Monday, October 22, 2012

My mom is cuter than your mom...

I'm falling in love with my mother all over again.  We haven't always had the best relationship, not the worse, but at some point, teenager years I'm sure, we drifted apart.  Mostly because we're so different and she had no earthly idea what to do with me or how to deal with me when I was younger.  And I didn't understand her either, for that matter.  Honestly, I judged her harshly when I was younger.  My daughters have done the same thing with me at times...what goes around, comes around.

My mother grew up very sheltered.  She's very innocent when it comes to the ways of the world.  She doesn't drink, never smoked, and has never cursed.  I remember once when I was a little girl, I heard her call my Dad a "titty-baby".  That was it for her.  The mother of all curse words.  I was a little wild, drank a lot, smoked and cursed...a lot.  Not that she knew that.  I worked very hard to keep it from her.  I take that back, one time she saw me smoking.  I was 20 and waiting for her to pick me up from the downtown bus station.  I'd had a really rough summer living in Destin, Florida and needed to come home to get my head together and rest.  She arrived early and when she rounded the corner and saw me sitting on a bench, duffle bag at my feet, with a cigarette in my hand, she cried. It broke my heart.

But these last 10 years or so, things have changed.  For me, things really started to change when my girls became teenagers and I saw myself in them.  And the way they treated me sometimes.  And the way I treated my mother all those years ago.  And the way she must have felt.  Not that my daughters are wild and rebellious, they're aren't.  They're good girls.  But there have been plenty of moments when they have made me feel like the most ridiculous, unintelligent woman on the face of the earth with one withering glance.

My mother, at the age of 68, is changing, too.  She's becoming more independent.  She's trying new things.  She texts like a 13 year old girl.

Mom's text:  have i told u how much i luv u 4evr?

Me:  I love you too, Mom!

Mom:  Sweet.

So stinkin' adorable.

Last week, she bought a Kindle Fire.  We've had a few tutoring sessions as she has never, ever, even turned on the computer at their house.  The internet is a foreign concept to her.  Please.  Email?  No clue.  Pandora blew her away.  I don't blame blows me away, too.  She calls me and asks me how to wake up her Kindle, how to compose an email, how to turn it off, and how to turn it back on.   She wants to learn how to put her things "up in the cloud" as she says.  She needs lots of apps, she says, because all the girls at work have apps.  What is an app, by the way, she asks? 

The first day she bought it, after a two-hour long tutoring session at Starbucks, I reminded her how to purchase books at Amazon.

"Oh, no...I'm not buying books for this thing.  I only read real books," she said.

"Never?" I asked, "Because it's pretty cool to buy a book and never have to leave your house!  It's right there!  Instantly!"

"Naah....I just want to learn how to transfer money from my savings to my checking account.  Oh yeah, and I want to shoot people emails.  I definitely want to do that."

So adorable.  

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Put the Crazy back in the Closet

I admit I don't follow politics very much.  I'm not alone in this.  A lot of people have grown tired of the endless child-like arguing between the parties and tune out.  I'm registered as a Democrat but haven't always voted that way.  I consider the candidate when I vote.  But over the years, and especially these last four years, the extreme Republicans seem to have lost their ever-loving minds.  There's a mob mentality, "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out", sort of feverish pitch to their rhetoric.  For all their talk against big government telling them what to do, they sure do spend a lot of time telling everyone else what to do.  And how to believe.  And who to marry.  And all in the name of God.  It isn't the first time that God has been used to further people's agendas.  You don't want to marry someone of the same sex? Then don't.  You don't believe in abortion?  Then don't have one.  You think everyone on welfare are lazy, opportunist tearing down this country?  They aren't.  I'm a Christian.  I've had an abortion.  I've been on welfare.  I haven't married someone of the same sex because I'm not homosexual. When I see posts on facebook telling me that as a Christian, if I care about my country, I better vote Republican, I see that as bullying.  I see that as pushy.  I see that as a complete manipulation and slap in the face to the God that I believe in.  And I don't want any part of it. 

There are other issues, besides the ones I've mentioned, that this writer, Jane Devin, addresses.  For me, she nailed it. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thoughts about empty nests and Hurricane Isaac

A week and a half ago, I moved my daughter into her dorm at LSU.  LSU is in Baton Rouge.  Baton Rouge is about an hour away from New Orleans.   She's the last of my three children to leave the nest.  I've been writing about nothing else except for preparing for the empty next for about eighteen months now.  I'm fully prepared.

I've got this.  

I grieved for a few days but now I'm getting used to it.  My bathroom stays clean for more than two hours.  So does the kitchen.  My grocery bill is like eleven dollars and 32 cents.

And now Hurricane Isaac is moving in.

1.  I've adjusted, rejoiced even, in my new empty nest status.  I think I can get used to this.  The crying was minimum.  As I said, I prepared in advance for this.  Hell, I've been preparing for turning 50 since I turned 31.  I've been preparing for the empty next FOREVER. 

2.  They are coming home.  Classes have been cancelled.  I'm glad. 

3.  I've barely had time to adjust to my clean bathroom and my tiny, grocery bill.

4.  Isaac means "laughter."

5.  I'm glad I only have a handful of readers so I don't get pummeled with comments about how heartless I am about the approaching hurricane and how its name means "laughter."

6.  It's not funny.  I get that.

7.  Life is strange.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Girl

When my son was younger I prayed that one day he would find the right woman for him.  That she would get him, encourage him, make him a better man, be a good mother to their children.  I prayed that often.  I pray the same thing for my daughters.  Because I know how important that is...I know how getting involved with the wrong person can set you off on the wrong path for years. 

When he met Samantha, we call her Sam, I wasn't so sure. 

It's been rough for the both of them, for sure.  But I continue to be amazed by her.  She is the woman I prayed for.  She is strong.  She is smart.  She is funny.  She is an amazing mother.  She is always herself, never making apologies.  She calls him out when he needs it because she loves him, not because she has to be right.  In short, she sees my son the same way I see him and fights for their marriage and their family.

She has become a daughter to me and I just wanted you to meet her.  I don't feel free to tell her story here and how she's evolved because it's her story, not mine.  But I can tell you she means the world to me.  And I'm so proud of the woman she's become.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ahhh..beach time

I made it to the beach, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a couple of weeks ago.  This is the place where I feel most at home, most relaxed, most content.  Not necessarily Myrtle Beach, any beach, anywhere.  It's been five years and so long overdue and all I can say is...ahhh.  

I feel so much better. 

This older gentlemen walked the beach everyday, same time every evening.  I can think of nothing I'd like better when I'm his age.

Watching the seagull, watching the waves.

  The sweetest sister in the entire universe, my sister, Pammy.  

 The boardwalk.  

 This is my, youngest, Sara.  She was so pleasant, so easy-going and so much fun for the entire trip.  Stevey couldn't make it because she's having her own beach time in Los Angeles while she's interning at Current/Elliott.

My Mom, on the left, and her sister. 

 My beautiful nieces.

Did I mention it was a girls only trip?

This visit ought to hold me over for another year.  I'll never let this much time pass between beach trips.

And one day, I will own a little beach cottage. I will.

And this song will constantly be playing in the background.  

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Little Birds

Being a mother is no cake walk.  Most of the time, your heart is stuck in your throat and your mind just reels and reels at what you should do, could have done better, pledge to do better in the future.  These little people and the incredible responsibility they bring is almost too much to bear at times.  But we do.  We bear them, carry them, comfort them, encourage them, lecture them, and maybe, sometimes yell at them.  All this in the midst of trying to keep your head together, the bills paid, a roof over their heads, dealing with your boss, keeping food on the table and shoes on their feet.  Those kids are the center of your world, even though, you know that one day they will leave.  That's the goal.  To send them flying.  To give them enough guts and courage to test their wings.  To fly on their own.  And hopefully, to fly to places you never even imagined they would go.  To fly to places you wish you'd had the courage to fly to.

And one day, if you're lucky, they do.

They fly.

And you sit back and observe with a big, fat grin on your face.  And you see that they are more than what you hoped for.  That they are different, apart, from yourself.  And while they grow up and are still full of doubt and questions about life and the future, you know.  You know that somewhere along the way, you did something right.  You know that they will be okay.  You know that you, in some way, had a part in this amazing, complicated, talented, compassionate human being. 

These are two of my three kids.  My girls. The one in the back, Stevey, is working her way through a design internship this summer in LA.  She's only 19 and even though she was my most fearful child, would walk up 10 flights of stairs instead of riding the elevator, she moves forward in spite of those fears.  She's accomplished so much in the one short year since she left for college. 

The one in the front is Sara.  She detests exercise. She just graduated high school and is on her way to college in a couple of months.  As you can see, she's more laid back, she takes a different approach to life.  She's smart as a whip but not in a hurry.  I have no doubt that she will get to where she wants but she'll take a different route than her sister.  Maybe more detours, maybe not.  Night and day, these girls.  And I love that about them.  I love that they contrast and compliment each other.  I love that where one is strong, the other is weak, and vice versa.  And I love that they lean on each other and have learned to accept their differences.  

They are fiercely independent and strong.  So much more so than I was at their ages.  So yeah, I'm kind of proud.  And now I'm sitting here with a big, happy grin on my face while I sit and watch them fly. 


Monday, May 21, 2012


On days like these, every noise feels like an assault.  Monday morning and the garbage truck bangs, snorts and crashes down the street like a prehistoric machine.  I search for a little silence.  It isn't happening.  My husband wakes up early for a change and hovers around my chair, asking questions I already answered last night.  The tiny, shrilling ring of the fax machine is constantly in the background, like a mosquito, until I reach over and yank the cord out of the back.  Please be quiet.

I've barely been awake for thirty minutes before my cell phone starts buzzing and humming.  Questions already?  My boss must know everything under the sun, ASAP and FYI and ETA, btw.  Nothing can wait and why should it?  Not when the answers can be had, must be had, right now.  Text me. Email me.  Call me.  I MUST KNOW!

The more I search for silence on days like these, the more the noise finds me.  Get over yourself, it says, and deal with me.  Deal with us.  And answer these questions while you're at it. 

What time is my job?
Where are my keys?
Where is his lunchbox?
Is this the last week of school?
Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean?
Is the coffee fresh?
Did Robert go to work today?
Do you have breakfast bars?
Are you okay?
What's wrong?
Are you mad at me?
What time is dinner?
What's for dinner?
Did you take my dress to have it altered?
Where's that invoice?
Who are you talking to?
Seen my belt?
Do you have any ideas on how to increase business?

And the garbage truck, brakes squealing, is barreling down the road for what seems like the 100th time in an hour, picking up empty pizza boxes, bags of lawn trimmings, and all the other debris from people trying to cram all the fun and work they can into two days.  Before Monday.  Before the world comes crashing in again with all of its demands and noise and days like these. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Riding Away My Mid-Life Blues

"In what seems like a cruel trick of timing, women often find themselves letting go of their daughters around the same time they must let go of their identities as younger women."

~Sue Monk Kidd
Traveling with Pomegranates

So that's where I've been this last year.  I know, 47 isn't so old, but I prepare for things in advance.   And 47 is a halfway mark.  At least I hope it is.  I've been raising children for 25 years.  A gazillion packed lunches, scraped knees and science projects.  Most of that time I've been a single mother and the pace and work has been relentless.  It's no wonder when things came to a screeching halt I lost my mojo.  I "took to the couch" for most of the winter, and into the early spring.  No crying, really.  No wailing.  Comfortably numb sums it up perfectly.  A re-defining must be taking place, I think. 

But I couldn't wallow on my comfy couch forever.  I had to move.  Force myself to sit up and put one leg over the side and then the other leg.  I needed to plant my feet firmly on the floor and pull myself up.  And then what?  Every possibility I could come up with was met with a half-ass shrug and a "meh".  I didn't feel like stringing three words together.  Or reading a book.  Mostly, I watched mindless, bad reality shows of the "Real Housewives of..." variety.  Really bad.  But somehow, those plastic, loud-mouthed, fake-tanned drama queens made me feel a little better.  They have everything money can buy and still so unhappy.  And they don't even know it, for the most part.  After awhile, I googled "low energy" and decided I must be in need of B complex.  One day my daughter came home from school and found me in my usual spot on the couch, an open bottle of B Complex lying on the floor surrounded by Lindt chocolate truffle wrappers.  She looked worried, asked if I was okay.  Again with the half-ass shrug and "meh".

I had to do something.  I had to move.  I needed to ease myself back into the land of the living.  So I rolled my bike out of the garage, filled my water bottle, strapped my iphone to the handle bars, turned on my tunes and plugged in my earbuds.

Slowly, a little more daily, I began to shake away the numbness.  There is just something about riding my bike that makes me so happy and strong.  I love the crunch of big, fat Magnolia leaves under my tires.  And when it rains, there's nothing like riding through puddles and feeling the water from the back tire spray onto my back.  The world is teeming with life.  People watering their front lawns smile and wave.  Squirrels dart in and out of the street.  Babies being pushed around in strollers give me the biggest grins as I ride by, like I'm a miracle on wheels.   My heart starts pumping and my muscles sing.  I feel the warmth of the sun and my music is always in the background.  Each day I look forward to my bike ride like a new adventure.

What I'm learning as I ease into this next phase of my life is really simple.  Although a trip to Italy, Eat, Pray, Love style, would be nice to shake off my mid-life blues,  or a shiny new convertible or a new career, I really just need to move.  To be present.  To be grateful.  To challenge myself.

To take one day at a time as the gift that it is and make it my adventure.  Even if that adventure is nothing more than a bike ride around my neighborhood.  It's all in the perspective.  And age?  It really is just a number. 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Young Love Stinks

I was asleep on the couch when my daughter, Sara, burst in the front door and said, "Mama?"  Her voice was broken.  She only calls me Mama when something is wrong.  When she feels small and afraid.  She quickly walked to the couch and I enfolded her in my arms because she had already started crying.  She cried on my shoulder for 10 minutes.  She sobbed.   Gut-wrenching, heart-breaking sobs that shook her body and mine.   At first, I kept whispering, "What is it?  What's wrong, baby?" but after a few minutes, I knew.  I knew the only thing that could produce that kind of crying comes from a broken heart.  And I started to cry, too because oh, man, do I remember how that feels.  I remember the physical pain that resulted the first time a boy broke my heart into. 

They never stop being your babies.  Really.  You never stop hurting for them.  Or wanting to hurt others on their behalf.  As I write this, his car is parked on the street in front of our house.  She left with a friend after she stopped crying and he stayed with his friend.  The blinds are open and I'm watching for him.  Waiting for him to slink by and pick it up.  I imagine throwing open the front door and staring him down, Clint Eastwood style, my right hand poised above the six-shooter that rests on my hip.  I walk slowly to the car and remind him of the time I told him that if he ever hurt my daughter, I would look for him.  And I would kill him (yes, I love that movie).  Time to pay up, little man.  You little, little, man.

It still amazes me that my gut turns somersaults, that my brain can think of nothing else, that I still feel the tug of the cord when my children are hurting.  Sometimes, I become immobilized with fear when I imagine the years ahead for my three kids and the pain that will surely come their way.  I'd take it all on for them if I could.  If only. 

But I can't.  I can't.  I knew this boy would be the one to break her heart.  I'd hoped he wouldn't.  But I could tell by the way her eyes lit up when she mentioned his name.  And she mentioned it often, she looked for ways to mention his name.  The way her whole countenance changed when he walked in the front door.  The way she's been softer, kinder, happier since she started dating him.  Suddenly, the whole world looks rosier when you're in love.  I remember.  And everything looks darker, more sinister, when it's taken away.

I want to tell her that it'll get easier with time.  That he doesn't deserve her.  That he must not be the right one.  But yet, something stops me.  It isn't time yet.  I don't want to diminish her pain with trite little pieces of advice that only make the hurt worse right now.  So I'll wait.  I'll hug her.  And love her.

And I'll keep looking through the blinds.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Preparing for the Empty Nest

It's time for me to write.  The last year has flown by and it's been a strange, new place for me.  So I've hunkered down.  Laid low.  After my oldest daughter left for college, it was time for me to focus on my youngest daughter.  It's her senior year.  I could go on and on about how different she and her sister are but long story short, there is no focusing on Sara.  She's a closed book for the most part.  She has been since about 9th grade.  "I've got this, Mom" is her favorite thing to say to me.  And she usually does.  Eventually. 

My grandson, who's been with me nearly everyday since birth, started Pre-K this year so I have been left to my own devices.  I've been waiting to have some time alone for a long time.  Twenty-five years to be exact.  And it floored me.  Or maybe, couched me is a more accurate term since that's where I've spent the majority of my time.  Depressed?  Not exactly.  Mid-life crisis?  Maybe.  Grieving the loss of my older daughter  and preparing for the loss of my youngest?  Probably.  Bored?  Most definitely.  And that last one, that's the one that gets me.  I'm embarrassed to say it.  Most of my friends are close to my age and still have young children at home and not a moment for themselves and I'm bored?  How silly.  But there it is.  It's been a sort of numb, limbo, transitional, odd land that I've been inhabiting lately.  I'm coming back though.  Slowly but surely. 

Sara graduates in three weeks.  She leaves for college in August.  I've got seven more lunches to prepare and then that phase of my life is over.  I've been the Queen of Lunches, you can ask my kids.  I may have failed in a lot of areas of parenting, but not lunches.  Hell no.  I rule. 

Stevey completes her first year of college in May and then she's off to Los Angeles for two months for an internship.  I'm so proud of her.  It's been a difficult adjustment for her but she's handled every bump so well.  So maturely.  And our relationship has changed.  She doesn't seem to dislike me as much as she did when she lived at home.  Imagine that. 

I have much to say about teenagers, daughters, mid-life crisis and how to pull yourself out of a deep, dark well and what comes after but for now, I'm alive, I'm moving.  I'm off the couch. 

And so glad summer is almost here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

How We Roll

We roll up to the bowling alley, a little late as usual. He gets out of the car ahead of me, his Captain America sweatshirt hood pulled up over his head, his hands deep in his jacket pocketsd, and heads to the side door. I sigh and follow. As soon as he opens the door, we are greeted by a blast of warm air and the sounds of 14 pound bowling balls thumping on the hard wood lanes. We know the drill. We've been here before. He gets the rental shoes, I pick out the balls. We search for our two team mates, easy to find because they are the only black couple on our league, Andre and Pam. She's quiet, intelligent, loves to read and cooks like nobody's business. He's loud, a full-body hugger, gregarious and calls everyone "Big Time." I like that.

Let the games begin. Our team is in last place. We're lousy bowlers. It drives Robert crazy and most rides home after Thursday night bowling are long and silent, except for the sound of his fuming from the passenger seat. My husband promised me three weeks ago to be better. He's stopped trying so hard to be the best bowler ever. And I can see that, I can. He smiles at the better bowlers. He even high-fives them when they get a strike. He puts his arm around me while we watch the other bowlers, kisses my cheek.

This might be okay, I think. Because we're not usually that couple. We stay home and watch movies a lot. We hone in on some new TV show and watch it fanatically until we get sick of it and move on to the next one. We eat take-out chinese in bed, me with my red wine, him, usually sucking down a can of Diet Dr. Pepper. Every now and then he gets crazy and has a drink, Southern Comfort and Diet Coke. Because everything goes better with Coke. Anyone knows that.

So, maybe, just maybe, his sour attitude he had at the beginning of our bowling league adventure was just him learning how to adjust to this new couple and not so much about his competitive angst. This new couple who is beginning to step out of their comfort zone, predictable routines, and try new things. But bowling, right? I know what you're thinking. How mundane. How predictable. How middle-American. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

First the bowling league, and last week, a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. Not so boring. Robert even got a little crazier, drank a few Margarita's and smuggled a coconut from Passion Island all the way back to our little house in Louisiana.

It sits on our mantle.

He named it Wilson.

Wilson reminds me that there's a whole, wide world out there and we're going to explore it, Robert and Wilson.

Right after I finish this glass of wine and the leftover shrimp lo-mein and watch a few more episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

Because that's pretty cool, too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Bliss

I'm getting a head start on my list for the new year. I turn 47 on Saturday and my husband decided a few months back to take me on a cruise for my birthday! So, on the day I turn 47, we'll be sitting on a dream-like beach in Cozumel, Mexico, drinking something with an umbrella. I hope this is the first of many traveling adventures I'll have with him. I'm leaving the states for the first time, people!

We both really need this. Really. And I'm so grateful to have a husband who cares enough about to me to plan this, just for me. I wonder what it will be like to be separated from my phone? The texts, emails and phone calls? I wonder what it will be like to sit on the deck of a ship, my husband's hand in mine, with just a warm breeze, the smell of the salt in the air, and miles and miles of blue on blue all around us? I wonder what it will be like to be quiet, inside. And I wonder what it will be like to have nothing but the two of us to consider for four days?

I imagine it will be wonderful, beautiful, and the most fun we've had in a long, long time.

What's your favorite vacation? Or your dream vacation?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Why is that when you make a decision to make some changes, to be kinder, to be gentler, more patient, the universe decides to throw the most awkward, infuriating situations your way? Or is it that the situations haven't increased but that I'm just hyper-aware of them when they occur? Because it feels like the universe is shining a spotlight on me and I'm standing there, with this sheepish look on my face, muttering, "Damn it, you didn't handle that well at all, Melinda." Maybe it's a little of both.

There's something heavy on my mind, sitting there like a ton of garbage, about someone whom I care about. It isn't my husband or my children, not to worry. I can't, won't, write about it here. Just that it's there. The situation is what it is, but it's confusing to me. Extremely unsettling. It feels like a severing. And I don't know how to handle it but I don't feel like I've done a good job thus far. This was the first glaring spotlight of the week.

The second spotlight involves the ex. He's an alcoholic. He's domineering. He's extremely frustrating. He rants. He's petty. He's selfish. He's the father of my two daughters and he breaks their hearts almost everyday. He doesn't live in the same state, but he calls them a lot and visits. He's also been very financially supportive of them these last six years. He loves them. When he's sober, he's almost normal. They have pleasant conversations where he encourages them, tells them he loves them. The girls and I have a general rule where we don't answer his calls after 6pm because he's probably drunk or on his way. Lately, the time seems to have moved up to 3 or 4pm. My daughter who's away at college, made the mistake of calling him at 8pm and ended up hanging up on him. He called her back 17 times. She didn't answer. She called me, crying, feeling guilty and I soothed her. I decided to call him and ask him to stop. Tried to reason with him. It started out calmly but quickly escalated to the place where I was holding the phone in front of my face and yelling at it, trying to hurl my words directly at him. He never shuts up when he's drinking. He doesn't listen. He's belligerent. He threatens to disappear and to stop helping financially. And then I hung up on him, the old rage and frustration literally running through my veins like an electrical current. My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding. And after I've calmed down, talked to my husband about it, I think "Damn it. You didn't handle that well at all, Melinda." I know better than to try to reason with an alcoholic in the middle of a good drunk. God, do I know that.

I'm human. I realize that my emotions are going to get the best of me sometimes but I really want to get to that place where there's a whole lot less of, "Damn could have handled that better, Melinda."


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

That's What He Said

This is what I want for the new year.

More adventure, walks, singing, painting, gardening, sex, running, learning, reading, star-gazing, bird-watching, bike-riding, exploring, encouraging, building, smiling, eating, spending time with family and friends, laughing, cooking, seeing, hell, maybe even sewing, loving, rejoicing, writing, bee-keeping, butterfly-catching, growing, traveling.

Sing it, Elvis.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A little end of the year rambling...

Hats off to 2011! This last year has been a challenging, bittersweet year. We moved into a new house, smaller, more efficient, closer to what we love and away from the violence of the old neighborhood we lived in for 7 years.

I survived my middle daughter going off to college. That was a biggie. She's doing really well and I'm so proud of her!

I survived a major heartbreak as someone I love very much had a big fall and watched as they picked themself up and started over again, even stronger than before.

I've felt myself begin to mellow somewhat as I get older and realize that all of my children will soon be out on their own. The dynamics of my life are changing. I have days when I think that I'll cease to exist when my nest is fully empty and other days when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'll survive. That I may even thrive. This is the way it's supposed to be. I'm learning how to let go and that it isn't such a bad thing after all.

My youngest daughter is leaving in August for college and that'll be it. The last of my children leaving the nest. My Mommy job will officially be different. It'll be interesting to see how good I am at letting go then. I could totally do a 360 here and whine like a big baby. We shall see.

And, a little bragging here, I've lost 25 of the pounds that I set out to do about two years ago. Five more to go. That's pretty empowering. A goal almost met. Just saying.

Oh yes, and my hubby signed us up for a bowling league because he wanted us to spend more time together (he does hear me, afterall!) but he absolutely hates it. Because he's really bad at it. And although it's a geriatric league, and most of them have an 175 or better average and are over the age of 65, it's been interesting to say the least.

So this year, this year has it's own challenges ahead but I like this word...reach. I'm adopting it from Beth's blog. I think it's an awesome word and it resonates with my soul and what I feel going into this new year. To reach inside of myself and pull out the best that I can be. I want to be softer, kinder, slower to anger, slower to criticize, more giving. Because I am so very grateful and the best is yet to come.

And oh, sweet husband, maybe because of the bowling debauchery, is taking me on a cruise the first of February. On my 47th birthday, I'll be sunning like a lazy, lizard on a beach in Cozumel, Mexico. Sweet. He's pretty amazing. Even if he does suck at bowling.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2012 be the best year ever and inspire us all.