Monday, August 22, 2011

45 Lessons Life Taught Me

I was sent this by my cousin today and felt it was something that was just worth sharing with all!  Enjoy!


Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio ..

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good..
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15.. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words :'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life..
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life.. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."


For a long time I have been wanting a new tattoo. Actually, two of them. One of them I wanted to get was the Chinese character for Strength on the back of my wrist. The other one was to be on my foot, footprints with the Chinese character for Courage.

Well, Saturday during my friends pool party, we got to talking about tattoos and the "Do it" chant was on and I just decided I was ready, I wanted to get one. Of course, the beauty of making that decision with friends means that they can give advice on how and what it should look like. One of the challenges is that I was struggling to find the correct translation for the word courage in Chinese. I didn't want it to be something totally wrong and end up with something that was totally wrong. That said, I think that the majority of individuals agreed, I just need to put the word itself and not the symbol.

So off to the Tattoo parlor we went. I opted to do the one on my foot and not the strength one. So my left foot has now forever been branded.

I think that for anyone that knows me, no explanation needs to be given on the meaning behind it.  I have faced a number of challenges in life that have required not only courage but faith to get through them.  The footprints, well they are the Footprints in the Sand - God definitely carried me through some of those darkest hours.  Courage, well, some mornings it took a lot of Courage just to put the two feet on the ground and hope for the best.  God was with me through it all but sometimes you have to make those choices that may be tough at the time and hope those are the choices God wanted you to make.

I know that my Journey is not done yet but I now have this reminder of where I am going and why.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011


So this is by far becoming my new favorite recipe.  I LOVE, luv, LUV how the house smells with it and never mind that they are tasty, moist, delicious and kinda healthy!  The original recipe called for 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour but I opted for wheat flour instead.  Based upon the 317 cal, 5g protein, 39g carb, 2g fiber.

So - maybe not the best for you but they are good!  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!!

1 1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c mashed ripe banana
1 lg egg
1/4 c 50/50 butter blend spread (suggested Smart Balance)
1/4 c 1% Buttermilk
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c + 2 T chopped walnuts

1.  Heat oven to 350*F.  Coat 8 cups of a standard size muffing pan with cooking spray.
2.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl.
3.  Mix banana, egg, spread, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract in large bowl until smooth.  Gradually add flour mixture and stir until blended.  Add 1/3 cup of the walnuts and mix thoroughly.
4.  Fill muffin cups three-quarters full.  Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons walnuts over tops.
5.  Bake until a wooden pick instered into center of muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 1 & Checkpoint

Have you ever tried to make a change of some type and not refer to the first day of the change as the Start Date, the Starting point or any other reference to Start? It is unbelievably difficult. I don't even know if Day 1 is really the right use of words, but it was the best I could come up with without using the word Start.

So, on Day 1 here is where I am starting. I realize that it is just a number on the scale, but it is what I have to start with. I'll add some measurements later tonight so I can also have them as another method of tracking.

I don't really have an end goal in mind when doing this; I just want to be healthier. I want to be able to wear all of those cute clothes that I have in my closet versus the small amount I can fit into. I even want to be able to at least get into those dresses that the SkinnyBiotch really despises that I still have in my closet and finds a friendship hard knowing I have them. (Luv ya Girl!)

So, the end date for all of this is the last day of my life. So, really not clear on when that will be. With that in mind, I have a few random check points and will continue to add a new one as each one passes. I refuse to see these checkpoints as a Finish but as a point that I can see how I am progressing.

With that in mind, the first two check points are:

September 13
October 8
October 22

Here we go focus…I already feel healthy!

Also - on a bright note, I am getting a random day off from Lowe's in my schedule.  So, next day off....August 28th.  So exciting for me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No more Starting

Today I was reading a blog by one of the ATX-100's.  If you don't know what ATX 100s is, it is a group that is made up of Austinites that have over 100 pounds to lose and their end goal is to compete in the Cap-Tex 10k next year.  Joe Bacon pointed out something that I never really thought of in that terms but it makes perfect sense and make me think about what I am doing. 

I don’t think of this as a START, because a START has a FINISH.
Click Here to see Joe's blog

How true are those words.  Look at when I "started" training for the Nike Women's Marathon - I was in the best shape of my life.  Then the injury happened, the finish line disappeared and I stopped.  Then there was the Triathlons.  While I might not of been in a peak shape, there was the start of training and when I crossed the finish line, the training ended. 

Is your life a series of Starts & Finishes?  Do you Start to lose weight today?  What happens when you "Finish" your journey or something causes the Finish line to disappear?  I know that I cannot be alone in the blurred Finish line.

So there is no more tomorrow I start, next week I start.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  If I truly need a finish line - then I suppose the finish line shall be the last day of my life.  The bright side is that I don't know when that day will come.  So, until then, I need to keep trudging ahead and realize that I will make mistakes along the way, will have set backs along the way and just need to dust myself off and get moving and focus on what I want in life. 

Of course, I say this and realize that step one would be to eat healthy, exercise, and focus on pushing through the debt.  I can eat healthy the rest of the day!  That is an easy one.  Now, for exercise - it has to wait until tomorrow.  I have to work today at Lowe's so no extra time for exercise.  The debt - well I am working both jobs today - so getting rid of it I will!

Even though I will have no more starts or finishes, I am starting my count down today....25 days.  Yep, 25 days until my next day off.  I always try to get a day off scheduled where I do nothing and some how I just didn't get that done this month like I should of.  So, when it is said and done with, I will have worked one or both jobs for 35 days straight.  I picked up an extra shift yesterday at Lowe's and lets just say leaving at 7 am and getting home at 10:30 at night three days in a row makes for a tired cookie!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Something New

Well, off on a new adventure or at least looking into the possibility of one.  So Tuesday I was in a pretty blah mood and just anti-everything.  I think we all have those days.  Maybe I shouldn't put them into words, but I do.  It works for me. 

Right now I am reading The Cheapskate Next Door by Jeff Yeager.  I know I am weird and that I like reading these finance books!  Someday I will tell my full story and when it is said and done, let's just say that you will be amazed at where I was and where I stand today.  Who knows, maybe I can start counseling others on how to get out of debt!  Anyway - it is really good book and if you can read self-help books, I suggest looking into it. 

As you probably recall, I am in the process of blasting debt out of my life.  I see a zero balance with one of my credit cards in the next month.  Today I made another payment on it and all that remains is $50.  So far this year I have paid off 10% of my debt.  To me, doing this solo, that number is huge.  I of course I  have to thank my WIRR friends (Click Here to learn more) for keeping me motivated and encouraged. 

As I was discussing with mama last night, between Lowe's and NFP, I have enough money to live, pay my bills and blast my debt.  However, when it comes to extra things I want to do, it requires serious penny pinching to do it with cash and I think that is the part that makes me feel strapped right now.  For example, I know that I probably need at least $350 to have the ceiling fans installed in my house.  NODIY guy said that he would do it for $50 a fan (5 fans) and then whatever parts he would need.  Needless to say - I have to scrimp and save to get that.  I also need new tires on my car if I am going to come back to Nebraska at Christmas.  Again, scrimping and saving to get it done.  It stinks.  Of course, it probably feels even more difficult just because my electricity and water bills are higher right now thank you to Mother Nature.  I know I should feel blessed that the electricity is only running about $150 considering it has been over 100 degrees every day, but it is hard.

So, with that said, yesterday I posted an ad on Craigslist to get a roommate.  Not something that I HAVE to do or really want to do.  However, it will definitely help me feel more relaxed on things and help cover some of those other things I want to get done as well as help blast the debt even faster!!  So my friends at WIRR are giving me great advise on background checks, leases, etc so I am pretty positive that things will work out okay and no one needs to worry.  Plus, as I told momma, I don't HAVE to have the extra money so I can take as long as I would like to find the perfect roommate!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Day

Why is it that when you have a rough day, go to bed early and you still wake up feeling like you never slept?  I was in bed early, finished reading a book and then turned out the lights early.  When the alarm went off at 5:15 for me to go running - it didn't happen and I shut it off.  If it hadn't been for Finn whinning to go out - I might still be in bed but instead - I was just late since it was 6:24 am when he was whinning.  Of course, I just feel tired and lethargic and of course am in no mood to put up with any crap from anyone.  Poor guy - don't call and bitch at me for the first 5 minutes and expect attitude back.  My favorite was when he told me not to treat him like a 3rd Grader but then procceeds to say "What Next?" when it prompts him for his name and email address.  Wasn't it in the 1st grade when they taught us to write our name next to the Name:                 ?

I suppose there is hope for tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I was doing so good on blogging and then, well, I guess I just fell of the planet.  

Oh it has been such a mixed bag of emotions these days and sometimes I just wish I could curl up in a ball and just wake back up when life was normal again.  That things were easy, carefree and I had it all.  Sometimes, on the outside I know I look like I have it all together, but on the inside I feel like it is all falling apart and I wish I could undo things.  Where do I even begin to tell the story at?  It is going to be a long one so grab your coffee because you just might need it.

Work, that thing that you have to do every day, that you should spend half of your waking hours at, that place you should love to go to.  I know that if you asked me a couple of years ago, while some things weren't perfect, I loved my job and loved what I do.  Today, I just feel like it is another anchor around my ankles.  My boss and I butt heads to the 10th degree on everything.  The favoritism was so unbelievable before I went on vacation it was insane.  Never mind him going postal on me because my dog needed an emergency vet appointment and I wouldn't be in the office to cover phones while he was in a meeting.  (It is important to note that the following day we both were in the same meeting and we would have the same coverage issues.)  Of course, it takes me  saying the discrimination in an email about treatment by him to his boss that makes things some what tolerable.  Funny how one word makes others take notice. Maybe part of it is me bringing it on myself and that what I do today does not require a college degree, it has changed so much from when I first started and it doesn't require any thought and just requires patience, something I lack at.  I won't even get into how I still make less today than I did when I left Nebraska in 2007.  I know I said I was okay with the pay cut and having a better boss, but I don't think I imagined it being 2011 and still making less than what I did four years ago.

Maybe it is Lowe's and just being burned out from working all the time.  But, I have to do it, I don't have a choice in the matter.  Without Lowe's, I couldn't pay the bills.  Unfortunately it is a necessary evil.  I have tried to make friends there but the drama that comes with it, it just isn't worth it.  Don't get me wrong, there are good people there but I always feel like I some how get sucked back into the drama of the others around them.  I wish I didn't have to work there, but I do and don't have a choice.  I need to be happy about going in to work instead of listening to people complain about things that go on there.  If I just go in, do my job and leave, I appear to be bitchy/snooty.  But, when you work seven days a week, where else can you make friends?  I have some at the other job and maybe I just need to make more of an effort there.  At least they tend to be drama free or if there is drama, it is a different kind.  

I miss my friends back home and the way things use to be.  Of course, I know that if I go back home, things won't be the same as they were.  It so hard to believe that when I moved here in 2007 on of my best friends and I were so close to being the in the same place.  Both were in relationships, both saw marriage in our future.  Today, how far apart we are....I am no closer to marriage than the day I went to college.  She on the other hand is married, happy has two beautiful kids and I don't hear from her because she has the "perfect" life.  

Sometimes I want to scream why me?  Why couldn't life be easy for me?  Why does God constantly throw things road blocks up at me?  I was a good kid in high school.  I got good grades, stayed out of trouble and I just don't know.  Sure I rebelled a bit when I got to college but I think we all did.  Then there was the sexual assault, I mean why did a bad choice on my part cause that to happen?  Didn't God know I was saving myself and that wasn't how I wanted to lose my virginity?  

Maybe that has jaded me.  Maybe that one event will define the rest of my life.  I hope not but look where I am.  As much as I have dealt with it, went to counseling on it, think I am over it, I still feel it haunts me and my relationships.  I grew up in a great family, with tons of love, support, kids and just a great sense of family values and there was nothing that I ever wanted more in life to have that.  Now, here I am 37 years old and watching the days pass on that that opportunity. The guys I meet are either only interested in sex or one of us isn't into the other.

I always think I am okay, that I just trudge along, people think I am rock strong and then it takes just little things to send me into a tail spin.  I have officially become the last one from my college softball team that has never been married and has no kids.  Me!  I just don't get how it ended up being me?  It sucks, 100%.  I know, you'll say you don't need a man to make you happy, they can bring problems, blah, blah blah.  Do this, for an entire week, go home to yourself every day and don't talk to anyone unless you call them.  Fix dinner for one.  Do all the cleaning.  Do all the laundry.  Yard Work.  Exercise.  It sucks! Now imagine doing that day in and day out for years.  

I know that when I came back from my vacation I was home sick.  Part of me didn't want to leave but part of me was ready to come back.  I love my family to death and love spending time with them.  I love spending time with my little man and am happy that my brother is so happy.  But then again, it sometimes feels like a dagger and a reminder of the perfect life.  So much has changed that I know if I moved back it wouldn't be the same.  My friends have all changed.  I have changed.  I can't get back what I had and can't go back in time.  Before anyone says just move back, it isn't possible.  I have a house now.  A house that lost all of the equity in it the past two years because prices continue to drop.  Now because of our lovely leaders, interest rates will go up and it would be even harder to sell.  No thank you.

Sometimes I just wish I could hit the backspace key and just do parts of life over again.  Would I go back all the way to college and undo that one night?  I don't know.  But sometimes I really wonder what life would of been had I just listened to my family and understand they only wanted the best for me when they pushed leaving the EX.  But I didn't.  I walked away from a job that paid well, from a softball organization I built, from a head varsity coaching job, from a great support system of family and friends all because I found love.  I wish I realized back then that love shouldn't come at the cost of all that and if it is real love, it wouldn't cost you anything, it enhances things.

I am sure come a day, a week or a month from now, I wish I could do the back space key on this post.  But it is how I feel today.  I don't have it all together right now.  My puzzle is all jumbled up and nothing seems to fit.  I know that in the days and weeks to come, the pieces will start coming together but today I just can't see how it is going to work.  I am tired.  I am tired of trying my hardiest and working my tail off and feeling like I just am not getting anywhere.  I am tired of feeling like I have to give up this or that just so I can save enough money for tires for my car or someone to put ceiling fans in my house.  I just need life and God to give me a break for a long time!

And friends, when I don't come running to help with your personal problems, please don't be mad!  I just need a break from being the rock, the go to person for advise for awhile.  I need a rock to stabilize me for a change.  I need to time to figure out me and not seeking out the approval of people in unhealthy ways.  I just need to "re"rock myself.

That's all for today.