During this past week I hung out with children whose diapers I used to change who:
- whooped my bootie at Super Mariocart multiple times. And I was trying people!
- sang an entire verse of the latest Pussy Cat Dolls song to me
- have more electronic equipment that I do
- are better at using my electronic equipment that I am
- one of the youngest is now in the double digits age-wise
- rolled their eyes at me because I said something “old-fashioned”
- asked me multiple times why I don’t have any children
- ARE GETTING MARRIED? Excuse me?!
God help me if they have a baby before I do!!!
I had a moment tonight hit me like a ton of bricks. One of those moments that really make you stop and think. And examine. And process.
I was having dinner with my church staff co-workers. It was our Christmas dinner, but of course the conversation turns to people, the ones we serve. My pastor asked me how everything was going and what was going on at my other part-time job. I started to tell him about this family I have been working with the past few weeks. Single mom, two special needs children, recently divorced from an abusive relationship and facing her first year as a working mom trying to make ends meet. Not only is she very alone here in this town with no family, but she is also months away from the first anniversary of burying her first-born child who died due to another childhood disease which has plagued her family. Just watching her function as a human being is humbling.
As I was telling my pastor this woman’s story and the struggles she is facing, he said something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I can’t remember the exact quote but he basically said something like this yet way more eloquently.
“The biggest misconception we make about people is the amount of pain that they are experiencing.”
Just take a minute. Let that sink in. Read it again. I am pretty sure it took a good twenty minutes for me to wrap my head around that statement.
How true is that? Doesn’t that make you look at every single person you encounter a little differently? Doesn’t that make your view of the world a little more humbling? No matter what we think about our own circumstance we can never know the amount of hurt, frustration, anger or bad, messy junk people bring to you when you encounter them. Doesn’t that make you want to approach people in your everyday life with a little more compassion and love? Doesn’t that make you want to invest in the lives of other people so that you may be a person who could actually help alleviate some of that pain? Not heal, alleviate. There is a difference.
Yes, we all have our own pain, but when you invest your time in other people it will not take you very long to find someone who has harder circumstances than yourself.
How should it effect our viewpoint of them? Why should you care?
Because it will change the way you look at people as a whole. And in doing that it just may change you too, for the better. It will help you to be more empathetic and observant and yes, even concerned about someone other than yourself. It may make you examine other people and where they come from and what they are carrying around with them. It just may put things in perspective and it just might make you a better person.
We, correction, Hubby, is in the midst of Thanksgiving preperation at our house. Every year he takes our decor pumpkins and turns them into homemade pies. It is hard for me to watch my cute little pumpkins die, I am not going to lie.
As for me, my entire contribution for the night focused on unpacking these beautiful pieces of art. My aunt Cora sent me these this past weekend. During our little visit, we discovered that I had not received anything from my beloved Memow when she died a few years ago. Living so far away just did not make it conducive to getting things from her home when they were packing and distributing. So, she sent me something tangible to remember her by. And they are already so precious to me. We are going to eat a pre-Thanksgiving family dinner on them tomorrow night. And if anyone breaks even one, I cannot be held responsible for turning into a complete Monica.
I know Bijou girl will appreciate the Swallows. I find them so interesting since my graddaddy used to be in the Navy and he lives to sit and watch the Martins in his backyard. He builds special houses for them each year. That is a whole story in and of itself. I wonder if he gave them to my Memow? He always did hold a special place in her heart, he was a great son-in-law to her.
I think they are so beautiful. It is a story from my family.
ANDDD for those of you who are telling me you have no idea what I mean when I say “pull a Monica.” Well, here ya go!
Tags: Fall, Family, Photos
Last week (yes, I said last week, I know I am behind-no judgement) was one of the best weeks. I had a few days off from the grind and that just happened to coincide with my Aunt Cora being in town! I am convinced that she and I are in many ways the same person. It is kind of like being a twin, but not. It is kind of scary. We spent one whole day just loving on my new nephew, talking, laughing, crying, and laughing more. It was fantastic. It is like we are in many ways living parallel lives. We married basically the same man, have the same dreams, feel the same on issues, religion, family. It is in many ways like talking to a mirror.
The next day we headed out for sushi, nature, photography, and shopping. Perfection. Thanks Aunt Cora. I LOVE YOU!
One of my favorite places in Nashville.
Pausing for a pic on a beautiful Fall drive.
The big boy loves to sleep!
Tags: Baby Nephew, Family, pics
My new little baby nephew was born on Wednesday. I can’t even begin to tell you how perfect and beautiful he is. I think he has to be the most wonderful thing ever. When I held him for the first time all I could think was something this perfect could have only come from Heaven. Being an aunt is already the coolest thing ever. We love him so much already and can’t wait to see what life has in store for him! Thank you all for all the prayers and the thoughts!
Tags: Election, Politics
This is such a sticky subject, but I am going there. I consider myself a pretty moderate person when it comes to politics. There are a few issues I am very passionate about. Just to mention a few: foreign affairs, the environment, the war, our veterans, family issues and healthcare. I was so impressed with the ability everyone had over at Alexa’s to nicely discuss their need or lack of party affiliation. It seems overwhelmingly that most of you are not connecting to a party but to the issues, which in my mind is very wise. I also was so relieved to see that most of us seem to really understand and are passionate enough to be educated about the issues that are deciding the course of the future of our country. No longer are we just voting a certain ticket because someone told us to or because our great great grandfather did, we are choosing based on our conscious and what will impact our future. Bravo!
It got me to wondering. If we are breaking the mold of generations and not necessarily choosing our candidate based on their party affiliation, what are the issues that will ultimately decide your choice for the next president? What do you do if you are like me and you find yourself supporting different platforms of both candidates? How do you weigh the importance of one issue versus another?
Like Alexa said, discuss nicely!
T-minus four days and I will be here:
listening to this:
and reading this:
Let the countdown begin!
I really hate to even say that I am attempting to become a vegetarian. I know that once I say that I will have the overwhelming urge for chicken wings and I will fall into failure and dismay all of my fellow vegetarian friends. But on the advice of one of them who gave me some very fabulous resources, I have now drastically reduced the amount of meat I am eating. It is a start right?? I am having some major trouble with the seafood though. Crab and salmon in my sushi is a must, and I fear I will never truly be a vegetarian.
However, in my quest to cut out some meat, I along with hubby have also made the transition to soy milk, and the next step is to give up cheese. Let’s not hold our breathe people. I love my cheese, even though it does not always love me. But that is for another time.
Now on to why vegetarianism is killing me. Tonight I came home and was in the process of making a fantastic salad. I went to my refrigerator to retrieve my essentials: lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and the one that almost did me in-the tomatoes. I know what you are thinking. No, I am not in the throws of a very tardy bout of salmonella. I am not nauseous and wishing a quick and sudden death due to the horrible and yes, now non-existent outbreak.
When I tell you this I am being dead serious. The tomatoes hurt me. There that is it. I am so embarrassed. It is like the vegetables are seeking revenge on me for eating more of them in my quest to save a few animals.
Welcome to the ridiculousness I call my life.
As I opened my veggie drawer in my refrigerator, I suddenly hear the loudest pop ever. Kind of like the sound you hear when a gun fires you pop a can of biscuits, except this one happened right in front of my left eye. The plastic container which held my beautiful ready-chopped tomatoes from Publix my local store had somehow taken in so much air that once I opened the drawer and the pressure changed it became like a soda bottle shaken too much and the lid popped of. I am not going to lie, I almost peed on myself from the sudden noise. Then I realized that I had this horrible burning sensation in my eye. As I tried to make it to the sink to perform the emergency eye irrigation, I was so panicked because I thought I was blinded for life that I stubbed my toe on the island in my kitchen and lo and behold I had two injuries.
I. Kid. You. Not.
Do you know how hard it is to try to bandage a hurt toe with one eye? Let’s just say it’s not easy.
I will never look at Veggie Tales the same. They are out to get me.
Tags: Kate Spade
One pair of most cherished Kate Spade eyeglasses.
Last seen during a fit of rage over the Chinese women’s scoring debacle in Women’s Gymnastics.
Please return them to their home. They are very much missed. Owner heartbroken (and blind).
If bringing them directly to residence do not beware of dogs. They are loud but harmless.
Tags: Entertainment, Nastia, Olympics, Shawn, Women's Gymnastics
The Summer Olympics are my favorite. I love the fact that every four years the world, for the most part, seems to stop, watch, and realize that our planet is full of amazing and talented people who may not look like us, worship like us, or live like us, but all in all we come to realize that we are all just people living on a rock.
I love the unity that it brings, the exposure to other cultures that it gives us, and the heroes it produces for us to admire.
One of my favorite stories so far from this games comes from the example of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Comeptitors, teammates, and roommates, they hold many roles to each other.
In the midst of the most heated athletic competition known to our world, these two women have competed against each other and won the women’s highest honors, all the while remaining friends and supporters of each other. They exemplify class and respect each time they speak about their relationship. They went into the competition as individuals, yet they committed to supporting each other as teammates. They said from the beginning that they wanted to go 1-2 in the Women’s All-Around. And they did. But they both understood that one would be first and one would be second. But in the midst of it all they remained each others biggest supporter.
How phenomenal is that? They chose to use each others talents and strengths as catapults to drive harder and push themselves at their own training and aspirations, instead of tearing each other down and competing negatively which would have lead them to ruin.
While they were both each other’s main competition, they remained friends and teammates first, refusing to hinder each other’s goal.
What an amazing example this is to women everywhere.
I have been the first-hand recipient of some less-than-nice women all of my life. Instead of seeing me as a teammate or a friend, they chose to lash out in fear of their own territory and in the end it caused great strife and rifts in the attaining of our common goal. I have left jobs because of it, lost friends over it, and refused to participate in organizations because of the drama that some women bring upon their own. Women everywhere, take notice. These two young women have it all figured out.
Life up your teammate, even in times of competition. Support their process, even at the cost of your own gain. Celebrate their success, even in the midst of your own set-backs. It’s really not that difficult.
And that is why those two young women make me proud. A few medals gold and silver medals are just to boot.