Friday, July 23, 2010

Julia Grace Gardner

Today you turn 11 years old. Hidden, I watched you run around the living room in your hot pink pjs last night; arms extended high twirling a blanket over your head in a fluid motion. You were singing at the top of your lungs a show tune (a woman after my own heart) and tormenting your little brother by whacking him on the crown of his head every time you circled past his spot on the couch.

I couldn’t help but notice how graceful you looked despite the childish cackling and playful banter; it was more grown up than I have ever seen you. Your arms are longer, you lips are beginning to pout, your curves are developing and your feet are now bigger than mine. Quickly, I realized that I was amidst a very sacred moment in every girl’s life-- to quote the highly knowledgeable, Britney Spears, your “not a girl, not yet a woman”.

There is something truly magical about you Julia. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with a heart as big as yours. You’re unlike anyone I know. With your hands you make beautiful creations—always drawing, sculpting and making little fuzzy animals out of cotton balls. You can use your imagination to entertain yourself for hours. With your ears you listen to me when I tell you about my day or talk to you about the good and the bad. Your sensitive to others feelings and almost wear yourself out trying to make everyone feel happy and loved. With your eyes you have a knack for mixing and matching out-fits to make the perfect ensemble. You already have a fashion sense all your own and refuse to conform to any taste or suggestion. With your heart, you willing give a piece of it to me and to your Uncle Jake, Grandma Carol and Pop-Rod. How lovingly you have accepted us into your family blows my mind. Thank you for loving me, Julia Grace.

These past two years have been more fulfilling than any in my whole life. I feel so loved being a part of your family. Your daddy has given this to me; you and Mitch have given this to me. You have made the best out of your past heartaches and have used them to teach you and grow you into the young lady you are today. The way you have handled having two families has shown more maturity, openness, kindness and understanding on your end than most adults could ever do.

I am so excited to see you continue to grow up and know that each and every milestone will prove that your Mommy and Daddy did something right--they have raised the best girl I know. And although the two hour long Barbie soap-opera’s are beginning to dwindle, Disney channel will eventually be replaced by MTV and the thousands of stuffed animals that accompany you to sleep will eventually drop off to none, I love the innocence you are still clinging onto for dear life and through it I am reminded of how I use to be when I was your age and who I should be as a grown woman today.

Happy Birthday, Julia. Keep the magic!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Older Man

So, now that you know how Buckethead and I met (the lovely mystical world of on-line dating) one might wonder how the two of us found each other amongst the hundreds of thousands of desperate singles franticly searching profile after stinking profile of endless people professing that they too love long walks on the beach, romantic dinners and truly do look better in person than in their pictures (sure ya do).

I mean, I don’t blame you for wondering. If the computer were to match me up with a postulation on my compatibility, I’m assuming they find my counterpart to be a single male, mid-to late 20’s, no kids. So one might question, how did she end up finding and dating a man 15 years her senior with two kids and a 30 year mortgage?

Aside from the fact that Buckethead is absolutely perfect and any woman that crossed his path and passed him up would be a absolute dolt, the reality is a simple fact: I like older men.

Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John Mccain is 17 years his junior. She has been quoted stating, “Having a strong father, I wanted an older man”. So, not only do I agree with her stance on health care, I also agree with her on her reasoning behind marrying older.

The signs have been there for me all along. Growing up, I had a huge crush on my dad’s best friend and watching Twilight I found myself oooing and ahhhing. But not over Jacob—the steamy, hot (literally and figuratively) werewolf; not Edward—the icy, hard as stone sex-pot. No, none other than Bella’s dad—the slightly older, mustache donning cop. I mean, he’s hot right? And while ABC has searched the country over finding the best and hottest bachelors, I have found none to be as good-looking and nice as the host, Chris Harrison.

So, turns out I would prefer a guy with bad knees over a boy with ache problems. But it’s all relative. In every choice in life there is good and bad. Being with Buckethead has made me mature in areas in life that would have taken me much longer to develop and heck, I think I keep him young! He has been all over the world and experienced things I’ve never even imagined but it makes him a really great tour guide.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when the age difference is more than apparent and at times even strange. One’s applying Rogaine; the other’s applying zit cream. Not to mention the fact that his daughter and I both like to bedazzle headbands, have matching Twilight shirts and like to sit in front of the T.V. with a Barbie coloring book and watch the Disney Channel. I’m sure when I’m in the mist of these activities my husband tilts his head and thinks, “What have I done?”

But when we are running amok and I can’t figure out how to work a dishwasher and he doesn’t get my references to “Saved by the Bell” and we feel like we are on different wave lengths, one thing is always present- we are crazy about each other. And that’s all that counts—age difference or no age difference.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things I Plan on Doing Whilst Buckethead Is Out of Town

  1. Walk around naked (wait, I already do that....and Buckethead likey)
  2. Have three dogs sleep in the bed with me
  3. Catch up on all my "Real Housewives" shows and "Glee" re-runs
  4. Eat an entire box of Sponge Bob Square Pants shaped Mac and Cheese
  5. Poop with the door open so I can see the T.V.
  6. Park smack dab in the center of the garage and not have to try and hit the imaginary tennis ball he insist I line up with--this usually takes me three or more tries.
  7. Clean out my closet--if and only if I finish all my T.V. shows

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Shake Weight

So there you are, perched up on the couch watching one of your twenty six mindless T.V. shows and your glazed over eyes suddenly refocus as the commercials hit. Now, if you've been watching live T.V. at all, even Chuck Norris couldn't have stopped you from seeing the advertisement for the "Shake Weight". You know, the weight that after closely demonstrated by shirtless men makes you feel like you need to take a cold shower, go repent to a priest (even if you aren't catholic) and slowly makes you understand why some men have one forearm larger than the other.....yeah, that one. And don't act like you never notice the striking patterned resemblance of a "private time" activity.

Now, much to my surprise even my 9 yr old step-son has noticed this commercial:

Mitch: Dad, I know what I want for Christmas

Buckethead: What's that?

Mitch: The Shaker Weight. You know, the one on t.v.

Buckethead: Haha...why is that?

Mitch: Because I have GOT to get a girlfriend. I NEED a girlfriend.

Buckethead: Oh yeah, so the Shake Weight will get you a girlfriend?

Mitch: Yeah, in only 6 minutes a day, I can have huge muscles.

Buckethead: Okay, okay. I'll think about it.

Mitch: Well, can I have some AXE body wash too?

Buckethead: Ummmm....I guess so.

Mitch: Yeah, AXE body washed gets you all the hot ladies too.

At this point, should we be concerned???!!

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Do Boobies make us go Bonkers?

Do Boobies make us go Bonkers? Think about it, Teressa (Real Housewives of NJ) gets her "bubbies" done and WHAM....she flips a table over at dinner. Women like Jennifer Lee (pictured in the photo) are about one Xanax away from a nice relaxing stay in a padded cell. Silicone sisters are all around us; especially in my part of the woods. Mind you, I live in one of the top ten most prominent cities in the United States. Therefore, you cannot walk through a Target at ten o' clock at night in your PJ's with zit cream dotted all over your face, bra-less with your 'girls' hanging close to your belly button and not feel self-conscious waiting in line next to the vixen mail-order bride with her double Ds at the check out counter.

The University of Philadelphia did a study on women with breast augmentation and found they are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than women who are shaking what their momma gave them and staying natural. So what comes first: the chicken or the egg? Does having large breast that draw attention to yourself cause you to develop depression and anxiety OR are people who suffer from these ailments more likely to get the surgery done in hopes of fixing their already present depression?

I have to assume it's the latter of the two. That being said, I am not completely opposed to plastic surgery. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think you should ever disfigure yourself or attempt to use plastic surgery as a crutch for deeper problems. But, heck if my boobies end up looking like two pancakes with a nipple attached to it after my future child sucks the life out of them I might, just might be at the doctor's office learning about the difference between silicone and saline implants.

But, I can't help but wonder if our world is going a little 'mad' with all the attempts to perfect your outward appearance. If you recall, last week I went to a bikini truck show and received 20 injections of botox FREE with my purchase of a swim suit. I mean seriously?? What happened to getting a free bottle of sunscreen or a water bottle? Is plastic surgery so accepted and easy to come by that we will all end up expressionless and clipped, nipped and tucked?

We can thank the Jewish community for a lot of things; Jesus for one. We can also thank them for Barbara Streisand, kosher hot dog weenies, Jill Zarin and for Mel Gibson polluting all the news stands last year. But, do you know what else we can think them for? Collagen. That's right gals. That syringe of fat you inject into your lips to plumb your pout--it contains foreskin. That's right FORESKIN. So, next time you see your Jewish friends out in the community be sure and thank them for the gift of circumcision and the benefits you get from it.

Now, if that doesn't make you think twice, you're helpless!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How I Kissed my Girdle Good-bye

This blog may offend some of you (go figure???) -mainly those of you who are overweight and pretend to "embrace" your fuller figure. The type of women who find the cellulite on the back of their thunder thighs to be appealing and the rolls of fat on their stomach a convenient place to set their coffee cup. The type of women who have Christina Aguilera's song "I am Beautiful" set as their ring tone. Now don't get me wrong, if you truly fit into this rare category of women who don't mind their sexiest undergarment being nude Spanx Power Panties then good for you! I know that all of our bodies are made differently and that women come in all shapes and sizes. There are some women who will never be a size 8 but could kick my ass in a relay race. But before you roll your eyes at this "skinny bitch" and get prepared to write an anonymous comment about how I would never understand what it was like to have stretch marks and to crave gallons of ice cream....stop right there.

Once upon a time I was....ahhhh, you see....I was, I was kind of...sort of....plump, stout, overweight, large, chubby, portly, flabby, paunchy, pot bellied, beer-bellied, meaty, ample, heavy set, obese, corpulent, fleshy, gross, plus-size, big-boned, tubby, roly-poly, beefy, porky, blubbery, chunky, pudgy......get it?

And worse than that, I was the chubby chick who was in major denial. For months I sported a muffin top (the fat that sticks over your too tiny jeans giving the look of a muffin top with your stomach) refusing to throw out my pants thus admitting that once again, I had jumped up a size.

Presently you know me as a happily married 120 pound blond that comfortably eases into her size 27 jeans. However, this was not always the case. Some of you remember the old me-the brunette, grumpy, cheese pizza aficionado who was 20 pounds heavier and completely miserable. See below:This was one of the few pictures I could find of me during my "Portly" stage since I burned nearly every image of myself during this time, changed my facebook account and threatened my friends and family within an inch of their life to remove any evidence of this travesty from their bookshelves, websites and picture frames.

So even though it wasn't as if you could compare me to the Goodyear blimp, those 5 years that I found myself stuck in an unhappy weight really messed with my mind--I imagine LSD having similar side-effects. It all started in college and my new found love for Steak and Shake - thus going 8 consecutive days eating steak cheeseburgers with a chocolate shake. During this stage in life I got married, graduated college, landed my first job and got a divorce. Did the fact that I weighed pretty much the same amount as my first husband contribute to the demise of my marriage? Probably. I mean since he wasn't a licensed heavy equipment operator so he just couldn't figure out how I worked. Kidding.

Hindsight being 20/20, now I believe that my self image at the time contributed significantly to the heartache and turmoil I went through. The saying, you can't be happy with anyone until you're happy with yourself truly applied to me. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't even recognize myself. In high school I was vibrant, beautiful and confidant in who I was. Fast forward a few years later and I found myself completely unable to love myself yet alone any one else.

I was sick constantly. I had developed a skin rash no doctor could figure out, my hair was falling out, I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, I was cranky and I cried all the time.....imagine being married to that! Imagine BEING that! I was a complete wreck and finding the energy to participate in the day was exhausting in itself.

A few months after filing for divorce, I had a nervous breakdown at my office and was taken by co-workers to the hospital. There, I was diagnosed with depression. It was the first time I truly felt like a doctor knew exactly what was wrong with me. If you've been a follower of my blog for sometime you know that I am currently working on a book titled, "A Diet Called Divorce".

Countless people have asked me how I lost the weight and the honest answer is that it took hitting rock bottom and realizing that the only way left to go was up made me get my act together. And it's not necessarily "being skinny" or "loosing weight"....I believe it's being the best YOU that you can be. I know I sound like Dr. Phil (my Texas accent is nearly that bad, too) but since I became accountable to my body and trying to taking care of it as if it were a temple, I have become such a happier person.

God only gives us one body while we're on this Earth. And the moment I stopped treating my body like a Ford Focus and more like a Bentley, was the moment I began to remember that I had value not only to myself but to other people. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some health crazed work-out junkie who's best friend is my trainer, Tad. I'm actually quite far from that.

For example, I love Ribs.

And I don't work out a lot, I eat processed foods and I snack after dinner. But, mainly what changed is I began to appreciate my body and love my body. When you love something, you take care of it. You don't give it things that would harm it or feed it an entire tray of blueberry muffins in one setting (hypothetically, people!).

But to really answer your question and give you some practical steps to getting that excess weight off that doesn't require laxatives and a really long index finger.

  1. Kid's meals. I truly think it's all about portion control. Jelly-belly JPO- 1/2 large pizza. Happy JPO- 2 slices of pizza. I ALWAYS order a kid's meal, now. And if the waiter tells you that you're too old and you tried to bat your eyes and show a little cleavage, then split with somebody. Plus, you save money and you don't feel as bad when you buy that super cute LV wallet.
  2. Don't waste your calories on liquids. Did you know a large Sonic Coke with Cherry is close to 1,000 calories? For most girls, your calorie intake for the day shouldn't exceed 1,500. You pretty much shot your day with that sugary drink.
  3. Don't obsess over it. Was the Great Wall of China built in a day? No! So, don't expect to loose weight fast. When you start being conscious of what you are eating and begin taking steps in the right direction, you will eventually see it.
  4. Hang out with skinny people. I'm not lying! Have you ever eaten dinner with a really skinny person? They will order a salad with their dressing on the side and lightly dip the tip of their fork in the low-calorie dressing before taking their bite. Half of the salad will remain on the plate and they will drink 4 to 5 glass of water during the meal. Now, if that doesn't make you disgusted by the bacon-cheeseburger you ordered.
  5. Watch out for a beer belly! If it's fruity and comes with an umbrella in it--STAY AWAY! You might as well take to your waist a syringe of pure pig fat.
  6. Love yourself. You won't take proper care for it if you don't!

Would you stick a bumper sticker on a Bentely? I DON'T THINK SO!

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Summer In Photos

Shreveport, LA--Yes, I won $200 bucks at Craps. No, I didn't apply it towards my 401k
Yes, we are adults- Yes, we build pyramids.
On the Boat with our friends- Shane and Ally
Party Cove at Lake Ray Hubbard--where's the party?
Fun at the Pool

Dallas Summer Musicals- Dream Girls

Dallas Summer Musicals- Wicked
Dinner with our Besties-Javiers
Kiss the Cook or else!
Boating with Mimi and Kyle

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Burn Out

This week I have felt burned out on life thus inducing a crankiness not caused by my menstrual cycle (although, don't think I haven't used Aunt Flo as an excuse). Basically, life just hasn't gone my way. A couple of things fell through this week even though I crossed my fingers for close to 20 hours straight, waited for the clock to turn 11:11 to shout up a prayer and nearly pulled out all my eyelashes so I could make a wish on them. Now I sit hear behind this computer screen with no eyelashes, cramped fingers and a little bit of gas--but that's from the tacos last night.

After my initial reaction of pitying myself and wondering where my stinking happy ending was, I was thankfully pulled back to reality by a good friend of mine. This friend cares so much about me -- or maybe just wanted me to stop bitching and moaning....I'm not sure which. But regardless of the reason, she helped me find proper prospective. I think a lot of my stress stems from thinking that my way for my life is what's best. I mean that sounds reasonable to most, right? To decide your own fate. To control your own life. To determine your own destiny.

But, where do you let God fit into your life's plan? Is Jesus merely a reason to get presents at Christmas; a prayer around the dinner table; or a lifeguard you only talk to when you feel like you're drowning? Time and time again I tell myself to let God take the steering wheel of my life and to let my own expectations and desires take a backseat. But BAM...when something doesn't go my way, I immediately think God is wrong and my tunnel vision sets in. Go figure, but I tend to favor when things go how I planned...not always how God planned.

When you trust in Jesus as I have, you have to realize that a man that walked on water, turned water into wine and oh yeah, RAISED FROM THE DEAD (didn't want to leave that part out) probably has a better idea than a girl who has had to turn her underwear inside out because she failed to do her laundry. If we always got our way, I would be living in a magical house where dishes were never dirty, Huck spoke in a British accent, Neiman's stocked my closet and four concubines in furry nighties served beer on tap on request (that one would be Buckethead's wish...not mine).

So my reminder to myself and to you this week is, remember to make the best out of what God has given you and allow him to use your situation to pave the way for everything else he has in store for you.

Have a great weekend, ya'll!