Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Just Do It

Just do it? But Jen, yesterday you told us to "Just Say No", I'm so confused!

And confused you should be.... However, what I'm telling you to do today, isn't so much me telling you how to do something as it is me asking how you do something. Even more confused, now? Sweet! Mission accomplished...

Not really, I'll just get to the point. Have you ever told someone something like, "Hey, I really feel like crap about myself today" only to have them respond with "You just need to love yourself" to which you reply "but how do I do that?" and they answer with "You just do it"? (Note: I'm fairly certain that there needs to be more punctuation in this paragraph, but the quotes throw me off and I've never been great with grammar.)

Or have you mentioned to a friend "I'm having a hard time seeing my blessings for all of the crap that seems to be going on" and they reply with something similar to "Just do it"?

Here's my question back to them, "HOW?"

How do you change the ay you are thinking? How do you make yourself love yourself? How do you train your brain to think positively when all that pops up is what's going wrong? How do gain self confidence when you tend to be on the mousey side but good at what you do so you should be confident? How do you gain the strength to stand firm in your "no" or in your pricing or in you stance, whatever it may be? How do you gain the confidence to stand up for yourself?

Well, I'll tell ya how....

Just kidding!

I have no idea. I was hoping you all would have some answers other than "You just do it."

So much for me imparting any wisdom on you.

to the moon and back,

Monday, September 28, 2015

Butterfly Kisses

My oldest son (it still sounds funny to me that I have to specify oldest and youngest) has the longest eyelashes ever. Why do boys get blessed with long eyelashes? Probably because God knows they aren't going to destroy them with all the gobs of mascara.

Anyway, he still gives me butterfly kisses and they are the sweetest. So gentle, so kind, so caring, so loving.

His butterfly kisses pretty much sum up his personality. He is one of the most compassionate 6 year olds I've ever met. His heart truly breaks for those who are hurting and all he wants to do is help everyone.

One thing I was worried about when he started school was that he would become jaded and hardened to the world. There are mean kids out there and I was terrified they would hurt him or his feelings or worse yet, burrow their way into his head and change him.

Thankfully, that hasn't been the case, yet. Part of it could be that we start every morning asking him if he's going to be a leader or a follower and he always responds "leader". When we ask him if he knows what that means, he says "It means that I will do the right thing even if everyone else is doing the wrong thing."

I'm going to take a moment to brag because positivity is always needed and, quite frankly, it's my blog I can brag if I want to. Here are some things that he has done lately that make me burst with pride for him.
  • Moose was telling me about a classmate named Isaac.
    Me: Did you tell him your brother's (Junior) middle name is Isaac?Moose: Well, actually, at first I told him I didn't want to be his friend because he's bad. (I explained why that wasn't nice) Then I told him about Junior and that made him happy! Then I told him that before he does anything, he should turn around and look at me and do whatever I'm doing and he won't get in trouble. 
  • There is a little boy in his class that has been having a problem with wetting his pants. I said "you don't make fun of him do you?" He replied, "No, I usually walk him back to the class to get clean clothes." He told me "Mommy, I told him like you tell me. 'You have to listen to your body. If your body is telling you that you have to go potty, then you need to go so you don't have an accident.' And you know what mommy? He didn't have an accident for a few days!" 
  • He came home one day and was telling me about a little boy in the other kindergarten class who has a disease (Moose is 6 he didn't know how else to explain it). I asked if he mean the little boy who has down syndrome and he said yes. He had lots of questions, would he ever get better, could Junior get it, if mommy had it would she get better, etc. I explained to him that the little boy would never get rid of the "disease", but that he might get better in that he might pick up some verbal skills, he might learn to be better at playing and such.

    The next day, Moose had a laundry list of questions, so I did what any good mom would do and I googled it. I found the answers to pretty much all of his questions. Moose said, "I can't wait until Monday so I can ask him to play with me, but I'm so afraid he won't want to play with me." I explained to him that he just has to keep asking every day because this little boy isn't used to being around other kids so it may take him a while to warm up.

    Monday morning came and on the way to school I asked what he was looking forward to and he said "Asking that little boy to play with me!"

    When I picked him up from school I asked what his favorite part of the day was. He said "Well, my least favorite part was not being able to play with that little boy because we had music today and I didn't get to see him." 
This kid melts my heart. I hope and pray he keeps all of these wonderful qualities and doesn't become transformed by the world.

to the moon and back

Just Say "No"

Yea, yea, yea... it's been over a year since I've blogged.

Recap of the year before I officially start writing this blog:

  • Son turned 5
  • Got pregnant
  • Went on vacay
  • Had someone total my car
  • Bought a new car
  • Had a super rough pregnancy
    • 3 sinus infections
    • 1 upper respiratory infections
    • 3 yeast infections (TMI)
    • 1 bacterial infection
    • Severe heartburn
    • Chronic sciatic pain
    • Preeclampsia
    • Low amniotic fluid
  • Had to replace our washer
  • Had a super cute baby boy
    • Fought jaundice for 2 1/2 weeks
    • Now dealing with his possible hernia
  • Had to replace our couch that was worn out from sleeping on it through 5 months of pregnancy
  • Had to replace our washer again
  • Son started kindergarten
  • Son turned 6
Tada... That's it in a nutshell (I think I covered everything)

Now on to the post at hand... Just say no!

To what you ask?
  • Drugs!
  • Cigarettes!
  • Alcohol! (Ok, maybe not wine)
  • Caffeine! (What!?! Wait did I type that??)
  • Throat punching that annoying coworker!
Those are all pretty easy to say "no" to, right? What about those difficult questions?
  • Can you pick up an extra shift or two?
  • Can you lead this group at church?
  • Can you ask for donations for that school thing?
  • Can you collect goods and deliver them?
  • Can you wash my car?
  • Can you babysit my kids?
  • Can you do an emergency tracheotomy?
Those are a little harder to say "no" to, right? Well, maybe not the last one, unless of course, you're a surgeon. And, honestly, why wouldn't you be? This is a very educated blog that attracts very educated readers...

I don't know, maybe it's just me that has a hard time saying no. Why is it so hard???? I've heard it said "Every 'Yes' is a 'No' to something else", but I don't even think I get the opportunity for an inadvertent "no". Somehow, the more I try to pair down my schedule, the busier it gets.

Don't get me wrong, busy is great when it comes to my business (thank God for help!), but it's all the other stuff that consumes every minute of every day! There's the normal routine stuff school drop off and pick up, baby drop off an pick up, work, homework, dinner, laundry, lunches, etc... But then there's the school events (storybook parade, fall festival, fundraising, etc). And then there's church groups women's ministry, small groups, family events, etc...

But Jen, doesn't God want me to do... uh... stuff and things? (Yes I did just make a Walking Dead reference) Well, yes, He certainly does, but He wants you to do them with a good heart and if you are all angsty and bitter about said deeds, then He wouldn't approve. If your "yes'" are taking away from the important things (glorifying Him, your family, friends, career... probably in that order, too), what good are they.

Being busy and making people happy just for the sake of being busy and making people happy, is no way to live. Really, I'm not one to talk, I'm totally writing this for my own sake and if you all get something out of it, too, then fabulous. How about we find something to say "no to this week?

Also, if I ramble, I'm sorry I'm not sorry.... And if I've loosely written on this topic before (maybe here?), get over it, that was years ago and I'm too old to remember.

to the moon and back,

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The thing about beauty is...

The thing about beauty is, it's not what you think it is, it's not what you've been told, and you find it in the most unexpected places.

You find it in the strength of the woman battling breast cancer for the third time and still isn't giving up.

You find it in the faith of the mother who remains faithful in her God after the loss of a child and uses her testimony to witness.

You find it in the smile of the breast cancer survivor who has so much joy and fire in her eyes while teaching Zumba.

You find it in the women of all sizes who are laughing and confidently dancing while participating in that Zumba class.

You find it in heart of mom who is struggling with the diagnosis of her child's illness yet stills remains strong for the family.

You find it in the friend who always makes you laugh at the perfect time and gets all of your idiosyncrasies and loves you for them

You find it in the stay at home mom who is at her wits end almost daily, yet holds together the household and loves her children and sacrifices everything for them.

You find it in the mom who works 40+ hours a week but still manages to be at every game and every school event and has dinner on the table.

You find it in the single mother who works tirelessly, often by herself, to provide a life, love and home for her family.

You find it in the sweat dripping off of the back of a women trying yoga, or running, or zumba, or swimming or aerobics for the first time.

You find it in the courage of the women who was able to leave the bondage of an abusive relationship.

You find it in the woman unable to conceive but puts on a strong face for the world around her.

You find it in the stretchmarks and the scars and the wrinkles and the cellulite and muscle definition and the muffin tops and the frizzy hair and goofy laugh and clumsy nature and everything else that make us all beautiful messes.

to the moon and back,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sense of Entitlement

Something happened the other night, wait... strike that. It didn't just happen, it slapped me across the face and made me realize I take waaaaaaay too much for granted.

And it started with a futon.

Jon and I rearranged our back room/dinning and decided that a futon would be a great way to not only make it roomier, but also add extra sleeping area. So, I did what anyone would do and turned to the swipswap pages on facebook.

Not too long after posting that I was searching for one, someone posted that they had one. She sent pics and I set up a time to go look at it. I asked what she wanted for it and she said to make her an offer.

Let me explain something... I hate making offers on anything. 1. Because I feel like I'm gonna get screwed and offer more than it's worth. 2. I feel like I'm going to insult the person selling the item. (PS don't even ask me to negotiate. "Oh, you want $20? Let me give you $25, I don't want to put you out.")

So, I wrote her back and said, "How about $40 is that ok? I really don't know what to offer."

She immediately wrote back, "I'll take that!"

I should have known then that something was up.

The following night, Jon, Moose and I loaded up in the truck, put the address in the GPS and headed for Deland. Here's the thing with GPS's, they don't tell you what kind of neighborhood it is. We may have chosen not to go.

The more we drove and the closer we got we realized that this may be a bad neighborhood. Then, we had to turn at a little run down convenience store. Across the street was a group of about 10 men who looked questionable to say the least (now, I'm sure I was jumping to conclusions and they were holding a road side bible study, but I digress...). We could literally feel them staring us down as we drove by.

We came to the neighborhood to turn into. It was a trailer park (not a mobile home or modular home development). The trailers all looked as thought they had seen better days. There were children playing in the streets and dogs roaming around.

I'm ashamed to admit that I looked at Jon and said "Is it too late to turn around?"

Then I saw her. The trailer she stepped out of was one of the smallest and seemed to be one of the oldest. She was all of about 18 years old and was preceded by her pregnant belly. Her boyfriend (and the father of her child who looked equally as young) was with her as was her dad.

Jon looked at it first and came back to ask what I thought. I said I'd look at it, but we would buy it no matter what.

When I got out to look at it, she said "I'll take $35 or $30, really whatever you guys want."

Jon handed her the $40 and we loaded it up and left.

As we drove away, I looked at Jon and said, "We don't even know how blessed we are. We take so much for granted."

We aren't entitled to anything that we have. In fact, we don't deserve any of it, especially if we aren't using it to serve others.

The pastor at a church we are attending said, "The money in my wallet is a tool to change the world, not buy more comfort." How are you changing the world? It doesn't take much. 

I'm not saying that you should be giving away everything you have, but are you using every penny you earn to buy your own happiness? The name brand purse, the fancy shoes, the expensive car, the over priced coffee (my word, did I just say that?)... Are you constantly searching for that one thing that's going to fill you up? You aren't going to find it until you find out how to serve others and give with a joyful heart. 
to the moon and back,

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Not funny "haha" but funny strange

It's funny how life goes on and days go by and you don't cross my mind. I mean, you're there, always ready to leap to life in a story, but not in the forefront. It's easy to push it back because I didn't see you every day.

Then some days, you're a whisper. You're a song on the radio, a scent in the breeze, a daydream at a familiar place.

Then... then, there are days like today, when you should be there. When all of the family is there. You should be laughing, singing and making us dance. You should be telling your stories and looking impatient not letting anyone know you're having fun. You should be cooking and smiling and hugging your son. And it hits me like a ton of bricks, you're gone.

I can see you in photos, and recall fading memories of moments that have passed but nothing is sufficient. I want another day. A day at the springs, in the mountains, at your dinning room table waiting for dinner. A day to mend fences, a day to aggravate you, a day to laugh at your bad jokes.

Life isn't fair, and death certainly isn't either.

to the moon and back,

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Skewed Reality

TV has given me a skewed sense of reality. Shocking, right? I know, TV is usually beaming with reality, what with Toddlers and Tiaras, Honey Boo Boo (a piece of me just died as I typed that), Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, etc... 

Here's a list of my (as my granny says) "stories" and how they have skewed my reality:
  • The Walking Dead - I'm now worried that any minute a zombie apocalypse is going to break out and I am going to have to strategically find all of my friends and family and we are going to have to make our way to the local prison for safety and judging the way my garden is growing, I will not be the farmer of the group, so I need to brush up on my marksmanship or head stabbing...
  • Revolution - Every time the power flickers, I think "Ok, this is it... It's go time." Then the power comes back on and I think, "Ah, just as well, I'm not sure I'm ready for survival mode. Have you seen my garden?"
  • Weeds (terrible show, I know, guilty pleasure) - I now believe that every small "mom & pop" shop is a front for something illegal. "Oh, you've only had two customers all week and you can afford to keep the business open??" Likely story... Plus, apparently pretty much everyone smokes pot, regularly.
  • Dexter - It's apparent to me that being a serial killer is much easier than I would have initially expected. I mean as long as you dump the body in the gulf stream and don't keep a token, you are golden.
  • Nashville - It's now clear to me that all musicians are tortured souls who come from crazy backgrounds or have addiction problems. Wait... that one just may be reality...
  • Lost - Flying has always creeped me out, but now I'm worried about my plane disappearing. I mean seriously, that doesn't happen, right??? Oh... wait... it does.
Ok, so maybe those last two aren't too skewed, but do you see how easily I get sucked in? I'm way too gullible. The next thing you know I'm going to be the mysterious lead singer of a rock group who, by day, is the owner and manager of Starlight Music and who's adopted this persona with the help of my holographic computer. Far fetched, huh?

to the moon and back,