Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not A Baby Anymore!

Last night we had a birthday party for my youngest. She is now 7, so we had a little party for her with a few friends over last night. 3 gifts. Strawberry cake with pink icing- she was thrilled! . Just losing her first teeth. Such a cute, sweet girl. Took 4 tries to get one like me and Lil'Jo is certainly her Mama's daughter. Jed & Beth are a LOT like their daddy- very laid back, somewhat timid and content to wait for life to come to them. Kellie is a good mixture of the two of us, she is incredibly artistic. All 4 of the children are very intelligent and have an ear for music.

I think Jo may go far in life. She's a go-getter, fun-loving but brave- not afraid to try new things. When she is sad- which rarely happens, she cries a little and wants to be held, then she's ready for more fun. She loves to dance. The only part where she's vastly different than me is that she LOVES pink & frilly things. I LOVE her tenderhearted nature.

My girls are beautiful, hard-working and are going to get noticed someday. Hope they will be popular, but reasonably assertive. I have raised them to be kind, but no push-overs. I reject the idea that females should be wimpy, stupid or bitchy & sarcastic all the time. I want my girls to take pride in the way they look, but not to the point of being vain. I want them to value themselves, but always look for potential in others. I hope they will stay active and on top of things as far as their health goes.

Lastly, I hope they will eventually find men who love them as they are. REAL men who will be successful and can make them feel like ladies.

"Dear Jo,

You were a wonderful surprise. Your Dad & I thought we were done having kids. We were trying to decide which of us would "get fixed" when I became pregnant with you. Whenever the 5 of us would sit around the dinner table, I had this strange feeling that someone was missing. As soon as you were born, I knew YOU were here. My heart is blessed because of my children.
You were a good baby and TOUGH! You put up with all the bumps & snuggles from the other kids- always had a smile on your face. I'll never forget how quickly you learned to ride a bike and how you now like to follow me around when I'm cooling down from a training ride. You keep up pretty well!! Although you still sleep with your "Pink Blankby", you are not a baby anymore. (A fact I meet with mixed emotions.)

Sweet Girl, I hope you will feel secure in my love for you and in who you are. Try to maintain a good relationship with your Daddy- he loves you too. Don't rely on boys to make you feel good about yourself. Take pride in your heritage and in who you are. Boys and romance are a VERY nice part of life, but they are NOT life itself. Be comfortable enough with who you are to be on your own when/if necessary.

I was raised to believe that without a man in your life, you're pretty-much a zero. Don't settle for the first nice guy that's "willing to put up with you". Wait and make him wait. This is going to sound very old fashioned, but take your time. You are a treasure, don't just give yourself away to some flatterer who talks a big game. He must be worthy. Make sure he knows how to manage money. Yeah, he may dress sharp & have a fancy car, but if he's already up to his eye-balls in debt, life could get pretty bad.

Relationships can be very sticky ordeals- don't rush into anything. Make him find you, don't chase him down or let it be a one-sided effort. Let him be the one to set the pace, or it's likely YOU will have to be the one who sets it for the rest of your life. There are a lot of slackers out there looking for a woman who can provide for them. That kind of arrangement can get exhausting. It still works better the other way around, or if both of you contribute- that's great too. Don't marry someone you have to carry.

The dreams that are in you now are important. Believe in yourself and give it your best shot. I will do my best to help you reach the goals you set. Know that if you ever fail to reach a goal, I will be here for you, to pick up the pieces and help you start over. As long as a heart beats within my chest, you will never have to feel that you are standing alone.

People make mistakes. That's a fact of life. I was raised to never think outside the box or make a mistake- which was very confining. Make your mistakes, test your theories- and learn whatever lessons life has in store. This will make you genuine. You cannot do anything so "bad" that I will ever stop loving you or turn my back on you.

Take time to consider other points of view. There are many cultures and opinions out there. Expand your mind. Never allow yourself to reach the point where you feel you have everything all figured out. The day you do, your growth as a person will cease and your mind will begin to close.

Don't be foolish or careless, you have to live with consequences. Realize that people can be VERY judgemental and unforgiving. At times, those who feel threatened by your confidence and abilites will try to play head games and make things miserable for you. Hold your head up, walk away when you need to and you will have self-respect. (Remind me to explain the "Secret Female Code" to you someday.) lol

If anyone ever intentionally hurts or messes with you, they will have ME to deal with. :o) If you are unsure about a guys intentions toward you, bring him home. We'll have a BBQ and invite all our Ninja friends. I'll demonstrate my accuracy with a high-powered weapon in the backyard. (If he ever asks you out again, he's probably sincere- lol)

You're MY girl and I have every confidence in you. I will do my best to remove obstacles that stand in the way of your success and work hard to provide you with opportunities.

Do well in school- develop your mind and learn how to look and act professional. That may not be considered "cool", but while those who mock you are sitting on their tails or trapped in minimum wage jobs someday, you will have good work. Effort toward higher education is never a waste of time.

Some of these things I have said are still a little over your head at this point, but I want you to know I believe in you and always will."

Love, Your Mama XOXO

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dialogue with My Heart...

Settle my heart, simmer down, accept what is before you...

Nobody gets everything they dream of. Aside from a few lucky souls, the rest of us simply end up getting by the best way we know how, so settle in- you are still young and have a long road ahead. Celebrate the few successes you have had.

Heroes are not made on race tracks or stages. The strongest people are those who wake each morning to find themselves in ordinary, even dismal situations to smile and meet their obligations anyway. Perhaps I only say this in order to accept my present reality? There is no other alternative. Steady now, steady...

You were not born to privilege, you have NO inheritance to claim, at this point, your gifts may never lead to great success. Although you want to make a difference, reality has spoken. Your name may never be remembered beyond the grave. The bars upon this guilded cage represent choices, your own and decisions others have made for you.

For all your good intentions, this is the plate before you, take a deep breath, let go and make the most of the ride you are on... is that really so bad?

Stop trying to re-define the world by who you are, what you wish to see, for the world will never embrace all that you believe. You are very small, your feelings do not greatly matter. Eventually, though you beat wildly against it, the world will define you- why fight it?

To be human is to have need. Need keeps us weak and unfulfilled. Many factors lie beyond our control. Much is far beyond our grasp... or is it?

Settle my heart, leave me be... there is no such thing as lonely.

You've earned some merit, all shaken and scarred. Still you long for connectedness, wisdom, excitement and defining moments. You have made so many new starts, you are tired. But on a good day, when the sun is out and the music is right, there is NO stopping you... you can fly.

Life seems to create artists, but fails to provide paint & canvas. Dreamers are left with no resources from which to make reality of their visions. Dancers are trapped in disabled bodies. With such passion for life, and a low ceiling overhead, some of us may never fly- how cruel.

Settle my heart, quiet now, let me rest.... I need to focus on today...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The "Secret Female Code" Shhhhh

The past week was interesting! :o)

The aggressive growth in my face was benign and was removed last Tuesday. I have stitches & a bandage on my face until the stitches come out this Tuesday. Went to a plastic surgeon and he did a good job, so hopefully, there will be no scar.

I arrived at work Thurs. discover the old weight machines that I wanted removed were finally being disassembled and taken OUT of the Fitness Center. YEAH!! Out with the old and in with the New.

A $20,000 grant came through for us. Mr. Grumpy-pants from the Health Department must've liked my kind response to his rude e-mail because when he showed up with the paperwork Fri, he was really nice- almost apologetic and had added an extra $1,000 to the grant money he had promised for a total of $9,500! :o) (I won't be in any newpaper photos for these though, because, frankly I'm not lookin' so hot with stitches in my face.) Oh well. Maybe we'll find a curly, red wig for Coach Hill and let him accept the checks. Ha ha ha

Two fitness instructors pulled out. They are BFF's and after teaching the same classes for years, I think they finally just got burned out. So, it looks like, when 2008 begins, I'll be teaching 'Kick-boxing' Mon, 'Pilates' Wed & 'Interval Cardio' Fri. Still teaching 'Strength & Stretch' Mon, Wed, Fri mornings and coaching FITT Kids twice a week. In addition to these, if the Spinning grant comes through I'm gonna be teaching that twice a week. Seriously though, it would be nice to hire another instructor! See, I get paid to have recess all day. Whoo-hoooo!!

Man, I'd better at least finish the blasted bike race this summer for all the workin' out I'm doing. Keep your fingers crossed for me on that- K? It's been so long since I've competed, just not sure I've got an edge. Lance Armstrong inspires me because he's older and has done so well. Brett Farve is amazing and 3 Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are older than me, so that makes me feel better.

The girls are doing well- growing like weeds! The offer on the house next door was accepted and I hope we can be in by the New Year.

My son got a B+ for his big writing project- I'm very proud. Each kid in the 5th grade had to invent a world & write about it. He finally brought the finished project home. I opened the cover on which he drew a picture of the imaginary place and the very first page says, "I, Jared dedicate 'Ice World' to my Mom who always sparked my imagination as a small child." (Okay, that is so sweet, I still tear up just thinking about it.) This is one of the memories that will be placed in my old hope chest with other little momentos of my children. I spent several hours each day for nearly 8 yrs, reading and telling stories to my kids. (Due to the strict nature of our religious beliefs, we had NO television until the last 3 years) I taught each of the kids to read because I wanted to be the one who gave them the gift of words. My littlest one, Josie now reads like a champ in 1st grade. :o)

Okay, one short little rant and I'll feel better: lol

I'm standing in the Fitness Center talking to one of my new Personal Trainers. He's a really nice guy- competitive body-builder. Anyway, we probably talked a good 20 mins while I was waiting for the floors to dry so I could start moving equipment. There was nothing inappropriate said and several feet between us. 3 older ladies were walking the track. I said, "Hello" when they first started and they all smiled. But after they had gone by several times, one of them started shooting me "the look". I HATE that look! It's the dirty look that says, "You little hussy, who do you think you are talking to that man?!" This happened two or three times and she was VERY CLEARLY trying to send me a message.

Okay, lady GET a LIFE! He's married with 3 kids, he is MY employee and I'm gonna have to interact with him sooner or later. Don't be hatin' on me 'cause I get to talk to him and YOU don't. Besides, if I was hittin' on him, would I be doin' that in public.... with a big BANDAID on my face?!

In the end, I went ahead and cut the conversation short and he left. When the ladies were done walking the track, they settled into the Cardio room. I walked right past them on my way out, smiled and said, "Well, hello again!" The staring lady looked at me coldly and said, "So, you know Daryl, huh?" I said, "Yes, he works for me" and she said, "Well, I work at the dental office where he, his WIFE and children go." Yep, the lady was sending me a message. This kind of thing seems to happen no matter where I go and I'm SICK of it!

So, here is a tongue-in-cheek reveal of the rules of insanity women make up for other women concerning "appropriate" social behavior:

1) You are only allowed to talk to men I'm not secretly attracted to.
2) If I think you are younger, hotter, popular or more successful than me, I will HATE you- it's just the natural order of things.
3) If you are talking to someone of the opposite sex and your spouse, nor their spouse are present, that automatically means an affair has/is or is gonna happen and I am automatically entitled to be suspicious and to voice my suspicions to everyone I feel may be interested in a little dirt fest.
4) You are not allowed to speak to any male that me, my Mother, sister, Aunt's cousin or roomate may even be remotely interested in. We may NEVER let on that he is the object of our fantasy lives, but you'd better just KNOW- that's how "the code" works.
5) If I send you the hate stare, it's not bluffing, I REALLY DO hate you and when you see the signal, you'd better respond by cowering and ending whatever interaction you are having with my secret hottie ASAP.
6) If you are fit and/or have a nice body, I automatically have the right to berate you to all my girlfriends by saying that you've had a boob job and wear a wig. If your name ever comes up in conversation when any male is present, I am entitled to enlighten him as to your every flaw. "Who her? Well, I saw her in the locker room once shaving her beard".... "You know, underneath all those workout clothes, she is grotesquely disfigured." You HAVE been warned!
7) You should automatically KNOW when I have PMS and stay out of my way! Hisssssss
8) If I don't like cars, action films, sports, the great outdoors or fitness, then you can't like that stuff either or the guys may think you are cooler than me and I WON'T allow it.
9) The only reason any woman interacts with any man is because she's offering a piece. Friendship between a mature male & female simply is NOT possible so don't even go there, lil' miss innocent.
10) You are NEVER allowed to be friendly, confident or successful. I am the only one allowed to be that way and I ALWAYS deserve to be the center of attention. If I suck on Karaoke night, you better not do better than me. You should be content to keep silent and stay OUT of my way...
11) If you fail to abide by any portion of "the secret female code" I am then free to destroy you in any way I deem necessary to make myself look or feel better than you.

Can any of you ladies relate? Have you ever fallen victim to "the secret female code"? Guys be glad you get to live by different rules. I wonder, is there a male code, we ladies don't know about??? If so, do tell....