Sparkalaphobia

I woke up this morning and one of my friends had sent me this meme about glitter.  It is probably the 10th time someone has sent it to me, and I have gotten many others just like it a million times.  I even get videos of people opening glitter bombs or of glitter paint on walls sent to me by my friends.  Whenever there is something on Facebook about glitter, people tag me in it.  Why would I get so many things sent to me about glitter you ask? Well, I absolutely HATE glitter. Yes, I am a female. Yes, I have two daughters. Yes, I was an elementary teacher. Yes, I love crafting. I should love glitter, right? Wrong! I cannot stand it. I hate how it gets everywhere and you can’t get rid of it. It stays around for months and appears out of nowhere at random times.  It is awful. Now I could say that many people would make those comments about not liking how it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to get rid of, but they would still use it and actually like glittery things. My dislike, though, goes much more extreme than that.  I really don’t like it and avoid it at all cost.  Maybe it is my type A personality or my OCD tendencies, but it just makes me crazy when I see glitter.  Maybe I have a glitter phobia.  Is that even a thing? I did see something once about sparkalaphobia.  If it is real, I definitely have it. Another part of my dislike comes from having hyperhidrosis, which is a sweating disorder that I was born with.  My hands and feet sweat constantly to the point of sweat dripping from them. It’s gross.  For most of my life it went uncontrolled and my hands were always soaking wet.  As you can imagine, that made glitter stick to me even worse than it does on dry hands.  Maybe that is where my dislike stems from.  Maybe there was a traumatic incident from my childhood that I blocked out. I don’t really know. I just know that I HATE it!

Anyone that is close to me knows how much I dislike glitter. It is certainly no secret.  As a teacher I avoided anything that had to do with glitter. Of course all of my assistants over the years were big glitter fans and seemed to always find ways to work it into some kind of project.  People even love to give me cards covered in glitter or gifts with glitter.  They think it is a fun joke, but it is not funny to me.  I’m serious. You may think that I just can’t take a joke, but that isn’t true.  I can joke with the best of them.  Glitter is just not one of those things I joke about, though. Thankfully my oldest daughter could care less about glitter so it was never an issue with her.  My youngest, on the other hand, is the girliest of girls and loves all things glittery. She especially loves glitter slime (let’s not even get into my similar dislike of slime).  I have tried many times over the years to avoid glitter in the house.  It has not been easy and it does make its way in every now and then.  I am like a maniac though and have strict guidelines on using it in the house.  Some may say that makes me a bad mom because I am squashing her fun or her creativity. Maybe I am. Maybe I am crazy. I just can’t help it.  I don’t like the stuff. Period! I know that I will continue to get picked on and tortured about glitter the rest of my life.  I will deal with it, but I don’t foresee anyone changing my mind. EVER. 

Anchored,

I’m in a Hurry!

I have literally been sitting here staring at a blank screen for a good 20 minutes.  It seems that I have developed writer’s block today.  It could be that I am distracted by an injury I sustained this morning while working out.  I totally wasn’t paying attention and hit the top of my hand really hard on the treadmill.  Not only did it really hurt, but it also began swelling and bruising right away.  I now have a big knot on my hand that is various shades of purple, blue, and red (The pics don’t do it justice).  The thing is, though, that I didn’t stop because I didn’t have time to spare. I kept going and ended up doing the exact same thing in the exact same spot on my hand AGAIN.  I hate to admit it, but things like that happen to me all the time.  My husband would happily tell you that I am a klutz, and that I passed that gene on to my children.  I would like to say that isn’t true, but honestly, he is probably right. Back in my high school days, I played basketball and was always getting knocked down and would frequently hit my head. My coach used to say that I needed to wear a football helmet when I played.  When I taught, I could be walking down the hallway at school and just trip out of nowhere over my own feet.  I still do that walking around my house sometimes.  I seem to always find terrible bruises all over my arms and legs that I can never remember where they came from.  Usually it is because I have run into the side of a table or turned too quickly and bumped the corner of a wall. It happens so often that I forget about it, which is why I can never remember where the bruise came from.  I am also known to have fallen up and down the stairs a few times. It think a big part of it is due to the fact that I am always in a hurry.  I never do anything slowly.  I am always in a state of rush when I am doing something or going somewhere. I always have the mindset of hurry and finish to get to the next thing.  It is like I do things with a sense of urgency when there is no need. It makes me think of that old Alabama song that says, “I’m in a hurry to get things done. Oh, I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I’ve really got to do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.” That could totally be my life mantra.  I am always in a hurry and I don’t really know why.  I rush everyone in the mornings to get to school or church on time.  We have never once come close to being anywhere near late. We are usually some of the first there, but I still feel the need to hurry and get there.  I can’t tell you the amount of anxiety I get when preparing to leave for one of my children’s competitions.  I become a lunatic and my husband is constantly telling me to calm down because we have plenty of time.  I guess it is just built into my nature, or maybe, it is self-inflicted by my need to be perfect.  Maybe it is a little of both.  I can tell you that always having that sense of urgency and the need to rush all the time gives me anxiety.  I know this about myself, yet I can’t seem to break the cycle.  I really thought that not working full time as a teacher would help to mellow me out.  In a lot of ways it has. I feel like I am not nearly as uptight as I used to be and I am slightly more patient with my children and husband. However, the constant sense of urgency has not wavered.  That worry and anxiety over not getting it done on time or being late or not being good enough is still there.  It hasn’t gone away. 

I know that this is something that I struggle with, and I know that I really need to work on it. It will send me to an early grave if I don’t slow down.  One day I may fall and not get back up.  One day the bruise may be one that doesn’t heal.  I have to find a way to relax and let go of the urgency I constantly feel. Some people have told me that I should take up Yoga or meditation.  I know that those things won’t work for me.  I am too uptight to enjoy them.  What I really need to do is something that our pastor reminded me of this past Sunday. I need to feed myself.  No, I don’t need to eat a bunch of food.  I need to feed myself with the word of God.  I need to spend time reading, listening to, and consuming the book of life.  That is truly the only way that I will loose the sense of urgency in my life.  That is the key to stopping me from constantly injuring myself.  I need to dive into scripture and let it wash over me.  I have to make it a priority in my life.  If only I could channel that urgency into an urgency for scripture. Actually, that is exactly what I need to do!

Do you guys like how my train of thought went there? I went from nothing to thinking about an injury to the realization that I need to feed myself with God’s word. I ended up using my bruised hand as a metaphor for my life. Haha! That is how many of these posts come together.  I start thinking about one thing and it leads to something totally different or some life revelation.  I just gave you guys a little insight into my brain functioning. How about that?

Anchored and Slowing Down,

Style Trends: Animal Print

Last fall I did a post on the ever-popular animal print trend.  I am happy to report that this is a trend that is still going strong and can be seen all over this fall too.  One of the most popular is leopard print, but this season snakeskin print is making a strong showing as well.  I have also seen some giraffe and zebra prints floating around.  Now, I am not saying that you should go head to toe in animal print or that you should even mix animals into one outfit.  In fact, I would go as far as telling you not to do that. There are many different ways that you can follow this trend and add it to your wardrobe without looking like you stepped out of a safari.  Adding a pair of animal print shoes, a belt, earrings, bracelet, or scarf are all ways you can subtly be on trend. You can check out my previous animal post here for some looks that I put together with pieces I already had in my wardrobe last fall. Today I have scoured my favorite stores for some new animal print pieces that I think would make a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe.

Dresses:

  1. Target-Tiger Dress
  2. Target-Leopard Dress (See it on me here.)
  3. Loft Outlet-Snake Dress
  4. Target-Snake Dress
  5. Loft Outlet-Leopard Dress
  6. Amazon-Leopard Dress

Tops:

  1. Loft Outlet-Leopard Top
  2. Loft Outlet-Zebra T-Shirt
  3. Target-Zebra Sweater
  4. Target-Leopard Blouse
  5. Target-Leopard T-Shirt
  6. Amazon-Leopard Top

Skirt:

  1. Amazon-Leopard Maxi Skirt

Purses:

  1. Loft Outlet-Snake Purse
  2. Target-Leopard Crossbody
  3. Target-Leopard Purse (This purse is on the pricier side, especially for Target. I couldn’t resist how adorable it is.)
  4. Target-Snake Purse
  5. Amazon-Leopard Tote  

Shoes:

  1. Loft Outlet- Snake Mules
  2. Target-Leopard Slip-Ons (See them on me here.)
  3. Target-Leopard Sneakers
  4. Target-Cheetah Wedges
  5. Target-Snake Wedges
  6. Amazon-Snake Bootie
  7. Amazon-Leopard Toms

Accessories:

  1. Loft Outlet-Leopard Scarf
  2. Loft Outlet-Snake Scarf
  3. Loft Outlet-Snow Leopard Earrings
  4. Loft Outlet-Snake Cuff
  5. Amazon-Leopard Belt
  6. Trades of Hope-Trove Cuff
  7. Trades of Hope-Trove Earrings
  8. Trades of Hope-Giraffe Handbag Charm
  9. Trades of Hope-Zebra Handbag Charm

I could keep going because there is just so much out there that I love, but I have to make myself stop. Some other pieces to look for are sweatshirts, utility jackets, denim animal print jackets, and more. If you go to any of your favorite online stores and type in “animal print” in the search box, you will find tons of cute things. Plus, you can find it in most stores as well. I don’t foresee this trend going away any time soon. Happy Shopping!

Anchored,

*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission.

Friday Favorites: Colors

By now you guys know that I frequently change my mind.  I had another favorite that I was going to write about today, but I changed my mind. I got dressed this morning and it made me think about something totally different.  Everything that I was wearing was all the same color…shirt, shoes, necklace, and earrings were all the same.  That got me thinking about my favorite color.  Going back to me changing my mind, my favorite color has changed more than once over the years.  When I was young, I am pretty sure that my favorite color was green. I know that is odd for a little girl, but I think maybe I wanted to stand out and be different. I don’t know. I just liked green.  Then when I was in my later years of high school and through my college years, my favorite color changed to blue.  I still liked green, but I would have told you that my favorite color was blue back then.  Again, not the most popular color for a girl to pick.  I would have even gone as far as telling you that I did NOT like pink. I honestly don’t know what I had against pink, but I was very much opposed to it back then.  Even when my oldest was born, I was dead set on not having everything pink, so I did the nursery in yellow and blue.  We knew she was a girl, but I chose blue and yellow for the nursery anyway.  I got a lot of flack about that from people too. Even her car seat and stroller were blue.  Of course, my husband was totally ok with that because he is a man; and just like girls are supposed to love pink, boys are supposed to love blue.  It is just a ridiculous rule that society has forced upon us all.  Maybe that is why my oldest hates pink and dresses and anything girly, which drives me nuts. Maybe it is my fault she is that way.  Even though I had something against pink, I was always girly.  I always dressed up, loved clothes, wore makeup as soon as my parents would let me, and was all all-around girly girl.  I was just one that didn’t like pink and loved blue instead. 

A few years down the road my favorite color changed AGAIN.  I don’t know why I can’t just stick to one color.  Anyway, about the time my second daughter came around, surprisingly my favorite color changed to PINK! Shocking, I know! To be so opposed to it for so long that it suddenly becomes a favorite is pretty crazy. Guess what color my youngest daughter’s nursery was…pink and green.  Going back to whether or not my nursery colors had an effect on my children’s personalities or not, my youngest is the girliest of girls.  She loves dresses, high heeled shoes, make up, you name it.  Is it a coincidence that they both turned out the way they did? Maybe, but who knows? I guess my color choices could have possibly had an influence on that.  You may have noticed, too, that my blog logo is pink and green. I think it is a tribute to my first favorite color and my current favorite. That all brings me to today’s outfit and the reason for this post, my outfit is all pink except for my jeans.  I am totally drawn to pink shoes, clothes, jewelry, bags, and more now.  I admit it; I love pink.  It is hard to say that when I was so opposed to for a huge chunk of my life, but it is true.

Top-Lularoe

Jeans-Target

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Earrings-Kate Spade (similar)

Shoes-Famous Footwear (similar color)

I will tell you, though, that my love for pink is wavering just a little these days.  I am starting to love purple more and more.  It could just become my new favorite color.  It really does seem to be hard for me to stick to one favorite color for very long.  Maybe I should just say that I love all colors and call it a day.  Is this normal? Do you all change what your favorite color is, or is it just part of my weirdness? I would love to know. 

In honor of my love for pink, check out Trades of Hope’s newest edition, the Valentía Bracelet, made by Artisans in Guatemala. This bracelet was created to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Each bracelet has a small silver charm with the fingerprint of the artisan that created it. With every purchase of the Valentía Bracelet, 10% of the net proceeds will be given to provide cancer exams to Artisans at Papillion in Haiti. You can also check out an old pink favorite made by Artisans in India, our Triumphant Earrings.  With every purchase of the Triumphant Earrings 10% of the net proceeds will be given to the Pink Ribbon Girls organization which provides the following services to individuals in the United States with breast and women’s reproductive cancers, free of charge:

  • Healthy meals targeting the nutritional needs of cancer patients, prepared by executive chefs and delivered to the home
  • Housecleaning by professional cleaning agencies
  • Transportation to cancer treatments by trained specialists
  • Peer support in the patient’s community for their whole well being

Anchored in Pink,

A “She Shed” on Wheels

Necklace/Earrings/Kimono

I posted this not so great picture of me in the car last night on my personal Facebook page with the following caption, “I really should tally up the number of hours per week I spend just sitting in my car.  I’m always just sitting and waiting on one kid or the other. It’s really sad! If only I could turn my car into a luxurious ‘she shed,’ it would be much more bearable. “ It is totally true.  I swear I spend more time just sitting and waiting in my car than anything else in a day. People always talk about the number of hours spent in the car driving their kids to and fro.  While I do a lot of that too, I think I spend more time just sitting in park.  I have to get in my middle schooler’s school carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out just to get somewhere in the front of the line.  Why do I need to be in the front you may ask? Well, I do that so that I can quickly get out and get to my high schooler’s carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out for her to also be near the front of that line. If you are counting, that is at least an hour just sitting in carpool lines.  I have to be in the front of the second line, so that I can quickly get out of the parking lot to get her to gymnastics on time with no time to spare whatsoever.  I’m not kidding when I say people start getting in these dumb lines up to an hour before school gets out.  It’s insane.  It forces me to play along and be one of those dummies too.  Otherwise, I get stuck in the back of the line, which takes at least 30 minutes longer to get through making her late for practice. It is so crazy. 

I then spend on average anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour at night waiting on one of them to get out of gymnastics or cheer practice.  My OCD self always has to get there 15 minutes early and then they are inevitably late getting out so I just sit and wait some more.  Sometimes, like last night, I sit there for an hour because it is only an hour-long class.  With the crazy traffic around here, it is not worth fighting my way back home only to turn right around and fight it on the way back.  I just sit and wait.  I HATE sitting in either hot, smelly gym watching them practice.  I would much rather stay in the parking lot in my car than sit in there.   It is just a never ending cycle of me sitting in the car.  

I do really wish I could somehow turn my car into a “she shed” like Sheryl had before hers burned down. Ha ha! If I could figure out how to do it and have a enough space to park it at school and both of their gyms, I think I really would.  It could be one of those tiny houses on wheels.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe then I could actually get something done while I wait.  Maybe I am on to something! Maybe I should invent the miniature “she shed” on wheels! Ha ha! My kids would be mortified and likely refuse to ride in it.  I would love to see their faces if I ever pulled up in one.  A girl can dream, right? 

Anchored,

I’m NOT Ready!

Last night my husband and I took our oldest daughter to a required parent/teen driving meeting. At the meeting they stressed the importance of the parents’ role in teaching your child how to drive safely, as well as, some of the laws and dangers to be aware of.  First of all, the presentation was 90 minutes long. That was way too long, in my teacher opinion, for the kids to sit there listening to a driver’s ed. teacher reading from a script.  Even I was loosing attention after a while.  Second of all, they threw a lot of information and requirements at us so fast that neither my husband nor I are 100% sure of what they all are. It is so much different here than it was back in South Carolina where I grew up.  Back then, I could get my permit the day I turned 15 and then was able to get my regular license after 180 days. That means I had my license at the age of approximately 15 and 6 months of age and could drive without an adult.  There also were no restrictions on how many underage passengers I could have in the car with me. The only restriction we had was that we couldn’t drive without an adult from 7 PM to 7 AM until we turned 16. There was no driver’s education requirement. You only had to pass a written exam to get your permit and a road test to get your license.  I don’t know if the law is still the same down there now or not. Looking back, I am pretty sure that it SHOULDN’T still be the same law!  A 15 year old has no business driving a car without an adult, much less with multiple teens in the car.  I honestly don’t know how my parents were comfortable with that. Thankfully, where we live now, the requirements are much stricter, and I am very happy about that. You have to be 15 years and 6 months of age before you can even apply for a permit. Once you get your permit, a licensed driver, 21 years or older, must accompany you at all times when driving for the next 9 months.  You must complete a driver’s education course, have logged 45 hours of driving experience including nighttime driving experience with a parent or legal guardian, and have held a driving permit for 9 months before you can get your license. That means you have to be at least 16 and 3 months of age before you can even get your license and drive without an adult.  Then there are still restrictions once you get your license until you turn 18.  You may drive with only one non-family member passenger under the age of 21, and you may not drive between midnight and 4 AM without an adult.  Boy am I glad that the law now is so much stricter than it was when I learned to drive.  I already cannot imagine turning my kid loose with a car when she is 16, and I certainly can’t imagine it at 15 and a half like I was! 

As I was sitting there last night, not only was I thinking about how irresponsible the law was when I learned to drive, but I was also thinking about my daughter’s maturity.  She will be 15 and 6 months next month and can get her permit.  I am not sure she is ready for that, and I am 100% sure that I am NOT ready for it. You hear it all the time about how fast kids grow up, and it is so true.  Just this past Sunday night, we were at a restaurant for dinner and a family with an adorable little girl between one and two years old was sitting in the booth next to us.  She had her hair fixed the exact way I used to do my daughter’s hair when she was that age (we used to call it her water spout), and she reminded me so much of my daughter.  I think I was annoying my whole family as I couldn’t keep my eyes off the little girl and commenting how much she looked like my daughter.  It is so hard to believe that sweet little girl is now this young lady I see before me about to start driving.  It seems like yesterday.  I honestly don’t know that my daughter is mature enough to drive a car.  She has ADHD and is so easily distracted, and her maturity level has always been less than her age in my opinion.  I just don’t know if she is responsible enough.  I am sure most parents feel this way, though.  None of us are really ready for our kids to be behind the wheel, especially in this day and age of cell phones.  It’s scary to think about her driving.  I am not ready.  On the way home from the meeting last night, she asked, “What if I’m not ready?” Part of me is happy to hear that because it is her recognizing the seriousness of driving and maybe knowing that she isn’t mature enough yet.  The other part of me is sad that she isn’t as excited about this rite of passage as most kids her age are.  I don’t want her to be afraid every time she gets behind the wheel, but I do want her to take it seriously.   How do you know if your child is ready, mature, and responsible enough to drive a car? I honestly don’t know.  I do think that my husband will be a better judge at that than I am because he can separate his feelings and emotions from the situation much better than I can.  I also know that he will not let her drive alone if he doesn’t think she is ready, which does make me feel a little better.  

The other debate we had in the car on the way home was who was going to be the one to really teach her how to drive.  She says that she wants it to be me because she thinks I will be calmer than her dad. She said she wants “the actual teacher” to teach her how to drive. I honestly don’t want to be the one that does it, though.  I will be a nervous wreck and don’t think I would be calm at all. I already don’t like her driving her Pop Pop’s Gator utility vehicle thingy around in the fields when we go visit him. It makes me very nervous.  I really think her dad would do a much better job at teaching her than me. He has more patience with those types of things than I do.  I can see myself over-reacting and stressing her out by my stress.  Maybe a part of me also doesn’t want to do it because it makes this so much more real.  I don’t want to accept that we are at this point, and it is time for her to grow up. Regardless of whether or not SHE is ready, I’M not ready.  I don’t know that I ever will be ready, though.  I just wish she was still that sweet little girl with the water spout on top of her head like the little one at dinner the other night.  I wish I could stop time.  

Driving is a big deal and it is so dangerous these days, especially with phones and technology.  People drive distracted so much more than years ago.  I am guilty of it all the time. We all put our lives at risk every time we get behind the wheel.  A 16 year old doesn’t have the experience or knowledge to really know how to react in dangerous situations.  Let’s also not forget that teens do dumb things all the time.  It’s a fact. They are still learning and growing, and their brains are still developing.  They make mistakes. It is just a part of the growing process. There was actually a state trooper at the meeting last night that told us 85% of the kids in that room would have a wreck as a teen. That is a scary to think about.  I know I will be praying every time she gets behind the wheel in the future.  In the meantime, I will pray for my mama heart to accept that this is coming way too fast.  

I AM NOT READY!

Anchored,

Fashion Finds: Walmart

I have told you all many times before that Walmart is really trying to step up their style game.  You really have to take your time and look to find them, but you can find some really cute pieces there for great prices. I did a little dressing room photo shoot for you guys with some of the adorable pieces I found over the weekend. I will say that the photo quality is not that great.  My Walmart’s dressing rooms are super small and dark, and the mirror is right next to the wall, so it was hard to get good pics.  I tried to edit them to brighten them a little bit, but they still aren’t great. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the multiple layers of dust on the mirror, which makes the pictures look grainy too. Sorry about that! I just had to go with it.  As you will see from the pictures, plaid, camo, animal print (especially snake print), and shades of cranberry, mustard, and olive are really popular for fall. While I did find some cute clothes, my favorite finds were in the shoe and purse departments. Check them out below.

Top/Pants (Olive Reach)

Top/Pants (Olive Reach)

Sweater

Top/Pants (All Spice)

Sweatshirt/Joggers

These two pieces are both soooo soft. The sweatshirt is lined with fleece inside. 

Top

Top

Top

Sherpa Pullover (This particular one is not available online, but others are.)

Tote: Pink/Camo/Mustard/Grey

Crossbody: Camo/Cranberry

Hobo

Mini Backpack

Ankle Boots

Grey Wedges Booties/Buckle Booties

Snake Print Booties/Red Booties

Snake Print Mules

Flats: Pink/Leopard/Mustard

Quilted Slip-ons/Leopard Slip-ons

Grey Flannel Slip-ons/Corduroy Slip-ons (not available online)

Don’t count Walmart out when it comes to shopping for clothes, shoes, and accessories.  You can really find some hidden gems if you take the time to look.  Happy shopping!

Anchored,

Friday Favorites: Television

Before I dive in to my Friday Favorites today, let me tell you about how Friday the 13th and the full moon are shaping up in my house.  As a former teacher, I can tell you that all of the teachers you know will have a tough day today.  We will all swear by the full moon.  It really does make kids go crazy.  Add in the fact that it is also Friday the 13th, and you are just asking for a disastrous day. To all teachers, I am sorry and will pray for you today! Anyway, I may not be in the classroom with crazy kids anymore, but our dog is more than making up for it.  Let’s just say that she got very sick starting right at 12:00 AM, and we spent the night and morning cleaning up nastiness from both ends. I know you don’t care, but it really was so gross.  We are pretty sure she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat and it made her sick.  We are all really tired today because if it. My poor oldest child got the worst of it since it all occurred in her room.  I’m not sure she got much sleep at all, especially with the horrible smell. As you can see, we have had a great start to the day. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that it is dark, gloomy, and rainy outside! I can hardly wait for whatever else this day will throw at us.

Now, I am totally changing topics, and I have to make a confession. I know some of you are going to be surprised by this and some of you are going to judge me, but that is okay. I own it. My own husband thinks I am insane when it comes to this favorite of mine.  He shakes his head at me all the time about it.  I can’t help it, but I love reality TV. There, I said it. It is totally true. I don’t know why it fascinates me or why I get some kind of entertainment from it.  I know that most of it isn’t really real, but I watch it anyway. I sit there watching it sometimes and think about how dumb it is or how fake it is, and I keep on watching it. Sometimes I even feel like I am getting dumber by the minute, but I can’t stop.  My husband always says, ‘I don’t know how you watch that trash.” I really don’t know how I do either.  I’m just drawn to it. Some of my favorites are SurvivorBig BrotherThe Real Housewives of New YorkProject RunwayAmerican Idol, and Southern Charm.  There are tons more but they aren’t all coming to me at the moment.  I used to watch The Bachelor and Bachelorette, but I have grown tired of them and haven’t watched the last couple of seasons.  TLC, Bravo, and HGTV are like my favorite stations. I can turn to any of them and watch all day long if I had the time.  I guess it is like a guilty pleasure or something. I never talk about it with anyone so it’s not like I get joy from chatting about it to my friends.  Maybe it is because it is all so out there and so far from my real life that it allows me to escape from reality for a bit. I don’t know.  I just like them all. 

The other kind of TV shows that I may have a mild obsession with is real-life crime shows like Dateline, 20/2048 Hours, and anything on the ID channel.  No, I do not want to commit a crime or find out how to get away with murder.  I am just fascinated by these shows.  Any Lifetime movies that are based on real cases like JonBenét Ramsey or Casey Anthony fascinate me too.  I was also totally into Making a Murder on Netflix.  I guess I also like fictional crime shows, too, because I love Criminal Minds.  It is one of my favorite shows ever. I just love trying to figure out the mystery and looking at all the evidence.  Maybe I could have been an investigator or detective in another life.  Who knows? 

There you have it. You now know 2 of my guilty pleasures when it comes to television.  I’m not proud of the fact that I get enjoyment from murder and insane reality TV. There are so many other things that I could do with my free time instead of indulging in that, but I guess it is what it is.  I guess I can’t help what I find entertaining.

Anchored,

A Day to Remember

Yesterday, September 11, is a day that most of us will never forget. It is a day that is hard for many people.  It stirs up memories, what ifs, and fears.  It reminds us of how short life can be.  It is burned in the memory of all of those who were alive and old enough to know what was happening on that day.  My youngest daughter came home and said her teacher told them to ask their parents where they were and what they were doing when the events of September 11, 2001 occurred.  I vividly remember standing in my classroom in Georgia (only my second year as a teacher) when we were told over the loud speaker to not go outside.  No one knew why at first. Sometimes we would get told not to go outside because there was a big dog running around out there or something small like that.  At first, we really didn’t think much of it, but word quickly traveled down the hallway. We only had bits of information and were really confused by what we were hearing.  All of the teachers were all standing near our doors trying to find out more while also trying to do our job. I can remember one little boy in my class who was working on the computer close to the doorway.  He looked up at me with his sweet, innocent face and asked me if everything was ok. He had sensed that something was wrong.  I did my best to reassure him that everything was fine, not knowing myself if that was really the truth.  I swear his sweet little face will be forever in my mind and connected with that day. It was such a tragic, scary day.  

Yesterday was made scary for me yet again.  I think September 11 will always bring up fear in all of us, and the events that unfolded here yesterday were likely made worse just because of what day it was. As my oldest daughter was getting ready for school in the morning, she started to get messages from classmates about a Snapchat message that was floating around detailing an organized mass-shooting plot naming several area schools as targets.  The more she was seeing and reading, the more nervous she was getting.  She started telling me that she didn’t want to go to school and saying things like, “What if I die?” I immediately started looking into the threat and found mention of it on the county sheriffs’ page and the school district’s page.  It basically said that they were aware of the threat, that they had not found any credible evidence other than the Snapchat message to prove that it was a serious threat, and that there would be an increased police presence at all schools just in case.  We did not know if her school was one of the ones that was listed in the threat as the police and school officials were keeping that information confidential. I immediately called my husband at work asking his opinion about whether or not to keep her home from school. We both came to the conclusion that she should go to school based on the information I had.  It appeared that the parents of the students in the schools that were named had received an email from the school system the night before making them aware of the threat.  We had not gotten an email so we took that to mean that my daughter’s school wasn’t on the target list. I talked to my daughter about the threat, made sure she knew what to do in the event that something did happen, and tried to reassure her that it was likely a hoax.  When I dropped her off at school, she said to me, “I hope I’m not dead when you come to pick me up.” I know that she was half kidding and half serious, but it almost made me tell her to get back in the car and go home.  Instead, I drove off leaving her there and went home to worry.  I scoured social media and the news trying to get updates on the threat and it’s validity to try to reassure myself that I did the right thing by sending her to school. I did end up getting an email from the school system about 30 minutes after I dropped her off basically saying the same things that were posted online by the county sheriff’s office. However, I then started to worry that it meant that her school was included in the threat and my anxiety kicked into overdrive.  About an hour later, I got an automated call from one of the assistant principals at her school saying that there were rumors that there was an active shooter at the school, but they were false.  I guess some kids were texting from the school saying that there was a gunman in the building.  Talk about being scared! I spent the whole day second-guessing my decision to send her to school and texting her randomly just to make sure things were ok.  It was a long 7 hours until I picked her up. She said everyone was talking about it at school and everyone was nervous.  She even told me that one of her teachers told them that if there had been a shooter in the building, they would have all been dead. Seriously? Why would you tell them that? 

Would I have been as worried had it been any other day of the year that this happened? The answer is probably yes, but I do think that the fact that it was September 11 made it a little more intense than normal.  Will we always experience this day with fear? I don’t know about you, but I honestly think I will.  It is just like I will always worry about my kids. I am not writing this post to get into any kind of political debate or for any other reason other than to say that I was afraid. I was afraid for my beautiful girls who still have so much life to live. I was afraid for my husband as a member of our military and as someone who lost a classmate on that terrible day. I was afraid for my fellow teachers who are willing to risk their own lives to protect their students.  I was afraid of the unknown.  It was just a scary day. I pray that my girls never have to feel that fear like we did on that day 18 years ago or like I did yesterday when they send their own kids to school one day in the future. The police and school system have since reported that there is no threat to the schools and that the situation is under control. My fear has subsided and things are back to normal today, but I will never forget.

Anchored,

Liar

Yesterday I heard one of the leaders of Trades of Hope talk about believing in yourself, and it stuck with me.  I think this is something that ALL women struggle with. At least it is with every single woman I know.  I know I struggle with it every day.  Would you ever tell your best friend or your daughter that she’s not good enough, pretty enough, or kind enough? Would you tell her that she’s terrible or that she sucks? Would you ever make her feel like she is worthless? I can almost bet that the answer is a resounding no! That’s my answer for sure.  I would NEVER do that to anyone…EXCEPT myself.  Those are things I find myself saying in my head about me all the time.  If you are constantly telling yourself those things, you will start to believe them.  You will doubt your abilities and second-guess yourself all the time.  If you continuously tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, you will begin to feel worthless.  Why do we do that to ourselves? If you wouldn’t say it to your own child, why do you say it to yourself?

I know that I am constantly telling myself that I am failing as a mom or a wife or a business woman. I tell myself that I can’t do something because I will screw it up.  I constantly doubt myself and my abilities. What does that negative talk do to me and my psyche? It makes me believe those horrible things are true. It makes me self-conscious.  It makes me useless.  It makes me a failure.  It prevents me from trying new things because I believe that I’m not good enough.  I always have the feeling of “I can’t” because I don’t believe in myself and my abilities. If those negative things are what you constantly tell yourself, they will become your truth.  It will become who you are.  Is that really who you want to be? Is that the example you want to set for your kids and others?

Well, I am here to tell you that all of those negative things you believe about yourself are LIES! Every time you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, you are lying. Every time you feel worthless, it is a lie.  When you tell yourself you can’t, you are not speaking the truth.  You are lying to yourself every day.  You are a LIAR just like me.  As much as I try to fight them, those lies creep in all the time, but we have to work hard to stop the lies.  We have to break the cycle.  We have to speak truth to ourselves and ditch the lies.  Turn those negative lies into positive truths. Don’t let the lie become your truth. Instead of “I can’t” say “I can.” Instead of saying “I’m a failure,” say “Look what I can do.” Instead of saying, “I’m worthless,” say “I am valuable.”  Speak those truths aloud. Start believing the truth and not the lie.  Turn the lie upside down. As soon as you say it aloud, you will begin to feel weight lifted from your shoulders. You will begin to see yourself in a new light and new doors will open for you. I have talked so many times about speaking positivity to yourself and using positive mantras.  I really believe in that.  I believe it will allow you to retrain your brain to think in a more positive way. I also believe that it will help you see value in who you are and what you can give to the world. Do it every morning when you wake up, every night when you go to bed, and whenever those lies start to creep in.  Post it on the mirror or write it in your calendar each month. Stop lying and start telling the truth. By doing so, you will begin to believe in yourself. It will change your outlook on life. You are worthy of being loved by yourself. That is the simple TRUTH.

Anchored,