The Daily Grind

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Songs whose words touch my heart and soul......

Music is a very powerful vehicle for emotion .....

I have gained a huge appreciation for all types of music over the years and it has struck me in recent years that it is not just the tune or the hook of a song that I enjoy. But rather the words of the entire song... the meanings behind them the stories associated with the songwriter and the performer.

As I have been writing in recent months I have gained an appreciation of how written works on a paper or in this case computer can be cathartic and healing, but also enlightening and exposing. However taking it to the next level I think is adding music to those words. Sadly a talent I will NEVER have.

I use music for many things in my life...

The Work Out- upbeat, up tempo, songs litter my running play list. The more beats per minute, the more air drum, and sound thumping in the song and you can rest assured it will reside on one of my long run playlists.

The Fun and Silly Songs - Sometimes you just need to let loose and be silly and I have found some silly songs over the years. These songs in some way give me permission to be silly and childlike if only for 3 minutes and 45 seconds at a time.

The Theme Songs- We have all thought about this... what song would you have as your walk up song to the plate, or that song that plays when you arrive at a business meeting or better yet the music that accompanies you when you walk into a house that has been destroyed by the kids!

Songs of the Heart - These seem to be the ones that are plentiful in nature. I remember being a kid in Jr high recording songs off the radio and listening to them over and over and then imagining upcoming dance where I hoped that guy I liked would ask me to slow dance (***shameless blog teaser more on this topic to come in another post). As I have matured the lyrics of these types’ of songs have had more meaning in my life, and have caused me to pause and reflect and at times have moved me to tears.

Background Songs- These songs vary for me... they can be soft jazz, country, light rock and dare I say it…. oldies... let’s be clear the oldies I speak of are from my lifetime and the fact that I even just wrote the word oldies in reference to my life sent a shiver up my spine.

Below are the links to a small sampling of the songs I love which fit in the categories outlined above. I am predicting it won't be hard to figure out which group they belong to.

So enjoy music, embrace it and see it for the art it is that speaks to every situation.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'll admit it I hated you........

It is no secret I go to therapy; I do so because I want to make myself better. I want to understand who I am and how I tick. I am not ashamed of it and I encourage it not only for me but for those I care about and heck those I don’t even know.  

Therapy is never easy, some days nothing comes of it, and some days it’s as if I just had a sit down with an old friend, and other days it comes with a flood of emotions and still other days a sense of clarity.... and them sometimes fear.

Several months ago my therapist encouraged me to write a letter outlining what I would say to me and others now....

Below is the first of those letters (and there are many, most of which will never see the light of day). Yes, I know it is angry and it was written with a lot of raw emotion.... emotion that I try so very hard to temper and even in rereading this months later I realize I was still tempering when writing. This letter was to my mother and says what I would say to her now if I could.

This is the next step in my therapeutic journey... There will be more to come

I'll admit it I hated you........

I have lived my entire life in a state of anger.... Sure along the way I found glimmers of happiness but in the background there was always pain, hate and anger. I've been lucky in that I have been able to function. In recent years I needed to seek the help of not only medications but also psychotherapy.

It hasn't been until recently where my love and commitment to people have been tested that I realized how much you scarred me and what a ridiculously demonistic impact you had in my life. I hate you for what you put me through and I hate you for the insecure person you made me.

People look at me and think I am strong and tough and able to handle anything and that is nothing but a fa├žade. I learned from an early age to mask my feelings. Whether it be because I was embarrassed because you were mean and hateful to me and those I loved, or because you had to raise me without a father, or because you had many issues for which you blamed me or, just plain crazy. You would impacted every part of my life from elementary school to adulthood and there's no amount of love or compassion or caring or boasting you could've done to people about me  that could make up for the years of torture you put me through growing up.

That torture, both physical and mentally has shaped the person I've become. While in some ways it has helped me to rise to become a better person and achieve levels I never knew, it has also haunted me for years. To this day, it impacts every relationship and interaction I have with people regardless of it is business or personal, and it's sometimes more than I can bear.

I have lost people in my life who have meant so much to me because I'm either unable to articulate to them how I feel, or scared, or just plain inept, because of the incredible agony you put me through growing up. I hate that you have made me lose relationships throughout my life that meant the world to me because I'm unable to show and verbalize to people what they mean to me or make sense of it.

I am done having you run my life and while I say I'm done I know you will forever haunt me and those are demons that I need to fight and I will continue to fight for the rest of my life. But I refuse to pass those demons on to my children because they deserve better and they deserve a mom who is better. I HAVE broken the cycle but I will now annihilate it! I hope wherever you are, that you are dealing in some way or fashion for all of the suffering you put me through and continue to put me through.

You have consumed nearly half my life and I will do everything in my power to see that you don't continue to run and ruin my life from the grave. Today, I let you go, I reclaim me and I work to be the person I want to be, I will live for me and for want I want, and while it may not always fit the perfect mold it will fit my and who I want to be. And she is not perfect nor does she want to be anymore… she wants to live!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It’s time for my 2014 year in review.....

This year has been a wonderful year full of exciting adventures and accomplishments for everyone in the Whalen clan.

January- We started off the year by ringing it in with the kids, we had take out and a Wii dance off competition.  :) (I won) I decided this will be our annual tradition until the kids think we are too lame and head off for their own New Years Eve plans in the future. Hopefully next year I can report that I kept my Wii Dance title :)

We saw lots of snow (ok a lot for us DC folk) in January which meant the puppies got their first taste of romping in the snow outside, they of course loved it!
 February- This was a big month for me since I set a goal in July 2013 to race in the inagraul Disney Glass Slipper challenge, what is that you ask? Well it is a 10K (6.2miles) on Saturday through Epcot, followed by a Half Marathon (13.1miles) on Sunday! So 19.3 Miles in 2 days at the happiest place on earth! I happy to report I did well and had a blast! I am very excited for my second Challenge in Feb 2015!

March- Well this month started off with a bit of a bang and by bang I mean me hitting the floor like a ton of bricks. Seems that I am not super woman and my body felt it was time to tell me so. I collapsed in the kitchen after work one night. Thankfully my rock star children were there and knew just what to do. I took a ride in my own personal limo (ambulance) to the hospital to get checked out. They confirmed what most of you knew that I am hard headed :) In all seriousness; this was a wakeup call to me and and indicator of some other significant health issues which would resolve later in 2014.

I am a huge fan of St Patrick’s day and every year I have the kids pose in the same spot so I can take my tradition Wee Whalen St Patrick’s day photo. This year we had 2 new additions with Murphy and Wyatt joining the mix. While they came to us in Nov of 2013 this was their first official family picture.

April- We set out on a Spring Break vacation with our good friends The Bertmans, we set sail out of FL and had a blast! We also had the pleasure of having Dan’s parents join us and the kids loved sharing all their cruise adventures with them.  This too has become another tradition we are going to continue when we set sail in March 2015  with The Bertmans!

April also brought some not so good times in that my car was broken into while I was waiting for Jman to finish baseball practice. Just another reminder there are those folks out there who have no respect for the law or ones personal property. The damage was minimal in the grand scheme of things, a broken window and a stolen purse. It was more the annoyance factor :(

May- Well this was the month I will say my life changed for the better. I had a full hysterectomy, it was a long time coming and something I needed to do not only for my health but my sanity. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made and has been a life changer for me. I was blessed to have a great Doctor and a cadre of friends who checked on me and helped out while I was on the mend.

May was also a big month for Izzy, she became the 3rd Whalen kid to Join the Highland Park dive team and we was most certainly the youngest. She had a ball and learned so much and can’t wait to get back in the water.
Jackson also got the chance to meet his catching idol from the Washington Nationals Wilson Ramos, he was so excited and has told everyone he knows what a cool guy he was and that Wilson gave him some pointers for playing catcher.

June- This was the month where Lauren went from being an elementary student  to a Middle Schooler. She left 6th grade with lots of honors and awards She was named chorister of the year, received special recognition of her all county chorus selection, and she received the Presidents Educational Excellence Award which was given to a handful of students. We were (and are) so very proud of her!

June also brought a preschool graduation! Izzy graduated from St Johns and was so excited that she was going to join her big sister and brother at school in the Fall.

July- Jackson went to his first Dive camp with his best buddy Jackson (jbert) at the Naval Academy. They learned so much and are looking forward to going again in 2015.

July was also my annual Mommy’s gone wild trip with my girl Kirsten as always we had a blast and made memories to last a lifetime.
 I was lucky enough to go to see Billy Joel at Nats Park! I was only several rows away from the Piano Man and I had a great time!!
August- This month brought the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. All of us participated and it was great fun tagging folks and making money for a great cause.

I also got to see my College roommate for the first time in 20 plus years. She hasn’t changed a bit and I am so happy we have rekindled our friendship :)

We opted for a cruise for summer vacation instead of our usual beach trip. While the cruise was great I realize I really like my time on the beach and we will be headed back there this year. Also the kids missed it as well and made sure to let me know!

We have 3 August birthdays in this house but this year were milestone ones for Izzy  and Jackson. Izzy turned 5 and Jackson turned the big double digits 10!

September – this brought the 1st day of school for all of the Wee Whalen’s Middle school for Lauren, Kindergarten for Izzy and 5th grade for Jackson.

Izzy had another first in that she participated in her first organized soccer team she loved it and is a natural. Though she didn’t like playing with some of the boys because it made her be mean she said. I of course smiled and said that will only make you better.

I was able to fulfill a bucket list item this month by going to my first ever Redsox game in Fenway park, much to my FIL displeasure :) I had the honor of going with a dear friend who showed me all the sites and made sure I had the whole Fenway experience.  On this trip I also was able to reconnect with a family who has played a huge part in my life and has never left my heart. They took me in when I was in 2nd grade and loved me as their own and 30 plus years later we still have that same bond. Such a great trip!!

October- This month brought loss and sadness. My high school Softball coach passed away. He was loved by many and certainly helped me hone my skills and love for the game he will be forever missed.

This month also brought another trip to Boston and much more time to reconnect with Helen and her sister Maureen.

I also was able to celebrate Lynette’s birthday with a day of roller skating and a Winery….super fun and proof we are young at heart.

Of course we can’t forget Halloween….I LOVE Halloween and this year was fun !!!!

November- this was the restart of my running for the year and it was humbling....

However the big news of this month was Lauren and her 1st qtr grades which landed her on her 1st ever honor roll. She was beyond excited when she found out and has goals to get all A’s next qtr. 

We traveled up to Snowy NY for thanksgiving with Family and I drove in my first significant NY snow ever. Let’s say I am not looking to do that again anytime soon:)

December- This has been a quiet month not much to report. The kids enjoyed Christmas and had a trip to see their cousins in NC and one night stop at Great Wolf Lodge.

I hope you enjoyed the 2014 recap as much as I enjoyed writing it, every year I am amazed at what the kids do and accomplish and this year was no different. I wish all of you an amazing 2015 and hope you achieve all your dreams and goals for the New Year!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The plight of a Redskins fan…..

In my head I have thought about this post for the last 2 weeks. Last week I was spared the agony of watching my beloved Skins fall apart yet again. That however did not stop me from looking at the box score occasionally during the game or reading all the post game interviews and articles.
So indulge me as I vent my frustrations with my dearly loved team. I have been a redskins fan since I was able to say the word, my fall and winter Sundays have revolved around the games. I am quite irritated when I have a function that takes me away from my weekly face time with the TV and the team. I remember being a kid and my mom allowing me to skip school to come with her to the super bowl parade when they won. It pains me to think how long ago those glory days were. I was always intrigued by Jack Kent Cooke and his style and selection in wives J. Joe Gibbs and Charley Casserly made an awesome team, the players of old Art Monk, Daryl Green, Joe Thiesmann, the Hogs and Mark Mosley. Let’s face it those are folks who left lasting and positive memories for the franchise.

The above paragraph was to show all you doubters that I am indeed a fan and I know the teams’ history. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I am just jumping on the skins bandwagon, or bashwagon in recent days.

So the topic of venting for me of late are these….. Ownership, Players, Front Office.

Ownership is at the top of my list… as it is for a lot of folks in the DMV. Dan Snyder has done a lot of things with franchise all of them to the benefit of his pocket and the pockets of other shareholders. However the team and the main focus which is football has been neglected and they have been the victim of knee jerk decisions by an owner who is impatient and will not keep his nose out of the day to day play on the field, I ask this?? If he is such a mastermind in the ways of coaching and playing why hasn’t he taken on the duty of coaching himself instead of the revolving door of coaches he has had in the last 15 years? The greed and ego this man processes is incredible. Who chooses to sue their ticketholders during an economic recession instead of going to the next in line on a never ending season ticket list? Who is so egotistical and irritated by one sports writers article that they sue him for libel and then try to bring others into the suit as well? I’ll tell you who the illustrious leader of the Redskins. Now not all is wrong with Dan he has at least vowed to fight for the team name, be it for his own greed or true dedication to the 50 year franchise. However now I am silently hoping the name change happens as this might entice a true football owner to step make an offer Danny boy can’t refuse and get him out of the game of football. Sadly that latter won’t happen while the name is a point of controversy. They say tone is all set at the top and I have to say in this case it has it’s not the tone any of us true Redskin loyalists want it.

Players- I named some classic players of yesteryear above. Today’s players are not the same caliber (morally, ethically and socially) as they were and I don’t mean that just for the Redskins I mean that league wide. These young men are giving piles of money, made overnight superstars and they are not prepared for it, the maturity is not there and the senior leaders of the team can only do so much. I know for a fact the NFL and the players association has put in place several programs to help with this transition but unfortunately it has not had the impact desired but certainly not for lack of trying. Again all of this starts from the top.

Enforce good conduct and put up with little to nothing on the field and off, regardless if the player in question is your superstar or a big game is looming, by doing so you send a message to all that shenanigans will not be tolerated and you make players accountable. On this topic I will say that it should be the expectation of the league and the teams to have the same punishment for the same infractions regardless of the player or the team. On the player front and the Redskins in particular get back to basics boys! I played competitive sports over half my life, I respected my team and my teammates and I never took my athletic ability or my presence on any team for granted. Nor should you!!! Respect yourself and respect your players, keep your opinions to yourself and if they must be shared do so out of the public eye and in a way to be productive. You are role models and you should act as such.

Front Office- I can’t and won’t say I’m a front office guru, but I will say this. Hiring all your friends and focusing more on your marketing and sales of products as well as a monopoly on all things Redskins is not the way to run an effective football team front office. Further, diversity in the front office might do you some good! I was shocked but not surprised to see the Redskins senior front office is all male with the exception of one woman. The NBA and the MLB have many women in key front office positions and the NFL and clearly the Redskins are way behind. A little shake up might do everyone some good. As a female executive who has worked her way to the top and has made positive changes  to the organization in very male dominated environment, I can tell you that there are plenty of women out there ready for these roles and would provide a much needed breath of fresh air and knowledge to any team in the league. I’m not looking for a new job but would certainly entertain any NFL front office position in a heartbeat!!! Especially with the Redskins!

I would be remiss not to speak of the skins coaches, especially in light of the announcement that RGII will not play this Sunday. The coaches of the last 15 years have had a tough go and have been saddled with some mistakes of the past and the over involvement of ownership. However, John Gruden showed he will not be bullied, pushed around or told what to do. He has called out his players and has benched RGIII. I applaud you for taking control of your team and criticizing play when needed. My hope is that you are given the time to form a team you can work with and works with your coaching style and not dismissed for doing your job.

In conclusion, I love my hometown team, during the good and during the bad. I have fond memories going to and watching games over the last 4 decades, I only hope at some point my skins and their pompous owner come to some sort of mutual agreement and settle into their respect roles as players, coaches and owner.

Hail to the Redskins!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Who said hard work doesn't pay off!!!!

I feel the need to write a blog post to memorialize the hard work my oldest daughter Lauren is putting forward in her in here quest to get straight A's in  middle school.

See Lauren has not had an easy road. She was diagnosed with at learning disability when she was in 2nd grade though nothing specifically, it was just painfully obvious she was falling behind her peers in reading and it was clear this would become a major problem as she moved forward in her academic career. Her dad and me did everything we couple to provide her the tools we thought she needed to help her get over the hump so to speak. Tutoring, extra reading time with us, easier books to gain confidence and finally petitioning the school for their assistance. We were very frustrated but I know Lauren was more frustrated than all of us.

I know this because Lauren and I share the same learning issues. I recall not being in the fast reading group and getting horrible marks on my spelling tests. Having my written answers marked wrong because they didn't make sense. I struggled and never really got a resolution. I just learned how to compensate. I wanted more for her I wanted her to excel, I wanted her to not struggle. She worked, we worked and still we all worried we weren't getting to where we needed to be. 

We were all so very impressed with Lauren being selected at her 6th grade graduation for the presidential educational  excellence award. Truthfully I wasn't paying much attention to that part of the ceremony because I presumed she would not qualify for such an award. Boy was I shocked when her name was called. I should have known then we were on to something,, 

Middle school came and I'd be lying if I said I was scared out of my mind that this was going to be a devastating blow to her academically. You know what!?!!?! She has proved us all wrong....she went into the school year positive and full of confidence. She is mainstreamed in all of her subjects except English. She takes a full course load which consists of History, Drama, Environmental Science, Advanced Chorus, Math, English and PE. 

Well a week ago she came home with her grades for all subjects. this child was making all A's and B's. 

This child has blossomed before my eyes and I am filled with such pride of the young lady and student she has become. I must also give credit to a fabulous administrative staff and teachers along the way who have never given up on Lauren and have helped her to get where she is today. 

We are so very proud of you LouLou!! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

City trader

I've lived in the DC area all my life..... DC is great, it holds our country's history and there is so much to do, be it visiting the government houses of one of the worlds super powers, or going to a sold out sports stadium, or the fabulous museums we have.

However, DC proper, the city, is not one that lends itself to tradition, friendliness or calm. DC the city is a very transient one as are the suburbs that surround the city. I often get looks of disbelief when I say I am a native.

The last 3 days I have spent in Boston, enjoying the people, places, sounds and smells, and yes some of the traffic.

I spent several hours in Boston Common walking and sitting, thinking,  taking it all in enjoying the clam of others and the reduction of the constant hustle bustle of city folks. I can't tell you the last time I sat in a park and did just that....sit! Its a sure bet if I am at a park I am either there for an event be it a race, a kids sporting event or some festival. I don't have the time to just go to go. But I also realize I don't want to when I am in DC.

I found myself walking to restaurants, to the Common, to Starbucks  and to shopping. I wasn't scared or afraid I was simply blissful as though I had just been wrapped in a giant comfy blanket.

DC will always be home.... but if given a choice to have a new home city .. I would go with Boston hands down!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Parenting is not for the weak....

I've been blessed to be a mom for nearly 13 years. In that time I have known incredible love like no other and been scared out of my mind at times as well. Parenting is no easy task, there is no step by step manual and each child and circumstance is different.

I was not very sure of myself when I became a mom. I was terrified I would screw things up. I knew I didn't want to be the mom my mom was, but I didn't know how I was going to achieve not being her. I had an ideal vision of the mom I wanted to be.... Think Leave it to Beaver or Mrs Brady, I wanted to be the cool, clam, level headed parent whose kids adored her.

I soon realized those visions are not always reality, and that some of the arguments and fights with my mom were not because she was mean or unstable but yet trying to be a parent. Being a parent isn't always sunshine and roses, kids will disobey you, they will disappoint you and at times you will become physically and emotional exhausted parenting them.

I've learned that if those feelings are there it's a pretty good bet that you are doing a good job as a parent. I'm not my kids best friend (yet) and I make them do things they don't like, but I am hopefully preparing them for the world with the best tools I have to offer. My love, my compassion, my discipline and my wisdom. There will come a time where I hope to be their best friend. However for now I am happy being mom and hopefully in the end giving the world 3 bright, loving, compassionate, thoughtful human beings.

To my 3 loves Lauren, Jackson and Isabelle, know I love you with all my heart and everything I do is for you. You all bring me such joy and happiness, and my heart is overflowing with love from you all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Journey Continues......

I’ve often said that life is a journey….. I have felt that more and more over the last few years as I come to terms with my thoughts, my fears and my history. I’ve spent countless hours in therapy and within my own head trying to reconcile events and feelings.

This weekend was another of those reconciling events. I went to Boston on business and pleasure to reconnect and understand some of my past as well as have a little fun.

When I was 7 I went to live with a family outside Boston for 6 months. The reasons behind my visit to Concord were never very clear. I was told my mom was having divorce issues….that was the explanation. Even years later when I was old enough to ask my mom why that was the story that was maintained.

Those 6 months played such profound role in my life and my ultimate desires for marriage, family and childrearing. I lived with a woman who was the sister of my then elementary school principal. Helen was a single mom who had been widowed for many years. Her son John was the apple of her eye and they had an extended family of many brothers and sisters and proud parents/grandparents. It was story book to me.

I was welcomed into Helen’s home with open arms; she cared for me as though I was her own. Her son John treated me as though I was his little sister and did so with love and your typical sibling strife too.

For the first time I was living in a house, I was going down the street to play with friends, I was playing in a backyard and I was feeling safe and surrounded by love.

I eventually went back to VA to live with my mom, but I kept in touch with Helen and her family. I visited a couple of summers and I asked Helen to be my confirmation sponsor. Sadly, she was not able to attend because she had fallen ill. Instead John (Jakie to those of us close to him) came in her place. By that time he was 19 and a sophomore at Harvard.

I still have the picture of John and I from that day and I can still feel his hand on my shoulder as I was confirmed. What I didn’t know if that would be the last time I would see Jakie, sadly he died in a motorcycle accident a few short months later.
 I still kept in touch with the family but not nearly as often as I had before. Partly because I was growing up and busy with life in high school and sports and partly because it was hard knowing John was not there.

Fast-forward to my mom’s passing. It has conjured up many questions and I felt maybe some of the answers might be with Helen and her family. For many reason not just Helen and her family, I decided a trip to Boston was in order.

That trip was this past weekend and it more of an emotional ride than I could have ever imagined. I met Helen and her sister Maureen (the elementary school Principal) at the old house I lived in, the one that provide me with such fond memories. Walking in to the house was a wave of emotion I was not prepared for, nor was I prepared for the incredibly emotional reaction from Helen to seeing me for the first time in nearly 30 years.

We all sat and talked and l shared with them my life and family now and how they were directly responsible for some of it. I then asked the hard question: “can you tell me why I was sent here?” They were surprised to know I didn’t know.

The answer “ because there was abuse” I was abused both physically and emotionally by my mom. Which as I have aged is no big secret to me now, whereas when I was growing up I knew no different and never had any reason to believe that my life wasn’t normal?

Maureen saw the abuse and reached out to my mom to give her help part of that help was to get me into a loving and safe enjoinment but to also allow my mom time to figure out how to make things right or at least better. I don’t have all the details around this and in the coming months I hope to have these conversations to better understand. Bottom line I was abused, someone saw it, and wanted to help.

Talk about emotion right?? I was floored…. It made sense …..But still shocking. But even more shocking to me is the unselfish act of a woman who at the request of her sister took me in and cared for me knowing nothing about me.

I left Helens house this weekend with more love in my heart than I can explain. I also left feeling enlighten, validated and praised. Helen and her family told me how proud they are of me and what a wonderful family I have built and they told me they loved me. All these years later Helen kissed me, wrapped me in her arms and gave me the best hug, and said I love you.

It doesn’t get much better than that! More to come on this visit and the talks to be had in the future but for now I just feel Loved and Validated!

Monday, September 1, 2014

New School Year Wishes

The clothes have been bought, the school supplies have been sorted, the backpacks packed and the lunches made and the clothes laid out. Tomorrow my 3 kids will ALL be in school!!  2 with new beginnings and new schools and one anxious to go back to his familiar surroundings.

I worked all day to get things just right. I have a process and it serves me well. I will take my "usual"  (insert kid eye roll here) first day picture and I will send them off nervous for all of them but anxious to hear all about their day. This year I wrote them all a letter which we read after dinner tonight and it is my new school year wishes for them.

 Lauren, Jackson and Isabelle,

You 3 are going to start school tomorrow, and you will find your own way and become more independent beings. As you begin 7th grade, 5th grade and Kindergarten,  these are the things I wish for you:

New school year wishes:

•That you enter the classroom with the same amount of fresh, creative ideas, confidence and beauty as you have when you come out of your bedrooms to greet me each summer morning

•That on that first morning you reconnect with old friends on the playground and find courage to make new ones

•That you greet your teacher with a big smile and say hello; show her you are excited and ready for the year

•That the textbooks you see on your desks for this year fill you with wonder and not with fear

•That you mind your manners, say please and thank you

•That you see the kids who might be having a hard time at school and reach out to be their friend

•That you pay attention and remember when it’s time for fun and when it’s time to learn

•That if another cuts in line or takes an extra turn, you do not get angry and realize that these are not important things

•That you take a moment to eat your lunch before running on the playground, so you can stay active in mind and in body

•That you learn the importance of managing your things; keep your desk, cubby, locker and backpack organized

•That you recognize the difference between kids who make good decisions and those who make bad. Choose wisely whom to admire

•That the hug that I give you tomorrow morning is tight enough and long enough to give you comfort if someone is unkind

•That you slowly realize that with each passing year you may move further away from my care, but never my love

Hugs and Kisses to you all and may this be the best year ever!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I take my chances
Just give me a reason
Bruises we all have them
Sometimes I think its better to never ask Why
We had it all
I can't be without
I'm only human
Say Something
These are the days  

Find out who I am
Everything has changed
I need some understanding
I run to you
Humor and belly laughs

Never dreamed this could happen
I don't wanna fight anymore 
Forever intertwined
Fear of forever loss

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Depression and it's not so pretty side ......

The topic of depression has been in the news for the last week and a half due to the death of Robin Williams. I sadly suffer from depression .... But it does not define me ......however that is not to say that it doesn't affect me.

I was diagnosed over 8 years ago.... It is a tough disease. It takes a hold of your life and there are good days and bad days and sometimes horrible days. 

Depression is real people.....just because someone appears to be fine on the outside that doesn't mean that everything is good on the inside. We suffer, sometimes openly and often times silently. Coping and concealing pain is a huge part of this illness. 

I have been lucky enough to have been given some tools to allow me to, for the most part, function with minimal depilation.  These tools include daily medication and meditation along with weekly therapy visits. In addition to acknowledging when I am feeling low and out of sorts. However, I have not done well in the communication department. Communicating to those you love that you  feel scared or are vulnerable is important and needed. However, for me it is a huge sign of weakness and weakness is NEVER what I want to portray .... Why you ask?? Because in my head and my past weakness gets you walked on and taking advantage of.... Sharing my thoughts and feelings has never resulted in positive outcome.

I had a particularly rough personal weekend before Robin Williams death and that Monday on my way home I remember thinking "what if I wasn't here anymore?" "what if I ran my car into the 18 wheeler next to me?" "Would anyone miss me?" I knew as I got closer to home that I needed to snap put of my funk but I wasn't sure what to do to achieve that..... My problems were starting to suffocate me. Within 30 min of being home the iPhone alert came across my phone about Robin. 

My heart sank..... That could have been me if I had let the feelings of just about an hour ago take  me over.... And my heart ached I knew in some small way the feelings that took over and brought Robin to the point of hopelessness.

This is a real disease people .... Don't assume that because people appear to be fine that they are!!!! I struggle more than I like because of the stress I bring to my life. While I have tried to de-stress and remove the stressors from my life I have not been able to and some of those stressors I just CANT live or do without... Trust me I have tried and I am better for it/them. What I need to do and am trying to achieve is balance. Balance is different for everyone... your balance may not be my balance and that is hard for those that love and care about me to understand.....

My point to this post is be aware and don't dismiss.... Be supportive and be understanding While it is ultimately up to the person who is suffering from this unfortunate illness they need help and can't always be the person you want them to be... 

Never stop trying to get through to those you love.... You might just save their life one day 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Overdue Explosion......

You think it will never happen....

you think you can suppress your feelings......

you can be the picture of perfectness.....

be the understanding one....

be the forgiving one.....

till one day the emotions have no where else to go.....

the bottle they are kept in is being shaken out of control

You explode......... 
you let the hurt and pain of nearly 5 years flow freely from your fists and your mouth

While I regret the explosion.....I don't regret the message

Never play russian roulette with someones heart and trust

Doing so will most certainly end in disaster

and while most disasters can be cleaned up

Some can't....ever!

Only time will tell......

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Female roto rooter.....

Several weeks ago I had a hysterectomy....while I am a bit on the young side it was something that was a long time coming and much needed. So in the hopes of helping others here is my story....

In my early 20's I had several female issues which caused me to have bad pap smears, which lead to cryo surgeries and cone biopsies. I was warned that should this continue it could pose a problem with me getting pregnant in the future or worse yet a fatal outcome if I ever chose to put my head in the sand and ignore it all together. Thankfully I was diligent and overtime the cryos worked and I went on to have 3 healthy pregnancies with sadly some miscarriages along the way.

Ever since I can remember I have had very heavy cycles. Early on I had several "accidents" and it set the stage for me to always be in constant fear during that time of the month. I spoke with each of my doctors over the years and they assured me that this was normal and that I was just one of the lucky ones who had heavy cycles. (I'm not sure lucky is how I would have described it!)

After my 3rd child I notice things started to take a different turn, sure I was still having heavy cycles but there was pain involved and clotting not to mention the lengthening of my cycle. I spoke candidly with my doctor about my issues and my concerns. Thankfully he was easy to talk to and was willing to work with my to try to find a solution based on the options out there.

First we tried several different types of birth control pills, none of them did much to help my heavy bleeding also my pain was continuing to get worse. Next we moved to an IUD, an IUD has been known to minimize cycles or have them stop all together. This would also be a longer term solution which would then be less expensive and more full proof. Unfortunately for me I was not a good candidate for the IUD as it did nothing to ease my issues if anything I felt as though it was making it worse.

In June of 2013 it was determined that I had an infection form the IUD and it needed to be removed. It was also when I found out I had many cysts on my ovaries which we ended up biopsying. Good thing because there were cancer cells present. In August that same year we removed them and proceeded with caution.

I continued to have my quarterly checkups all the while continuing to have increased pain and bleeding. The new wrinkle however was that I was now bleeding throughout the month with no defined cycle. It was unpredictable and painful and taking over my life.

In March of this year I had a medical episode in which I collapsed in my home. I hit my head and was taken to the hospital all tests run showed nothing wrong. The diagnosis was that I was stressed and exhausted. However one test showed puss in my urine. A second urinalysis a day later showed nothing.

At this point I was stumped and in my gut knew something was not right with my body. I took it upon myself to call my OBGYN and set up an appointment. Good thing I did we found a uterine infection (hence the puss in urine) a yeast infection and Bacteria Vaginosis.

We chatted at length about the issues I was continuing to have with my female plumbing. My doctor had talked about uterine ablassion where they burn the inner lining of the uterus in order to stop the heavy bleeding.

I was not looking forward to yet another procedure and was skeptical about its outcome giving the failures of my past options. It must have shown on my face because my Dr asked "Are you done having kids?" my response "yes, yes I am". It was then that he said maybe we should consider the hysterectomy route.

I was a prime candidate, based on all the issues above along with the fact my mother died of endometrial cancer and while that is not completely linked to heredity like breast cancer it did put me at a higher risk. Seemed to me the choice was obvious.

I am happy to say that I had the surgery and could not be happier. It brought to light that I had severe endometriosis along with adenomyosis and cancerous cells yet again on my cervix.

The recovery has been tough, I am a get up and go type person and this was major surgery. I still have days were I am exhausted but I have learned to scale back and listen to my body so that I may heal.

While going through this process it was made evident to me that we women suffer in silence a lot of times and don't communicate enough with each-other or our doctors. So ladies don't suffer talk to your girlfriends and your doctors because doing so just might save your life. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

To medium or not to medium............

Several weeks ago I did a Facebook post on mothers day. It was simple, it was a picture at my moms grave with a comment that said:

"My mom and I rarely saw eye to eye.....Mother's Day in my adult life with her was always a struggle never good enough for her..... However my mother is still my mother so today I went to pay respect to her..... "

What happened next was surprising and shocking to me all at the same time.

A friend of mine from High School reached out to me via a PM and in so many words shared with me that she is a medium. She is unaware of when and where such medium occurrences will happen, but that when she saw the headstone she " got a profound sense of regret and sadness" and that she felt strongly that if my mother could she would say "I'm Sorry" she went on to say :

"I'm actually feeling tears pricking at my eyes as I write this. I never knew your mother, I get the sense that she was a rigid woman. I also think that she kept a lot of her feelings for herself, and in many ways with like a man in how she expressed herself. I also think that that type of behavior can only come from having been through great pain. I do steal that you got the worst of it, whatever 'it' was. I think to having survived her, that has made you so successful today. Personally, I am so sorry for the pain that I'm feeling coming from  her in that post. But I can tell you that she loves you and is very very proud of you. I hope that comes as some consolation, and I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. I know it's rather strange, but I felt something that you needed to hear"

I was reading this on my phone and literally dropped the phone when I read it. This person does not know my mother and has no idea of my childhood and what my relationship was with my mother. She went on to say some additional credible things about my mom and myself.

I will not get into all the details because some are VERY private and some are concerning. But I will say she hit the nail on the head and encouraged me to be open to receiving messages from my mom in whatever manner they should come.

Now before you click to get off this page let me be clear that this person is a well educated individual who holds a good job and was in no way shape or form trying to sell me something or have any other agenda. I believe her to be the real deal and legitimate in her reasons for reaching out to me.

It was not the right time for me to be open to such communication as I was days away from a Hysterectomy and I was truly trying to focus for once on me. Also it struck me that this was typical

of my mom to drop in at the 11th hour and "make nice" so to speak. I wasn't ready and I wasn't receptive.

That feeling was solidified for me the next morning when I was in my car with my ipod on shuffle and the Dixie chicks song "I'm not ready to make Nice" came on!!!

To those of you reading this it may all sound foolish to you but I believe that souls live on and I do believe we receive messages either via medium means or other from those who have passed on. While I have never sought to inquire with someone for this information, I do still find it incredibly interesting and wish a few folks in my life who have left me would reach out or send me a sign....Just so I know I am on the right path or have some sense of closure.

As for my mom, I think only time will heal open wounds and when I am ready to receive her I will. though knowing her it will be a "cold day in hell" (she used to say that all the time) before she reaches back out again. But when she does maybe then I will be ready.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Motherhood has made me loose my mind.....

As I looked at the calendar for the upcoming week  I said to myself could we have any more "stuff" to do??? Note to self don't ask that question because you will jinx yourself and more "Stuff" will be piled on. So the week looked like this:

Monday - The Usual School and Work-- followed by baseball practice.... Play practice.... and Dive practice....

Tuesday-  School and Work-- followed by baseball practice.... Play practice ......and Dive practice

Wednesday- School and Work-- followed by swim practice.... Play practice ......and Dive practice

Thursday- School and Work-- followed by swim practice.... Play practice ......and Dive practice

Friday- School and Work-- followed by Swim practice.... Dive practice..... first showing of the Play @7pm!!!

Saturday- Swim time trials @ 7:30am ..... Play matinee drop off @10:30am ....Play @ 1pm.....Baseball Playoffs @ 3pm.......Final showing of the play @ 7pm..

Sunday- Fathers Day!! and I collapse

Did I happen to mention that my husband is out of town at his annual PhD retreat/class this week? So all of this is on my own solo. Hectic doesn't even come close to describing what this week is going to look like......

See you on the other side ............Hopefully!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I am a lover of all things animal.....except when it comes to lizards, snakes and any sort of creepy bug.

I have heard several stories and seen many pictures on Facebook over the last few weeks about black snakes.

As a matter of fact just last night my husband and I had a conversation about them while sitting on our newly rearranged back deck.

So imagine my surprise when I walked out the door this morning to get the dogs to come back in the house and I see this ........ several feet away from me.

Of course my youngest who happened to be here with me was all about wanting  to touch it and talked to it like it was a furry little puppy which made me want to gag even more.

I am happy to say Mr snake took off for the woods behind my house and while I know they are great for rodents I will take the mice over a snake ANY DAY!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day 2014

Mothers day for the last 16 years has been filled with some sort of strife for me...
If it wasn't the colossal fight I had 16 years ago it was the fall out from it, or my own disappointment in my mothers day, or dealing with the grief of no longer having a mother.

I wrote a post 5 years ago called Why I hate Mothers Day Little did I know the following year would be my last mothers day with my mom. I don't regret the post it is how I felt and I don't believe anyone should regret or apologize for how they feel.

In the years since my mothers death I have learned to understand and in some respects forgive the relationship we had or didn't have.  I have taken the words of encouragement and sympathy for my struggle over the years to heart. I have started to believe I was the best daughter I could have been, I stood by my mom even when many didn't and wouldn't. I was loyal and while some of that loyalty came from fear it taught me that your family regardless is what is most important.

This Mothers Day the pain is a bit less and I have learned to embrace my Mothers Day and my kids as well as my feelings towards my mother. So Happy Mothers day to all you Mommy bloggers and to all my Mommy Friends!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Say things you mean to you say.......

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations
Say what you need to say…
Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open…
John Mayer- Say 
True to life, these lyrics are the epitome of sage advice for anyone. You find it difficult to say what's on your mind and in your heart. At times, you hold onto everything until it crushes you. So say what you mean and mean what you say. But say what you mean with tact because words, once uttered, can't be undone. Words hang out in the air lingering forever. Words create confidence, trust, friendship, love, but they also create hate, distrust and venom. Speak to those you love as if it is your last conversation... in doing so you will ensure those you love are not destroyed by your words because if you knew it was your last conversation....... wouldn't you want it to be one of........... Love

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who do you write about???

I have a few friends who read my blog and often ask who I am writing about. The truth is there is not one

person I am writing about. My writing and my retelling of experiences and feelings is about many aspects of my life from my personal friendships, to my work, to my marriage, to my processing of my relationship with my mom and others. My writing doesn't always mean things are taking place in the present  but rather I am dealing with them in the present.

Writing provides one of many ways for me to release some of my inner feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. There is something about pounding out a story on the keyboard that is cathartic to me. Along the way I have "virtually" met some very cool people, who have not only helped me but I have been able to help them as well.

What is great about these friendships is they were built not because they know what I look like, or what I drive, or where I live,  or what my job is but rather they were built on common thoughts, problems and observations. All of which we have been able to share and work on together. 

So to those that worry, please don't, all is well ...... 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

All Things Cruise.....

I think we have started a tradition for our spring breaks.....

For the last 2 years we have taken a cruise and the kids absolutely love it and it is a relatively relaxing vacation for us. Here are some candid and not so candid pictures from our week of fun......

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