Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Southern Style Thankfest

Hello! I hope all is well with you. The holiday season can be a real struggle for people. Those of us who live in daylight savings zones experience darkness by as early as 5pm. October through January is packed full of holidays. It's a busy stressful time for many people and I am seeing and hearing a lot of chatter about those who are struggling with depression.

My hope for those of you who are reading this is that you are happy and in good health. I send you well wishes, good thoughts, love, and prayer xox. To those of us who are happy...let's share the joy! One genuine connection at a time, let's spread some love. I truly believe reaching out to others gives encouragement, motivation, and hopefully inspiration. It's certainly helped me in the past. It's the very least I can do for someone else.

I'd like to share my holiday experience with you. I had the pleasure of traveling out of state with my family. My sister's family recently relocated to Tennessee. I guess I have driven through there a time or two, but I never actually visited. Let me just say, TN is God's country. We were nestled in the Smokey Mountains and were greeted with some very beautiful scenery.

I awoke on Thanksgiving morning to see a lovely doe weaving in and out of the trees just outside of the breakfast nook. I felt like one of my favorite childhood princesses with all of the forest critters outside dropping by to say hello :) Disclosure: I am no mountaineer or nature girl by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, I like a good nature trail. But I, like many other "lovers of the outdoors" am of the opinion it is best enjoyed from the comfort of a patio. Preferably with a tasty adult beverage in hand.

At any rate with the exception of playing sous chef, I didn't do any cooking. Being that I have cooked and hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house every year since 2001 it was very strange. Try as I might to assist, my sister handled the dinner. And I might add she did a marvelous job! It was one of the best home-cooked meals I have had in recent history.

I am so happy for my sister, brother in law, and their kids. They have worked very hard to establish their careers. They absolutely deserve all that they have worked for. It's time for them to start enjoying the fruit of their labor. They have a ginormous home, sprawling property, adorable smart children, and successful careers. But most importantly, what they have is humility. I don't personally know anyone else who could have obtained what they have, and not changed one iota.

To say that the red carpet was rolled out for my family was an understatement. We were made to feel like family, and esteemed guests at the same time. I have seen quotes about how money and success doesn't change you. It just brings out who you are. I think we all know someone who gets a raise or upgrades some area of their life and they are no longer the same person who you used to associate with. I know people who do very well in life. I am friends with several upper middle class families. The one's that I associate with are generally very nice and pleasant people. But to see people who are so close to me transition from working class to wealthy and remain the same grounded humble personable people that I have always know was nothing short of inspiring. 

I know that their kids will grow up with good heads on their shoulders, and minds to make the world a better place. I am happy that my children have sound examples of what is possible to achieve. I don't know that my husband and I will ever be wealthy. We have goals, and we are trying to build a legacy. I am very happy with the course we are on, and the life we are building (financial stability and a decent retirement). My kids have a father who they witness working hard to take care of his family. They have a mother who is dedicated to making sure they will have a concrete plan to go in whatever direction they choose to pursue. I think that's a great foundation to start out with. But they also have examples in their aunt and uncle that illustrate that you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps become a great success and stay true to yourself. 

I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures to enjoy of our trip. Enjoy! 

Friday, November 16, 2012


     I woke up with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. It's time to celebrate my darling son's birthday. I decided that I would not fall prey to my usual self defeating tactics. No dread that he is growing up and needing me less. It's been a fight throughout the day let me tell you. A trip to the store to gather last minute items for his birthday was slothful to put it nicely. I had to give myself a personal pep talk. I had to remind myself of the gift I received in a child who is full of light and love.

     Have you ever looked at your child and felt almost unworthy to be the one entrusted to care for them? The life lessons I have encountered in raising an "old soul", who sometimes I think, knows more than me are imeasureable. All I know is that I am thankful that he was placed in my life. This son whose name literally means "Gift from God" has turned out to be just that.

    On this day we celebrate him. I make it my goal to go the extra mile so that he knows he is loved. I do that not with food, nor with presents... not with jokes or games. I do it with a heart wide open, and spirit led corresponding actions that I trust meet him at his point of need. A lesson so simple and so complex. A lesson I have ironically learned from him...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oooh 'Bama

He's done it again. Four more years. As a person who has typically trended conservative in my political views I must say I was nervous, but not for obvious reasons. You see the foundations of my political ideology have been small government, limited intrusion, and fiscal responsibility. So many elections after my first vote was cast, either party truly espouses those principles. Add to that the great swing state in which I am from worked very very very very hard to keep what amounts to minority/poor/liberal suppression.

Would a reasonable person support an administration that is actively doing everything in their power to suppress their vote? I think not! Not to mention what was originally considered conservative has changed deeply over the last 10-15 years. I refuse to affiliate myself with the neo-con movement. It does not at all reflect who I am or what I stand for. IN NO WAY do I mean to suggest that the entire right wing is racist. But I will say as a whole they have been very myopic in their views and whom their policies effect. It is time to reevaluate that stance.

I was nothing short of relieved when the announcement was made that President would maintain his office. You see, although I do not personally agree with everything the liberal agenda represents. I feel much more included and accepted by them. I think election 2012 taught me an important lesson. DIVERSITY MATTERS!

We saw some historic firsts that took place during this election. The tide has changed. The right wing has been served notice. They will have to find means to be more inclusive of others, and find common ground and common values with other American's in order to remain relevant. 

Today I was able to wake up and confirm to my children Barack Obama's election was not a fluke. I was able to say, "Ok it's official, you REALLY can be whatever and whomever you want to be." There has been a fundamental psychological and philosophical shift in the way that minorities as an all inclusive group think of themselves. We as women, ethnic minorities, etc... have decided that we are not going to wait to be given an assigned place in American society. We are going to carve out our own place so move over and get out of the way! I hope and pray that the value of our self worth continues to grow.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's time!

Kick off for the indoor season. My whole family here with me. I couldn't be happier.

UPDATE: We won 8 to 3!