Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Game of Life

My all time favorite board game was The Game of Life. After you spin the wheel, you get to move across the game board, while all kind of things happened to you along the way depending on where you landed. You got to make a few choices like school or college, and house or vacation. They even let you get a chance to go back to school and change careers somewhere in the middle.

I absolutely loved this game. I can remember how excited I was when I convinced all my cousins to play one holiday and we filled up the board game with our cars. Such a vivid memory is usually caused by a feeling or emotion which in this case would be disappointment. My excitement built up as I recruited players, set up, and we finally started our journey across the colored board filled with life events opportunity, choice, failure, and sometimes good luck. After my car had only completed halfway across the board, I watched them lose interest one by one and despite my enthusiasm and motivation, we just quit. I never understood why nobody liked this game as much as me. I eventually got the computer game when I was in high school.

I miss playing board games especially one that gives me the opportunity to make different choices each time to see where I would end up. If you know me at all, you must be able to imagine the look on my face as my eyes lit up and I shouted YES after someone mentioned playing on their phone a few months ago.  So much fun! We each took turns passing around the phone to spin and watch where our car would land. Halfway through the game I realized that the other players were married and filling up their car with more kids. It kind of felt nice cruising solo in my car and when the game ended I realized something did change about The Game of Life  “I don’t have to get married anymore? “

As I’m doing research while I’m writing this, I’m having a tough time finding the exact date of this change. I remember from childhood this not being a choice and the celebrations allowed the player a chance to spend for gifts. Weddings and baby showers were pretty much everybody else’s favorite part. I even remember once somebody must have landed on all the “fertile spaces” because we were faced with a dilemma. The car is only big enough for a family of six and nobody had ever had more than 4 children before. What really had me confused was why the game was even set up for this to happen. What if we had more players and all the cars were being used. I kind of realized then that four kids or less should pretty much be the standard. 
According to Wikipedia for the 1980s version included:
“Red spaces now always signify a major life event (e.g. graduation, marriage, buying a house, retirement) and must be stopped on even if the spin is greater than the number needed to land on them. The "decision" spaces are now blue and if landed on, the player can choose to follow them or do nothing”

The last time we played about two months ago I only remember that I didn’t have to get married and I didn’t have any kids. I was still riding around Solo for the first time. The Game of Life is always changing. If you are interested at all take a look at the link below to see how many areas of life have been affected so that the game matches up with our own.
I don't think anybody shared my interest in this game because there was no strategy to win. Winning at the end didn't even feel like much of an accomplishment to me.  I simply liked the adventure and suspense of what would happen next.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hearts, Smiles, and Tweets: How to Connect and Build Relationships

Twitter is just like high school, college, and the real world. You make friends with people who are just like you, who share common goals and interests with you, who can teach you something or provide you with information, and eventually people who are learning something from you.

Tweet with a positive attitude and motivating energy.  They say smiling while you talk over the telephone can alter your mood and tone of voice.  I am smiling 25% of the time and laughing the other 75%  so practice  the "smile while we tweet" and see how it goes.  If you were a cheerleader and high school Socialite like myself, you will build your friendships quickly. However if you are not a naturally outgoing and friendly person and expect to have a more difficult time with this, you might consider additional resources to provide further guidance.

Before you Tweet

1. Establish your goals
2. Blog should be created
3. Face book page created and updated
4. Linked account created
5. Any other websites, pages, links that you have ready

Tweet Time

1. Initial First Impression (name, photo, bio, background)
2. Search using interests. You have to find people.
3. Making Initial Contact and exchange of information
4. Watch tweets, find out more about them using bios lists and replies
5. Researching their work by website, face book, blogs
6. Follow “Will you be my friend”
7. Promote and sell yourself to them. Why do they want to follow you?
8. Reply back to messages, replies, say thank you. Show you care.
9. Relationship Forms (Follow and Follow Back)
10. Be Real – you will find out quicly who you connect with

Avoid Getting Dumped

1. Tweet on a regular basis, stay in the picture
2. Content of tweets. Funny, Informational, Inspiring, Current Information
3. Be yourself. It works. Be funny, and personable. Mess up. Ask for help.
4. Stay close to your friends. Reply,Re-tweet and message
5. Share your friends and support each other.
6. Give compliments. Your enthusiasm can only be read.
7. Don’t hold back. The friends who cut you off are not the ones you need
8. Making it a Long Term Relationship (possibly with benefits)
9. Don’t compete. Acknowledge accomplishments and seek advice
10. Remember the little people. Once you make, you help someone else.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nicki Minaj - Right Thru Me (Clean Version)

My Love/Life List (annual update)

Pray every day
Read the whole Bible
Go to church on Sunday (become a member)
Learn how to meditate
Visit the Holy Land
Form a prayer group
Forgive" people from my past, overcome anger
Change somebody’s life
Be positive every day
Say no without feeling bad
Attend a Catholic Mass

Call my family more often
Stay in touch with old friends (email, call, myspace, facebook, etc)
Message all my friends on myspace, facebook
Meet someone new every day
Host a family reunion and maybe trip
Host a reunion with high school friends
Help organize 10-year reunion (October 2011)

Run 30 miles a week every week
Get back into lifting weights
Take a yoga class
Take a Pilate's class
Get back to my previous fitness level
Run a marathon
Run 2 miles in less than 14 minutes
Swim for a whole mile
Complete triathlon
Buy a bike and ride it
Go on a long hiking trip
Be a vegetarian for 1 month
Go 30 days with no soda
Go 30 days with no chocolate

Read 1 book each month
Start a blog
Write in a journal every day
Fill a journal with inspiring quotes, lyrics, images, and ideas
Write an article for a magazine or online
Write a book (published)
Become a freelance writer
Create a website
Build my daughter a hope chest
Make scrapbooks
Make Mom scrapbook or collage.
Learn how to sew (make a piece of clothing)
Take an art or craft class
Make a fashion journal (magazine pics)

Volunteer a few hours each month
Join at least 2 nonprofit organizations
Start a non-profit organization
Organize a charity fundraiser
Give up/dedicate a birthday or Christmas to charity
Go on a charity/volunteer vacation
Get coco (my dog) a work certificate
Rescue a dog

Learn CPR (get recertified)
Learn to drive a stick shift engine
Learn to play golf
Learn to play the guitar
Learn/Practice playing the piano again
Learn how to ski
Learn to snowboard
Leanr to speak Spanish
Learn to speak another language (maybe Italian)
Learn how to cook (classes?)

Learn to surf
Learn to water ski
Complete my college degree (Finally finish the last COMM course
Complete Masters in Psychology or Religion
Teach a college class
Learn Spanish
Learn another language (Italian)
Get a great job
Change jobs until I'm completely happy
Start my own business/work for myself
Become an expert or teach a class

Find my true love
Get married
Go on a blind date
Join an online dating service
Never get divorced!!

Get a tattoo
Get rid of clutter and only keep what matters most
Take my mom on vacation to special place she has never been
Visit all 50 states
Live in another country
Travel or live in Europe (go back to Rome!)
Go to Disneyland
Go on a cruise
Be on Amazing Race! Send Application and find partner!
Swim with dolphins
Go scuba diving
Feed the sharks
Ride in a helicopter
Go white water rafting
Go skiing
Learn how to surf
Go up in a hot air balloon
Go sailing
Go camping
Climb a mountain
Ride a camel
Ride an elephant
Take horseback riding lessons; start riding again
Go to museums, art shows, etc more often
Attend a wine class, learn about wine
Go to drive in movie theatre
Go on a picnic

Go on a trip around-the-world
Go to Egypt
Go to Hawaii
Go to Ireland
Go to Italy
Go to London
Go to Niagra Falls
Go to Paris
Go to the Grand Canyon
See the aurora borealis
See the Great Wall of China
see the rain forest

Financial plan (contact brother for Financial Advisor help)
Find a part time job (preferably from home)
Create a legit budget I can handle
Pay off credit card debt
Pay off student loans
Pay off builder for house
Savings Account (Disaster/Accident covered for 6 months of no work)
Savings Account – Travel/Adventure
Buy a dependable “Green” Car
Build a house (and actually keep it lol)
Build a log cabin or purchase a house on the beach
Buy a new good quality laptop (MAC)

Take dancing lessons
Get a tattoo
Get my palm read (fortune teller)
Learn more about how to plants (how to plant and keep alive)
Get professional pics taken
Learn how to change a tire
Meet the President
Go to Britney Spears concert
Get married
Have Children

Go deep sea fishing
Go hang gliding
Go to a NASCAR race
Go to a prfessional football game
Go to a professional baseball game
Go to a prfessional basketball game
Go to a professional hockey game
Raft through the Grand Canyon

Keeping up with the Christmases: Memories for my Brother

Living in “Christmas Crazy” for over two decades beginning with decorating drama that includes my Christmas tree decoration and light negotiation which took ten years to win and ending in the official one-sided family gathering (Mom’s family) which includes the annual sometimes semi-annual question and/or reference to future events that include what seems like foreign vocabulary words such as: marriage, children, settle down, house. For someone who just last month started the “two more years of twenties” and a brother who is just now entering that “quarter-life crisis”, year which in my case took 3 years to overcome, we have formulated some interesting answers using his innovative mind and my persuasive communication skills. I do believe we might be close to having our traditional, Christian, old-fashioned, redneck, and crazy loud family understand what my brother has been saying now for the past ten years every time we are thrown into the bunch. As we sit there side by side observing the festivities we have the same thoughts in our mind watching the craziness unfold, he will say the phrase or sentence or even just make a comment that I wait to hear each year.
“Kristin, I don’t think we fit in or belong in the family sometimes, how did we turn out like we did?”
“We are different and have our own opinions, open-minded, laidback, where did we get that from?”
“We are the only two not married or having kids and the only two who went to college. I don’t get it”
“Do you think Mom is mad or thinks we don’t love her because we aren’t like the rest of the family?”
“Let’s just go sit in the car so we can smoke and listen to music.”

And this year on the phone Thanksgiving morning: “Yeah I don’t want to go alone. Man I don’t even feel like going. I’m so tired. Gosh. I really just want to go and see Mom, eat, and then leave…..After Thanksgiving my brother mentions hanging out with our uncle. ”Tom is more normal like us, but that’s why everybody thinks he is kind of crazy and different, but he’s not even really from the family, he just married into it”

Dear Jonathan,

It took me 20 years, but now I can answer most of those questions for you now. We only learned 50% of who we really were being with only one side of the family. We are so much alike and we only had one other person who could fully understand us, each other. We did however end up living with the 50% that is crazy, neurotic, goofy, loud, anxiety induced, fast-paced, friendly, overly hyper and dramatic, procrastination and stress was learned along with love, family values, kindness, and being thankful and appreciative for every single things. We were different because we were the only two that would actually say out loud all the things everybody else was thinking or hiding. Hiding imperfections wasn’t being the real people we really were, plus we like to laugh and talk about the problems first and then try to fix or accept them. When we said the family was crazy, we weren’t trying to be unique or different. We were actually just being real and honest plus being crazy would make our family fit in with the rest of the world more.
Remember how I used to get impatient trying to help you open your gifts. Mom majored in Christmas Holiday Management at the North Pole which included a certificate and in depth study of gift wrapping. More specifically she gained experience working with Santa one year as an official gift wrapper in the mall. With red and green paper, tape, and ribbon, along with double layer wrapping techniques and ribbons that could lock up a gift like Ft. Knox, she would always know if you had tampered with any gifts pre-Christmas morning. If you were searching for a hole, tear, or slight opening that might give you the smallest indication of what she was hiding, you would never find it. She was really good at hiding the gifts too. Well second thought her strategy was a familiar trait that I can relate to. Procrastination and being late are not always such a bad combination depending on the event or circumstance. In this case especially, I believe she would wait until the very last week until she would go and fetch toys from her hiding places and then spend hours the last two nights wrapping a majority of the gifts.
This gift could be me making up for not helping you out all those years. I finally found the scissors and I have cut the ribbon and I was able to carefully cut through some of this wrapping paper. I basically have given you a head start and a chance to see what is inside. The only problem is you won’t fully be excited or happy about it until you open it up all the way and take it out the package. Of course many of your gifts required your ever so helpful and bright big sister who would take over the mechanical and set-up by thoroughly reading the directions, laying out the necessary parts, and working to make sure its perfection would receive a 100% if graded. The memories that I’m going to share for you are only my version, only the part of the gift that I am going to help you open. On Christmas morning, I’m going to let you be the one to tear open the rest of the present and even take it out the package. As you read through the rest of this gift, you are going to see, remember, and feel the memories in a totally different way and have even more to add which is going to be your gift back to me. Since I was so serious and perfect and you were so fun and getting in trouble, your memories are going to be so much more fun to me! Enjoy 20-something years of Christmas!

1. Christmas Decorating Day

Christmas Decorating Day, a day that was once scheduled during the Thanksgiving holiday and would be moved up at least one day each year. I believe this year’s “holiday house on high street takeover” occurred the 2nd week in November and if my calculations are correct, I believe our children will be on holiday decoration duty with “Mimi”, the modern and unique name Mom has pre-selected to replace the traditional “Grandma” or “Nanny”, at the end of each summer vacation before returning them back which would put an end to the summer party/traveling that would occur during their absence. I recommend that we initiate an unofficial holiday and name it “Season Decorating Day” or “Holiday House Day”.

2. Christmas Decorating Disorder (CDD)

After the Happy Thanksgiving, they start coming out daily. If Bravo had a reality show for those with CDD then they could film in our hometown with all “The Real House-Elves of Colonial Heights”. Better yet, if they were selecting for the cast based on decorations, my mother could possibly be an easy finalist. Christmas Tree, mistletoe, dozens of Santa’s, reindeer, and snowmen, several Nativity Scenes, located in multiple areas of the house. The kitchen and bathroom get makeovers as well with a selection of themed towels and kitchen decorations. The radio is set to station “Nothing but Christmas 24/7 and I’m sure it is not turned off before New Year’s. My personal favorite was "Feliz Navidad". Is it a coincidence that our future step-dad would in fact be fluent in Espanol and Mexican?

The “holiday-card doorway” is also an annual favorite. What my mother would do if she received a Christmas card from someone and she had not mailed one out to them? Send one out immediately of course as this would be considered a “Santa Sin” that she had made. I don’t know if she ever kept any of the cards as memories? But I do know that I would ask her for them and she would let me have some and I would reuse the pictures to create some masterful artwork or collection that I’m still wondering more about. I honestly believe that I made my own cards for the following year. Yes, I was a natural born Christmas Card Recycler saving one more “Real Christmas Tree” at a time that I still have never had before.

3. Stockings and Stuffers

Trying to figure out whose stocking belonged to whom as they slightly differed. Who has the teddy bear in a stocking and who has the teddy bear in a sled? I believe it was agreed that the sled represented a sport in which we could use gender make the final decision. While my brother’s teddy bear was having fun sledding in snow, my dumb bear was sitting up a stocking? This same debate occurred every year. Could we not afford to have our stockings with embroidered names on them? No we could not. We would also not label or remember for the following year which would result in another teddy bear sled versus stocking debacle. Not! I’m so much smarter than that. I am pretty sure that I always remembered, but I wanted the sled so bad I had to test out their memory every year. I would have tied a pink string or labeled the stocking the first year, but then again “is that your stocking or mine?” made it on my memory list. Stockings are carefully emptied out and sorted through first thing Christmas morning. This is the official “first gift” I assume. Of course my mother is also a “certified stocking stuffer”” and has made certain items official “stocking stuffer must haves” each year. Gum, chocolate candy, lip gloss, nail files for me, baseball cards/etc for my brother, pens, small travel items like toothpaste and lotions and random items that I’m still not sure about but often find months/years later and still don’t understand. Somehow I feel obligated to keep them around for a while at least. My Barbie key chain is actually an item received via stocking last year.

4. The Crazy Christmas Tree

It all started with a fake Christmas tree that was once short enough for our mother, who stood heel-less at exactly five feet, to finalize the Christmas tree using just a stepping stool as she carefully placed the Angel or Star at the top. Blue, yellow, green, red, white lights filled the tree up. My mother was a true professional and would take on this task individually. I just realized the reason for this a year ago when I attempted to light my tree and failed miserably getting tangled in the mess and having issues with outlets and extensions. Garland, ice cycles, even old school style popcorn, we have done it all. Consider the Christmas tree to be the end of the year craft project that represents our family and we experimented each year to make it better than the year before.

My favorite memory and one of my first Christmas memories is making ornaments with my mom and brother. I must have been only four or five at the time. My Mom was cutting out shapes of trees, gingerbread men, ornaments, snowmen. We colored with markers and crayons; glitter was obviously involved as it is in most of my artistic work, other cut out designs, stickers, maybe even stencils were involved in our “Christmas Craft Collection”. I remember the exact feeling I had when she lifted up the masterpiece which I’m sure she was 95% responsible for creating. Somehow I felt so accomplished and successful. We had made a beautiful ornament out of some scrap paper, glue, and glitter, and it was more beautiful than any other ornament. Basically I learned that day that I could turn nothing into something incredible. It was imagination.

Note: I will appreciate these ornaments making it to the tree this year. Thank you.

5. Snowflake Sweaters and Jingle Bell Earrings

Wearing crazy outrageous sweaters and sweatshirts with all forms of holiday print and decorations to include sequins, glitter, bells, and more was once considered a Fashion Must Have. You would be busy at work making noises with bells or any other holiday gadget that could draw all attention on yourself whether it be positive or negative while I would be carefully selecting a pair of Mom’s trendy Christmas earrings which I could easily call ornaments based on the color, size, and/or flashing red or green light that would compliment my entire holiday look as I paired it up with the perfect sweater/sweatshirt, socks, etc.

6. Christmas Concerts and Costumes: Solos and Halos

Attending countless rehearsals for the star role and solos/duets in the several Christmas plays both at church and school. These performances in which robes or halos were worn included several weeks, days, and nights of practice as the performance would be the highlight of the entire year. I have a certain memory of you as an "Angel” Is this correct? Did you ever have the role as "the Angel that visited Mary to tell her about baby Jesus?" My memory is hardly ever wrong even when it is as vague as this one, but I do somewhat recall a “garland halo”.

7. Part-Time Piano Player (Christmas Carols and Background Dances)

I would be playing/practicing several Christmas carols on Mom’s keyboard which would be replaced in roughly three years by a piano via step-dad in which I would perform several solo numbers which have been recorded and even mailed to my fans and viewers aka family members. Using my ever so incredibly awesome "Christmas piano book" which remains to be 1 of the only 3 piano books I ever had before I moved on to my next creative/artistic interest or hobby.

8. Managing The Gifts Under the Tree

Watching you shake presents under the tree and contemplate which would be the lucky winner to be selected as the infamous "night before Christmas gift" (The annual holiday tradition in which we would select one gift to open Christmas Eve night) as I in my what is now known as ADD/OCD/Perfectionism state would frantically rearrange the gifts hourly as if our tree was somehow being graded using a grading scale that include “bonus points” or perhaps be selected as the Christmas trees to stand in the mall beside Santa Clause in the mall in which every child’s picture throughout the tri-city area would be affected by the exact placement of each gift that lie below it. (We’re are parents using this as a form of teasing or was this merely a smart way to help build the excitement?)

9. Watching “A Christmas Story” at least five times. This deserved its own memory! Didn’t you try to get your tongue stuck on a pole one time?

10. Final Round (literally) The Fight in the snow.

I recall a certain 12-year old young blonde girl successfully perform the perfect head shove into the snow of her 8-year old brother which was followed by an immediate retaliation in which a young WWA fan used his frequent practice and rehearsals along with the revenge that remained to be his primary motive. (My face buried in snow for at least 10 seconds compared to my 3 second win against you) Using my ever so impressive communication and persuasion skills passed along by our father, I skillfully crafted the ever so perfect “tattle tale” within seconds sprinted inside the house. The one-sided story was tragically ruined by the ever so clever use of “The Mom Cam" This should be viewed during the holiday festivities in honor of my absence.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Motivational Quotes

Motivation plays a major role in whether or not we truly find success, happiness, and peace.  While some people have that natural ability to strive for their goals on a daily basis, others face life challenges which may have left them in pain causing them to pull even further away from family, friends, and anything else that used to be important.  This list of quotations might help if your getting stuck in the holiday/winter rut or it could provide you with a great selection to choose from for your next status update on facebook.  Enjoy. 

Adversity is the first path to truth. - Lord Byron
Believe you can and you're halfway there. - Theodore Roosevelt
Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. - Sigmund Freud
Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. - Marie Curie
Be a friend to yourself, and others will be so too. - Thomas Fuller
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact. - William James
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. - Victor Hugo
One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. -Arthur Ashe
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up. - Mark Twain
To live happily is an inward power of the soul. - Marcus Aurelius
Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. -C.S. Lewis
I walk slowly, but I never walk backword. - Abraham Lincoln
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. - Henry David Thoreau
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. - Buddha
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. - Winston Churchill
Success is a journey, not a destination. - Ben Sweetland
Adversity is the touchstone of friendship - French Proverb
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. - Theodore Roosevelt
Always do what you are afraid to do. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The great artist and thinker are the simplifiers. - Henri Frederic Amiel
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Failure is success if we learn from it. - Malcolm Forbes
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. - Theodore Roosevelt
Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you've got. Jim Rohn
It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
You cannot depend on your eyes when you imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain
There is no instinct like that of the heart. - Lord Byron
The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. - Buddha
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
To have joy one must share it. Happiness was born a twin. - Lord Byron
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. - Jonathan Swift
Do not let it be your aim to be something, but to be someone. - Victor Hugo
With the realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world. - Dalai Lama
If you're doing you best, you won't have any time to worry about failure. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Nobody can hurt me without my permission. - Mahatma Gandhi
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. - Henry David Thoreau
Nothing happens unless first a dream. - Carl Sandburg
The beginning is the most important part of the work. - Plato
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. - Buddha
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. - Dalai Lama
The important thing is not to stop questioning. curiosity has its own reason for excisting. - Albert Einstein
Life's most persistent and urgent question is "What are you doing for others" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. - Buddha
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. - Theodore Roosevelt.
Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. - Theodore Roosevelt
The most important question to ask on the job is not "What am I getting?" but rather "What am I becoming?" - Jim Rohn
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourselff in the service of others. - Mohandas Gandhi
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. - Benjamin Disraeli
Choice, not circumstances, determines your success. - Author Unknown
The energy of the mind is the essence of life. - Aristotle
Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. - Dalai Lama
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa
Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. - Buddha
Things do not happen. Things are made to happen. - John F. Kennedy
The best way out is always through. - Robert Frost
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. - Winston Churchill
Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. - Marie Curie
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. - John F. Kennedy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato
What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. - Thaddeus Golas
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu
Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. - Dalai Lama
If you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself. - American Proverb
The purpose of our lives is to be happy. - Dalai Lama
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. - Dalai Lama
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Mohandas Gandhi
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. -Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Teach me how to Twitter"

Lori: "Tweet it to me so I can retweet it out"
Me: "I need to learn how to use twitter"
Lori: "I can give you a lesson tonight".

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my best friend Lori!  She is truly my real soul mate.  I did research on the whole soul mate search and love at first sight and its definitely not what we all learned watching those countless romantic movies like "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail".  Soul mates can be your best friend or somebody that walks in your life for a certain reason.  I would say probably less than 10 percent maybe even less than 5 percent actually end up marrying or having a real legitimate relationship with a soul mate.

Eight years ago I had ssimilar to a "love at first sight"  something extremely better.  I like to call it "She's going to be my best friend forever at first sight". 

Five years ago we started talking about my book "Stilettos to Combat Boots" before I left for Kuwait in 2004.  I started writing a bunch of stories and journal entries while I was there and after my return.  I wrote about everything from relationships, haircuts, and how crazy it was for me to join the army.  I am now in the process of searching, looking, and creating some sort of collaboration for all of the amazing ideas I have and of course my bluntly honest opinion on what I have learned along the way.

I always wondered why I was never the kind of girl to get too hung on to relationships or friendships that came in and out of my life.  I almost felt like of cold.  Well, I actually still feel kind of cold at times.  I'm not much of  a hugger, birthday remembering, present giving, or emotional kind of friend.  I'm not going to always remember to tell you how much you mean to me, but.........

My memory is freaking awesome.  After reading a few books and doing some deep research into my past, I realized that my memories alone were what I was capturing.  I can remember the smallest details from my past and I saved things along the way.  I keep a box of things to remember like old movie tickets or random tickets to trips that we took.  Did I mention all the business cards I have.  I looked through them a few months back.  I have almost everybody I have ever met!  Even before the facebook, myspace, twitter generation.  I have stores, restaurants, and random businesses from NYC, L.A, Vegas, Europe.  I even have crazy shot glasses and other random small "memory reminders" from Mexico, Myrtle Beach, Kuwait, etc.

Okay now to the point.  All my life I have been subconsciously planning/going through the process of becoming a writer.  I just never really knew it until a few months ago. 

1.  I knew I always wanted to write
2.  I have saved emails, myspace and facebook messages,
3.  I have notebooks after notebooks with quotes from friends, to do lists, and ideas
4.  I have every single CD from high school and all my mixed CDs (songs bring back tons of memories)
5.  I have all my old hard copy pictures from childhood until digital pictures organized and labeled in photo boxes.

I have only just began to really start "cleaning out my life" and go through all these things.  It makes writing my book so much easier though.  I have to say reading all the old emails back from 2004-2005 is going to be emotional because I will see what friends were really supportive during my time in Kuwait.  **Oh yeah I just remembered.  I have hand written letters from while I was in basic training/AIT.  I can't wait to find these!  I can already remember specific friends who I am not in contact with at the moment who were truly there for me while I was gone and kept me in their thoughts and prayers.  To all my Friends, Family,"Sigma Sisters" and whoever else who has come into my life, I might just have a few surprises in the next year or two.

Procrastination is my biggest flaw, along with being late to just about anything.  But I see it like this:

"I don't believe there is such a thing as being too late" - Kristin Wasilewski

Its never too late to apologize, say thank you or congratulations, email somebody back, or in my world text or call back.  It is never too late to make it to an event, apologize for not making it, or confess to somebody that you have a problem with time and it doesn't mean you don't really care about them.  It is truly never too late to let someone from your past know how they made you smile or how much you appreciate them and how lucky you are they came into your life  :) 

So now your asking how does Lori, my best friend, sister I never had, soul mate, fit into all this.  Well she is just like me.  I don't think we have ever called, text, or given presents for birthdays or Christmas.  (I take it back I did give her an awesome gift one year.  Hilarious actually.  I'm not going to say yet, I want to ask her if she remembers first).  Lori might call me and leave a message that is so funny to listen to and I won't call her back for weeks.  We have gone months without talking for some reason or another.  She never understood my relationship, which should have been a RED ALERT from the beginning.  I never understand hers.  But in reality, we actually do understand.  Does that make sense??  We never hugged when we left each other for saw each other.  We often met at the bar or club, and didn't really like "getting ready together". When Lori stood up at my first official Sigma event and answered this question. 

Who do you look up to the most as a role model and why?
Lori:  I look up to Britney Spears because she is only "22" at the time and she has done "blah blah blah".  She listed off all the awards, credentials, and whatever that Britney Spears had done so far.  It was that moment that I watched her standing there and my mind just said to itself "She is going to be your best best friend forever".  Crazy huh?  Of course Britney Spears has been my #1 since I was 15 years old, but it was more than that.  It was the way she described her,  the passion in her description, the way she was truly selling our girl Britney.  Not to mention the way that she was goofy, silly, and really didn't care what anybody else would think of her "stupid and possibly shallow choice of a role mode".

From that moment, we were just the same.  Make-up checks in the car, traveling like we were born for it, passion for fashion and it goes on and on.  **Oh and my favorite.  The first night I stayed at her parents house in the guest bedroom.  I woke up for the first time before my other friend.  She slept in even worse than me!  I remember thinking dang, I can go back to sleep.  I even remember wondering if she was ever going to wake up!  And that is when I knew I had met my match.  Oh yeah and of course we are ALWAYS LATE!!!

And this relates to my writing and future how?  Well we all need that somebody that motivates us and makes us better right.  Well lets just say that after one crazy 15 minute conversation and one 30 minute Twitter lesson later, I have just sat here without moving and written out this crazy blog post.  How about that for some inspiration?  Who needs to get married when you can become something great with your best friend right there beside you.  Or on the phone over a thousand miles away in New York City

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Peace, Passion, and Procrastination"

Inspiration can come in any form and at any time of the day.  I can be in the middle of a conversation and a single thought from something that happened over a month ago can pop into my brain and take over!  Well today that is what happened when I found what I think is the best title for my blog "Peace, Passion, and Procrastination".

"Peace" is something everybody is truly searching for their entire life.  I found peace "inner peace"  this past summer after I endured experiences that will eventually come out throughout my blogging so that you will better understand.  I will have to give credit to these books "Eat, Pray, Love" and "The Power of Now" which prompted me to further research the subject and eventually link it up with everything I had been taught my whole life about God and the Bible.  The difference is that this time I was learning and understanding it my own way, which I believe is the only way you can truly believe.  Peace is so beautiful because once you find it for yourself, you learn to have peace in everything you do and with everybody that steps in and out of your life.  I started to realize that I couldn't get mad or angry at anybody or anything.  I wanted to make peace with my past and I learned to live in the present moment.  I now enjoy every moment of my life just like I should and I absolutely love life.  Peace is also wonderful because it opens up the doors to the next word "Passion"

Passion is my new favorite word.  By the way I'm leaning towards this word to be used as my very first tattoo which I have been searching for about ten years now.  Here is the link for the official definition  My own definition would go something like "to love, believe, and put forth all your energy into something"  I love having a passion for something and I truly love to see when others have a passion for something.  It inspires me every day when I talk to people who are truly passionate about what they are doing or what they believe in.  There is a bit of a problem with the word for myself because I am too passionate or to describe it better "I have too many passions"  Here are just a few:

writing, reading, learning, life, people, traveling, culture, music, fashion, religion, relationships, communication, nature, animals (dogs), organizing, friendships, romance, entertainment, psychology, fitness, health,etc

Just about anything and everything other than sports.  I can never see myself passionate about a particular team or sport.  I like working out (running in particular) and I don't mind going to games and watching sports, but I don't feel like I need to spend time studying, learning, or keeping up with this subject.  I guess I'm just a girl or whatever, but I just can't get into it.  I tried once or twice.  I bought a book "The Girlfriend's Guide to Football" and I played fantasy football for two years, but this didn't trigger any attachment to the subject at all so I quit trying.  I would rather just spend time doing what I know I like, but at least this goes to show that I will try anything at least to see what happens. 

Procrastination is my biggest, largest, worst flaw ever.  I already know where it comes from, but I won't blame it on her completely.  I will just say that my memories from my childhood can easily explain why I wait until the last minute to do anything and I just live in the moment.  I have countless stories to tell on this subject so I won't go into detail now.  I have mastered the art of being a procrastinator and I can relate to all those who share this fault/character trait.  We are "perfect procrastinators". 

So there is the explanation for my blog.  "Peace, Passion, and Procrastination".  I'm so excited that my blogging has some sort of direction now!  Well I'm going to peace out of Barnes and Noble and go for a run with my dog to clear my head and burn off some of this excitement. 

Peace, Passion, and Procrastination


"I'm not Perfect, but I'm never Boring"

Well I can't believe I finally did it!  I finally published my blog and its not perfect.  My whole life I have been struggling with, well what have I not been struggling with.

Several books, articles, and conversations/experiences later, I realized that from childhood, I have been always trying to be perfect.  I grew up in church, attended private school, transferred to public school, went to college, and tried to make a relationship work and the whole time I was just trying to fit the mold of being perfect and live up to the expectations that I actually created for myself.  I don't place blame on anybody or anything and I thank everybody and everything that ever happened to me along the way.

I learned the best thing ever which is......"Being perfect isn't even normal.  And I never want to be normal"

So of course this is a warning to all my readers that my blog is going to be imperfect, fun, informal, and whatever else it can be that is going to show you everything that I am.  As you can see my blog is now called "Peace, Passion, and Procrastination" which is a random phrase that I thought of just today as I was leaving work.  Partly inspired by my best friend/soulmate Lori Vining and her recent sign off from her video application which is "Peace, Love, and Sunglasses", I realized that "Peace, Passion, and Procrastination" is everything me all combined into one great phrase which is now my blog!  You will also notice that the actual URL is still one of my old blog titles as I have been trying to find the "perfect" title before I published my blog for the world to read.  And so today, I felt so compelled to write/publish and kick off this passion that I have for writing and I really don't care how not "perfect" it is anymore.  This is a representation of me and so of course it can't be "perfect".

I want all my readers to criticize me on anything and everything.  I'm going to just write and not worry about my spelling, grammar, or anything that will slow me down.  I'm just going to spill out all the crazy stories, facts, ideas, and stuff that is in my head.  Please follow me, read me, share me, and just basically support me and I will be forever thankful. 

Peace, Passion, and Procrastination,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Battle of the Bugs

Attack, Kill, and Destroy! These were the words going through my head each time I blasted another creepy critter with spray that would end their life and hopefully be a warning to the rest of their clan that Summer 2010 would be the end for them all. For about two weeks, I drowned the house in toxic fumes killing spiders, destroying their webs, and covering the outline of every entry way with a coating of poison that would kill them all.

Let me share some background information first: About four months ago the search was officially over. After a year looking for a "Replacement Friend" or one that would be the most like friends from home, I had found her. Once I made the "break-up" decision, I had to find a new place to live and quick so of course I turned to my number one resource Craisglist! She was the first post I read, so a few emails and one interview later, of course she picked me! Basically what I am saying is that my roommate of now going on 4 months is no other word but AWESOME because she is just like me in so many ways.

Independent, Career Driven, Not Boy Driven, Shopping, Nice, and just again I have to use the word AWESOME.

So here we are two girls living in her house as the beginning of summer approaches. Our first battle was with the lawn mower as this was my first time ever in life to cut the grass. We managed to overcome this task for two weeks until her ex was recently hired on for the position. What we both failed to remember was that when the summer comes, so do the bugs!

I still beleive that they all came overnight and attacked at once. One day we were fine, next day it was a battle to walk in the front door at night as they all hovered at the light entrance. It wasn't until I was bit by something (which I believe happened at work) and my foot swelled up so big that I couldn't even put a shoe on. This slow process eventually had me in urgent care getting a steroid shot in my booty which eventually caused the inflammation to go away.

Since I had seen a few spiders around the house, I assumed this is where I was bitten and so at that point REVENGE WAS MY MISSION! I bought two separate sprays. One would take care of the spiders and roaches and the other would kill the flying insects outside. During the first weekend, I can remember killing three spiders specifically! Most of my kills were on the front or back porch, but I did happen to catch a few crawling inside. After a week of this, I realized I had become a little crazy. I was getting an adrenaline rush each time I got in another kill. It was like I was that little boy I remember from my childhood pouring salt on the slugs and watching them dissolve away. I would spray and just stare at each of my victims as they died a slow death, hoping that they were in pain and all their friends were watching. This is so out of my character, but like I said it was Revenge!

I started to wonder, why after over 20 years of summers, this is the first time I felt like bugs were taking over my life. And then I realized, this was one of those jobs kind of like mowing the grass that I never had to deal with. My step-dad took care of it back when I was younger and I started to remember that my ex would buy spray when we lived together.

So the lesson learned is this. While tanning, blonder hair, and new bathing suits are a priority at the beginning of summer. Don't ever forget that preventing bugs needs to be somewhere on that list as well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Post Ideas

It's been almost about one year since I last wrote anything. After years of remaining in a relationship that left me physically, emotionally and unable to recognize who I had become, I found myself and ended my engagement And I love myself for that. I'll be posting all those changes, as I continue to write. Hopefully this time at least once a month. There are so many things I could write about.

Tulsa, Oklahoma - What I learned about the people, places, and Spiders

From Stilettos to Combat Boots: (Girl Miltiary Life and more)

The Plant I Tried to Save - Holding and when you know its time to let go

Single life at 27 - How to survive a relationship set you back a few years.

Organizing "It Girl" Style

Fashion Merchandising Degree - Finding your purpose in life at any age and making the change

Talking to Strangers: Communicating with just about anybody you want

How to make just about anybody like you?

Is your Soul Mate really just your BEST Friend?

5 Years, Engaged, Building a House and then I wake up

Organizing Your life while you Party Like a Rockstar

DJ Kris' Billboard Top 100 - the music that shaped life

Will I still love "The Hills" when I'm 30?

Sometimes I'm Jealous of Myself (looking at your life from the outside and loving it)

Love Me/Hate Me - people you meet in life that love you & hate you

The Mean Girl and the Smart Girl - and somewhere in between (how and why I survived honors class with the top 25 GPA students but partyed with all the popular kids on the weekend.

"When I Come Home For My 10-Year Reunion, I will come back Sexy, Single, Skinny and Hot" (how I once predicted that I would be the one to plan our high school 10-year reunion and also listed what I wanted to have accomplished before coming back (skinnier then high school, sexy, long hair, awesome job, living somewhere great, not married, no kids, pluse loving life and how this has recently become a reality. (Ironic?)

Army Barbies - attractive women in the Army: (a memoir of how finding friends that are like me is just as hard as fighting off the men that want to get with me without having a negative affect on my career

Church girl and Private School? (a strict religious childhood, the lies, hyprocrites, and "sinners" I saw along the way and how I found God on my own.)

Daddy's Girl - The life lessons my Dad taught me: finances and credit reports, taking care of my car, hanging out at the bookstore, computers care, more

Step-Daddy's Girl - My second Dad and how I was lucky to have two separate men help shape my life choices (I thank him the most for getting me out of private school)

Mom/Hero/Life Coach/Best Friend/Idol - My mother deserves her own book in the Bible like Esther based on what I've learned and seen in the past 27 years. How my recent choices and path for life have been based on remembering specific childhood memories that keep popping in my head. Her character, strength, faith, decisions, and actions are all remembered from as young as 8 and inspire me each day. She is the reason:

I trust so so so (too) easily
I am a giver, not a taker
I can take a lot of shit from a man before I call quits
I can't say no and when I do I feel horrible for a long time
I am so nice to anybody/everybody,
I make those around me feel as special as I can b/c if they feel special then I'm happy,
My happiness comes from making other people happy even if I'm miserable
I can take on a lot, but then I crash and cry it out. Then its over and done and I move on.
I am energetic, silly, and hyper. I like to make people laugh (and happy)
I give people 2nd, 3rd, 4th.........100th chances. It takes a lot to cut you out. I'm too nice.
I will always remember how to save money, go to thrift shops, and bargain shop
I take forever to make a decision (especially if its a big one)
I ask so many everybody questions they probably don't even know or
I ask advice, opinions, even when I already know but I just want approval
And so much more

Bucketlist....I hate that word. How about the "My Life is Awesome List"(updates on my life list and my plan to complete everything on it and why everybody needs to create one immediately)

Vacay like a Rockstar (Guide to planning a trip just about anywhere and do everything you want)

Yes I am dating a Black Man, (interracial dating after growing up in an all white community)

"He's just NOT that into you" (the movie that only gave you a preview of what you should really know)