Tag Archives: ramblings

Random Thoughts

17 Jan

This is part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. 20 Random Facts About Myself. This should be fun!

1. I cannot whistle. I used to be able to, and then somehow lost the ability.
2. I can only wink with my right eye, and then only barely.
3. I am right-handed, but the left side of my body is stronger than the right.
4. I love daisies, they are my absolute favorite. Lilies of various types are a close second. I don’t really like roses at all.
5. I don’t like chocolate.
6. I love my middle name (Elizabeth), but hate it when people shorten it to call me Sara Beth. Only my parents can get away with that.
7. I can quote nearly every line of several movies. The Lion King, Twister, and both of the Bad Boys movies to name a few.
8. I look at most magazines and catalogs backwards.
9. I don’t like oranges or cherries, nor do I like orange or cherry flavored things.
10. I am ridiculously uncoordinated. I am always falling or tripping or running into something.
11. I am afraid of clowns, spiders, and water I can’t see to the bottom of and I can’t stand feet!
12. I may officially be addicted to Chai Tea Lattes.
13. I love raisins! But only by themselves; never cooked or mixed with anything.
14. I am allergic to horseradish. It leaves blisters on the roof of my mouth. But, I eat it anyway, because it’s yummy!
15. I have very few actual memories of my childhood. Most of what I can tell you comes from stories other people have told me.
16. I don’t like vanilla scented candles or lotions, or anything that smells like “warm” foods.
17. I wish I could take a class to learn how to do different things with my hair and make-up. Sameness bores me.
18. Many aspects of my personality are exactly the opposite from who I was as a younger adult or teenager. That’s ok. I like myself better now!
19. I cannot drive very well in reverse. I always try to park in such a way that I can easily get out with very little backing up.
20. I love to read! I don’t get to do it often enough anymore. If I find a good book, it can get pretty dangerous. I could lose myself in it for hours.

So, there you have it. 20 things you didn’t know about me yesterday. Stay tuned early next week for some exciting changes to Life As I Know It!

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Dinner Party

7 Nov

This is part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. The prompt…. dinner party from history.

If I could have dinner with anyone from history, I believe it would be a four course excursion. I would also like to request no caloric repercussions for this dinner, since it’s my magical meal.

For the appetizer section, I would request spinach and artichoke dip, potato skins loaded with cheese, bacon, and sour cream, and cream cheese with pepper jack stuffed mushrooms.

Next comes soups and salads. Beautiful and delicious garden salads with potato soup. Served with garlic cheddar biscuits and crusty french bread with oil and herb dipping sauce.

Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the ...

Then the main entrée. Crab legs with melted butter, shrimp scampi, and grilled barbecue chicken. Served with sides of grilled veggies and baked macaroni and cheese.

For desert, fried ice cream, fruit cobblers, or salted caramel sundaes.

Goodness, that makes me hungry!

Now…… who to invite.

My first choice would be Jesus. It would be amazing to have the honor to sit face-to-face with the man after whom I’m striving to model my life. To hear Him speak. To look into His eyes. To embrace Him. If I ever got that opportunity, I would revel in it.

Hannah, the mother of Samuel, from the Bible. I find my circumstances having things in common with hers. I would like the opportunity to learn from her faith.

I would also love to sit down with Thomas Jefferson. He was a brilliant man and had so many ideas that were beyond his time. It would be so interesting to hear stories of how our nation was founded. To hear of his inventions and ideas. To get his take on our world today. To listen in hopes of learning something from such a man.

Marilyn Monroe has to make the list. I am such a fan of hers. She just oozed sexiness in a way that few other women ever have. I would love to be able to be that effortlessly beautiful. At the same time, her personal life is a sad, tragic story. I wonder what an honest, heartfelt conversation with her would be like.

Finally, my papaw. He passed away when I was very young. I have no memories of him, but I love who he was based on the stories I’ve been told. I missed out on so much as a little girl, growing up without a papaw, and I want to be able to get some of that back. I want to know what he smelled like. I want to sit next to him, close my eyes, and listen to his voice. I want to hear him tell me he loved me. I want him to meet my husband and children. I want him to be able to kiss my mamaw and hug my dad one last time. I want some of the time with him I should have had.

There you have it. My dream meal with 5 people I would love to share it with. Get creative. What and who would yours include?

Growing up is hard to do

11 Sep
BXP46603

BXP46603 (Photo credit: Wilson X)

Life has bumps.  All of life.  It seems that just when things might be going your way…. something happens that tries to bring you down.  My life has been hit with one of those times recently.  I haven’t even been able to begin to write anything for quite some time.  It’s very strange for me, a writer, to not be able to form words on a page.  Scary even.  Confusing.  But, I’m starting to dust myself off and what better way to do it than to write.  I’m going to write from a very real place without sharing details that I’m not ready to put into words yet.  And I’ve found the perfect way to do it.  This post will be part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me Series.  The prompt is The hardest part about growing up.  Here goes…..

When you’re young, all you want to do is grow up.  Big people have cars and phones and their very own money.  They get to go where they want and do what they want.  Nobody tells them what to do.  They make their own bed times and drink coffee.  It must be so nice to grow up.  And, growing up does have its perks.  But, then there’s the other side.  The part of life that makes growing up difficult and sometimes painful.

Decisions.  It sounds great to be able to make your own decisions.  Seems like the perfect way to live.  Sometimes it is.  I do enjoy eating a bowl of cereal at completely irresponsible times of the night.  And I like to choose what I watch on television. But, honestly, sometimes I just want someone to take those decisions from me.  I don’t want to have to decide what’s going to be for dinner when I’ve just had a long, stressful day.  I don’t want to have to choose whether the car gets new tires or the house payment gets paid on time. I don’t want to feel like my children’s entire lives can be changed by one decision I do or don’t make. That is a lot of responsibility. And there are days when I just don’t feel like deciding anything.
What I’m learning: Sometimes it’s ok to eat takeout after a long, stressful day. And, sometimes, you just have to close your eyes, pick the bill to pay, and pray. It will always work itself out in the end. Sometimes, you have to take a good, long look at the whole picture, make the decision that you think is right, and pray. It will always work itself out in the end. And, sometimes, you just need a day that includes a glass of wine, a good friend, and the time and space to vent about how much being an adult sucks. And know, as long as you never stop trying, it will always work itself out in the end.

Relationships. Fairy tales never give you the whole picture. Childhood doesn’t either. When you’re young, while you’re busy knowing everything, you are blissfully unaware of how difficult marriage and adult relationships can be. You think you know what love is. You think you know what committment is. But, until your love and committment are tested, you never fully realize the meaning of those words. And it’s in those moments that you are tested when you wish you could be blissfully unaware again.
What I’m learning: Relationships are hard. They are difficult and draining. They take work. They take an unbelievable amount of determination and sacrifice. Sometimes they are painful and scary. But, when you find the right person; they are worth it. The experience of loving someone so completely, of building a life and a future, of sharing all of life’s struggles and joys, is absolutely worth every single tear you may cry along the way.

Standing alone. Perhaps the hardest part of growing up is learning to walk without a safety net. The comfort and stability that you had as a child is gone. You are seemingly alone in a big, scary world. And with every wrong decision or rough patch, you wish there was someone there to help you pick up the pieces. It’s difficult to navigate when you’ve always been a passenger. It’s difficult to take the first step into the unknown without someone holding your hand. It’s difficult to begin a journey on your own. But, let me tell you this, the reward at the end of that first solo journey is a feeling that can’t ever be duplicated again.
What I need you to learn: You’re never alone. You, my children, will never be alone. I won’t be able to walk right next to you. I won’t be able to always hold your hand. I won’t be able to offer you an easy way out of every situation in which you find yourself. But, I can offer you a place to land. A safe place to lay your head when life gets rough. A place to come home to when you are overwhelmed. And, the confidence I have in you that you can accomplish everything you dream!

Scaredy Cat

17 Aug

This is a part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me Series. The prompt is…… Discuss three legitimate fears. (And hope no one uses them against you.)

My first fear, and the one most people know about me is the fear of clowns. I don’t know why this came about. Everyone always asks if it has anything to do with the movie It. It doesn’t. I’ve never seen any part of that movie. And this fear is fairly long-standing. I remember the first time I went to the circus. I was young…. maybe 7 (ish). And I hated it! I was quite the young animal rights activist and I couldn’t stand the way the animals were treated. And there were the clowns. I don’t like the idea of hiding your face. (Not a huge fan of masks, either) I don’t like the idea of fake constant happiness; it’s unnatural. I don’t like the complete disrespect of personal space. I don’t like any of it; they’re creepy. I always imagine some deranged serial killer hiding behind that facade of happiness and fun. My son is always trying to convince me that they are really very fun…. I’m not buying it.

Another very real fear I have is the fear of being alone. I am very much an extrovert. I thrive around people and I am extremely social. I love human interaction: the talking, laughing, physical closeness. I am one of those people who touches constantly. I am never happier than

when I can be around the people I love. I am a cuddler. I am a talker. I love to laugh and be silly. I very rarely need alone time. In fact, it’s really not good for me. Being alone depresses me. When I was young, I was literally terrified of coming to the end of my life and being there alone. That fear has subsided some as I’ve gotten older, but I still spend as little time alone as possible.

Otherwise, I don’t find myself afraid of much. The only other thing I worry about much at all is failing at the most important things. I don’t classify that as a fear so much as just a motivation to constantly be better. I think about my decisions and how they affect my children’s futures. I think about my work and whether or not I’m equipping those students with every good thing I possibly can. I think about my faith and if I’m the kind of example I should be. I think about my marriage and whether or not it’s what it should be. I think about my friendships and if I’m the kind of friend worth having. It’s a reflection. A mindfulness. A drive to be the best wife, mom, teacher, friend, woman I can be. Because failing at those, the most important jobs I’ve been given, I suppose the possibility of that would be my greatest fear.

My next 30 years

10 Jun
Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is my birthday. I am officially in my 30’s. 31. When I stop to reflect on my life, to take a moment to analyze where I’ve come from, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of myself. I am disappointed in myself. And I am hopeful for the future. I have grown from a quiet and shy child, a mildly outgoing teenager, a confused and wandering college student, a young and naive teacher, a self-assured and outgoing woman, a blessed friend, a grateful mother, a wife. I have come so far in realizing my dreams of what I want my life to look like. And I have so far to go.

In my next 30 years, I want to take more time to enjoy the life around me. I want to stay connected to the people I love, not the technology that takes away from real relationships.
In my next 30 years, I want to appreciate the little things. A beautiful sunny day, a beautiful thunderstorm, a beautiful rainbow. I want to make sure that I make the most of each day I’m given.
In my next 30 years, I want to focus on making memories. I want to laugh and play with my children. I want to hold my husband’s hand. I want to have fun with old friends.
In my next 30 years, I want to see as much as I can. I want to teach my children to appreciate the history and beauty of our great country. I want to take vacations and road trips. I want to experience so many things with my family, old and new.
In my next 30 years, I want to prepare for getting older. I want to take better care of myself; physically, mentally, emotionally. I want to save money for our future. I want to leave a legacy my children can be proud of.
In my next 30 years, I want to shape the future. I want to continue to learn about my profession and better myself. I want to continue to help my students be ready for the real world and all that it entails. I want them to know how much I care about them and do everything I can to help them realize their potential and be successful.
In my next 30 years, I want to give to my family. I want to example love and grace, strength and determination, selflessness and courage. I want my children and my husband to feel all of the love that I have for them. I want them to somehow be better because I have done something right.
In my next 30 years, I want to live. I want to laugh loudly. I want to cry honestly. I want to feel passionately. I want to love recklessly. I want to give unselfishly. I want to dance and sing unreservedly. I want to pray unceasingly. I want to believe faithfully. I want to dream uncontainably. I want to age gracefully. I want to do it all.
Welcome to my next 30 years.

Real Men

6 Jun

Man portrait

It’s time for a rant.

I spend a lot of time and energy fighting the way that society forces girls and women to view themselves and each other. I have written many posts about it and I talk about it constantly to anyone who will listen. I still feel that this is a huge problem and I will continue to fight it. Recently, my eyes have been opened to a new problem. Society has done the same thing to men. As someone who has a lot of men in my life that I love dearly, this concerns me. As a mother who is raising a boy that will one day become a man, this terrifies me. As a writer, this inspires me to try to create change.

So, today, let’s talk about men.

When I ask you what makes a man, what do you think of? Do you picture a muscled, sweaty guy working on a car or building something with his bare hands. If you didn’t, kudos to you! All around me, though, are people who are always quick to point out the characteristics of a “real man”. And even quicker to point out when a man around them doesn’t fit.

This is my idea of a “real man”. The kind of man I would like for my son to be. The kind of man I was looking for when I was a single mom; and why I was so picky about who I would date. The kind of man I think society needs more of. And the kind of man that needs to be recognized for being a “man”. (Notice how changing spark plugs didn’t make the list. I have a great mechanic for that!)

1. A real man knows what he believes in – He stands firm on it. He defends it. He examples conviction and lives out what he professes. He respects others, even if they don’t agree with him, but he doesn’t let them put him down. He doesn’t fall in the face of adversity.
2. A real man keeps his word – He doesn’t need to be reminded, because when he says something, you can count on it. He does what he can, but isn’t afraid to say “no” because he knows that’s better than making a promise he can’t keep. He is dependable and honest. Trustworthy.
3. A real man supports his family – He works hard to provide the financial security they need. If he has children that don’t live in his home, he understands that his financial obligation still stands. He budgets and spends responsibly so that the needs and wants of his family come before his own. And he carries that work ethic into his home. He does what he can to ease the workload that comes with taking care of a family.
4. A real man understands emotion – He handles his anger and doesn’t have to raise his voice, or his hands, to be heard. He knows how to be strong and he knows that sometimes all you can do is cry. He doesn’t hide his emotions because he doesn’t have to. He is not ashamed to feel.
5. A real man is a real dad – He takes an active role in the lives of his children. He fights to give them better. He is always on their side. He shows them and tells them he loves them every day. He sets high, but attainable, expectations. He listens and speaks with love. He sets a positive example each day. He draws the line between parent and friend, but knows it’s important to be able to be both. He gives his best to his children.
6. A real man gives real love – He loves his wife actively. He understands that love requires action. He makes a point to show his love in personal and sincere ways. When he causes hurt, he doesn’t make excuses, he makes amends. He stands up for himself and doesn’t back away from conflict, but does it in a way that doesn’t devalue. He creates an environment of security, intimacy, and trust within his marriage.

These are just my thoughts today. They are very general and can apply to all types of men with all different personalities. I think it’s time men stop focusing on the stereotype and start realizing what’s important. When I think about the great men I know, never once do I consider whether or not they can use a hammer. I think about the way they treat the people around them; because that is where you see the signs of a real man.

Metamorphosis

10 May

The person I want to be almost always has a smile on her face. She speaks with grace and poise. She laughs more often than she cries. She controls her temper and finds the proper ways to stand up for herself. She lends a hand to others and sets an example to those around her.

The person I want to be is funny and kind. She holds her tongue when necessary and speaks words of wisdom and truth. She is feisty and full of life. She is

beautiful butterfly

not afraid to be herself because who she is is beautiful. She is confident because she knows she is worthy. No one could ever convince her she is anything less than magic.

The person I want to be is responsible and trustworthy. But, at the same time, she is carefree and not afraid to fly. She is the life of the party, but it’s natural; her personality is just that big. She is comfortable in her own skin and unique in her style.

The person I want to be is full of faith and never-ending dreams. She is grounded enough to see reality, but she never quite walks with her feet on the ground. She believes that anything is possible and she sees the beauty in the world around her. She lives a life based on integrity; centered on God.

The person I want to be makes her husband feel like the only man in the world. She is supportive and patient. Loving and strong. She is the kind of wife that makes him feel fortunate to love her.

The person I want to be is the kind of mommy her kids deserve. She is never impatient or too busy. She is always full of fun ideas and interesting activities. She says “yes” way more often than she says “no”. She is someone they look up to and respect; and she is their best friend.

The person I want to be is a great friend. She is unselfish and giving. She is a better listener than speaker. She is joyous when the situation calls for it and sympathetic when needed. She laughs and cries alongside. She shares deepest secrets and glasses of wine.

The person I want to be is so many things. She is who I wish to see when I look in the mirror. She is who I pray, each evening, I wake up to each morning. One of these days, though. One of these days, this is the person I will be remembered as. This is who I will be.

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