Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Getting in the Spirit...

Easter is almost here... which to our family means Easter Egg Hunts, Sugar Cookies, and - new this year, thanks to my Ariel - Bunny Cakes. We had a blast making cookies and creating the cake. *Disclaimer - I have ZERO creative talent, so most of the ideas were stolen and replicated*

I had lots of "help" doing all of it. So while my Type A personality wanted to make it perfect, the mom in me allowed the boys to do it their way. And it all turned out pretty cute...

KK decorating his Easter Cookie Eggs... the boy likes sprinkles

JC showing off his works of art

Some of our amazing creations

The extent of my creativity - no copying needed lol

Our bunny cake cut outs (it looks like it has a scary disease, but those are sprinkles in the cake)

Icing the cake while KK supervises closely

Our completed bunny cake... (We would have pretzel stick wiskers, but my quick motorcycle run to get them turned into a disaster)

Pretty cute!

Now, if only the boys had mentioned BEFORE we started this endeavor that they don't like coconut... Oh well, the guys at work enjoyed the cake!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plan B

I came across a quote today that impacted me - Mostly because it was exactly what I needed.

"Life is all about how you handle Plan B; Plan B is the test of true character."

Wow. How many times do my plans fall apart and I am forced to move to Plan B? How often do things not go my way and I have to figure out something different? And most importantly, how do I react to that?

Character isn't created when things are easy. When life is peaches and cream and things are going the way that I want, it's easy to be strong and happy and faithful and positive and good. There is no character building taking place in moments of ease and calm.

It's those moments when things fall apart. When you watch plans dissipate before your eyes. When you get told "No" even though you really really wanted a "yes". That is where character building happens.

This past year has been a series of "Plan B"s. I am a type A personality, so I make plans and lists and want to control everything and make it go exactly the way I think it should. However, things continually didn't work out the way that I thought they needed to. I was forced to Plan B.

And often, I didn't react well. I would get mad. Frustrated. Upset. Ready to give up.

But once I got over my personal temper tantrum, I would pick myself up, dust off my boots, and start working on Plan B. And that is how I got tough. That's what made me strong and independent. That's where my character was built. I didn't appreciate it each time it happened, but I can look back now and say those "Plan B"s are what made me a better person. I've gained appreciation, patience (a little anyway, I still don't have much), understanding, and most importantly, HOPE.

That things will work out. That everything will be okay. And that God does have a plan for my life that is going to be better than anything my Type A personality can come up with.

I wanted the University of Texas soooo bad. My Plan A was all or nothing. And it fell through. I wouldn't be so frustrated if it wasn't for the reasons that it was. It's not because I don't have an excellent academic record. It isn't because I didn't write killer essays. It's not because my test scores weren't great. It's not because I didn't take the right classes or enough of them.

Nope, it's because I have too many credits. Yep. Seriously. I double majored and got 2 degrees, so I have too many credits. So UT won't even look at anything else. Nothing else matters.

That's a serious setback. There goes Plan A.

I'm not going to lie... I am incredibly disappointed. And frustrated. And angry. (I mean, really, who denies admission to a 4.0 Honors Student based on too many credits?! I even made the point to the admissions counselor I was talking to "So if I had been less motivated and only gotten 1 degree or been dumber and failed a few classes, I wouldn't have this problem?" - The answer was yes.) But I'm digressing...

The point here is that it's time for Plan B. Time to stop wallowing and figure out where to go from here. Figure out what I want to do and what's important to me. And mostly, it's time for character building and hope. I am going to be ok. This is going to be ok. It's not going to work out the way I want it to, but it will work out. I just need to focus on that.

If rough times make me stronger, then by the time this is over I'll be tough as nails.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Me Monday

For all the embarassing, silly, or shameful things that we "don't" do, MckMama has created Not Me Mondays. Read mine, then jump over to her's to check out some others!

        I do NOT own a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja that I absolutely adore.

This bike is NOT absolutely my pride and joy. And I am always careful and never do anything stupid daredevilish on it.

I did NOT take it out for a quick ride yesterday without doing a pre-ride check to make sure everything was ok.

This did NOT cause me to run out of gas miles from home.

I did NOT spend an hour hoping someone would answer their phone to come rescue me before resigning myself to the fact that I was going to be walking a few miles.

I was NOT so mad that I threw Cadberry Eggs into the middle of road because they were melting in my hands and getting on my nerves. And of course it didn't make me feel better to watch them get run over by oncoming traffic :)

I did NOT have 9 different creepy guys stop and offer me a ride during my walk, all of which I turned down. Further proof that a) I definitly need a concealed handgun license and b) I've gotten slightly smarter since my running around the country with truckers days.

I did NOT discover after the fact that my bike has a reserve tank and all I had to do was flip a switch in order to have another gallon of gas that would have gotten me to the gas station.

You learn something new everyday...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Failure... And Success

So, for one, I failed again at my resolution... yesterday was sleep deprivation and Italian food. No bueno. So apparently the biggest challenge isn't going to be completing the 30 Day Shred, it's going to be starting the damn thing.

Awesome. Go Bri.

However, it is Friday. Friday is a happy day. Mostly because it means I don't have to come to come to work for 2 whole days once I leave today. And hopefully before long I will be able to enjoy Friday as a work free day as well.

How!? You ask. How is it possible that a girl who works 50 hours a week and pretty much kills herself at a crazy job with an extreme boss can possibly get Fridays off?

Simple. I asked for it. Or more specifically, I went in and had a talk with him and told him the way I saw it, there were 2 ways this working relationship could continue to function: Either he gives me a significant raise to justify the fact that I am away from home 13 + hours a day or he keeps my pay as is and gives me Fridays off. Short of one of those two, I'm done. I was much more convincing than that, but that was the jist of the conversation.

Honestly, I was completely terrified to confront him about this. People don't intimidate me. Men espeically don't intimidate me. He however, scares the hell out of me. I think it's the instability and the fact that I can't predict a damn thing he's going to do.

But I'm glad I did. Because I feel totally taken advantage of right now, and that isn't helping anyone. I'm losing motivation quickly. I came into this job ready to kick ass and take names. With the promise of performance reviews that could result in raises at 3 and 6 months. Guess what? It's been a year, and there has been no review. And there should've been, because I've done an AMAZING job. I'm not trying to brag, but I am really good at what I do. I took a disaster of an accounting department that had we ever gotten audited would've failed miserably and turned it around into a well oiled machine. I corrected all the taxes that had been wrong for the last 3 years and saved the company thousands of dollars in IRS fees and penalties. I also took over all of Human Resources, and have brought that up to date and made it function as well. I've tackled problem after problem, and found some very creative solutions. I run the entirety of the day to day financial operations of the company. All of them. For all locations. And then am also the HR manager on the side. When someone is hired or fired, I deal with it. All invoicing and payments? My department. Credits, write offs, new vehicle licensing, inventory, employee reviews, financial reports, insurance, payroll, rebates, updating customer webportals, monthly vendor reports, unemployment, taxes, and audits? You guessed it. All me. I work HARD. I'm just asking that this hard work be noticed and appreciated. And I am not feeling appreciated.

But, after our conversation yesterday, I'm hoping some things will change. The boss said he would think about what I proposed and get back to me. So we'll see. I'm really optimistic that there will be some positive outcomes. And if not, then it's time to start looking hard for something else.

Either way, things will change. And that's what I need right now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Need a Kick in the Ass...

I swore that today would be the day that I start the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and start my psuedo diet. I've heard tons of good things about the workout, and am so ready to get in bikini shape. However, today that plan failed MISERABLY. I would love to blame it on something or someone other than myself. But I can't. It is totally my own fault.

There, I said it. I took responsbility for it. It didn't happen today because I didn't make the effort. I was lazy and unmotivated. Ouch.

Instead of starting my healthy eating mixed with hydroxycut (my fave) plan, I decided to go to the other end of the health spectrum. You know the "eat as much junk as I possibly can and then do nothing to begin working off those calories" side. Awesome.

So I did have a Chicken Club Sandwich from Wendy's. And a large coke. And a pouch of peanut butter M&Ms. And 2 Texas Roadhouse Rolls. And more coke. And 1/2 a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream and cheese. And 5 bites of steak. And about 6 bites of ribs. And green beans cooked with bacon.

And then I looked at the workout video still in the plastic shrink wrap, tossed it on the couch, and headed to bed.

See? Epic failure. Ugh.

On the bright side, I did choose to not eat any of the sugar cookies the boys and I decorated for Easter. One small victory amidst so much failure. Hardly worth mentioning.

So tomorrow I'm actually going to start. REALLY. The plan is to get up 30 minutes early and do it in the morning before my shower. That may or may not actually happen. (See, I'm already teetering). But if it doesn't, then guess what my ass is going to be doing at 10 P.M. tomorrow when I get home? You guessed it. So the morning would be good. But I need a kick in the ass to get this started.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Random Ramblings

All of the random thoughts racing around in my head right now -

*I am seriously considering "breaking" or throwing away one of my cereal bowls, because I have 11 of them, which means there is NO way to make even stacks. And that really bothers me. Waaay more than it should. Every time I unload the dishwasher or look in that cupboard, I cringe. I've been looking for those same dishes, just so I can add one more bowl, but have had ZERO luck. So instead, I think I'm going to hide it in the garage or something, so that my stacks will be even and if I happen to break another one, I will have a replacement to bring it back to an even number. On that same note, I'm buying another entire set of my glasses because one is broken and that, too, is driving me crazy. I know, I'm ridiculous. And seriously OCD. But only with specific things.

*I just glanced over at my nightstand, and it is ridiculous. You'd think with as OCD as I am about the bowls and glasses, I would care a little more about the fact that I have 5, yes FIVE, half full coke cans sitting there. That has always been my father/roommate/husband/boyfriend 's biggest pet peeve. I am 100% guilty of opening a can of soda, or pouring a glass of juice or tea or whatever, taking 2 drinks, and then leaving it there and not touching it again. I know. It's wasteful. And I should stop it. I've tried. I get distracted, and forget about it. By the time I get back to it, it's either been over 3 hours, which is just yucky, or it's been long enough that it's gotten warm or the ice has melted. In either case, I refuse to touch it again. Really, this is something I'm going to work on. But no promises.

(Time out to go take all the cans and dump them out in the kitchen, only to grab a new one out of the fridge and take 2 sips before setting it back on the nightstand and returning to my blog...)

*I still don't know if I've gotten into UT Austin. And it is driving me NUTS! If the University keeps track of the number of logins to the admission website, I should be admitted simply for dedication and enthusiasm. At this point, I'd rather they just tell me NO than keep me waiting. Well, that's not true... I'd rather they just tell me yes and be done with it. It's mean to force a prospective student to jump through crazy hoops and spend hours sweating over admissions essays and resumes and then make them wait for 2 months while you kick around their entire future over doughnuts and coffee. That sucks.

*I need to do laundry. And dishes. And vaccuum. And pick everything up. I don't understand how my house can be completely immaculate when my parents walk in the door, and by Day 2 it is a disaster. And when I try to have the boys clean up their messes, my mom just keeps saying "Just enjoy them". Mother, I do enjoy my children. But I'd like to be able to enjoy them without 3 feet of toys and books and clothes and movies on the floor. Being able to find my children in the mess is crucial to enjoying them.

*Speaking of enjoying my children - the boys and I are baking and decorating Easter cookies tomorrow. Just because. Yay.

*I think that I have LDS. (Again, that's Little Dick Syndrome - it often goes hand in hand with beer drinking contests and big trucks) Obviously, I am 100% female. I always have been. However, I have this innate need to compete with men. I don't feel the need to compete with women. I just assume I'm better than them. Just kidding. Don't stop reading :) Really, I just don't feel the need to compete with women. I grew up in a very male dominated world, and learned early on that if I want to get anywhere, it's men that I need to beat out. So I do. In academics. In intelligence. In "stuff" (ie my truck that is just about the be lifted 11 inches). Anything that can be a competition, I make it one. And then I challenge a man to it. And I usually beat them. It's an issue. I think I need to look into this one...

*I need sleep. Lots of sleep. I live perpetually exhausted. Ugh...

Ok, those are my random thoughts of this evening... Goodnight friends!

My Boss...

is completely insane.

I've had some baaad bosses. A drunk 24 year old ex beauty queen. A former Marine who believed that everything must be done by a list of strict and stringent rules. A nasty old man who tried to make me his girlfriend in exchange for my job. . But at least they have a method to their madness...

#1 was a gold-digging whore
#2 had 12 weeks of bootcamp engrained permanently in his brain, with the scars to prove it
#3 is just a dirty old man. And I'm hot. You can't blame him.* But stilll... Eeewwww....

This one, I just don't get.

I'm usually pretty good at figuring people out. I can usually read them with minimal effort. Figure out their weaknesses, their strengths, what motivates them, and what really gets to them. This skill has been incredibly helpful to me on multiple occasions.

But this boss... I don't know.

I've considered all the possibilites - abusive childhood, LDS (Little Dick Syndrome, for those of you just tuning in), broken heart, drugs, absent father - and none of them seem to explain why he is the way he is.

Here is what I do know

*He is French. French people are rude. And most of them dislike Americans. And they spit when they talk. Yuck.

*He is incapable of being happy for longer than 25 minutes. Not possible. Not even remotely.

*He is a workaholic, and expects everyone around him to be the same way. He has no life, no real friends, and nothing outside of his company.

*He believes that criticism and abuse are the most productive ways to get people to work harder for him. Screaming, yelling, throwing things, degrading, and critisizing are his favorite motivational tools. Actually, I kinda think he just likes treating people like shit.

*You never know what to expect. When he walks in the door, you take a deep breath and wait for the first 5 words out of his mouth. That will tell you everything you need to know about his mood and subsequently how your day is going to be.

In order to avoid being labelled as "overexaggerating"  I am going to provide a couple of concrete examples of this insane behavior -

1) Back in October, I wanted to put a few days of PTO time in for Christmas. When I made the initial request on a Wednesday afternoon, he screamed, cussed, and called me every name in the book, as well as reminded me of my incompetance and how I don't deserve to spend Christmas with my family. I went home that night pretty much convinced I would be spending the holidays in Houston.

The next morning, he sought me out at 7 A.M. to ask me what days I had thought about being gone for Christmas. As I mumbled something about hadn't really thought about it since I didn't think I was going home, he yelled at me for not having any plans in place. Then he went into his office and slammed the door. 10 minutes later I recieved an e-mail that was the flight confirmation for my 2 boys and I to fly to Denver for Christmas. He PAID for the boys and I to go home for Christmas. After screaming at me for wanting to take time off.

However, when I wrote him a note thanking him for his generosity, he responded by immediately telling me I would be working the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. Lord. "You're welcome" would've worked.

2) Among the many things that I have been screamed at for:**
*Having an unorganized desk
*Taking a 2 hour lunch (when I was gone 20 minutes)
*Not working 50 hours a week
*Having too many pens (WHAT?)

3) I think he is competing to see how quickly he can run people off. He had a warehouse employee who quit after 5 days because "Bertrand was bad for his health", Our new Dallas salesman lasted 48 hours before he had enough. And our newest driver made it through 5 hours before he told me I was a saint for putting up with that psychotic man as he ran out he door.

4) On Friday, I had the day off to spend with family. That morning, one of my employees called to let me know he wouldn't be in because his Grandfather had approximately 48 hours to live, so his family was headed to spend time with him. When I relayed this message to the boss, the response was, and I quote "Well if gramps had 48 hours to live, then he could have worked all day and then went to see him. 24 hours would've been plenty. And I expect to see a death certificate on my desk on Monday or he's fired."
Seriously? Who does that?

I just can't keep up with the rollercoaster ride. It is insane, and exhausting. And I've had enough. I actuall walked out of his office while he was in mid screaming fit sentence today because I simply couldn't listen to it for another second. There has to be better out there than total insanity.

But for now, just knowing that he is insane, and pretty much everyone sees it, kinda helps.


*Actually, I CAN blame him. And I do. Thus, the sexual harrassment lawsuit. I don't believe in sue-happy America. I do believe that powerful, evil, money hungry men like him need to pay for what they do to women.

** I don't get yelled at normally. I try to be the picture perfect employee. I do everything right, and then check again to make sure it's right, just to avoiding making people angry at me. So therefore, I did everything that I could to do everything right, and it was never good enough. Talk about frustrating.

Monday, March 22, 2010

An Apathetic Generation...

I thought in light of yesterday's health care reform, maybe I should bring this post out for a round two... Enjoy...

So I’ve discovered something since moving to Texas… most of our generation just doesn’t give a damn. We as a whole are an apathetic and narcissistic generation, and that’s sad. The only thing most 18-30 somethings seem to care at all about is what directly affects them… work, family, parties, etc.

When did America seriously start not giving a shit? About politics. The economy. Fiscal responsibility. Religion. Anything? Come ON guys. Do you really not understand the effects that current socio-economic issues have on not only us, but our children?

Look at the economy for example… 58% of college students graduate with over $20,000 in student loans and over $5000 in credit card debt. With current loan rates of 6.8% and at least 14% respectively, it will take the average college grad 10-15 YEARS to get out of that. As banks continue to go under, things are only going to get worse. Money is going to get tighter, credit is going to be harder to come by, inflation is going to increase, and interest rates are going to rise. And why is this do you think? Because people just don’t care. We come from such a ‘I want what I want right now, and I don’t care if I can afford it’ attitude, that has driven our economy into the ground.

Greed, selfishness, and stupidity are to blame for an economic crisis that is going to make your future dreams of owning that little house with the white picket fence impossible to obtain. Bankruptcy rates are skyrocketing, the value of the U.S. dollar is declining, and we as a generation are still out buying new cars, toys, etc. without giving it a second thought. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY people. You’re going to care when Wall Street crashes, stocks plummet, banks fold, and we find ourselves in another economic Depression. The government can bail us out of a lot, but they can’t fix stupid. So let’s be smart.

Secondly… RELIGION… I am SO DAMN sick of this wishy washy back and forth crap that basically means “yes, I believe that God exists and I really don’t want to go to hell, but I also don’t want to put any real effort into cultivating a true relationship with him or bothering to follow any of his rules except those that meet my immediate needs”. Either you believe in something or you don’t. Either you’re a Christian who lives your life accordingly and makes a genuine effort to live for Christ and do as he commands or you don’t. PERIOD. This wishy washy in the middle thing is dumb. God doesn't ask us to be perfect. But he DOES command us to pick a side and stick with it. Hmmm, sound familiar?

Finally, POLITICS…there is NOTHING that frustrates me more than people who willfully choose not to vote and become educated about the future of our nation. How completely ignorant and apathetic can you get?!? We are given the opportunity to help decide the future of our country, and over 60% of our generation didn’t feel the need to take a few minutes out of their life to give their opinion during the 2004 election. Really? People use the excuse of “my vote doesn’t matter”. Whatever. Yes it does. If not in application, then in principle. Elections decide the future of our country on a LOT of major issues. Not only on a federal level, but on a state, county, and city level as well. Research. Learn. Talk to a variety of people. Get opinions. Ask questions. Get answers. READ. Pay attention. Figure out what the hell you believe and then decide who you think will best uphold those values. In the time it would take to watch a movie, you could become an informed and aware citizen regarding political issues, candidate values, and what is actually going on in America.

This is our FUTURE people. And our children’s futures. This is Healthcare, The Economy, Social Security, War, Abortion, Taxes, The Death Penalty, The Environment.

Come on, you HAVE to care about one of those.

Basically, if you don’t exercise your right to vote, then you have absolutely NO RIGHT to bitch about ANYTHING for the following 4 years. I don’t even care WHO you vote for, as long as you take the time to learn something about them and what they stand for. Don’t vote for someone just because they are a Republican or Democrat. That’s stupid. LEARN about them. Get informed.

Or, at the very least, find someone who IS informed and let them give you a 30 second spiel about why they are voting the way they are. I have my personal political opinions, which I would be happy to share, but that’s not the point of this. This point of this is EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. I don’t care who or what you vote for, just be able to defend it.

STAND UP for something. BELIEVE in something. Get PASSIONATE about something. Pick a side… either you believe in abortion or you don’t. Either sex before marriage is okay or it’s not. Homosexuality. Interracial relationships. Government directed healthcare. Death Penalty. The list goes on.

STOP worrying about pissing someone off or offending someone, get informed, and make some damn decisions. LEARN about things. Ask questions. Discover something new. Dare to expand your horizons. Get behind something and be a part of it. Whether or not someone agrees with you, they have to respect you for standing up for what you believe.

No one respects apathy. Or ignorance. Ever.

Let’s STOP being known as an ignorant and apathetic generation and start being known as a generation who STANDS UP for what they believe.

Not Me Monday

For all the things that we “don’t” do – MckMama has created Not Me Mondays. Enjoy my (SUPER embarrassing) post, and then jump over the MckMama’s site for more…

I did NOT have family coming into town last minute this weekend, and therefore spent 3 days scrambling to turn a mess of a house into a beautiful retreat for my incredibly picky parents.

This did NOT include me doing 13 loads of laundry that had piled up. Seriously, how do 3 people create 13 loads of laundry?

Some of that said laundry did NOT end up in a pile in my closet after it had been washed, because I simply didn’t have time to fold it and put it away. Which led to this incredibly embarrassing moment –

On Thursday morning, I did NOT get ready in the dark in a futile attempt to avoid waking up my 5 year old who had decided to sneak into my bed in the middle of the night. This did NOT lead to me fumbling through the laundry pile in the closet in complete blackness trying to find and put on a complete outfit. And in my haste, there was no time to glance in the mirror and make sure everything looked okay before running out the door, so I did NOT assume that I’m super talented and head off to work without a double check.

An hour later, I was NOT standing in my employee’s office having a conversation with him about the day’s tasks when I looked down and saw something black and lacy on the floor between us. He did NOT pick it up and then start laughing at the horrified look on my face when I realized it was my PANTIES. Somehow they had gotten caught in the leg of my pants that I pulled from the laundry and made their way onto the floor in front of us.

He and another employee did not proceed to play “catch” with them while I considered A) quitting b) crying and c) both

It’s been a looong time since I’ve been that humiliated.

And you can bet I will NOT ever get dressed in the dark again. And that’s a promise!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Here We Go Again...

My parents are going to be here today.

Yes, I know I just recently swore I was done with all the drama and craziness that is my family.

And I am.

But I don't think that means that cutting off all contact with my parents is the way to go about that. That seems really cruel. And cruelty so isn't the point here.

The point is to be happy and healthy and lead a successful life that isn't sabotaged by my need to please people who are in fact, impossible to please. To move past all the craziness and not allow myself to get sucked into the drama that inevitably prevails when they are present. The point, my friends, is to be okay.

Yes, I probably should not have let them invite themselves to my house for 5 days. I probably should have set boundaries and made some things very clear about our relationship. But I'm not there yet.

The truth is that I spent all of January and February without even a smidgen of contact with them. And things were calm. And nondramatic. And okay. But I really missed them. A lot. I still crave that love and attention and closeness, even if it is rare and comes at a high cost. I'm human. Of course I want that. We all do. And I know it's been hard on my boys as well. They miss their Grammie and Papa. I don't want to deny them that. Because grandparents are important. People that spoil and treat and are there just for fun are necessary in a child's life.

I think the key here is to find a way to interact with my family, and specifically my parents, without being sucked into their games. I can love them without being crazy with them. At least I think I can. I need to accept that our relationship simply is what it is, and not try to make it into something that it will never be. I have to enjoy the good and just let go of the bad and not let it affect me so deeply. If I can somehow accomplish that, I'll be fine.

So the game plan is fairly simple... I am going to continue to live my life the way I always do.
I'm not changing my whole life for the next 5 days to meet with their approval. I'm still going to dress the same, act the same, have a beer after work, do things as normal. They can choose to accept it, or they can choose to leave. After all, it is my house, my life, and my kids. I have to get over this desperately wanting approval that I am never going to get thing, and just live.

I talk big now, but we'll see what happens when they show up this afternoon...

I'll let you know!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Only In Texas...

... do they have mosquitos the size of your FIST.

Okay, that may be exaggerating a little bit. But seriously, these things are HUGE.

I'm a Colorado girl. I'm used to mosquitos. I'm used to the buzzing and the bites and the nasty smelling repellent.

I am not used to bugs that attack you in swarms and could probably eat you alive.

I get that everything is bigger in Texas (With a few notable exceptions. Ahem, the men. Even Texas can't help some of them!) but enough is enough.

I guess the good news is that here in a couple months, it wil be too hot for them to survive.

Apparently mosquitos don't do well in 105 degree weather.

Awesome :)


Ok, so I’m sorry I haven’t posted. My best excuse is that I was a) in Colorado and b) recovering from Colorado.

So, the good stuff first… Colorado. I HEART Colorado. It is my home and my life and I adore it. The people, the places, the familiarity, the mountains, the culture. Everything. I had 3 ½ amazing, fun-filled, soul refreshing days with the people I love last weekend. It was SO good for me. It helped me to step back and re-evaluate, and clear my head. And let loose and party with the greatest friends in the world!

*Yes - I realize the sign is ironic. I've always wondered why "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" is done is ugly brown and white. Way to go tourism committee*

Have you ever been someplace where you just feel welcomed and loved and a part of things? Where you walk down the street and take pride in that place? Where you feel connected to the people around you? Where your heart is happy simply because you are there? Where no matter how far you go, you can always come back and pick up where you left off and feel at home? That’s Colorado to me.

How beautiful is that? How can you not love it?

Telluride, Colorado - One of my alltime favorite places.

Old Town Fort Collins - This is my stomping ground!

*Side note – This is where most people ask me “Why the HELL did you leave?” - I am working on that post*

Anyways, while I was there, I also had to deal with family. Lots of family. People I haven’t seen since I was 12 kinda family. Good Lord.

I did manage to avoid them for the majority of my trip home. However, considering the main reason for my visit was my little sister’s wedding, it did become unavoidable on Sunday afternoon. When I showed up at the ceremony, I was greeted with a mix of surprise and agitation. Apparently, no one really thought I was coming since I had been completely AWOL for the rehearsal dinner and other pre-wedding festivities. But for VERY good reason, just for the record.

So I show up to the wedding, meet up with my buffer/BFF/sanity inducing friend, Nate, and head into the trenches. The ‘rents didn’t say too much at that point. Probably because they were occupied with making sure there were blankets available for all the guests since my sister decided to have an OUTDOOR wedding in MARCH in COLORADO. Really?

I ran into my grandma, my great aunt, my other sister and her, um, husband. (I have a hard time with this one too. Somehow a low-life drug dealer doesn’t really qualify as “husband” to me, but she married him, so I guess it counts).

Anyways, so I go to take a seat, and am escorted to the back on the groom’s side. No prob, they’re just filling open space at this point. So I take a look at the program. It’s elegant. It’s pretty. It totally left my boys and I out completely. Really. It has every family member in my immediate and extended family listed on the program under “family”, except me, J, and KK. Ouch. Not completely unexpected, but still a slap in the face.

I have to be honest. At this point I am seriously questioning why in the world I even showed up. And Nate telling me “That’s bullshit, I would just leave” wasn’t helping the cause any. But again, I realize it’s my sister’s wedding and therefore not about me. So I sat there. Fuming a little bit. But silent.

After the unique, albeit freezing, wedding ceremony, it was reception time. My favorite. Mostly because I knew there would be wine. Lots of wine. Free wine. Yay. The guests were escorted to the reception pavilion while the family and wedding party went off to take pictures. I went with the guests to the reception.

About 5 minutes into the first glass of wine, a photographer’s assistant appeared and asked me to please come participate in the pictures. I politely declined. And finished that glass. 2 minutes after that, my dad walked in with the same request. Again, I simply said I’d prefer not to based on prior conversation with the bride and groom. That didn’t go over well. Maybe because I told my dad “no”. Maybe because the father of the bride had been drinking since 11 A.M. Either way, not pretty. And followed by a couple more quick glasses of wine. I am a strong believer in not making a scene in front of people. Ever. I learned this from growing up in a crazy family who somehow managed to appear sane to those on the outside. My father, however, has his moments when he forgets the lesson that he engrained so deeply in me. That was one of those moments.

Fast forward through a sit down dinner with my parents high class friends and all of the sudden it’s toast time. And it’s necessary for me to make a toast.  (Why? Cuz I can put together a semi-eloquent speech on the fly, and I supposed everyone was pretty sure that since I hadn’t made reference to sister's misgivings thus far, I would continue to avoid them. Ha.)

I have to be honest, I don’t really remember what I said. There had been a LOT of alcohol at that point. I got a lot of compliments on it. I really only remember throwing in a few innuendos about trust and family, but they were covered in niceties, so it worked out.

And I caught the bouquet. LOL. Yea, right.

And then I left, went to bed, and got back on a plane to Houston. Thank God.

I’ve had ALL the family I can handle for a loooong time.

But at least now everyone is married. There is not even one person who is still single.

Except me.

I will stay single. Or elope.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Hope and A Future

I just feel so... lost...

Like I don't have the answers.

Like I don't know what to do.

Like there is no "right" way.

I feel like I am destined to journey through life without a defined purpose.

Because every time I think I'm getting close, every time I'm on to something, it falls to pieces at my feet.

I can honestly say I have NO IDEA what to do.

My heart is sad today. And I'm lonely. And lost.

I just wish that I could take a quick glance into my life 5, 10, 15 years down the road and see some semblance of structure and sanity, and mostly, happiness. I just want to be assured that what I'm feeling right now isn't permanent. That there is really happiness out there for me.

It would make this journey soooo much easier.

And if I could get a quick peek a just a few small details about my life then, it would definitely make the decisions I'm trying to make now a whole lot easier.

I guess I just need hope. But am feeling hopeless. Icky combination.

But I believe in God. And He says that he has plans to give me a hope AND a future.

So I'm hanging onto that right now. I just wish they came in a little clearer, please. Something concrete. That I can really grasp. Like maybe in a fortune cookie, or through a tweet. I can see it now: @Allmighty1


Churches tweet. Maybe God does too. Who knows. I'm gonna go check out Twitter real quick though.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Not Me Monday...

"Not Me" Monday's were created by MckMama. Enjoy mine, and then jump over to her blog to read what other "Not Me-ers" are doing!

It was NOT me who went out and had entirely too much to drink Saturday in the spirit of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It wasn't me who was unable to turn down the free alcohol and therefore ended up ridiculously drunk. It also wasn't me who walked all the way back to the truck barefoot.

It was also not me that looked at my alarm clock on Sunday morning, and promptly decided that we would be skipping church this weekend. And of course, that decision had nothing to do with the night before.

Finally, it was NOT me who, upon getting out of bed, discovered everyone lounging on the couch and my entire house in shambles, including an overturned bowl of fruit loops on the floor and milk EVERYWHERE. (I would have taken pictures, but I was waaaay too unhappy at that point) And of course, being the responsible parent that I am, I did NOT grab my truck keys and my gun, and tell my children and boyfriend in a not exactly nice way that I was leaving, and the house had better be fixed when I got back. I did not then go take my aggression out on the targets at the shooting range, and come back to a - mostly - clean house and children who looked like the fear of God had been put in them...

I guess it's true, when Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...

What did you NOT do today?