope I’m trimming some fat somewhere, so I’ll keep working on it and then I’ll take measurements.  I’m going back to my food and exercise diary because it really worked. But even though the scale hasn’t moved I already feel better thanks to more energy from working out.  I am very proud of my daily efforts to be healthier and I know I’ll reach my goal.

Overall, there are still some changes needed.  But… I am happy.  I’m doing more of what I want and thanking God for allowing me to do it.  What about you?  Are you content or would you like to make some  life changes?