Captain Crunch Rocks as a Cereal

captcrunch

In honor of my birthday this week, I wanted to do something fun for my followers. Here is a list of 36 other completely random things you might not know about me.

As a kid, I considered many professions: judge, lawyer, interior designer, writer, and pediatrician. My husband would have made a fantastic lawyer because he loves to argue. 🙂

In the 6th grade, my teacher wrote an end of the year script that included the entire class and our future aspirations. I was a news anchor.

I took journalism classes and worked on the newspaper staff for two years in high school.

Both my degrees are associated with Communication

I dislike most slang words-“vacay” and “bestie” are nails down a chalkboard to me

I’ve never owned a pair of high heels

I am a huge fan of farmer’s markets-peaches are my favorite

I have multiple pairs of sunglasses because I always lose them

I once “met” Cindy Crawford

I am #3 of 4 sisters. My husband is #3 of 4 brothers.

White is considered a boring color to me

I had a library card as kid and went regularly in the summer. Panda bears were my favorite subject to read about.

I don’t have an Instagram account

I am quiet and reserved until you get to know me.

My favorite restaurant is Maguire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Florida

I share my birthday with Lucy Lawless, Elle McPherson, and Sam Walton

I’m a southpaw.

Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman are a few of my favorite actors

I love Boston Cream donuts

I won an Honorable Mention in a poetry contest when I was 9

I rarely watch the news anymore

I grew up listening to all kinds of music, but prefer rock

My husband and I picked our wedding location based on a lighthouse he gave me (I used to collect them)

My favorite color is red

I am a beach girl at heart (palm trees are pretty cool)

I grew up in the country with a menagerie of animals

I am terrified of heights and roller coasters

I don’t know how to whistle

In 4th grade, I dressed up like a famous writer/actress and won second place. The prize was a book I already had.

I travel almost every year for my birthday. This year was New Orleans.

My addiction used to be coffee. I quit for a year and a half and now drink it once in a blue moon.

Anytime I make a PB&J, it has to be with strawberry jelly. And cut diagonally.

I used to be in a bowling league at 11

My favorite flower is a calla lily

I hate hot dogs and potato chips

I took four years of Spanish but still want to learn Italian

What are some of your favorite things?

 

 

 

The Special Reasons I Write

I was asked a few months back why I wanted to start a blog. At first, the question was annoying to me. Well, for starters everyone has one for sales, their stories, or pictures. It’s what has made social media so remarkably popular. We all crave connection. We want to learn from, be informed, and be entertained. So, why should I bother starting a blog when there is already millions upon millions of them out there? No one knows my work and if I don’t show it off (the good, the bad, and the terrible) it’s a disservice to myself and anyone who very well may read it.  I wanted an outlet. At seven, I learned to write short stories. At nine, I wrote poetry to release my feelings after a really lousy day on the playground (sand is not good for the eyes). The pen and paper could not yell at me. I felt constricted and frustrated until the words were out. As I grew up, the poetry advanced to reflective thoughts and then humor. Who knows what time it was or how much time had passed. I just wanted to use my imagination. I got photo books and put my poetry in them after re-writing a few lines and making it neat to showcase. (I still have two full books in my closet, though they haven’t been read since I was little.) The other day,  standing in my kitchen, I was pondering the “Why do I write?” question again. I felt after so many years that the Universe decided to help me fully process the answer. I write for people who don’t know how to say the words they want to say themselves. I write for myself words I want to say but for whatever reason, cannot say out loud. In my family, you don’t always hear I love you. Someone’s actions are the words. A cute Hallmark card-check. A lunch out-check. A few dollars to spend-check. I write to help remind myself that I matter. My work is written for those people who also need to know from their friends or loved ones that they matter. Maybe my personal flaw is that I can do feelings. Not everyone is or wants to be overly sentimental. For as long as I can remember, I’ve read books, watched the Hallmark movies, and written the poetry because it’s what I need. My humorous poetry has been a tribute to those in my life and their situations. It’s my way of sharing my feelings simply. I write my blog to relate to others and share what matters.

I Know How to Drive and Other Silly Things My Kids Have Said

One of my favorite things about being a mom are the things that my kids (both middle schoolers) say. While they can most certainly get on my last nerve sometimes (moms have 24 individual ones according to a friend’s son), the way a tween or teenager’s mind works can definitely provide some comic relief.

Last week, my kids were out of school for Spring Break. I was sitting at the computer trying to do some more research for the blog. My 12 year old daughter was watching some of her favorite Magcon boys on YouTube (if you don’t what Magcon is, please Google this. Tween girls  everywhere will thank you). Out of the blue, my daughter looked at me with a straight face and said “Maryland is in Pennsylvania, right?” I couldn’t help but smile. My mini-me is a very smart kid, but when the kids have time off from school everything shuts down like Chic Fil A on Sunday. Kids can have their moments too, right? My husband and I try to teach them everything we can through the questions they ask or the situations they are pondering. So, we used this moment for a geography lesson of the Northeast states. Followed by whether or not Virginia was a northern state or southern one (I’m from Virginia and consider it northern myself). One of my other favorite conversations with my daughter was when we were discussing the 80’s and 90’s. I fully admit to being an 80’s child. We “did” the big hair (although mine was permed) and wore the brightly colored jewelry. I was damn proud of  my red Reebok high-top sneakers too. They were all that. My daughter insisted that she was a 90’s child. I asked what she knew about the decade. She mentioned the show Full House and named off a couple of musical artists like MC Hammer and 3 Doors Down and said “The 1990’s ended in 2004.” Okay, dear.

Most years, we try to plan a summer vacation as a family. It started out as a bit of a tradition in 2005 when we took the kids on their first trip to the Smoky Mountains. Ever since then, we try new places to encourage them to see or try something new (my son has quite the food palate now thanks to our Louisiana trips). One of their favorite places is Destin, Florida. We had booked a trip to Destin last year, as it had been awhile since we visited. The beach town had a mini golf and go-kart track near our hotel. Huge plus here as my kids love to race their dad. They have both said to me after their turn was up “See, Mom! I don’t need a bicycle. I know how to drive!”

A day in a parent’s life is never dull 🙂

How to Have A-ha Moments Using a Vision Board

“Dreams are sacred future events.”-Laila Gifty Akita

I absolutely loved fourth grade art class. We did all kinds of projects from drawing life-size figures of ourselves (using watercolor paint) to attempting still life pictures of apples. I still can’t draw, but have always appreciated the aspect of a person discovering and using their creativity.

It wasn’t until years later I learned about vision boards.  Vision boards are like those art class collages, using a piece of poster board, scissors, glue or tape, and lots of magazines.  Well-known life coach and author Martha Beck suggests that this simple tool can tell you about your dreams and life goals. My inner child loved this idea. I set aside time with some jazz music, said supplies and my living room floor. I tore out anything that spoke to me and my ideal life. Where I wanted to live, how I wanted to feel, places I wanted to go. Then, I hid the board behind my dresser and didn’t look at it.

Until recently.

 Surprisingly, a few of those goals had either been attempted or worked out in different ways than expected. As an example, my board mentioned a conference I had wanted to attend in California. I haven’t attended it yet. However, I did attend a one-day workshop in a different location with the instructor of the conference. I also learned some a-ha’s that never popped out at me before.  Instead of looking at my vision board in a general sense, I posed a question:

“If money were no object, I….”

Rather than trying to answer my life-long questions  of “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” the board did the revealing for me. Asking the question while looking at the photos gave me an idea of who I was, but also who I am trying to be.  The general way we tend to look at things is by using the ego. The ego tells us everything we think we “should” say or “should” do. This is wrong, because making a vision board is a heart-centered exercise.

 I posed another question. “What do the pictures posted tell me about myself?” In a matter of minutes, I came up with 24 characteristics that explained my character. It was pretty accurate too. Allow intuition to guide what pictures you choose.

The last question was “Who am I trying to be?” Here, I was able to list 10 things that explained a “starting point” to the life I was trying to create for myself.  As an example, one of the pictures on my vision board is a picture of a canopy of trees. To me, it reflects a place to meditate and reflect. The same could be said for a treehouse if I saw one to add to my board.

A few years ago, I attended a one day workshop where the instructor talked about writing down goals. She had mentioned that after writing down her own (well over a decade for her), most of them had manifested.  I don’t recommend putting your list or vision board away as I did, but to keep it in a place where it reminds you of your goals often.  

Have you made or had experience with vision boards?

 

 

Expectations Are Poisonous to Our Mental Health

Most of us are familiar with the classic Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a story about a princess who is searching for her true love and the obstacles she encounters at the hands of the antagonist, the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen expects to hold the title of the “fairest in the land” by tricking Snow White into eating a poisonous apple. Truthfully, we all hope to be Snow White and have our expectations met.  However, even fairytales have shown us how hard that can be.

Sometimes, it is easy to have our expectations met because we are trying to accomplish something. We can set ourselves up to achieve the goal by writing it down, working on it a little at a time, and succeeding (or failing) based on how much we value the goal. But what happens when the Universe just says no? Just yesterday, I had some goals I wanted to accomplish.  I had planned on running some errands, maybe doing some grocery shopping and getting some housework done. Unfortunately for me, life didn’t see the day as I did. I had hoped to get the errands done early but instead, my expectations disintegrated when I ran into quite an annoying snag on a phone call. The phone call took a lot more time and brain power than was needed. I wanted to get out of the house by a certain time, but that wasn’t happening. I let the phone call ruin my day.

Why do we have expectations in the first place? Is it because we want to experience what we believe or hope for? The law of detachment says to allow things to be as they are. But how often do we do this? I know I don’t do it as much as I should. I ended up feeling disappointed because the Universe wasn’t in agreement with the plan in my head. Perhaps the older we get, the more we need to understand why it’s so important not to have expectations. Not everyone has the same plan that you do. Often at the end of the waiting game, if we choose to just “go with the flow” we don’t end up feeling negative at all. Yes, those feelings of disappointment are a fact of life sometimes. But they don’t need to be how we feel permanently. Simply, the less we expect disappointment the easier life is.

The best way in overcoming the anticipation of always expecting your goals to be met is to just accomplish what you can. It’s not to say others don’t (and won’t) help with the accountability. Just be on the same page when you ask for their help. Don’t let your best friend drag you down because she didn’t want to help with the cookie project you wanted done. On a Friday night. At 6:00 p.m. Agree on how you want to accomplish your goals and stick to it. If by making a plan, you meet your goal, great! But expectations can feel like it’s the end of the world when they aren’t met. It’s not. The prince did not give up on Snow White when he found his true love. He fought for her by defeating the Evil Queen. How would the Disney story be today had he not? Expectations are poisonous to our health, but only if we let them be.

Have you struggled with your expectations of how something should be?