Lies Your Parents Told You #NaBloPoMo

 

Just-because-something

 

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is a doozy for me.   What are some lies your parents told you?

Eeesh.  Talk about a CAN OF WORMS.

People who “sort of” know me will tell you that I don’t talk about my parents.  People who know me pretty well will tell you that I have a bad relationship with my parents.  People who know me best will tell you that I have no relationship with my parents.  My relationship with my parents has never been a good one, but pretty much it is nonexistent at this point.

I can’t say that my father ever lied to me.  I just don’t know him at all.  It’s really quite sad – he lived in the same town as me for most of my whole life – until I was about 22, but I never really had any relationship with him.  I remember visiting with him at his house when I was around 7 on weekends.  I remember that my mother did not encourage me to have a relationship with him, and remember some nasty moments when I would want to talk to him, etc.  I don’t know the full story, but I know I stopped visiting.  My thought as a grown up is that my mother probably made it exceptionally difficult on him.  As a divorced mom, I know that it can be difficult to bite your tongue and suck it up.  There was no biting of lips ever in my mother’s house, and a weak person might not go through the fight that she probably put him through.  So I don’t think my dad ever lied.  He just wasn’t around to do it.

My mother is a whole other story.  I don’t speak to my mother, and I doubt that I ever will unless there is a damn skippy good reason.  My mother continues to lie – she lies to my daughter (who sees her when she visits with her dad in Oklahoma) about the kind of person she is, and she tries to lie about the kind of person I am.  She continues to actively work to destroy my relationship with my daughter, which in my opinion, is pretty much the only thing I could never forgive anyone.  I forgave her many, many inequities to continue to try to have a relationship with her up until my late twenties/early thirties.  But it’s simply not worth it anymore.  So in that respect, my “parent” has told so, so many lies to and about me, but the saddest part is is that number probably doesn’t even begin to compare to the lies that she tells herself.

My parental figures, were, essentially, my grandparents, especially my grandfather.  I lived with them for two years when I was 11ish-13ish, and stayed with them much much more.  I can’t remember a time that they lied to me.  They are both gone now, but I was blessed to have them until within the past couple of years.  So I was very, very lucky.  So many of the good parts of who I am came from them, and I was blessed to have them.

Whew.  So, that was a lot to put out there for me.  But there it is.

So, what lies have your parents told you?

 
NaBloPoMo April 2014

Favorite Flicks #BoostYourBlog

Photo by ScypaxPictures

 

So yesterday I told you that I’m not a huge TV fan.  I don’t watch much TV – I do read a lot. However, I’m a total movie junkie.  I watch wayyyy more movies than I do TV.  And when I find something I like, I stick with it.  Just like I have my favorite books that I read over and over again, I have my favorite flicks that I like to throw in when there’s nothing else on.

I have SO many favorite movies that it would be almost impossible to pick just one, so we’ll divide into categories here.

Favorite Classic Movie

Casablanca.  Hands down.  Although I love pretty much any movie from Jimmy Stewart (see favorite Christmas movie, below), this is by far my favorite.  It is romantic and sad and sweet and action packed.  It is cinematography magic.  If you haven’t seen it, shame on you!  And don’t you DARE watch the colorized version.  It’s horrible and it is meant to be watched in black and white.  This is my favorite rainy Sunday afternoon curled up under a blanket movie.

Favorite Modern Movie

Now, I’m defining “modern” is within the last three- four years.  There was some movies from the 90s (Braveheart, anyone?) that I will watch over and over.  But within the last few years, it has to be Midnight in Paris.  I am not a huge Woody Allen fan, so I was shocked at how much I loved this movie.  The soundtrack is also to die for.  I’ve probably watched this movie a dozen times in the last year, at least.

Favorite Chick Flick

Where the Heart Is.  I’m a huge Natalie Portman fan, and I’m still an Oklahoma girl at heart.  This one will be one of by faves forever.  The book by Billie Letts is awesome as well.

Favorite Christmas Movie

It’s a Wonderful Life.  Like I said I love Jimmy Stewart.  I wish there were more modern day actors with his talent.

So there you have it!  Some of my faves, although there are many, many more.

What Movie Could You Watch Over and Over?

 

 This post is part of the Boost Your Blog Challenge! Head over to Saving More Than Me to participate!

 

 

Come Back, Friends: Favorite TV Shows #BoostYourBlog

favorite tv shows

 

I’m not a HUGE TV Watcher, but when I do watch TV, I tend to get stuck on a series and not let go.  So I do have some favorite TV shows! For example, I will be positively broken-hearted when Grey’s Anatomy goes off the air.  I know lots of people (my boyfriend included) say that it isn’t as good anymore, but I still love it.  Although I was very sad when Eric Dane/Marc Sloan/Dr. McSteamy kicked the bucket.

I never really watched a whole lot of TV as a kid either.  I had never even seen cable TV until I went to college in the fall of 1998.  Yes, I grew up without MTV.  But there were two shows that I would loveeee to come back on.

One was Friends.  I was a die hard Friends watcher.  Favorite episode – the Thanksgiving show where Joey gets his head stuck in the turkey.  Laughed so hard I ALMOST peed my pants.  Almost.

The second show I wish would come back was a relatively short lived little science fictionesque show called Sea Quest.  Anyone remember this one?  It featured a super-cute, super genius Jonathan Brandis living on an underwater vessel that gallivanted around the ocean solving everyone’s problems and disarming nuclear weapons.  Oh, and he had a super cool talking dolphin.  Can you same “dream guy?”  Of course Roy Schneider was the big star on the show as the captain of Sea Quest.  But I didn’t really care about him.  It was all about Jonathan Brandis and the dolphin.  Hey, cut me some slack.  I was like, 12 years old.  My tastes have improved somewhat since then.  But I’m sure my 11 year old daughter would LOVE the show now.

What TV Show do you wish never ended?

This post is part of the Boost Your Blog Challenge! Head over to Saving More Than Me to participate!

 

A Letter to Myself at 16 #BoostYourBlog

letter to myself

Photo by ba1969

 

If you’ve heard Brad Paisley’s country song, “If I Could Write A Letter”, you know he admonishes himself to study more Algebra, take a typing class, and not be so worried about the girl that dumped him. My letter to myself would be somewhat different.  As I thought about all the things I would tell myself this morning, I realized that many of them were also lessons that I wish I could impart on my daughter, perhaps to spare her some of the things that I went through.  So here’s a few things that I would tell myself as a teenager.

*  This too shall pass.  This is still a lesson that I am learning every day.  To not stress.  To enjoy the journey instead of the destination.  To find joy in each day.

*  Treasure the people in your life who treat you right.  I allowed “loved ones” to inject drama and guilt into my life for far too long.  While I have a sense of regret that my “family” is not different, it took me far to long to realize that the problem was not with me.

*  Learn to play the piano, speak a foreign language, or whatever else you find interesting.  You will never have time when you are older.

*  Take a financial management class.  Work through college.  Do not take out student loans.

*  Those mean girls?  They never go away.  They turn into mean women.  One day they may even be your boss.  Guess what?  They are still just jealous and insecure, even when they are adults.   Laugh at them, and if they are your boss, find a new job.

* HAVE FUN.  However much you think you have to do now, you will have so much more later.

*  Choose something you LOVE to do.  Not what is profitable.  Not what your mom wants you to do.  What you LOVE.  I have loved books my whole life.  Am I a book editor?  Nope, but I’d sure like to be.  Do something that will not be work for you.

So that’s my short list of what would go in my letter to myself.  I could go on and on, but those are the big things!

 

 What would you tell you if you wrote a letter to yourself as a teenager?

 

This post is part of the Boost Your Blog Challenge! Head over to Saving More Than Me to participate!

 

Mental Obstacles and Positive Self Thoughts #BoostYourBlog

positive self-thoughts

The ladies sponsoring Boost Your Blog want to know about an obstacle I’m trying to overcome.

Boy, is that a can of worms that needs a therapist and/or a case of wine.  For the therapist.

My biggest obstacle is myself.  I have a tendency to constantly compare myself to others and find myself coming up short.   I look at the people around me and constantly compare myself.  Almost always, I find myself lacking or in some way criticize myself.

Physical appearance is a huge one for me. I know as an attorney and relatively educated woman that I should not say things like this.  And my brain does know that physical appearance has nothing to do with a person’s character or who they are.  I guess for me, the negative comments of “loved ones” over the last decade about my appearance have become a part of the way that I talk to myself.  My ex-husband calling me fat and my mom telling me that I wasn’t that pretty in college have turned into my own self-doubts and negative thoughts.

I’m improving – I try to tag on positive self-thoughts to the negative ones that pop up when I look in the mirror.  There are set backs of course.  A few months ago my ex told me that he thought my boyfriend “downgraded” with me, as compared to his ex.  While I knew he was only trying to hurt me, I made the mistake of Googling to see if he was right.  Of course she is pretty and successful, which planted that evil little seed of “I’m not good enough” in my mind, even though I know logically that is pretty ridiculous.  As a mom, I often compare myself to other moms as well.  It’s a common thought that runs through my mind that if I was just a little bit prettier/smarter/better I would be a better mom and girlfriend.

But, like I said, I try to tag on a positive self-thoughts along with negative ones that pop up.  Hopefully those negative ones will one day just drop away.  In the meantime, I’m working on being the best mom/girlfriend/attorney/photographer/blogger that I can be.

It’s a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

 

 This post is part of the Boost Your Blog Challenge!  Head over to Saving More Than Me to participate!

 

Am I Becoming A Morning Person? #NaBloPoMo

becoming a morning person

 

I am sooo not a morning person.  I think.  Most of my life, I have been a night owl.  Given my way, I would prefer to roll out of bed about 10 am and work into the wee hours of the morning.  Peak productivity time would be between 11 pm and 1 am.   But heaven help us all if I did not get 8 hours of sleep – I tended to be so much less productive, not to mention excessively grouchy if I didn’t.  But I’m wondering now if I am in fact becoming a morning person.

As I’m moving into being a solid 30-something, I find my patterns changing.  I’m not sure if it’s the current schedule that I’m on (having to wake up at 6 to get the kids ready and go to work), or that I seem to be working ALL the time that I’ve reverted to a completely different schedule.  Even on the weekends, I’m up by 8 at the latest, and by midnight you’re bound to find me snoring on the couch. (Yes, I’m terrible about sleeping on my couch – my boyfriend moves in in four days so I’m hoping that my back will get a much needed respite in an actual bed).

According to The Sleep Foundation, this transition may be less about the schedule I’m on and more about basic biology.  According to their report, teenagers and young adults tend to have a circadian rhythms that are geared towards being up late at night.  Which totally explains why my 11 year old was bright eyed and bushy tailed on New Year’s Eve, whereas her little sister and I were passed out by 10.  It also explains why she’s a total monster before 10 am.  As we age, we can expect the amount of sleep we need to go down, but according to the Sleep Foundation, every individual is different.  The average amount of sleep needs for adults is betweeen 7-9 hours, as compared to my six year old, who needs 10-11 hours of sleep to be at peak performance.  I would say this is about right for me – I feel like a rock star with 8 hours of sleep, but I can get by on 6.  Getting only 5 hours of sleep puts me in a state where I should not really be around people and I should definitely not be practicing law.  This is fairly well established in science – lack of sleep leads to a host of psychological and physical difficulties…so rest up everyone!

 

At what time of day do you feel the most energetic and productive? Are you becoming a morning person too?

 

 

 

 

 

Black Eyed Peas and New Year’s Resolutions: BAH HUMBUG!

 

Photo by nep

 

I love Christmas.  It’s by far my favorite holiday.  I love twinkling Christmas lights, snow, Santa, and being with my kids.  I LOVE Christmas.  I like New Year’s Eve.  I love any excuse to drink champagne, spend time with friends and family, and fall asleep early (which I inevitably do if there is anywhere I can get comfortable.

But when it comes to New Year’s Day, I pretty much turn into The Grinch.  Whenever a new year begins, I usually take a few moments to reflect on where that year has brought me. What changes I made, the progress I’m making. The last few years have brought huge changes to my life.  So for the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot to reflect on and have made a lot of progress.  However, I’m usually pretty hard on myself – I tend to think that I haven’t accomplished enough.

I’m also not really a New Year’s resolution kind of person.  Any resolution I make will likely be broken by the end of the day in which it’s made.  Nothing makes me want cheesecake more than a resolution not to eat it.  I would be excellent at resolutions if someone else would hold me accountable (here’s hoping my boyfriend follows through on his 30 minute daily walk plan), but telling me I can’t do something is a sure ticket to making sure I run out and do it.

I also hate black eyed peas.  Gross.  And WHY are they called black-eyed peas?  They AREN’T PEAS.  They are BEANS.  Also, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas is pretty silly for me.  One origin of the tradition is from a Jewish text, which also proclaims gourds, leeks, beets and spinach as good luck.  Let me tell you what would happen if I haul out black eyed peas, beets, and spinach for dinner in my house.  There would be a revolution.

The second origin of the New Year’s black eyed pea tradition is equally inapplicable for me, although historically interesting.  Supposedly, as General Sherman made his infamous march to the sea during the Civil War burning or looting anything of value, black eyed pea fields were spared because they were only seen as being suitable for ANIMAL FODDER.

Being the brilliant general that he was, Sherman hit the nail on the head.  Leave me with only black eyed peas to eat and I’d surrender too.  Of course, that wasn’t the reason the South surrendered, but the point is well taken.  ANIMAL FODDER, people.

So in any case, I don’t really observe any rites of passage for the New Year.  For me, New Year’s is simply a time of personal reflection, a few months of writing the date wrong on my checks, and the start of a long few months of non-Christmas snow.

So personally, I vote that the Christmas season be extended all the way to Valentine’s Day!

What New Year’s Traditions Do You Follow?  

 This post is part of the Boost Your Blog Challenge!  Head over to Saving More Than Me to participate!

 

Where Do You Draw Your Energy From? #NaBloPoMo

Super_Powers___Energy_Ball_by_Vinte7

Photo by Vinte7

I am a pretty busy lady.  I have a full time job outside of the home (as an attorney), I work part time as a wedding photographer, and I’m a single mom at home with two girls, a boyfriend, a dog, a horse, and a blog.

It’s pretty safe to say that I’m tired just about all the time.  NaBloPoMo this month is all about ENERGY.  Where you get it, what with you do with it, etc. etc.

I draw my energy from so many places.  My boyfriend is a student so I’m in charge of bringing home the bacon for us.  That is probably my biggest energizer – my family counts on me every day to make sure that we are taken care of.  This gets me out of bed when nothing else will.  When I don’t feel like working, taking care of them energizes me to keep going.  They are the most wonderful things in my life and spending time with them and working to make sure they are taken care of gets me going!

I also make sure that I get enough sleep.  I know from way too much experience that if I get less than 6-7 hours of sleep a night, I am COMPLETELY worthless.  I’m not a good lawyer, and I’m a very cranky Mom and partner.  Life is so much better when I make sure to get enough shut eye – this is my chance to relax and reload again for the next day.  And usually, about once a month I will have a weekend day where I can just relax and “lay like broccoli” as my kids say!  These are the days that help re-charge me and make it possible to keep going for another day.

Oh,  and I also drink a TON of coffee.  Wouldn’t you??

 

 Where Do You Draw Your Energy From?

 

The Friday Five {December 28, 2012}

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Time for the second edition of The Friday 5, and the last one for 2012! This one’s going to be an emotional one for me, I think.  Don’t forget to head over and link up with Friday 5, and leave a comment here and I’ll head over the check out your Friday 5!

1.  Who stands out among people you met in 2012?

This is a tough one!  First of all I’m not exactly a social butterfly anymore, so I don’t meet a whole lot of people.  I guess I would say my boyfriend’s family, although I had met his brother before and I felt like I already knew them.

 2.  What new interest did you discover in 2012?

Ach, again, I’m seriously boring.  I have used my stand mixer more in the last year than I ever have before, so we’re going to go with baking.  I really need to start sky diving or alligator wrestling, or something.

3.  In what ways was 2012 better than 2011?

The more appropriate question is how 2012 wasn’t better than 2011.  2011 may go down as the worst year of my life, but at the same time, it was the start of new beginnings for me.

In September 2011, my grandfather passed away.  He was my person.  My rock.  My home when I had none.  He was the only person that I could ever count on to be there for me when I needed him.  100%, every single time.  Without getting all talk about my childhood on you, he raised me, and I pretty much feel like all of the good qualities that I have came from him.   He was the only person whose opinion I ever really cared about.  I never wanted to disappoint him.

Looking back, it may be that he was the reason that I had stayed in my marriage as long as I had.  I didn’t want him to think I had failed.  To admit to him, and maybe to myself, that I had let myself be treated in a way I shouldn’t have been for so very long.  Maybe it was just a coincidence, but by the end of November 2011 my marriage of seven years was over.

In 2012, I’ve been learning to be me again.  Who I am.  Who I want to be.  Reflections on which part of my marriage failing were my fault and trying to come up with an honest assessment of the mistakes that I made have been a huge part of 2012.  It hasn’t been easy, but it is so much better than feeling like less of a person, as I did for much of 2011.  2012, for me, has been largely been about re-establishing how I feel about myself.  After several years of having my self-esteem and self-worth hurt on a near daily basis, it’s been about re-developing my self-confidence.  As we approach the end of 2012, I think I’m doing a pretty good job.  There are still so many baby steps to take to get where I want to be – where the voice that I hear in my head when I look in the mirror says only nice things.  2012 has also been about taking care of all the practical things in my life that I wasn’t able to in my marriage.  I am proud to say I am well on the way to being financially stable again – which has taken a year of hard work and recovery.  So needless to say, 2012 has been a HUGE year for personal change and growth, and I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come in a year.

I fell in love in 2012.  It wasn’t expected.  Admittedly, the timing wasn’t great.  A long distance relationship while still recovering emotionally and financially from a divorce tested each and every single one of my insecurities.  Several times.  But with less than two weeks until the “long distance” drops off of my relationship with my boyfriend, I can say that it was worth it.  I think I have found an honest, open, and loving relationship that is going to last.  He makes me feel important, and he is so good to my girls.  I think he recognizes, like I have come to, that a successful relationship isn’t about fairy tales, but instead work and commitment and putting your partner ahead of yourself.  If it hadn’t been for 2011 (and the several years before that), I never would have been able to recognize what a great thing we have going.

So basically, while 2011 sucked, without it 2012 and all the growth and change would not have been possible.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!

 4.  What small, symbolic item might serve as a good souvenir for 2012?

My apartment key.  It was one of the first things that I obtained on the road that I’ve been on this year.  I feel so fortunate to be able to provide for my girls and give them a healthier and more loving environment than there were in before.

5.    Many years from now, what song, when you hear it on the radio, will remind you most of 2012?

I was POSITIVE that I had given up on all notions of lasting love and marriage, and everything that goes with it, but turns out I was wrong.   And I have a pretty awesome partner to thank for that.

The lyrics I could have written, but Taylor beat me to them:

I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe, I watched it begin again

The Friday Five {December 21, 2012}

 

 

 

Without further ado, the first installment of the Friday Five…head over and check out Friday 5 yourself, or copy and paste from here and link up in the comments – I’ll make sure to stop by and comment on your Friday 5…

  1. What’s something gross you’ve seen or tasted recently?

The grossest thing I have seen in awhile was a month or so back I watched a video Tosh reference on his show – it was basically a giant horse pimple getting popped.  It was serious grossness that continued for some time.  My boyfriend told me not to watch it.  I totally did.  Big mistake.  But I made him watch it too for a while, so it’s ok.  And in case you want to watch it yourself, here you go.  You’re welcome :-)

2.     What movie this holiday season are you most looking forward to?

Les Miz.   And then, Lez Miz.  And, oh, yeah, Les Miz.

3.  What makes one photographer better or worse than any other?

Oooo, oooo, ooo!  Great question for a photographer.  I’m a people photographer, so I haven’t a clue what makes people who take pictures of pretty     places better than the other.  Nor would I ever presume to say that someone is a “worse” photographer than me.  But I can comment about what makes ME better or worse.   Sometimes I’m a photographer – sometimes I just take pictures.  When I’m a photographer, I can capture small moments – pieces of someone’s life – an expression, a thought, a feeling.  A capture that transcends beauty into meaning.  I know, that’s very artsy.  My favorite comment from a client was that I was a ninja…that I captured a beautiful moment for her and she didn’t even know I was there.  A moment that would have been forgotten, but now lives on for her in that photo.  That is what being a photographer is all about for me.  My passion for capturing that moment makes me a good photographer.  Sometimes I feel that passion – sometimes I don’t.  When I don’t, I’m just taking pictures.  When I do, magic can happen.

4.   What specific, annual part of this season most makes you feel all the positive feelings again?

I like sitting in the dark on Christmas Eve with just the Christmas lights after the kids are in bed, with a cup of hot chocolate, and reflect on the year.  This is a peaceful time for me and I love it!

5.  What are your thoughts on eggnog?

I love eggnog.  But when I drink it I sort of feel like I’m opening up my arteries and pouring lard right in.  Kind of like when I eat cheesecake.  Not saying I don’t do it, just not too often….

 

Merry Christmas, everyone!