To all the Dads I’ve Loved Before…

I’ve had the amazing joy of knowing many wonderful fathers. Men who step up to share their love, time and experience with others. The world is better because of you. Today I’d like to take a moment to honor a few men who changed my life.

To my dad, thank you for being the first man I loved and for teaching me that girls can be smart. I love you! For all the dads who love and encourage their children to embrace their gifts and follow their passion – Thank you.

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Scabby Butts and the Instagram Life Lie

A last minute decision left precious few moments to pack and jump on a flight. A drastic lack of sleep caused less than perfect choices as I tossed my wardrobe into a carry on and rushed to the airport.

The up side was that that I was getting to 1) surprise my hubby and meet up with him for his birthday (granted this was probably more fun for me than him, but still! I loved it!) and 2) going to a formal cocktail attire event with said hubby who is always handsome but in french cuffs? WOW! So sexy I can’t even stand it!

Okay… Having only a few minutes (hours) to get ready I pulled my belongings from my suitcase to discover an awkward situation… the LBD I grabbed, mixed with the stilettos I brought equalled too much skin. For me anyway. While I’m debating what to do, I look down at my hands and realize it looks like I’ve been hard at work doing manual labor for oh – the last 80 years or so.

chipped nails

Horrible chipped manicure – and (this was a shock!) no nail salon in sight. (Seriously – I thought those were on every corner ever made – I thought it was a law or something!). What to do?!?

My memory reaches back to a friend telling me about her solution. She no longer gets manicures and instead does the glue on nail thing. With a drug store across from the hotel I realize this is the PERFECT solution to my wretched crisis. I can grab black stockings and nails. Cha-ching!

Carefully selecting the brand she had suggested I remembered that she also said the glue wasn’t great and that you had to use a lot of it. So I grabbed stronger glue (uhhh yah… crazy strong…) because nothing ruins a nice fancy dinner like a discarded entire fingernail in the cordon blu! Packages in hand I rush back to the hotel to shower.

Confession: I am a chronic multi-tasker. I am trying very hard to break this habit – but especially under stress? I’m spinning like ZZ Top. (hehehe – I thought that was funny! nvm) I simultaneously jumped out of the shower and in the small hotel bathroom proceed to put glue into tiny fake fingernails (which actually look kinda gross) – but I press on. I squeeze the tiny tube much to hard and a giant gob of glue fills the nail and begins to overflow onto the counter… So I grab a nearby tissue and use it to soak up the flood of glue – Toss said napkin into trash and plop down on the toilet to better access my work bench (ie sink counter top).

Nails in place and I’m pretty proud of myself. They actually look rather nice!

manicured nails

Not bad for 10 minutes and about $6!

Okay – next – the battle of the panty hose! I jump up or to be precise my mind says jump up but my body comes to a screeching halt. After a quick evaluation of a strange searing pain I realize that rather than the tissue falling into the trash it instead landed on the toilet seat. The seat I immediately sat down on.

I thought it was mostly an urban legend… that you couldn’t really glue a butt to a toilet seat… but I’m living proof you can.

I’m trapped! What do I do first?! Call housekeeping? Paramedics? SWAT? Plumber? Oh wait! None of the above!

The rule of awkward emergencies is always:
first you take a selfie!

Alas, I’m naked. And stuck to a toilet seat! Therefore, no selfie. (Take that those of you who thought I had no limits! ha!)… Also I couldn’t reach my phone so…

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10 Reasons To Hate Mother’s Day

Tomorrow marks the 100 year anniversary of “Happy Mothers Day.”

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And it seems to become a bigger deal each year. The commercials – the pressure – the demands… All for what most agree is an arbitrary, “made-up” faux holiday that benefits retail… A LOT! 

While for many, maybe even most of us, it’s homemade cards and breakfast in bed (complete with burnt toast and cold coffee!) and grocery store carnations and sticky kisses all equaling pure bliss. But for so many the day and the weeks leading up to it are a living torture

Please hear this part: Being a mom is one of the sweetest, most amazing things in my life! I love to celebrate with my moms, be celebrated by my kids (& husband!) and to celebrate other moms! I really, truly do! I don’t even mind cleaning up the spilled cereal covering the kitchen floor and wearing (in public) the atrocious, most gaudy fake flower earrings my three year old insisted were the best gift ever! It’s all part of the amazingly precious tapestry of having children. And I’m often left breathless by the pure beauty of this most intimate of relationships. I am beyond blessed.

And, personally, I LOVE Mother’s Day – because I love to be celebrated and made a big deal of and ohhhh how I adore breakfast in bed! So YES! Bring it on!

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Broken Bubbles

Mason (the worlds very most adorable toddler EVER!) was running through the house. I suddenly hear a gasp, followed closely by intense giggling and running feet as he rushed toward me, filled with delight to deposit his latest treasure into my hands.

A bubble wand. Perfect! He loves, loves, loves blowing bubbles and pure joy was written all over his beautiful face. My heart smiled.

Child blowing bubbles

I’m completely captured and grinning while he gently lifts the precious instrument and begins blowing. Nothing happens. He blows some more – harder this time. Again… nothing!

He looks at me in shock. I stumble over words to explain that we need the bubble solution to use the bubble wand – but of course he doesn’t understand that. He just blows again. And asks me to. So I do while landing on the only word I think he might understand. Broken. But of course it’s not – it just isn’t in the environment to do what he wants from it.

I watch as his delight turns to anger and finally disgust and he tosses the worthless object onto the floor and huffs away to find a better, more useful possession.

And a tiny piece of my heart breaks.

wand for bubbles

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Today

Did you feel it this morning?!? When you woke up (or were forced awake).

Before your eyelids fluttered or your mouth groaned or your arms stretched – it was there. It IS there.

Brand new. Fresh. Free. Crazy. Extravagant. Overwhelming.

Mercy.

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The Importance of the Ugly Work

You know that moment when you flush a toilet and instead of water swishing away it begins to rise? And you start jumping and hollering and dancing and yelling and crossing your fingers and praying and watching helplessly as it continues to rise?

Then you realize you are holding your breath and about to pass out from lack of oxygen and the edge of the water just swirls near the top and… sigh… split second from disaster – it stops.

And you can breathe again.

Cool piano seat toilet cover!

But then you think…

“I bet if I flush this again, it will go down…”

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Chocolate Lovin’ and Shame

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Even by New York City standards it was a little odd: older African American man dressed in raggedy clothes walking down the street pulling a battery operated PA system and talking into a microphone. Based on experience I expected him to be preaching some version of salvation…

I almost allowed his voice to fade into the sounds that fill the city… when he caught my attention by mentioning coffee. Yeah – I might have a problem in that area but never mind that for now!

“What is this worlds issue with everybody addicted to coffee? See it’s the caffeine they really want! What they really, really want? They want chocolate! Good old chocolate lovin’! Now you know it’s true! Once you go black…”

I watched, fascinated as crowds navigated around him – never missing a step or acknowledging his existence. And that’s just normal for the city – the odd is everywhere so it becomes invisible.

I broke the rule. I made eye contact. He began to walk beside me, talking to me thru the speakers. Smiling and flirting.

“Oh baby, you know it’s true! Come on – I’ll give you some… For free!!”

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The Love/Hate day…

Valentines Day is one of those holidays you see such extremes! Some (uhhh usually the freshly in love or freshly in the dog house with their lover!) get waaaay into it and then others (and I will decline to comment on the why’s but usually… oh okay… no comment.) really hate this “holiday” and grumble something along the lines of greeting card companies getting rich and the absurdity of it all.

I’m, gratefully, madly in love with my hubby, even tho it’s a bit beyond the ‘newly dating’ phase, I still adore this holiday! I mean, how can I NOT love a day devoted to LOVE!

Of course, most people limit the holiday to loving a partner… and while I’m thrilled to celebrate my sexy hubby at any opportunity… I adore using this day as a reminder of ALL the people we should be showering with love!

So if you’re busy making hot, sweet, exciting plans for a special someone – I’d like to encourage you to also take a moment to plan something thoughtful for someone else. A neighbor,  co-worker, random stranger… you never feel more satisfied than when you are sharing love!

And… if this is a downer day for you because you don’t have a fun new boyfriend/girlfriend even MORE reason to reach out to someone else. Instead of being grumpy all day – share the love with a friend or acquaintance or even yourself!

And lastly… for some this day is just painful. Perhaps you’ve lost a long time partner, or it’s a reminder that “the whole world” seems to be paired up and you aren’t so you feel achingly alone… You have a very precious perspective and understanding of those recently divorced, widowed, etc… So I encourage you to really put time and energy into compassionate connection with someone who is also likely to be hurting. The lady down the street that you know probably hasn’t received flowers in ten years… the young couple who are barely making it and have no way to do anything special or frivolous… etc.

And then… let’s try to live more days like they are February 14th and keep an eye out for times, ways and opportunities to be love in action.

Love cares, stops, stoops, notices, rescues and extends…
Love Does Stuff.

When you dare to expand your definition and risk “doing” love … i promise you’ll experience a whole new level of joy, and not just on Valentine’s Day!!

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The problem from behind…

Over the weekend a friend told a group of us that she’d seen a t-shirt that said,

“You’re pants say Yoga ~
but your butt says McDonald’s!”

We all howled in laughter because it is basically an undeniable, universal truth!
We have all witnessed it – and it’s so stinkin’ funny!

Now, I myself most certainly have never, ever (but maybe might have…) worn yoga pants out doing errands and stuff… (They are just so darn comfy!)

But it’s okay, because I actually do yoga! (Maybe not all that often… and perhaps not on the days I’ve dashed into target wearing the pants… but still!) I have a right!! Right?!?

So… today I’m thinking about how easy it is to lose perspective.
To see everyone else’s faults – while missing the broccoli stuck in my own teeth.

And how very precious it is to have trusted ones around you, those who’ve earned the right to both hear your story AND to speak loving truth to you.

It’s one of the best ways to grow, this leaning into one another…
not always pain-free…
but growth is always, always worth it!

 

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No Regerts – Wait?!? WHAT?!?

Are you a “No Regrets” kinda person or more of a “Regrets, I’ve had a few...” or the down right wallow-er in “would’a should’a could’a” ?

I can be any of the above.

“Perfect Marvelyne” loves the idea of “You only live once – do it with no regrets!” but (see – stupid but always jumping in!) as hard as I try – I still find myself sometimes left with “I wish I had…

Most recent example?

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I wish I had known that if you eat an entire bag of these at the movie theater it will turn your poop bright, horrifyingly red. Like horror movie terrifying OMG I’m gonna die kind of red!

Yep. I wish I’d known that BEFORE I called my doctor. (*sigh).

And I will confess (and this is even more embarrassing) I’ve lost afternoons (or weekends) in bed with comfort chips and bad TV regretting more serious events.

And I know that behavior does not improve my life! I’m smarter than that – why do I ever let it happen?? And… I think I’m regretting that I’ve wasted time regretting stuff… It’s such a vicious cycle!

I really want to be more laid back and casual and hip and cool about it all… but truth is I’m a very analytic, careful, skittish, introvert type person. And if I listen to much to a lot of hype around me I’m left feeling like a total loser… and the circle goes on and on.

Side note confession ~ I’m sure you’ve seen some of the photos of bad tattoos going around the net… one of my favs is the one all across the back of a neck spelling out in big letters “NO REGERTS!” … Ahhh. I feel better already. 🙂 Does that make me mean?!?!

Now more seriously here, after many years of dancing with this frenemy there are some things I’ve discovered (often the hard way) about dealing with the past…

– Regrets can overtake your life and make it miserable.
– Regrets (or at least mistakes) are inevitable if you are in motion.
– If you never acknowledge mistakes you never learn from them.
– Pretending to yourself (or others) you don’t have them … might just be called lying.
Learning from our past is a most excellent way to better our future.
– Every choice you’ve ever made has led you to this moment and place in life.
– Every choice you will make is in front of you… The power of tomorrow is yours!

So sometimes, I personally believe, reflection is good for the soul,
the mind and the future. You can’t ‘live’ there
but it might be an inevitable layover on your journey …

And most importantly : you can carry forward a lesson learned
that you have in your wisdom bank forever!

And that is truly priceless. 

So whatever your personal “slogan” is – be gentle with yourself.

Nothing is wasted when it’s learned from… And most precious of all – being willing to share what you’ve learned with others (who have earned the right to hear your story!) can heal a wound like nothing else. It can actually ‘redeem’ a horrible situation and bring light and life to your own life and to others. 

Even if the lesson is as simple as do NOT eat a whole bag of fake Twizzlers… ever!

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