Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Confession Time:
I'm a Korean Drama Junkie.

How it all started: 
A coworker and I were talking about how we tend to binge watch shows on Netflix.  She told me that her daughter found a show called "You're Beautiful,"  a Korean Drama.  It's in Korean, naturally, but does have subtitles in English.  She said it was really good and suggested I watch it.

After completing a Doctor Who marathon, I popped on You're Beautiful and watched 4 episodes straight through.  I COULD NOT TURN IT OFF.  It's the story of a girl posing as a boy in a boy band.  Desperate to not get caught. the scenarios, acting, OVER acting, and facial expressions are simply hysterical.  I was hooked in one night.

The beginning of an obsession:
I fell in love with the characters, the story, the love triangles, the fun, and the drama of  You're Beautiful.  When the series ended, after 16 one hour long episodes, I found myself missing them and wanting for more.  I wanted to see the second male lead find love.  I wanted to see more.  Just... More.  I hit the web to feed my obsession. I read actor bios.  I read fan websites.  Then I found it... The female lead and the second male lead in a DIFFERENT Korean drama together.  This time, the second male lead was the first male lead.  HE WAS GOING TO GET THE GIRL!  I queued it up on Netflix and binged a new Kdrama, Heartstrings.

From Kdrama to Kpop:
I'm not going to lie, I developed a creepy kind of crush on Jung Yong-Hwa, the male lead.  Ahhhh.... He's an excellent actor with an excellent pout.  Both Kdramas were music based and I fell in love with the music from them.  As a stalked Jung Yong-Hwa online, I learned that he was the lead in a band called CN Blue.  My next natural progression was to follow his music!  A new obsession was born.

From CN Blue, I found FT Island - featuring Lee Hong Ki, also from You're Beautiful.  I began following his band, as well.  I've fallen in love with many Kpop songs, but my favorite is Pray by FT Island.  It's an amazing song and I love that there are no lines drawn in Kpop as there are here in the USA.  This song has distinct Christian themes but the band is not exclusively Christian.  I never quite understood why here in the USA there needs to be a line drawn.  Why can't a band do both Christian and secular tunes?  This song simply rocks.  Give it a chance, OK?

Here are the lyrics, translated to English:

All the lies that whispered in a different reality
The truth disappears and gets trapped in darkness
My shouts get smaller in this powerless reality
They're just meaningless things in this world of lies

See you now? See me now?  I'm broken in my faith.

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...
I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
I'll pray for you.

This path repeats again in this fight that can't be won
Even when I go against it, only my scars grow
When I open my eyes, the results are already in
I'm getting used to it, but it's all meaningless

See you now? See me now?  I'm broken in my faith.

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...

Oh please God help me
Look at me, I'm here alone
Oh please God help me
Only with cold tears

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...

I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
(My shouts get smaller in this powerless reality
They're just meaningless things in this world of lies)
I'll pray for you.

I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
(When I open my eyes, the results are already in
I'm getting used to it but it's all meaningless)
I'll pray for you.

For the love of a culture:
I suppose that the next logical progression is for me to fall in love with the culture.  Things are so different in Korea.  There is a respect for elders that is reflected in attitude and speech.  There is a formal language used with strangers, elders, and to show respect, as well as an informal speech used with someone of the same age or younger, and friends.  The food is different.  I'm fascinated with traditions and history.  I want to learn the language.  I've purchased ingredients to cook authentic Korean dishes.  I just bought my first bottle of Soju, which, by the way, they seem to drink ALL the time in Korean dramas.  It's like a rice vodka, from what I understand.  I'm waiting for the weekend to try it!

What's the Point?
So, why did I decide to blog on this?  Because I want you to try it out.  Watch You're Beautiful.  Get hooked.  I'm watching it again for the 8th time right now, BINGE!  Fall in love with a new culture. I have gotten my sister hooked on the dramas and I convinced my hubby to watch one with me.  They really are fantastic.

And in case you need the eye candy reasons to watch, here are a few of my favorites:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Coping Mechanisms

I have a few friends that are going through some very stressful times right now.  Life has this nasty little habit of throwing curve balls at us and laughing while we duck and cover.  My heart aches for my friends and I want to help them, but sometimes, there are no words to comfort those in pain.

Their stories are their own, and not mine to tell, but these friends are going through situations including domestic violence, the loss of a parent, failing marriages, and financial distress.  None of these issues are EASY.  For some of them, I have no words.  For some, I have a LOT of words.  For all of them, I have open ears and an open heart, ready to hear them.  For all of them, I have open arms to hold them through the pain.

All of this has got me thinking about coping mechanisms.  I've never lost a parent, but I have lost a close friend to a car accident, grandparents, aunts and uncles... I have experienced loss.  I coped by remembering the good times we shared, things that we did together, lessons we learned together, and music we listened to together... always music.

For financial distress -- I'm an optimist there.  I have a tendency to say that there are people out there who have it WAY worse than me.  When I think of children who have no idea when their next meal will come or if they will have clean water to drink, it makes having my cable or phone disconnected for a week or two seem a bit... trivial.  My financial troubles look like ideal living conditions for some.  I have a roof over head, clothes on my back, and enough to feed my family.  I'm in good shape.

Failing marriage -- yeah.  Unfortunately, I've been there, too.  This one is particularly difficult.  No two marriages are the same, but I think that the pain of things falling apart is painful for all parties involved.  When I left my first husband, the pain was intense.  He was relieved to be regaining his freedom, but still felt pain.  He has a soul, I suppose, but it was hard to see it that when when he hurt me so badly.  I should have left MUCH sooner than I did, but I held on as long as I could in hopes that things would get better.  They didn't.   I coped with this loss by surrounding myself with friends.  They helped me to keep my mind off of things and reminded me that dating too soon after the end of a marriage would not be a good idea.  They helped me when I had really bad days.  They picked me up off the floor.  They dusted me off.  They showed me that there is life after divorce.  They gave me hope.  When I was ready to date again... they cheered me on when I was scared.  Friends are awesome.  I literally went out to the coffee shop with them every single night for nearly a year.  My sanity was restored.  I also spent a lot of time writing in a journal about how I was feeling.  It helped a lot.

Finally... Domestic Violence. Ladies and Gents... NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HIT YOU!  No one.  NO ONE.  I have seen this friend through highs and lows.  I've heard every single excuse she makes for him.  And, friend.... I've been there, too.  I've experienced broken bones, bloody noses, black eyes, bruises, sprains, and emotional abuse.  My friends thought I was bipolar because my moods and attitudes would swing so dramatically.

Sadly, I was abused by more than one guy.  I know how a victim thinks.  The abuser makes you believe that no one else will want you.  You are damaged.  You are worthless.  He's trying to help you.  He's trying to make you a better person.  You deserve to be hit.  You are a bad person.  You have no where to go.  You will never find someone as good as him.  You don't know how good you have it.  On and on and on and on.....  ALL LIES.

My first real boyfriend was sweet.  He was good to me, treated me well.  We had fun together, but in the end, we wanted different things.  (He wanted this young blonde, and I wanted to go off to college! HA HA!) After him, though, I had a long string of bad relationships.  Physically abusive, emotionally abusive, cheating, lying men came into my life.  One man came into my life when I was at an emotional low and managed to brainwash me a bit by using charm and kindness when I was so used to pain and sadness.  I even married an abusive man, only to leave (see paragraph on failed marriages).

Coping with domestic violence:  Honestly, I was a punching bag.  Not all of my boyfriends were jerks, but the bad certainly outweighed the good.  I gained weight.  I ate away the pain and now, I'm a hundred pounds overweight.  Not the best coping mechanism.

Honestly, though, in all things, music has been my best coping mechanism.  When I truly want to just escape or reflect, I'll pop on the headphones, turn up the tunes, and play songs that either make me feel good or remind me that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  I need that reminder that somewhere... somehow... I'll get through it all.

Over the past few years, there have been a few songs that have helped me more than anything.  I'd like to share them with you now and maybe one of them will help you find the light.  For any of my readers who are hurting... I understand.  I feel your pain.  I'd love to hear from you.  I'll pray for you without ceasing.

Remember, when things are out of YOUR control, give the control to someone else.

I wish you peace in your journey.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Santa Fe

I'm facing a crossroad in my professional career.  I don't want to get into the specifics, but after 15 years in the same job, I'm looking for a little bit of a change.

The problem is that I'm one of those few people who truly love what they do.  I do.  It's an amazing job, I work with amazing people, and I actually can make a difference in people's lives.  That means something to me.

Sure... there are times when it is thankless.  There are times when I'm super stressed (TAX SEASON!) There are times when I go home wishing I could stay home forever.  Every job has that.  But, I still love it.  I suppose I'd have to after 15 years, otherwise, I would have left... right?

As I look at the options before me, however, I often feel black listed.  I feel like there must be some characteristic about me that is undesirable.  I'm not generally a pessimistic person.  I'm more of a realist.  Realistically speaking, there has to be a reason why I always hear, "You were so close but XXX just edged you out by the smallest margin."  Really?  Why am I always on the cusp then ultimately lose out.

Over the years I came up with a few excuses.  I'm a woman.  I'm fat.  I'm not very pretty.  I refuse to kiss someone's butt.  I refuse to sacrifice my morals or my personality.  I'm too honest.  I'm too open.
I wish I could blog here and say that I finally figured it out... but I can't.  I still don't know.  The last time I tried for a position, the hiring manager said that the job was full of negative behaviors and that she was afraid that it would tarnish my character and harm my personality.  

Here I sit on the potential cusp of potentially something new and I find myself with mixed emotions.  Why would I want to leave a job I love?  What if I hate the new one?  Do I even WANT the new one or am I being clouded by $$$?

I have so much going through my head.  The song that comes to mind today is Santa Fe, from Newsies.  I have such fond memories of this musical from my childhood.  I fell in love with Christian Bale when he played the role of Jack.  The song, Santa Fe, sung by Christian Bale, became a sort of theme song of mine.  Santa Fe was Jack's dream.  He wanted to go out west and live on a ranch where life would be decidedly easier for a rough neck kid living on the streets of New York, making a living off of selling newspapers.

Santa Fe, to me, represents a dream, no matter how far fetched.  My favorite lyrics:

When I dream, on my own, I'm alone but I ain't lonely.
For a dreamer night's the only time of day.
When the city's finally sleeping and my thoughts begin to stray,
then I'm on that train that's bound for Santa Fe.
And I'm FREE like the wind, like I'm gonna live forever.
It's a feeling time can never take away!
All I need's a few more dollars, then I'm outta here to stay...
Dreams come true, yes they do, in Santa Fe.

The same concept of Santa Fe representing a dream to get out of a bad situation and into a good one is repeated in the musical RENT.  They sit on the subway dreaming of what it would be like to open a restaurant in Santa Fe:

In both movies, the characters realize that the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be without your family of friends and loved ones with you.  Santa Fe stays in the dream world and reality brings them all back.

What is your Santa Fe?  Are trying to get there or is it just a fantasy, a dream, a hope?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Me? Day

Welcome to 2016 March Madness!

March Madness is a glorious time of year when fans everywhere prepare to route on their favorite college basketball teams in the the big tournament.  I love college hoops, as does my husband, and as such we enjoy the festivities every year.

Back when I was young, around 16 years old, I loved the game, but did not have a favorite team.  I worked at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kindgom and one night, as the park was closing, I found a hat that had been lost on one of the roller coasters.  As I put it in the lost and found pile, I saw the Kansas Jayhawk on it and picked a team.  Just like that.

For nearly 20 years, Kansas was my pony in the big tournament.... until......

I started grad school at Gonzaga University.  Can a person have 2 favorite teams?  Kansas was always a favorite, but I suddenly found myself a Zag!

What's a girl to do?  I cheer for both of my teams each year, while keeping well wishes for my husband's team, the University of North Carolina (UNC).  A happy husband, makes for a happy home.  

And on goes the tournament.

It is becoming a tradition for my dear husband to visit his father for the first few days of the tournament.  I take a day from work, watch the kids, get them off to school, get them after school, and we all do our thing.  

But... What to do with those precious hours while the kids are in school and hubby is away?  It's ME TIME!  Yep, some much needed MOM time.

I worked from home on Thursday... so my only day was Friday.  Why then, did the ME day have a (?) after the word ME?

First, I got my hair done.  Then, I went to 5 different stores to buy Easter stuff.  FIVE DIFFERENT STORES.  When I came home, I cleaned until the kids got home, then I played with them... helped a neighbor with a problem, painted a shelf, hung the shelf...  I had a friend over, cooked a healthy dinner for us, she left, then I put the kids to bed and collapsed and fell asleep on the sofa while watching some hoops.

It was a ME day.  No doubt.  But I was BUSY!  Really busy.  Next ME day I take, I'm going to RELAX!!!!!  

Ok... time to go make dinner! 


Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Beginning

So after being sick, stressed, etc.  I'm starting a new 21 day cycle for the 21 day fix.

My weight has been all over the place from not eating, cheating, and all that nonsense.

TODAY IS A NEW DAY!  A New Beginning!

I was listening to an old Continental Singers tape from 1994 - the DREAMER tour.  There's a song called A New Beginning.  Here are some lyrics:

"A new beginning is beginning...
I feel the breakthrough, the winning
and there's a fresh flow of the spirit,
a mighty river, can't you hear it?
I'm singing praises, like a new song.
The changes are life long.
A new beginning is beginning
to take hold in my life!"

Friday, March 11, 2016

Thoughts on Cookies

First, my aunt keeps reminding me that it's not a Diet, but a "Lifestyle Change."  I keep reminding her that I'm NOT GIVING UP COOKIES FOREVER!


Ok, I was doing great, following the 21 Day FIX diet.  My weight loss was slow and steady.

Then I got the FLU.

I didn't eat for nearly 2 weeks and dropped 12 pounds.

I was thrilled.  I lost weight!  Yeah... once I started eating again, it came back.

Since recovering from the flu, I have NOT been 100% on track with the Fix plan.  Why?  I'm still trying to get myself healthy.  I'm still a bit sick!  In fact, I seem to get nauseated every single time I eat and my digestive system is STILL not back to normal.

I gave up cookies for Lent.  You know how much I love my cookies.  If you don't, find the posts about them.  Cookies, especially SUGAR COOKIES are my downfall!  Oh, you blessed Sugar Cookies... Why are you my stumbling block?

LENT is a season of sacrifice.  We spend these days in sacrifice to help us to redirect our attentions toward God and prayer.  So, using my cookie analogy, every time I crave a cookie, I should, instead, say a prayer or do something to refocus that attention on God.

Did you ever notice that when you give something up, you tend to fixate on it even more than you had before?  I love sugar cookies.  I really do.  I could eat them every single day.  But... I know that they are a sabotage to my diet.  I gave them up for lent, now suddenly, I see them EVERYWHERE.  

At work, in the cafe, the pile of cookies seems to be bigger every day.  I look at them, drool a little, and sigh, then I order my salad or sandwich and move along.  At home, once the kids are in bed and my husband heads off to work, I go into the pantry closet looking for a snack and there I see the boxes, bags, and snack packs of cookies... staring at me.  I reach out, touch the packages, sigh, and move along.

It's so hard.   I know it seems like a small thing, a simple cookie, but when you have put this limitation on yourself to avoid the sugar cookie....  suddenly, you just seem to want it even more than you did before. There are plenty of other sweets that I didn't give up.  I'm a sucker for coffee flavored ice cream, or even dulce de leche.  I've never been one to turn down a good piece of chocolate... or a bad one for that matter.  All those options are still on the table, but now, with my restriction, I just want the cookies more and more.

Breakfast cookie with coffee!
Cookies with Lunch!
The 3:00 office hunger pang cookie!
The after dinner, kids want a snack and you have to touch the cookies, cookie.
The late night snack cookie! (These are my favorite)

I find myself looking forward to Easter and plan on having a huge cookie tray of all varieties when the time comes.  That will be a diet CHEAT DAY.

Until then, I do trust my will power.  I do trust that I can avoid the cookies if I absolutely must.  But wow, I never thought it would be so hard.  I look forward with anticipation to the days when sugar cookies will be back on the plate.

So here's a thought, then... going back to dieting and restricting food options in hopes to lose weight:

If cutting out one particular food -- sugar cookies -- makes me want them even more than when they weren't restricted, then wouldn't it make sense that cutting them away from the diet would be bad?  Perhaps they must remain a part of the diet.

Follow me here...  If I tell myself I can have one cookie a day, then it's just -- meh, a cookie.  But if I look at the cookies and say, "No.  You CAN'T have that." I fall into a mini depression (ok, being dramatic) over the loss... The best way to regulate the cookie intake is to allow them.


Restriction:  You can only have a sugar cookie once a week.
Result:  Longing and desire to have a sugar cookie all week long until the day when I can have it, then, pigging out on a dozen sugar cookies.

Restriction:  You can have a sugar cookie any time you want.
Result:  Hey, I just went the WHOLE weekend without a single cookie!

 I guess I'm saying that I hate putting myself on restriction.  Lent is hard.  Diets are hard.  This "lifestyle change" my aunt speaks of makes me sad because I don't want to give up on things I love.  I want the things I love in my life.  I realize that there is a cost.  There is a price to pay for overindulgence.  A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.  But life is short!  Do I really want to spend it longing for things that I "shouldn't" want/have?

Ugh.  I don't have an answer.

I suppose this one sounds more like a ramble than anything else.  I just had some thoughts and barfed them out for you.  HA!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mix Tapes

Only a true child of the 80's and 90's can appreciate the joys of the mix tape. The evolution of the mix tape is fun, too.

In the beginning, so primitive,,, Your parents bought you a boom box.  You're excited, you can't wait to play all your favorite tunes.  You take you mom's antique cassette recorder that looks like this and hold it up to the boom box to record your favorite songs when they come on the radio.

I loved my first boom box.  It looked like this:

Oh yes... it was pink and fabulous!  I loved it.  My parents gave it to me for my 12th birthday with 2 cassettes to play:  Michael Jackson's Off the Wall and The Four Tops.  Why would you give a 12 year old the FOUR TOPS???  In 1988??  WHAT????   And I wanted THRILLER, not OFF THE WALL!!  But, it was still King of Pop, right??
Enter the first mix tape.  It was horrible.  There were DJs talking over the beginning and ending of songs, your mom would call you for dinner at the WRONG time, and your dad would yell to turn that garbage OFF!  *sigh*  it wasn't easy.

Then, you learned how to record off the radio from your actual boom box.  It still had the DJs, but no outside noises!  No Mom.  No Dad. No pesky little sisters!!!

I recently found a mix tape I had made in 1991 with horrible transitions and songs that I remember loving but can't remember why!  It had "I'm too Sexy" and "I love your smile," mixed with Roxette and Richard Marx!  WHAT?!?

Then mix tapes gained a new meaning.  You would make them for people you "liked" or wanted to date.  Then, if it succeeded in sparking an interest, you would exchange tapes of songs and sometimes even of you speaking to show how much you care. 

I have several of these gifts from former relationships even today!  But the only cassette player I have is in my minivan!!!   Too Funny.

Even my wonderful husband gave me a mix tape on the first day we met in person.  That was in the year 2000.  Yeah.... Mix tapes have come a long way.  After tapes, we made mix CDs,  Today, in 2016, we share playlists on our iPhones.  The purpose, however different from the late 1980's, is the same:  to create a spark. 

Music is powerful, meaningful, emotional.  Lyrics tell stories and share ideas and when carefully selected to put on a mix tape or playlist, they reveal the emotions and desires of the creator.  The song choices could make or break a new relationship.

So, do you want to know about mine?  I have a few that survived the years.  The one from my husband is around here somewhere, but it was never labeled, so I'll have to find a player and listen through all the cassettes to find it!  I remember the songs that he used to show his heart.

Forever Young - Alphaville
Free Fallin - Tom Petty
Mr Jones and Me - Counting Crows
End of the Innocence - Don Henley
Anna Begins - Counting Crows
Every Breath You Take -The Police
and quite a few more...

I remember the emotions as I listened to the tape and I listened to it over and over and over and over.  It was a symbol of our new relationship.  It was his way of telling me things that he just couldn't say.  He was telling me that he would watch over me and that he was letting his heart Free Fall into love.  He showed his heart and soul.  I was touched beyond words.

Other mix tapes that I received over the years included one from a cousin on the west coast, when I live on the east coast!  He sent Queen and Weird Al and a variety of odd and unusual music that I would never have found without him.  I received words of love in the song "If you could see what I see,"  by Geoff Moore and the Distance from a boyfriend at a time when I just wasn't feeling adequate.  I received a number of cassettes when I was touring on the road for 3 months with the Continental Singers from a boyfriend who knew I was homesick and missing the sounds of family and friends.  There were words of encouragement and plenty of those compliments and pats on the back that a young girl needs to help her feel like she matters to someone.  I remember listening to them over and over just to hear those words of affirmation.  

One of the most memorable came in the form of a CD single.  It wasn't a mix tape, just the one song.  I had recently broken things off with a boyfriend who wanted me back desperately.  He showed up at my house and pulled a "Say Anything" moment with his boom box.  It was memorable because he said that he had heard this song and it reminded him of me.  I had never heard it before because it was brand new at the time.  It was Celine Dion's "Because you loved me."  I actually cried at the sentiment, but I wasn't going to take him back.

So, for laughs, I'll leave you here with a photo of my husband mimicking the scene from "Say Anything" using a boom box pillow that I designed and crocheted.  It's epic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


First, I love the above quote.  In so many areas of our lives, we feel conflicted about where we stand. Sometimes it's rational vs. irrational.  Other times it's mind vs. body.  Other times it's heart vs. soul.  

Today, it was Work vs. Home for me.  My poor little one, 7 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was spinning with determination and passion in the living room when she lost her footing and landed FACE FIRST into the entertainment center.  She managed to bite clean through her bottom lip.  

When kids fall or scream or cry... as parents, we can typically tell how serious it 'really' is based on the sights and sounds immediately surrounding the incident.  I saw her spinning, I heard the thud... I heard the familiar moments of silence that come just before the wail that indicates a serious injury.  I scooped her up and hugged her tight as the blood flowed out of her lip.

We are invincible when our children are hurt.  SO MUCH ADRENALINE!  I was a rock.  I cleaned her up, put a bandage on it, called the school, called the doctor, called my mother, called in late to work, and played Dr. Mom.

Then, after checking her out and realizing that she was OK, I drove her to school, drove to work, and then... sitting at my desk... loading my computer for the day.... I fell apart.  Crumbled.  Cried.  Ached.  Hurt.  

Enter the conflicted heart -- See... I was getting to the point...  ;)

I wanted to go get her from school and just cuddle and spoil her all day.  At the same time, I knew she was OK.  She needed to be at school.  She was well enough to handle being at school.  I needed to be at work.  CONFLICTED.

How many parts of our lives leave us conflicted?  What does that conflicted feeling do to us mentally and physically?  My heart aches as I think of my injured child off at school doing her own thing without me watching over her, protecting her.  My heart soars knowing that she's OK, she can handle it, and my being with her isn't going to make a difference in her healing process.  GAH!

Other conflicts are harder.  This one is just the mom instinct fighting logic.  What about the Mind vs. Body conflict when your head knows that you should have a salad for health reasons but you REALLY want pizza?  Or when your brain tells you to press on but your body is exhausted.  You try so hard to push yourself but at what cost?

Some conflicts are emotional.  The push/pull of an internal fight when you make a list of pros and cons can not only cause you worry or fear, but it can also make you physically sick!  Heart vs. Soul - when your heart wants something that your soul doesn't need or your soul needs something your heart doesn't want.  

What do we do when conflicted?  How can we ease our confusion?  How can we ease our souls?  How can we start feeling normal again?

I usually find a favorite song to mellow out to.  Here are a few of my favorite songs about conflict.  I hope they help you, should you ever find yourself conflicted!  I think the basic answer is that it's OK to not know what to do.  It's all a part of life, but sometimes you just need to let go and go with it.  You're going to get through it. 

**Love you, little Ava.  You'll get better in no time, I promise!**

Monday, March 7, 2016

I'm a Monster

We all try to put our best foot forward.  We try to paint ourselves as good and decent human beings.  We are kind, caring, optimistic, full of faith, compassion, etc.  But you know what?  We aren't good all the time.  NO ONE IS.  I'm sure even Mother Theresa had her fair share of bad days.

I had a great weekend that ended with an ugly moment.  Essentially, I let things that shouldn't bother me bring me down and I turned into a monster.  As I indicated in my last post, my balance is off and I'm frustrated with myself more than anything else.

We all have bad days, don't we?  We all go through these hard moments.   I've had so much on my mind lately that I allowed a selfish moment to dictate my actions and it wasn't pretty.

I'm sorry for the monster I became.  I'm thankful for the forgiveness I've received.  I'm far from being healed of the pains that created the monster in me.  I don't wish to publicly discuss the demons in my life, so don't expect a deep explanation.  I suppose that I simply feel misunderstood because I'm a more complicated person than I appear to be on the outside.  As I said, even good people have bad days.  I need an escape.  I need release.  I want to take a few days off from my life -- work, family, friends -- and just go somewhere alone to work it all out... to release the monster.

Can you relate?

I love this song by Skillet -- it captures exactly how I feel right now.  There is some dark secret side of me that is lurking and trying to destroy who I am.  I need to fight this monster inside of me.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Life is one big balancing act.  Between work, home, social, academic, and religious relationships, we need to find balance to keep everything going at once.

Have you seen the  movie "Inside Out" yet?  If you haven't and you plan to, please do not keep reading if you are afraid of spoilers.  I'll try to keep the spoilers light, but there will be a few in here.

Inside Out is a movie about the various emotions that keep our brains working on a daily basis.  I was told that this movie is great for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to help them understand emotion, which can be difficult for them.

The first time I saw the movie, I knew nothing about it.  I assumed it was just another silly cartoon movie.  I'll be honest... I actually cried the first time I saw it.  CRIED.  LIKE A BABY.

Essentially, there are 5 emotions running the brain - Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.  They need to work together to keep us well rounded.  They need to stay balanced.

Part way through the movie, Joy and Sadness are pulled away from the main emotion console, and the 11 year old child is forced to face a strange new world with only Fear, Anger, and Disgust.  Imagine for a moment, if your internal balance was off and you had no Joy or Sadness.  Joy and Sadness are constantly at odds because they represent the exact opposites of the spectrum.  Optimism vs. pessimism.  In the end, Joy and Sadness learn to work together and the child develops a deeper understanding of how mixed emotions work when balanced properly.

When Anger, Fear, and Disgust are in charge and things are out of balance, the child makes poor choices and different important "islands" of her life fall apart including, honesty, family, and friendship.


Lately, my balance has been off. I mean, WAY off.  I guess some of my emotion receptors are working overtime while the others are taking a holiday.  It has affected my relationship with my older daughter, some friendships, and even things within my marriage.  I'm out of balance.  It isn't good.

I've decided to take a step back from a lot of things and try to shift some priorities and regain my balance.  I'm hoping that some parts of my life will come back into better focus and I can start rebuilding my islands and strengthening the relationships that have been suffering.

How are you today?  How is your balance?  Might I encourage you to take a closer look at your emotions and relationships and see how things are measuring up?  Check on those islands and make sure they are all strong.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I Heart Leo

I have a confession:  I have an undying love for Leonardo DiCaprio.  Oh, Leo...

I have many actors that I hold in high esteem, but there's something about Leo that just makes me smile.  He has been in a variety of different styles of movies and always entertains.  

So let me just say:  CONGRATS LEO on winning an OSCAR!  He truly deserved it.

Favorite LEO movies in no particular order:

The Great Gatsby:

Leo WAS Gatsby.  He was amazing in this role, Old Sport.  He really did it up well.  Naturally, as an avid reader, I knew the ending of the movie, and it still stung to see the great one fall.  You are class act, Leo.  

The Aviator:

My husband likes to make fun of me when it comes to The Aviator.  It's the story of the life of Howard Hughes.  While he was all about the planes, there was so much more to his life!!  After watching the film, I said, "I didn't realize there would be so much about planes in this movie."  Hubby thinks that is hysterical.  The man was a legend.  He was a film maker and a touch on the crazy side... I guess I just expected a little more about the other parts of his life.  It's still a great film and Leo showed some serious talent in this one.

Catch Me if You Can:

Oh, Leo, you little con-artist.  How can I not love you? 

Finally, TITANIC!

Of course I love Titanic... who doesn't love Titanic?  Leo captured my heart in this and he was brilliant.  Handsome, witty, fun, and a rebel... this movie was GOLD.

My favorite Titanic story is the one that never happened.  When looking for the love theme for this movie, one of my favorite musicians was approached to write a song.  Michael W. Smith wrote the below song for Titanic, but ultimately, it was the Celine Dion song that won out.  When I first heard the MWS song, I fell in love with it and I think it would have been perfect for the film.  I'll let you be the judge.  

Oh, those lyrics.  "If only I could hold you in my arms again..."  *sigh*  

Sorry MWS, but you should have won that contest!  I love the song and your talent.  I know your musical score would have won you awards like mad.  

As for Leo... I respect his talent and he's not bad to look at.  Congrats on the Oscar win... now, My Heart Will Go On.... 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Little Mermaid

Hopefully you know the story...  Teenage mermaid falls in love, gives her voice over to the sea witch in exchange for legs, tries to win the prince's heart, and fails because he loved her for her voice.  It's kinda like the Gift of the Magi.  In the end it all works out when she gets her voice back and he realizes it's her, but for a few painfully awkward days, the poor girl can't communicate properly.

Why do I bring this up?  Exactly 12 days ago, I came down with the FLU.  It started with high fevers for nearly a week, weakened state of mind and body, chills, Fibromyalgia pain, and your typical cold and stomach virus symptoms.  It was quite a doozy and I'm still fighting through it.

The most visible (audible?) symptom that remains is my voice.  Deep and raspy, I sound more like a man than myself.  I talk on the phone for a living and because of it have been given more than my fair share of sympathy and advice for caring for my poor voice.

Honestly, I feel better, I just sound horrible.  I still have a sharp cough from time to time, but my voice has suffered greatly.

I just want my voice back.  I have a blog post completed and pending that I can't publish until I can sing again to add the final touch.  I pulled out my guitar last night and tried to sing... it was painfully awful!  I even spoke to a friend on the phone briefly 2 nights ago and was teased for my off sounding voice.

The good news is that I'm feeling much better.  I wonder how long until my voice returns to its normal state?  I miss singing.