Peace & Love!!
 
The Thanksgiving dinner we had with our kids (all but 1) went well on Saturday.  In attendance were my four kids, two with spouses and my 3 grandkids and one of my boyfriends sons.  His younger son who is 17 really doesn't seem to want to interact with all of the other kids, even though one of my sons is almost the same age.   We actually have a hard time getting him to come to our house.  I have yet to figure out exactly why - could be because he's 17 and is doing his own thing or it could be that he's angry that his dad isn't with his mother.  Either way, he was missed.

This has been a difficult task, trying to integrate two families.  There were and occassionally still are, moments where I'm not so certain we're going to make it.  Our parenting styles are completely different.  I'm very passive - he's rather militant.  I like to discuss -  he likes to command.  I hug - he barks.  We both love these kids with all of our hearts though.

Over the past year, we've each learned from the other, been pissed at each other but have continued to stand side-by-side and parent our family.  The kids, for the  most part, haven't made it very easy.  My kids don't respond well to barking.  His kids don't like that my kids don't respond well to barking.  And so the story goes............BUT they're all starting to come around.  It just takes time, like all things.


I do have to say that this man has endured quite a bit of crap from my kids (both the grown ones and the 2 that live with us) and their father.  My boyfriend VERY VERY clearly loves me and them.  I'm not so sure I would have been able to tough it out like he has.  I would have run far, far away.

Today, as I sit and think about my blessings, I am so very thankful for these kids (grown, little, adopted, acquired, etc.) who make up our little blended, somewhat disfunctional family.  I love them all.  I can only hope that when they look back on these times, they remember how much we love them and that we did the best we could to give them a sense of family.  I can't imagine my life without them all in it.

Have a peaceful, family filled, wonderful Thanksgiving my soul sisters!!!

Peace and love!!!







 
 
So this just happened.......we're having our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with all of the kids (because the boys are going with their dad on Thanksgiving). I finished up shopping for a few things & picked up dinner for tonight. One of the things I grabbed was a rather large butternut squash. I grab all the bags & my purse out of the car, manage to unlock the door and attempt to put the bags on the counter. As I'm setting them down, the squash slides out of the bag. I try to catch it between me and the counter and in the process it slides further down the lazy susan cupboard which opens and the Damn squash falls behind it causing the cupboard to jamb open.....yeah.....welcome to my world. After unloading the shelves I was able to move the cupboard around and flip the squash up on its end with a spatula thus unjambing the cupboard. I seriously do NOT know how these things happen to me!
 
 
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This dog is the absolute sweetest little thing!  As a mother of teenagers, I fully appreciate having one being in the house who is happy to see me, doesn't ask for money and snuggles whenever I want! 

Happy Friday my soul sisters!!!

 

Paris

11/18/2015

1 Comment

 
Being the mean mom that I am, when my children use the word "hate", I tell them "we don't hate - you may strongly dislike something but hating it is unacceptable. Hate is ugly."  

I then make them repeat whatever statement they made using "hate" and replace it with "I strongly dislike....broccoli or rain or school or my brother".
After a few times of this, they  generally don't ever use the word "hate" around me again.

My daughters were 11 and 7 in September 2001.  I felt they were too little to watch the news coverage of the terrorist attacks but they talked about it in school and we talked about it at home.  I explained to them that this was an act of "hate".  That there was a hate driven attack on people by other people who had never even met.  

As they grew up, they began to understand what I meant about "hate".  I can tell you that I have personally used the word hate.  For example, I hated that my daughter became an addict;  I hated that I couldn't help her;  I hated what it did to her.  There may have even been a point where I thought I hated those she was involved with at the time.  I can honestly tell you that I didn't "hate" them - I did however very, very strongly dislike them.  They, too, were someones child.  Even with my own sorrow about MY own child, I would never want anything bad to happen to someone elses.


Everyone at some point or another in their lives feels what they believe to be "hate" toward something or someone.  This past weekend, while watching the news about the attacks in Paris, my 16 year old son came into the room.  He stood for a bit quietly watching the broadcast, seeing the horrible images and turned to see me silently crying.  I said to him "THIS is hate.  Hate is not something every person feels in their heart.  The people who did this felt hate".     He nodded and hugged me.  I think he's beginning to understand.


My heart goes out to the people of Paris and all victims who have been affected by these terriorists.  My heart grieves for the families of the lost sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.   


HOW I wish the world were a different place.  


Peace and love to you all.  
 
 
I need some help!  I have an interview next week and I need suggestions on what to wear and how to do my hair.

I haven't been on an interview in YEARS........what is appropriate attire now?  Slacks?  Skirts?  Sweaters?

I have long (below shoulder length) wavey hair.  I feel like leaving it down makes me look "messy".  Should I wear it in a half & half style or completely up?  Is a stylish ponytail acceptable?  UGH! 

The interview is for an Assistant HR Director's position and would greatly reduce my commute time. 

I'm so not good at this stuff..................I'm begging you.................HELP!!!
 
 
As a mother of two boys, I am beyond familiar with electronic devices.  I have found over the years that my boys become deeply engrossed in the games, spending hour upon hour playing.  They'll even forego eating to continue playing a game.  I have watched as the two of them argue relentlessy about who's turn it is to play, timing each other down to the second.  I have been involved in converstations with them during which "Call of Duty" was in some way used as a life comparison to something - "well, in Call of Duty, blah, blah, blah" or "you know, that reminds me of blah blah blah in Call of Duty".

After some particularly questionable grades a year or so ago, the XBox found a new permanent home at their father's house.  They get to play it every other weekend, IF they aren't doing something else.  

This of course has meant I've had to endure begging on and off to bring it home.  "We don't fight over it anymore", "we won't play it all the time", "you can limit our time on it".  I won't cave.  The peace in our home now without that damn thing is unbelievable.  Honest to God, neither of my boys (ages 12 & 16) have cried over a game controller  (to my knowledge) in over a year.  SUCCESS!  

Or so you'd think.  Enter - their older sister.  As a new mom, she now thinks she has all the answers to every parenting situation that might arise.  Her child will be a month old tomorrow.  

I made the mistake of letting the 16 year old stay with her this weekend.  He pleaded his case to her (her husband has an XBox).  He told me he only got 3 hours of sleep while he was there because he was so engrossed in playing, he forgot to go to bed.  THIS is my point.  

Now I know that not every child has these issues nor does every parent feel the way I do about it.  And thats ok.  I'm not here to debate what you should or shouldn't allow your child to do.  I'd be happy to let my kids have it if they had some sort of self control but they don't.  

So my daughter is now pleading her brothers case.  She thinks I'm being horrifically cruel to them - they should be able to have the things they want; they shouldn't feel different from their friends; it will give them something to do.  All reasonable arguments.  But I don't believe they should have everything they want simply because they want it or because their friends have it.  

And trust me, they've found other things to do in the past year.  

For example, they've learned to ice skate, they've been playing AirSoft.  Yes, I bought them "guns" - they aren't real guns but when you get hit, you feel it.  Much more real than a game and honestly, an important life lesson.  Now I'm not saying I want them to get shot - I want them to have an understanding of what it means to be shot - there's no reset button.  They now know that.  

We went out and purchased about 10 board games.  They regularly play them and we have family game nights.  They ride bikes, they kayak, they swim and climb trees.  

I am a mean mother and I'm ok with that.  I want these children to use their imaginations and move their bodies.  I want them to be able to converse with actual living human beings - not a voice over XBox live.  

I think my daughter has forgotten how I canceled our internet service after she, her older sister and a bunch of other girls started arguing over AIM.  Shockingly, they all survived.  

So, there won't be a reappearance of any electronic games at our house.  If I get an "I'm bored" (which rarely happens) there are always chores to do or the option to go entertain yourself (which is what does happen).

Tell me, are you a mean mom?
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We walked into the Halloween party a little late because I wanted to see my grand babies costumes and get some pictures with them.  They were adorable and I am so thankful I didn't miss seeing them.

I had debated all day about dressing up and finally went to the store, pawed through the remaining costumes, found something acceptable and went home and "doctored" it up.

I saw the sneer on your face when we came in the room.  It was a sexy costume - not a dowdy grandmothers costume.  I was showing some leg and my shoulders BUT I was appropriately covered.  And it was an adult party Halloween for the love of God.   The sneer became whispers and even a snide comment was directed my way.

Just so you know, my costume was for me and my significant other.  We intended to have fun that night.  I'm sorry if it bothered you.  Without knowing you, my assumption is that you were jealous.    But know, without question, my intention in putting on that costume was never to make anyone feel bad.

Here are some things I'd like you to know about me though:

If you had taken the time to introduce yourself and had a conversation with me, you would have found out that I am a lovely person, a "people" collector if you will.  I pride myself on having friends of all ages from every walk of life.  I love meeting new people and finding kindred spirits.  I want to hear about your kids, your garden and your dog.

You would have found out that I'm a single mother with all the stretch marks, c-section scars, droopy boobs, wrinkles and gray hairs that go with it.  I also am a grandmother.  I would have told you that I work full time and am taking 12 credit hours at a local college this semester.  I maintain a home for myself and my children - by myself.  That I have the energy and inclination to get dressed up for Halloween is a feat in and of itself.

What probably wouldn't have come up was that when I was a teenager, I was shy and insecure.  I did everything possible to NOT get any attention.  I hated my body.   All the other girls had boobs and curves - me, not so much.  I was a stick.  I had flat, straight hair that I could never do anything with.  I was awkward, uncoordinated and lacking in self esteem.

It all changed when I gave birth to my first child.  Physically, I did a 180 - boobs and curves appeared and even my hair changed.

But most importantly, I now had this little girl who needed a female role model.  I vowed to never once complained about my body.  The extra weight, stretch marks and droopy boobs were and are all reminders of the magnificent lives I brought into this world.  I hope you feel that way about your body.

I think I look pretty good for an almost 50 year old woman.  My body isn't perfect but its MINE.  The only one I'll get.  It houses my soul. I try very hard to take care of it.  And I will dress it how I see fit.

I eat relatively well and, I want to stress this, MINIMALLY work out.  I hate sweating.  I'm not obsessive about it - I'm cognisant of it -  I'm active - I make myself move because I want to be around to see my great grandchildren.

I wish I had been able to hear about your children.  I would have liked to have exchanged phone numbers.  I would have been thrilled to have walked away with a new friend.

It is difficult enough being a woman without us tearing each other down.  We need to find a way to lift each other up.

I walked away from our brief interaction feeling bad.  As though I did something wrong.

I wish nothing but peace, love and happiness for you.  I have been sending healing thoughts your way.

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The following is one of my all-time favorite questions.  

WHAT are you here to do?

I've always said I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I think I said it again last week.......  

How is it that some people simply know their calling and others struggle with it?  As long as I can remember, the one thing I wanted to be was a mother.  Well, with two kids out of the house and another two on their way out within the next few years, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?  

Oh, I know you never really stop mothering - it just changes - you aren't needed with the same intensity.  And you eventually get to grandparent (which, by the way, IS WONDERFUL).  

I guess I always thought there would be some sort of sign;  a defining "AHA" moment in which it would all come to me.  There hasn't been. So I look at the 5 things that I do each week that make me happy.....as suggested by Joe Vitale in "The Ultimate Law of Attraction" (available on www.audible.com or www.amazon.com).  Joe states that one or all of those things could be your calling.

My five things are:  yoga, reading, writing, cooking and mothering.  Which of these are my calling?  And how do I transform it into a career or what I'm meant to do?  Hmmmm.....I'll have to get back to you on that one.  I'm still working on it!!  But I WILL figure it out!  

So tell me, what are YOU, my soul sisters, here to do?

Peace & Love!  Have a wonderful week.

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What Are You Here To Do
By Jim Warda

What are you here to do?

O.K., so that question might have caught you off guard but off guard can be a great place to start.

So, again, I'm curious. What are you here to do?

The thing that, when you think about being it, you almost catch fire.

Because I've been noticing your wild eyes lately. In fact, I had meant to tell you earlier. But, somehow life got its hands on me.

But, the truth is that I've seen your restlessness, the way you just can't seem to get comfortable, like sitting in a leather chair with shorts on.

And I've heard your fingers tapping against the railing as you make your way down the stairs. And you're humming a song from a high school play you never tried out for.

And I know that look. The one that means you're getting clear on who and what and why you want to do what you're going to do with your life. And even more definite about the fact that you're intended for a quest, a quixotic blaze of goodness and glory.

So, please let me know, what is it? What gifts are you going to gift us with? What tales will you tell with your lips and your song?

What chills your skin with the thought of just doing it? What widens your eyes simply by saying it?  I'm so excited that I just can't contain myself.

And, you know how impatient I can be, so I'll just ask again.

What are you here to do?






Oh, and I almost forgot.









Are you doing it? 

 
 
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Define happiness.  What does it mean to you?  Is it ever changing or do you have one steadfast definition? 

I find it difficult to do because my definition regularly changes.  There are times that I'm simply filled with joy because of the sunshine and other times when its a tad more complex.  Today I'm filled with happiness that I get to see the sunshine for another day.  That I woke up with my love and my adorable puppy yet AGAIN, both snuggled in close to me. That I was able to get into my car (albeit old) and drive to work with a fresh cup of coffee.  That my daughters now call me for advice like I called my mother when I was their age.  This is all happiness as I see it.

Today, its also about reminiscing - remembering those friendships from so long ago.  I have been so very blessed to have great people in my life and so many still remain.  Happiness.

Do you create your own happiness or do you wait for and hope someone else will?  I have learned that I am ultimately responsible for my own happiness.  There are day-to-day factors which may affect it but when it comes down to it, it really is all me.

I was watching a "Super Soul Sunday" with Oprah the other day where she said when things get rough, her mantra is "all is well".  After some thought I decided I'd try out her mantra.  Two days later, my friend passed away.  I have found myself repeating "all is well" MANY, MANY times since that day.  Though she's gone (and way too soon) I  know she wouldn't want me to dwell on her passing.  She would want me to celebrate her life.  I'm trying.   Happiness is having known her.  All is well.

Stay happy my soul sisters.  You deserve to be.

Peace and love.
 
 
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We all get busy in our lives after high school - with college, work, marriage, children, LIFE.  If you live in the town you grew up in, you occasionally run into people you knew from high school or the people you hung out with. Its great to be able to spend some time reminiscing and catching up.   If you're lucky, there are a few that you've kept in touch with regularly.  The others you may connect with via social media and follow each others lives, commenting on photos and sending birthday wishes every year.  But the sad reality is that these people usually don't make it to our present to any real extent.  They become snippets in our current lives.    But the memories from all those years ago of the good times are still vivid, held close and thought of so very fondly.   Go to a high school football game sometime - the cool, crisp fall air, the roar of the crowd, the teenagers wandering around - you will be transported back in time instantly.  The fun, the laughter, the energy, the friendship - all of it - brought back, just like it was yesterday.

This is especially true when one of those dear people leaves this earth, which happened unexpectedly to my friends and I the other day.  The first one from our group to pass on.  It seems surreal.   I can't tell you the amount of grief we have each all felt from this loss.  Not all of us had been in contact with her.  We had run into her here or there over the years.  She was happy and well - which was wonderful because there had been a time that she was neither of those things.  Everyone was so happy that she had turned her life around - not just for her but for her child as well.  Such a sad loss.

So as we wait to find out wake arrangements, we've circled the wagons, found some common ground again and try to reconnect.  Life is truly too short.  Don't wait to reconnect.  Reach out now before you get "that" call.  Regrets are a horrible thing to live with.

Peace and love my soul sisters. 
 

Soul Sisters Unleashed