Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Well, I think about blogging all the time. Like when I drive on to the University of Houston Clear Lake campus and see a dozen deer literally staring at my car and eating grass and not fazed at all. Like when I drive into my drive way and see my daughter waiting for my son to get off the bus because she acts as mother hen for me when I have a late class or meeting.  Like when I get a shot at the diet doctor (yes I am seeing a doctor now to properly get this weight off and I have lost 12 lbs in a month, woohoo. Slow and steady wins the race) and the shot hurts and I want to blog about why did I let myself get this far. Like when I am kneeling at the altar every Sunday praying nothing but good to happen to certain people that have hurt me so badly this past year and continually do. Like when the letter came in the mail asking my daughter to be honored for her high scores on the ACT!  Like the moment my daughter was asked to attend a Duke University 3 week summer camp and the moment we figured out how much it cost! OUCH! Like when I am exhausted after subbing or after the part time job I took administering the STAAR test and I finally sit down at 10:00 at night and realize I have homework due by midnight. Like the moment I decided to take a May Mini (I am second guessing myself now). Like the moment I joined a book club and our first book was 50 Shades of Grey (We can talk about that another time). Like the moments when people don't show up, you can't fix those moments you missed. Like the moment I decided to be inducted not only into The National Society of Leadership and Success this semester but to also earn The Excellence Award. (NUTS NUTS NUTS, but I can explain later).  The moment I decided to take 12 hours this semester and my husband and best friend told me NO NO NO. (Guess what? I did it!)

So many other crazy wonderful sad and happy things have happened this past Spring and I am so blessed and fortunate to not only be alive, but also I am still painting the world Black and White one Pottery Barn catalog at a time!

(above is my greatest accomplishment thus far)

Oh, I did buy a piece of turquoise jewelry the other day!
Baby Steps Baby Steps!

Coming up next! I graduate this coming weekend with my
 Associates Degree!

This is Me, Then.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Luncheon, well of course!

I was having lunch with a dear friend yesterday and I told her I was going to a luncheon today and she replied, "You are going to drive all the way over there for lunch?" (I get invited to luncheons at my University from the education department and its an hour away). I replied,"Yes, anytime the word "luncheon" and an invite comes my way I say YES". LOL!  What I mean is, I've been a stay at home mom for 13 years and have watched my husband get invited to lunches, trips, parties and more. What have I been invited to? A PTO meeting. Ha! 
Going to college at 36 years old is AMAZING.  I mean, I feel so alive when I am on campus.  I feel like I am getting a second chance to experience what I missed out on so many years ago. 
Anyone that is having second thoughts or wondering if they should go to school, DO IT!  It will change your life forever.

This is Me, Then.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What is Important to You?

I don't know about all of you but the three people I share a home with are the most important things in the world to me.  Every move I make, every breath I take, is for them.  When you take the vow of marriage it is forever, so make sure you marry your best friend.  When you decide to become a parent, now that's truly forever.  Some parents say they are done when their kid turns 18. Not me, I am going to parent these two from beyond this world!  They are stuck with me forever.  I am going to be there for them through thick and thin. I am going to fight for them. I am going hurt for them. I am going to keep this family together no matter what.  My son tells me he hates his sister, I am going to say, "Ok, let's go over there and tell her you hate her.  Now be ready, she's gonna tell you she hates you too, no one is perfect and we are gonna kick and scream until you two make up. Or I'm going to call you every day until you make up". Then one day it going to happen again, and I will fix it again.  I fight for my children, I listen to them. I let them beat me to pieces and I get right back up because I am their mother.  They do no wrong in my eyes and I never love or choose one over the other.  If one is hurting I ask him what I can do to fix it and I do it.  Will it work, who knows, but they know I tried!   As parents we must also remember our words are like daggers.  Your kids can tell you how horrible you are a million times and you still love them. But if a parent is negative or hurtful towards their child it cuts like a knife.  You can never get that piece of their heart back.  They will keep it hidden forever. 

Then those grand babies!  I can't wait to be sitting on the sidelines at all those t-ball games or dance recitals with my grandma tshirt on begging my children and their spouses to let me have those babies for the night or the week!  I will make my home so inviting and have a room set up for them so they want to be there.  Not, so stuffy and unkid-friendly that no one wants to come over!  I will get my teaching degree so I can be with my kids and grand kids any time they need me and more.  I will fly, drive, walk or crawl to them.  They will have to beat me away with a stick!  And if my son or daughter in law don't like me I will find out why and fix it!  I will do anything for my children and I won't miss a thing! 

Being a mother is the most important thing in the world to me. 
What is important to you?

This is Me, Then.

Monday, February 6, 2012

College Moms and Working Moms

I found the following info and wanted to share.  I think it pertains to working moms as well.

How To Balance School and Family When Mom Goes Back To College
How to Balance School Life With Family Life

For the busy mom returning to college, the most important ingredient in mixing school life with family life is balance. In order for Mom to return to college to earn a degree or prepare for career advancement, there must be a balance between family life and dedicated school time. It is important to maintain a strong healthy relationship with loved ones while taking the time to study. Whether you choose to learn online or attend a college or university, setting up a schedule will be invaluable in maintaining your sanity and achieving your goals.

College Students Require Time Alone

It is important for the kids and the spouse to realize that the busy student needs alone time to study and complete lessons. A clear and detailed schedule with designated study time and playtime, will help in defining when Mom is available and when she needs to be left alone. Online learning may seem to be an easier way to fit education into raising a family, but it still requires time to accomplish lessons, complete assigned reading and study for tests.

Schedule Time for Study and Play

A schedule posted on the refrigerator with blocked out times when you are studying and will help kids adjust to Mom not being readily available. The balance to this is of course scheduled time for play and family time. For the schedule to be successful, it should be strictly followed. When it's playtime, then play. When it's date night with the hubby, then go out and have a fun without worrying about that paper that needs to be finished or that last chapter you put off reading.

Share What You Learn in School

If you have school-aged children, your school experience can be used as an example to them. Your good study habits will be emulated by your children. Also, you can share what you are learning with your children. Share relevant topics with them at the family dinner table and encourage discussion. By making them a part of your learning experience they will feel more involved and may feel less threatened by your interest in something other than them.

Prepare to be Flexible With Your College Studies

Though the goal is to maintain and follow a set schedule, life inevitably will get in the way at times. When that happens, then flexibility becomes a factor. You should always have a built in 'whoops' in your schedule. Obviously in times of real family emergency, family wins out over school. Lessons can be made-up, but when the kids need you, it can't be put off or ignored. Have backup or standby childcare available. Try and stay caught up on coursework and study ahead if possible. Don't put things off until the last second. Be prepared. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.

Set Aside Time to Study Alone

Your designated study time should be strictly adhered to by all members of the family. Make it clear that when you are studying, you are to be left alone, baring any real emergencies. You may have to lay out in detail what constitutes an emergency - "Can I have a snack", as opposed to "The toilet is plugged up and overflowing." During mid-terms of finals, this time may need to be expanded. Just make sure the kids know that it is only for a short while, and afterwards the normal schedule will resume.

Family meal - balancing school with family

Game night - balancing school with family

Ice Cream Sundae Night - balancing school with family

Family study time - balancing school with family Set Aside Time for the Family

Family meal time

Meals are a great time to spend with the family. It can start with preparation. Let the kids help in the kitchen and use the time together to talk about the day and any upcoming events that might effect the schedule. Even though the convenience of fast food dinners may seem very appealing, family dinners at home, offer much needed family time.

Game night

Board games, seem a bit outdated these days, but they are a wonderful way to spend time with the family. Many of the popular board games and card games can be played with younger family members but still offer a challenge to the older children and the parents. It can be a fun time for the family to bond together.

Movie night

Let the kids take turns picking out a movie for the family to watch. This can be from your own collection or make a family excursion to your local movie rental store. Share a big bowl of popcorn or similar favorite family snack. If the movie happens to go on beyond the usual bedtime, so much the better.

Ice cream sundae night

Set one night a week aside for ice cream night. Let each child in the family pick out their favorite ice cream flavor and toppings. If the children are old enough, let them build their own sundae. For this one night, don't worry about the mess or the extra sugar intake. Make it a family event.

Go to the theater

If you are attending a college or university, take advantage of the student priced tickets for school performances. Check out the program of upcoming plays or concerts and plan ahead to take the kids to appropriate shows. Not only will this give them something to look forward too, but it may allow them to see live performances that you would not ordinarily be able to afford to take them to.

Study together

If your children are in school also, you can spend time together studying. This can be a better alternative to Mom shutting herself up in her room to study alone. Also you will serve as an example and help instill good study habits.

What Tips Do You Have for Busy Moms? 
My tip: Run errands one day a week.  It's better to be crazy all in one day running the roads than a little crazy every day.

This is Me, Then.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentines and Diplomas!

Well, my diploma finally came in the mail today. 
The anticipation and staring at my empty frame since mid December has just about killed me.  Well, it's here, I framed it, yes I have an Associates degree, but I've had one since mid December.  Ha! This is just a piece of paper. On to my bachelors degree.

In the midst of homework all day today I've played Words with Friends, ate an early dinner with my boys and made my son's Valentine Cards for his class.  I am reading The Love Dare again and starting it tomorrow.  My husband and I are in a little "funk" and me nagging him to be nicer to me and more romantic isn't working, SO I am going to do it to him. Do unto others kind of thing!  Fingers crossed it works!  I will report back in 40 days! 

I wanted to share a picture I came across the other day.  It's Taylor and her Granny that just passed away, Easter 2005. This was also the day we announced to our entire family that we were going to have a baby!  Taylor was 6 years old.

Time is precious.

This is Me, Then.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Confirmation and What it Means

I am very excited that Taylor has completed her confirmation classes and she, Lance and I will be confirmed next Sunday at our church.  This is the next step in our walk with God and becoming Anglican.  We believe that children are Baptized as infants or at any time the parents see fit.  We also believe that children don't have to ask Jesus into their hearts, he is always there, from the beginning.  My children are also blessed with amazing God Parents that love them and will make sure they stay on a Holy Path if anything where to ever happen to us or we lead them astray.  Then as a pre-teen or teenager the child is able to confirm their faith in the Lord when they are able to truly understand God's word fully. My husband and I are being confirmed as adults and we were able to take Bible classes last summer to fully understand our confirmation.

Our church and my journey the past 9 months has been a true blessing to my family and I.  Below are some definitions I found to explain a little better.  I also like to think of our church and anyone's church for that matter like this.  We all believe in the same Christian faith, we just take different paths and steps to get there.

This is Me, Then. 


In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church it is common to baptise young children; this is sometimes known as christening.

Baptism is a 'sacrament' (holy ritual to symbolise grace) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the river Jordan.


Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey where those who have been baptised as children make a firm commitment to Christian discipleship.
Through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop, the Church also asks God to give those being confirmed power, through the Holy Spirit, to live the life of discipleship.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who is Your Valentine?

Well, I am officially attending a University and I am officially crazy!  I want to walk you guys through my wild and wacky world but I don't seem to have time to breath!  HA! With that said, I am happy to report that my blood pressure has been running high for nine months and I have slowly removed all the stress and negative things in my life and it was PERFECT at my check up this week.  My Dr. was so proud of me for making changes in my life without medication.  Now hubby and I are getting healthy!  I am not focused on the lbs, I am focused on my well being. Between college, me subbing, our business, church and family, we stay pretty darn busy. Thought you might want to know who my Valentine is this year.  He's really my Valentine every year along with his Daddy and Sissy, but this year we decided to take some special pictures while he's still willing (though I did have to promise ice cream afterwards).

This is Me, Then.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Five Agreements

This book changed my life last fall. I thank my dear friend Kelley for telling me about it.    Now I just need to hang the agreements on my fridge and put them in my Kindle so I remember them in times of need!  HA!  Enjoy!

The Five Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

January 17, 2010 by Editor

According to don Miguel Ruiz, everything we do is based on agreements we have made — agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, and with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. With these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible.

The Five Agreements:


Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.


Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.


Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are tired as opposed to well rested. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.


Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.

The Four Agreements slowly helps you to recover your authentic self, and the real you starts to awaken. With The Fifth Agreement comes the complete acceptance of yourself just the way you are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is your eternal happiness. The Fifth Agreement is made with words, of course, but its meaning and intent is beyond the words. The Fifth Agreement is ultimately about seeing your whole reality with the eyes of truth, without words.

Make the Five Agreements your way of life — love yourself, enjoy life, and make your personal world a dream of heaven. And, by changing your world, you are changing the world.

As don Miguel says, “By practicing the Five Agreements, what you are really doing is respecting everything in creation. You are respecting your dream; you are respecting everybody else’s dream. If you use these tools, your effort is really for everyone, because your joy, your happiness, your peace, and your heaven are contagious. When you are happy, the people around you are happy too, and it inspires them to change their own world.”

This way of life is entirely possible, and it’s in your hands. The change begins with you. Why not start now?

This is Me, Then.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let 2012 Be Your Year...

In 2011 I let people in my life dictate my well being, my worth, my me.  Not anymore.  In my search for answers and why me me me, I realized I wasn't the one with the problem, these people hurting me where the ones with the problem.  They are the ones with a low self worth or why else would they find such joy in hurting, not forgiving and punishing me.  I turned my sadness into joy and now pray for these people daily and wish them nothing but happiness and success even though they don't feel the same about me.  I turned my sorrow into finally finishing my Associates Degree in Elementary Education from Lee College.  It was a tough semester with some sacrifices me and my family had to make but WE did it.  I then turned my sorrow into getting accepted to the University of Houston Clear Lake and I am proud to say I will begin there next week with a plan to graduate in May of 2014 with my teaching degree.  My husband and I made the decision to take out a student loan to pay for these last two years and I am proud to say my husband paid for my associates degree with no help.  I applied for and received two grants and one scholarship as well.  I have been truly blessed with the MOST AMAZING man on earth, my husband. 

I would like to end by tooting a little horn! Everyone should toot their own horn!  I was nominated for The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi.  I can not wait to see what the future holds for me and my family. 
Mission:We Build Leaders Who Make a Better World.The Society is an organization that helps people discover and achieve their goals. The Society offers life-changing lectures from the nations leading presenters and a community where like-minded success oriented individuals come together and help one another succeed. The Society also serves as a powerful force of good in the greater community by encouraging and organizing action to better the world.

This is Me, Then.

Monday, January 9, 2012

College...Don't Knock It Unless You've Tried It.

College, if your parents put you through college, stop right now and give them a call and say thank you. 
College, if your parents couldn't afford to put you through so they took out loans, donated body parts, whatever, stop right now and call them and say thank you.
College, if your parents were unable to put you through BUT supported you as you put yourself through with words or praise and encouragement and just being there for you, stop right now and call them and say thank you.

If you did or are doing it all on your own with no support from your family, no words of praise, no words of encouragement, stop right now and thank yourself.  You are truly amazing! 

If not only you are doing it yourself but you are also married with kids at home, a single parent with kids at home, you work, you do anything other than have complete focus and attention on college then you deserve a key to the city!!!! A Parade!!!! A Party!!!! You deserve everything.

If you have a loved one in your life, a friend, a child, a parent, a neighbor, or anyone in your circle that goes to college please remember that not only are they doing something VERY SCARY and out of the box, they are doing something for their family's future.  A typical day for them involves the normal routine of a crazy parent and trying to maintain a marriage and/or homelife, but sitting in a classroom with a bunch of teenagers or twentysomethings fresh out of highschool that make you feel SUPER old and refer to you as Mrs. or Mr. instead of "hey you".  Then you come home and any free time is spent grocery shopping, bill paying, clothes washing, dishwasher loading and when you finally sit down and try to remember the last time you bathed someone needs help with their homework, folders signed, books read, and then you realize its 10:00 and everyones going to bed.  BUT WAIT, you haven't done your homework because your college professor doesnt care what your homelife is, you need to read this, type that, post a response to something by tonight at midnight. And if you WORK too, full time or part time, God Bless You! Its the MOST rewarding and MOST frustraiting thing any adult can take on.  SO, please realize if this person you love doesnt make it by to see your new lamp, or meet you for tea, or go shopping,  that they really just need a nap or a caserole for tonights dinner. Also, any free time is given to their spouse and children that never get their full attention anymore.

Hats off to returning students of the world!  You are amazing!

This is Me, Then.