Tattoos and Cheerleaders

Just before Christmas my hubby took me to NYC for a few days of biz meetings and lots of play time. It was incredible weather – cold and snowy!

Strangely enough – even tho it was the holiday season – it was eerily quiet out. Seems NYC-ers use snow as an opportunity to huddle up inside so it was rather magical for us… almost like having the city to ourselves in a winter wonderland. And we loved every moment!

We wanted to explore some new areas so, coupon queen that I am, I found a Groupon for this fun sounding restaurant down in the West Village – a place we hadn’t hung out much.

Stepping out of the taxi I read the first sign I see. “MoonSheen Tattoos.” To my total shock Marcus blurts, “Wanna get your tattoo?” 

I’ve wanted a certain tat for about five years. Known exactly what and where – but hadn’t taken the plunge for several reasons – including that Marc isn’t the biggest fan. Now… I know you can say, “he doesn’t have to look at it!” and that is true! But see, I kinda love him (and want him to keep kissing me) so I have been patient… well, mostly patient.

Anyway – one look at his face and I knew he was up for it so we walked right in, ignored the fact that the guy didn’t speak much English, didn’t look for health certifications or anything (but I did watch him get out a sterilized needle), and pulled up the photo I’ve carried on my iPhone for years.

I choose a symbol that means ‘strength’ to match an incredibly sentimental tat Jordan has. And I knew I wanted it on my wrist – because I want to be able to see it. It’s more for “me” than for the world to admire.

I was so giddy and excited as the artist led me to a seat in the storefront window. I sat down facing the sidewalk, watching the snow drift down, loving every moment. My favorite city, my favorite season, snow even! “I’m really doing it – finally!!!”

Then.

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just because you are…

she’d asked me for about a week to come help her.
it wasn’t a big deal, but would take a few hours and was certainly a two person job.
i didn’t mind doing it – but you see i was busy. i’m ALWAYS busy.

forever running late with a ‘to do’ list that is never ending. i usually feel like i’m on the edge of drowning and one more thing – just one more tiny request – might topple my very existence.

so it was several days, maybe a week later when i arrived (ever so pleased with myself) to be the hero and show up to help.

after a few moments of working together i noticed a place on her body where she had injured herself. clearly she had been attempting the project alone.

“goodness! what were you thinking??” i began teasing. “you could really hurt yourself!”

i’m eternally grateful my back was to her when i heard that husky, quiet voice that signals intense emotional pain softly whisper…

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Bi Polar Gifts

I love getting presents. You’re shocked, i know 😉

But I do – I love it. Big or small, homemade or luxury. I just really like it! Especially the ones I know thought was put into choosing especially for me. Some of my all time fav gifts have been very inexpensive! ohhhhh…. never mind that Marcus Engel… go on about your business now… Shucks. Well – I think he’s figured that out by now anyway!

Something I love even more than receiving gifts is the giving of gifts… Or at least just as much!… most of the time anyway… *sigh*

And I go totally nuts for beautiful packages, you know the ones, so insanely perfect they cause the heart to shudder in anticipation! Too precious to touch – yet I muster up the courage to bravely rip that paper open to see what treasure awaits inside!

Every year I make a goal to have each gift I give, packaged to perfection.

I dream of giving gifts that look like this:

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Holiday Loss

Several years ago – okay, many years ago (where in the world does the time go???) it was the holiday season. Being the oldest sister – I also was the first one to marry, and the first to have a child. Our beautiful baby girl Taylor. The whole extended family was together for the holidays down in the south Florida area and it was so special having a toddler with us!

Then a moment of pure “dumb and dumber” struck.

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I’m Dreaming of a White… Space

As a long time writer, editor, PR person (yada yada yada) I can promise you that one major not-so-secret secret any pro will confirm is that the White Space of any piece is a critical element if you would like others to read and understand it.

“White Space” is the highly technical term (*that’s a joke btw!) for the empty parts in a written piece. The margins, the headings, the blank spaces.

Having the right ratio of White Space to TEXT makes so much difference in the reader/viewers ability to engage, understand and be interested in reading what you’ve worked so very hard to write.

You can have the “best” or “most important” or “exciting” or “astounding” content to deliver – but people most typically can only really receive your brilliant information if you’re serving it up in a manner that allows them to actually listen.

Otherwise your great wisdom will be overlooked, ignored, misunderstood or just plain drowned out by the “noise” of clutter.

I’m so very weary of clutter. Physically, emotionally, technologically.

I am craving some white space in my life as a whole. I need the calm it provides. I need to be able to listen to what is important. To find time to hear that still small voice…

And I need to clear a path so that the things I need to communicate can be heard. I have to be sure that the importance of a message I believe in doesn’t get lost while I rant. That it doesn’t disappear in a sea of words about silly things.

And – most of all – I have to check myself, again and again, to be sure that whatever I find so important I want to share it – I’m doing it wrapped in love. Not self-interest… not personal agenda… but true, honest, love. 

That’s easy to do with people who agree with me. More difficult with those who don’t. But of course that is when it’s most important…

I do dream of a White Christmas (not likely to have in Florida!) but much more important to me is that during this time, and in fact ALL year long, I dream of being “perfect in speech” (again, not likely – but a cool goal!).

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Poverty at YOUR table??

I read a beautiful news story this week about a Pastor who dressed up like a dirty, mumbling, homeless man and went to church Sunday to see the response of his congregation. His disguise was so well done that his own wife and children didn’t recognize him.

It was interesting… and more than a little sad… to read about the reactions he received. Apparently even one person asked him to leave the building.

homeless-feet

As he stepped into the pulpit and pulled off the glasses and wig I can only image the shocked faces. But it was one woman’s comment that really struck me.

She reported that as soon as she realized who the man behind the dirt was she began to weep. “I didn’t even say “hello” to him… I just looked away because I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer him.”

Suddenly I wondered if that is the real reason no one recognized him – that they really didn’t look “AT” him.

homelss

people sleep on benches, in doorways, near dumpsters… anywhere they can carve out a space

Living in Manhattan ~ which happens to have 15% of the nations homeless population ~ I had the opportunity to get a lot more up close and personal… and comfortable with the multitude of people panhandling on the streets. It always hurt, and of course I could not come close to helping each one I crossed paths with, but I did make an effort to always look them in the eye, smile, and reply to their request.

homeless


The site of a person with all their belongings piled in a shopping cart is far too common.

Wow was it uncomfy at first! But with practice it got easier… but it never got easier on my heart. It burned each time I witnessed someone in distress. I hope that part never get’s easier.And I hope that we can all be reminded during these holidays – where we so overindulge in everything – to keep an eye out for others and do what we can to help.

 

 

BUT THAT’S NOT THE STORY…

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It’s Just a Numbers Game…

There is this FaceBook “Game” that’s been going around a bit where (to the best of my understanding – i did NOT read the official rule book!) someone assigns you a “number” and you are supposed to post that many things about yourself that other’s might not know.

While I’ve had such fun reading other’s posts I did manage to avoid being given a number myself until this weekend.

I was assigned the number “9” and my first thought was – “who are you kidding!?!? I’m totally a “10!” 🙂

My second thought was… seriously? I sometimes think, or rather, i’m sometimes informed, that my blog should be subtitled “the Queen of TMI” (that’s “too much information” if you missed the day in school where they handed out all these crazy abbreviations. SMH)

So, I decided it might be fun to play.

Now, since I know you are frantic and breathlessly waiting to learn even MORE about me (hehehehe) I will put you out of your misery. And I intend to do this in a random, stream of conscious style of writing so typos will remain uncorrected! (Well… maybe.)

1.)  I have a shoe obsession… I adore shoes! Every style – shape – type… I insanely love shoes. However. I completely hate wearing them. I do everything possible with bare feet. Driving, eating, leading worship, playing in the snow, flying… (which has lead to several humiliating occasions of asking the passenger in front of or behind me, to please pass me the shoe that slid away from me during take off and/or landing and is now resting beside their briefcase.) On the plus side – my shoes rarely wear out!

2.)  I can not bear having my belly button tickled or even touched.

3.)  I had an actor playing “Spider-man” pretend kiss me on camera just before watching the Broadway production of “Turn off the Dark” … then walked into the theater, show began, and Peter Parker (uhhh Spiderman) was in HIGH SCHOOL! I sat in the dark turning red and feeling like a total perv.

4.)  I am intensely competitive and love playing games of all sorts. Therefore it is especially infuriating to lose “Jeopardy” to my sexy husband. Even more so when the category is all pictures. And yes. This happens regularly!

5.)  I was accepted to Julliard – but did not attend.

6.)  Working on a cadaver dissection in Nursing School was,  and is, one of the HIGHLIGHT experiences of my entire life!

7.)  I love power tools and makeup in equal amounts. I believe I can fix most anything with duct tape and kitchen knife.

8.)  I am working diligently on becoming more and more “love.” And while I do believe I see progress, I seem to realize each day how much further I am from being love. But I will not give up!

9.)  I love stories – in all forms: Books, movies, television… but mostly I love the stories of people. The collaboration of writing the “story” of our life fascinates me. How we work with God and with others who cross our path to craft the fabric of our lives… That the beauty we want is ours to create ~ together. And taking the ugly, messy, hateful, embarrassing parts and working together to fashion something precious… that is just the very best thing in the world to me. 

So because in some form or fashion we are – at least at this very moment brushing lives – I’m extremely grateful for you. Today – and always.

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Getting Naked. (Or as we say in the south – Gettin’ Nekkid)

Confession:  I adore having my nails freshly painted and perfect. Adore. I mean it is basically one of the top 3 things I do not want to leave the house with out. It is that serious to me. Problem. I absolutely loathe getting mani’s and pedi’s.

toes

Yes, I realize that is a sacrilegious thing to some of you, and I do love being primped and pampered as much as any girl – but the hour it takes me sitting in the salon getting worked on drives me totally bananas. Not relaxing at all – torture. I have SOOOOOO many other things I should be doing than stuck sitting with my feet in water! So, as much as it breaks the girl code – I usually take some kind of work along. (Don’t hate!) 🙂

(Oh dear Lord – and if you are thinking “do it yourself at home” then you have no idea the extent of my non-coordination!)

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How the Geeks Do It

As you probably know (and if you don’t – shame on you!) Iron Man 3 was recently released. Being the nerd that I am (and I’m confident you already had that tid bid of info figured out!) I have been anxiously awaiting its opening.

When a new superhero or sci fi pic comes out is absolute tradition to go opening night – I mean DUH! That’s just a no brainer! And when it happens to be one of a series my most favorite thing to do is the opening night marathon. For the uninitiated, that means the evening before the movie is scheduled to be released, the theater sells tickets for a special screening where they show each movie in the series back to back.

Just pure AWESOMENESS! (And some of you said “stupidity” – I heard you!)
Yes I’m talking about you Marcus Engel.

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Don’t Judge Me – Oops! Too Late!

eyes

Eye-See-You!

A few months ago I had the fun opportunity to speak at a women’s conference and therefore share the green room with some truly amazing women, make some new friends and catch up with some old… wait. Not old – I mean, long time friends. There. That sounds younger – doesn’t it?? Yikes. Anyway!

One woman in particular really just stood out – Cindy. Mostly because she is a rare kind of girl: Totally Gorgeous – (a bit disgustingly gorgeous now that I really think about it) and as much as you might want to dislike her for being so pretty – you can’t because she is Totally Gorgeous inside as well.

Sweet and funny and generous and loving and adorable ~ just precious and perfect!

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