Monday, April 20, 2015


Did you know that every single person you meet has a story?  Of course you know that... duh...  but many people don't really stop to think about it...  EVERY person you meet has a story. 

It might be a happy story.  It might be a sad story.  Most likely it is a real story with both weighing heavily into it... one with adventure, hard decisions, disappointments and great joy.  At least I can hope so. 

I remember sitting to have a drink with many a passenger on ships and listening to their stories.  The clientele, as you know, can be quite a bit older...  which means the depth of their stories were even greater.  It never ceased to amaze me the things the human spirit can endure and even better, persevere through. 

I used to do the "Renewal of Vows" ceremony on board with the captains.  I always asked the couples renewing what their secret to a long and happy  marriage was.  Many of you know that my favorite three answers were: 

1.  Fight naked. 
If when you feel a fight coming on you get naked... you are more likely to get to the makeup portion of the show and you're less likely to say something really hurtful when you are standing there in your all together and lovely. 
2.  Say only half of what you want to. 
How many times have you gotten into a fight and said one thing to many? 
So if you only say half of what you want...  then you hopefully you won't hurt your partner. 

3.  Give 80... expect 20. 
If both parties are always giving 80 and expecting 20 then both are always pleasantly surprised.  I go so far as to say both parties give 100 and expect 0.  :-) 
I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful memories in my short 40 years.  Each memory is a snapshot in my brain with a story to go along with it.  Sometimes I need to remind myself to stop taking ACTUAL pictures and take the mental ones instead.  Those are the ones we carry with us during our darkest moments.  It's those memories you can call on that make us who and what we are. 
That's why when you look at that woman in the grocery store that is lugging three children, two of which are screaming, you should give her a little grace... she may just be trying to get it all done.  Or that person that just cut you off in the left hand lane, speeding in and out of traffic...  they may just be having a moment where they want to feel in control of something and the car is it at that time.   It might just be someone who has completely zoned out and isn't thinking.  Or it might be that they are self involved and not thinking of anyone else but themselves at that moment.  But even they have their story. 
EVERY single person you meet has a story and you can learn something from each and every one of them.... how cool is that?  :-)


Monday, April 6, 2015

Early April Phone Pics and randomness

About four month's ago I made the very heated statement that "I... am NOT a CAT person!!!" 
Then this little creature came into my life about a month ago. 
Meet Simba...  "whassup!"
 Simba and I hang out.  He literally lets me do Anything to him...  and he flops over, he hangs upside down, he plays, he chases his mothers tail.  He is the shiznit.  

He has just started playing with one of the smaller kittens.  
So I am NOT a cat person...  but I think I may be a "simba" person. 
March 22 Shannon, Erica and I went to the Luke Bryan Concert which was the last show for the Rodeo.  We had a BLAST!  What a great concert it was and to share with great friends.  
He put on a great show even if our seats were pretty high up.  :-)
I went to crossfit a week ago Saturday and we jokingly did this picture.  My friend Jennifer and I... everyone needs to work on their superhero.  LOL
 I've had the chance to go out with Erica and Liz a couple of times.  My pretty ladies.  :-)
 And...  just because I love the quotes.  :-)
We did a bit of Saturday night budgeting... well they did.  I had already done mine. 

I didn't have the kids this year for Easter.  :(  And because of that it didn't feel like much of a holiday.  But luckily, Erica and her family included me in their celebration. 
 Mom has been going through some old pictures lately and the one of Kiki really struck me.  How much my dear niece Emilie really looks like her mother.  I see a lot of her dad too, but man...  she embodies the beauty that was my sister.  I love looking into that face and seeing Kristin.


Sometimes its hard to do what you know is right.  It's hard to be the bigger person, especially when you know that you'll probably end up hurt.
I honestly believe that most people are good.  People don't intend to be hurtful or cruel.  I think a lot of it comes from self absorption...  never stopping to see the other side of the coin or think about another's feelings.  

I.... am a people pleaser.  There!  I said it.  I know this surprises ALL of you.  lol
And as much as I don't want to be, because the key to failure is always trying to please other people...  I also think that it's important to make others feel good.  So I often put myself out there and say Happy Birthday even though they would never say it to me.  I invite people because if they weren't their feelings might be hurt.  I offer because if I don't,... maybe no one will.  The voices in my head (and those attached to some very vocal people in my life... lol) tell me that I shouldn't care what others think about me.  To a degree that is true.  But I also have to look at myself in the mirror and like and respect what I see.  I know that when I do... for the most part... I see someone who cares about others and wants them to know it.  Someone who has made mistakes and has learned from them. 

I just read an article about loving your neighbor as you would love yourself.  It was in regards to a Christian woman not judging a same sex couple... and certainly not saying which rights that couple should be able to possess.  Separation of Church and State etc etc.  It's not my job to judge or make those decisions on who is worthy...  the only job I have (well aside from my real job) is to be a good person, think of others and love them for who they are and oh... to be a good mother.  As good of a mother as I can be with the tools that I have available to me right now.  Teach my tiny humans what acceptance and empathy is.  Teach them to laugh, to learn, to jump in puddles and to love their neighbor...even if they're different than we are.
I hope that one day when all is said and done, people will look back on my life... shoot... Hopefully I will look back on my life and know that I did the best that I could.  That I cared as much as I could.  That I gave as much as I could.  Then... I will have been successful. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

What traffic taught me...

What time I leave my house completely dictates the traffic patterns that I will encounter on my way to work.  Work is 9.9 miles away and it can take me ten minutes or it can take me 45.  I hate traffic..... now rarely do you EVER hear that people love traffic.  BUT...  having a stick shift car and usually being late makes me hate traffic even more than the next guy.  Especially because of the stick shift car. 
But...  lately, I have tried to look at it as a bit of a test.  A forced test of patience for me.  I am stuck there and I choose how I can react to the traffic and the waste of time that it sucks out of my day...  Getting angry isn't going to do any good.  Getting frustrated is not going to make that car in front of me move faster.  SOOOO I have been working on taking a deep breath and telling myself that it's the universe's way of making me slow down.  It's forcing me to be patient. 
Patience has never been a real strong quality of mine. 

They say that good things come to those that wait.  But this is in direct contradiction to go out and make things happen.  LOL.  I don't *sit* well nor do I wait well.  So anytime that I'm forced to let things happen on their own time it's hard.  I want to force it.  I want to jump ahead.  I honestly think that this is why I got married the first time... and probably even the second time too.  :-/  I wanted to *be* ten years down the road... established and an adult (now THAT is overrated) that could have nice things and a family and a dog etc.  But I had to realize that I had to go through each of the steps to get there.  Now...  I'm there, well partially... I have the house, the kids and the dog!  And I don't feel 40, (thank goodness) and I still have steps to go through.  God willing, I will always have new steps to go through to better myself.  
I trust that with patience great things WILL happen.    Patience forces you to stop and smell the roses.  It makes you have faith in the universe and whatever God you talk to (if you talk to one).  It can slow us long enough to weigh options, make right choices and let prayers be answered or even unanswered if it's the way it is supposed to be.  It can make you appreciate small things, big things and no things at all. 
But it's also frustrating and it's scary.  I don't know about you... but I have been taught to control my own destiny.  So being patient makes me vulnerable.  It's kind of like learning to follow when dancing.  I have always tried to anticipate other people's next move.. Daddy taught me that.  And when you're dancing you can't anticipate AND be a follower.  You have to trust that your partner is going to lead you and then just sit back and enjoy and FOLLOW. 
So traffic taught me to be patient.  Be patient with the process and just sit back and be led. 
Are you patient?  What do YOU do to work on your patience? 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Change is uncomfortable

Someone wise told me recently, (I'm looking at you, Chris Sullivan), that Change is Uncomfortable.  Which is very true but also ironic because life is all about changes.  We change and grow every day.  Sometimes the changes are so small you don't see them until someone points it out to you month's or even years down the road.  And others are huge straight away and then smaller changes happen as a result. 
I work in an office of very young women and a few old men.  (ha!).  But with the girls I have talked about how much I changed through my years. 
From the age of 21 to 25.  Shoot... I graduated college and got married (mistake #1), started a career, got divorce #1 and moved to Texas. 
From 25 - 30 I followed my dream and went to work at sea.  I started with the kids and within 2.5 years I was Cruise Director.  Not something I ever thought I could do.  I saw things that will forever change my view of the world. 
Rio de Janeiro
I got to see the "dude with the big hat" ie the Pope in Venice. 
this one speaks to my heart!  This is in the Vatican.  Amazing, huh?
Cap Ferrat
 Just one of the "Cruise staff" shots on formal night. 
But I think about how much change there was during THAT time and wow!  I grew up.  I learned obvious lessons like... there's a whole big world out there full of adventures and challenges and people that have their own changes going on.
I learned that every single person has a story. 
I learned that people really like to be heard. 
 I learned that I can do gangway with a hangover. whomp whomp  
Standing atop Corcovado in Rio with your arms outstretched by the big Jesus statue is breathtaking. 
I learned that people are the best and worst thing about traveling. 
I was taught to stop and breath and recognize where you are (IN China and not Texas at the time) and really to BE present is the greatest gift to yourself.
I learned that you can always learn new dining etiquette and a new way to tie a scarf...And a sarong. 
I learned that grown men DO fight over a game of shuffleboard and that stella will get Sol a cup of coffee when he yells at her across the showroom. 
 I learned what it was like to have a date in Hong Kong and Shanghai... and Rio... and Buenos Aires. kiss under a what felt like a million stars. 
I grew up and into the woman I am today.  What a blessing. 
From 30-40...  in case you missed it... 
I bought a house
I got married
I got pregnant
I went to work with my family
I had an amazing little boy
I sold a house
I bought another house
I moved to Fort Worth
And bought yet another house
Learned more about decorative concrete
Watched my sister get married again.
Got pregnant again.
Ran a half marathon
Had my beautiful baby girl
Moved back to houston
Lost my sister
Took over administration of family business
Watched my son start kindergarten
Got separated and later divorced.
Began the process of learning how to be a single parent of two amazing, smart, strong willed, happy and well adjusted children.
So change, although uncomfortable at times, is necessary.  It's cathartic.  It's what makes us grow into new people.. no!  Not new... but better people.  People that understand that sometimes you have to hurt to move on.  Sometimes the greatest joys are born out of despair.  And each person that we come across ...  they have something to teach us.  No matter the age... no matter the gender... no matter the race.  We can learn something from everyone even if its what NOT to do.  And just because we were a certain type of way in the past... it does not dictate who we will be in the future. 
Going forward, I want to remember to be present.  To enjoy and savor my now and recognize that even if it's uncomfortable NOW I will get used to it and I will be better for it.  I like who I am and I love who I will be.  Change...  is fantastically uncomfortable.