These stories and experiences are meant to help people gain a little perspective on what's important to them in life, and not worry so much about what others are thinking or doing, but to focus on what's important in their life. These self-improvement posts are meant to bring a little humor, a smile, and the occassional tear (when needed).
I am all for tradition and saying traditional wedding vows.
Marriage to me is a sacred covenant that I think some people enter into too
lightly. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not belittling or making light of
the traditional wedding vows that are said in front of God, family, friends,
and everyone. In fact my husband and I had the traditional wedding vows at our
wedding, in addition to vows we wrote ourselves.
So please understand that I do classify all wedding vows,
traditional or not, into the same category…BINDING.
But if you aren’t willing to stay with that person “until
death do you part”, or “for richer or for poorer”, “in sickness and in
health”…and if you aren’t willing to stay faithful to that person for the rest
of your life then A) stop reading this & B) you shouldn’t have gotten
Marriage is a commitment, a promise, a lifetime of sharing
yourself with another person. It is not a temporary act that you enter into
lightly, and when the tough gets going…you bail. No that’s not marriage, that’s
dating, or dating around, for lack of a better term. If you don’t already love
that person enough to stay with them when they lose their job, or get sick or
you all hit a rough patch; then maybe that person or marriage isn’t for you.
So with the basics of matrimonial promises aside, there are
a few additional vows I feel we should let our betrothed know in advance. And
these are the same things we should continue to tell them on a daily or weekly
basis, just to let them know we love them for who they are, the person they
have become, and the person they want to become.
You have to be a fool if you think that bright eyed little
co-ed you took to your fraternity formal isn’t going to change into a mature
and nurturing woman once she enters the work force and becomes a mother.
Hopefully she will change for the better, but you must understand that we all
grow and change. That is what life experiences are all about…growth and change,
and you as a spouse need to understand and accept those changes, and hopefully
you all will grow together.
These promises, I feel, will add to, or increase your
1)I love and adore you for the person you are today, and
the person you wish to become, and hope to become in the future;
2)I will promise to always treat you with autonomy, and
realize that you are still you; I know our lives will become intertwined, but
you are still an individual;
3)I promise to never talk disrespectfully to you, you are
the person I chose to spend the rest of my life with; I will always keep you on
a pedestal, but still recognize that we all have our faults;
4)I promise to understand and honor your deepest
thoughts, wishes, dreams, and aspirations; and be supportive of you to obtain
5)I want to meet your needs and desires, not out of
obligation, but because your happiness is my happiness;
6)I may not always agree with your thoughts or visions,
but I promise to keep an open mind and an open ear to hear your side;
7)I will never abandon you in your hour of need, and only
be there for you in your moments of achievement; I promise to be there for both
misfortune and triumph;
8)I will be willing to understand your likes and
dislikes, still remembering you are an individual; but somehow managing to make
them a part of my life as well;
9)I hope to keep our lives together full of excitement,
passion, and fun;
always want you to know that waking up next to you every morning is my greatest
assure you that no matter what life tosses our way, we will endure, fight, and
overcome any tribulation as a team;
promise to put your feelings before my thoughts, after all compassion trumps
logic, any day;
promise we will never go to bed angry, we will stay up and work it through; and
I will tell you every day exactly what you mean to me.
Marriage is challenging, marriage is work, and marriage
takes effort. But if you put as much time into your marriage as you do
yourself, then you are set for life. This is a choice you made, not a job, not
a chore, an obligation…a choice. You chose to be with this one individual for
the rest of your time on this earth. So let them know what they mean to you
every single day you take a breath. Because I promise…one day, you could wake
up and it’s gone in an instant.
Cherish your partner, because at the end of the day, they
are who you tell your deepest darkest secrets to, they are the one that is
there when the house is empty and quiet, and they are the one that is there for
you when you need them the most.
As we all know Lent began yesterday. We hopefully got all of
our playing and “sins” out on Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”)…you were able to cut
up, let loose and get all of our urges out of our system to maintain our purity
throughout the Lent season. Even though Lent is more heavily connected to the
Catholic religion, it seems that everyone, not matter their religion, is trying
to sacrifice something during the season of Lent; either to better themselves,
to break a habit, or just to see if they can give something up for that
Whatever the reason, good for you. Sacrifice is never a bad
thing, in fact it is a very selfless act. But I have decided maybe we should
look at Lent a little differently this year. Instead of giving something (or
somethings) up this year; let’s try going about this another direction. Let’s
see what we need to not give up.
Let me explain…we are always saying “I am going to give up
chocolate for Lent” (well, first I must applaud you…because chocolate and
French Fries are my Achilles Heel)…but instead of giving chocolate up; for Lent
this season, let’s maintain the strength not to give into our weaknesses and
desires. Which leads me to my entire point of this article, stop giving into
our weaknesses, and learn to stay strong, learn to always be a better person.
Make all your weaknesses a daily reminder of the negative person
you are trying to avoid becoming; and make them aides-mémoires of the person
you want to be. Another example, if you have the urge to speak with a sharp
tone or in a degrading manner; use this season to train (or re-train) yourself
of how you should actually speak to others.
Another example is honesty; instead of trying to stop
yourself from telling a little “white lie” so you don’t hurt someone’s
feelings, or just don’t want to create a situation; try using this season of
Lent as your time of honesty. Process your words and thoughts before you tell
the truth, but nonetheless, be honest and truthful. In the end you will be so
much more thankful, not only to yourself, but to the situation as well. You
won’t have to keep compounding lie on top of lie to cover your original lie.
Just be candid from the get-go.
Gossip…now that seems to be everyone’s Achilles Heel,
whether we want to admit to it or not. But as I have grown older, I have
learned that I don’t say anything about anyone that I couldn’t say to that
person’s face. So this season, instead of trying to break the habit of
spreading gossip or talking about others; let’s use this time to talk about
others…yep I said it…talk about anyone and everyone! But let’s praise them.
Instead of saying negative, let’s just be crazy and out of the blue say nothing
but positive about people. I know it sounds crazy, but let’s each try to make
this world a little more positive place to live…who knows it may just catch on.
So instead of talking about someone’s weaknesses, or
downfalls…let’s lift them up in praise and talk about their strengths and the
positive attributes that they bring to our world and lives.
Here’s another task you can do during Lent. Instead of
running from the unknown, face it front on. We all use Lent as our time to
refrain and avoid…let’s use it as our time to confront and face new challenges.
For example, if there was always a hobby you wanted to start, then start it. Or
if there is that one person you don’t know very well, but have always heard
your friends talk about; instead of partaking in the gossip, go introduce
yourself to that person, and make your own conclusions about them, instead of
“following the crowd”. Who knows, that person could be your next new best
friend. Or if there was an activity you have always wanted to try or were
scared to do; then make yourself do it.
I always tell me kids, don’t worry about what other peoples’
actions are; it’s our reactions that we need to be concerned about. And that is
what I want you all to do during this season of Lent. Stop worrying about what
everyone else is doing, and take this time to try something new, instead of
partaking in the negative, go full force into the positive; and face your fears
head on, stop running and go forward.
As I sit here surrounded by my plethora of anti-aging
wrinkle creams, my year books, and tons of memories. I am preparing myself and
my old classmates for our high school reunion…dare I say…our 20th!
It’s not really my age that is bothering me, because I don’t feel near as old
as the number says I am on my driver’s license; I think what is bothering me is
it doesn’t feel like it has been two decades since I walked the halls of the
old Blue and Gold—filled with Tiger Pride.
At the ripe old age of 18, I couldn’t even fathom where my
life would take me. I couldn’t imagine not walking the halls of Corsicana High
School, not seeing the faces I saw every single day, smiling, laughing, and
stressing over exams and projects that we had forgotten about.
The days when that cute boy walking down the hall would
throw that simple cool smile your way, and your stomach would flip and your
cheeks would emulate the color of a tomato. Or the pressure of keeping your grades
up to remain in the top 10%, or even top 5%, of your class to ensure that all
the avenues you might want to pursue after graduation, were open to you.
Or the times when you thought your world was ending, when
that boy you thought was the ideal boy, completely shattered your world by
talking to another girl in the hallway before 3rd period; or losing
the hard fight you fought running for student council to an upper classman.
Oh how those trials and tribulations changed our lives
forever and molded us into the adults we are today. Whether or not we knew it
then, we were learningabout life as we
walked those hallways, threw our books into our lockers, and faced the daunting
world of being a teenager with all of our insecurities and flaws…but we did it
with gumption and pride. Unfortunately we weren’t bright enough, or our brains
weren’t developed enough to always make the “best” decisions, but thankfully we
all pretty much came out unscathed.
If we had known then what we know now, we would all be such
different people. So maybe the course we were set out to follow is in fact the
one we were intended to conquer. Because I know that the insecure, tall, gangly
teenager that I once was…was not strong enough to overcome some of the horrific obstacles
that have been thrown in my path of life. But those hurdles made me the
resilient, independent woman I am today. If my high school self had known what
was “to come” along my path of life, I am pretty sure I would have curled up in
a ball and never climbed out of my locker.
But that is the beauty of the unknown…you must face life one
step at a time and overcome any glitches that may come your way with strength,
persistence, and poise. The stresses and pressures we thought we endured in
high school were nothing compared to life’s issues and problems today; but I
don’t belittle the problems we all encountered in high school, just because
they happened during a simpler time in our lives, doesn’t make them any less imperative.
Because they, too, were learning experiences that we all overcame and struggled
through, making us better, stronger, more empathetic people.
So as I reflect on who we all were in high school together,
I remember the fun days of all piling into each other’s cars and heading out to
the lake on a hot summer day; or meeting up with one another at the “Shell
station” for our typical Friday night fun. And of course who can forget Texas’
5th season…that being football season.
You knew everyone, who lived within the county lines, would
be sitting in the stadium hoping their Tigers would bring home another victory.
The crowd was filled with mothers hoping their babies wouldn’t get hurt out on
the field, some were cheer moms there to encourage their daughters on the
sidelines, some were other students (like myself) that played other sports
rooting for my friends and classmates, and some were just there for the Friday
So as we all get older and carry heavier burdens and navigate
through the complications of life, we have to remember, that in every stage of
life things get more complicated and unfortunately more stressful; but it’s
always good to reflect and remember the simpler times of our lives, no matter
the age we were. Those problems are no less significant than the once we have
as aging adults, they just procure a different perspective through our eyes as
we travel through life.
Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and remember the simpler
times; its endearing to remember that all those people you grew up with, those
that know you better than anyone, those that knew you in mother’s morning out
all the way to graduation, through all the good hair styles and the bad
ones…will be your friends for life, no matter how many years it has been since
you all last spoke or saw one another…they are your high school classmates.
There are very few things we can count on in our lives.
1)You will always pay taxes;
2)The sun will always rise in the east and set in
3)And your pet will love you unconditionally, no matter
The love of a devoted pet is like no other. No matter what
mood you are in, how bad of a day you had at the office, how far behind on
bills you may be, or how stressed you are about not meeting your deadlines…none
of that matters to your pet. When you walk in the back door, they are sitting
there patiently waiting for your smiling face, warm hand to graze the top of
their head, and just a little love and attention from you to let them know you
still love them.
I have never been a cat person, mainly because I am highly
allergic to them; but my heart runs deep for the good love of a puppy or a dog.
There is just something about their innocent faces and wagging tails that melts
my heart. Now if you have never had the connection to a pet or really cared for
animals that much, then this will make absolutely no sense to you, and may seem
a little odd.
But this past weekend our family lost one of its members. We
had to make one of the toughest decisions we will ever have to make as a family
together, and that was to let our oldest dog go to a better place, away from
pain and exhaustion, to rest in peace.
Floyd was our 13 year old Golden Retriever. He was a great
dog, but a dog that definitely beat to his own drum. He was one of those dogs
that would go on an adventure, wander around, and come home when he was darn
good and ready. He knew how to watch for cars when he crossed the road; he
would return to houses that he had once lived in before, due to a move or a
life change; and he was my husband’s co-pilot on numerous occasions (literally,
Floyd was my husband’s dog that he brought in to our
relationship and marriage, so Floyd has essentially been in my life for over
seven years now, and was of course my dog too, and our boys’ dog. He brought a
lot of love, laughter, and kisses to our household, and completed our furry
trio of dogs that would ride around town in the back of our big black truck.
He loved to feel the wind in his face, no matter if it was
at 30 mile per hour or 70 miles per hour. He would shoot his head around the
cab of our truck and the wind would blow his eyeballs back into his head, but
he loved the wind in his face.
Floyd would do what I called his “walk abouts”…we would all
go somewhere as a family, and old Floyd would just take off in his own
direction. The only person that he would respond to or come back to the sound
of his voice would be my husband’s. But that is to be expected. They were
bachelors together for years, they were golfing buddies, Floyd even went into
some places of business around town…he was a local celebrity and everyone knew
who Floyd was. He was probably the largest Golden Retriever I had ever seen in
my life, standing almost an entire shoulder higher than our other Golden, and
at one point weighing in at 137 pounds.
But regardless of who knew Floyd, where he went, or how many
adventures he went on…at the end of the day, he was still our Floyd. The big
furry mass our boys would lay against in the sunshine in our front yard, the
slobbering pooch that hung his head in the wind, and thebig pile of love that would have done
anything for his family.
He will never be forgotten…and his wagging tail, happy
spirit, and sense of adventure will live on in all of our hearts forever. We’ll
miss you big guy…tell Memom “Hi” for us.
As you grow up you instinctually know you want to become a
parent, and you were born to do it; or the thought kind of grows on you as you
grown older, and become more mature. Then there are those out there that have
become parents that have absolutely no right to be a parent.
But when you do finally make that decision, you get lots of
words of advice from people like “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, or “Don’t worry
about the laundry, enjoy your kids while they are young”; but we are never told
some of the deeper (and funnier things) about parenthood, until it is sitting
in your lap, or vomiting on your cocktail dress as you are walking out the
So from my experience as a mother, who would walk through
fire for her boys; I have compiled an emotional, yet lighthearted list of
things you never hear uttered before entering parenthood:
1)You will never ever go potty or bathe without an
interruption ever again;
2)Never wear nice clothes, because it is
inevitable that dirty fingers, spit up, or poo will find that silk blouse
you’ve worked so hard to keep clean until you can run to the garage, jump in
your car and leave;
3)Your favorite TV show…forget about it…it will
never be seen or heard again, uninterrupted (thank you DVR);
4)If you are feeling sick or under the
weather…suck it up, there is no chance you get to rest, nap, or go to bed early
to gain your strength back…put your big girl pants on and keep moving;
5)You would never imagine that you could love
anything or anyone more than you love yourself, your spouse (or your
luggage)…but those little creatures grab a hold of your heartstrings and tug
for the rest of your life;
6)You could never imagine that that sweet adorable
baby you held in the hospital for the first time, could absolutely bring you to
your knees from pure exhaustion;
7)That you would never care about material possessions
again, the way you once did. You could total your car, leaving your vehicle on
the side of the road without a care; as long as your baby got to the ER in time
to fix their broken arm;
8)You wouldn’t care that you stubbed your toe or
punctured your foot in the middle of the night walking over the field of Hot
Wheel cars; because you were headed back to make sure everyone was sound asleep
in their own beds, safe and secure;
9)That you had to trade in your perfectly made-up
face, your adorable hair style, and pressed clothes for a chance to shower at
least once a day, if you’re lucky; and in return you got to throw your hair up
in a ponytail, slap on some under eye concealer to hide your lack of sleep
bags, and a T-shirt and jeans you found on the floor (that…yea, smell okay);
10)You will never, ever sleep soundly again; as
long as they are in your house;
11)Your gut will never be untied, for fear they
have broken something on their bodies, had a car wreck, made a poor decision,
or made you a grandparent (entirely too soon);
12)Your purse no longer will obtain the items you
need like lip-gloss or a brush, but instead replaced by a diaper pouch, hand
sanitizer, airplanes and cars, and lots and lots of Band-Aids;
13)All your pretty stuff that you worked so hard to
collect to make your house beautiful, will never see the light of day until
they graduate from high school and leave the house;
14)Your driving habits will completely change…your
geriatric driving style will kick in;
15)No matter how hard you try, or what kind of
music you listen to, you will never look cool in your SUV or minivan filled
with multiple car seats and the family “stick figure” stickers on the back of
your car…the days of being young and hip are over;
16)You completely lose your self-identity, you are
no longer known by your given or married name, you are now “Billy’s Mom” or
17)You hope to heaven that they learn who they are
before it’s too late, and don’t fall idle to peer pressure;
18)That one day they will have children of their
own and then they will understand all the lectures and arguments that went on;
19)That your mistakes don’t become their mistakes;
20)And the one thing that you are never told before
becoming a parent…that those little people will never ever have any idea how
much you love them, until they hold their baby in their arms for the first
Like I’ve always said, parenthood it the best thing that I
have ever been blessed with. What other event in your life can take you from
laughter to tears in milliseconds, other than being a parent. Enjoy them while
you have them, they are gone in a blink, and cherish every hug, kiss, or
snuggle you can get your hands on.
So many things happen in life that can tear someone down
mentally, emotionally, or physically. But you have to remember, you are who you
are because you must believe in yourself, your way of doing things, and be
confident in your adaptation of living life.
We are all like snowflakes, not one single person is the
same as another. Even our children vary from us. We are total and complete
individuals created by a greater power beyond our own knowledge and strength; a
power more prevailing than any we could fathom. But what we must continue to
remind ourselves is that we are strong independent people that must live our
lives in our own ways.
Following others just to feel complete or confident about
yourself is not a healthy way to live life. Be true to who you are and follow
the path you were pre-destined to travel down. There will be so many things
that happen to you in your lifetime…good, bad or ugly…but you have to be a
strong enough and confident enough person to endure them, and don’t let them
bring you down. Don’t allow the heavy things in life apply such a burden to
your shoulders that it turns you in to a miserable person.
Have no doubt that it may take some time to work through
them all, some soul searching, some self-reflection…but just because one (or
numerous) people (or events) do something that harms you, bruises your ego, or
damages your reputation in anyway…doesn’t give them the upper hand.
I have had my fair share of trials and tribulations that I
have overcome in my life. Like I have always said…if that situation, person, or
event harms me so deeply that it actually takes my smile away permanently then
they (or it) has won! And I have stood true to myself that no one, or nothing,
will be so powerful that it will ever take my smile away from me.
I want to stand strong, show my children that you must
believe in yourself, have pride in yourself, and know that you can overcome
anything that life has dealt you. I have learned, that even though I need my
friends and my family; they make me a better person, they make me the person I
want to stay true to. The only way I can stay true to myself is by being
comfortable in my own skin.
And by doing that, I have to spend a lot of time alone with
myself. Or at least try to carve out some “me time”. I have to stay in touch
with who I am, not what my group wants me to be, or what I think my group needs
me to be; but to be me.
I am confident that if I know who I am, fight for my goals, live
up to my aspirations in life, and I am in touch with the core of my very own
soul…no one (or nothing) can take me down. So with all the hills and valleys
that I have encountered in my life through friendships, relationships, family,
jobs, and so many other things…I have stayed true to myself; and I know for a
fact that is how I have managed to overcome, persevere, and survive some of the
events that have made me fall to my knees in tears.
It’s okay to be weak, it’s okay to be vulnerable, and it’s
okay to reach out to those near you; but just remember, at the end of the day,
you have to be a strong enough person to be able to pull your own self up by
your boot straps and move on. In the end, it is all up to you.
So allow those around you to live their lives their way, but
you stay true to who you are and live your life on your own path – and know
that the path you have chosen is a positive path, will not hurt anyone that may
cross your path, and at the end of the day you are comfortable with the choices
you made for yourself or those around you.
Never let them (or it) take your smile away…What doesn’t
kill you, makes you stronger…I promise, I am living proof.
Flying to the wrong
state. Being told you aren’t checked all the way through to your final
destination, renting a car and driving across the entire state of Kansas is
That’s how everyone
travels these days isn’t it? I don’t think our family would know what to do if
things went smoothly and easily. I feel like I could write an entire book just
on our adventures and day to day antics alone.
So over the holidays we embarked on another adventure to the
slopes, to enjoy a few days of relaxation with our family and friends. Enjoy
the cool weather of the Rocky Mountains, and put our downhill skiing skills to
the test once more.
On the way getting there was the real adventure, though. You
would think packing bags, driving to the airport, and getting on a plane would
be easy; but for our family it’s not. It’s a really a long and convoluted reason
how this happened, but the short version is that two of our family member’s
tickets weren’t checked all the way through to Denver. We had a stop-over in
Kansas City, Missouri. And I am sure Missouri is lovely this time of year, but
to be honest, I had no interest in spending any time there.
Once we found out (upon arrival in Kansas City) that the
agent in Dallas hadn’t done their job properly and two members weren’t checked
all the way through, even though our bags were; there were no more flights out
of Kansas City for the rest of the day to Denver.
So thinking fairly quickly, while still in a bit of shock,
my husband and I started calling other airlines, and when we turned the short
end of that stick up…we looked at one another and said…”Shall we drive?”
Needless to say, my husband, and the two older boys went to
the rental car office, got us a car; while the baby and I collected all the
luggage, changed a dirty diaper in the middle of the airport, and waited for
the three men to return with our chariot to carry us across the Land of Oz.
Being used to a three row SUV on a daily basis, we crammed all
of our luggage in the very back cargo bay area, while the three boys (which
included a huge car seat, a booster seat, and a very scrunched up pre-teen)
shared the back seat.
And off we went. Ten hours and counting.
Now if you know anything about geography, we only spent
about 30 minutes in the state of Missouri, but about eight hours in the state
of Kansas, and another two to two and a half getting to our destination in
During the course of the drive, I think I managed to come up
with every foul mouthed word to throw at Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the
Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow. Kansas was not my most favorite place in the
world at the time. But I must say, on an average day, it is an absolute
struggle to drive from Corsicana to Dallas with my boys, without one of them
ripping the other’s arm off, or a screaming match ensuing in the back seat.
But this “little adventure” across the prairie lands of the
good ol’ USA; our boys were absolute angels. It’s almost as if they knew Mommy
and Daddy’s rapidly fraying ropes, were not only frayed but they had caught on
fire, and were flaming out like gasoline doused torches.
We made a few side highway stops for potty breaks and dirty
diapers; a big stop for dinner, but all in all it was pretty “trauma free”. We
were all a little more crowded than we would have been on the airplane…but
nonetheless, we were together, suffering together, and making the best of it.
We played car games, we laughed, we napped, and we made it there safely…so I
would say it was a successful adventure[S1].