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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ain't no stoppin me now.... I'm on the move.

Everyone has their own way of coping with stress. Some people eat. Some people shop. Some people clean. Some people drink. Some people sleep. Some people work out. I'm sure there are many other things I've left off of the list. My way of de-stressing is one that might be odd to you but... it really does make me feel better. When nothing else is working, when I can't put my finger on why my life feels chaotic, when I need to have a feeling of accomplishment... I move furniture!

I have been known to rearrange entire rooms during naptime. Ben comes home from work to a whole new family room set up. Ruby comes home from school and I have organized her room and moved her bed and dresser. People are coming over for dinner and I decide to completely shift the kitchen or dinning room. I don't know why I  do it. But it makes me feel better.

Don't get me wrong. I do a lot of those other stress reducers. I eat, and sleep, and so many more. But moving around a few pieces of furniture makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel like perhaps THIS arrangement will work better. THIS arrangement will help my children keep their room cleaner. THIS arrangement will give me the sense of peace I'm chasing.

Being a stay at home mom ( and now a work from home mom) I often feel pressure for my house to be held up to a certain standard. I mean, I'm home all day! My house should run like a well oiled machine, right? Actually it's the exact opposite! The more I am home, the more mess there seems to be. I clean up one room just in time for another one to be destroyed and require cleaning.

The more I am home, the more I notice all of the little things that need fixing, straightening, or painting. Other people probably don't see everything that I see ( I know my family doesn't), but once I see it, IT DRIVES ME NUTS! I just want to get it done.
But... then there are these little things called children and a job who hoard my attention.

 They leave me with only enough time to do the one thing I know will make me feel better. Move something.

So, until I have an endless budget of time and money to do SOMETHING about EVERYTHING...
I think I'll move my china from the built in bookcase to the other bookcase and use that bookcase for something else. And then I'll move THAT chair from the front room to the kitchen. Ahhh that's a little better.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 years! How did that happen?

Hello Friends!
It is so great to be back here. Can it really have been three years since my last post? YES!!! My, how different life is for us.  Since 2010, and my last post, our family of three has become a family of four (we welcomed Grace Anne in September of 2011), I have stopped watching kids and started my real estate career!
It is a busy time in our lives. Ruby has registered for Kindergarten, Grace Anne is learning and doing new things everyday, and Ben is still working a pretty crazy schedule.  I am enjoying my new venture into real estate. There is definitely sales in my blood, so I think it will be a great fit.
 It is so exciting to learn about what Realtors actually do. It is SO much more than I ever realized.  I never expected to end up in real estate, but I find it fascinating and I love that I will be able to help people find their own private slice of this beautiful world.
I work at Hometown Realty in Richmond,Va and am on the Kevin Currie team. I was introduced to Kevin through our wonderful neighbor, Dale, who knew I was considering venturing into real estate. Kevin came to our house to talk with us about an opportunity that had come to our attention in real estate investing.While it is a great opportunity for some, the financial commitment was too much for us. Kevin had dealt with folks who had done that kind of investing before and was able to answer many of our questions and confirm our reservations about heading that direction.
We had been praying for quite some time for the Lord guide us in how to address some of our financial needs.  We both felt the Lord was directing us toward real estate, but could not figure out how.  As the conversation continue with Kevin, a glimmer of hope came to us. He asked a great question. " Have you ever thought about being a real estate agent?"
The answer was Yes, I had. But, didn't think it was a viable option since I am home with the girls. Kevin explained that often times people work in teams and that he would be open to doing that with me. I could drum up business during nap time by calling for sale by owner houses and expired listings. I could do meetings in the evening and on the weekends. And when my home life wasn't allowing me flexibility, Kevin would be able to help!
Kevin gave Ben and I a lot to think and pray about. Was this what God had planned for our family? I decided to give it a shot. I started an online class the week after Thanksgiving and in January I had taken the exam and passed. It took a while for my license to post, but once it did, I was excited to get going. 
So, here I am! A real estate agent! I have one property listed and one coming on the market in May. It's going to take a while to get my name out there, to get the hang of all that is involved, and for the financial side to kick in.  But, with Kevin and the folks at hometown, I have a support system in place to answer any questions I might have. We are also fortunate to have family members, friends and a church who are loving and supportive in many many ways while I make this transition. So, if any of you are reading this... Thank you so much for your prayers, babysitting, and much more! You are awesome.
It's a tricky transition, "going" back to work. Especially when I'm not actually going anywhere. Working from home with an almost kindergartner and a toddler is no easy task. The house is loud and neither of my children are particularly patient. It seems like the minute I sit at the computer to get a few things done, one or both of them is literally in my lap. All of my phone calls are made in a ninja like fashion while the kids are distracted or after Ben gets home. Luckily, most people are totally understanding if things get loud. Most people and have been or are currently parents. Parenthood unites us all!  
While Grace Anne fusses and throws tantrums when she doesn't get my attention right away,
Ruby has the verbal skills to tell me what she is thinking at all times and it can be hurtful. "I want my old mommy back. The one that didn't have to work. I like that mommy better." (Insert heart breaking gasp here)
 I am doing this for our family! Doesn't she get that? No... she is five and a very DRAMATIC five at that. I have no idea where she got that from (wink wink).  Most five year old children can't see past the next 10 minutes, much less the future I am helping to build for her. I know it will get easier once she goes to school and I have time to work while she is there. For now, I try to explain that all of those "things" she wants cost money and mommy has to work to make the money. It's a lesson in progress, but she'll get it eventually... I hope.
Our church is doing a series on making better choices. They have been texting us Proverbs everyday. this one seems appropriate to share.
Pr 10:20 God will use us for great purposes if we listen to Him whisper to our hearts.
I'm listening God! Whisper away!!!!
Anyone else find it ironic that I am literally  "Walking the Land" for my job. God has a since of humor, huh?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Catching up!

Hello Again everyone! It has been almost two weeks since my last blog post. I have been so CrAZy with birthday parties, Doctors appointments, and and adjusting to Ben's new LONG work schedule. I have literally tried 3 times to write a post in the last week and SOMETHING has always needed my immediate attention. And honestly when I did have time at the end of the day to finish up what I had started here, I was so tired that all I wanted to do was chill out, zone out or sleep.

I guess we all have times in our lives like that. Times where the one thing we really want to get done or accomplished has to be pushed to the back of the list. We have obligations and commitments that take us away from our favorite hobbies or house projects. In my case, looking at what is on deck, it doesn't look like the hustle and bustle will end for quite some time. SO, I'm trying to adjust our normal life routine to a NEW normal. I have to find time for ALL of us to do the things we love and enjoy. Otherwise... we might all go nuts! I'll figure it out! It'll just take some time.

Catching you up on what's happened in two weeks would take forever. So, I'll just hit the highlights.

My Health:
The G.I. doctor says I have IBS. He has out me on several medications to get my stomach back under control. I won't have to be on them forever, which is great because pills are not cheap and our budget is tight. He did say however, that it won't ever completely go away. I will have good days and bad days. I will probably have to go back on them every now and then when I have a flare up.

He also referred me to a new Primary care doc. I saw her for the first time this week and I LOVE her! I feel I am in good hands and that things are turning around for me. Slowly, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Kids:
Things are wind down into summer mode. K's last day was Friday. I won't see him again until August when his mom goes back for teacher work week. Monday was his birthday and we had a little party for him. I decorated the house, made cupcakes and he got to open his gift. I invited my mom to come to the party too since it was also her birthday! (It was Ben's brother's birthday too, but he lives out of town.)

K loves super heroes. In particular he LOVES Iron Man. So, I found an Iron Man shirt for him. His response was priceless! I got him to try and re-create it for the camera. Of course it was funnier the first time, but you get the point. He loved the shirt!

Ruby has been loving this warm weather and the pool time that comes with it. She is my little fish! Most kids that I have seen her age are pretty timid when it comes to swimming. They usually don't like their faces to get wet or to go under the water. As you can see, Ruby LOVES the water. Our neighborhood has a swim team. Ruby saw them practicing the other day. She looked at me and said, "Mommy I do THAT!"  I had to explain that she had to learn to swim first. But from this video, you can see that she's not far from figuring it out on her own.

Bells and Ruby have one more week together before my sister-in-law is out for the summer as well. They are quite the pair.There are always coming up with some new princess/bad monster pretend game. I keep trying to catch it on camera, but they are too quick for me. It's so cute to watch them play together. I'm a bit worried that Ruby won't know what to do with out her "brother friend" and her "cousin sister friend." I'm certain that I am not nearly as fun as K and Bells. We've got a whole month of just the two of us. I'll give it my best try!

I'm so looking forward to a month of just being a mommy. I love K and Bells and will miss them, but I also love getting to sleep in and stay in my pajamas until noon. I love getting to focus just on what Ruby and I want to do for the day. I LOVE this time of year! The Pool, the beach, the lake... are you seeing a theme here? Happy Summer everyone!

Friday, June 4, 2010

My how things have changed!

As summer approaches many people look forward to a relaxed schedule. Sleeping in, going to the pool, margaritas with friends,outdoor concerts, and family vacations are all things that I associate with summer.Pre-Ruby, Ben and I would have friends over for cook outs and some late night fun around the fire pit on our patio. We would stay up late jammin' out to our favorite tunes with no worries because the earliest we would ever be up was 10:00 on the weekends. Spur of the moment trips to visit friends was no big deal. We had the freedom to come and go as much as we pleased.

While updating my calendar today I couldn't help but notice how much things have changed. In place of cook outs, we now have a gazillion kids birthday parties. In place of late nights and sleeping in, we have less late nights and a 2 year old who wakes up at 6:30 regardless of what time we go to bed. Instead of spur of the moment trips we now have to actually plan ahead and figure out how Ruby and our dog Dozer will be cared for while we are gone. We actually have to BE responsible adults.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY LIFE. I am soooo blessed to have such a wonderful husband and AMAZING daughter. But every now and then Ben and I take a trip down memory lane and laugh at how easy our life use to be. At the time, however, we didn't feel that way. I have wondered what I would say to myself if I could have aBill and Ted's Excellent Adventure moment. First, I'd have to find a phone booth, which are pretty much non-existent since cell phones. After that though, what would I say to a younger(and skinnier), pre-Ruby but still married me?

Hmmmm... That's a tricky one. It's tricky because the decisions I have made have made me who I am and I like who I am. Maybe I would give her some inside tips on who to invest in so we wouldn't ever have to worry about money. Maybe I would tell her to stop obsessing over her weight. Maybe I would tell her not to buy that Chevy Aveo because with her 6 foot 9 husband and giant dog in it, a car seat won't fit! Maybe I would tell her to enjoy this alone time with Ben because after you have kids, there isn't much alone time. I would definitely tell her that her future is awesome and to stop worrying.

What would you say to your younger self? Would you say anything at all? Would you change anything about your past? Or do you embrace it for who it made you today?

I have a fun assignment for you all! Call your friends, plan ahead for a cookout with no kids. Enjoy your summer night fun and pose the "what would you say to your pre-kids self?" questions to your friends. I would love to hear what they have to say. Be sure to post a comment and pass this on to your friends to read! This could be very fun and interesting!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Okay... It's not my gall bladder??? WHAT????

I thought I had an answer. I thought I finally knew. I thought it was an easy fix. I thought I was almost done feeling this way. I was so relieved when I heard there really was SOMETHING wrong with me and that I wasn't manifesting all of this pain and discomfort in my head. I was told it was my gall bladder and that I needed to see a surgeon to have it removed.

So that's what I did. I went to see our family friend who is a surgeon. Dr. H came in and said hello and we chatted for a few minutes to catch up on this and that. He got down to business and began asking questions about all that I was feeling and all that I had already done to this point.With Ben at my side, I started at the beginning and brought him up to date on every ache, pain, test, and scan. I even gave him a copy of the Hida scan that had finally brought me to his door. He had already looked at it, but he wanted to take it to his radiologist to look at.He left the room and Ben and I waited for him to return with the news we had come to here.

When he returned, however, he gave us much different news. "Well, it's just as I suspected, your gall bladder is fine! When we look at a gall bladder that we may need to remove we look for three things: is it excreting properly, are there crystals or are there stones. Your gall bladder is pushing things through fine and there are no stones or crystals."

Uhhh..... WHAT???

"I haven't really ever seen results like this." Dr. H said as he pulled out the paperwork from the scan. "It say's you have tested positive for bile reflux in your gall bladder. Now I think we really need to send you to a gastroenterologist and have and endoscopy done. Now he may send you back to me, but I really think that the problem isn't with the gall bladder."

As I sat there stunned that I did not have gall bladder disease, like the nurse practitioner at my general doctors office had told me, Dr. H continued to talk, but I didn't hear ANYTHING except, more tests and no answers today. I was very glad that Ben was there to catch the rest as I tuned out. So, he set up the appointment and we were off to find an answer on another day. i was hoping that would be Monday, since that was when my appointment was.

So, the weekend came and went, and I settled into the knowledge of no knowledge again. I was grateful that I had been to see Dr. H. He had been the perfect doctor to see. Some other doctor might have just scheduled the surgery and not taken another look at my scan. I would have been gall bladder-less and still in pain! That would have truly been devastating.

Monday arrived and I was READY! I woke up with high hopes of a great day with the kids and a helpful doctor in the afternoon. However, when Ruby woke up, we had a little kink in our day. Both of her eyes were swollen, goopy, and pink. UGH! K and Bells were arriving within minutes. I immediately called my brother and told him not to bring Bells just yet. I sent him a video of Ruby's eyes and he opted to wait until after I could talk to a doctor before exposing Bells to what might be a contagious pink eye. K however was in route and it was too late for his mom to make alternate plans that fast. She called her husband, who works nights, and he did his best to get K as soon as possible. But that was going to be a few hours.

So, my great morning had turned into a game of defense. I had Ruby upstairs and K downstairs in hope that there would be not passing of whatever was ailing Ruby. I literally broke a sweat running up and down the stairs to check on each of them and keep them out of trouble. It was not an easy task. When K's dad did arrive, it was the fastest pick-up ever. Very little chat and they were off to the car to get away from my obviously contagious house. I put Ruby in the car and headed off to find out that it indeed was pink eye and it was very contagious. So, there would be not Bells or K at my house for 24 hours while I took care of Ruby and lysol-ed everything I thought she might have touched or breathed on.

It turns out that the pink eye was a blessing in disguise. When I arrived to see my new gastro doc, Dr. A, I learned that I would need not only an endoscopy but also a colonoscopy! I wasn't going to just relax and cuddle with Ruby on her sick day... I was going to be very busy doin' my own business! HOW FUN!!(That was sarcasm in case you couldn't tell by the caps typing.)

I spare you the terrible details of my "business" Tuesday and jump right to the day of the tests. I wasn't going until the afternoon, so I had the kids in the morning. I was, ummm, a little grouchy. I hadn't eaten since before 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday. On top of that, even though Ruby's eye was looking better, she was now showing some lovely colors coming out of her nose! K was going to be at my house all day, because that's how it is on Wednesday. I had to figure out how to keep the kids happy, myself busy to not think about how hungry I was, and figure out how to get Ruby to the doctor again.

Somehow, with the help of Ben and my mom, I made it all work out. I took the kids to the park and ran them ragged. I took them to the grocery store with me on the way home. That was stupid. Not because of the kids, but because I wanted EVERYTHING!! Got home, left K and Bells with mom, took Ruby to the doctor, and came home. When I got home, Ben had arrived and was feeding K and Bells. Ruby joined them and I was off to take a shower. After the shower, I wrote up the kid's day sheets, helped get everyone to bed, kissed Ben, and headed off to my appointment.

Mom was my driver. She and I prayed together before I went in. We forgot to pray for the nurses giving me the IV and that was a BIG mistake. Four nurses and SIX attempts at finding my vein later, I am bruised like crazy and I can remember MOST of the procedure. According to everyone who has ever had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, I was supposed to have a wonderful little nap. THAT, didn't happen. It was terrible people. TERRIBLE!

When all was said and done. Dr.A said everything looked fine. He gave me a diagnosis of IBS and Fibromyalgia. Both of which are difficult to treat and there is NO cure. In fact, according to this wonderful world wide web, SOME people think that neither of these are REAL. They are just a made up diagnosis for people that can't be given a real diagnosis. This is not what I wanted to hear.

Don't get me wrong. I know that as far as a diagnosis goes, this is a good one to have in comparison to what Dr. A. could have found. It is just exhausting to know all of the work and life changes I have ahead of me. Diet is something I have struggled with literally since elementary school. I have NEVER been tiny. Losing weight has always been a battle. It always seems to take me FOREVER to see any tiny little change and I always have to work really hard to make that happen. Everything that I have read says that diet and exercise are crucial to getting these two issues under control. I guess I just have to figure it all out.

Over the last few months, I have also been battling a bit of depression. DR. A says that is very common because the gut and the brain work very closely together. If the gut isn't feeling good, then the brain will respond in kind. I am trying really hard to pull myself out of this funk. I'll be fine and then all of the sudden, I am very, very low. I'm overwhelmed by all that I have been through and all that is to come. I am praying daily, but lately I find myself at a loss for what to pray for and the right words to pray. I'm trusting that the Lord knows my heart and will do what is best.

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. Please continue to do so. I will do my best to keep things moving around here as normal. I'm still Walking the Land looking for God's plan in all of this. I know I will understand in time. May He use me and this experience to his Glory! Blessing to you all!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hallelujah! AN ANSWER!

Hallelujah! We have an answer friends! It turns out that all of my pain is from my gall bladder! I am so thrilled to have an answer. I really was beginning to believe that perhaps I was crazy and making it all up in my head. I had actually been asked if I thought it could be mental rather than something actually wrong. At first I dismissed such a thought but as time went on and there were no answers, I began to feel like maybe it WAS all in my head.

Luckily, I didn't give up! I persisted and pushed my doctor to keep testing. Tuesday I went for a Hida Scan. They injected me with some sort of dye to be able to watch my gall bladder work. The test took two hours to complete and was terrible. Because they needed to see what was happening to my gall bladder, they had to give me a medicine to make it work like it would if I had eaten. They told me I might cramp and I REALLY did cramp. It hurt, but I was so glad I had done it when I got the news that they had figured out the problem.

So, now what? I go today to see a surgeon. I have all my tests and questions in hand. I have heard that the surgery is so easy these days. I have also heard that I will feel a million times better. I am ready! BRING IT ON! The surgeon is a family friend. I know I will be in good hands, so let's get this party started. I am praying that he will schedule me right away so I can get back to feeling like a normal active person.

I have learned so much about my family gall bladder history since I have been diagnosed. I will be the third woman on my mom's side of the family to have my gall bladder out at the age of 31. My grandmother, aunt and mother have all had theirs removed too! I guess I got the wrong end of the genetic stick on this one. At least if Ruby ever has an issue, I will be able to guide her in the right direction to get it detected as soon as possible. Fortunately, she seems to be taking after he father's side of the family.

So friends, Please continue to pray for me. Thanks so much for the prayers you have already sent to the Lord on my behalf. He was listening and answered! I will keep you posted on what the doctor says and when my surgery will be scheduled. Thanks again everyone!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Prayer request please

Hello Friends,
I have a favor to ask. I need to ask for some prayer. For quite a while now, I have been in pain. The pain is in my chest, back and stomach at times. Sometimes it comes with an upset stomach and sometimes nausea. All of the time it comes with frustration and worry. I have been dealing with this for quite a while with no answers. This issue is not only hurting my body, now it is hurting my spirit. I am grateful to the Lord for all of the good test results, but at this point... I need answers and relief.

I have had countless tests run. A stress test was done to check my heart. That came back normal. An x-ray was done to check my lungs... again, normal. Blood work was done and nothing was found. Monday I had an ultrasound done on my abdomen and the gall bladder which also came back with nothing out of the ordinary. Next, we will do a Hida Scan ( whatever that is!) on Monday and look closer at my gall bladder. I really hope that we can find some answers with that.

I am tired and I am grumpy because I don't feel well. When you work with children like I do, that is not a good combination and is not acceptable. Two year old children, although sweet, are a handful and a lot of work at times. They need patience and that is something I am running low on these days. I am being creative to keep them happy and entertained. I don't want them to suffer because I am. That's not their fault and they deserve the best me I can give. They keep me going and motivated to get up and get going.  

Since we have finished all of our letters and are basically in summer play and review mode. I've been keeping them busy other ways. Our favorite times are dance time and instrument time. It's moments like these that lift my spirit and make almost forget about my pain and frustration. Their laughter and smiles and silly outfits make me laugh and smile. They have been the BEST medicine for me when doctors haven't given me any relief. I am so lucky to have them.

I watch them play and I find myself wondering where on earth they get all of that energy. I am in amazement daily at their quickly developing imagination and humor. They have all of this excitement about each day. Everything is so new and fresh. I love watching their little light bulb moments. K had one figuring out it was funny to have his chicken hat on backwards. You can literally see that connection made in this video. It's so precious to be here for these moments.

These are the things I am trying to focus on. It's not always so easy when I am hurting really badly. So Friends, I am asking for prayer from you. Please pray for answers for my pain and an easy solution. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors and for swiftness from all involved. Please pray for my day care children and Ruby to continue to be inspirations. Please pray for my spirit to be uplifted and not pulled down by the pain in my body.

I have seen the miracles prayer can do over and over again. I believe in the power of prayer. I will keep you all informed as I continue in the search for what is causing all of this discomfort. I am grateful for all of the encouragement and support my readers have given me in the past. I am looking forward to what our prayers can do together. Blessings to you all!

Happy Friday Follow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Have you ever had one of those moments when God answers a huge prayer? Maybe He provided for you and your family when things were getting tight. Maybe He healed a loved one or even you from an illness. Perhaps God provided an answer regarding a job change. Maybe the Lord gave you clear direction regarding a relationship. God has answered many many prayers like this for me and my family. He has proven to be faithful over and over again. I know that if I ask God and my heart is in the right place, I will receive what need. That doesn't mean the answer is what I want or think I need, but what the Lord knows I need. He knows me better than I know myself and will provide just the right answer!

What did you do when God answered your prayer? Did you get to praising God for his faithfulness? Did you share God's blessings with a friend? Maybe you put on your favorite praise and worship CD and started singing and dancing for the Lord. Perhaps you just said a quiet thank you. Those would be great things to do in appreciation. It would be wonderful if we all remembered to give thanks with a grateful heart. I'm sure you always do that part right? ( Insert annoying buzzer sound from family feud here!)  

I'm willing to bet that sometimes... you forget to say thank you.  You go about your life as normal never stopping to  recognize God's answer as a gift. Sometimes... you ignore God's answers and try and do things your way. The Lord sends you signs and answers over and over again. Instead of recognizing them as answers and making a change,  you continue to pray for an answer that sounds better to YOU. Unfortunately, instead of stopping to give God the GLORY he is DUE, we quickly move on to the next thing and next prayer request.

Can you imaging if your children did this to you? What would you do if your child received a gift and didn't say thank you? What would your reaction be if your child got a gift from a friend and complained that it wasn't exactly what THEY wanted instead of being grateful? Wouldn't you get upset if you repeatedly told your child an answer to a question and they kept saying,"what?"  Or what if they ignored you all together when you tried to guide them? I think we all know the answers to these questions. It would certainly NOT be acceptable behavior in my house and would likely lead to some major consequences.

If we don't accept this behavior from our children, why do we think it is okay to treat our Heavenly Father this way? This is YOUR wake up call. Take the time today and say THANK YOU to GOD!  Tell Him how He has blessed you and offer Him praise. Instead of praying for help or for something you want, today why not focus on all of the big and little things God provides for you everyday. Write God a Thank you note! If you are comfortable with sharing, perhaps you could post your Thank you comments here.

Here is mine to help you get started!

Dear Lord,
Thank you so much for providing for my family. Thank you listening to our hearts and providing what we need. We are grateful for your faithfulness. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to be home with Ruby. What a blessing to be with her everyday. Thank you for keeping her healthy and happy. Thank you for my wonderful husband. He is exactly what I prayed for. Thank you for my parents and in-laws who keep us in their thoughts and prayers and provide support each in their own unique way. Thank you for being the AMAZING GOD you are and providing for me even when I am not aware of it.
In Christ's name I pray,


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What makes Glee so special to me!

Tonight I was watching one of my new favorite shows. I have become addicted to the show GLEE. I know it is a huge hit right now and that the actors of the show are on every talk show these days. I just saw one of them on Ellen today and I saw the whole cast on Oprah not that long ago. I had a seen TON of people posting things about Glee in their status on Facebook and I had heard the show was really great.

I had really wanted to watch it for a while, but never got around to doing it. Plus, I was pretty sure Ben was going to veto the idea. One night, I guess I caught him in a particularly good mood and he agreed to watch it with me. I was HOOKED! and to my surprise Ben actually liked it too.This show puts me in the best mood and takes me to a place that I have missed for a long time. I too was a member of a group similar to this in high school.  We didn't call it Glee club, we were a SHOW CHOIR!

Show Choir gets some mixed reviews from people in the music education field. Some people think it teaches bad vocal techniques. Some people feel it puts too much emphasis on the SHOW part and forgets about the CHOIR part. When I began my teaching career, Show Choir was almost a dirty word in the county where  I was teaching. While there were a few of us who lived it and loved it, I felt a bit outnumbered by people who thought it was disgrace to teach such a thing. I always felt so bad for the kids at the schools with those anti-show choir thoughts. I felt they were missing out on something that provided me with some of the life skills I have today. Sounds silly, but its true.

My Show Choir experience taught me many life lessons, exposed me to new music, and gave me life long friends. In show choir I learned that hard work pays off. I learned that you have to give your all EVERY time because you might not get a second chance. I learned no matter what drama you have with the people you are working with, you have to leave it at the door to get the job done (There's always drama in high school!). I learned that practice and persistence only lead to better things. And I learned that everyone looks better with a few sequins on!

Without Show Choir I might not have ever grown to love such songs as Pinball Wizard and probably would still be wondering what's THE WHO. I would not have known that I can't be bothered now was from a musical called "Crazy for You." I may have never even cared that Billy Joel sang And So it Goes without hearing my brother sing it when he was in Show Choir! ( YES! there were LOTS of boys in Show Choir. Cute ones, and MOST of them were NOT gay! No offense to any that were.) Our teacher made us learn the classics too. Every year we learned a major work like Messiah or Requiem. I had some exposure to classical, jazz, musical, and everything else by the time I graduated.

My favorite part about Show Choir was the friends I made. There is a bond like no other when you sing together. It didn't matter that we all came from very different places, in that room, we were a family. Don't get me wrong, like any family there were arguments and struggles, but in the end we all worked together. I am still friends with many of these wonderful show choir alumni. While we are spread out all over the world doing our jobs, raising our families, and living our lives, we STILL have that bond. I'm willing to bet that all of us crank up the radio when we hear one of our show choir songs on the radio. I'm also willing to bet we all miss the roar of the crowd and the sense of accomplishment with a job well done. There's nothing quite like those lights being on you with your Show Choir family with you.

My husband talks about how glad he was to leave high school and how sick he was of being there. He doesn't have many fond memories of high school ( and we went to the same one). I on the other hand had a blast!!! I am positive that it was because of my show choir family and the relationships I built and the experiences I had with them.I got to take several trips to Disney and one to New York! That's not to shabby, right? All in all, it was the my show choir family that made those trips so fun.

I miss those days and Glee helps take me back! Thanks Glee for being so fun and creative. I wish we had thought of some of those songs when I was in show choir. I hope future show choir generations are inspired by what you are doing. I hope that it brings some pride to their hearts to know that they are not alone!

I do have one question for any of my former Show Choir peeps out there... Do you still have show choir dreams? Like for me, I am back in Capital Swing  or Touch of Swing and I can't remember what I am supposed to do next. Please tell me I am not alone in this. This is the only bad side effect of watching Glee. I have Show Choir nightmare, nightmares! Oh well! It's worth it!

Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Little Things for Happy Healthy Living

Taking care of yourself is something we all know we need to do, but isn't always so easy to accomplish. We live in a busy world that is always nagging us for our attention.For some folks it is a job that always has them putting their needs on the back burner. For me it is often family life that keeps me feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from myself.

The sad thing is, sometimes it's the "taking care of myself" that stresses me out. I find myself looking in the mirror and beating myself up with all of things I see wrong.I find myself freaking out because I don't have time to work out as much as I would like to get my butt in gear. I find myself overwhelmed by the pounds I want to lose and the muscles I want to tone. Certainly this negative self-talk is only making things worse. Health is not just physical, it's mental too!

I have to change my train of thought. TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 have teamed up to ask bloggers the 10 Little Things that Lead to a Happier, Healthier You. ( Just click on the highlighted print to find out more!) This is just the opportunity I need to get my mind in the game, the right way! It's the little things I can do that will make a BIG difference in my mental and physical health. I need to start by recognizing what things I am already doing right, and add some new SMALL things in to make BIG change. So, here is my list!Try

1)Laughing! Laughing is good for so many reasons. I know there have been studies that show all of the positive physical effects laughing can have on your body. It's also good for your mind. Lucky for me, I have a very funny family AND I work with kids for a living. Kids are always a great source of laughter. Even on my worst day, I try and find some humor to help me through! Plus, it's good to laugh at how silly I am too!

2) Affection! I need lots and lots of affection. I love and need hugs and kisses and winks and smiles. My line of work is very helpful in this regard. I grew up in a very huggy family. My husband is also wonderful at giving me my quota. If I ever feel overwhelmed, I just bury my head in his chest and let his giant arms (he's 6 foot 9 people!) wrap around me. I can literally feel my stress fall away. My dad is also awesome at this too ( he's 6 foot 7)!  There is nothing better than a big-ole- hug!

3)Dancing! Sometimes when the kids are nuts, I put on some tunes and we get our groove on. It's great for lowering the stress level in the house and blowing off some steam.

4)A walk or a run. I love getting out with the my ipod and just having some me time on the pavement. I always feel so accomplished when I am finished.

5)Vegetable garden. My husband and I planted fresh veggies and herbs last year. Not only did it help us eat healthier, but it helped our budget too!

6)Getting away. My parents have a house at Lake Gaston, NC. The moment we pull in the driveway, I feel refreshed. Just getting out of our house where projects loom and duty calls is huge for helping relieve stress.

7)Trying not to sweat the small stuff. This is an on going battle for me. I am a worrier by my genetic make up, so I have constantly remind my self to let the little things go. Thank goodness I have an amazing mom and sister to help me talk through that process.

8)Writing. Whether it is in my journal or I am blogging, getting my words out there make me feel happier. It allows me to think things through. I can go back and read journals and blogs from the past and see how the Lord is working in my life. It's something I have done since I was little.

9)Pampering myself. Money is tight, but if I can get a massage or beg Ben to give me one, I always feel better. Taking the time for a hot bath, a hot cup of coffee, putting on my make up are all ways I pamper myself.

10)Prayer and Praise. Although this is last on my list, it is not in my life. Daily prayer and praise to God is where I find my true peace. Turning to God shouldn't be a last resort, it should be our first step in taking care of ourselves. When I am feeling unsure about a path to take in life or trouble is on the horizon, I give it to God. However, it is so important to be THANKFUL! I love turning on my favorite praise and worship songs and singing my praise. I am so blessed and I need to remember WHO make those blessings happen. Like the song says, " Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below." God should be praised for my health and my happiness.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.  

Just for reading this post I can share some rewards with you right now! Here is a special TwitterMoms Juicy Rewards code TWMOM-READR (worth one Juicy Rewards point – that’s up to $5 in savings). This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account. Limit one new account bonus code per new account. All accounts must be created and all codes entered by May 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. Enjoy!

Trop50 Little Things for Happy, Healthy Living
1000 Little Things for Moms from Trop50