Monday, December 16, 2013

One of the hardest things I've ever done...

Is be pregnant. I threw up for 5 months. Lost 18lbs (a silver lining) from all the throwing up. I had horrible heartburn. My blood pressure was high. I swelled in the summer heat. My emotions went crazy. I burst into tears at work. I worried constantly. Then, I grew a 10.5 lbs baby that had to be cut out of me. If it sucked that bad, why am I doing this again?

Because when you hear that first cry, you totally forget the sucky parts.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Writer's Workshop- Friendship

Time for another installment of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

1.) What were you blogging about a year ago today? What has changed?
2.) A childhood friend.
3.) A hobby you would pursue if you were the type to pursue hobbies.
4.) A trend you’re not much a fan of.
5.) Something your child did or said this week that made you smile.

I've been really fascinated with friendship lately, because I've noticed, as an adult, I have a really, really hard time making friends. Like, really hard.

You see, in Elementary school, there were a plethora of kids to be friends with and it just happened, like magnets. I was BFFs with Danya and Frankie and Kayla and Wendi and Amanda and Cindy and Heather and it switched around from year to year.

Then we moved and I started Jr High across town and I went through the whole repertoire of friends: Brandi and Jessica and Des and Brandi again and Trina and Des again and Misty and Brandi again and we went through this friendship dance week after week after month until about 8th grade and Samantha and I clicked. Somewhere along the line, I think high school, we picked up Ryan (but I call him Froggie, because puberty made him "croak.") and we became a trio. I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm so thankful it did, because best friends are truly a part of your self. They are my soul mates. They know what I'm thinking or that something is wrong. I always hug them and tell them that I love them, because I do. I love them with every fiber of my being. The really special thing about them is that we've been best friends longer than we haven't. I mean, how many people can say that?
Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Writer's Workshop- A Thanksgiving Memory

When my brother was married, he had a stepson, Allen, who was only 3 years younger than me. It was great fun to have a playmate (most of the time.) one Thanksgiving, I think it was '93 or '94 and I was 10 or 11, we had a gigantic blizzard. It was so bad that I could only go so far away from the porch before I got sucked into the snow drifts. My dad worked for the department of transportation, and was working from noon to midnight, so we ate dinner really early, so he could have his thanksgiving before going to work. Allen and I gobbled down our dinner and then jumped into our boots, hats, gloves, and coats and headed out to play. My brother built us an igloo and we played in there, had a snowball fight, built a fort and even made a "snow slide" out of a board we found, covered with ice (which ruined the back of my yellow coat.) We had a blast and played til we were frozen through and through.

That spring, my brother and Allen's mom got divorced and she eventually moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana with her family. I didn't really see Allen much after that. A few times, when he was 14 or 15 when he came with his mom to pick up my nephew for the summer, but never again was he my BFF.

Then, when he was 16, he hit black ice and rolled his truck, got out and walked for help and died that night from internal injuries. I remember sitting on the floor of my dorm room and crying. I was crushed. Even though we weren't close anymore, it felt like I lost a piece of my childhood.

Still though, when it snows on Thanksgiving, I still think of my friend, my partner in crime and smile and I hope that he is looking down and smiling, too.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baby #2

I was going nuts with "Baby Fever" for a few months, so I kept coaxing my husband to have another baby. It would be great, if I got pregnant now, Aly would be 3 when the new baby came-enough age gap to not go crazy with 2 babies but close enough that they could be friends. So he finally gave it and I got injected and now, I'm freaking out. I'm in full out panic mode and I don't know why exactly. I love our little trio that we have, but I want Aly to have siblings. I'm also terrified that I'll have a boy. I know! I know! That makes me sound horrible and he's probably going to find this one day and hate my guts for it, but I'm afraid of little boys. They are like wild animals, at least in my head. I'm a Girl Scout leader- I know girls. My mom does Cub Scouts and her meetings are so much louder (at least until my girls turned into teenagers) and they want to hit each other and wrestle and rough house and I can't handle it. Go sit down and talk about 1Direction or The Hunger Games. Little boys pee on you or on trees, car tires, the cat, the bathroom wall etc etc. Then, there is the work involved, my husband wasn't much support the last time. I had been sick the whole time and could barely eat. I only had one craving the entire pregnancy, so when I asked him to make the 3 minute drive to the Sunoco and bring me ice cream at 9pm, he told me "no." When she layed on my sciatic nerve and made my entire leg ache, he told me that wasn't possible. Then, the colic, oh the colic! I'd sit on the edge of our Ed, rocking our baby while she screamed until 3am and he'd wake up in the morning, well-rested, and say, "so, how did Baby sleep?" Nope, I'm pretty much in the boat alone and I don't know if I can handle it. I also went nuts after she was born. I had ridiculous anxiety and was terrified to leave her. Then, when I resumed my surfing on the crimson wave, my hormones went insane and I was barely holding it all together. I hated my husband. Hated him. I'm pretty sure I told him that I wished he were dead, because of his inability to help. Harsh, I know, but, like I said, barely holding it together. It took nearly a year to normalize. No one wanted to give me anti-depressants. My husband thought I just needed to "toughen up." I feel really guilty for feeling this way, because I know so many people who struggled or are struggling or will struggle to get just one healthy baby and here I am, crying about the possibility of two. Then, I worry, completely irrationally, that if I am currently pregnant, that I will lose it, because I'm not excited about it. I know that it doesn't work that way, but what if, psychologically, it factors in? Then there is the whole twin thing. My aunt and uncle are twins. My husband's aunts are identical twins and his mom's cousins are identical twins. I went to 2 different psychics who told me I would have twin boys. Two babies when I'm afraid of one... I just keep telling myself, girl or boy, big or small, single or multiple, when I hold my baby(ies) it won't matter and all will be right with the world.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Writer's Workshop- old school songs

Stop over at Mama Kat's and join in!

The Prompts:
1.) An old school song that makes you happy.
2.) Something you’re thankful for.
3.) An outfit you love(d). (inspired by NaBloPoMo)
4.) A new favorite something.
5.) List 8 books you’ve read that you think everyone should read in their lifetime.
I was a teenager in the 90's. I grew up watching Carson Daly on TRL. I even went to Time Square and stood outside when we were on a trip to NYC. It was pretty cool. Even though it doesn't feel that long ago, the 90s started almost a 1/4 of a decade ago. So, I guess it is old school.
I listen to a station who's tag line is: "80s, 90s, 2K and Today!" Then they played this one day and I almost lost it.

"Tubthumping" came out the summer after 7th grade and it was crazy and weird, but soooo catchy. We would jump around and run into stuff when they sang, "I get knocked down, but I get up again!" Silly, I know, but I was 13. When they played it, I got the overwhelming urge to fall down, but then I realized that I'd spend the whole rest of the song trying to get back up. Let's face it, I'm not 13 anymore.

Then, there was this song:

Our choir director let the seniors sing this at our last spring concert. We rocked it. It will always remind me of high school.

And speaking about graduation, I can't listen to this song without bursting into tears.

Even though it makes me cry, it makes me happy, because it reminds me of simpler times. I had few heartbreaks, I'd never had to work and I was on the cusp of a new lie at college.

Now, pass me a tissue and I'm going to go pull out my yearbook and reminisce about the "good ol' days."

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage. Let's take this seriously, folks.

My husband and I first met when I was in 9th grade and he was in 8th, but didn't really get to know each other then. We met again when I was in 11th grade and he was in 10th. I told him that if he was ever homeless that he could live in my basement and he said, "why do I have to sleep in the basement? Why can't I sleep with you?" and I responded with, "because my husband won't like that." looking back, it was a pretty bitch move, but in my 17 year old eyes, I couldn't, COULDN'T marry my first boyfriend. We broke up that year and started dating other people. Then we worked in the same grocery store and we tried to rekindle, but it never went anywhere. We both got new jobs and didn't see each other for a year or so. Then, randomly, I messages him on ICQ when I was a sophomore in college. We dated on and off, it were never official. We dated other people,we came back to each other. Repeatedly. Finally, at the end of August, my first weekend back on campus, after spending most of my summer vacation with him, we became official. That was in August 2005. We moved in together in September on 2006 and got engaged on Virginia Beach that same month. We' planned to get married in October on 2008, but my dad got sick and passed away, so we postponed until June of 2009 and I finally walked down the aisle. We first met in 1998, first dated in 2001, started dating for the last time in 2005.

 I told you that story to tell you this story. My nephew is 20. He lived in a different state between age 17-19 with his mom. He just moved back here in February. He came home, "engaged" to his high school girlfriend, started talking about dating my bff's cousin, dumped the fiancĂ© for the cousin, they exchanged rings and he dated her until the beginning of October, dumped her for another girl and within a week or so, ditched that girl for another girl, who according to his Facebook, has been dating since October 14. Then tonight, he changed his status on Facebook to engaged. What is that? 4.5 weeks?! I really wish someone would just go around and punch people in the face for being stupid. This is AT LEAST his second engagement in the last 2 years. I'm not sure if the rings he exchanged with the cousin was engagement or not. It's so exhausting, because this should be a bigger decision. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Writer's Workshop- I'm a mom

I can't believe it's Thursday again. During the week, I think of something I should write here and then before I know it, it's Thursday and I can pick a topic at Mama Kat's Losin' It. Join in the fun here!

Okay, so I started this yesterday and didn't finish, so now it's FRIDAY. I'm still going to do this, because I really want to write about becoming a mom.

The Prompts:
1.) If I could live in any era of history, what would it be — list 10 reasons why.
2.) You know you’re a mom when…
3.) A blog post inspired by the word: weather
4.) Something you’re thankful for this week.
5.) The meaning of your name…does it suit you?
You know you're a mom when:
You suffer through horrible morning sickness, sciatica, insomnia, swollen ankles (and a lot of other things that I've probably blocked out) and your major concern isn't for yourself, but for another person.

You forget everything. All the pain, the anxiety and the distress that you didn't get to have the birth you had planned on. You forget all the bad in the world. You forget all the people who hurt you, because your heart is filled with more love than you know what to do with

You love another person more than you love yourself

even when you're exhausted

and you can't remember what life was like before they came into the world, because they are your world.

Your heart hurts when you are away from them and your only thought is, "I want to go home and hold my baby." I never understood mothers who did that before I was one. I don't get all giddy about holding babies, I never did and still don't, but I wanted to hold Aly all the time. And kiss her, I couldn't.stop.kissing.her.

Your own life becomes less important. Your birthday doesn't matter. Their experiences are much more important than your own. You love selflessly, in a way you've never experienced.

Motherhood is a journey that is littered with poopy diapers, tears, exhaustion, desperation ("Please, baby, go to sleep!"), and the most amazing indescribable love.

You are filled with hope. Will she be a doctor, a lawyer, a dancer, a chef? Will she follow her dreams? Will the world see the amazing person who I know?

You wonder when your baby grew up and cherish each tiny moment, each cuddle, each giggle because they are only little for awhile.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Writer's Workshop- Pennsylvania Girl

Stop over at Mama Kat's to join in!

1.) Something you were wrong about.
2.) A funny text change.
3.) Write a 16-line poem about a moment from your childhood that changed your life for the better.
4.) List 8 best reasons you love living in your state.
5.) Listen. Write about what you hear, right now.

I'm a (Western) Pennsylvania girl. My husband has debated on moving to Ohio or Maryland for work, but I have no desire to leave. Pennsylvania is great! Here's why:

8. The history! The only battle George Washington ever lost happened in Western Pennsylvania at Fort Necessity. It's also the home to the Whiskey Rebellion, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and sadly, the plane crash on 9/11. That's just on my side of the state. Go east and you run into the the former US capital and all the history involved there.

7. Hershey, PA. I mean, who doesn't appreciate a chocolate themed town?

6. Our Amish people have a sense of humor! Well, I mean, they must when they name their towns Intercourse and Blue Balls. I saw a great local musical once and some of the songs were "Take the Horse to Intercourse," "Living in an Amish Paradise" and "Harvest Queen."

5. Education is decent. Education majors are required to have a 3.0 to graduate with an education degree and teachers get treated better than in some neighboring states, so kids get a better education (although it still has it's flaws.)

4. Seasons. The leaves just changed and now they are falling off the trees. I love the *crunch, crunch* noise that my feet make when I walk through the yard. Our summers have been hotter than usual, but never as bad as when I was at Disney World in July. While I do dislike snow, I like snow days!

3. Sports Teams. It doesn't matter if you like sports or not, if you're born on the western side of PA (We Pennsylvanians almost always refer to it as "PA") you are a Steeler fan, a Penguins fan and a Pirates fan (how 'bout them Buccos?!? Raise the Jolly Roger! I mean, what other team can lose for 2 decades and still have die hard fans?)

3b. Troy Polamalu

2. Pittsburgh is hopping! A zoo, science center, the Heinz History center, the cultural trust, concert venues, movie filmings (Adventureland was filmed at Kennywood Park, a summer tradition!) Andy Warhol museum, bridges, inclines, oh my! Plus, UPMC hospitals is a top notch medical center.

1. It's home. My family is here, my friends are here and I'm happy to stay here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

American Girl Doll Giveaway

When I was in first grade, I spotted a book in the library display called, "Meet Samantha." I was so excited, she had my name!" I wanted to read it, but it was only for 3rd grade and up, but the librarian told me that I could read them if I sat down and read it to her first, so she knew I could handle it. So I did. I nailed every word except "bleed." I said "bled." So I happily trotted home. It wasn't long until I had my mom buying me my own copies of them and I'd read them all (There were originally 3, although Felicity came out soon after I started reading them.) Kirsten was my favorite. I loved her Saint Lucia story and when her friend died on the boat from cholera, it devastated me.

Then the catalogs came.

omg, they have dolls. For the low low price of just $1000, you can have the complete collection. Can you believe that my parents said "no." Pfft. My mom told me recently that if I would have taken better care of my toys that they would have gotten one for me. I wonder if that deal still stands?

Well, I have a chance at winning one for my Baby girl! One of my favorite bloggers, Last Mom, is co-hosting an American Girl Doll giveaway!!! Stop over here for your chance to enter!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Turning 30

I turned 30 this month. It's really surreal, because I don't feel like I should be 30. I feel like I just turned 26. This birthday was a lot different than when I turned 20. For my 20th, my roommate had a surprise party for me in our Dorm Room and my biggest concern was whether I should still play in the teen rooms on pogo or move to the 20s room. Seriously, that was a big concern. Now I don't have time for pogo.

So, in honor of my 30th birthday, I'm going to give you 30 things.

5 Facts about Me
1. I was scared to death about having kids and didn't know if I wanted to. I'm so glad I did, because she is the most amazing person
2. I'm lefthanded and ambidextrous people annoy me. They're all like "oh you're lefthanded, I'm ambidextrous!" Shut up and get away from me. Did you ever have to fight for a busted up paid of lefty scissors in elementary school? No, because there were an abundant supply of righty scissors, which you could use with your right hand! Did you ever have trouble using a desk because it is designed for right handed people?  No, because you can use it right handed! So, please, ambidextrous people of the world, stop pretending you know the plight of the lefthanded person, because you don't. You'll never be as cool as us, anyways.
3. I love, love, Love Halloween. I love ghost stories and haunted houses and pumpkins and costumes and all that jazz. I'm taking my Girl Scouts haunted housing this year and cant wait to see them freak out! 
4. I love to travel. I've been to 19ish US states and to England. I love history trips. I really want to go to Boston and Salem. My husband is pretty boring and doesn't want to go. Poo on him. 
5. I have an insane weakness for stray animals. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats- all of them rescues. It started with Chance. He belonged to a guy who was living with my husband's pap-pap. When Chance was about to get evicted because he kept fighting with Pap-Pap's docile, gigantic Alaskan Malamute, I took him home. Pap-Pap was concerned that Chance, coming from a FIVE (yes, you read that right) dog home, would be lonely. So I went to the local animal shelter and brought Narnia home. I liked her because she has a sixth toe and because she's crazy. Then, I was doing in home behavioral therapy with kids and one client's cat had kittens. This boy was known to kill the past litters, so I chose the little black female and took Onyx home. I really thought I was done with those 3. My husband said that we were done and that he'd leave if I brought another living thing home. (I also rescued a listless Betta fish from an inch of water at Wal-Mart.) Then a stray gray kitten showed up at my brother's house next door. She was so sweet and cuddly. My brother was going to keep her, but she kept getting around his feet and he is visually-impaired and kept tripping over her. He told my mom to take her to the SPCA. I cried that they'd kill her, and my Mom the manipulator (who liked the cat, too) offered to pay for her to get spayed if I kept her. With that, Ruby came home. I love Ruby, but she's my wildchild.

Hopes I have for the next year

6. I'd really like to get my craft business up and running. I have a lot of things that almost feel pipe dreamy to me. I did, however, open an Etsy store. Now i just have to sell something.
7. As much as I thought I'd never do it, I'd like to get involved with a direct sales company. I have a couple in mind, now I have to get past my own anxiety and take the plunge.
8. I'd really like it if my husband and I could get started on some home renovation by my 31st year!
9. I'd love to downsize my junk. I have a whole basement full of stuff that needs sorted. It's just difficult because I have the attention span of a turnip and a 2 year old.
10. I want to take a family vacation! Just the 3 of us. My husband and I have gone away together (Hershey, PA) and my Mom and the Baby and I have gone (Louisville, KY) but my husband, Baby and I have never gone away by ourselves.

(Do you know 30 things is a lot?)

Things that I think are helpful

11. I keep deodorant, toothpaste/brush and a comb in my desk at work. I'm not a morning person, so getting myself and Baby ready usually leaves me forgetting something.
12. I try to keep extra diapers and a change of clothes in my car for accidents. It doesn't help when my husband cleans out my car and takes them inside.
13. Duct tape fixes anything in a pinch. Including a broken underwire that is poking you in the boob.
14. Power cleaning is the way to go. I hate cleaning and my attention span gets me in trouble. So, I set the timer for 15 minutes and clean like crazy. Then I stop and give in to my distractions. Sometimes I have to spend more time, but this works pretty well.
15. I hate getting out of bed in the morning (especially in the winter when it's still dark outside), so I get my clothes (and Aly's) ready the night before. It usually scores me an extra 10 minutes of zZzZs!

I'm a professional goal setter, but have very few actual goals for myself. So here are 5 things that I want to do by October 3, 2014 (the day before my 31st birthday).

16. I want to be pregnant or have another baby. I'm not getting any younger and I don't want to wait so long now that I miss out on things later. I used to always get angry with my mom for waiting til she was 34 to have me, because she wasn't "fun" like she was when she had my brother at 19. She pointed out that she was more financially stable, so I got to do more than my brother. The grass is greener, I suppose.
17. I want to learn how to make metal stamped jewelery
18. I want to take some kind of class. I feel like my brain is turning to goo, because I don't exercise it.
19. I want to put my daughter in some kind of activity- either daycare once a week, or dance or gymnastics or something so she can play with kids her own age.
20. I want to make a new friend. It's really hard to make friends the older you get and I'm usually so burned out that I don't want to interact with people, but then I'm lonely. Quite the conundrum, if you ask me. (Friendship will be classified by social interaction outside of facebook. Also, being able to reach the person in a way besides facebook.)

Places I want to visit
I love to travel (as state earlier) and here are 10 places I'd like to see

21. Mardi Gras, preferably shirt on.
22. Ground Zero. I'd also like to go to the Pennsylvania memorial. It's only about an 1.5 hours away from me, but I've never been there.
23. Boston and Salem, MA. I'm a history nut.
24. The Columbus Zoo. They have Pandas, yo!
25. Ireland. My family is Irish and I'd love to kiss the Blarney Stone!
26. The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. I love weird stuff.
27. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I found the records from Ellis Island where my great-grandmother came over from Italy at the age of 19.
28. Las Vegas. I'm not a gambler, but I love shows!
29. Hollywood (and sites around LA).
30. Paris. Although I'm not comfortable traveling somewhere where I can't speak the language, I'd really love to see it!

So, what's a random fact about you?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sleep, Child, Sleep!

My daughter has always been an amazing sleeper. She was born on September 7 and by September 30, she was sleeping through the night. I know, you hate me for that. Little did I know, that a month after her 2nd birthday, that would all change. She's terrified of her bed and room. She used to happily curl up with her blanket and stuffed animal and sleep until 9 or 10 on weekends. Now, when I put her to bed, she cries like I've just dumped her into a hot lava pit. Her heart pounds like crazy and huge, real tears roll down her cheeks. She grabs for me and screams nommy! nommy! She even fell out of her crib trying to escape and then didn't know what to do. I found her clutching her blanket and pacing the floor in front of her crib, crying like a scream queen in a horror movie.

She's no longer acting afraid, but doesn't want to be left alone in her room. I've tried a nightlight, flashlight, leaving the door open and nothing is really working. She wakes up between 3 and 430 every morning and jumps in her bed and cries. So every night, I get up, go to her bedroom door and say, "It's okay. Lay back down. Mommy's going to go to the bathroom and I'll be right back." She then lays down and goes back to sleep.

It just bugs me because I don't know WHY she is waking up. Has anyone else had any problems like this?

Here she is in the morning after crying all night. She slept all the way to my mom's house.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Writer's Workshop- Bad Pet Habits

The Prompts:
1.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: ring.
2.) Your top 5 secrets to a successful marriage!
3.) Talk about an experience where you felt humbled.
4.) Your pets least likable character trait.
5.) Who had the good candy? Share what Halloween was like for you as a child.
I'm a crazy pet person. I have two dogs, Chance (left) and Narnia and two cats, Ruby (pictured) and Onyx (probably hiding in the basement.) I love them. Well, Ruby is a pain, but I love her, too. They are funny and loveable and Narnia is ridiculously protective. She once lunged at the window and hit the wall so hard that she shook my house, because my nephew had come to my office window.
Narnia does have one big drawback though.
She loves poop.
Loves it.
I have to race her to the litterbox. She's such a good helper and tries to help me keep it clean. *gag* We used to have one of those litterboxes with a lid... until she got her head stuck in it and ran around the house with her "hat" on.
She likes pee, too.
And God forbid you throw away a diaper in the garbage can instead of locked away in a Genie. She'll dig it out and eat it. Leaving little scraps of absorbent material behind.
Oh, and garbage.
She eats that, too. We don't have carpeting in our house because of her. We buy a cheap area rug at wal-mart for the livingroom, so we can replace it periodically. Her favorite place to dine is in the livingroom.
Her night time snacking is SOOOOO bad that I have to leash her to the foot of our bed to keep her from midnight snacking.
She's gross, but I love her and if I could go back and do it again, I'd still bring her home from the shelter.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Self-Esteem and a toddler

My bloggy friend, Diane, recently posted an entry about how she was seeing her own negative self-talk popping up in her 14 year old daughter. I adore Diane, she is wonderfully caring and insightful, a great writer and a kick ass single mom. If you don't read her blog, you most certainly should.

Her post got me thinking though. At 2, my daughter imitates everything I do. I have really bad allergies, so every time she sees a box of kleenex, she pulls one out, pretends to blow her nose, crumples it up, throws it down, takes out another one, pretends to blow her nose, crumples it up, and adds it to the pile. If I let out a loud belly laugh, she laughs the same way, even though it isn't her laugh. If I brush my hair, she immediately grabs her brush and brushes her hair. When I brush my teeth, she comes running towards me going "teef!!! teefff!!!" and stands next to me, waiting on her toothbrush. If I go outside, she wants to go to, even if I'm only carrying things out to the car.

If she picks up on the minuscule things I do, what about the rest of the things?

When I get frustrated and yell? Or how about when I sit and eat chips instead of dinner? Or when I step over things on the floor when I should be picking them up? Or when I rude to my husband when I'm mad at him? Or when I'm mean to myself?

She's going to copy those things too. I'm not perfect, none of us are, but I can do better than I'm doing. I have to strive to live the life I want her to live, because she'll learn how to live by watching me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Writer's Workshop- Sh*t my kid says

Mama Kat's at it again! Hop on over here to participate.

1.) Happy Fall! The first day of Fall was September 22nd, share something fall related you did!
2.) Coffee Talk! Share your first pumpkin spice latte of the season with us. Bonus point: Pay it forward and buy a pumpkin spice latte for someone else.
3.) It happened at daycare.
4.) Something you learned about blogging from an unlikely source.
5.) Write a list of things your kids have said that that made you cringe.

My daughter is two and was slow to talk. In fact, she didn't really start to say anything regularly until she was 23 months old. Now she is counting to 14, calls some of the family pets by name, and told my mom to "Let go!" when they were in a tug of way over a piece of my mom's vertical blinds that Baby pulled down.

So pretty much everything she says is music to my ears, with a few exceptions.

1. She fell off the arm of my mom's couch and exclaimed, "Shit!" when she hit the floor. Bonus points for using it in its proper context.

2. She told her dad to shut up one day. He did kinda deserve it though.

3. I got angry at her dad and I raised my voice at him and my daughter immediately began to shriek at him as well. This one really made my heart drop, because I don't want her to be a yeller. I vowed then to really watch my volume when I get angry, so I've been doing better.

Speaking of my Baby, she recently turned 2, so I snapped a bed picture the day before her birthday. It amazes me how quickly the time has gone and how different she looks!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I need advice...

Sorry for the absence, I've been on vacation. I didn't go anywhere, but I get incredibly lazy. ;-)

I need some advice.

I've been very involved in Girl Scouts for many years. I've had my own troop for 5 years and helped with a troop for 2 years before that. I'm also active in our service unit and act as the communicator, which means that I run the facebook group, forward all important informatoion to leaders and attend the Leader's meetings and take the minutes and email them out.

I missed the first leaders meeting of the year, because I was on vacation and I forget that the world is still moving when I'm on vacation. Oops. They voted to have the leader's meeting on the first Tuesday of every month. J, who is the community registrar, and a leader, knows full well that I meet on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of the month, but never suggested that it would be a conflict when they voted. It really irritates me, because I feel under appreciated. No one else wants to do this job, but they were unwilling to make an easy fix to allow me to come.

I kinda wanna quit. Its going to be difficult for me to do my job when I'm not at the meetings. J has said that she can take the minutes for me and then I can type them and email them, but it's not always easy to follow someone else's shorthand. Plus, I'm pretty pissed off  irritated.

I do like being involved and doing my part and I like being the communicator, so I'm torn.

I should also add that we have very few leaders in our community who actively participate.

Now for the advice part:

Is it unreasonable for me to expect them to change the day of the leader's meeting? Or should I change my girls' meeting to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tuesdays? Or should I just say "screw it" and quit?

What would you do?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Writer's Workshop- My mom

Mama Kat's at it again. Stop over here to join in the fun!

Writing Prompts:

1.) Somebody you’d like to hug.
2.) What did not get accomplished this summer that you wish you had time for?
3.) Write a post that incorporates the word: balloon
4.) Something your grandfather told you.
5.) List 7 qualities your mother has that you wish you had too.

My mom is pretty awesome. My husband has joked that he is waiting for me to turn into my mother as is so often threatened of new grooms. He can't wait. He's also said that if anything ever happens to me that he is moving in with my mom or moving her into our house.

The qualities that my mom has that I'd like to have (or that my husband would like to have)

7. My mom and dad never fought. My mom has always said that it wasn't worth it to fight and they could just walk away from each other. My husband and I though, whew, we can clash sometimes. But, we're working on it.

6. It's not a quality, but a talent. My mom is a beautiful crocheter. It amazes me how she can take a pile of yarn and turn it into a gorgeous blanket.

5. She goes above and beyond for people. She's currently crocheting two blankets, both for her church so they can sell tickets on them at the Fall Festival this week. Even before I had kids, my goals for the day were to shower and eat and maybe muddle through work. (Although I do donate a lot of time to my Girl Scouts)

4. She sacrificed her life to take care of my great-grandfather and great aunt. Even though, as a child, I hated it, because it limited what we could do, I understand why she did it when her siblings refused.

3. When she was young, before her crippling arthritis limited her abilities, she cleaned when she got mad. I get mad and go eat a bag of chips.

2. Before the arthritis, she cooked almost every night. I don't remember the last time I actually "cooked" something that required the stove or oven and not just something I could make in the microwave or pizza maker (in defense of the pizza maker, I did use it to bake a full-sized pie for Christmas and it makes great chicken.)

1. She thinks I'm amazing and that I'm good at everything. Need something written? Samantha's great at that. Problem with the computer? Samantha can fix it. Need something filled out? I'll get Samantha to do it, her handwriting is great. She often brags about how smart I am and what a good mother I am and how well I do at work or the things I do with my Girl Scouts. So, even when my self-esteem is circling the drain, my mom get a fish net and scoops it out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My 6th grade teacher

Mama Kat's at it again. Head on over here to join in the fun!

This week's prompts:
1.) Your sixth grade teacher.
2.) A blog post inspired by the word: diapers
3.) Open your picture folders, close your eyes and pick a random photo to share and write about.
4.) What is your favorite age? If you could stay that age forever, would you?
5.) List 6 people or things that deserve to take a time out!

When I was in kindergarten, I thought Mr. B was so cool. When our half-day class made ducks out of construction paper, the 6th graders made eggs. Then, a few days later, the eggs hatched and there were a bunch of little chicks running around. THEN, he used a hole punch and black construction paper to made duck poop and came over to tell us that our ducks were pooping everywhere. It was so cool. He did that with other art projects that we hung in the hallway, but the ducks were the most elaborate and by far my favorite.

Mr. B had also been my brother's favorite teacher and his reward system of "auction bucks," which gave you play money for doing well and fines for things like talking in class, not doing your homework etc, was infamous.

So when my parents suggested we move across town into my aunt's larger house, I begged to stay where we were until I finished elementary school, because I just HAD to have Mr. B. Fortunately, my parents agreed. We did some interesting things that year- we made a budget, had a Superbowl pool (Steelers lost to the Cowboys that year, it was a sad day), had auctions with our Auction Bucks and I won an electric pencil sharpener, which was the shit in 1996.

But my 6th grade year wasn't all that I had hoped. My kindergarten teacher wasn't in our school anymore, so the little kids art work hung on the wall, untouched. Oh yeah, then there was the whole, "Mr. B called me a spoiled brat and overall didn't like me" thing. I wrote about the incident where I played lawyer in 6th grade and refused to do a punishment because it violated my constitutional rights the prescribed cafeteria punishments. There was other times where he had told me something similar when I messed up; such as when my friends and I were horsing around and someones chair got pulled out from under him. I honestly don't know what happened, but someone getting hurt was never the intention.

My mom thinks that he wanted my books for in the classroom and she told him no. Do you remember those classroom book orders? Well, my mom used to by me $20-$30 in books, a pop. I loved to read and Mr. B often commented on the number of books that I had and hinted around to my mom about me donating them to our classroom. But apparently, I had seen him throw books away, according to my mom, and I was devastated. "They were perfectly good books and he could have given them to someone to take home, but he threw them away!!" I don't remember any of this, but even now, I think it's senseless for someone to throw books away, unless they have severe damage. So my mom figures that this had a lot to do with his dislike of me. I'm sure the cafeteria incident added to it, but he disliked me before that.

When I started 7th grade in a new school with no friends, I sometimes wished that i had agreed to move when my parents suggested it. It would have been easier to make friends in elementary school, instead of waiting until Junior High, but hindsight is 20/20. The one silver lining is that one of the best, kindest, most caring teachers I've ever had was Mr. P in 5th grade and I would have never had him if I hadn't wanted to wait to have Mr. B. From Mr. P, I learned patience- he never raised his voice at us; I learned kindness- he never called students names; I learned that hard work is totally worth it- he made us write out the questions with the answers and I got All As and 1 B, a big improvement from my first C in 4th grade! Things might not always work out how we plan, but we usually get to where we're supposed to be.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A big, fat brick wall

So I joined Planet Fitness back in June and I try to go at least 2x a week (but missed 2 weeks with a foot injury). My husband has signed up and is going with me. He's gone twice and has lost weight. I've been going for the whole summer and I keep fluctuating right around the same 3 pounds. I lose them, I gain them, I lose them, I gain them. It's really frustrating and I need to figure out my food issues and replace them with something healthier. My first small step is going to be to replace most of the coke and mt dew I drink with water. Oh.. And the McDonalds Sweet Tea. I don't know if I have the self control for that....

I started a reward system for my weight loss plan. After I lose 15 pounds, I'm going to get a manicure and then 25 gets me highlights and 35 a haircut. Ive never had my hair cut before. My mom has trimmed it and shortened it, but I've never had a style. I'm starting to feel like I'll never get there.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Writer's Workshop- Mama said knock you out

Mama Kat's at it again! Stop over here to join in the fun!

This week's prompts:

1.) 10 Things to Smile About (inspired by Things I Can’t Say)
2.) Tell us about a time you wanted to punch someone in the face.
3.) What were you blogging about last year at this time? What has changed?
4.) Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo.
5.) Bake something yummy and share the recipe!

I'm forever threatening to punch someone in the face. I have a low tolerance for stupidity and it seems like the people around me have a high threshold for it.

The most recent time I experienced this was 2 weeks ago. My husband and I were taking my 19 year old nephew and his 18 year old girlfriend (who happens to be my best friend's cousin and I've know her most of her life) to see Blake Shelton. My nephew is one of those kids who thinks that he freakin' knows everything, when in reality, he is King of the Clueless. I love him to death, but he'd probably shrivel up and die if my mom didn't keep him alive (like most teenagers). My nephew has been driving us crazy with his inability to take responsibility for himself and his girlfriend also has that teenage quality about her. Unfortunately, you can't really sit down and talk to either one of them about what you expect from them. Nephew thinks he knows it all and you're stupid and will just walk away from you (which really makes you want to punch him in the face) and Girlfriend gets all sad puppy dog on you.

So any-who, we're stuck in traffic. A 1.5 hour drive literally turned into 5 hours. (5 hours where my bladder almost exploded. It hurt worse than a UTI and when my hubs finally stopped, I couldn't stand upright.) So we had lots of time in the car... just the 4 of us... yay... When my husband said something I didn't want the jabberjaws to hear and repeat to the whole freakin' world (like they will), I said to him "the children are in the backseat," to which Girlfriend says "I'm not a child, I'm 18." BOOM! Thank you Jesus, this is my in to talk about responsibility without having to be like, "hey, you guys need to grow up." It could be nice and general. So I say,"Being an adult isn't about age. It's about responsibility. Managing your money, cleaning up without having to be told, working 40 hours a week and going even when you don't want to..." and my @hole husband says, "Oh yeah, you're not an adult then! I pay the bills and I sweep the kitchen and you don't work 8 hour days" yadda yah. Then he says "What adult things do you do!?!" I replied, "Well, for starters, who keeps the Baby alive?" and my Nephew says "Ma." Now granted, my mother does watch Baby while I'm at my 37.5 hour a week, professional, well-paying job with benefits, but I'm her sole caretaker at home. If I wasn't so desperate to get to the concert, I may have killed him there. What the hell was going on in that head of his??? He knew this was a conversation they needed to have, but he couldn't fight the urge to put me down. So, rather than killing him, I just stopped talking, while he and my Nephew chuckled at their perceived funniness. Then Dear old Husband of mine reached over and tickled my belly and said in baby talk "ohhhh, did I make you mad?" And I screamed....


All noise from the backseat ceased. My husband's smile melted and things clicked in his head and he said, "oh." We rode in silence for about 5 minutes when Girlfriend said "If age doesn't make you and adult, what does?" To which I explained about responsibilities and she said, "Oh, then I'm still a kid."

Every time I think about that, I mentally punch my husband in his throat.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Writing Prompts- my concert

Mama Kat's at it again. Head over here to join in the fun!

The Prompts:
1.) A lesson you learned.
2.) The first concert you ever attended.
3.) Write a post inspired by the word: brave.
4.) 10 Things Will and Kate will need to survive baby’s first year.
5.) First crush.

My first concert. I remember it so well. I was in 4th grade. It was September 8, 1993 at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena. My mom had bought me tickets to see my favorite singer. I was over the moon. I told my whole class. One of the girls wanted me to put her in a suitcase and smuggle her in. Everyone was so jealous because 9.5 year old me was going to see....


Original Source: CMT

no, no, no. Not THAT Billy Ray Cyrus

THIS Billy Ray Cyrus!


Yes, My mom took me to see the tight blue jean wearing, hip shaking, mullet-sportin', Dolly Parton Romeoing, Achy Breaky Heartin' Billy Ray Cyrus. I was the shit, man. We had really awesome seats too. Level B, right next to the stage. We were so close, in fact, that when my mom suggested we wait inside to let some of the traffic leave, we were directly above BRC when he left the building. I was 15 feet above his head. My mom said to me, "yell for him!" and my dumbass froze! DOH! This remains one of my biggest regrets today, because that would have totally made me the most amazing person in my entire elementary school.

But, as it does, the limelight faded for Billy Ray, but he did give us a great line dance, that probably still happens at weddings in some parts of our great country. It almost makes up for the other "gift" he gave us:

Miley Cyrus

Eh, not so much this Miley Cyrus. Although, I did see her emasculate him for a laugh, by pointing out that she was the family bread winner.

No, Billy Ray Cyrus gave us this little twerking, pants forgettin', bong hittin' gem.

 But, what can we expect from the girl who grew up in the Achy Breaky Heart craze?
Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hump Day HaHas- Booby

(Sorry I missed a week. I was sick last week, so I laid in bed and watched the rest of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. Score!)

I recently pinned this little guy on Pinterest (follow me here!) and I have to admit that I noticed his feet first. Then I felt guilty after he chastised me!

Just a Hump Day HaHa to get you through  the rest of the week. We're almost there!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Writing Prompts

This week's writing prompts at Mama's Losin' It are:

Writing Prompts:

1.) A bad habit you’d like to break.
2.) “Currently”. A simple list of things you’re currently feeling as seen at Sometimes Sweet.
3.) Write about an argument you once had with a parent when you were a child.
4.) List 10 things you are afraid of.
5.) Write a limerick!

I'm so excited to write about number 3! I had a logical argument, where I served up the grown-ups behinds on silver platters with my infallible logic. I'm pretty sure they all hated me after that.

When I was in sixth grade, which was still elementary school, we had "Quiet Time" during lunch. If you aren't familiar, it is the last 5 minutes or so at the end of lunch where students are required to sit with their heads down to make the transition back into the classroom easier. As an adult, I am opposed to this. Kids are required to sit quietly for 7 hours of the day, let them at least have their whole 35 minute lunch.

In the corner of the lunch room, they had the rules and consequences listed. The consequences were as follows: 1st time you break a rule, you get a warning, the 2nd time you get a pink slip and after 3 pink slips, you go to the Principal's office.

One particularly rowdy day, everyone was carrying on and the lunch monitors were having trouble getting everyone to stop talking. Then the cafeteria lady came out to yell. She always annoyed me, because she tried to take over crowd control when she should have been in the kitchen making us a sandwich or maybe some peanut butter bon-bons. Know your role, hag.

Fed up with the chaos, one of the monitors stood up and said, "Fine! Everyone can write 500 times, "I will not talk during quiet time!" Apparently, she smoked crack, because ummm... no I'm not.

Well, my 12 year old self was LIVID when I got back to class and I informed the other girls that we did not get our warning, or our pink slips or our visit to the Principal's office. The consequences said nothing about writing a sentence 500 times. Which is totally pointless, make me write my spelling words 500 times or a chapter out of my history book. 2 birds, 1 stone. My teacher was lit when he heard me telling the other girls this and he tried to squash my mini-revolution. He did this by telling me that I was a spoiled brat. Which I'm pretty sure is a no-no, but I didn't see the principal making him write 500 times that "I will not call my students a spoiled brat." Apparently word traveled of my refusal and the punishment imposing cafeteria monitor came and got me out of class and I told her that, no, I would not be writing them, because I did not receive a warning or a pink slip and those were the pre-established punishments (I probably didn't say pre-established at the time, but it sounds better than, "That's not what the sign says!") They said I was doing it, I said I wasn't.

I went home. I told my mom. My mom told the school and backed my argument. She called my friends' moms. A few of them called the school. A few of them didn't bother and let their kids do it anyways. The principal agreed that we didn't need to do it and we were all issued a warning.

My husband argues with me that this was wrong and it was wrong of my mom to support me. We were acting up and a warning or pink slip probably wouldn't have done anything and making us write was an appropriate impromptu punishment and my mom should have just made me write and maybe he's right. Except, think about the negative consequences of that. I felt so strongly that we had been wronged. Maybe it was a flaw in their punishment system or with the whole quiet time thing in general, BUT I still felt strongly about it. What happens if I feel that strongly about being mistreated and my mom just dismisses it and tells me to do it anyways. What do I learn from that? What I did learn was that if I have a valid argument, with supporting facts, it doesn't matter who you're going against, you have a shot for a change!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hump Day HaHas- Gas

I don't know about you, but our gas went up a dime overnight where I live. This is getting to be pretty true! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writer's Workshop

Another week of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop! Stop over at Mama's Losin' It! to join in!

Writing Prompts:

1.) How has music changed since you were a child?
2.) Write a post in just 12 lines.
3.) Your favorite summer view so far.
4.) Share your best way to beat the summer heat.
5.) Something a sibling did that made you laugh.

This week has been hectic. Work til 4, 1/2 hour commute home. Scrub the kid down and head to Bible Camp from 6-8pm. Have a wired kidlet who can't sleep and squeals until midnight. 12 lines is about all I have time for. (The previous lines don't count!)

New Years Day: 2011 would be different, but C is still sleeping, that's no different than last year...

Better take that pregnancy test, but I'm probably overreacting... omg, two lines!

A Baby on the way!

Vomit and vomit and vomit til I lose 30 lbs!

Spring and Summer come and go. Fall is on it's way and apparently bringing a new baby!

So precious wrapped in pink. I've falled in love already. I hold you all night.

"A baby doesn't stay a baby forever," they said

"It goes so fast," they said

and it does.

For my baby is a toddler. Nearly 2 years old.

But I love her more than anything and I don't remember life before her.

For my life started that day when I held her in my arms and kiss her dark hair.

Because I became someone's Mom that day.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hump Day HaHas

Just some giggles that I found on Pinterest to help us get through the rest of the week!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The creepiest thing

I'm going through the blog I've followed over the years and deleted inactive ones or ones I never really got into. Some of them are really hard to delete, because I enjoyed them, but they aren't there anymore. One of those blogs belonged to Miss Tiff. She was funny and sassy and always gave me a laugh, but she's been gone from the blog world for over 3 years. I went to her blog, maybe just to say goodbye or get a reminder of who she was (after all, it's been 3 years) but it's been turned into a hypertension blog, by some Gary or Jay or something guy. Tiff's posts were gone. So, I went into my reader, because you can still get some deleted posts there and Miss Tiff's last post was 3 years ago. 9 months ago, Blood Pressure guy just started writing, no introduction, no nothing. Now, I figure that it probably is something to do with blog inactivity and deleting blogs and whatever, but it was still kinda creepy. It's like Blood Pressure guy murdered A Bit of Miss Tiff and replaced it with a pod person.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

I haven't done a writer's workshop in awhile. Stop over to Mama Kat's Losin' It to join in!

Writing Prompts:

1.) Share a 4th of July inspired post.
2.) 10 things you learned in June. (inspired by Chatting At The Sky)
3.) Write a post inspired by the word: strawberries.
4.) Create a How-To post.
5.) Talk about something you were allowed to do as a child that you will not allow your child to do.

10 Things I Learned in June

10.) Grey's Anatomy is really addicting. I didn't want to jump on the GA bandwagon when it first aired. Plus, I was in college, so I didn't have a lot of spare time. Plus, we still had ER... Then, one night, we were flipping through channels and caught the tail end of on the season final and it was good, really good! Even though Netflix Instant is going to crap, it has GA available. Yay!! I'm up to the end of Season 5.

9.) Farmville was ruining my life. It used to be fun. Those digital little crops popping up were really exciting. Then they started changing it. Quests and quests after quests. Ask your friends for this, ask them for that... People were unfriending because I was flooding their wall with junk requests. I tried to quit once and one of my friends unwhithered my crops, so I started to play again. I really was addicted. I tried again to quit and blocked it, so I was no longer tempted to jump back in. I don't miss it at all.

8.) Bee stings really hurt! We had some yellow jackets build a nest under the soffet (sp?) on our porch and while Baby and I were playing on the porch, one came down and stung me right in the top of the head. It felt like my scalp was on fire. Then, while I was trying to get the door open, one got me right in the wrist. Bastards. When I was trying to evacuate, Baby was throwing a fit because she didn't want to go inside. I ended up dragging her inside by her arm, before she got locked into their little missile system. I was going to seek revenge with a flame thrower, but my husband vetoed that idea. Bastard.

7.) I can be in charge at work. I have 2 workers who outrank me at work. One is out for 8 weeks with a back surgery and the other has been on two weeks vacation. I managed to deal with the drama and keep the place alive. Hope I don't jinx myself for the next 2 days.

6.) I can't be a helicopter mom. I worry about every move my baby makes and it will kill me. She's scared of everything new, so I hover whenever we're in an unfamiliar situation, recently, the swimming pool. She was scared to death of the water. Her dad wanted to just throw her in, while I wanted to let her cling to me like a scared cat. Neither one of us were right. After she was in for awhile, she loosened up. When I got out to go to the bathroom, my husband pinched her nose and dunked her. Even though she wasn't thrilled with it, it didn't leave her traumatized like I feared.

5.) 15 minutes of cleaning/organizing does make a difference. I'm easily distract... oh look, something shiny!!! So, it can be tough for me to focus on a big cleaning/organizing task. To deal with this, I just don't do it. Unfortunately, the work all stacks up and it gets totally overwhelming. So, what I've been trying to do is set the time for 15 minutes every evening and work like a man woman to clean, dust, stack, put away, sort, whatever. If after the 15 minutes, I want to keep going, I can. If not, I quit. Even doing 15 minutes a day has giving a lot of order to our chaos.

4.) Even my perfect, well behaved baby will fall victim to the terrible twos. She's always been a good baby. When she started to walk, I'd tell her to stay on the carpet to keep her in the living room and if she was standing on the edge and her toe went over, she would scoot back a few inches. She got complimented all the time in restaurants because she was so well-behaved. Well, it's all changing. She climbs everything, she no longer wants to wait for others to eat when we are at a restaurant. If she's done, she's ready to roll. She's still a good baby and I'm very blessed, but the terrible twos won't be a breeze like I'd hoped.

3.) My mom was a champ. She read to me for 2 hours every night. Right now, we're lucky to finish one book. Baby likes to wrestle them out of my hands and sometimes tears the pages. Then, by the time we get home in the evening, eat, get ready for bed, there's not 2 hours TO read. I pretty much suck.

2.) Thinking really does have a lot to do with how we feel. I feel kinda hypocritical, because I tell my clients at work this all the time, but I've never done it for myself. The way we talk to ourselves in our head really contributes to our feelings. I've been trying to be more mindful of the words I use when thinking and I feel better. Just changing "this sucks" to "It's okay, you can get through this" made a crummy situation more bearable!

1.) I love my husband, even if he remembered his mom's birthday on June 21, but forgot our anniversary on June 20. He always tells me that I'm the one who forgets dates and that he'd remember, even if I didn't remind him. So I didn't. On the 19th, he asked me the date and I told him. I figured he was just being silly. Then he said, "My mom's birthday is Friday, so we're probably going to have to go over there" and I said "probably so." Then, on our anniversary, he came home from work empty-handed, no card, no flowers, nothing. I handed him a card and he asked, "What's this?" "A card." "Who's it for?" "You. Open it." *reads card* "shit... I remembered last week!" But you know, I don't really car all that much. I might have before, but I didn't. I don't know if it's because I have the baby now and anniversaries and birthdays just aren't that important anymore or what. I just didn't tell him that. He doesn't get off the hook that easily!

Phew! That was tough! June was only 30 days!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, July 1, 2013

Confessions, reborn

I loved my Dad. I was crazy about him. I always told everyone that I was Daddy's Princess. When I got engaged, I was so excited, because my Dad's health had been good. For so many years, I was afraid that he wouldn't be at my wedding. I was so excited that he would be there to give me away. I poured over songs that would be good Father/Daughter dance songs: "Butterfly Kisses," "Stealing Cinderella," "I Loved Her First," or "My Little Girl." I listened to them over and over and cried and cried, because we'd made me. My Dad would be here to give me away. I decided on "Stealing Cinderella" to fit my fairy tale theme.

Then my world came to a crashing halt.

Almost 6 months to the day of my wedding, my Dad had a stroke and life would never be the same again. He fought hard. They said he'd be a vegetable, but he got better. He knew us. He helped my mom balance the checkbook. He joked and teased. I pushed the wedding back to give him time to get better. It was a miracle. He'd be there. Maybe he'd have to be in a wheelchair, but we'd make it work. Then, they said cancer. He fought some more, but his body was too weak from the stroke and one dark December night, he gave up and my world stopped again. He was 56.

Sometimes, I get so angry when I think about everything he's missed. Since he left us 4.5 years ago, my nephew has grown up and graduated from high school. My niece who was given up for adoption found me. I had a beautiful baby, who he would have just adored. My wedding went on without him, his absence marked with a flicking candle. And then there are all the things to come: my nephew's wedding, more grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, growing old with my mom, watching him kids grow...

When I look at my daughter, I can't imagine missing out on any of those things. It breaks my heart to imagine that someone else might have to cry at her graduations, or zip her wedding gown, teach her how to sooth her own tiny newborn, cheer her own as she conquers the world. How can I teach her to be strong, fearless, confident when I'm not here. So I did it, I joined a gym today. I can't fool around anymore, I've seen what I can lose and I don't want to.

So that's why I'm writing this. I need you to help me be committed. If I tell you that I'm doing it, then I'd have to tell you that I've stopped and I don't want to have to do that, so I have to keep working, right?

Oh, and in case you are wondering, my godfather gave me away and we danced to Darius Rucker's "It Won't Be Like This for Long." Because it won't. Life moves so quickly and we have to keep up or we'll get trampled.