Love is the answer (what a concept!)

This is so beautifully and eloquently stated, I just had to share!

“Why I think this world should end”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itvnQ2QB4yc

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Summer strut

My whole adult life, it seems I’ve had a never-ending battle with my weight. And with every season I exert a new vigor and commitment to getting healthier. So when our family made our summer vacation plans several months ago, I immediately planned to totally commit myself to eating healthy in the hopes of looking fierce and fabulous this summer!

I’ve been watching my diet (most of the time) and have been working out regularly (most of the time). As a result, on my last physical two weeks ago, I was pleased to hear that my numbers are excellent and that I’ve dropped 10 pounds (Yay!) I’ve also lost several inches, am toning up and have a lot more energy. But, true to form, a “miracle” physical transformation hasn’t occurred. I still haven’t lost the significant amount of weight that I had hoped.

Just as I was about to beat myself up (again) and begrudgingly dread packing for our upcoming trip, I came across this fantastic posting, “Moms, put on that swimsuit”. It reminded me that what truly matters is spending quality time with my family and not worry so much about how I look. It also reminded me to appreciate and respect my body for what it is and the amazing things it can do.

So while we’re on our vacation, I’m going to focus on enjoying myself with my children and family, creating wonderful memories, and not being so obsessed and critical regarding my appearance. I’m also going to proudly stroll on the beach, head held high, soft tummy out, rockin’ my bathing suit … underneath a stylish and lovely cover-up. (Baby steps, people. Baby steps.) 🙂

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Get happier!

I first heard a snippet of Pharrell’s song “Happy” when my kids and I saw “Despicable Me 2” last year, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. The song makes me smile, lifts my spirits and makes me do the “Carlton” dance every single time!

When I thought I couldn’t possibly love “Happy” any more, I watched the video of the Detroit Academy of Arts and Science Choir sing the song, and it makes me even … happier!

Smile, enjoy, and dance along with me!

“Happy” performance by the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences

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March 19, 2014 · 10:51 AM

And so it begins…

It seems like only yesterday... My sweet girl at her 5th birthday party.

It seems like only yesterday…
My sweet girl at her 5th birthday party.

Well, it’s official: my baby girl is now a young lady. She just started her menses and I’m still coming to terms with it.

It’s not as if I didn’t see it coming. For the past year, I’ve been witnessing my daughter’s body slowly change and develop right before my eyes.  I remember last spring when she approached me, with great excitement, to show me how her breasts had started to swell. We soon headed to the Justice store where she tried on and selected training bras that were “just right”. And with every ½ inch her height has increased, she loves to stand next to me and say, “I’m getting TALL-ER, mom!!”

So when she came to me the other day with “the news”, I wasn’t initially shocked. I was actually thankful – thankful that we were both home together — that she wasn’t at school and I wasn’t at work. I was also thankful that a good friend told me about two years ago that her daughter had started her menses, and she suggested that I be prepared and have the appropriate products on hand. I promptly ran to Walmart to get these items and they had been stowed away in my bathroom cabinet ever since.

After I spoke with my daughter and went into detail about what to do and what to expect every month, we read “Just for Girls: A Book About Growing Up” together and spent the rest of the afternoon discussing the female body and the amazing things it can do.  We also talked about intercourse, that it is something VERY, VERY serious and for ADULTS ONLY, and that her body should be respected at all times. We’d had similar talks about the subject before but now it was more earnest, more real.

So far she seems to be taking it all in stride. She even sang, “I got my per-i-od! I got my per-i-od!” and danced around the house, rejoicing in her premature womanhood. But of course when the reality of dealing with cramps, headaches, spotting, mood swings, etc., enter the picture, I’m sure she’ll be singing a different tune very soon. 🙂

This is a natural rite of passage for all girls and, as I said, I knew it was coming. But now that it’s beginning to sink in, I think the reason why I’m having a difficult time with it is because it signifies the teenage years that are waiting in the wings in the near future and some of the challenges that come along with it: insecurities, disappointment, self-doubt, heartache, worrying about her body image, etc. Being a young woman can be wrought with challenges.

My prayer is that within her woman-in-progress body will remain the light and beautiful spirit of the sweet, goofy, little girl I will always love and cherish. I hope that no matter what obstacles she may face, she will be able to retain some of the joy and innocence that makes her eyes sparkle and her heart giggle, and that she will always know how smart, kind, unique and beautiful she truly is.

Of course I realize my wish is no different than any other parent, but looking at the ironic juxtaposition of Kotex pads and Monster High dolls in my daughter’s room, I can’t help but feel a little sentimental. But as I always tell her, “No matter how tall, old or grown you may get, you will ALWAYS be my baby girl.” And she will; she’ll always be my sweet baby girl.

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September 11, 2001: I will never forget

Twelve years ago today I was driving to work in Arlington, VA, immersed in bumper-to-bumper traffic and focused on the radio news reports, when I saw an enormous plume of black smoke looming just off into the distance. Minutes later I would hear that the Pentagon (which was less than 10 miles from where I was located) had been hit. I remember gripping the steering wheel, sobbing and feeling petrified, while praying for our country and all of the lives lost.

However, in the days following those ugly, horrific and cowardly terrorist attacks were reported acts of courage, bravery, kindness and love. We all seemed to come together as one, big grieving community, which served as a beautiful reminder that with all of our many differences, at our core, we are still one America.

I’m so very thankful for our country’s resilience in the midst of that tragedy and the sacrifices of all those lives lost…

Flowers decorate the memorial of David Laychak, a civilian Pentagon employee who was killed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. The American flag marks the area where the hijacked jetliner crashed into the building.  H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

Flowers decorate the memorial of David Laychak, a civilian Pentagon employee who was killed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. The American  flag marks the area where the hijacked jetliner                                crashed into the building.                              H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

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