Independently Me

Tomorrow: A new day 15 years later (03.20.01)

Life moves in a forward motion, much like the sweeping hands on a clock tracking time. Regardless of how many times you want to look back over the years, you can never turn back the hands of time. Despite how true the statement is, I find myself occasionally reflecting back about random things in life and sometimes consider how one element of change would’ve redefined the course of my life. This time of year I find myself caught up in deep thoughts and restless feelings. Like every year, I would pass it off on the time change and the change of seasons. It was a “it makes sense” type of explanation even though I love the longer days and all the changes that come along with Spring. But this year, instead of ignoring the edgy feeling and accepting it as “normal” I decided to blurt out how I was honestly feeling one day…..

— “I swear to God my subconscious is trying to beat me down more than life itself ever could. I never can just get beyond this month, no matter how hard I try, without reverting back in thoughts to those 12-15 days of uncertainty and pure fear! I’m done letting it haunt my thoughts or drain me. I’m going to buy me some damn cookies and spell it out because to be honest, I LOVE COOKIES!” —

 

And by golly, that’s just what I did. I had rambled myself into a moment where I decided to celebrate instead of processing life over and over in my head! Nothing about a single moment before that exact second in life could ever be changed and there was no different outcome to consider. I am a 15 year cancer survivor and I’m going to close the door on all the “what-ifs” and what “could’ve beens” to simply live life!

When I stop and think about life now, I realize I’ve had an additional 15 years of memories and experiences. Good ones and bad ones. I made friends and lost friends. I raised my daughter and watched her graduate. I was there by her side when my grandson was born. I laughed a lot and cried countless times. But most importantly, I lived life.

We would like to believe time is perpetual, that we will always have tomorrow. The truth is, our time in life will end and we have no way of knowing when that time will be. So be happy and never waste the time you are living now…..

∞ Michelle

 

 

 

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Frozen pizza on a Saturday night?!?

A frozen pizza, a Sprite and a quiet house….this is my Saturday night. Now don’t get me wrong, my day was busy. I was unpacking totes and organizing things, putting things back in totes I don’t want, chatted briefly with one of my dearest friends (Mindy Sue) when she stopped by to get a couple things, than called Dairiahna to see how her and Knox’s day was going, followed by a call to see what my Mom was up to today and sent & replied to texts with Sherri. In between emptying totes and doing laundry, I checked scores for the Royals baseball game and the K-State football game. All in all, the day was fairly productive and went by fast. So why is it that suddenly the time is dragging and I am noticing the deafening sound of the dryer drying my sheets?? (…….probably because I reached a stopping point and I’m sitting here alone.)

When we get the much desired “quiet moment” we end up reflecting back on our day. We usually realize there was something we forgot about or didn’t have time to do so we push it off until tomorrow. We get so wrapped up in the “stuff” that needs to be done, we overlook the real things that need our attention. Reminding our self “1. grab milk / bread 2. send lunch money 3. pay bills 4. make a hair appointment” are seriously some things we might list….think about the post-it note of “reminder notes” to yourself. I’ll admit I’m guilty of sending myself texts or emails to make sure I don’t forget things that aren’t a given in my day to day life but one thing I never put on my list which would replace all other things is…. “1. take time to make today count, don’t wait until tomorrow to make the ones you love your priority”. ← It’s a given but I rarely think about it in general. I don’t need to write it on a list because it should be something I’m doing daily! Some people put things off to do later and others think they can make up for things later in life. For some it might work out well but for others it may not.

It’s amazing how we want a little quiet time, a moment to our self….that moment when we don’t want to answer a call, reply to a text, answer the front door or attend a scheduled event. We simply want to ignore the world and enter our own zone! But what happens when you realize your phone stops ringing, there are no texts to reply to, no one stops by spontaneously and you don’t have any events to consider?!? It’s a moment when “too little time” becomes “too much time”, the moment when you wish your time was occupied by all the things you once took for granted.

My Saturday was a balance of time. Productive and now quiet. I just realized the only thing I hear in my house now is the clock ticking. With each tick, it’s time moving forward….it’s that extra second to take in life. As I finish up my evening making my bed and than curling up to read, I will know I spent certain moments of my day taking time for some of my priorities. I will also know I didn’t reflect back on a list of “things to do”, instead I randomly expressed myself in this blog and caught myself thinking about other important people in my life that I should have sent a message to, called to say hi or took time to go see. I sometimes believe I’m not a fan of sleeping much because I don’t want to miss out on any second of life….I should be making the most of those extra seconds I have!

Until tomorrow my friends…..good night.

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I’m a modern day cavewoman.

For a moment I want you to entertain an idea, it’s one that some will think is ridiculous and others will revert in time as they analyze the thought. Ready…………..

Imagine a world where nothing cost you anything and your daily life consisted of whatever you wanted without living by schedules.

Seem too hard to imagine? Can you not process the thought of life without payments, schedules, routines, work, school and all the other details that make up day to day life as we live it today. Well, I couldn’t imagine it until I wondered what life was like when it all began….as in the moment I first knew of (learned about) man and woman existing in life. Hello Caveman (and Cavewoman!)…it’s where my thoughts had to divert to so I could begin processing how different we live today.

Now before you lose interest or think I’m a complete dork for the idea of wondering what life would be like in the simplest form possible, try entertaining the idea or at least giving it some thought of how much hustle and bustle we are living from day to day….it’s NOT always been this way!

Every single day is significant in evolution in regards to how life advances in every imaginable way….not just from caveman to man by the change in the heritable traits over successive generations – there’s more to it than just that! We may have lost the body hair, started walking upright and redefined language but we also restructured the domesticated life, became creators and reformed the world as we know it. We complicated it in our desires to simplify, or maybe it’s more about advancing and not so much simplifying.

Technology is just the tip of the iceberg in making reference to changes. We act like a we can’t live without it…which in today’s world if you don’t use it you’re living in a hole. Some will argue technology is one of the best inventions of the modern day, maybe so, but I think it is also one of the worst. It’s like a necessary evil so to speak.

At one point in life, a home was where a family lived in an area sheltered from the elements. They relied on fire for warmth. They produced their own food (included hunting for it). They traveled distances only where they could walk to. Their life wasn’t broke down according to where the sun was in the sky. Mothers cared for their children. Money didn’t exist.

Now we buy houses (the more bathrooms the better), most have substantial mortgages and we protect our investment with insurance. We burn up natural resources to stay warm and have air conditioning for comfort in the summer. We buy groceries and complain about the price of food. We have become so mobile that we travel on a whim and never consider the expense of traveling when boasting about “saving a buck”. Cell phone notifications go off to remind us what we have entered into our calendars….sometimes it’s a reminder reminding us of a birthday party or family event (how sad is that?!). Many moms have to work too because one income doesn’t always cut it, so kids end up in daycare which is another expense to the mortgage (rent), vehicle payments, utilities, school loans and every other payment one may have. Money has become another one of those necessary evils.

So when I think of “than” versus “now” I’m able to see just how different times where as a whole, the way the world was and how we live life today. If you could bring a caveman into the modern world, life would be an overload for him. If you take a modern man and place him back in time, he may struggle to live without the comforts and conveniences “man” has created which are the exact things that actually take away some of the meaning “living life”.

Anyway, thanks for reading and entertaining the idea of thinking outside the box and imagining for a moment something different than “as you know it”…..

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Only people believe size matters….

I was asked why I write blogs. I hadn’t really thought about why but the topics are something I can relate to or I’m wanting to throw my thoughts out there about something specific. This blog is going to be pretty personal and may be one of those people want to judge me over…but keep in mind, what I share isn’t being put out there for anyone to insult me over. Matter of fact, my willingness to blog is more like an open diary of my life and my mind, which might be more than what most people are willing to share in a locked diary. So here goes….

I really think only people believe size matters!! It seems like everyone is “sizing” things up…I’m guessing the comment is interpreted differently by everyone so let me clarify. I think people are “sized up” in size (as in mass) and I’ve been guilty of doing it to myself.

Recently I caught myself struggling with the fact I have gained some weight since last summer. I know many people who see me around town are probably thinking to themselves “gawd, why is she even talking about weight when she looks like she does”…..well, here’s why. I have struggled with my size since before I entered 7th grade. So putting on additional weight, whether I needed it or not, is like layering my body in layers of lard….it’s something I would have wanted to remove immediately! How much weight bothered me to gain?? I’d say a couple pounds, so when I’ve gained roughly 18 pounds in the last year it would have normally thrown me into “weight overload”!

In 6th grade I was one of those kids who developed quicker than others. I was awkwardly carrying my weight. Looking back I was far from fat but I was seriously one curvy girl. I was busty (seemed to be where my weight was carried) and I was fairly thick. Because I grew / developed so much faster than most of the others my age I appeared to be “huge”, “fat”, “big boned” or whatever label was used as a description. The crazy thing is, I didn’t gain another ounce after 6th grade. Maybe an inch or two in height but that was it. I weighed 140’ish pounds that entire year. The flashbacks of how I viewed myself are a mix of insults to compliments. The summer following 6th grade an adult made the famous statement that I will never forget…. “Wow, you have really grown and gotten so big. You’ve outgrown your mother.” It really never phased me to be “big”, my family and my friends didn’t seem to ever have a problem with my size, especially the boys but back than, boys liked girls with big boobs and weren’t as mean with insults as some were in years to come.

As I entered 7th grade I had a massive complex. I didn’t know what to expect. There were things that were going to draw attention to me….I was a strawberry blonde, porcelain skinned girl (that alone made me different than the norm) and I was fairly outgoing (although I was starting to withdraw into a bit of a shell). I didn’t want my size to suddenly be what people noticed or talked about. So the battle within my mind versus my body was beginning. As I got settled into the routine of my first year in junior high, I started to take a lot of notice to what other girls looked like….not just in school but in catalogs and on TV. There was NO way I was going to be as stunning as some but I definitely knew I was going to be thinner than what I was, it was my goal! Goals for me are small challenges, I don’t settle until I’ve achieved them….after all, a goal is to achieve something better and nothing bad can come out of something you see as positive. Right??? Wrong, absolutely wrong! Goals are supposed to be good things but this goal was going to unfold in a bad way.

I started dropping weight fairly easy. I was active and naturally starting to shed what I will refer to as my “baby bulk”. My body was doing what most bodies do in time while growing….carrying the weight differently, slimming down and toning up but it wasn’t near what I wanted to lose. After the holidays and as Spring was approaching my mom was concerned about my weight loss and some of the affects it was having on my body. I was feeling pretty crappy most of the time, my body ached and I felt tired all the time. She was very much up in my business about my weight and I thought she was crazy for mentioning that she was taking me to see a doctor about it. She thought I was sick, sick and she knew I had suddenly become this super picky and light eater. I was less than thrilled about going to see my doctor but at this point I wasn’t sure how I was going to get out of it. Being completely honest with him was really the first time I revealed any of my less than proud moments of “control” over my weight. Yeah, who am I kidding….by this point I had completely lost control. I was starving my body regularly and it was obviously affecting my brain!!

Two things everyone is familiar with for an obsessed person to do to lose weight is to be anorexic or bulimic. I was dancing with the devil of anorexia and was losing footing. I’m NOT a puker or someone who can self induce sickness….I actually had never heard of bulimia until visiting the doctor and was scared to death it would be what others thought I was doing (as if starving my body of what it needed to survive was any better – I’m telling you, there is NO logic when you are dealing with this!). As I sat in the examining room with my mom I remember my doctor saying “her case is mild and can be corrected without any additional medical treatment, it’s about getting her to take care of herself”. Sounded pretty easy to overcome to me! The catch to such a simple statement was me realizing I was under the control of something out of control, there was no waking up in the morning and things were going to be better. So another battle was beginning….I could not lose anymore weight. I was now weighing 104 pounds fully dressed in layers and with shoes on. I didn’t weigh without clothes on because it was unrealistic in my head, I would always be dressed around people so that was the weight I had to control.

It was hard for me to stop doing the things I would typically do like skip breakfast and lunch, no snacking all day, only eat bread or bulky things when I felt sick to my stomach from all the acid sitting in there, pick at my meals at night to make it appear I was eating….I basically had trained my body to live on water and dinner rolls, sometimes I would eat crackers with peanut butter because I thought it was putting enough protein in my system (it was my argument I was eating healthy, peanut butter is healthy!). The day came I had to go back to the doctor, I was having some serious digestive and reproductive issues [all from my choices to abuse my body, imagine that]. When I was there the nurse seemed excited when she said I weighed 108 pounds. I almost had a cow on the spot….it was a tailspin of out of control thoughts in my head but I had to play it cool and keep from blurting out “that sucks!”.

My doctor appointment was less than a great visit. I was suddenly going to be visiting the Hertzler Clinic in Halstead plus schedule my first OBGYN appointment. There was the cue for my “have a cow moment”! I was in complete fight mode with my mom and doctor. There was no way I was doing either and they couldn’t make me. Or so I thought. Poked. Prodded. Examined. Evaluated. Tested. And finally preached at! So what did they find…..I had really screwed up my body, all for the desire to be thinner than what I was (based off of a simple statement made to me) because I didn’t want to be viewed as “big”. I had done a number on my ability to digest food. When I did try to eat, food made me actually sick….I now dealt with IBS and extreme nausea when I ate. My reproductive system was a mess….I had fluid in my uterus and my fallopian tubes were deteriorating, I wasn’t having a period at all to speak of either. My joints ached and I was always cold but I didn’t have an ounce of fat on my body so what did I expect. But even with all those issues I didn’t want to start packing on weight! Every time I did, I could shed 3-6 pounds easily in a day without doing much of anything. It was like a vicious cycle throughout high school. I actually graduated weighing 108 pounds….it seemed to be my magic number I learned to live with.

Even in my early 20’s I paid dearly for my choice to not feed my body and take care of myself. I never considered the problems it would cause to conceive a child or to carry a child to full term. I ended up going through several rounds of fertility after correcting as much damage as they could through surgeries (draining fluids and removing bad tissue). When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked because I had no symptoms. I was nearly 3 months along and had no idea other than my clothes fit differently (I took a pregnancy test for that reason). My pregnancy seemed like it was going to be a breeze…no morning sickness and really no issues until uncontrollable bleeding started! I believed I was being punished for my horrible choices and it was coming in the form of losing my baby. Laying in the ER was bad enough but than discovering I was in labor and my uterus was incompetent to carry the fetus was confirming my thoughts. I was sent on to have a specialist handle my case. After a surgery to sew my cervix shut and all these rules I had to follow I thought I was set. Long story short, after more labor and more issues, followed with bed rest and another surgery, I was within 4 weeks of delivery. A healthy baby girl was delivered via an emergency C-section. During my pregnancy I was never concerned over my weight gain!! I was in LOVE with food!! It took me 7.5 months to finally start showing and I really didn’t gain much weight until the last month and a half. I gained a total of 68 pounds!!!! Can you believe that???!!! I was doing everything right and didn’t feel bad in the least for having actual substance to my body again. This is when I realized I was back in control.

Looking back now I see, know and admit I looked as bad as I felt and easily can fall back into crazy weight fluctuations. I was too skinny….no curves, tired eyes, a sad smile and a frail spirit. The saddest thing about it was family and friends were used to seeing me thin, it seemed normal. Maybe it was the fact they didn’t want to point out what was already a problem. The sensitivity to words was nothing more than how I interpreted them. Today as I reflect back on a girl that barely tipped the scale at 104 pounds while dressed like it was winter, to who I am now at 128 pounds dressed normally is like seeing two different girls. I’m not controlled by my weight anymore or believe I need to fit a certain image. I’m the same frame I was when I was in 6th grade, I’m probably smaller than most average size standards now, but back than I was convinced by a single phrase that I was too “big”. I’m most annoyed by anyone commenting on my size….I don’t want to hear I’m small, thin or anything else. → I AM ME. ← Hearing someone comment on another person’s weight or size as an insult instantly hacks me off, it’s not anyone’s place to make someone feel insecure and when I hear an adult say a child is “fat” I want to flash a mirror in front of them so they can see what a person with an ugly and dark soul looks like!! Regarding a person’s size, I look beyond that.

I can’t tell people how to interpret a struggle others may be going through (of any kind) but I can tell you this….don’t judge them. It could be you or a loved one someday. And for anyone reading this who can relate or has a similar struggle….you’re not alone and should never underestimate your strength or beauty. Some of us have learned to gain control again and so can you.

{I did omit some details because this was extremely long as far as a blog goes. And no, I don’t have any intention to lose the weight I’ve gained….I only plan to do things to stay healthy.}

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When we live history…

I was never one to take in a lot of history, I found some things interesting but didn’t read about it much or take time to educate myself on significant events until I was out of high school. The older I have gotten the more I have the desire to feed my brain information…reading is my past time. When I was younger I did love talking with older generations about things they had experienced in life personally and hearing stories that had been told when they were younger from generations who had experienced events before their time. So I guess in a sense I was actually interested in history all along, I just enjoyed the knowledge of firsthand experience over something in a text book.

I had never considered someday I was going to be the one with knowledge on history, sharing details as I remember them….recounting the events as they unfolded, realizing I was part of history itself. Millions of us in this world are united through history. We may experience the events differently or the impact is different for each of us, but some events tie us together though the impact as a whole. On 9/11, the most vivid memory as a significant piece of history I reflect on, is one I feel was an event that I consider a tie among millions impacted.

As many did, I lived a piece history that someday will be what younger generations will only read about in History books or watch as documented events on TV. The fact is, every current event we experience in a day becomes a viable part of history. Without talking about the facts of the event itself, I’m going to share how I remember my day.

…..it was a typical morning at our house, my early riser came running into my bedroom and jumped in bed with me. She was rocking a wild style of bed head and had already changed into clothes (which I had to convince her the outfit needed modified before we left for school). Our morning routine was standard…I asked her what she wanted for breakfast, she giggled as she told me random things as I made the bed around her. As we loaded up for school we talked about what we would do when I picked her up. Since it was such a beautiful day we decided playing outside and a walk was on our evening agenda. Before she bolted out of the vehicle I said to her “I love you DJ, have a great day at school…I’ll be here by 3:15 waiting to get you.” She responded with “I love you too, see ya later mom”. I watched her walk inside the school and than I bee lined it home to finish my morning routine. This day was near the point of anything but routine.

After arriving home I quickly gathered up DJ’s clothes and other laundry to run downstairs, I finished picking up her room and was walking back into my room when I noticed the news was on instead of the normal program. I walked past the TV not thinking anything of it until I started listening. It hit me like a ton of bricks…I dropped everything I was holding and darted in front of the TV. I stood there in shock. The first Twin Tower had been hit. I grabbed the remote and start flipping between stations….it was the same image over and over.

I knew where every individual I loved was at but I wanted to go get Dairiahna from school and bring her home. She was the one person I didn’t want to have an ounce of distance between. The world as I knew it the day before was suddenly never going to be the same….

As I stood watching I made quick calls to tell family to turn on the news, than I called Gram (my Grandma Lois). I told her to turn her TV on and watch what was happening. She was my Grandma….someone who had lived through a lot of history, I was certain I would connect with her as this event unfold. We talked for 2.5+ hours as we both watched the horror on tv — actually there was long stretches of silence while we were on the phone but at least I was there on the other end so she wasn’t alone (and neither was I).

I watched the clock like a hawk. The time seemed like it was standing still. I had skipped lunch and not done a single thing other than watch news reports. Finally it was 2 minutes after 3:00, I was done waiting…I went to the school and sat quietly in my vehicle. I looked around at everything near me. The people. The empty play ground. The vehicles passing by. The birds flying in the sky. I remember rolling my window down and taking a deep breath as I grew impatient waiting for school to get out. Than suddenly I saw a flood of kids coming out the south door….I scanned the group of kids and locked in on my blue eyed girl. I feel emotional thinking about how things flooded me at that moment, it was like I had just seen her for the first time in my life. I got out and greeted her, I was in complete Mom mode…I asked about her day and told her I was excited she was finally out of school.

There was NO way I was going to mention the events of the day without processing every scenario of how it may play out in the way she would comprehend it BUT me not going to mention it was suddenly interrupted with Dairiahna innocently saying to me “Mom, do you know that something very bad happened today.” My heart sank because I had not found the words to simplify everything for her and I didn’t want to reply with details to burden her emotionally on an event that I was having a hard time comprehending. I simply replied “yes, I do know something very bad happened today…if you want to talk about it than we can, otherwise we can spend the rest of the afternoon together as we planned.” She sat silently until we pulled in the drive (my heart racing the whole time) when she suddenly piped up and said “let’s just spend the afternoon together”. It was complete relief. I was overloaded with details and just wanted to shut the world out while I had time to be with her. That night I went into her room to ask if she was ready to read…this particular night she asked me if I wanted to sit in bed with her while she read out loud. I took her up on her offer….there was no need of either of us to outwardly express we just wanted to be close.

As the sun was rising the next morning the routine of my day started with a 7 year old girl jumping into my bed….as I thought of all those grieving, I felt blessed to be staring into the eyes of my world.

Nothing can undo the events of that day, it was a day that forever changed the world as we know it now. For all the lives lost, for all those impacted by the events of 9/11….God bless them. ❤️🇺🇸

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Me and You & You and Me….

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night
It’s only right
To think about the girl (guy) you love
And hold “them” tight
So happy together………..

Come on, you have to admit the song “Happy Together” by the Turtles has a fun beat and catchy lyrics! Happiness and love, it makes you all mushy inside. You know that feeling you get when your heart races and butterflies are fluttering in your stomach when you see that one person. The moment when you catch yourself smiling because you realize you’re thinking of a certain someone. All those everyday little things suddenly become significant when a certain song comes on because it reminds you of that one person you are smitten over! Music has this funny way of taking you back to a moment. At times, the lyrics are saying everything you can’t say……

Music makes people happy, its good for the soul. Love should do the same thing.

Enjoy……

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LI[truth]ES…

A person once said to me, “the truth lies within a lie”…the statement itself wasn’t directed towards me, instead it was “food for thought” (and for me, that is better than a bag of dark chocolate kisses and an endless supply of banana laffy taffy because I am a deep thinker!!). My analytical self was about to go into overdrive!

In all the reading I do, I stumbled across an article about toddlers. The article was about different points of age and the things they (as in researchers) said toddlers begin to do. A point of character they shared about a toddler was this…. “at the age of 2, you will begin to notice a child understands the meaning of right and wrong, at this age they are also subject to learn to lie”. I was thinking “NO WAY!!” but who am I to argue with someone educated in this field?!

Based off their suggestion, people spend the vast majority of life capable of telling lies. For me that is 41 years of fibbing, story telling, exaggerating the truth and down right lying! I’m pretty sure my life of lies just flashed in front of me and I’m going to have to do some serious cleansing to earn a set of wings! First step, admit I have lied.

[Hi, my name is Michelle and I have lied.]

If you’re thinking I’m going to list them, I’m sorry to disappoint you…that’s a lot of years to have to recall (believe me, I probably could but I don’t want to hash through all those memories). The biggest concern is not how many times I fibbed or lied, but why did I do it?! At my age now, I’m feeling guilty because I understand how lies have a negative impact on others! This blog is not working out well for me…not only have I had to admit I’ve sucked over the years, but (now as an adult) I definitely know there isn’t much justification for telling any kind of lie. → UGH ←

I’m not calling any of my readers a liar, I just wonder over the course of your life if it’s possible you’ve been guilty of not telling the truth at some point…maybe?? If you’ve always resorted to the truth than you have earned yourself wings and a halo!!

When it comes to truth vs lie, is truth always positive and lie always negative?? In my opinion, no. I’ve witnessed the flip side of the revelation of the truth (being told because the lie was manipulating many lives), yet the truth was not positive on any level for anyone to address. I have also observed the back side of suppressing the truth to prevent unnecessary stress or heartache, which made the burden of the lie heavy for the one who had to carry it. So, it’s plausible to say negative can happen as a result of either the truth or a lie, but it’s also conceivable that there is positive in both, depending on the circumstances (but isn’t that almost like trying to justify them as equals….seriously, I’m trying to breakdown one point not go out in left field with another point to mull over).

So back to the statement, “the truth lies within a lie”. I agree. Within the dynamics of whatever the lie is, the truth is part of the context…it depends on what information you share or don’t share that makes it the truth or a lie. Why anyone chooses to tell anything other than the truth is beyond me and without literally researching every idea and documented piece of information someone else has collected, I will go with this theory….we are human, controlled by our mind and [kept alive] in sync with our heart. Maybe we learn it, maybe it’s just hardwired into us. Whatever the reason is, we have all been affected by a lie at some point. If we maintained the innocence of a toddler before learning to fib, imagine how awesome it would be to never doubt you are getting anything less than the truth!

As hard as it is to admit I’ve been less than honest at points over the course of the last 41 years of my 43 year life, I hold out hope that my dishonesty along the way is forgiven as I have forgiven others. I’ve not always wanted to hear the truth because it’s much easier to not know about the lie (I’m sure others can relate) but from all the experiences I’ve had – hearing the truth, being lied to, not being honest, to telling the truth – I’ve learned all those things cause reaction. It’s important to me to strive for positive reactions when I’m controlling the affect and to remember, there’s a reason I’m facing the truth as it emerges……

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You’ll get lost “wondering”…..

Have you ever caught yourself wondering “wow, what did I do to deserve that cold shoulder”? Or perhaps you questioned “what’s the point of clothing beings we were born naked”? Or have you ever been like “how do they make their marriage look so perfect”? Or maybe you’ve thought “am I the only person who thinks toilet paper commercials seem like a waste of money”? I mean SERIOUSLY, think of all the things people ponder over and never really have the answer, or at least they think they don’t. But what if the answers were as simple as this….

That cold shoulder you just got was from someone who needs to be killed with kindness because they obviously don’t realize you have feelings and unless you have personally done something negative to them, they are simply being rude.

Naked is an awesome thing when you are showering, in bed [you know….], when skinny dipping, maybe when cleaning for those who are really comfortable walking around nude and all sorts of other activities BUT for the most part, people don’t want to see the various shapes, sizes and odd imperfections on the naked body of complete strangers during their day to day routine outside the home. Honestly, my modesty is thankful for clothing!!

There is no such thing as perfect, although we live in a society that has perfected how well we publicly display life. With that said, I have no problem owning up and embracing messy marriage moments…I don’t need anyone to think I’m perfect or we were perfect, that expectation causes unnecessary stress.

Who needs the bears in the Charmin commercial to convince them to buy toilet paper?! No joke…I stock pile it! I will not drip dry or flip panties inside out….GROSS!!! I even use toilet paper in place of Kleenexes or cotton balls sometimes, not to mention unrolling a roll of toilet paper was entertainment for Knox when he was first learning to walk (hence the need to stock pile, which is now a habit). If you aren’t buying toilet paper than a year round birthday suit may work for you!

As you find yourself wondering about things, whether serious concerns or silly thoughts, keep in mind it’s likely someone else has wondered about the same things…don’t ponder long because the time consumed trying to find the “why, how and answers” could be spent focusing on more positive or relaxing things.

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Modesty has appeal….

Call me old fashion but seriously, cover up your cleavage and unroll your shorts! The motto “if you got it, flaunt it” doesn’t mean to look like a two-bit hooker. There are countless things setting women apart from men but a few of those things make women very appealing….our skin is softer, our body is curvier, we generally have a light sweet scent about us….so why do some women devalue themselves via their dress code?!

It’s not my age and it’s certainly not because I’m envious of females revealing their goods to the world to see. I could easily be doing the same thing if I wanted. I may be middle aged but I’m not a wrinkled up, saggy boobed, old hag. I realize my appearance has changed over the years but nothing that throws me into a tailspin causing me to obsess over my looks. It doesn’t make me want to dress inappropriately or half my age either.

There is this line between classy verses trashy. When your butt crack shows or your butt cheeks hang below the fabric….trashy. When you expose the majority of your boobs or a person feels like they are going to suffocate under them when you lean in front of them….trashy. If you feel the need to parade around half dressed in public for attention….it’s a guarantee someone is going to see you a little trashy. I’m all for exposing some flesh in a classy manner. A little leg and a peek of cleavage can really get the mind of a man wondering what else is nicely tucked behind the layers of clothing. There is definitely more sex appeal in fitted clothing accenting the assets you have instead of sporting a beer gut hanging over the top of your shorts not covered by a fitted cami.

Of course, some men would argue this topic telling me I’m a prude but they are probably the men checking out young females (a whole other issue). I think men forget it could be their daughter, niece or sister someday….I’m willing to bet men would want a female they love and respected covered up more in public but what do I know about the dynamics of men and their thoughts….after all, I’m a female!

Clothing doesn’t affect my intelligence but poor choice in dress code could definitely make me look less respectable. Maybe I am a fuddy•dud but I’d much rather be noticed for my ability to carry on a conversation or for someone to look at my eyes and notice the color of them or even be taken back by my smile…it fits perfectly as an accessory to every outfit I wear. I don’t mind being modest and keeping things covered up…my goodies should remain unseen by random people in everyday life.

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“I like your hair…”

It has to be one of the cheesiest pick up lines ever, “I like your hair.”, but I can say I’ve heard it many times from people who actually do like mine. I’m always amazed how many people mess with my hair. Of course it’s people who know me and I allow into my 3 by 3 personal space….I’m not joking when I say it’s a space very few are allowed in. Anyway, I noticed a couple times the same people would end up playing with my hair and always comment on how soft it is. The fact is, I’m so used to my hair I never think anything of it. Being a strawberry blonde you’d assume my hair would feel course year round but that’s not the case. For the most part I’ve been very lucky to have thick, soft hair (which over the last several years I’ve worn long and straight). I’m not big on perms or extreme colors…it never looks very natural on my skin tone to go from one end of the spectrum to the other on color.

My youngest niece has inquired more than anyone on what I use on my hair (and it never fails, she has her mom go buy it) so I decided to share some of my favorite products.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Matrix – Biolage Ultra-Hydrating line and Redken – Smooth Lock or the Redken – All Soft products. I always use the shampoo and conditioner daily plus the heavy conditioning balm if available in either line. But about a year ago I stepped out of my box and was shopping in an awesome hair salon and day spa that housed a small boutique like setting. While there a friend I’ve known for years told me about a product I should try beings my hair was long and the summer wind was playing havoc with my ends.

I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of changing hair products (after all, I was there buying clothes not looking to change from what I considered the norm for 19+ years) but the truth is, I love the product line of Aveda!!

Granted not all the products have to do with hair but seriously, it’s an amazing line! My favorite thing I use daily, in the shower and also sitting at every sink, is Aveda Shampure Hand and Body Wash! Love, love, love it!! It’s smells good and my skin is always soft (which it is regardless but the soap doesn’t dry it out at all). I do use the Aveda Smooth Infusion shampoo and conditioner or the Damage Remedy line but it’s not what I typically keep in either of the showers I use.

If you’re open to suggestions on great products by Aveda these are two I think are well worth the money and part of my favorites…..

1. Dry Remedy – it’s a 1 fluid ounce bottle of moisturizing oil. You put a few drops in your palm and rub onto your ends and up the strand (not on scalp). This is my absolute favorite. I dry my hair with a blower dryer daily and instantly feel the difference when I apply it to my dry hair. You can put it on damp hair…just find the way it works best for you. I usually don’t need to use daily but can.
2. Damage Remedy – Daily Hair Repair – it’s a 3.4 ounce bottle of lotion that I put on my damp hair if my hair is feeling the least bit damaged from heat from styling. It helps detangle and protect the hair.

I use the two items above quite a bit but my daily routine always includes Matrix Total Results or the Biolage Keratin Dose. They are both leave-in conditioners. I grab whatever is closest because they really produce the same results.

It sounds like I use a lot of products on my hair but actually I just gave a lot of information. I shampoo, condition, spray a leave-in conditioner / detangle on than use a protectant. I use them in any combination and never have a build up on my hair. Keep in mind, I have thick hair and what would normally be course if I abused it with color and other chemical treatments. I never use hairspray or styling gel…ever. I think it feels nasty and fingers would get hung up in my hair instead of gliding smoothly through it!

[** to eliminate speculation Knox is my number one fan of playing with my hair **]

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