Monday, December 12, 2011

Know YOUR Truth

Sometimes it seems I can't win for losing, but that's the way it goes, however in some instances it's not really "losing" if you're comfortable with who you are.

I will no longer speak in riddles.  Here it is.  I have heard that I can "appear" unapproachable, as in I generally wear a scowl.  This may very well be true, it is not because I am unfriendly though, it merely seems that way because I am constantly in a state of deep thought, or concentration trying to keep myself together.  I can not change my face from unpleasant to cheery in a nanosecond like my middle child, (she's a master at it).  It is also not easy for me to feign comfort when I obviously am not; it's like having trapped gas, it really hurts but you don't want anyone to know what's bothering you.  

It occurred to me that while I am not unhappy, I could be more cheery, i.e. "not let the little things get under  my skin so much" for these are the things that bring about the scowl.  For example I shouldn't let the fact that my children rarely put their clothes away where they belong, or that they constantly stuff clean clothes in the hamper because they don't want to put them away in the proper place bother me.  Neither should I be disgruntled by the fact that the children are having nosebleeds EVERYDAY because they turn the space heater up to the MAX at night, (all the while I'm trying to figure out where the humidifier is and why its so dry in the room to begin with).  Nor should any concern be given to keeping a schedule, because its just bound to go sideways; so the calendar can just take a leap because finishing what's on today's list is NOT HAPPENING!  Nope I shouldn't let ANY of these things bother me.  But they do, and though I could see the benefits of changing my outward appearance to gain the friendship and admiration and love of more others, I am perfectly content with the friendships and love I have in my life right now.  

Here is my truth.  I don't feel I should have to put on a face to impress people.  I am (for once in my life) happy with who I am.  I am a kind, friendly, outgoing person and if you give me more than a cursory once-over you'll figure that out for yourself.  People, just like books and food deserve to be given a try no matter what their appearance.  You know the expressions "Don't judge a book by its cover" and one of my favorite food adages from Yo Gabba Gabba! "Try it, you'll like it!".  Grown-ups should take this advice too.  However, if you don't want to, Rhett Butler can sum it up for me. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn". 

Until Next Time, 
Be Blessed 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's a new attitude...I'm looking UP!!

Liking what I see...When I look at ME!!


It's the holiday season and tis better to give than receive right?  Well I've got a gift for my daughters.  A mother that likes herself, the way she looks, but that is also committed to taking care of herself.  When you think you're pretty who gives a fig what other people think.  Love yourself ladies.  


Thursday, December 01, 2011

My Biological Clock is Ticking

I'm not sure why this is happening since I have 3 children already, but it definitely is.  The little Timex inside me has been going off at regular intervals for about the past year, and contrary to what my mind is thinking my uterus is LOUDER.  I've had this topic in my queue for  awhile, I'm writing about it today however because my body wouldn't let me  rest until it was done (a subconscious message of sorts perhaps).

Every few months for the past year or so, I've had this strong urge to procreate, like a deep, deep desire in my uterus, (most would say "the pit of my stomach" or "my gut" -but that is not where babies come from), to have life inside me.  Yet every time this little alarm would go off, my head would chime in "but now isn't a good time".  I always tell people my body might be saying "yes", but I can talk myself out of having a baby in just a few seconds..."we need a bigger house, the girls are too old, I'm getting older, hubby's in school...." No need to go on you get the gist.

My situation has not been aided by my friends or family.  I just came off a relaxing holiday where I got to hold my beautiful new little cousin.  My sister and our cousin, both delivered healthy, precious little girls, one day apart, two months ago.  Ahh...I could sit and look at those children all day, such good babies they are (they really are).  I held KA and it felt like there was nothing else in the world; a nice feeling considering how my holiday started. Then let's figure, at least 3 of my girlfriends are pregnant.  And I believe Addison "is in a family way" (yes a fictional character on a television show made my list).

Last night, when my body made its plea, I realized my mind is in compliance.  None of the usual "justifications" for tabling the discussion came up, as a matter of fact, I talked myself into it:  Yes, our daughters are 10, 8, and 5, and they have great spacing.  This new addition would be 7 years younger than my youngest, but the girls will be older and more mature. We live comfortably in our home, one more wouldn't put us out, plus I grew up with my extended family living in one house, we were cozy but also close; (I love that about my family). I'm only 33, so I haven't reached my cutoff (35) just yet.  Hubby will only be in school for 6 more months.  These counter-arguments have always been there, been available to me, but I never wanted to use them.

Now though, I have the feeling that all my fence sitting has put my husband on the "it's not the right time" train.   The obstacle, challenge, matter at hand now is letting my husband know the desires of my heart.  See I have to plan it just so.  My fear now is that we won't be on the same page...I waited too long and now..."you snooze, you lose".

Until next time,
Be Blessed

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Silence is Most Disheartening

Unless you live under a rock or in a cave, I'm sure you've heard the news from Happy Valley (ironic isn't it?).  Though I'll not go into the details of it, if you haven't read the Grand Jury Report here is the link.

Over the past week, I was sickened from reading the allegations, but I had to do it, to educate myself, so I could better educate my children.  Yes, I've talked to them about "good touch, bad touch", although I tell my girls no one should be touching them, outside a handshake and possibly a hug.  Now they know how to play with kids, but no one's hands should be all over you, and nowhere near your private parts.  However now, I've had to be VERY SPECIFIC about who  "No one" is.  In our house its nobody that isn't Mommy, Daddy (in emergencies) or Dr. D (and that's only with Mommy present).

More importantly I've found it is most important to arm them with a voice of reason, ME, letting them know they can tell us anything, even if "someone" tells them 'they won't believe you'.... THAT IS A LIE!! Tell me.  Don't believe whatever "they" are trying to feed you, and if reason fails KRS..'kick, run, scream".

After I had these talks with my children I had to figure out why I was still so angry and hurt and sick.  We hear about children being abused all the time, it is in the news and on television shows, we are inundated constantly with despairing news regarding the treatment of children.  Essentially how children are being FAILED in this country. Not to say we are desensitized  by it, but it is all to common.

I was sickened because people did NOTHING!!!  People saw these alleged actions occurring and did NOTHING!!!  You followed protocol and told your superior, (after discussing it with your father), but you DIDN'T STOP IT!! I am angry because a child was being hurt and people turned their backs, literally and figuratively.  And in turning your back, you opened the door for MORE CHILDREN to be hurt.

My heart cried out, "WHY?" and I realized, people are afraid, and that is sad. Afraid to go against the hierarchy, afraid to jeopardize your chances at success and so you let a child suffer so that you would not be put out.   This is absolutely shameful. As human beings we have to be better than a pack of baboons that would beat their young against the rocks.

Even still I was aching inside. "Why", you ask?  Because I was afraid that I too would be AFRAID.  Not afraid that I wouldn't act, but scared that I might be hurt.  That is when I prayed. "Lord help us ALL be courageous, let ME not be afraid to do the right thing and stand up for all the children".  I can not control anyone else's actions, but God can order my steps, I just have to listen and remember;  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  


We cannot let fear rule us, we must be COURAGEOUS!!






Until Next Time, 
Be Blessed



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Win a Family Four Pack of Tickets to "Arthur Christmas"




So you've read that I was such a good girl that Santa left me a few gifts to share....Well guess what, I've got a few more!!!!

Sony Pictures and Aardman are releasing "Arthur Christmas" on November 23rd, but friends of "Life As I Know" in the Atlanta area can win passes to see it on November 19th.  I've got 5 family four packs of tickets for my readers, and I can't wait to give them away.  

That's right on Day 8 of the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas" you and yours can attend an advance screening of "Arthur Christmas" at Regal Mall of Georgia at 11:00AM.  


You want those tickets right?

Well all you have to do is:






Until Next Time, 
Be Blessed


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Win an Appointment with the Phipps Plaza Santa!!!

Santa Claus is coming and he's bringing Arthur with him....




Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman’s ARTHUR CHRISTMAS is the new family animated comedy  hitting theaters on November 23rd.  And since I was such a good girl this year, I've got gifts for all of you!!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Bringing the spirit of the season early to Atlantans, Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation are hosting the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas" events throughout metro-Atlanta and I'm going to help them spread the love.  It all starts with a Snow Celebration at Centennial Olympic Park on November 12th and ending with a Jingle Bell Rock Party at Atlantic Station on November 23rd.  Guests will be ever filled with holiday cheer as they partake in the multitude of happenings around the city.  An Army of Elves, meet and greet with Santa's reindeer, holiday lights at Lake Lanier and testing the ice at the igloo village at the Georgia Aquarium are just a few. 

Ever wonder how Santa delivers 2 billion presents in one night?  “Arthur Christmas” answers the question… The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.

 When this amazing operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, Arthur, the least capable Claus, embarks on a hilarious, exciting rogue mission against the clock with his politically incorrect grandfather Grandsanta and a giftwrapping-obsessed elf named Bryony, to deliver the last present before Christmas morning dawns. 





But before the  film’s opening we're going to celebrate the 12 Days of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS in Atlanta! It's a whole host of activities to get the family out in the mood for Christmas, so Let's start with some SNOW!!!


Day 1, Saturday, November 12, 2011
Arthur Christmas is Coming to Town
Centennial Olympic Park
11:00AM-3:00PM
Join Arthur’s Army of Elves as they kick off the 12 Days of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS with fresh snow for free tubing, posing and playing in front of the Fountain of Rings. All who attend the free event can enter to win an appointment with the Phipps Plaza Santa. Open to the public.


"How do you get the appointment with Santa?" you ask...

Well be at Centennial Olympic park Saturday morning at 11:00AM and be the first person to tweet me www.twitter.com/slhayesdesigns, or check-in with me on Facebook. The earliest timestamp I see gets the appointment with the Phipps Santa!!!

Check www.12DaysOfArthurChristmas.com  for a complete list and details of all the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas" activities.

Until Next Time, 
Be Blessed

Monday, November 07, 2011

"I Am Not My Hair", but She Might Be

I have been rocking my hair in a natural state for fifteen years. And I love it!!! I have shown you all pictures of me and my styles over the years, and its versatile and I love that freedom.  That being said, the way I wear my hair is not for everyone.  

The space I'm in now though is keeping that path with my girls.  Each of them has their own texture different from mine and each other.  My oldest has a fine texture, soft with a gentle, loose curl pattern.  My youngest has soft, tight curls (makes for great puffs ;).   Little Buddy has soft hair as well, but it sucks up oil, so her scalp is constantly dry, it is the kinkiest of us all, and she is tender-headed.  These different textures have made it easier to style some heads than others.  That being said,  I have found myself in a bit of hot water regarding my middle childs' appearance.  


 Now mind you, hair is not the only issue I've been having with this child.  She seemed to have a serious anxiety issue the past few weeks, but we thought it was attributed to all the testing they had been doing at school.  However last weekend my baby girl told my father she didn't like the way she looked.  (And truthfully it was time for her hair to be done).  Just so you know my kid doesn't walk around looking like "Whodunnit" and "Whatfor" everyday.

 At 8 I want my kid to just have fun and not be concerned with how she is looking, but then again, that's how I roll.  "I am not my hair", so judge me on my character and my abilities, not how I look.  Now this is not to say roll out the house in your pajamas with your head wrap on and go to the store;  I just don't want you to tie-up your esteem with your appearance.  Don't get me wrong, take care to show your best face, but let it be the face of your choosing.  And maybe that was part of the problem, she had no choice. 

So the meat of it is this:  our Little Buddy was not feeling good about herself,  and it had not even occurred to me that her hair was an issue.  She is not me, so being kinky curly might not be for her.  That being said, I was on the verge of texturizing my daughter's hair (again) to make it easier for me to style her, and make her pretty the way she wanted; BUT I did NOT!

I am a firm believer that one can have healthy, natural hair, that can be styled a myriad of ways, but maybe you should leave the styling to someone else.  So that is what I have done.  I am now outsourcing the haircare of my middle child to Selena Bell.  She did a great job, and not one tear was shed..(oh yeah, there were tears and all kinds of drama when I did it).  So as a sanity saver I have passed the buck, literally and figuratively to Selena to save my family.  And yes, it really was that deep, if something wasn't done about Little Buddy's  hair my family would have been in jeopardy.

My daughters hair is now done to her liking without all the whining and, well without the usual fanfare.  I realize that while I am not my hair, my eight year old may hold a very different opinion. And I'm okay with that, I just hope she grows up to love herself  no matter what her hair is like.  

Until Next Time,
Be Blessed.  

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Celebrating For A Cause"

Do you know what it's like to have great friends that don't just think of themselves, or that don't think anything of helping you, or anyone else in need for that matter?  Well I do.  I have been blessed to meet and make friends with some pretty outstanding women, who do really great things, and my friend Dee-Dee Jackson is no exception.

Dee-Dee and her organization I'm Every Woman! are kicking off this fabulous season of love and giving by "Celebrating For A Cause".


"I'm Every Woman! Inc. is committed to doing all we can to end domestic violence, hunger in our elderly population, close the gap for families in need, and mentor our youth that need a second chance at success. Our first charity benefit on 11/19/11 will open the door for us to begin making a difference. We are asking our supporters and the community to join forces with us so we are united in our efforts. Together we can do more! We need your support!" - Dee-Dee Jackson, Founder and President

Don't you just love a good party?  I certainly do, and my friend has never disappointed in putting together a great event.  This one is sure to leave you with a warm tingly feeling because while you're having such an awesome time (with new and old friends alike), you'll also be contributing to some really great causes.

Take a moment to pop over to the site and see what they're all about. Make a contribution of support for the organization (it's a non-profit) or purchase your tickets for the event.  Either way you're guaranteed to see a great organization doing good in the community so show your support and  check out "Celebrating For A Cause"

Until next time, 
Be Blessed


Monday, October 31, 2011

The Shit a Good Christian Woman Can't Say

Take the title for example, that is ABSOLUTELY NOT something that any good, God-fearing woman should be going around saying.  However God knows my heart, so he is aware of the fact that some people get on my last good nerve and the only way I can get over it is to CURSE (or cuss if you're the south) the HELL out of them. (Though you know I only curse in private - right).  Seriously, why else irritate such a good upstanding woman as myself to the point that I can't even pray to ask for the right spirit to deal with you.  



You are obviously unaware that many a good Christian woman has a razor-edged tongue that we pray constantly for God to bridle so that we might be good reflections of him.  Sometimes though that prayer is uttered in repentance because we are human and we do fall (the key is in getting back up).  Can you tell I haven't done my devotional this morning?  Let me get to that now.

Dear God please forgive anyone that I have offended by my humanity.  Amen.

Until next time,
Be Blessed

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Do Your Children Think of You?

Many might say it doesn't matter to them, but they're probably lying.  Most parents at least hope their children think well of them, I know I do.  I no longer have to wonder though.

Fortunately for me my daughters Social Studies teacher had them do an assignment on world leaders past and present, (uh no, I did not make THAT list), then they had to list someone they know personally that they thought of as a leader.  Guess who got picked?  And yes, I have a slightly swollen ego because of it...Heck I'm a Home Based Mom, I'm competing with engineers and entrepreneurs and Directors of Fortune 500 companies (yes in our family).

So not only was I awed, but humbled as well, because I feel like my children -at least one of them- knows my worth.  I am blessed and highly FAVORED.

#10 blows my mind, especially after having seen the movie "Courageous".  You should definitely check it out.

Until next time,
Be Blessed

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Your Marriage Is Important to Me

Life is full of challenges and ultimately the decisions we make regarding these situations determine if we'll make it through.  Curve balls are thrown and feelings change, friends and lovers grow apart, schedules get more hectic and life happens.  Through it all you need to make your marriage a priority, not just the marriage, but the relationship you have with your partner.  Taking time to talk with them, have fun together and to nurture one another is essential. But what happens when neither of you feel like working on it, you're both so tired, or so fed up that you can't or won't take the time to look at your relationship to see where work could be put in?  That is when you need friends, specifically married friends, who want to see your marriage succeed.  Like minded people with similar goals generally tend to support one another and encourage positive outcomes in others lives.

Earlier this year, I was getting ready to attend a marriage gala and I offered a friend and his wife tickets to the event, however when I finally reached him, he told me they were separating that very week.  I was sick, because the reason given to me was "I fell out of love with her".  Seriously?!! I was hurt for her as much as him.  There were some extenuating circumstances, but with friends and counseling the events possibly could have been prevented.  I made it known to my friend that I thought he should take some time and try to work on his marriage, but he was pained and not open to the possibility of reconciliation.  This is an old friend of mine, I've known him longer than my husband and he is honestly one of my oldest and dearest friends, which is why I was so hurt.  Over the years, we haven't made as much time for one another as we used to, so we don't talk like we once did, so I didn't know the ends and out of his marriage, nor he mine.  However I felt, had we been more open to one another as couples we could have helped each other avoid the pitfalls we found ourselves in.   The same is true of all marriages, and I am fortunate that I have friends that believe the same thing.

Our marriages are not important to just our families, but for our childrens' future families.  What chance do they have of keeping a marriage together if half the ones they know of personally end in divorce?  And I'm not talking about divorce due to abuse, I'm talking about the "irreconcilable differences" and the "I fell out of love with them" splits.  Marriage takes work, and there are days when I have to work super hard to stay with my husband, because though I may love him, he sure can get on my last nerve, and I know the feeling is mutual.  My sister  wives have had experiences that I may not have, and they are able to share with me from their experience, and I can share from mine.  The key element of it all is SHARING.  We cannot be ashamed of our circumstances, or  timid in creativity for keeping our marriages whole.  Please know that your marriage is important to me, even if only for selfish reasons...It might save mine...or my child may marry yours.   We have to work together to keep our marriages strong and I pray that you take me seriously and become a friend of your friends marriages.

Back to my friend and his wife.  I had told my mother about this friend, because she knows him too, and in my mothers fashion, she summoned him.  She declared they were to have lunch because she needed to talk with him about this decision, (my mother divorced my stepdad 3 years ago), and she had her own insights to offer.  Well upon my delivering this message for her, my friend informed me that he and his wife were going to attend counseling.  I felt like this was a win... a small battle, but a victory none the less, and a "W" is a "W".  I'll take it.

If your marriage is in trouble, reach out to a like-minded friend whose marriage and yours are a priority.  It may make the difference of your life.

Until next time,
Be Blessed

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is Here

That means football and knitting kick into high gear, at least around here.  Now mind you, I only watch college football, and only when the University of Michigan is playing.  My heart bleeds maize and blue, our home is swathed in it, (oh yeah hubby went there too).  My KitchenAid mixer is cobalt blue against a maize wall, the furniture in the family room is also blue against a maize wall, the guest room, (lovingly called the Lloyd Carr Memorial Suite by my father-in-law) is a combination of maize, blue and white.  We might be slightly fanatical but that is neither here nor there.

The issue at hand here, is that I cannot find the right shade of maize for my knitting.  I'm working on some hat designs, but I need that just right shade of - dare I say "yellow" (for the unindoctrinated),  to make it perfectly authentic.  Can anybody help me?  Something in a DK, medium weight would be preferable, wool is also a preference.  The color of the block "M" is what I'm looking for.

Until then...
Be Blessed

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Bit Goes A Long Way

Do you remember someone telling you that when you were younger? It was usually in reference to some creamy concoction that would be slathered on some part of your body, but it holds true for lots of things, i.e. makeup, spandex, thanks, gravy and other sauces, attention... you catch my drift.

Over the past week in the circles I travel, the topic has been popping up quite constantly "how do you balance work and family?".  Its been on blogs, personal conversations, forums, everywhere.  I just recently told some friends "don't try to be Superwoman, that chick ain't real" (yes I speak in the vernacular occasionally), and another good friend wrote about "Defeating Superwoman: A Work in Progress".

So often we feel the need to do it all, or be judged for it; when that is not the case at all.  If anything others are wishing you wouldn't try so hard so we won't look like slackers.  Maybe if we just take a little bit of the wisdom that our parents doled out about creamy concoctions and applied it to everyday life we'd be a little better.  For example:  A little bit.. of time with your children each day will build bonds that last a lifetime, of exercise each day will make your heart beat a little longer, of compassion will help you see the world in a new light, of housework (each day) will make it the place you want to come home to, and ... a little bit of love makes the world a better place.

Even just a little bit, can make a huge difference.  So maybe you didn't get ALL the laundry done, what you did will still bless your family.  And maybe you didn't blog everyday this week, but the little blurb you put out on Wordless Wednesday or the menu you threw together last week, really helped someone out.  Your time and effort has value no matter how big or small, so do what you can; because every little bit counts, and a little bit goes a long way.

Until Next Time,
Be Blessed

Happy birthday Little Buddy @pieceofcake. on Twitpic

Happy birthday Little Buddy @pieceofcake. on Twitpic

Thursday, September 01, 2011

What's for Dinner?

My kids are constantly asking me that question, even when they've just had a snack, and since I know they aren't hungry I usually just say "food".  That'll teach them.   With so many activities going on at different places, I figured I really need to stick to the whole "plan and prepare ahead" routine that was suggested eons ago.

I've planned out a menu a month at a time, but I could get pretty lax with the whole preparing early in the day part of it, so the planning was out the window.  But now with everyone doing something different, and most days not at the same place, this momma has got to get her timing and planning together.  With that in mind, I made up next weeks menu and picked up any needed ingredients that I didn't already have on hand.

This is also in line with being a little more coupon savvy.  I didn't use any today, but I plan on doing so in the future.  If you've got some sites you use regularly that are easy please let me know, I love a good deal too :)

Thursday: Chicken broccoli bake (a favorite from my UofM days :)
Friday: Burgers, Fries and Shakes
Saturday:  Out
Sunday: Out
Monday: (It's a holiday, somebody's grilling...I hope)
Tuesday: Baked Chicken with potatoes and green beans
Wednesday: Meatloaf (in the crockpot) corn, and broccoli
Thursday: Fajitas, rice, beans
Friday: Mini pizzas, salad
Saturday: Taco salad

Enjoy and feel free to draw inspiration and share your ideas too.  I love trying new easy meals.

Be Blessed

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upscale Magazine Prize Pack Giveaway


 Looking for a magazine to give you the latest fashion, finance and lifestyle information.  Look no further, Upscale has been doing that for 22 years and now they are making it even more convenient for you to stay up to date with the latest news and trends.

Recognizing the newer ways readers are consuming information Upscale has gone digital. Keeping in step with being "what successful people read" they are offering Life As I Know readers an Upscale Prize Pack!!  And everyone else who subscribes can get an additional discount!!!

Offer #1: Get both 9 issues (one year) of digital and print for the special low rate of 19.95 and receive a FREE Upscale t-shirt. *while supplies last
Offer #2: Get both 9 issues (one year) of digital and print for the special low rate of 19.95 and receive two (2) FREE Tropical Roots products. *while supplies last


Guess what?!! You can enjoy an additional 10% discount by entering the following code: UPSC28

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below with your favorite section of Upscale magazine.  For additional entries follow me on Twitter, and tweet: "I want to win @UpscaleMagazine prize pack from @slhayesdesigns!":  One winner will be chosen via Random.org on August 28, 2011.

Want to learn more about Upscale Magazine?  Check them out at UpscaleMagazine.com,
on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UpscaleMagazine,
and on Twitter: @UpscaleMagazine.
Good luck!


Disclosure: I was given a Upscale Magazine prize pack for review in exchange for providing readers information on Upscale magazine and their new discount offers.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tomorrow is My Birthday

I am so blessed.  I've already been out to dinner with my family, lucky me (SQUEE!). In the morning I get to go to a friends house for breakfast.  She offered to cook for me to celebrate my special day.  We try to get together at least once a year (on her birthday and have breakfast), but this year she's catching me on mine, and I feel SUPER SPECIAL!

To me cooking is a labor of love and when someone offers to make a meal for you, it means they really care.  It has inspired me to do the same for someone else, in essence to "Pay it Forward".  Not my family, I cook for them all the time, but a friend that I don't get to spend as much time with as I'd like.  I hope they experience the same feeling of love as I do.

My mom bought me a dress to wear to the wedding I'm attending this weekend and that made me feel AWESOME!

And Wednesday I get to go see SADE...say what!!! 

Every which way I turn, I am blessed.  My life is this great journey and I am so happy to have made it these 33 years to experience all I have; the ups and downs.  They have made me who I am, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

I am truly grateful for all the people in my life.  You've all helped me grow in some way or other, and I truly appreciate it.  I trust your day will be as blessed as mine is. 

Be Blessed.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

EverythingMan Radio

This morning I had the opportunity to tune in for the premiere launch of EverythingMan Radio. It's a great effort by some wonderful men to spread a message about being an all around, "Everything Man"; a son, friend, husband, father, and whatever other roles as the need arises. There platform is simple, "Real Men, Real Talk" and honestly, it is real, which I think is very necessary. You can't correct an issue by stepping politely around it whenever it comes up. 

To be forthright, I must say I know these men, and I'm very glad that my husband and I do.  It's an accountability issue.  I know these guys @EverythingmanHB and @EverythingmanMC wouldn't advise anything foolish or detrimental, as they are committed to "pursue ways to elevate our communities and build stronger families!!" I know their wives and their children and thus I have a glimpse into their hearts, and they are the real deal.  It's a blessing to be able to fellowship with them and I hope you all will support them in this effort.

The show isn't just for men though, both the co-hosts speak very highly of their Everything Woman (wives), and how these ladies support them and help keep their families running.  My real appreciation for the show lies in my belief in the potential change that can come about from more people hearing the message these men have to share.  I myself am a very visual learner, however it really becomes clear when I'm walked through it verbally.  Dialogue is key. 

Check them out tomorrow and Monday (you know you're off :) over at www.EverythingManRadio.com

Until next time,
Be Blessed

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grief...

is UGLY!
is painful (physically, emotionally, mentally)
is finger pointing
is name calling
is accusatory
is tiring
is loss of perspective
is gaining perspective
is reconciliation

My stepfather died yesterday, and I'm still processing, as I'm sure the rest of the family is too.  However some people believe this is the appropriate time to opine their feelings about what others did or didn't do.  Now is not the time for such squabbles, and please keep things in perspective. 

All of our experiences were different, but valid nonetheless and should be treated with equal respect. 

I love church signs.  Here is some advice from one that we could all use right now..."Keep your words sweet...You may have to eat them."  My own little caveat to that is...don't make them too sweet, they may make you (and others) sick. 

Be Blessed.

Rest in Peace, John H. Gilbert:  Marine, Son, Husband, Father, Friend

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Great Family Film ...Mr Popper's Penguins

This Friday, June 17th 20th Century Fox releases one of the greatest family films out in a long while. 
Recently I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening of the film.  My three daughters and I headed out to a wonderful "Summer Snow Day" hosted by Liquid Soul Media, which included a pre-screening games and activities. 

Mr Popper's Penguins was an absolute delight.  I enjoyed it so much and so did the kids.  The theater was filled with laughter, but the movie had a great family plot (and several lessons) as well.  I would definitely go see it again. 

Definitely check out the trailer below.
#popperspenguins trailer

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

WIP's (Works in Progress) Wednesday

So I've been teaching lately and my WIP's are piling up.  It doesn't help that I'm a slow knitter anyway (by my own definition), or that I am easily distracted and rarely practice project manogamy.  But the summer is upon us and my girls are out of school, so that makes for even slower progress in the knitting arena.

Lynn's Shrug
Blue Scarf
Levi's Corner
Currently I have...Lynn's shrug (my own design), Levi's Corner (a baby blanket for my new nephew), a Blue Scarf (which I started as a test knit for another designer, but may donate when its all done), and a crochet shawl (for my little cousin).  I guess that isn't so bad, but I really feel like I'm forgetting something.  Oh yeah, maybe all the color work I have to do to finish the second level of my certification.  Let's see; Fair Isle, Duplicate stitch, Intarsia and Mosaic knitting. 

As with anything in my life, a plan is necessary.  So here's the deal.  I'd like to finish the Blue Scarf by the end of the week (Saturday). Levi's corner must be done by July 14th (blocked and everything).  Lynn's shrug just needs to be done before the end of October (when it might be cool enough for it). We'll save the shawl for Christmas.  Now I just need to work on all my classwork; I'd like to be done by the end of September. That plan will take more time, so I'll come back with those details later.

Wish me luck, and that I don't get bored.  I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me

When I graduated from high school, I knew I was going to college in a few months, and I knew the plan I had for my life, but I wasn't really sure who I was.  I knew what I wanted to be, but without knowing who you are it makes it really hard to get from one point to another.  I've had some time to think about what I'd say because this season has been full of graduates in my family, and I'm happy to have something worthwhile to tell them. 

Now don't laugh, but this is my great advice....wait for it....wait for it....wait for it.  "Remember who you are."  Now I know I just said I didn't know who I was, but I think with that advice I'd have gotten myself together and done much better.  However back to the new graduates.  I know that all these young ladies and one gentleman come from great families where their parents talk to them, and are very open and there's phenomenal extended family support.  They have great foundations and are much more grounded and realistic than I was.  These are strong, confident, really intelligent, bright, beautiful young people, with families that love and support them.   These are the things I need them to remember;  that essentially they are not alone and they have the tools to accomplish whatever they want if they just remember that they are already properly equipped. 

That being said, with such wonderful advice, they can't help but go far.  Now I can't take credit for this sage advice. But it's still true nonetheless.  Self-confidence is key to success no matter what stage in life you are in, and if you've got friends and family in your corner (which these kids have in spades), you'll go far.

I can't wait to see what wonderful feats these young people accomplish.
And just know that if you need anything you can always call me.  I love you all always.

Be Blessed 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dear God 2.0

"I'm trying hard to reach you."
"They said "hes' busy, hold the line please", call me crazy, I thought maybe he could mind read."

The opening lyrics to one of my favorite songs. Maybe because I've been feeling that holding myself, but I realized, it's really my own fault.  Seriously.  I don't call as often as I should, and when I do, I'm not talking about anything.  Just rambling...he already knows that he's waiting for me to get to the point (even though he already knows), however like any good parental figure he wants you to recognize and acknowledge what it is you want and speak it out loud, ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT, I'm not a mind-reader.
The church my grandmother attended

These past few weeks the blog has been quiet, because life as i know has been very interesting, and I needed to process.  I like to think about my feelings a lot.  I hate making hasty decisions and speaking without at least trying to consider how my words or actions will affect others.  This recent time has all come to a head now, and I'm calling on my old friend to really talk. Since I've had time to think it out, and talk about it, I can now clearly express myself and my feelings without compromising myself.


 I've come to realize that you all don't really know me, and that's okay, that's what the book is for ;)  I'm not necessarily going to pull a Don Lemon, but there's a lot that doesn't go in this blog.  Here's a brief synopsis:  My stepfather is in a vegetative state, has been for two weeks now (and I'm pretty sure I haven't talked to him in months).  My little cousin graduated from HS last week and I just figured out the best advice to give her (what I wish someone had told me).  My husband is in school and it's going, it's the combination of school and travel that is really causing friction.  One of my aunts and aforementioned cousin have been displaced by the recent floods in MS.
Down the street from where I grew up

 There's other stuff, but I won't lay it all out today.  Just know that I'll lay out all my newly gained wisdom, (oh yeah got some advice on that too),when I can steal a few moments some other time. Please keep my family in prayer, we would really appreciate it. Thanks. 

Until next time,
Be Blessed

The water has receded in all these pictures, but you still can't get close enough to my aunts house to take pictures, because the water is still covering the roads. C'est la vie.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Oh yes, it will be happy, there will be no moping and complaining and whining like last year (It was my party I could cry if I wanted to).  I was no model parent, but I hadn't eaten in hours and my blood sugar was getting low
No excuses, I was slightly awful and that's that. 

This year we're going to early service at church and will get to brunch nice and early and there will be no complaints.  I am sharing my Mother's Day this year with my Mother in Law and though I would also like to have my mother present she works for the unholy WM we can't always have what we want.  I'll have to take her out next week.  My sister's took her to dinner and a movie today, so I'll get her another day. I did mail a card though. 

Mothering is a great joy for me and a privilege as well as a blessing.  But during this time I am reminded of the mother's who have lost children, or children who have lost mothers, or are fearing the loss of one.  My mind also goes to the women who want a child but can't have one for some reason or other. 

I know a few women in this position, and I wish them a Very Happy Mother's Day.  They are some of the most loving women I know and they care for others like they had given birth to them themselves.  I am blessed to have them in my life, to know their kindness and love and generosity.  Thank you doesn't seem enough, but it is sincere and heartfelt. 

I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day!
Be Blessed

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Update 5-4-11

That's usually the subject line of messages I send to my girl scout parents. This past week has been a whirlwind of activity around here.  Getting ready for the oldest girls' birthday...the big 1-0 and entering the "double digits" as they have so fondly dubbed it was maddening. It was one of those days that I said I wouldn't do again, i.e. double booking activities, but it was her birthday, so I had to pack it all in.


Last week I was making final arrangements for the knitting and quilting classes I started teaching this week.  I made matching t-shirts and yoga pants for all three girls and myself for the Mother-Daughter pajama party, ordered the cake, made reservations for dinner, hosted a support group meeting, went to a friends swearing in ceremony, attended the school talent show, created a site for my knitting students and myriad other things.  The most important being dinner with Pooh for her birthday.  Eleanor's swearing in was a very close second though.

My daughter turned 10 on Saturday, and though I didn't cry outwardly, my heart was bursting inside, and not with all the fear I thought, but with such joy, because as I looked at her, all dressed up in a really cute "big girl outfit" I still saw my child, my innocent baby, my girl who still plays with dolls and wants to play outside, riding her bike and playing tag with her sisters and cousins.  My daughter is still a child, (despite the world around her), and I thank God for that.

I have been dreading the tough questions and talks that are ahead of us, but  thanks to many friends advice I know the transition will be easier than I've imagined.  A couple of tips are already paying off, thanks T. Jackson for the book recommendation, she is eating it up :)  I am so excited for her, and every day a little less scared, because I know that we have put ourselves around people that will help us to make sure our girls grow to be all they can. 

In other news:
  • I started teaching, and let me tell you my seniors are sassy, all good sports, but I got some real firecrackers.  I can't wait to see them next week.
  • I found the Apple Cake recipe; Whew!!!  I really thought it was lost forever.  I was supposed to post it on Facebook a year ago.  I promise I will post it later this week.
  • I am behind on all my other sewing, (especially since I decided to make all my outfits for my Las Vegas trip this summer) look for some FO's soon.  
  • My brother got a job and is moving to Miami
  • and, I've still got more work to do for my quilting class on Friday, so ....

Be Blessed

Monday, April 25, 2011

Out of Order

Being transparent is something that I aim to be with my children.  I don't generally shy away from discussions with them about life, because I want them to feel as if they can talk to me about anything.  Hopefully I'm setting us up for a lifetime of open communication.  So in all this openness and transparency, there must be honesty.

Yesterday as we were preparing  to go to Easter service I heard my youngest two daughters talking.  What exactly they began talking about I'm not sure, as I only caught a bit, but my youngest said "I'm going to get married and have kids".  To which my reply was "yes, that's the way you do it, get married first then have kids." So my middle daughter chimes in "Wasn't Lynn at your wedding?"  I say "Yes, she was, but Mommy and Daddy were out of order."

Life is what it is and sometimes things, or people get broken, essentially we are "out of order".  That was how my life was.  I had known for a long time that I was not doing things the way they should have been done.  I was literally all over the place.  I was 22 years old, and unwed when I became a mother.  That is a fact, and I am not ashamed [now], neither am I proud of it.

I am sure the conversation of "doing the right thing" i.e. getting married when found we were pregnant occurred, however I knew that I was in no place to make that type of life changing decision when I was so confused.  And really it's not "doing the right thing"  if you do it because...... I want my children to know that even though we didn't do things in order, that doesn't mean they should follow the same path, and hopefully we are showing them a better option.

My parents were never married [to one another], each married other people when I was about 7.  My husband's parents divorced when he was young, and he was largely raised by a single mother.  We both had good lives, but not the family structure that we are trying to show our children. We don't have long lines of married couples [you know those marriages older than we are] to look to as examples, however that is what we want to be for our children. We want them to marry FIRST, THEN have sex, and children, in that order. If it doesn't work out that way we will still love them, (just as God still loves us), but I pray it does. We want them to see that even if you don't start reading and following the directions from the beginning it doesn't mean you can't pick them up and eventually get it right.  Just because we were out of order doesn't mean they have to be. 

We started out of order, BUT we eventually got smart and started following the directions and we are here today blessed and happy.  Trying to be the best parents we can by being open, honest, and showing that all things can be put in order when you Believe.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

She's Really In Tune With Her Body

Monday (the 18th) was my baby's birthday, she turned five years old, and she totally acted like a 5 year (a big girl).  Nothing really changed, but it was like I could see a shift in her.  When I told her friends and loved ones wished her a happy birthday she said, "Tell them thank you".  Quite impressive, before[turning 5] it was almost as if she hadn't heard me speak (otherwise known as ignoring me).  Monday though I could see a change, and it was good.

I maybe overindulged in the "It's your birthday have your way shenanigans", but honestly, she's a good kid, any you probably would have too.  I let her have 3 pieces of candy and the icing of a cupcake (she doesn't like the actual cake - go figure).  Shortly afterward she asserts that her throat is itchy; I'm thinking one of those candies may have had a trace of peanut, so I give her some diphenhydramine and keep a watchful eye.  No swelling no more talk of itching, all is well...or so I think.  Later that evening, as they are getting ready for bed, she asks me to check her temperature...no problem.  The temp is normal, and everyone is off to bed. 

My precious sleeps with me because she was having difficulty  in her room (something about her sisters talking to each other).  So I let her sit with me awhile and she falls asleep.  I put her to bed and we both get a good night's rest.  [Meanwhile her body is on a covert mission to stop me in my tracks.]  I wake up and tell her "it's time to get ready for school", and she says "Mom, can you check my temperature?"
"I think it will be normal, you were last night."
"Can you just check please?"
"Okay, oh crap 102.2, where's the Little Noses."

How did this happen.  Well I figured it was just a bug and was going to treat it as such.  I needed to take her oldest sister to the pediatrician later for an issue so of course Bell would tag along.  Once we're on our way back to triage she ask the nurse "After you finish with my sister can you check me out?"
Nurse: "Did your mom put your name on the list?"
Me: "No it's probably just a virus"
Nurse: "I'll go get your chart after I check on your sister."
I can tell I am in the dog house. 

So after sister has been checked out, and that's a whole other post we move on to Bell.  Ears look good, glands are a little swollen.  There's something in the throat that catches the docs eye. Long story short, after two unsuccessful swabs, the third is able to be tested ...it's positive for STREP.  A prescription is written and we're given directions to keep the little home a couple more days.  And of course it's contagious, so I send the Pre-K teacher a text before we leave the exam room and call her BFF's mom because they celebrated her birthday with us over the weekend.  

Here's where I hang my head in shame.  My daughter knew something wasn't right with her body and she took her health care into her own hands, and I'm glad she did.  I was just going to reconcile it as a virus and let it go.  However, did you know that Strep can lead to Scarlett Fever?  I didn't, I didn't even know it still existed.  Bell has done this before, with regards to feeling the arrival of an illness a night or so before and informed us of such.  You'd think we'd (I'd) have learned to listen to her by now.  She obviously knows her body better than I do.  Listen to your kids, sometimes they know best.


Items highlighted are some common symptoms of Strep. 

Be Blessed

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tell Me Something Good...It's Back!

So back when I was in school, I started "Tell Me Something Good Thursday" (TMSGT) as a way to report the good stuff that was happening in class, or to keep from complaining about what wasn't going so good [in school or life].  Well now, I've perused a few older posts, and I really liked that theme, so I'm bringing back, (like high-top fades and mohawks).

Today I went to the Atlanta Zoo with my second grader for the first time (yes the first time---put your eyes back in your heads).  My kids have been to the zoo several times without me.  I've generally left that to grandparents, friends, fieldtrips.  Really it is because I have some mixed emotions about zoos (we'll save those for another day).  At any rate, I so enjoyed this day with my daughter.  She is such a bubbly spirit and a joy to be around.  I loved seeing her in her element (you see she is totally different at school than home).

Our Little Buddy is a giver, and she gives so much of herself at school that by the time she gets home, she is so wiped out she can barely keep it together.  At home she is prone to emotional outburst, she is super-sensitive, but at school totally different, all smiles and laughter, and today I got to see that. BEAUTIFUL!!!


In addition to that, I put a call out to my Facebook friends, and they truly came through for me today.  I needed advice and they doled it out.  I was so thankful for all their input, and just wanted all of them and all of you know that I have some really TERRIFIC friends!

Tell Me Something Good... I know you've got at least one thing.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wind Down Wednesdays

I went to bed earlier this morning exhausted, because that's the only way I can make myself go to bed when my husband isn't home. Now although I went to bed late I woke up (the second time) feeling refreshed and full of life, (this was of course after my kids were on the bus to school). I was excited about the day because it was Wednesday - yeah I know "hump day" what's there to be excited about? 

Well in my house, it's the day we don't have any activities and I usually don't have any meetings, so I can pretty much do what I want.  Now granted there aren't so many do what I want days, but I can definitely usually do what I need to do on Wednesday, like finish the laundry and mop the floors, really clean everything up and prepare a nice meal. 

You all know that I'm a Mocha Mom, and in my chapter we use to have "Wind Down Wednesday".  These were generally outings that didn't require a lot of preparation.  Maybe just hanging out at another mocha's house or going to the park with the kids, something really laid back. Getting a chance to catch up on things helps me to relax and "wind down" which is exactly why I was so looking forward to today; and let me tell you it was a great one.  I put some laundry on this morning, went to the dentist, the bank, a couple of craft stores and made it back home in time to get my bags out of the truck and  watch the girls get off the bus. 

I enjoy Wednesday because for me it represents a break from the chaos that life can become the rest of the week.  Wednesday is welcome in my home, I love it like it were a sacred day set apart just for me to breathe deeply and be renewed.  Maybe you have a day that really allows you to recharge, if not, I suggest you get one. 

Be Blessed

So Sleepy

I am really tired, and want to go to sleep, however my husband is not home.  He is away on business, and when that is the case, I have a really hard time getting to sleep and especially at a decent hour. I generally tend to stay up way to late, even when he's away in the same time zone, and climb back in bed in the mornings for a little "extra" sleep to catch up on what I missed the night before.

There are plenty of things I could/should be doing, but I procrastinate something ridiculous during these times.  I won't tell you how much I'm slacking, but know that it's serious. No work getting done here.  But you know what, I'm going to hit the hay.  I am so tired right now, my eyelids are drooping more than they did in stats class. 

Sweet dreams y'all.

Be Blessed

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Refined...Refinement...Refine Me


There's no better time for reflection, than when surrounded by the beauty of nature. This weekend there was plenty of that in my life, as I went camping with my daughters' Girl Scout troops at the very lovely Indian Springs State Park. During this time I came to the realization that maybe I could use a bit of refinement.

Being a troop leader is something I really enjoy (to be read: working with the girls and hopefully helping to develop their character and instill in them a love for the environment). However the conclusion I drew this weekend has me leaning towards a different course in the future i.e., not being a leader. I found myself not wanting to deal with parents; not all of them (however having that desire is not necessarily a glowing quality in a leader).

This year has been interesting for me to say the least. I came into it with a sense of dread and loathing. [Well it's true] Several parents and leaders have expressed unhappiness with my leadership style. [They are in the minority] but well they're entitled to their opinions.

However back to this weekend. There were some instances that tried my patience, and I really felt that (my patience) was something that needed to be refined. It occurred to me that refinement meant a drawing down of me and an increase of something more pure. I need to be closer to God in order to be a more effective leader. I want to be refined, to be better, to be less me and more God.

With this in mind I will be making a lateral move to co-leader next year and working on becoming a better person (with more patience) so that I can better serve the girls and families I work for. I always tell the girls that we should live by the Promise and the Law, and I mean it. In order to do that I must show them a good example of doing so myself.


The Girl Scout Promise

On my honour, I will try
to serve God, and my country,
to help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be,
Honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong,
responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every girl scout.

All I can do is try. I just hope that after some time of reflection and study I will show myself approved.

Until next time,
Be Blessed.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love Is An Action Word

Many people may disagree, but I have to let you know I've been researching this for quite some time,(non-scientifically of course). Most would argue that it's a feeling, but I don't believe this. It may begin this way, but that definitely isn't how it ends. You see, I know you can choose whether or not to act on the feelings that you have. Otherwise why would people divorce over irreconcilable differences, or leave relationships where they were previously happy, but have over time "fallen out of love" with one another, or maybe just one fell out of love.

This weekend I had a wonderful time with my husband and many of our friends celebrating the loving marriages that we have. Celebrating the blessings that we are able to experience by living our lives with our best friends and sharing ourselves completely with someone else.

You all know I love a good party, as evidenced by the pictures from Marriage galas of the past, and birthdays, and whatever else you've seen posted on this blog. So with that love of celebration in mind I looked to invite more of my married friends to the event. To my great sadness, one of the friends I contacted, replied with the news that he and his wife had separated just the week before. Why? Because over the course of several years and circumstances many of us face (no infidelity or abuse). He said he had "fallen out of love with her". I was so hurt by this statement, because I know that my relationship with my husband, (we've been a couple longer than we've been married), has had its fair share of ups and downs; and thankfully, by the grace of God we are still together, and so much in love.

Hence my certainty that love is an action word. It is a verb that you choose on a daily basis whether or not to give it, or show it, or even to feel it. Sometimes we are so hurt by others that we allow ourselves to push love "deep down, never to be brought up again". Other times it is showered on undeserving people. No matter how you slice it, it's a choice, and I am so grateful that my husband chooses to love me everyday. And I choose to love him as well; some days its easier than others, but we continue to make the choice, everyday, "on purpose", and I am very happy with the choice that I make.

Remember those commercials from recent years "Verb, It's What You Do!", why not make LOVE your verb? Act on it daily.

Until Next Time,
Be Blessed

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let's Get Physical

Anybody else remember that song from the 1980's by Olivia Newton John? Well it's been on my mind lately, as I have been trying to muster the _______ to work out. I've got inspiration: I think; motivation: sure a little; will, there might be a problem. Because we all know, "where there's a will there's a way".
From Drop Box

Here's the deal: Have an event on the 26th (yes of this month), bought a dress, slightly to small (a pinch really, but if I eat, which I plan to do, there might be an unsightly bulge). I've got Zumba and a plan to walk, (which I was going to do today, but it's raining cats and dogs :() I need to lose about an inch around my chest to make it most flattering, any suggestions on how to burn fat in about a week and a half, short of liposuction? I'm open to just about anything. Thanks in advance.

Be blessed

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

So Much to Write About, Not Enough Time (Or Pictures)

There is so much going on. Girl Scout cookies came back and boy has that been one big roller-coaster ride; and not in a positive way. One minute council says, "We have cookies", the next "Sorry we don't have cookies". So tired, especially since parents continue to ask for cookies, which is a good thing, but when I have to go back and forth with what I'm telling them about availability, "It sucks".

I've taken pictures because I thought Spring was here, then the weather turned and I wasn't sure, and I still didn't have enough pictures for a montage :(

I am excited about a few things though. I got new yarn yesterday..oooh and needles aaahh. I will take pictures later today.

Since I'm rambling, I'll leave you.

Be Blessed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day ;-)



Seriously... I hope you are spreading love everyday, and at every opportunity you have. However if you wait for this one day a year to make your deepest amorous affections known, do it in a Big, Bold way.

Be Blessed.