Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Is Happy

Normally, I am kinda Grinchy about the holidays. They seem to be so full of stress, pressure, bizarre expectations and quite frankly, I sometimes wish I could skip over this part of the year. I just usually put on a happy face, close my eyes and hope for the best. However, this year was a pleasant surprise. I have to admit that I genuinely enjoyed Christmas this year!

What is normally a scheduling nightmare, finding a way to coordinate a day when the whole family can get together this year was a dream - for all THREE (there is my mom, Clark's family and my dad) of the family Christmases I have. It all fell into place perfectly. My work schedule, which always seems to throw a monkey wrench or into the mix, didn't even present a single conflict. Talk about a Christmas miracle!

I also genuinely enjoyed my time at all three gatherings. Everyone was in a good mood and all around joyful. There was absolutely no drama and I am proud to report that I did in no way ruin or nearly ruin Christmas for any innocent children (click here for a refresher of Christmas 2011).

There were stockings full of special moments and memories that I will keep with me forever. I was also fortunate to receive so many thoughtful and generous gifts. However, there is one gift that I didn't expect at all but one that I will never forget.

I am one of those people that saves and reuses gift bags and boxes from birthday and Christmas gifts. This year, in the midst of wrapping presents, I was digging thought gift bags I had kept from previous years when I found this near the bottom of the stack:



It caught me by such surprise! My heart jumped in my chest and I instantly felt warm and tingly. It was like Simon's little way of sending me a present. And what a gift it truly was. I will cherish it forever.

I hope that this year, Christmas (or your holiday of celebration) was not just tolerable but a little extra magical too!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It Took a Pair of Bright Blue Balls...

The other day, I was driving behind a dark gray truck on the freeway. As I signaled and glided over to the middle lane, It didn't take long for me to realize that I was not following just any truck. This truck had man parts. Bright blue balls dangling from the hitch, specifically. I cocked my head to the side, leaned forward and squinted my eyes as I remarked at this peculiar display.

I have to say that I was nothing short of perplexed. Bright blue balls...dangling on a hitch. What exactly was the message here? Maybe he is an optimist trying to make a statement, "Hey! I lost the twig, but still have the giggle-berries!" Was it a clever infidelity punishment by an angry girlfriend? Or maybe it was an incredibly desperate plea, "Ladies, its been awhile. Please help a brother out...."

In reality, it was probably some sort of strange redneck expression of manhood...hmmm. I don't really get it. First of all, beautiful as they are, large hanging testicles are not really all that impressive. Never once have I been smitten with the notion of this. Not once have I thought, "Wow, you have giant nuts?! You must make tons of sperm and get lots of girls pregnant. Swoooon!" Nope. In fact, I may have just grossed myself a tad.

I find it really interesting that displaying male anatomy on the back of a pickup truck is supposed to convey manliness. If it does, then wouldn't hanging a pair of big droopy boobies be considered an equal display of womanhood? Can you imagine?! What the hell would people think if I had a lovely plastic uterus (sparkly purple, of course) and matching ovaries for the back of my red Saturn hatchback? I guarantee it would not be about how womanly I must be. 

In any case, I have to be grateful for these testies - and I am. I have not posted a blog since July. I guess I had a six month long, unfortunate lack of inspiration/bout of writer's block. It took a pair of bright blue balls to get me writing again and while I am happy about that, I am really afraid of what it says about me. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

TIABM #4

There are many things that I love and treasure with pleasure. However, there are also many things that I really can't stand. The following is a list of things that make me want to bunch a baby or worse. Otherwise known as "Things I Abhor Beyond Measure."

* The feeling of anxiety.
* Mean people. They suck.
* Nights of bad sleep.
* Arrogant people who think they know everything.
* When electronics don't work right. My patients for this = zero.
* Feeling lazy and unmotivated when I have a ton of things to do.
* When my cat Muffin escapes.
* Centipedes.
* Anything that smells like artificial vanilla. Gives me an instant headache.
* Worrying about money.

This pic has seemed somehow appropriate for a post about things that piss me off.
Also, it looks delicious.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reasons To Be Child-free Continued...

People wonder: "How can you do that? I could never do that!" when I tell them I am a psych nurse. I honestly wonder the same thing about people with children. I am not saying that being a parent and being a psych nurse are the same thing (or maybe they are, I guess I wouldn't know! Heee!) but I think there are important qualities parents possess, that I simply do not. But hey, that's OK! I am in total support of having kids. Kids are freaking awesome! I even used to take care of them for a living. Plus, I LOVE my nieces to pieces and am in constant awe of what an incredible mom my sister is. I mean, just look at those two!


As my wedding day draws closer, many people have been asking me the very natural question: "So, when are you going to have kids?" I find peoples responses very interesting when I tell them we are not planning to have children. I have to say that while the responses I've gotten have be varied, my least favorite is the patronizing response, "Oh, you will change your mind. Just give it time." Um, not really. As a matter of fact, the more time that goes by, the less I want to be a parent. What has been by far the most interesting thing is that a few people confessed similar versions of , "I totally understand. Don't get me wrong, I completely adore my kids with all my heart and would take a bullet for them. However, I might have made a different choice given different circumstances." I was surprised by such bold honesty and whats more fascinating is this came from the lips of some of the best parents I know!


I wrote a blog post a while back that explored all of the reasons that it is really best I don't procreate. See for yourself why I would be an unfit mother. In light of the recent questions regarding the future status of my uterus, I have pondered even more reasons why its bright, neon light will be forever illuminated: 




Here is a selection from my continued list of those reasons:      

#229 I nearly cried when a couple told me that they had not been on a date in nine months. NINE MONTHS. That is simply asinine.

#592 While the book Fifty Shades of Grey turned my face fifty shades of blush, lets face it: there is simply not much happening in that department when your kids are growing up - especially when they are under age five. Deal breaker for this chick. It is still a mystery to me how people can have 7, 10 or 12+ kids! Where do you find the time and energy to make those babies???

#724 What happens as soon as those little guys can walk and you take them to Target? Yah, your quick fifteen minute errand turns into an hour long game of "Which clothing rack are they hiding in now?"

#725 Finally finding them and dragging them to the checkout lane while trying to pry candy bars and random toys out of their freakishly strong little fingers. THEN, trying frantically to "Ssssssh!!!" the beast as it screams: "Waaaaah!!!! But I WAAAAAAANT it!!!"

#977 I don't do guilt well and that is what I would feel 24/7, I just know it. I would never feel like I was a good enough parent and I would worry constantly.

#1309 I don't do major pain either. More specifically, severe vaginal pain. Owie, owie, owie!

This would so be me:
"And how many of you are planning on using Toxic Western medications to drug your baby for your own selfish comfort? Anyone?"  - Childbirth Coach
"WOOP WOOP!" -  Angie Ostrowiski
From the movie: Baby Momma Starring, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey
Hilarious. Watch it now or watch it again.
#682 Fundraisers. Oh my annoying. The only thing I can imagine sucking worse than being a kid and having to run around asking all your neighbors and family to buy shit so you can go to band camp? Being the parent of that kid. My odd personality and mere existence already irritates my co-workers, family and friends enough as it is. Imagine if I started bombarding them with order forms for over-priced crap they don't need? No one would ever talk to me again.

#257 I don't ever want to hear someone say "Oh no! I am turning into my mother!" in reference to me.

#874 The older I get, the more set in my ways I become and the less I am willing to compromise the things that make me happy or more importantly, the things I need. This applies to all areas of my life.

#1192 I could hear these words coming out of my mouth, "Please pass the parenting handbook. I need to smack my child with it. And then myself."

#439 As I mentioned earlier, I used to take care of kids for a living. All ages - from infants to pre-kindergarten. I loved it and had so much fun but I'd be lying if I said it was easy. Some days I would go home and crash after a long shift of chasing those buggers around and using my mental energy to keep them entertained/challenged. Then there is the emotional energy of calming fears and mending boo-boos as well as the all around exhaustion when they were being totally naughty and misbehaving. Let's just say that is not something I'd like to sign up for on a 24/7 basis.

#577 Once you get through early childhood: the diapers, the sleep deprivation, etc. you think you have gotten through the hard part. Then you remember that they will become teenagers.

#132 I have seen the products of parenting gone wrong. I have worked with them in the past and still do - on a daily basis in my career. It isn't a pretty picture at all. It reminds me, that while some things are out of person's control but the fact remains: parents are the number one influence on a child's life. I don't know if I am up for a task that requires that much responsibility.

People who decide to become parents are complete rock stars in my book - well, the ones who actually try to do it to the best of their ability. Y'all work your asses off! Whew, makes me wanna take a nap. And a special shout out to all the single parents out there. Ho.ly. Shit. That is all I can say. Honestly, the only way I could think you are any fucking cooler is if you wore this shirt (bonus points apply if you are a man):


As for this gal, I know just wasn't cut out for the parenthood path. I am more than OK with that because I am having a great time blazing my own trail through this crazy life.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Green Bay, Awesome Day!

During the course of getting to know each other, Clark has talked a lot (and very fondly) of his friends from college. He has told me endless stories of the crazy things they did back then and about what totally awesome people they all are. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to meet the majority them at a wedding in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

During the five hour drive to Green Bay, we had ample time to go over who each person is, who they are married to and a general idea of what their personalities are like. He also informed me that they all have a very "special" relationship with each other.

"Special....huh." I pondered this momentarily. "Special could mean practically anything. Define 'special'."

"Let's just say that there are no boundaries. They don't exist. This will likely include you, so be prepared." He cryptically replied.

"Like physically?" I inquired.

"Pretty much, yes. But generally speaking as well." He said. "You will see what I mean."

"OK," I said bravely, "Bring it on."

We arrived at the church right on time for the ceremony. We were a couple of the last people seated and luckily found a spot in the row right in front of all of his friends. As we slid into our seats, Clark briefly introduced me to everyone. They all gave me with the warmest, most genuine smiles and handshakes. The guy right behind me; who I will call "Ted" because he reminds me of a perfect teddy bear, rolled his eyes at my handshake offer and said "Pfft, forget that. Come on, bring it in for a hug."

He proceeded to wrap me in what can only be described as an epic embrace. He squeezed me with proper tension, firm but not too intense. Then he began to rock me. Yes, rock me - back and forth several times. After pausing to exhale a giant sigh, he gave me one final squeeze and then released me.

Half stunned/half amused, I let out a soft giggle. "So, this is what Clark was talking about..." I thought to myself. This definitely made the top five of my "Most Memorable First Meetings" list. The rest of group also started laughing and Ted introduced me to his adorable, super sweet wife who I knew I was going to like, straight away.


Music indicating the start of the ceremony began to play and as we turned our attention to the center isle, Clark leaned over and whispered, "While Ted was hugging you, he was totally rubbing my butt cheek."


I choked back hysterical laughter and quickly realized I would likely fit right in with this crew. The ceremony was lovely a Catholic wedding with all of the traditional standing/sitting/kneeling movement. This only provided further opportunities for a wet-willy and several other boundary-less happenings - mostly directed at Clark, thank goodness. 


After the ceremony, I got the chance to talk to everyone more in depth. I learned more about their lives and they shared stories and pictures of their kids. It was so much fun listening to them all catch up and reminisce about their college days, which sounded like 24/7 shenanigans. I heard stories of drunken singing while wearing WWII military helmets. Lots of tales of indecent urination, lack of clothing and physical abuse (which translates to "man-intimacy" in guy-speak). 


I also learned that, to this day, if the right level of alcohol intake is reached, Ted still begins speaking with a Scottish accent. I discovered that one of the guys; who I will call "Dirk," has an uncontrollable Tourettes-like habit of yelling profanities and sexually inappropriate statements during phone calls - which once happened to cause Clark's sexuality to be called into question by his folks when one of their phone calls was accidentally overheard.


The fun continued all throughout the reception. At one point, we were sitting outside and Ted asked us about our wedding. "Are you guys going to do that thing where you save the top of your wedding cake so that a year later you can take a bite and say 'Yep, this tastes like ass' and then feed it to the dog?"

Before I had the chance to respond, Dirk approached us. "Hey, Shike! (a nickname they all call Clark) Let me see that." He said, pointing to the cigar in Clark's hand.

"I still need to bite off the end or something, I don't have a cutter..."  Clark hesitated.

"Here, let me see it." Seeing Clark's hesitation, he added, "I won't do anything to it, I promise."

Clark reluctantly handed the cigar over and Dirk promptly (and savagely) ripped the end of it off with his teeth, leaving tobacco shreds hanging haphazardly out of it.

"What the hell, man!" Clark exclaimed.

"What is the first rule?" Dirk asked.

"Never give anything to Dirk." Clark droned.

"That is right. I thought you would have learned that lesson by now." Dirk scolded as he handed Clark back his mangled Cigar.

It was situation after situation like this. Nonstop. I adored every single moment of it.

Most of the guys' wives were part of the group during college as well. They were all incredibly welcoming and all around awesome. We chatted it up, danced together and had a blast getting to know each other. They invited me to join them in a girls Goldschlager shot and then we all piled into the photo booth for a fun group picture:



As much as I enjoyed the laughter and fun of the night, I have to say that one of the things that stuck out most was just how much these guys all care about each other. As much shit as they give each other, they have an equal amount of good things to say about each other. They came from miles around to be there for their friend's wedding. They are all incredibly genuine, incredibly warm people and I couldn't help but really, really like every single one of them.


What a totally great weekend. I danced my ass off. In fact, I shook so much booty that I had a blister the next day. I got to see a new, different side of Clark and meet some of the most important people in his life. I got to laugh more than I have in a long time. Both Clark and I remarked at how much our faces hurt from laughing so much. We drove though the beautiful Wisconsin countryside and enjoyed each other's company during our drive. It was a wonderful weekend that I won't soon forget. 



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Enema Songs

Not long after hearing one of my Tear Enema Songs on Pandora, I hear a song that, without fail, ALWAYS makes me happy. The same sequence of events unfolded in my head as they did in my previous Tear Enema Songs post. Clark's Happy Enema Song is "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by John Denver because it reminds him of his favorite childhood memories of summer camp. I personally find that precious as hell. So, here is the list I go to when I need to lift my spirits and "get the happiness flowing!"



Once again, I am curious: What are your Happy Enema Songs? What tunes do you turn to when you want to smile?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tear Enema Songs

Whenever there is heavy shit going on in my life, I sometimes have a hard time crying. I know I need to cry and even want to, but somehow I can't. It is totally weird - it as if the tears get lodged in my throat like some kind of emotional constipation. I have found that one surefire remedy for this issue is listening to songs I find sad or touching. Those songs are like an enema for my tears.

I was thinking about this today when I was listening to Pandora and one my Tear Enema songs came on. I got to thinking about other songs that, without fail, make me cry. I decided to compile a list that I can go to when ever I need to "get things moving" in the emotion department. My list is pretty long and I not sure what that says about me. In any case, here it is:




This lead to me ask Clark if there are any songs like that for him. He said that his song is "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchel. Interesting! Now I am curious about the rest of the world. What songs can help give you a good cry? Please leave your thoughts and your own Tear Enema Songs in the comment section because I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time To Remember

Simon didn't need to die near Memorial Day to be remembered. If you knew him, you can attest to the fact that he is pretty much impossible to forget. May 25th was the one year anniversary of Simon's death. I knew that the day was coming, I had been anticipating it for over a month. I was a mixed bag of emotion but one thing I really wanted to do was figure out a special and personal way to honor him on that day. I tried to think of something really great but I just wasn't satisfied with anything I came up with.

In any case, I knew that it would be a tough weekend and I thought the best thing I could do for myself would be to get out of town to complete peace and solitude. I expressed this to Clark and he suggested we spend the weekend up north at his family's getaway house on a large plot of farmland they rent out to area farmers. The plan was set and when the day arrived, we packed up our things and Luke (our doggie) and began our trek north.

The drive takes us literally past my dad's house, so we met up with him and I was finally able to give him his birthday gift. After a really enjoyable, tasty lunch (I highly recommend the new brisket burger at Famous Dave's - Ah. Mazing.) we were back on our way again.

Approximately thirty minutes further into our drive, we made an impromptu stop at an RV dealership. We had an absolute blast exploring the amazing showroom and wandering around all the beautiful new travel trailers. We picked out our favorite ones and day dreamed about drinking coffee in the morning while taking in the amazing view of where we would park our trailer. It was so carefree and almost youthful in its spontaneity and fun.

Throughout our ride, Clark and I talked a lot about Simon. He listened to my random memories and little stories. He held my hand during the difficult moments and really understood my deep, pressing desire to simply talk to Simon. To just hug him, see his face and catch up on each others lives. He asked questions about Simon and laughed when I described his crazy sense of humor.

We finally arrived and after tending to Luke's need to play/pick up every log he could find, we took a short nap and settled in by a fire we made outside. It was around 8:30pm and I think Clark and I were feeling the same thing: a little homesick. He was the first one to bring it up and I was relieved to know we were on the same page. We had a chuckle over what losers we are for coming all this way and then turning right around to go home.  We decided it would be a good idea to help the pup release a bunch of energy before heading back home. Clark fired up the 4-wheeler and began riding it full speed around the yard. Naturally, Luke took off like a bullet after him. As I watched him run, looking so happy and free, it hit me. I remembered the dreams Simon would often wake from. He would describe the amazing feeling of running for what seemed like forever. Running far and fast without getting tired or out of breath. They were his favorite dreams because he couldn't run in his waking life due to his heart condition. He said these dreams made him feel so alive and free.

Suddenly, I got the urge to run. I stood up from my lawn chair and took off after Clark and Luke. I ran fast and hard. I felt the fresh spring wind in my face and blowing through my hair. I breathed deep and ran. I ran for Simon and I did it with my whole body and my whole heart. I imagined him running, alive and free.

By the time I stopped, my legs were all tingly-wobbly feeling and I was just short of passing out (and if you know me personally, you can attest to the fact that I NEVER run because it is the devil). My cheeks and lips were wet with tears but I felt so alive and bright inside. The feeling just stamped itself forever into my memory. I will forever be able to recall the feeling I had running and honoring Simon in that simple but special way.

It took a few unexpected turns but ended up being a wonderful day. I got to spend time with my dad and give him a special gift I was working on for him. I got to have fun exploring the RV dealership and daydreaming with Clark. I got to get away but then come back to my home and kitties. I got to talk about Simon, miss him, cry about him and most of all remember him. I can think of no better way to have spent this day.




Saturday, May 19, 2012

Being the Bigger Asshole




One of the most challenging things about my job is that it doesn't matter what names a patient may call me, the substances or objects a patient throws at me or the way in which they may try to hit, kick or spit at me. It doesn't matter if the patient is in the wrong or that their behavior is completely inappropriate. No matter what happens - while I am on the clock, I have to act professionally and be the bigger person.

Many of the patients I work with are at least marginally respectful. However, I work on the most intense Mental Health Unit in the hospital, so this means we deal with the most ill patients who often times have extreme and out of control behaviors. In my four years working there as an RN, I have been screamed at, threatened, hit and called some of the most offensive names known to creation. I have been peed on, laughed at and blatantly disrespected by the patients I care for. Needless to say, it can be positively draining and emotionally exhausting.

Most of the time, I am able to just laugh it off or let it go when a patient does these things because I know that they are not well and need my compassion and understanding. Normally, it doesn't bother me for more than a few minutes and then I am able to get on with my life. For some reason, last week was different. Like a dried up dingle-berry on a poopie butt, the events from this shift were clinging to my psyche. Let me explain:

The other day, one of my patients was a man who I have worked several times in the past. The first part of the day went very well. He was calm and overall cooperative. I thought we were shaping up for a good day, until after lunchtime when he began insisting we let him into a group room that was closed at the time. I tried to explain to him that patients are not allowed into group rooms without a staff person. He was not hearing a word of it. What would be a non-issue with the general population, turned into a massive decompensation of all rational behavior. He began yelling and threatening to hurt us. He began trying to hit and kick us. I finally told him that he either had the choice to gain control of his behavior or we would be calling a code and giving him meds.

His response to this was to open his pop bottle full of the most disgusting concoction imaginable and throw it all over me. Earlier in the shift he had told me that he mixed honey, milk, tea, coffee, ranch dressing, syrup, salt, orange juice, sugar, mountain dew and other random food bits together and was sipping on it during the day. Well, it was now all over me and took nearly two washings with soap and water to get the stickiness off my face and arms.

I was livid and my blood was boiling rapidly in my veins. I felt violated, abused and just plain pissed off. Of course though, I handled myself in a calm, professional manner when all I wanted to do was tell him exactly how I was feeling at that moment in a less than professional way. I wanted to throw myself on the floor and show him what the business end of a real hissy fit looks like. I wanted to say ridiculous things, throw food and scream the most obscene profanities I could think of. Instead of the bigger person, I wanted to be the bigger asshole in the worst way imaginable.

We proceeded with the code and medication administration. All was relatively fine until about an hour later when the same patient voided an excessively large amount of urine all over himself in the lounge area. Well, guess who the lucky nurse was who got help him get cleaned up? Yep, that would be Yours Truly. So, not only did I have to conduct myself professionally with a patient who completely disrespected me, I had to help clean up him AND his giant piss mess.

Praise be to all holiness that I have a reasonable amount of self control because I am pretty sure that I would no longer be employed if I had just an ounce less. After my shift, I got in the car and cried all the way home. I threw my purse and keys where ever they landed and immediately tore off my scrubs. I proceeded to cry the whole time I was in the shower, frantically trying to scrub the grossness of the day off of me. Talk about a mess of a human being. After a shower and a nice nap, my spirits were beginning to rise again. I was at least able to speak in coherent sentences without bursting out in a blubbering crying fit. However, I am pretty sure that my blood pressure still sky rocketed every time I relived the experience in my mind.

At this point, I think I am mostly over it. And truth be told, given the choice again, I would likely take the high road  instead of the massive spaz-attack I have been day dreaming of. At the end of the day, would it really be worth it? Would I really feel any better about the situation? Likely not. I guess there is some merit in the high road: even if you don't get to be the bigger asshole, the good part is that at least you don't have to feel like one.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Baby Fever


I can not stop feeling totally tripped out by all of the people my age who are having babies. More specifically, people I knew from elementary and high school. It was weird when everyone started getting married, but reproducing is taking it to a whole new level. Maybe it is just me. Maybe it is because I am a late bloomer who didn't get married until the age of 30. Or maybe because I don't want kids myself, I am overly fascinated by people who do. Maybe I am just a super creeper for even really thinking about this so much that I decided blog about it.

In any case, the fact remains the same: there are tiny people coming out of my former classmates' (or their wives') vaginas! I am still trying to wrap my, um - head around it. It is so wild. I think back to memories I have of these people at football games, school dances, in class, extra curricular activities and in the hallways. Back then, the thought of any single one of them having babies never entered into my mind. Now, on a daily basis, I see pictures of someones kids on Facebook. I have to admit, I actually really like it. I love seeing how those little stinkers look like their parents and thinking about how that kid has no idea the kind of shit their parents did back in the day.

I think about the quiet girl from French class who now has an adorable little one who looks like her husband. Then there is the a couple of the class-clowns who have kids that are the definition of a "mini-me." A former crush now has two children and of course, it would make sense that one of the nicest guys from high school has the most beautiful baby ever. Former theater-mates and gymnastics teammates have also graduated to parenthood. Old friends, the siblings of friends and the list continues on.

I have actually had the fortune of reconnecting with a few of my childhood friends from elementary school through Facebook. I have not seen any of them since I was about 12 years old, when my family moved to Saint Paul. That was 20 years ago! Until the magic of Facebook reminded me, they were all still 12 years old in my mind. Imagine my shock when seeing not only are they all grown up now, but they are married and having babies too! These are girls I used sit up at late-night slumber parties with and giggle about what it would be like to kiss boys. Now they are making human beings with their genitals. Just when I thought I'd seen it all... Is this what it feels like to get old?

What is even more crazy, is experiencing this in person! I have had the chance to see quite a few of my former classmates interacting with their children. Talk about a wacky, time-warp experience! It is so strange to watch the same people who fell over doing a keg-stands at parties being called "mom" and "dad." And, it is completely unreal how some of the children's facial expressions are exact duplicates of their parents'.

I know that my shock and disbelief is only destined to continue. The friends that I am still close to from high school have only just started to dabble in the baby making business. I have yet to actually experience that as a reality. I can only imagine what that will be like, seeing my friends holding their offspring and becoming parents. I hope that I can hold back my inability to reconcile the situation and refrain from screaming, "Holy shit, Dude! What the hell did you just do? Don't you know we are only like seventeen years old?!?!" In all reality, they are all going to make spectacular parents. Kick-ass people generally do.

I would like to thank all of you folks who share your kiddos with me on the Facebook. I really do enjoy how tripped out it makes me feel at times. I also love to see and hear about what beautiful little buggers you are introducing to the world. I wish you all the very best in one of the most crazy-amazing adventures of your lives!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Friends Are Amazing!

When I first went to the Emily Program to pursue treatment for my eating disorder, I was scared and had no idea what I was getting myself into. Luckily, it ended up being one of the best decisions of my life and I have not regretted it for one moment. As a matter of fact, I am pretty much their number one fan: enthusiastic and excited about the opportunities they provide. I like to think of myself as the Emily Program's very own Richard Simmons - minus the poodle cut and totally fabulous, shiny tank-top/short-shorts combo.


Since starting at the Emily Program over four years ago, three of my friends have also made the choice to peruse their own journey of making peace with food and their bodies. One of them has been going for nearly two years and the other two are well into their first year. The beauty of the Emily Program is that they offer several levels of care so that you can really personalize it to meet what you want and need from your treatment. I choose to see my therapist about once a week but that is really just the beginning of what EP offers. They have everything from a residential program to intensive outpatient programs that meet several days a week. They have dietitians, support groups, free support groups for friends and family, couples and family therapy, psychiatrists and medical doctors. They also offer a variety of classes such as body image based yoga as well as a workshops and recovery support. Because my friends are total rockstars, they make use of the opportunities at EP far more than me. Between the three of them, they not only see therapists regularly but they also see diatitians, go to support groups and one of them has even participates in intensive outpatient therapy!


A couple weeks ago, my friend, Eva invited me to Friends and Family Night for the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as her support person. Naturally, I was totally honored and jumped at the chance to support all the amazing work she has been doing. To give you an idea of the level of committment, she attends 3 evenings a week for 3 hours each night. This is on top of the normal hour with an individual therapist and half an hour a week with her dietitian. She has been doing this for over six months already - on top of a fulltime job!


Eva and my other gal-pals are such an inspiration to me. I know how hard it was to take that first step and commit to weekly therapy. These women have jumped into it with both feet and are doing everything they can to make their lives the best they can be. They are bravely doing something that so many people are much too afraid to do: taking a truly honest look at the very difficult things preventing them from being their best, most authentic selves. Not only that, they are tackling them head on. I am so proud that I could squeal out loud!


I also have a handful of other friends and family members who have also begun addressing their issuses with therapists from other places as well. These gals are TOTAL divas too. I am so in awe of all these dear people of mine. They are incredibly courageous, strong, amazing people who refuse to settle for a sub-par existence. I think that anyone who makes the choice to better themselves by facing difficult emotions is very courageous. It isn't an easy thing - you know this if you have ever done it. You will also know that it is completely worth it. It has been for me!


"I hope in my lifetime we can all continue to laugh at ourselves and not put down anyone for what they weigh." - Richard Simmons


“Never, never! ... I get tired of negativity in our country. I get tired of people who only want to know dirt. I get tired of people who don't believe in themselves.” Richard Simmons

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Warm-Fuzzy of the Day!

I am probably one of the luckiest people in existance. I have heard so many horror stories about people who have complete nightmare in-laws. I've hear everything from crazy, jealous mother-in-laws who can't seem to accept their son is a full grown adult. I've heard about cold, ambivelant sibling-in-laws who don't give the new spouse the time of day. Unfortunately, we have all heard these stories or have had in-law trouble of our own. I, however, am very happy to say that my in-laws are incredible!

Simon's family is totally awesome. His brother, wife and their kids are very loving, kind people. His mom is an absolute dream. Not only is his immediate family great, but his extended family always made me feel welcome, accepted and cared about as well. Knowing how difficult it can be for new spouses and in-laws to blend in a healthy, meaningful way, I counted my blessings over and over with Simon's family. Even after Simon's passing, his family has continued to show their support and love in so many ways. I am incredibly lucky and I am very aware of it!

When I think back on it, I realize that meeting Clark's family for the first time had the potential to go very wrong. They were kind enough to let me crash their family's Disney World vacation this past fall. I had a few days off work and decided last minute to fly down and spend a couple of days with Clark. As excited as I was to see Clark, I was really nervous to meet his family. What if they didn't like me or they were total meanies? I would be stuck in a different state with a bunch of people who don't like me - awkward. However, my fears were put at ease the second I met his parents. His sweet, darling mother gave me the warmest hug ever upon meeting me. For some reason, his dad reminded me a lot of my own dad. A bit stoic initally but has a great sense of humor and a giant heart. I knew that if I just joked with him (and gave him just the right amount of grief) that everything would be OK.

Next, I met his brother, sister, their spouses and children. They were all incredibly friendly and welcoming. Even inspite of the fact that I was a recent widow, I feel like they never judged me or my situation. They have been nothing but completely amazing to me and I feel so much gratitiude for that.

Clark's family has been taking trips to Disney World since he and his siblings were very young. It is a very special tradition that has contiuned on and evolved into yearly trips with the whole family - spouses, their kids and all. Clark's sister had special shirts made for everyone to wear during the trips. The front of the shirt depicts each person in the family in silhouette, walking together in front of the Disney castle. It looks like this:



I thought that was a really cute idea! Not only is it a neat way to represent the family, but it allows everyone to keep track of each other when we are walking around together as a group. Of course, the shirts were made long before I entered the picture, so I just wore regular clothes when I was with them.

This year, Clark's sister hosted Easter. Unfortunately, I had to work and was unable to go. However, when I got home from work, there was a special Easter present waiting for me from his family. Upon opening it up, I discovered that I had been given a family Disney shirt. I was totally touched! Then I looked a bit closer and noticed something different about the shirts: there was a new silhouette in the group that represented me! My heart contracted several times in my chest as warm fuzzies spread throughout my body. This is the new, revised version of the shirt:


I extend the biggest hug possible to my future sister-in-law who executed this incredibly thoughtful gift. I am so blessed to be a part of such a totally awesome family and I can't wait to crash many more family vacations. Except this time, I will be an identifiable part of the group :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smart AND Fancy!

So, it is true. I had been carrying around an ancient piece of technology in my purse/pocket for the past three years or more. It was a cute, purple flip phone that has allowed me to make phone calls and text message. Pretty much, the fanciest thing it did was guide me to the wrong places when ever I attempted to use the GPS feature. Honestly, I couldn't even check my email on the thing. It was certainly more of "dumb phone" than a smart phone but I loved it anyway. It was purple and little and pretty. It was simple, familiar and it did everything I needed it to. In all reality, I could have probably bought the "smartest" phone in the world if I had a dime for every time Simon tried to talk me into getting an iphone. I firmly resisted every single time though. I wasn't glamoured by the pretty, colorful, touch-screen display. I wasn't impressed with all the cute little applications you can get to help you find the best local restaurants or play games where you  launch pissed-off fowl at strange, sea-sick looking swine. I persisted and I remained strong. Well, I did until the other day.

Over the past few months, I have found myself becoming more and more aware of the conveniences of having a smart phone. I have to say that my friend's smart phone was very helpful when we were at the store and she forgot a coupon she needed at home. *Click, swipe, tap* BAM! There it was staring back at her on her smart phone. What a lifesaver that would have been for me numerous times. Then, I witnessed my friend being able to wait for an important email while sitting at the bar. It would simply show up on the phone in her hand as soon as it was received. These little events started to pile up in my mind - as the battery life and other important things started to decline with the pretty purple phone. Sadly, the combination of old age and me dropping it constantly, had taken its toll and I could no longer deny that it was time to let that phone go on to the great Sprint store in the sky.

Since Clark's current phone has never really worked well to begin with and the reception with Verizon at his house is sketchy at best, we decided it was time to just merge accounts and be done with it. So, off to the store we went. Sam's Club had the specific phone we wanted at the lowest price. However, they were out of stock by the time we got there. So, we drove over to Best Buy to see what their deals might be. We discovered that our desired phones there were a hundred bucks more at Best Buy, but we asked and they price matched Sam's Club!!!

An hour later, I left with a brand new smart phone and new phone number too. The latter is something that I don't know if I will ever be OK with. I had that number for eleven years - since I got my very first cell phone! I am not gonna lie, I felt grief. I felt teary and a bit lost when I found out that, because of unimportant technical issues, I had to change my number. My heart did a tiny spasm of loss as I was issued my new number. Just like that. All ties between me and that number were forever cut. Done. Just like that. Sigh. Anyway, moving on...

I began to regret this whole thing as I sat in the car, staring at this, this thing in my hand. I felt positively elderly as I attempted to hobble my way though the phone's interface and features. My swipes/taps were extra slow and I found myself now squinting at a screen that is four times larger than my old one. In the midst of all the tapping and swiping, I found myself constantly wondering, "Now, how the hell did I just do that?!"

But I didn't give up. Nope. I just kept working at it, like that little engine that never gave up, or whatever. After learning a bit about the features and using them some, I have to say that I really had no idea what I was been missing out on! In the past, when ever someone has wanted me to do something with their smart phone, I usually tensed up and said something like, "How do I make it go?" while holding it as far away as possible and looking at is suspiciously. But after giving it a fair amount of time (and with a bit lot of help from Clark) I am beginning to warm up to the this whole "smarty pants phone" thing.

I am discovering more and more things I love about my new phone as we get to know each other better. It is light and sleek. The screen is huge and now that I have finished the protective case I custom decorated, my new phone is nearly as pretty as my old one. The text message format is much easier to read and I can check my email, facebook and surf the web. I also love that I have a weather application on my phone so that I will always know what the weather is going to be like. It it fun AND functional at the same time. Now, this phone also has a GPS as well and I will be darned if it doesn't get me right to my destination without any problems - the very first time!

I am sure that I am preaching to the choir about how awesome these fancy smart phones are. I think I could quite possibly be the last person on earth in my age bracket to finally get one. Until recently, I never understood why older folks my grandparents age were always so resistant to new technology. I will admit that I was afraid. I don't like feeling stupid and the older I get, the more technical crap makes me feel that way. Does that mean I am getting old at the age of 32? Yikes! My dad recently got an iPad and I was helping him learn how to use it. At one point, he accidentally hit a button that took him to a whole different screen. He immediately threw his hands up in the air and said "What the hell just happened?? Here, you make it go!" I just had to laugh, hearing those exact words I used when learning to use my new phone. It was like watching an older, much better looking version of myself. I guess I know where my tech savvy (or lack there of) comes from.

I have to say that while it was a bit scary, I am glad that I made the leap. At this point, I think I have the hang of it. I am tapping, clicking and swiping with much more speed and finesse these days. I would even dare to say that I have almost mastered this new phone of mine. The one thing that my new phone will never have, which the purple one did, is the experience of - ummm, lets see...how do I put this tactfully... my old phone got to have the once in a lifetime experience of resting snugly between Simon's bum-cheeks.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best Kept Secret, EVER!

Clark recently read a study in an online medical journal about the benefits of wearing clothing made exclusively from Llama fur. Yes, Llama fur! I have to say, I was incredibly impressed with the findings of this study. After reading through all the benefits, I can't believe that there isn't more press and media exposure about this. After educating myself and understanding how my life could be better, I have made the decision to wear Llama fur only from here on out. I know it might seem like a huge commitment and drastic lifestyle change but it is worth it to me. You may just have a change of heart too after reading the incredible, life enhancing properties of Llama fur. Here a just a handful of the benefits listed in the study:

* Wearing Llama fur increases your metabolism by 23%! That means you simply burn more calories by wearing Llama fur without changing your diet or activity level!

* Llama fur has special enzymes which interacts with our natural human hormones on our skin to produce pheromones (natural chemicals secreted by the body which are believed to attract others and make you more attractive to them). In a double blind study, it was found that people who wear only Llama fur are six times more likely to have a steady partner than those who wear other materials.

* Llama fur is becoming a huge status symbol. It is quickly catching on in celebrity circles in the LA area. People who are seen wearing Llama fur often times receive free admission to various clubs, movies and attractions. Also, many business have adopted the "Llama Fur Leap" policy which allows those wearing Llama fur to move to the front of lines and receive priority services.

* Llama fur is oxygen producing. Once taken from the animal, Llama fur begins a chemical reaction that basically reverses CO2 emissions from the air. As you wear Llama fur during your daily activities, you are actually releasing a constant stream of oxygen into the air. Not only are you fighting global warming, but improving your own lung oxygen supply too!

* Because Llama fur is one of the most versatile materials, you can use it for virtually everything: bedding, towels, curtains, rugs, carpet, etc. The possibilities are endless! This makes integrating a full, Llama fur lifestyle totally doable!

Pretty amazing, isn't it? I have to say that I am really excited about this whole thing. I hope that you are as inspired as I am to create better living and a better world through Llama fur. I also hope that you have the most spectacular April Fools day ever!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

TILT #13 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Witnessing my animals cuddling.
* Peace Tea Iced Tea (Deeelish!)!
* Waking up early in the morning and feeling well rested.
* The smell of lavender.
* Mind expanding experiences.
* "Upcycling" Creating something new from something old.
* Animal kisses: kitty, doggy, birdie. Doesn't matter, I love it!
* My pillow.
* Pandora Radio - I have found so much great, new music this way!
* My nieces' awesome sense of humor! The following video is of my niece, Julia. She is one stellar goofball! What can I say, it runs in the family!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Operation Simplify: The Concept


Many people who know me would be shocked to find out that I have very strong, introverted tendencies. In fact, my score on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test can change between introverted and extroverted depending on the day I happen to take it. The next, natural question would be, "How can someone so damn loud and obnoxious be an introvert?" I know, it doesn't make much sense. However, if you knew me in high school, you might remember me as quite the opposite. I understand the confusion here. In my younger days, I was very, very shy and quiet. I have always been an observer. I like to explore the way people operate by watching how they behave. I love to just take it all in as I observe how they interact with the world and people around them. It's fascinating to me and you would not believe the wealth useful of information I have gleaned from these observations.

One of the most difficult, yet rewarding people to observe is myself. I try to see my own personal forest for its trees but it can be really hard to do at times. However, being a natural-born introvert does give me a bit of an edge on this ability. I also bring up this notions of introversion because I feel like I can't seem to get enough down time lately. Possessing introverted qualities requires me to need a bit more time to myself than most people. That, combined with the life events of the past year, I have required even more than ever. The demands of everyday life just feel like a bit much to juggle sometimes. I love my job as a psych nurse but it can be so emotionally draining. However, a person has to work, right? Gotta work more so that I can afford to buy more stuff I don't need. And with all that stuff comes complexity: more to keep clean, organized, repaired, maintained, and with that comes more time and energy spent; wasted on stuff. It seems that the more stuff I have, the more distracted I am from what is the most important to me. The more things I have around me, the more I feel like I am pulled away from what I value most: time for self-nurturing, reflection and healing. Time for my loved ones, creating memories as well as being more available for them. Its that whole idea of caring for myself so that I am able to give to others in a healthy way.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on this lately. I look around my house and see so much stuff I really don't need. I see tons of things I should really get rid of but don't because I am somehow certain I will eventually need it for something important. Of all the hundreds of things I keep for this reason, the reality remains that I have actually made use of only a handful of them.

Since moving in with Clark, the house looks like we live in a episode of the reality show, "Hoarders." However that is due to the fact that we have been renovating the basement since the water heater took a giant dump all over the floor. Pretty much all of my things, plus everything that was in the basement, are in boxes stacked all over the rest of the house. Living this way for a few months now has caused me to reflect on what is important and necessary in life. I have come to realize that I couldn't really tell you what is in all of the unpacked boxes. I wondered if I would really miss a lot of that stuff if it was gone. I don't really think I would. It is this thought and recent living experience that has inspired me to develop something I have dubbed "Operation Simplify."

Operation Simplify is pretty much a process of shedding excess things in my life in stages. I don't have a perfectly planned out system in place, but the ultimate goal is to get rid of as much unnecessary stuff as possible. Along with that, I have made the commitment not to spend money on unnecessary things. No more clothes, shoes, jewelry, books, makeup and all that la-la. I will consider all "experience based" expenses on a case by case basis. For example, I would likely allow myself to spend money on dinner with my family or something like that. But when it comes to material stuff, I am only going to buy what I need for the next year or so. I am excited for the financial benefits of debt reduction this will also provide!!

I am not really sure if this topic is even really all that blog-worthy, but I think it will be interesting to see if and how I change as I explore this new, simpler approach life. I am excited to see the ways I feel a greater sense of freedom and liberation as I whittle down my collection of life stuff. I am equally ready to face the inevitable difficulties of letting go of that stuff. It will be an adventure and I expect it to have lots of ups and downs, but I am ready! Please, share with me some of your thoughts, experiences or tips you might have about this. I am always open to learning from others. Sometimes, it is actually the best way to learn!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Speechless Speaker Speaks

Back in October, I was invited to speak at Recovery Night at The Emily Program, where I have been going to receive treatment for my eating disorder for the past four years. I had blogged about my angst of what to say way back in September. Click here to read about it if you missed that blog. I have finally gotten around to posting the video my friend, Katie recorded of my talk on her phone. I thought I'd share it in case you were interested in what it was all about :) Thank you to all those who came to support me that night. It meant so much to have you all there! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO (The sound is really quiet, so you might want to turn up your speakers!)

For more information about eating disorder treatment and recovery, check out the Emily Program website. That place rocks something serious.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Social Media Backlash

I get it. I know how it looks. I got slapped in the face with it again bright and early this morning after talking with my boss. I needed to take some time off from work to handle some personal shit and it has come to my attention that there are a few people that think I am blissfully gallivanting the globe and having exciting rendezvous with random lovers. OK, so that is clearly over dramatic, but hopefully you get the point. I suppose when you let people peek into your life via Facebook and blogs, they will naturally form their own ideas about who you really are and what your life might really be like on the inside. Well, let me ask you this? When you go on Facebook and update your status, do you write "Horrible nightmares again last night. I cried for two hours straight before I got back to sleep again at five AM." "Secret bondage closet was accidentally discovered by my Catholic grandmother who mistook it for the bathroom. Meeting with priest later for exorcism." Do you post pictures of yourself when you have not showered for three days and can't the gumption to leave the house? Do you litter your page of photos showing your prized Corvette being taken away in the night by the repo-man? Of course not. No matter how authentic we want to think we are on social media, we really only show people the good stuff or at least what we ultimately want them to see. For me, I often times hide behind making everything look perfect and distracting attention from negative things with humor. If you know me in any sort of depth, then you will immediately be able to spot these lovely defense mechanisms I have.

I don't think people get it and I suppose that I am partially to blame for this. I think maybe I have been a bit naive in forgetting that when I share myself and my life with others in this way, there is bound to be a small group of people who make assumptions and draw their own conclusions that are ultimately inaccurate. At the same time, there is part of me that wants to scream out of frustration, which is then followed by the desire to hurry up and explain the reality so that people do understand. Just a gentle reminder:  my whole LIFE was blown apart. If you have ever been through a traumatic event, then you know that putting it back together is a process. This process is continuing for me as we speak and to say the least, my life is under going some very big changes again. I won't go into the very personal, intricate details of the effects of these changes on my internal being but gosh, I just assumed that people might be happy to know that there is actually some positive and good things happening with this process - along with the shitty, difficult stuff that I prefer to keep to myself.

So yep, I went on a vacation. I didn't really want to get into the details of it but I am compelled to now. Three weeks before Simon died, he booked a cruise vacation for my family and his mom. After he passed, we all agreed that we were going to keep this vacation in honor of him. He so much wanted us all to be together and especially for his mother to have the experience of traveling and seeing new parts of the world - something she has never had the luxury to do in her life. So we all went - my family, Simon's mom and Clark. Does that sound weird that Simon's mom and my new fiance went on the same trip? It sure does! But guess what? She and Clark happen to absolutely love each other. This is a very unique and special situation I count as one of my biggest blessings. Did we have a good time on the trip? Certainly. Was it incredibly difficult at various points? You bet your ass it was. However, I am not going to put up pictures depicting that. Not to mention the fact that my mom, Clark and I all got the Norovirus which put completely flat on our asses for two entire days. Believe me, you should be VERY glad I did not post pictures of that on Facebook either.

I am not mad at people for not understanding because it would be unrealistic to expect that. However, I do feel mad at people for making judgments and comments out of blatant ignorance or spite. I happen to try to focus on what is good about my life because it gives me the strength to fight through the stuff that makes me want to literally move to a hermit hole in the ground and never deal with the world again. There are things going on in my life that are very overwhelming and need attention. I love sharing my life with you all, but the details of what I am dealing with are something I am going to keep to myself. I just want to make this following blanket announcement for the world: I am taking care of myself the best way that I know how right now. I am deeply grateful for those who do understand (or at least try) and continue to offer their love and support. For everyone else, I really don't know what to tell you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Already?

Thanks to the interwebs in general and Facebook specifically, news of any sort travels faster than ever before.   It wasn't much more than ten seconds after the event, that news of my engagement was officially on Facebook. That is cool with me since clearly, I have no issue with people knowing my business. Hooray! *happy dance* I am engaged, its so exciting! However, I think I may have over reacted to someone's comment on my Facebook page when I changed my relationship status to "Engaged." The comment simply said, "Already?" That is it. Already? Nothing more, nothing less. Once I could see through my initial flair of red hot rage, I immediately unfriended her.

I think my reaction was so strong because I felt judged and like she was being snotty at me. So, what am I supposed to do? Wait some arbitrary amount of time before moving on with my life so that everyone else in the world can be Ok with it? Maybe I am being a little over sensitive about this all but I feel like I have been through a hell this past year that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Now, that I have been so amazingly fortunate enough to have found some happiness again, why would someone begrudge me that? Rude. Simply rude. The fact that I am engaged again does not in any way take away from what Simon and I shared. It doesn't mean I am suddenly "over" it all and am skipping along merrily like nothing ever happened. Clark will be the first one to tell you that. Shit, he is the one who sees it the most. He is the one that wipes the snot from my face when one of the sad moments hit. And God bless him for that. I can not even tell you how incredible he is about supporting me during those times.

I didn't want this blog to become a rant that tries to justify my life decisions to everyone, but I do feel I need to say one thing: nothing about Simon was "ordinary." If you knew him or even met him once, it was so obvious it all but slapped you in the face. Simon's love for me was no different. It was extraordinary. Simon's love transformed me. It softened me but made me stronger. It made me believe that love truly exists.

Simon also had an extraordinary and serious heart condition. Which, in turn, made our future together very uncertain. And even though it was a reality neither one of us wanted to face, we talked about it at length several times. Being the unselfish and loving person Simon is, the only thing he ever wanted was for me to be happy. He said over and over that he wanted me to find love again if the unfortunate should happen. Well, unfortunately it did happen. Meeting Clark was the absolute LAST thing I ever imagined would happen in the midst of it. But that happened too. I couldn't imagine not taking a chance on something that has turned out to be so amazing. In fact, Simon's words echoed in my mind, almost nudging me forward, "I love you and I want you to be happy. I want you to find love again because you deserve it. All I want is you to be happy." That is truly the only thing that man ever wanted. Well, that and a good cigar.

I consider myself one of the most incredibly blessed people in the world. If you think about it, I pretty much won the lottery. Twice. How many people never find true love even once in their lives? Then someone like me  has the absolute honor of loving and having the love of two of the greatest men on earth. Crazy, awe-inspiring and wonderful.

So, yes. I am engaged again and I am thrilled. Words don't do justice to the sheer amazement I feel over the way my life has twisted, turned and folded itself into the most beautiful mess. As someone totally awesome and wise once told me, "You can't stop the universe." He was so right and it is so true. And maybe I did over react to that "Already?" comment but goodness, gracious! I suppose I am allowed a bit of emotional slack on this one. And truth be told, I kinda figured I would get some kind of response like that from at least one person. I guess I just didn't expect it to sting the way it did. However, I will not let it taint or in anyway take away from the amazing out pouring of love, support and people who are truly happy for Clark and I.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Shout Out To Amish County!

As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, "Amish Paradise," my mom and sister, Samantha both live in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Turns out that this little bloggie of mine has quite the following down in Amish County. Who knew the people of 'lil ole Lanesboro (Population 800ish in the actual town) would actually care enough (and by "care" I mean "feel bad enough for me") about what I have to say to read my blog on a regular basis? My sister and mom both tell me that people talk to them about my blog quite frequently. Seriously. Can we all take a moment of silence for this warming of my heart... Thanks. That felt good. To you beautiful, wonderful, top shelf people, I'd like to say thank you in a very extra special way:

I LOVE YOU, LANESBORO!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
(Me and My Big Ass in Lanesboro, MN - May 2009)
Now! Meet me here and we can all enjoy a little drinkie together!!

May 2009
Photo taken by me.

In case you wonder which one I am when you get there, this should help...

Not me. Just a reference piece.
Thank you again, Lanesboro and surrounding area. Thank you for taking the time to decode my senseless ramblings. In fact, the people of Lanesboro are so smart that I could literally ramble nonsense and they would totally get it. Buffalo Bill gave me a wild ride this year but nothing like that giant trout. Did you get that? Are you from Lanesboro or the surrounding area? Didn't think so. Lanesboro folks? Yep. Represent. Word. That is just one of the many reasons you are my fave. XOXOXO!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Life Story Through Picture Creations, An Inspirational Message.

Thank God my resolution this new year had nothing to do with being more productive because I recently discovered the website Stumbleupon.com (My real resolution will be discussed at a later time when I am in a sappy mood or something). This is incredibly bad news for my time as it now has been completely sucked into a vortex of nonsense. But whatever, I am not going to waste any one's precious time attempting to justify myself. So anyway, I "stumbled upon" the following picture, which I promptly made the wall paper on my computer monitor:



I get a great giggle out of this every time I look at it because it is a totally accurate portrayal of me as a kid. I hated math so much that being a stripper sounded so much easier...I mean, I totally know how to count by ones. However, this is only the beginning of the story. I thought I'd supplement this picture I found with my own picture creations. The following pictures illustrate how the subsequent chapters of my story have unfolded up to the place I currently strive for on a daily basis.


This was me in my bad place. I was lost, confused and had no hope left in my heart. The stripper thing fell through, no one would hire me. Still cant figure out why. Dropped out of welding school on account of not being able to find a helmet thingy big enough to fit my head. Got kicked out of the motorcycle gang for "going soft." Helloooo! You show me one person with a soul who doesn't weep at those ASPCA commercials with all the sad, neglected cats and dogs.  AND to top it all off, they no longer needed me to run the pull tab booth at the VFW on Tuesday nights. It was no wonder that I was completely drunk out of my mind by nine AM everyday. I had hit my bottom. Then, I miraculously found a light to reach toward, a beacon to help guide my way. I had decided to become a nurse.



This is meant to be inspirational and motivational. You see, I used to get tattoos on my boobs and chain smoke Marlboro Reds while singing along to Johnny Cash (love me some Johnny). I used to wear pieces of fabric that covered only my nipples. I used to be a bottle-red head and wear my grandfather's old glasses. 


But now, I am a new person! I cleaned up my act, got a make over and became unstoppably incredible. I switched to smoking "Virginia Slims" and now I eat caviar and Sweet Science Ice Cream for breakfast. I speak in a British accent, call people "Darling" and "retire to the lounge" where I nap in the soft, afternoon sunlight. Not to mention, I am super smart and I wear a cape to work, where I cure every patient I interact with. 



Now, being a psych nurse, I have become quite adept at spotting delusional thinking. Unfortunately, this keen ability is also very applicable to myself. I decided that while I appear quite amazing in my own mind, I realize that I needed to re-orient my thinking to reality. Here is a nice dose of it for all of us who actually bought into the above photo...




But you know what? I learned a very important lesson. There is beauty in reality. Sure, maybe I am strange, quirky and smell a little off. But I know how to find humor in most everything and am the first to laugh at myself. I know how to have a good time in pretty much any situation. I am one of a kind, wonderfully weird and that is cool with me. Because at the end of the day, this is how I feel...




Yay! The End.