Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just TEXAS



In all my travels, I have seen and talked to a lot of different people. And typically, the first thing out of everyone’s mouth is, “Where are you from?”

And without hesitation, I always proudly reply with "Texas”, plain, simple and to the point. But my last trip I went on, this couple giggled after I answered them. So, I asked what they found to be funny. 

And they said, “No, we love Texans, first of all, we love your accents, but secondly you guys are so proud of your entire state. No one ever says where in Texas, they always just say “Texas”, unless you ask them what part.” And I guess I never had really thought about it, but they are right.

They continued, “For example, we were just talking to another couple and they were quite clear that they were from just outside Chicago, Illinois; not just Illinois, but Chicago”.

They, themselves, happened to be from the Midwest as well. And they thought it was neat how proud Texans were, just to be Texans. And like I said, I guess I have never really thought about it, or I have always taken it for granted, but the pride in being a Texan is the truth. Whether it was because we were once our own country, or whatever the case may be; but there is a certain amount of pride in being a Texan. It’s not a boastful pride, or a conceited pride; but it is a gratification of being from this particular state.

A state built on cowboys, oil, blood, sweat and tears, football, school rivalries, open ranges, mountain ranges, miles upon miles of highways, coastlines, and a brotherhood like no other. We are a state that comes together in times of need, a state that has an accent that isn’t quite recognizable. You know it’s a southern accent, but it’s just harsh enough to not be dripping with syrup like Georgia or the Carolinas, but thick and gooey enough to set itself apart from the rest of the country.

Texas is an amazing place to live. It has been through battles, it has been its own country, it has had economic highs and lows that could destroy small countries, and it is large enough that some small countries can actually fit inside of, if they were melted down and poured into our boarders.

But I think the thing that makes me the proudest right now, is the ability for Texas to come together in this time of devastation from the aftermath of “Harvey”; and ignore all the other hatred that is going on in America, and really show the world, and remind America what love, friendship, history, and solidarity is truly about. It’s not about what was in the past, it’s not about statues, it’s about the here and now, what we must offer to one another…and that is what our wonderful state must offer every single day—solidarity, history, and brotherhood.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

If I had a tattoo




So, my girlfriend and I snuck away on a girls’ weekend getaway to celebrate her birthday, to relax, enjoy some girl time, no kids, no men, no responsibilities; just two gal pals hanging out, getting some good time in together.

As we were laying out by the pool she rolled over and asked me if I had a tattoo, and proudly my answer was “nope, and neither does my hubby”.

“Wow, she said neither do I, we are definitely the minority”. I agreed with her, as we sat there watching everyone hang out in the pool, and talk and socialize, I began looking at the variety of tattoos the world had to offer, I tried to figure out the meaning behind some of them.

I realize that most tattoos have a special meaning to their owner. Whether it’s a special person, or a place, or a memory; I understand completely why people may have them. When I was in college I considered getting a tattoo, there was just nothing that I could settle on, that I wanted to permanently mark my body with for the rest of my life. That, and all I could think about was GRAVITY. That cute little heart, would someday look like an elongated water balloon.

So as the day went on, we had so much fun meeting new people and talking to everyone throughout the day. We learned people were from all over the world, we learned some were young, some were old, some had kids, some didn’t; and there were all sorts of body types as well. Which as a mom of three boys, working a full-time job, and a husband who is gone -- therefore I have very little “me” time to go exercise, felt quite comfortable in my swimsuit; because not everyone was a supermodel or a body builder at this resort.

They were all walks of life. Heavy, slender, tall, short…. you name it, were at the resort. So that’s when I decided what my tattoo should be (my imaginary one); it would be bold mind you so everyone can see it, and all explanations are clear and accounted for:
·       
            The number 3 – for three kids, hence the not tight stomach and the bags under my eyes
·         
            An arrow near my rear end -- body parts that have lost the battle with gravity
·          
       And an airplane and a laser – because my husband is a pilot and always gone, so I don’t have any “me” time to work out, and leave the kids with him; and my full-time job (as an appraiser) to be able to avoid the afore mentioned tattoos.

But seriously, I know all tattoos have a meaning for people, and I really don’t have a problem with them, but like I said, I just truly haven’t found anything that I want to put on my body permantly. And at this point in my life, I have all the “tattoos” I will ever need, and they are permanent reminders of memories of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

I have my stretch marks from my babies, that honestly, I love more than anything. I know that may sound odd to most; but those are truly my badges of honor. I got to carry those big beautiful baby boys for nine months.

Then there are the wrinkles on my face. I have my laugh lines from all the good times shared with friends and family. And my stress lines from the bad times that I have obviously survived.  And the scars on my body from falls, being a klutz, and working and building things in my house and outside.

So, you see, I don’t feel I need to add another mark on my body at this point, when I have all the memories on my skin I need, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Surviving being a Girl




I typically write about my boys, boy stuff, surviving boys, and all things boys…because well, that’s my life. But sometimes I forget that I am a girl, and that being a girl and a woman can be very hard and daunting at times. We have the burden of surviving adolescence, motherhood, and surviving the corporate world against the man, but doing it with poise and dignity, while wearing panty hose and a smile.

One of my most favorite songs is by Martina McBride, and she pretty much nails being a girl, right on the head. By 13 you will have your heart broken; and that is okay. I promise you will survive. It will hurt for a while. You will think that he doesn’t remember you, you even notice you in the hallways at school. But try to wipe those tears away, because there are more important things in life than that silly boy in junior high…I promise. It may feel like the end of the world today, but there are so many more hurdles to overcome.

And always know your body is your temple. I know, I know you hear it from your parents all the time. But no group of girls or boys will be there for you after you make the decision that will change who you are forever. Just be proud and confident in who you are, and the decisions you make. Don’t ever let anyone force you to do something you aren’t comfortable with…whether it’s sex, drugs, alcohol, or anything. Because in the end, you are your best friend.

Then you creep up on college, and post-college life. And you have the world in the palm of your hands. But yet, it’s not exactly what you expected. You may be engaged…although I hope you wait and experience life just a little bit on your own. Try not to go from mom and dad’s house, to the sorority house, to your husband’s house. Try living on your own for a while. Endure living on Roman Noodles, or cheese and crackers; I promise, as you are going through it, it may stink. But it will make you a better, stronger more self-sufficient woman in the end.

I think every young girl needs to live on her own for a while, have taken a trip on her own, and know how to change her car tire, all on her own. Three very important things a girl should know how to do in life.

So, once you get past your 20s, you think things are smooth sailing and easy going, I did too. But guess what? Life can throw you another wrench, so always be prepared. Your heart can be broken at any stage of the game. But just remember, you are only as weak as your weakest link. So never, ever let a man or a boy take your smile away. That has always been my creed and my motto to myself. Life can change in an instant…for the good and the bad.

The reason I say it is important to travel and to live alone, is it gives you the opportunity to really get to know yourself as a young lady. Not as someone’s daughter, not as a sister, not as a college student, not as a friend, not as a girlfriend, or a wife; but as you. Who you really are. What you really want out of life.

So just remember to make decisions that will always keep a smile on your face, and that you know you can look back at in 20 years and have no regrets about.

Being a girl & a woman is an amazing adventure. We get to have babies, we get to go to college now, we get to vote, we get to be CEOs, we get to run households. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less important than what you are because you are a girl…we can do everything boys can do, we just do it faster, more organized and in high heels.