Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day is so much better when you are married.  We don't really do anything special for this day but there's no pressure and that is so nice.  I dreaded this day in my single years and now I realize I should have just kicked Vday in the ass and not worried about this silly Hallmark holiday.  Being married is way better.  I have a really romantic and generous hubs, so everyday is like Valentine's day for me.  (awwww, I know, sappy)

Last night at supper we exchanged valentines as a family.  For Spencer, everything Reese's...his favorite candy.  So I got him a Reese's heart, a Reese's basketball tin and more Reeses.  He was happy.  For the hubs, I got him the cutest Lindt Frog Prince tin filled with candy.  It was sooo cute.  And I bought him Kate Spade High Ball glasses that say "His Hers." Swoon! He got me the biggest, most obnoxious heart box of candy I have ever seen.  It was hilarious.  I loved it.  It will last two weeks...nah, probably one week.   He also bought me an ampersand...I'm so excited to get it in the mail.  One of my high school teammates has an etsy shop where she makes lit, rustic signs and symbols. They're amazing, check it out.  

Yesterday was a big day, Spencer can now legally drive.  I took him to take his driver's test and as he drove off with the trooper, I had a mini panic attack.  Would he pass? What if he does pass?  A million thoughts and emotions ran through my head.  He did pass and he can now drive.  I'm proud of him and grateful to experience this rite of passage with him...I'm also scared to death.  How have parents survived this moment for hundreds of years??? Be safe my son, and don't text and drive...ever! 

I hope today love is in the air for you and if it isn't, go kick today's ass! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Power of Girls

I am proud to be a girl...a southern girl.  I am grateful I was blessed with a son, because while I'm thrilled to be a girl, I'm not sure I could raise one properly.  I cuss a lot...that's not very lady like and I enjoy cussing with my son. (Don't judge me, they are just words) I love to drink beer...from the bottle, that too is probably not very lady like.  When I really I start to think about it, I do a lot of things that probably aren't exactly lady like, but ask me if I give a me, I don't! I do not envy my girlfriends charged with raising daughters, they will do a magnificent job at it, but I don't envy them one bit.  It's no cake walk raising a man either.

I am most proud of my relationships with girl friends.  It's not always easy for girls to be friends, real, true, genuine friends.  Genuinely happy that your girlfriend lost those final 10 pounds, met her soulmate, got the shoes half off when you paid full price, you know genuinely happy.  I can honestly say there's a circle of gals in my life that I feel exactly this way about.  As we get older, our circles tend to shrink, mostly because we get busy, or move away or focus on family.  Lately, I feel like my circle has  stretched a little and expanded and that makes me very happy.  

Recently, I was invited to a girls' weekend at a lakehouse.  It was an amazing time.  We talked and talked, ate amazing food, drank wine, talked, solved world problems and supported each other.  Even now, as the weekend seems far away, we are still touching base, supporting each other.  I don't usually spend a lot of time away from my boys, if I can help it and I debated on backing out on this weekend as well.  I am so glad I didn't, it was exactly what I needed.  The women I shared the weekend with are all incredibly talented, lovely and generous and it was such a blessing to get to know them all a little better.  It reminded me that we always need to uplift each other and support one another in all matter how difficult at times.  I love this quote by Madeleine Albright, "There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women." Well said! 

Lately, women have been in the news becoming CEOs and Fed Chiefs...that's so cool! I believe I will see a female President before I die and that is amazing! I wish it weren't such a big deal when a company like GM hires their first female CEO, but sadly, it's still unusual in the corporate world.  I celebrate these women and am glad that they are trailblazers so that when my son's sister, Whitney, is an adult, she won't expect anything less than to be a CEO, President, etc. 

I'll end with this quote, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Margaret Thatcher  (for my lakehouse gals, thought you'd love this quote!)

Much love to all my girls. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


On this day 16 years ago, the single most significant life changing event son, Spencer James Brown was born and today he is 16 years old.  How in the world did that happen? I have been truly blessed to watch him grow up and become the man he is becoming every day.  The last 16 years have been a blur but I cherished every single moment and will continute to cherish every moment of his life.  He has brought me immense joy and happiness and I could not be more proud to be his mother.

In honor of his 16th birthday, here are 16 attributes that I love about Spencer.  

Dearest Spencer, you are:
1. The kindest person, you are always putting others before yourself.
2. Generous, you have a giving heart and that will serve you well your whole life.
3. Handsome, everyday I am more amazed at how handsome you are becoming. 
4. Talented, I love watching you play basketball, you are so very gifted as a player.
5. Honest, don't ever lose this trait, it is one of the most important.
6. Funny, you have the best sense of humor and you make me laugh all the time.
7. Intelligent, you are very smart and even more so when you apply yourself to your studies.
8. Well read, I am so grateful for your love of books and reading, this is paramount to a happy life.
9. Friendly, you have so many friends and you are a good friend, never lose those friendships and continue to make friends your whole life.
10. Well spoken, I am so proud to watch you speak to have a great handshake too!
11. Helpful, you are a great big brother, always helping your siblings and you are a great help at home.
12. Tolerant, you accept all human beings as they are, please do not ever lose this...your generation will change the world with your tolerance. 
13. Athletic, you can do anything you set your mind to athletically, I have enjoyed watching you play soccer, baseball, football and excelled at all.
14. Determined, you have your goals in mind and nothing will stop you from reaching them.  Keep setting goals your whole life.
15. Dependable, your friends and family can always count on you to be there for them. 
16. Loved, your entire family loves you immensely and you are the love of my life.  

Happy Birthday Spencer, may all your wishes come true! Drive Safely! :-) 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014

Are you as surprised as I am that it is already 2014? When I was a little girl, any year with a two thousand in front of it sounded like a futuristic, space world.  I have to say that 2013 was pretty darn good to my family and me.  Here's a few highlights from the past year:

* We went to New York for Spring Break and introduced Spencer to my favorite city.
* We traveled to New Orleans and Las Vegas for basketball 3rd in NOLA and 1st place in Vegas.
* Spencer got his braces off and he is even more handsome now than before, which I didn't think was possible!
* David had an amazing year at work, so proud of him. 
* I spent a weekend in Chicago with my childhood bestie, we had the best time. 
* I didn't lose weight but I obsessed over trying to lose weight, a lot.
*  Hubs and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with a trip to Mexico over July 4th. 
* Spencer passed his written driving test and has been driving to school with D most days.
* We saw Wicked in NYC and we all loved it, what an amazing experience.
* D built me the most beautiful fire pit area.  I just love it and can't wait to use it a lot in 2014.
* I made some new friends and stayed connected with old friends.
* It was a good year at work and I'm grateful to have a job I like.  
* Spencer started high school in 2013 and so far it has been a pretty good experience.  He had a good first semester. 
* I read a lot of great books and am still deeply in love with my ipad, it saves me most every day.
* I spent a lot of time with my boys, which is still my most favorite pasttime.  
* We had 20 family members over for Christmas Eve and it was just wonderful.  
* I spoke at a blogger conference and absolutely loved it!

I know there are many more wonderful things that happened in 2013 but I just wanted to name a few.  I get a little melancholy this time of year thinking about another year that flew by me and wondering what a new year will bring.  It's exciting and frightening all at the same time.  I don't make New Years resolutions, I set intentions for the year.  I have decided that 2014 is the year about me...I know, sounds so Leo of me doesn't it?  But seriously, I know without a doubt the single most important thing I can do for myself and my family is to take better care of myself and that is my intetion for 2014.  I hope you will wish me luck!

Happy New Year to you, I hope 2014 brings you an abundance of blessings. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Panic

I try.  I really do.  Every year I make lists, delegate tasks, give myself plenty of time and yet I still feel this immense panic around this time every year.  My list grows, my delegated tasks don't seem delegated enough and time is absolutely running out!

It's really all my fault.  I could literally order every gift online and just sit back and wait for the mailman.  However, I don't do that.  I do order quite a bit online, but I always want to visit some local stores and pick up things in town because "I could just run and do that on my lunch hour."  Well, my lunch hours are shrinking because work is crazy and we lost time to snow days.  I will just get some shopping done after work...hahaha, yea sure.  Let's see, it's finals week so that means we are studying every night (because finals are a family affair) and we have practice and basketball games and we are exhausted! So now its crunch time because by December 18th I no longer trust that my online purchases will make it on time. 

I absolutely love Christmas time and I try very hard to stop and soak it all in.  I sit and stare at my Christmas trees (all 3 of them) and take time to appreciate how beautiful they are and wish I could  leave them up all year because my house looks so good with lit trees! I listen to Christmas music all day and that makes me happy.  I wrap presents and think about what the person will feel when they open the gift.  I really do try to stop and smell the poinsettias but still this panic sets in. 

Worse, after the panic is gone, around 5pm on Christmas Eve, (because hey, if I didn't get it done by then, it ain't happening) the next debilitating emotion sets in...depression.  The Christmas letdown.  I prepare for it, I try to pep talk myself out of it...but after Christmas I always feel a little down.  All that work and panic, in what seems minutes, is all over.  This doesn't last long thank goodness because the dawning of a new year is always exciting.  I get excited about the good things that will happen to me and the folks I care about in the new year.  My son will turn 16 in the new year...that is incredibly hard to believe.  D and I will celebrate 6 wonderful years of marriage.  I'm beginning my 4th year at a job that I love.  D will get a new car in 2014 and that will be fun.  Spencer will play lots of basketball in 2014 and I can't to witness every moment.  We are planning a trip to Hawaii for spring break and that will be amazing!

Do you experience holiday panic?  Should we start a support group?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Thanksgiving is always a good time of year to remind us to be thankful and show gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.  Thankfully, I practice gratitude everyday and I truly believe it pays off big time in my life.  I read a great article today by Unstuck that gives 40 ways to show gratitude and it's wonderful! Read it here.  

Before I met my husband, I made a gratitude list of all the things I was grateful for in my future soul mate.  This was the year (almost 7 years ago) that I read the book, The don't laugh, I LOVE this book and the teachings.  It completely changed my life.  From that point on, I not only wrote down what I was grateful for but what I 'intended' to be grateful for and let me tell you, a lot of my intentions have come true.  Three days after I wrote the list of my perfect mate, I met David and the rest is history.  He met every single criteria on my list.  Isn't that spooky?  Now that I have been setting intentions for over 7 years, it is not spooky to me anymore, it's meant to be.

I've seen folks say, "ask, believe and receive" and this is basically the concept.  I find it very therapeutic to write down your intentions though.  When I was really wanting a career change, every night I would write "I am so grateful for my new job, with a great boss and wonderful staff."  In November of 2010, that intention came true for me.  I also write intentions for my husband, son and family and many of those have come true as well. 

Many would say that this is basically praying and I could agree; I know people who write down their prayer requests.  Very similar actions.  I've just found that either saying out loud (many times in the car alone) or writing down what I am grateful for everyday comes back to me in good ways ten fold.  Sometimes these are really silly like, "I am grateful for the tree I saw today with bright, red leaves" or "I am so grateful for my new refrigerator that has water in the door!" Gratitude can be about anything in your life that you are grateful for. 

I am beyond blessed in my life and I know that being grateful everyday for those blessings is a wonderful practice, one I plan to pass on to my son.  Do you have a gratitude journal? How do you express gratitude?