Thursday, August 2, 2012

...sAviNg gRaCe...

We all have those days.  Some are worse than others.  You know, the ones where nothing seems to go right.  It's interesting how small acts in the middle of one of those days can either make the day feel unsalvagable or make it totally manageable...maybe even a little better.  It's like a saving grace.  It's nothing that is OWED to you, but it's more like a gift from out of nowhere.  I experienced this today and it made me think about my own interactions with people.

Today has felt like the day that will never end.  At times, I've wondered how I would get all the places I needed to go and anticipated what the next thing to go wrong would be.  When I ran into Subway to buy sandwiches for my kids before I had to rush off to go see my oldest daughter sing in a recital, it didn't surprise me at all when things went wrong.  When I went to pay, I realized that I had left my wallet on my table in the entryway of my house when I took it out to pay a tow truck driver.  I felt the surge of frustration and stress welling up inside me as I explained that I would leave the sandwiches and be right back to pay.  I expected the men working to be annoyed or disinterested at the very least, but I was wrong.  One smiled at me and said, "Take the sandwiches.  It sounds like you are having a tough day and I don't want them to get cold.  Then, you can come back and pay.  I've seen you in here and I know you'll be back."  A wash of relief came over me.  I was STILL without my wallet, and this was STILL going to make me run behind, but that small gesture of kindness and the kindness that I was shown somehow made it not feel so bad.

As I drove home, I thought about what had happened.  I wondered why a complete stranger...a man that I probably have nothing in common with...was willing to trust me and offer a "lending hand" to me.  It made me think of this quote by philosophy:  
"grace is one simple act that makes an amazing impact. one compliment, one lending hand, one thoughtful gesture. all it takes is one second of your day to make an impression that can last a lifetime."   
That's exactly what it was...grace.  I thought about how differently I would've felt had he been annoyed or treated me badly.  But MORE importantly, I wondered what I would've done if I were on the other side of the counter.  
It reminded me that even the smallest gesture can make a difference and it changed me a little.  Lately, I've been pretty caught up in my own feelings and fears about the future.  I've experienced the sting of disappointment and almost felt like I had the right to be bitter.  Today was a little wake up call.  What happened in that Subway, gave me the desire to look outside myself and my own suffering.  I decided that the next time things aren't going well for another person, I want to do my part to make people feel better around me rather than thinking about how another's misfortune might impact meMaybe then, I can be someone's "saving grace."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


There are things in life... feelings...disappointments...experiences that are indescribable.  The first time your heart gets broken...catching a person in a lie...having someone you look up to not be worthy of that position...realizing that you love someone that doesn't love you back...hearing you have a serious illness...these are just a few of those things.  In that moment, it's almost as if time stand still temporarily.  You can be the the most talented writer with the best vocabulary and sometimes there just are no words that do a situation justice or adequately describe the level of hurt or sadness it may bring.

I've often wondered why we all feel the need to tell each other that we understand.  Because as much as I hate it, I've done this very thing myself.  Is it because it's easier to say those words than to really DO something?  Is it because we are responsible?  Is it because we are too lazy or afraid to figure out what to do?  Is it because we think it somehow heals the hurt of another person to just say the words?  Maybe we do to a certain extent, but do we REALLY, FULLY understand how another feels?  I believe the answer is no.

We all have different "backdrops"...different "actors"...different points of view in the "play" of our lives, and so try as we might...I do not believe that any of us can ever truly understand how another person feels especially when it's an emotion or situation that is indescribable.  Maybe we would be better served to take the time to figure out what we can do that is in no way self serving to SHOW people that we care.  Maybe we should be a little less lazy and a lot more think of people not AFTER the fact, but before.  Maybe we should learn to be brave and not run from things that hurt.  Maybe we need less talking and more DOing in our lives.   Maybe then we wouldn't need to say "I understand" because the people we truly care about...would know.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

..."Love Story"...

I never have the TV on in the morning, but I fell asleep without putting the sleep timer on last night so when I woke up...the TV was still on and I never turned it off because it was quiet noise in the background of my room as I did some work on my computer.  It was nice to get a break from my usual silence...nice to hear "conversation" even if it came in the form of interviews on The Today Show.

I didn't pay much attention but as I got up to feed the cat that was "crying" at my feet...there was interview beginning with Ryan O'Neal about his new memoir that he had written about his life and love affair with Farrah Fawcett.  He described it as his real life "Love Story".  As much as I deny it and hate it, I am a secretly hopeless romantic and I was immediately sucked in.  It was fascinating to me to watch him speak.  It was strange and sweet and disconnected and present.  He was honest about what a turbulent relationship they had.  There were stories about fights that escalated violently at times, but then he talked about her with such tenderness and love.  He looked so far away when he spoke of how much he misses her and how their relationship evolved in the end before she died.
As they flashed pictures of him and Farrah on the screen and I listened to him talk, my mind wandered for a moment.  I don't like to fight with people I love.  I'm not a fan of unhealthy or violent relationships, but I just couldn't help but think about how sometimes the most impossible kind of that can make you crazy in good and bad ways...can be so hard to find.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that you can force.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that makes sense or is easy.  I'm not talking about the kind of love that comes up as "compatible" when you read your horoscope.  I'm talking about the kind that is just there with some people...even when the odds are against you...or you are at different points in your life.  It's the kind of love where your mind tells you that the practical, right, respectable thing to do is walk away, but your heart and soul beg you not to.
 I don't have the answers, but I have lots of questions.  Is it better to have reliable, practical love that makes sense?  Is it better to have a relationship that is healthy and sturdy, but has no excitement and little passion?  Or is it better to have love that tests your limits and makes no sense on paper?  I guess the perfect love is somewhere in between, but it seems to be so elusive.  I don't know how to get it or even if I'm worthy, but I do know what I want.
 I want someone that loves the challenges that come with me being a little difficult and high maintenance at times.  I want someone that appreciates my strength but also allows me to be weak and need them sometimes.   I want someone that thinks my quirky ways are cute.  I want someone that appreciates the fact that I will always tell you like it is and I will insist expect you stretch to become the best you can be...for me and for yourself.  I want someone that values my fierce loyalty and realizes how unusual it is these days.  I want someone that challenges me and even says "NO" sometimes.  I want someone that impressed with my ability to argue like an experienced attorney when I feel truly passionate about something or when I desperately need to feel understood.  I want someone that I can feel safe sharing my weakness with and that I can lie in bed and laugh with in the dark.  I want someone that will miss me terribly when I'm gone.  I don't know if I'll ever have my real life "Love Story", but somewhere deep inside...I still have a tiny glimmer of hope that I will. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

...LiFe iS nOt LiKe tHe mOviEs...

It's a very rare occasion for me to just sit during the day and watch a movie.  It feels so wasteful to me because I'm always so busy and I'm never really caught up with work.  So...because I've worked really, REALLY hard for the past week, I decided to give myself the luxury of climbing under my favorite quilt, on my bed, on a rainy Saturday afternoon to watch a movie.  I'm not a super picky person when it comes to movies.  If they entertain me in any way...I like them.  I watched a romantic comedy and when it was over, my house was dark and quiet and I started to think about life and how different real life is from life in the movies.

In real life, friendships break up...and many times they can't be fixed.  In real life, chemistry and love aren't always enough to make another person want you as much as you want them.  In real life, cheaters win...and bullies never get beat up and left to run home crying.  In real life, mean girls grow up to be mean women.  In real life, some crushes are never confessed.  In real life, kisses in the pouring rain never happen, and if they did...your hair would look crazy and your makeup would smear.  In real life, people that are deserving and talented sometimes never see true success because they never catch their one big break.  In real life, there is no perfect soundtrack playing in the background.  Real life is just that. It's real...and many times, it's confusing and sometimes it's hard.
I pride myself on my realistic view of life, but for a moment I found myself wishing that life were a little more like the movies.  I wish I could write a script and make people say all the right things.  I wish I could lend people my script so they could see how I really feel and know that I care even when I pretend that I don't.  I wish I had a stunt double to do all the scary and uncomfortable things for me.  I wish there were retakes and blooper reels that could be tossed aside.  I wish there was someone else there to "direct" me and make sure that I get my happy ending but there's not.  I have to face disappointments and heartache, and I have to live not knowing how my story will end.  Even though it would be nice to be guaranteed a perfect story and a happy ending...I'm grateful that life is real.  I'm glad that I get to experience all different types of emotions.  I appreciate the twists and turns and ups and downs.  My life may not be like the movies, but it's MY life and everyday is a new adventure and a new chance to be tested.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

...i uNaPoLoGizE...

I feel guilty when I shouldn't. I eat s*** when I should be saying "Screw you!. I'm embarrassed when I receive a compliment. I downplay my intelligence because it's easier to let people think I'm dumb. I don't always demand the respect I deserve. I say "I'm sorry." waaaaaay too often for things I should not be sorry about.

I do this to make other people feel more comfortable around me.

This week I've done a lot of thinking...about my life...about what I accept...about where I came from and how I got to where I'm at...and I came to a decision. I decided that while I will still apologize when I have done something wrong...I will no longer apologize to make other people feel better about themselves. I am officially UNAPOLOGIZING.

I unapologize for my comfortable life. I was not born into a wealthy fact it is quite the opposite. I have 5 brothers and sisters and while we were not destitute...there were many times that we couldn't have what we wanted. Everything that I have now, I have worked for. There were many years that I went without...without a fancy car...without new clothes or shoes...without fake nails...without all the comforts that I so enjoy. There were times when I went without the basic things we take for a warm house in the winter...or the ability to go buy fast food.

I unapologize for my appearance. I am far from perfect, but I work hard to be the best I can be. I am like a fine wine that gets better and better over time. It starts out average and becomes special. I am not "naturally thin". I work my a** off...EVERY day to fit in my size 4 jeans. I will no longer feel guilty when people stare or women whisper because I work hard to look the way I do.

I unapologize for having an amazing job...a job that I love...a job where I laugh and talk and enjoy the company of amazing people...a job where every day I get to teach and help people...a job where I actually make a difference in the world. It took a lot of time, money and hard work to achieve my goal. It also took the encouragement of people I respect and courage to overcome my fear of failure and get to where I am today. And I also unapologize for the fact that I don't need to work so I have the ability to work part time and make very little money while doing what I love.

I unapologize for wanting to be sexy at 40. It would be easy to let myself go and throw on baggy jeans and tennis shoes everyday and put my hair back in a ponytail. I don't always want to spend the time to do my hair and makeup...or to pick out just the right clothes...or wear 4 in heels...but I do it because when I am all put together and someone asks me how old I am...and I tell them...and they don't believe me...I feel good and I know my hard work has payed off.

I unapologize for having great that are beautiful and smart and kind and good. I think about all the hours spent reading books and going to museums and libraries. I think of all the times it would've been easier to give my kids what they want and over indulge them instead of disciplining them. I think of the countless hours I spent teaching my kids right from wrong...even when it was hard and even when it made them different. My kids may not be perfect, but they are good kids because I worked very hard to help mold them into what they are.

I'm tired of trying to make other people feel better about themselves at my own expense. And as braggy and stuck up as it may sound...I'm pretty great because I work on it every day...and if that makes other people uncomfortable than that's just too bad. It's good to be me and I will not apologize for my successes any more.

Monday, May 24, 2010

..."tO LiVe oR diE"...

"The human life is made up of choices...yes or or out...up or down. And then there are choices that or be a hero or to be a fight or give live or die. Live or die...that's the important choice...and it's not always in our hands."

I heard these words as I watched a show on TV yesterday. It stopped me and made me think…in fact, I had to pause the show for a minute, rewind it, and write these words down. I have always believed that our lives are made up of a series of choices…choices we make everyday…some are big and some are small but in the end I believe that every single choice we make…makes a difference and changes our lives...for the better or for the worse.

The “live or die” part of this quote seems the most extreme…the most out of our control…and in the literal sense, maybe it is…but I don’t think most of us realize how many times throughout our lives we make that choice. For some people…it is not an easy choice. I have known people…people that I love…that wanted to take their own life…and tried…more than once…but did not die. The doctors were baffled each time, because this person should have died…more than once. I’ve always held onto the belief that it was because there is a part of this person’s heart that DOES want to live…that’s the only way I can bear the pain that I feel when this happens.

Even for those of us that never consider taking our own lives…every day we have to make the choice to live. I believe that you can be alive and not live. I know this because I’ve done that. When I was overweight and depressed…I was just existing. People tease me because I have so many pictures of myself with friends and family these days. It seems narcissistic…and the irony is that I really hate having my picture taken…but there is a reason I take so many pictures now.

There are vacations and YEARS of my children’s lives where I am missing from all of the pictures. The few pictures that we have are just painful reminders of a very sad time in my life…a time I would like to forget…but also a time that is important to remember. You see, I could go see doctors…or be given anything I wanted…or be surrounded by people that loved me…or take medication…but NONE of that would help me live. I had to make the decision each and every day to get out of the bed I wanted to hide in and put one foot in front of the other. I had to choose to continue to be a good Mom. I had to choose not to cry every time I wanted to. I had to choose to rebuild myself, because NO ONE could do it for me.

The choices I made along the way and the journey that I took as I set out to “fix” myself, made me a different person…the person I am today. I made all the choices…and I did all the hard work…but there were people that unknowingly helped me along the way too. I learned that failing does not make me a failure. It means I get to keep trying until I get it right. I learned to not take myself so seriously…to laugh at myself. I learned that things don’t make people happy…and neither do people…real happiness comes from within. I learned to stop saying “I can’t.” and to do things that are hard for me…things that don’t come naturally. I learned that pain is always temporary and that working through it, is much easier than fighting it. I learned that a strong, healthy body helps make a strong, healthy mind, and I learned that the unlikeliest of people can become friends and touch each other’s lives in ways that the other may never know.

As hard as that time was for me and my family…and as much as I’d like to say I wish it never happened…I’m glad that it did because I learned how to make that choice. I learned to say “I want to live.” and I am so much better because of it.

The fact is…life is hard…and living is not always an easy choice to make. Things happen…natural disasters occur…people we love die or go away…we get hurt physically and emotionally…we face trials that can bring us to our knees. Sometimes we don’t know how to make things better because sometimes we can’t make things better…but no matter what we lose….we never lose our ability to choose how we will react…what we will do when faced with these choices…”yes or no…in or out…up or down…love or hate…to be a hero or to be a coward…to fight or give in…to live or die”.

Monday, March 29, 2010


The last day of school...the last bite...the last breath...the last line in a story...the last kiss...there are lots of "lasts" in life...lots of endings. Sometimes we expect them. We are prepared...ready...accepting. We move on to a new beginning and never look back.

Other times endings are unexpected...unwanted. We are surprised...sad...maybe even angry. We are left desperately wanting for something that we know we can never have again. We search endlessly for an answer that either does not exist or that we don't really want to hear.

I've thought a lot about "closure" lately. I ask myself what it is or if it even exists. I feel as though I need it in the same way that I need air to without it...I cannot really be alive. Other times I simply lust after it...knowing that I can go on without it...but craving it just the same.

I have always thought of "closure" as a band aid of sorts...something to put on a wound to help it feel better while it heals. Unfortunately, there's not a band aid that works for every "hurt". Sometimes the cut is too deep and it requires more time and attention than what a band aid can provide. There are things we face in life that cannot be healed with a simple answer...or with a "reason"...or even an apology...because even when we put a band aid on a cut...the cut is still underneath and it takes time to heal...and so it is the same with us.

If I am truly honest with myself, I have come to realize that for me personally...closure is not always an end. Closure is just a catch phrase...a word that I have used as an excuse to hold on to situations or things that I have lost...or people that I did not want to let go of. I am not good at good-byes or new beginnings. I do not like last times.

It doesn't matter what I do...or who I talk to...or how many times I replay the events leading up to an unwanted ending...I never truly feel a sense of what people refer to as closure. I muddle through and I bide my time and eventually...the piercing pain fades to a dull ache that's hardly noticeable...and the regret turns into a lesson learned.

Friday, March 26, 2010

...bEhoLd tHe pOwEr oF sPaNdEx......

If "music calms the savage beast" and "a picture is worth a thousand words" then I would argue that "spandex pants can change the world"...or at least cause some sort of ruckus!

The other day, I stopped off at Walmart to grocery shop after working at the gym. I was...of workout clothes. I knew I'd get a few looks, but I didn't think it would be too bad. I mean I was totally covered up. There was no tummy showing...and my boobs were nicely contained IN my tank top.

Now...I have been teased before at the gym about my tight pants. In fact, a couple of years ago, a guy from the gym joked on Halloween that he had the perfect costume. He said he could go as me, because it would be so easy. I said, "How is that easy?!?!" He said, "All I need is a blonde wig and some skin tight spandex pants!" I said, "PUH-LEAZZZZ! You also need lipgloss!!!" and we all died laughing.

So back to the shopping at the red neck hell hole known as Walmart... I walked in w my sister, K, on my cell phone. Sometimes I can be so codependent! I didn't wanna grocery shop alone so I talked to her the whole time on the phone. I'd shop...complain about how bad I hate to grocery about random things...and then ever so often I'd say "What is WRONG with these people?!?!" She'd reply, "What? What happened?". I said, "This man and woman are staring at me like I'm NAKED! What is their problem? I'm fully clothed in a tank top, with a thin jacket hanging open, capri pants and flip flops!" The same cycle would repeat...over and over and over again.

300$ later...I headed to my car...STILL on the phone with my sister...loaded all my groceries up and headed home. When I got there, we hung up, and K came out to help me carry all the bags in. I hopped out, grabbed some bags , and headed in the house with her behind me. All the sudden I hear my sister say, "LADY!!! I've had to listen to you talk about people staring...stopping conversations to stare...and all around making fools of themselves and you wonder why?!?!" I said, "WHAT?!?! It's only workout clothes." Her hands went to her hips and laughing she said, "LOOK AT THE PANTS YOU'RE WEARING! Those are tight and look hot!" I laughed and said, "Laaaaaaaaa! (as if the angels were singing) BEHOLD! THE POWER OF SPANDEX!" and we cracked up laughing as we carried the rest of my groceries in.

Later that night...after my last class at work...STILL wearing the same pants...I met my husband and kids for dinner. After a few similar experiences, it was then that I decided that these pants hold some serious power. Superman may have super human strength. The Invisible Woman may be able to disappear, and Spiderman may be able to climb walls and shoot webs, but they got nothin on me and my spandex pants. I was able to make people's heads move...stop conversations...confuse one guy to the point of speechlessness...and control people's thoughts...all with a small pair of pants! BEHOLD! THE POWER OF SPANDEX!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

...i aiN't tOuChiN nObOdY's dAddY's hYeNa...

I'm not a morning person...never have been...never will be. Many times, my kids' alarms go off before mine and I have them "trained" to get up to their own alarms and get ready for school on their own. If I'm not working, I stumble out of my room wearing whatever clothes I can find...just in time to load kids up and start shuttling them to their different schools. Yesterday was no different. I stumbled out looking like a hot mess and backed up to the counter to sit down and say "Good morning.". That wasn't what I said. I parked my tight butt on the counter and instead yelled "OH S***!"

I am forgetful. I can be a blonde airhead at times...but in all the years that my three children have been in school I have NEVER forgotten a major school project...until yesterday. My son J was suppose to turn in a LIFE SIZE replica of a hyena...THAT DAY...the first day back to school after Spring Break. There were 30 seconds of jumbled panicked thoughts. They ranged everywhere from "Oh's only 2nd grade...we can turn it in a day late...take the bad grade and move on! I mean what? Are they gonna hold him back because we didn't get a ****ing hyena turned in on time?!?!" "I am the WORST mother ever! Why did I have so much fun last week?!? WAAH! WAAH! Poor me!" "What is wrong with that teacher?!?! Why did she make the project due THE DAY after Spring Break?!?! What if we had traveled?!?" (We didn't by the way) "SNAP OUT OF MC! Get a hold of yourself!!!" I did....snap out of it...and I hatched a brilliant, blonde plan.

I took everyone to school...except J. I said, "J! Look at me." He did. I said, "Tell me you don't feel well." He said, "Huh?" I said, "Just say it. Say 'I don't feel well'!" He did. I said, " when I write a note to the school tomorrow to say 'Please excuse J's absence. He woke up and told me he didn't feel well' it won't be a lie...not technically any ways." I know. I know..I'll repent later. So anyways, J stayed home for an "extra day off" we could "give birth to a hyena" to speak.

Now while it was of upmost importance to get his project done, we had to handle first things first. That meant going up to the gym I work at so I could workout first...because if momma doesn't workout...momma's not happy...and momma can't produce a hyena when she's unhappy. After my workout, my friend/owner of the gym...JR...asked what J was doin home from school. I recited the entire story as he smiled...chuckled...and shook his head. I lamented about how large hyenas are and how bad it was gonna suck to come up with a life sized replica...and that's when everything took a momentary turn from hilarious. The conversation went something like this:

JR: "Do you know how BIG hyenas are?" (side note...JR's Dad is an avid hunter and has traveled to Africa for big game hunting several times and has a house full of exotic, stuffed animals)

ME: "Uh...YEAH! They are at the smallest about 30 inches tall and 4 feet in length!!!"

JR: "Hey! My Dad has a stuffed hyena at his house if you wanna use it."

ME: (laughing) "Uh, I don't think that's what they had in mind when they assigned this project...and I doubt your Daddy wants a bunch of grubby little kids touchin all over his hyena!" (still laughing)

JR: (still serious...and also blonde by the way) "Yeah...I guess it does weigh about 150 lbs too...but you can go out to the house and touch it and sketch it if you want to!"

ME: (trying to contain myself) "Oh thanks JR. That is so nice, but I don't want to inconvenience them and we have pictures off the internet. We'll be fine."

A few hours later, I sat at lunch with J...still hyena-less...and my Mom and sister recounting the events of the morning and talking about hyenas and how funny my conversation with JR had been. I said, "Can you imagine the look on J's teacher's snippy face if I backed a truck in and brought a real stuffed hyena in on a dolly?!?!" We all laughed and then in true blonde form I said, "I mean I'm not tryin to touch anybody's Daddy's hyena!"...a little too if no one were around...right as the waitress walked up to check on us. She walked away looking perplexed...and we all died a pack of hyenas! ~This ain't yo Daddy's hyena...this is Momma MC's hyena! (And's pitiful...but it's done!)~

Sunday, March 14, 2010

...aiN't nOtHiN LiKe tHe rEaL tHinG bAbY...

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to do practically anything to get it? I think we've ALL had something that we wanted but felt we couldn't have. I know that I have felt this many times in my life. At times, it's been a thing...a purse...or a piece of jewelry. Other times it was a passion...maybe even peace. Sometimes it's been a person...a friend...a love. I have found that if people want something or someone bad enough...they will find a way to get it...or at least convince themselves that they have.If a girl wants a Gucci purse, but doesn't have thousands of dollars for an authentic handbag...she can purchase a knock-off for a fraction of the cost. Some of these replica bags are so close to the real thing that the average person could not tell the difference even upon close inspection. When we crave satisfaction or love...and we can't seem to find it in the right is easy to trick ourselves into believing that we can find it somewhere else. We replace true happiness...true love...with something that is not real...something easy...fake. We confuse physical pleasure with love...and laughter with happiness. It sometimes forces us to keep moving from one event...or party...or location continuously...because if we stop...we will have to face what it is that we are missing. When the person we want doesn't love us or when a relationship fails, we can search out an alternate to help us mask the loneliness and regret. We can even chose a substitute...a body double if you with the same color hair and eyes...a similar build...and convince ourselves that THIS is what we really wanted all along.The problem is that even if NO ONE ELSE knows the difference...we do. We can only pretend for so long. Every time that girl carries her knock off bag, she will wonder if anyone else can tell that it's not real. When the physical pleasure subsides and the laughter ends...we are tired...and the heartache and grief return. When we look into the eyes of the replacement that we have chosen...even if they are the same color...we know deep down that they are not really the person that we want.The best things in life are not easy to come by. It takes work...sacrifice...and humility to get what it is that we really want. Sometimes we have to sacrifice and save to get that purse. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices and forgo temporary fun for lasting happiness. Sometimes we have to wait...patiently...even when it's hard...and fight the urge to give up on something or someone. Sometimes we have to be willing to give more than we shun we can be with the person that we know will truly make us happy and not one that just distracts us and helps us forget. Knock offs may be cheap and substitutes may come easy, but there ain't nothin like the real thing baby! Do what it takes...make the tough decisions...take a leap of faith to get what or who it is that you really want. In the end, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

...A bEaUtiFuL mEsS...

I love art. In fact, I was an Art History major for a period of time in college. This did not make my Dad happy, but I just loved looking at art...for hours...memorizing the names of paintings...staring at the colors and lines...seeing the world through another person's eyes and through different perspectives. I don't have one particular style or period or artist that is my favorite. While there are some artists that do not appeal to me as much as others...I can see the beauty in many different pieces.

Some artists are familiar even to people that have never studied art...their pieces easily recognizable. Picasso is just one of a handful I can think of. While he is not one of my favorite artists, I am truly fascinated by many of his pieces. I look at some of them and I see all the parts of the face and the wrong place. I find some odd...confusing to my eyes...but I never see them as ugly. In their own way, they are beautiful. It's almost as if they are so wrong...they are right. I feel similarly about Monet. While I think Monet's paintings are probably more universally appealing, it's always been amazing to me how something that looks so beautiful from afar, can look like such a mess up least to me it does. All the random colors and brush strokes up close create a beautiful picture...if you don't look too closely.

I was laying in bed the other was very late...and dark...I couldn't sleep. I could hear my husband breathing...asleep...and I was feeling a little like a Picasso and even more like a Monet myself. I started to think about all the things I don't like about myself...all my physical imperfections. I was lying there wishing that I didn't just have a good body, but a perfect body...thinking about the days when I had no wrinkles...wondering what it would be like to be have a tiny, straight be a classic, "Barbie" kind of way. I mused at how perfect I sometimes seem from afar...what an illusion my life has become...when really, if you look closely...I'm a mess and about as far from perfect as one could be. When you walk in my house, you see expensive custom curtains with fancy fringe and tassels...lots of decorations...everything looks perfect...but if you look in my drawers or my's a complete disaster. People that see me when I am out and about, think that I am confident...that nothing bothers me. I laugh when I want to cry. I say "Who cares!" when I DO care. I wear fake nails to cover the ones that I would bite if I didn't. I always have just the right accessories...the right so that I am perfectly put together...from afar...but really...I'm sort of a mess when you get closer. I wondered what it would be like to really be as strong as I be as confident and happy as people think I am.

As I sat down to write about these feelings that I have been struggling with internally...not really sure what direction I was came to me. There is no one, classic kind of beauty...and there is no one kind of perfection. I have spent a lifetime chasing perfection...always feeling like I fall short. I am realizing that I already am what I have been chasing. I may not be flawless. I may not be as confident as I would like...or as organized as I should be...or as happy as I seem all the time...but I AM perfect in my own way. Just because people can see that I have flaws when they look at me up close, doesn't mean I am bad or worth less than other people. Just because my nose is a little crooked, doesn't make me ugly. Just because I'm not as perfect as I look from afar...doesn't make me jumbled and wrong. I am a one of a kind...a priceless work of art in my own way. And even if I am a bit of a mess...I am a beautiful mess...perfect in my own perfections...and that is okay.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

...yOu gOttA LaUGh wHeN yOu'Re tHe jOkE...

It was a beautiful day and my car was filthy, so I decided to go through the car wash on my way home from the gym. When the wash was done and the green light lit up, I pulled forward and parked so I could dry off my car. I put my cell phone down and hopped out...wearing what I wore to the gym...tight capris with a low waist and a tank with a fitted long sleeve t shirt over the top. I would expect a few looks normally, but today I had the car wash all to myself. No one else was around. I could hear the music from inside the car as I walked around back to open the back hatch of my SUV to get out the shammy I use to dry my car off after I wash it each time.

I am a creature of habit. I do things the same way every time.
Drying my car off is no exception. I thought it was unusual that the car wash was so barren on such a beautiful, sunny day. There was not another person there...not that I could see. I methodically dried my car section at a time...before ringing the shammy out so I could continue on to the next section...listening to the music...intent on what I was doing. I felt like I was in my own little world and paid no attention to my surroundings because I thought I was alone. I was almost done and so I did what I always do last. I bent over to dry off the running boards. Normally I crouch down, but my lower back is kind of hurting today from the lifting I did in the gym yesterday and my knees are feeling the effects of the running I did in the afternoon. It's uncomfortable if I move or bend in certain directions, so I took a wide stance and leaned over keeping my back flat and knees straight. "Perfect." I thought..."No pain."...and then I felt it. It's that feeling that everyone has felt...the feeling that someone is watching you. Before I could stand and look, I heard a noise. I don't know why I did it, but without thinking I stuck my head down between my legs and looked through my legs to see what the noise was.There they were...three mechanics from the shop behind the car wash...standing in a line...arms crossed...watching my every move. I saw one nudge the other with his elbow while his arms were still crossed...raising his eyebrows. There was no shame in their all. They were there to watch and they did not hide it. I must have had a funny look of shock on my face because one of the men said, "It's ok honey...just keep doing what you're doing!"

First lemme just say "EWWWWW!" and second, lemme explain a little something about me. I do not always say the right thing or react in the way that I should. I have done and said things that leave ME shaking my OWN head asking "What was I thinking?!?!?" I have also been known to laugh at completely INAPPROPRIATE yesterday when I crashed my car into my husband's car damaging BOTH cars! I can't help it. It's like a nervous tick or something. So instead of reacting with digust...instead of cussing them out like I probably should have...what did I do??? I a crazy person. Fortunately, I was done and so I stood up, put the shammy away and started to drive out of the parking lot. As I did, I glanced over to see the ring leader of the three guys wink and give me a double point as if he was holding guns or something.

At that point, I burst into hysterical laughter...not because it's okay for men to behave that way...or because I wanted that type of attention...but I laughed because it was just so crazy. Life is what you make it. I learned a long time ago that when I encountered situations that were less than desirable...when I had a bad day...or things went wrong...I have a choice. I can laugh or I can cry my way through this crazy life of mine. Some days it's easier to laugh than others. Today was one of those days. Today I felt like a caricature of myself...a joke...and sometimes you just gotta laugh when you're the joke.

Monday, March 1, 2010

...i aM nO bRee vAn dE kAmP!!!...

I don't iron shirts. In fact, I don't even drive them to the cleaners. Around here, they get sent out. A nice man in a green van drives up and takes them away every Monday morning. I don't cook much. I can cook. It's quite tasty when I do. Unfortunately I do not enjoy it..and when I do's usually not from "scratch". Every plant inside my home is fake. If they were real, I assure you they would die because I would not talk to them or even water them occasionally. As for the's hit or miss..but one thing is for won't find me patiently caring for hydrangeas or any other type of plant that requires special care. I do pull any weeds that crop up in my flower beds and I do plant low maintenance flowers each season but as you might guess...I don't usually plan it or go out in Crocs and gardening gloves. If I happen to see some weeds, I go over and pull them out...usually in heels and blingy jeans. As for the grass, I pay another nice man to come in his truck and mow my lovely green yard (thank God for sprinkler systems and TruGreen ChemLawn!) each week. When a new neighbor moves in, I do not knock on the door with a perfect basket of home baked goodies. Nope...not me...I smile my most friendly smile and I wave my most inviting wave. I am certainly NO Bree Van de Kamp. That is for certain!

Some people will read this and think "Who does she think she is?" or "What a lazy person?" or "What is she so proud of? What kind of housewife is she?!?" Frankly...I'm OVER hearing this'll tell you who I am myself. I am my own person. I have a good heart and I do things my way. I say, "So what if someone else irons my husband's shirt? THAT...does not make me less of a wife to him." I say "Who cares whether or not I cook or we eat out?!?" No one in my family has ever missed a meal or gone hungry...and you know what??? When I cook, they appreciate it.

I am not lazy. I go from the moment I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I may not be doing what other Moms are doing...I may be lifting a barbell rather than volunteering at the school and gossiping in the copy room...but that does not make me lazy.
I am proud of the fact that after many years of unhappy service to my family...years that left me depressed and overweight...I made a change. I hired people to do the things that were stressing me out or that I didn't do well. I took back my life. I added MYSELF to the list of people that I was caring for on a daily basis. I became confident and strong. I got healthy and decided to help other people do the same. I am proud that by making myself happy...I became a BETTER wife and mother...a happy wife and mother instead of a sad, beat down, resentful wife and mother.

I am a housewife that goes to the grocery store in tight jeans and heels. I am a housewife that loads my kids in my SUV and meets my husband with a kiss and a smile at whatever restaurant it is we decide to eat at. And ladies...he's ALWAYS glad to see me...and ALWAYS proud to be seen with me. I am a housewife that buys cookies at the store when my kids are asked to bring them to a party. I am a housewife that treads carefully on the soccer field so my heels don't dig into the dirt. I am a housewife that asked for a gun rather than a Kitchen-Aid mixer for Christmas. I am a housewife that says no thanks to the drama of PTA, but enjoys an occasional lunch with my kids at school and takes pictures at all class parties. I am a housewife. I may not be like everyone else. but that's okay.

I am well aware of the fact that not everyone has the ability to eat out all the time or hire help. I realized how blessed I am. Unfortunately, that is all that people see...the outside...the nice car and the hours spent working out...the high heels on the soccer field...and they judge me...harshly. No one sees the other side. They say things like "I can't imagine YOU going grocery shopping!" or "You don't need a nanny to help you because you don't have an "important" job!". Well, folks...guess what? I do more things than you think. I just do them a little differently and that makes me the kind of housewife I WANT to be. I am a housewife that can enjoy my children and laugh with them because I'm not so stressed by all the dumb little details of how to cook the perfect pot roast. I am a housewife that does not have to call my husband and cry and demand he come home early from work because I am overworked and stressed with my kids. I can call to say "Hi. How are you today?" instead. I am a housewife that knows that I cannot really love and take care of my family the way I want to if I don't love and take care of myself first...and if that involves getting a pedicure instead of preparing dinner and coming home happy...then so be it. There is a reason they always tell you on airplanes that if there's an emergency, you should put your OWN mask on first, THEN help those around you.

I don't expect everyone to be like me...and I am in no way perfect. Ask my family...they will tell you I'm not. However...this is a BIG however...I am in no way putting down women that choose the more traditional role of housewife. If cooking, gardening, PTA, ballerina flats, and ponytails are your thing...if that makes you happy...then by all means spend your days at the elementary school, your evenings cooking delicious meals made from scratch, and rock that ponytail and flats. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I guess my point is that there is not ONE definition for housewife. It is different for different people and I'm done apologizing for the way I do things. I've been put down, talked about, and even resigned from PTA positions because I was tired of being whispered about and judged...all because I am different. It use to make me feel really bad, but what I have learned over the years is this: it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If my husband and my children are happy...if I know that I am doing my best and I am happy...then anyone that has a problem with that can kiss my small, toned, tan butt! I don't need to be Bree Van de Kamp...I am happy to be me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

...30 sEcONds...

Loud, angry music is blaring. Between songs there is a melody of grunts and groans...heavy breathing...and intermittent cursing. I'm holding a stopwatch...counting down...saying "Hold on! You can do it! Only 30 more seconds! You can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds!!!" I get a few desperate and angry looks and then all of the's over. The seconds have passed and the stopwatch is stopped. The hard work and pain are over. The struggle and the yells are replaced with sighs of relief and smiles. This is a common occurrence in the gym I work at. I see it almost everyday. Almost everything we do is about time...about seeing who can go further faster...or who can reach the destination first. Every minute...every second counts.

Sometimes it's painful. I know this because I'm not always on that side of the stopwatch. Many times, I am the one suffering...struggling to finish right alongside everyone else. Somedays are more difficult than others. Somedays the physical pain is enticing...addictive...almost pleasurable. I enjoy the fight and I feel as though I have "won". Other days it feels like mind becomes consumed with the fear of not being first...feelings of frustration distract me. The pain can overwhelm me if I allow it to...but no matter what...I don't stop. Giving up is not an option for me in the gym. I tell myself what I tell everyone else..."I can do this. It's only 30 more seconds. Hold on."

There are 86,400 seconds in a day...and everyday...those seconds are filled with many different emotions. Some are filled with laughter. Some are filled with peace. Some are filled with anger...some with disappointment and regret. Some are filled with anticipation and others with happiness. And some...are filled with pain...the worst kind of pain there is...the pain of the heart. This pain is both physical and emotional. It clouds my minds and makes me forget that I am strong. It leaves me gasping for air...breathless...with a lump in my throat. It makes me want to clutch my chest because the stabbing pain in my heart feels so tangible.

I have suffered physical pain in the gym that I never thought I could withstand and I have learned to deal with live in it so to use it to push myself further...but when it comes to emotional pain...I am weak. And when I have today...where the seconds of pain seem to outnumber the seconds of peace and happiness...I don't want to "live in it". I don't want to push myself to be better...stronger. I want to quit...stop the watch...stick my middle finger in the air and run away. The hard part is that I can't run away from myself...or my thoughts...or memories.

So as bad as I want to...I will never give up...I will never stop. I will do what I tell the brave people that I work with everyday to do. I will hold on...30 seconds at a time...again and again...until finally the pain subsides...and I find myself breathing a sigh of relief...smiling...and enjoying seconds filled with something more pleasant than pain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

...tO giVe iS beTTeR tHaN tO rEcEivE...

I loved reading books to my kids when they were little...especially in their beds at night. We read lots of the classic fairy tales and had several other favorites that we read often. One of those was "The Giving Tree". While I always admired the tree and her ability to "give" all she had for the boy she so loved...I also always felt sorry for her and related to her in some ways.

They say "it's better to give than to receive". I use to think that was so...and I still think it is many times. However, there are today...when I just feel selfish. When my heart is empty and I'm in need of a little giving myself...a little reciprocation. When I love someone, I love them with everything that I am and I want them to know that. I tell them...often. I'm affectionate. I leave notes. I give gifts. I try my best to be thoughtful and caring. I get a lot of pleasure out of doing these things for the people I love. I've often said that I don't need the same in return...that giving love and seeing the people I love happy, is enough for me. Lately, I'm not so sure about that.

Growing up, there were many times I felt unloved. I wasn't close to my Mom. I knew she loved me, but I always felt like she didn't like me from the time I was small. My Mom never taught me to take up for myself...she never defended me if there was a problem at school. I always felt like I wasn't allowed to say "no"...that people would not like me if I did. She always told me to just take not cause a stir or "rock the boat" keep my mouth shut and suffer in silence. Even when something very terrible happened to me, she did not defend me. She allowed me to be hurt in ways that no child should suffer. I have forgiven her and have a relationship with her, but the scars are still there.

I want to feel sorry for myself, but what I realized this morning as I am struggling with disappointment, is that in many ways...I have created this. I set up my relationships this way. I give and don't demand anything in least not in the beginning. I give myself away. It's almost as if I don't feel worthy of what it is that I crave. Then over time...after I have trained people to take from me...I am left feeling empty and miserable. The emptiness and sadness leads to anger and I say things to hurt the very people that I love the most. I push the people away that I need to be the closest to me. I get angry with other people for things that I, myself have created...for my own lack of self respect.

I don't know if it's stupidity or fear or if I am somehow punishing myself...but whatever it has to stop. I have to respect myself before I can expect other people to respect me. I have to take responsibility for what I do and I have to exercise more patience. I have to teach people to treat me with love and respect...and I have to live worthy of that love...or I'll never truly be happy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

...tHe bEsT woRsT tHinG tHaT eVEr hApPenEd tO mE...

It was the last day of my vacation. I put on my bikini...grabbed my ipod...and headed for the ocean barefoot...ready to take my last walk this summer on the beach. The wind was blowing my hair and the sun was really warm on my shoulders. Most people either come to the island or leave the island on Saturdays. We stayed an extra day, so it was a Sunday. Most people were spending their first day on the beach and I noticed the difference in the way it felt. There was an excitement in the air. It was the first time kids were digging in the sand...the first time umbrellas were being put up...beach toys looked new and clean...most people looked like they could use a tan. It felt good...but it was also a bittersweet moment. While everyone was so happy and excited...I was feeling regret over the fact that my time...was gone.

I was walking along with the sand in my in my ears and the ocean washing over my feet every time the tide washed in. I was deep in thought when I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and there were three men standing a little further in...the water was probably up to their knees. They were drinking beer...talking...staring at someone intently. I looked behind one was there...checked both sides...still no one there...and then I realized that it was ME that they were staring at. When I looked back over...they were smiling and I smiled back as I continued to walk. One said, "Hey, how's it goin?" I turned my head their direction, smiled again, and said "Everything is great!"...never stopping. I heard one say to the other, "Damn! This is gonna be a GOOD week!" and I kind of laughed to myself.

I walked a little further...noticing people noticing me. It was strange. I stopped...and walked a little further out to stand for a minute or two. As I stood there, I thought about how very grateful I am to be the person that I have become. I am grateful to be in the best physical shape of my life. I feel and look better than I did at 25 (minus the wrinkles around my eyes). I am stronger than I have ever been...both physically and mentally. I grew up never liking who I was...never feeling pretty...never feeling good enough...never feeling like I was good at anything. I didn't like who I was...which was part of what led me to the place I was at my lowest...200 lbs...hating myself...sad...and hopeless.The journey I took over the year it took me to lose 70 lbs...the people that I met along the way...and the years that have come and gone since have changed every way. I feel like the old me died and a new me was born. I am still haunted by the ghost of who I use to be from time to time. Some days I look in the mirror and I see the old me in my reflection, but I actually can say I like myself now. I will always struggle, but I want to learn to love myself and see myself as others do.

I watched the water and the pelicans diving for breakfast and thought back on the time when I let myself go and fell into such a dark place. I have so many painful memories of that time. I was thinking that in many ways, it was one of the worst things that happened to me...and then it occurred to me. Maybe that was not the worst thing that happened to me. I believe that in many ways it may have been the best thing that ever happened to me. I truly feel that in the past 7 years, I have become the person that I was always meant to be. I have grown and learned things about myself...knocked down walls and faced fears...made some of the best friends I've ever had...and learned what it is that I want to do with my life. At that moment, I came to the realization that gaining and losing the weight, was the best worst thing that ever happened to me. I turned to walk back towards our villa, but I no longer felt sad...I felt thankful...thankful for the time I had in my favorite place doing what I like with people I love...and thankful to be who I am...not by nature or the grace of God...but through my own efforts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

..."i carry your heart with me..."...

"i carry your heart with me" ~ E.E. Cummings

I once  wrote a post about trying to hold grains of sand in your hands...about how difficult that is.  The harder you grasp...the more quickly it seems to run through your fingers.  Such is the case with many things in life.  We want to hold force things to remain the same...but we can't because life is about change...about moving forward.  

I have had people come into my life that have forever changed it.  One person always comes to mind.  I truly consider him to be one of the best friends I have ever "non romantic soulmate".  He's gone now.  He went from being the person I talked to...confided in...learned from on a daily being gone.  We still talk on the phone every few months, but our once daily texts are distant memories and our e-mails are few and far between.  It's funny how you can meet a person and feel like your souls are you have always known each other or that you are meant to know each other.  Sometimes, it's the most unlikely of people that this happens with.

You would think that I would forget...move on.  That was what I prayed for in the beginning.  I wanted the loneliness and the ache of missing my friend to go away.  It has been almost 2 years and the pain has gone from being an unbearable sting to a dull that is only apparent every now and then...only when I see or hear or remember something about him.

I love E.E. Cummings' poetry.  It is unusual and not always easily understandable.  They are no rhyming words.  There is not even much punctuation in them.  For some reason...his poetry speaks to me.  My favorite poem is "i carry your heart with me".  It is probably his most famous.  It's rainy and dark and for some reason, I felt compelled to get out my book of E.E. Cummings' poetry and look at it.  I always go to the back of the book and read my favorite first and then I go forward one at a time.  It's a strange habit, but I AM a creature of habit so I always do it the same way.

When I read this poem today, I looked up and saw a picture of me and my friend, W, running a 5K together.  I looked at the incredible smile on his face that was captured in that he ran beside me...and I thought of him.  I wondered what he's doing...far away...I wondered if he ever thinks about me.  It sounds silly but I feel like the pain in my heart is because there is a piece missing...a piece that he will always have.  My heart has healed, but there is still a scar.  I guess it will always be a little tender.  I wondered if he feels the same missing piece that I feel...because in all honesty...I do feel as though I do carry a piece of his heart with me.

I'm able to bear the pain, because he taught me to.  He taught me to push past my self imposed limitations and to stop being afraid.  Sometimes I feel like I was reborn when I met him...he helped me find my true self...the one that had been buried and hidden.  He made me strong...he prepared me to live without him...and so while I still wish he were here...I move forward...and I remind myself that a piece of him is always right here with my heart.

My hope is that anyone who reads this...that may be sad...or missing someone...or feeling that dull ache in their heart...will realize this too.  Distance or death or circumstances may separate us...but we always carry a piece of those we care about with us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

..."cUss mOnKeY"...

I've been sick and today I finally feel good. I usually keep goin when I'm sick, but I had a couple of days that I felt really bad that I couldn't keep going like I wanted to. I spent a lot of time alone in bed..just me and my thoughts and worries and just over all crazy musings on life in general. I went to put my glass of water on the coaster that is on my nightstand during one of those days and noticed a post it note that my son had stuck there. It said, "I love you, Mom. You are the best Mom ever!" Of course I thought it was incredibly sweet, but it also got me thinkin about what makes a "good Mom".

I'm different than a lot of Moms I know. We eat out a lot. I'm almost ALWAYS in heels. I don't generally sit at home baking cookies and working on PTA functions. I am off running and flipping tires...lifting weights...and doing other things that I enjoy and that I feel will make me an "improved version of myself".

I try hard to be a good, responsible Mom...I really do...and for the most part I succeed in the areas that really matter.  I love my kids..and they know it.  I tell them often and I am very affectionate towards them physically.  I taught them their ABCs and them bedtime stories...still tuck them each in every night.  They always have food to eat...usually of the restaurant variety...but it's food nontheless...sorta...and they always have a clean house and clean clothes.  I can go on and on about birthday parties and family vacations and teaching them to be good moral people, but you get the point.  With that being said...I screw up too.  

I'm ALWAYS everything...all the time.  There have been many times that I was having lunch with my kids at school and I come running around the corner 5 minutes late with a huge purse flopping on my shoulder...3 inch heels...blonde hair flyin...clutching a bag of McDonald's in my french tipped fingers only to see a little child...mine...standing in the cafeteria...waiting...eyes scanning...looking for me.  I always tell them, "I'm sorry.  I'm always late, but you KNOW I'll ALWAYS be here if I say I will be."  They smile and say "I know Mommy."  I'm also really forgetful which can lead to a bit of chaos at when you forget a science project until a few days before it's due and you now have to try and find a way to create an project that can be tested and proven practically instantaneously.  If I'm getting ready and I need's not uncommon for me to walk out naked to get it...I don't really know how my kids feel about this but it probably is a little strange...especially when I stop to have a conversation with one of them.  I'm a passionate person..eventhough in certain circumstances I may seem reserved.  I feel things to the extreme and I tend to forget that I'm not in a bubble and that there are in fact other people around...watching me.  When I laugh...sometimes it's loud...a "cackle" as my 13 yr old daughter calls it.  I do it in the restaurants...while reading birthday cards in Target.  I know it embarrasses my kids at times, but I remind them that I am their Mom and "that's my job!" and unfortunately for them...the embarrassment doesn't always stop there.  I've been known to demonstrate workout impressions...whatever...all "in public".  

I guess one of my worst traits is that I cuss.  I don't know how it got started or who I got it from, but I affectionately refer to myself as a "Cuss Monkey".  I don't drop "f bombs" but there are cuss words that I just tend to use...a lot.  My oldest child is what I like to call a "straight arrow" so I know I shock her and probably disappoint her at times.  She's JUST LIKE her dad.  It's black and white.  It almost seems easier for them to do the "right thing"...the "appropriate thing" than it is to be human and screw up like the rest of us.  I live in multiple shades of grey.  My mouth gets me in trouble and sometimes...many times...I forget to filter what I say.  If I stub my WILL hear "S***!"

My husband doesn't cuss...opposites attract right?  It drives him crazy that I do.  I don't think it bothers him so much when a word flies out if I stub my toe...what he hates is when I use a cuss word as a descriptive word or even as a noun.  For example, let's take one of my most used words...B****.  I use it in place of woman...girl...wife.  When I was mad about an issue that I was having with a friend, I said to my husband..."He needs to get his b**** under control!"  If I'm leaving my sisters, I may say "Bye bye b****es!"  If I wanna pass someone going to slow on the highway, it's "Move b****!  Get out the way!  Get out the way! Get out the way, b****!"  I don't mean it in a disrespectful way...I even talk about myself this way.  Just yesterday, I was getting ready and when I slipped my favorite tight jeans on and my new sexy leopard heels on...I asked my husband "How do I look?"...he said, "You look great!"...I replied, "I am one hot b**** today!  Aren't I?!?"  I found it to be terribly funny...threw my head back and laughed ("cackled")  My husband didn't join in...instead he said, "You know I hate that word."

So, I do my best not to be completely inappropriate in front of my kids...and I TRY not to let the cuss words fly...but inevitably it happens from time to time.  My kids love me for who I am and for the most part are entertained by my craziness...but I do worry from time to time if being a "cuss monkey" makes me a bad Mom...because try as I might...I don't know that I'll ever get THIS monkey off my back.