Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For you...because YOU should know how strong you are

Going through a divorce can be such an ordeal.  Some people make the mistake of thinking of it as a mere legal procedure, when it’s really much more of an emotional battle than anything else. 

I want you to know that I understand what you’re going through and that you have my sympathy and support.  If at any time you should need a kind word, a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen to you, I’ll be here for you; as I have and as I always will be. You and your son are so very special to me and I don’t want you to EVER feel like you’re going through this alone.

It takes bravery, courage and strength to get through a divorce and you are gifted with all three. You have weathered storms, fought losing battles and handled yourself with grace and poise. You get out of bed everyday, take exceptional care of your amazing son, go to work, run errands, cook dinner, clean up, laundry, bath, bed and then get up each day and do it all over again. I understand how hard all of that is and yet day in day out there you are doing it and surviving.

I know happiness is just a word to you right now. I get that you cant see the end of the storm but I promise you it will end and at the end of every storm there is a rainbow, a beautiful sunshine and the promise of a new day. You will have your rainbow. You will experience that sunshine and you will persevere. You are amazing. I LOVE YOU
  • You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
  • No matter how much you care, some people just don't care back. 
  • It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it. 
  • It's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5 Lessons We Should Stop Teaching Girls

 I DID NOT WRITE THIS...But I read it and LOVED it so I wanted to repost it!

As the mother of a daughter, I want to be deliberate in how I raise her with the hope that she can avoid the hang-ups and pitfalls that I have wrestled with.  While I have learned countless invaluable lessons from the women who raised, nurtured and mentored me, there are a few things that I wish we, as women, could un-learn.

Clear your plate. Whether you’re hungry or not, keep eating until all of the food is gone.  Take one look at me and you will know that I took this one to heart.
New lesson: We don’t want to be wasteful, so don’t put too much on your plate.  Listen to your body.  When you feel full, stop eating.

Be ladylike. How many of us suppress our thoughts and feelings because we don’t want to inconvenience anyone with them?
New lesson: Be considerate, but always speak your mind!

Ambition is not an attractive quality. And thus we limit ourselves.
New lesson: Reach for the stars.  Toot your own horn.  Conquer the world.  And make a ton of money while you’re at it.

It’s not polite to talk about money. Women miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a career because we’re not comfortable negotiating on our own behalf.
New lesson: Be discreet, but know what you’re worth and say so.  Once you earn it, you need to know how to manage it for yourself too.

MY FAVORITE.........

He pushed you down on the playground because he likes you. What?!?
New lesson:
No one gets to touch you without your permission.  Boys who really like you will not be mean to you.  He pushed you down because he’s an asshole.  Tell a grown-up and if it happens again, knock his block off.

Top 10 to a Healthy Strong Marriage

We have been married 3.5 years but together for 8. Through Better and worse, sickness and health,  richer and poorer – we’ve lived through it all.  I don’t think that either one of us are particularly easy to live with, but we’ve smoothed out the bumps over the years and settled into a comfy equilibrium. He could probably write a dissertation on how to stay married from a man’s perspective, but as a wife, here’s what I’ve learned over the past almost decade about keeping our marriage strong and healthy.
  1. Good food and good sex.  It’s a cliché, but if a mans stomachs full and libido taken care of you’re off to an excellent start.
  2. Men need to be needed. This took me a long time to learn. I was raised to believe that I can do for myself.  I don’t need anyone to take care of me; but once I learned to let him be my knight in shining armor, life improved for both of us.
  3. Physical contact.  I read a study once that found a strong correlation between healthy, long-lasting marriages and the number of non-sexual touches in a day. Little things like putting your hand on his knee when he’s driving or when he walks behind you through a doorway and touches the small of your back.  In this study, sex didn’t count because technically you can have sex with someone you don’t even like; but physical affection was shown to strengthen the bond between partners.
  4. Treat each other as you would want to be treated. All of the things that women want, men want too.  Hold your tongue if you have something unkind to say. Be courteous.  Listen when each speaks. Treat the other as your equal.
  5. Have high expectations of each other. Anyone who wants to be treated as an equal needs to step up and be an equal. Therefore, nobody gets a free pass based on their gender. This includes everything from not dating outside the marriage to pitching in with the dishes. Being a man/woman is an excuse for nothing. Men and women are equally capable of good behavior.
  6. Be free and easy with the compliments. Men need and like to hear that they look good just as much as women. Tell him you love him often and tell him why. My rule of thumb is every time I think something nice about him, I make a point of saying it out loud.
  7. Trust, honesty and respect. There is no relationship without these things. Like I have told all the little ones in my life if you have to be sneaky, it means that you’re doing the wrong thing.
  8. Work it out. Your marriage can’t last forever unless you truly believe that it will. My husband and I agreed early on to not even think about divorce, let alone suggest it unless something truly cataclysmic happens, like infidelity, violence, substance abuse, criminal activity, etc. Aside from these deal breakers, hang on tight and get through the hard times.
  9. Make your spouse your priority. My marriage is the foundation for my life and for my future children’s lives. Even though it would be very easy to lose each other in the shuffle of our everyday lives, it benefits everyone to put our relationship first. My parents were big on "Date night." They ALWAYS told us even once you're married and have children you still need that 1 on 1 time alone. If we don't nurture "us" first we will be no good functioning as a team and a family unit as a whole.
  10. Have fun!  Laughter is important.  If you enjoy each others company, you’re more motivated to keep the spark alive.

101 Inspiring Quotes

Hope you find at least a few that speak to you. I know I did......
  1. If you want to be happy, be.   – Leo Tolstoy
  2. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.   – Mark Twain
  3. Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place.  But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.   – E.L. Konigsburg
  4. Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.   – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  5. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.   – Margaret Young
  6. This is my “depressed stance”.  When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand.  The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better.  If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve go to stand like this.   – Charlie Brown
  7. Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.   – Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. Jumping for joy is good exercise.
  9. One joy scatters a hundred grief’s.   – Chinese proverb
  10. My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.   – Thornton Wilder
  11. Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.   – Robert Brault
  12. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.   – Mahatma Gandhi
  13. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.   – Walt Disney
  14. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.   – Eleanor Roosevelt
  15. Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation.  To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment.  Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen.   – Leonardo DaVinci
  16. The path involves respect for all small and subtle things.  Learn to recognize the right moment to strike the necessary attitudes.   – Manual of the Warrior of Light
  17. I say “Out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind.  No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind.  I create my own reality and everyone in it.   – Louise Hay
  18. The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.    – Anna Quindlen
  19. I am woman!  I am invincible!  I am pooped!
  20. If you’re going through hell, keep going.   – Winston Churchill
  21. Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.   – Ram Dass
  22. Trust your gut.   – Barbara Walters
  23. Action is the antidote to despair.   – Joan Baez
  24. She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.
  25. You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own and you know what you know.  And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.   – Dr. Seuss
  26. You had the power all along my dear.   – Glinda the Good Witch.
  27. Today is a new day.   – Chicken Little
  28. When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.   – Leo Burnett
  29. What the caterpillar calls a tragedy, the Master calls a butterfly.   – Richard Bach
  30. Earth’s crammed with heaven.   – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  31. Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.   – Michel de Montaigne
  32. She decided to enjoy more and endure less.
  33. I am unfolding in fulfilling ways.  Only good can come to me.  I now express health, happiness, prosperity, and peace of mind.
  34. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.  Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.  Check your road and the nature of your battle.  The world you desire can be won.  It exists.  It is real.  It is possible.  It is yours.   – Ayn Rand
  35. There is a connection between self-nurturing and self-respect.   – Julia Cameron
  36. Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness.  Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.   – Andre Gide
  37. Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions all life is an experience.   – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  38. If the future road loom ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.   – Maya Angelou
  39. Breath in experience.   – Muriel Rukeyser
  40. Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.
  41. I rejoice in what I have and I know that fresh new experiences are always ahead.  I greet the new with open arms.  I trust life to be wonderful.   – Louise Hay
  42. Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.   – Mae West
  43. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.   – Eleanor Roosevelt
  44. Sprinkle joy.   – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  45. He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.   – Johann von Goethe
  46. She realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible.
  47. She was kind and loving and patient…with herself.
  48. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.   – Douglas Adams
  49. You’ll never be sad if you remember all the good things that have happened to you.  Karolina Grekov
  50. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
  51. Conquering any difficulty always gives on a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary line and adding to one’s liberty.   – Henri Frederic Amiel
  52. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
  53. People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.   – Sa’Di
  54. When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.   – Cecil Selig
  55. A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection.  She values and uses all of her gifts.   – Nancy Rathburn
  56. Everything you do prepares you for the next thing.   – John Abel
  57. It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.   – Sally Kempton
  58. There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.   – Lemony Snicket
  59. A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at her.   – David Brinkley
  60. Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be.   – Dorothy Parker
  61. I begin now, today, to open myself to ever-increasing prosperity.   – Louise Hay
  62. Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert.   – Erma Bombeck
  63. Anything you are good at contributes to happiness.  – Bertrand Russell
  64. The only way to save our dreams is by being generous with ourselves.   – The Pilgramage
  65. Never miss an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful.   – Janet Hobson
  66. There is plenty for everyone, including me.   – Louise Hay
  67. I focus my energy on my true intentions.  I will not be distracted by noise, chatter, or setbacks.  Patience, commitment, grace, and purpose will guide me.   – Louise Hay
  68. A strong woman understands the importance of creating space for personal well-being, spiritual nourishment, and regeneration in order to maintain her authenticity, especially when the universe whacks her with its two-by-four and hands her days when it takes a great deal of courage just to show up.   – Laura Folse
  69. Strength means recognizing that it is impossible to be strong all the time.   – Sally Franser
  70. Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do.   – Martina Navratilova
  71. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.   – Mary Tyler Moore
  72. I breathe in the fullness and richness of life.  I observe with joy as life abundantly supports me and supplies me with more good than I can imagine.   – Louise Hay
  73. Keep breathing.   – Sophie Tucker
  74. Dwell in possibility.   – Emily Dickinson
  75. Improve your spare moments and they will become the brightest gems in your life.   – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  76. While you are upon the earth, enjoy the good things that are here.   – John Selden
  77. Women really do rule the world.  They just haven’t figured it out yet.  When they do, and they will, we’re all in big trouble.   – Dr. Leon
  78. It’s okay to be fat.  So you’re fat.  Just be fat and shut up about it.   – Roseanne
  79. I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart.  I now choose to free myself from all destructive fears and doubts.  I am loved and I am safe.   – Louise Hay
  80. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.   – Will Rogers
  81. She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly.
  82. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.   – Henry David Thoreau
  83. Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.   – Eleanor Roosevelt
  84. It doesn’t happen all at once.  You become.  It takes a long time.   – Margery Williams
  85. Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep.   – Helen Gurley Brown
  86. The future is here.  It’s just not evenly distributed.   – William Gibson
  87. As soon as people decide to confront a problem, they realize that they are far more capable than they thought they were.   – The Zahir
  88. She discovered that she was the one she’d been waiting for.
  89. Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections.   – Margaret Woodhouse
  90. Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.   – John Lennon
  91. Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.   – Roy Goodman
  92. Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.
  93. The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.
  94. One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves.   – L. Tom Perry
  95. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
  96. The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.   – Hans Hofmann
  97. Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.   – Bill Gates
  98. Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.   – Marianne Williamson
  99. The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power.   – Ninon de l’Enclos
  100. Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path to joy.   – Sarah Ban Breathnach
  101. There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.   – Christopher Morley

Monday, April 4, 2011

Letter to my brother

Dear Brother,
  Where do I even begin. From the time I  knew you were coming I was so excited! I was 7 when I got the news from mom and Dad and all I can remember saying was "Please give me a brother." Then you were born and I was the happiest kid on earth. It was like mom and dad brought me home a living, breathing, real life baby doll. You were so tiny and cute. I would get up early for school to get you from your crib, change and feed you. Id run home off the bus to do the same and god help mom if she fed you your 4pm feeding before I was home to do it lol As you started to grow so did our relationship. I remember breaking my foot. I was about 14 and you would have been 6. A friend called the house to ask you to come out and play your response "I cant, my sister hurt her foot and I have to take care of her" No one asked you too...but for you this was a part of being a brother. You then proceeded to make me "lunch" Peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and rainbow sprinkles on white bread...YUMMY (not really) You stood before me waiting for me to eat this sandwich you were so very proud of, I had no other choice...I was going to have to eat it. So there I went chewing each sugary, sticky bite as you with your big blue eyes watched with such pride. It was gross, but to this day I cant look at marshmallow fluff or sprinkles without cracking a smile.
Time went by and so did the years. Me being 8 years older moved out when you were only 11. Those years for me were what I call my "rough years." I did a lot of things I'm not proud of but you never gave up on me. Through good or bad I was your big sister and you would go on to love and support me overlooking the things others were holding against me and for good reason; I was out of control but it still felt good that in your eyes I was this amazing person who you looked up to. By 23 I was able to pull it together and be that person in your eyes I always was. You graduated from High school and I cried even before mom and dad did. I was so happy and proud. Then the day I dreaded came...COLLEGE! I remember the last day we spent together before you left for North Carolina. We went to lunch, did some shopping then hung in a parking lot for almost 2 hours just talking. When Dad pulled up to meet us and take you home to get ready to leave the next day I remember hugging you so tight. In my eyes you were my baby, this little perfect person that I wasn't ready to let go of just yet; the truth is If I had it my way Id have frozen time and kept you little forever. If you were little I could keep you safe, watch over and protect you. Unfortunately time doesn't work that way and I had to let you go. I cried the entire drive home, the rest of the weekend and probably almost everyday for the first 3 weeks you were gone. I know dramatic; but one thing you know about me is I feel things deeply and this was something I wasn't prepared for or ready to feel. As the time passed and I saw how much you loved college, the great friends you had made and that you were really ok off on your own it got a bit easier. I was happy for you and the unknown wasn't unknown anymore. You had been gone for months and you were just fine, alive and happy. Flash forward 4 years...COLLEGE GRADUATION. I cant tell you how proud I was that day. You accomplished something amazing. Again as I sat there watching the opening processions, the pomp and circumstance I cried (yes a theme I know) how is this happening? How was that little blue eyed baby boy who was making me eat Peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and rainbow sprinkles on white bread now getting ready to walk across a stage to get a college diploma? Where did all the time go? You take your walk, get your diploma and I scream, cheer and yell. At that moment my heart was full. I felt like I had accomplished something. I guess in a way I did...they say when you truly love someone their pain is your pain, their sorrow your sorrow and their joy your joy. That was it! I was experiencing this overwhelming surge of pure happiness not because I did something but because you were so happy and proud.
The next day was what I call "for shits sake day" because whenever you would come to visit then leave Id cry and through my tears Id yell "for shits sake, am I going to cry every effff'n time he leaves for the rest of his life!" You were off to start your new life as a grown up man in a grown up world in Colorado. We said our goodbyes and I drove off. Id say I cried the whole way home but you know that...its what I do, don't you see a running theme?
Its been almost 11 months since you left. I cant say I miss you any less but I can say its a bit easier. I know how happy you are, I know you love your job, have an amazing girlfriend, good friends and you're safe. I think I was more scared that somehow you moving would break that strong bond we have always had. I was scared of losing my "baby brother." What I needed to realize was I wasn't losing you, you just weren't a baby anymore. Our relationship was changing and growing. I didn't need to "take care" of you and when you wanted my help you'd ask. I guess seeing you as a grown man was hard for me. I was so used to watching out for you I didn't see that for 4 years you had already been taking care and watching out for yourself. I don't think a time will ever come where I don't sit there sometimes and look at you thinking "where has all the time gone" but I must admit; this new phase of siblingness (I made that up) we are in is just as special. I like that we can share things with one another, I love that if I or you have a bad day we can call one another and really get where the others coming from. I know that you will always have my back and me yours. If anything I look at the man you have become and feel proud that man is my brother and one of my VERY best freinds; and NO ONE can ever take that from me.