Saturday, March 26, 2011


  About the time I hit 40, I noticed that some changes were going on with my body. The normally firm arms were looking a little more fluffy and a lot less firm.  I also noticed that my stomach, which has been flat for my entire life (even after 2 kids) was starting to pouch.   I’ve always had some ‘junk in the trunk’ but I never had a belly.  Did this mean that my double wide backside was so full that the fat was just overflowing into my belly?  All my friends kept saying this would happen, but I refused to accept it.  I’ve got some strong muscles, but now you can’t see them because they are hidden behind a layer of fluff! 

I have fought the good fight through my entire life.  I exercise and eat right, but I still don’t seem to take the weight off.  Mind you, I haven’t gained weight, I’ve just gotten softer.  YUCK!  And now, I’m about to enter my FIFTIES!  And, the big, mean girl - Menopause is rearing her UGLY head, and she’s a tough opponent to say the least.   

I am constantly reminded of the movie ‘Despicable Me’ when the little girl gets the giant fluffy unicorn.  She is so excited and yells ‘ITS SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE!’  It made me laugh because it hit home.   I quickly shot up a prayer… Please Lord do not let anyone grab me and yell “SHE’S SO FLUFFY! “    I probably WOULD  die!

So… do I embrace my fluffiness, or keep fighting?  Well… I think I’ll do both.  Yes, I’m  a lot softer these days.  But, I’m also wiser, happier, more self-aware, more confident, etc.  I’ll keep exercising and striving to stay healthy because “that’s how I roll”… I may have to push a lot harder just to stay at this same level of fluffiness, but I guess I can do that.

Maybe if I add a few more stretch goals, I will grow taller instead of fluffier???  Probably not… But, if I never, ever give up, I’ll still be strong even if I do look like a softy.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Double for your trouble!

From the time I was a little girl, my Mom used to pray that I would have a daughter just like me.  I should first explain that I was practically raised by June Cleaver.  My Mom is one of the sweetest women in the world.  She certainly handled me with a whole lot of patience!  I know I pushed her buttons at every turn, but she never seemed to be affected.  But, I would always know when I went too far.  She would say, “I hope one of these days you have a daughter just like you!”  Believe me, this was NOT her speaking a blessing over my life.  It was her wits end frustration coming to a head!    You know the kind…the  ‘I have one nerve left, and you are getting on it’ level of frustration!  Yes, it took her a long, long time to get to that point, but I was persistent!

But, as the good Lord would have it, I grew up and became a Mom.  And just to prove that my Mom has a direct link to him, He decided that she deserved to live out that old verse in Isaiah that speaks of paying you back double for your trouble.  (Isaiah 61:7).   So, not only did I get a child JUST LIKE ME… I got TWO!  Yes, I have two button pushing, talkative, smart, toe-over-the-line, ‘won’t take NO for an answer’ daughters. And, boy does it make my Mama laugh. 

She’s such a sweetheart that she doesn’t dare let me hear her laugh when I tell her the dilemma of the day.  But, I know she’s secretly chuckling.  In fact, I’m almost positive that she hangs up the phone and says “YES – FINALLY!” and then has a 5 second dance party of her own.  I should call my Dad and ask.  But, he’ll never tell!  He’s doing the dance with her!   Is it some sort of secret reward for their patience, or is it just that they are so happy that I finally understand how much CRAP I put them through?    I don’t know for sure. But, I do know that I want to feel it too!  

So, what my girls don’t know is that I am secretly hoping that they have girls just like them.  Yes… I finally understand why a parent would wish that on their kids.  It’s not a meanness thing.  (Well… maybe sometimes there’s a little bit of meanness to it (smile) ). I think it’s more of a hope that they will one day understand the level of patience it takes to raise a child.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got two great girls.  But, they both push the limits at times, and every time they do, I hear my Mom’s voice.  So… I have this secret hope that they will hear ME when their kids crank it up.  No parent wants their kids to suffer…BUT… we all secretly want them to get a taste of their own medicine at least once. 

 So, will I get paid back double for my trouble?  One can only HOPE! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tennis Bloopers

I was watching the Australian Open a few weeks ago, and I was amazed at the great force that the players hit the ball.  I love their level of competition, and their sportsmanship.  But, there is one thing that always amazes me… When they accidentally hit a little blooper over the net, (you know the one that doesn’t exactly go where you want it to, but still wins the point), they hold up their hand in apology!  WHAT?  WHY?  They are actually embarrassed that they hit such a poor wimpy shot!  

Well let me tell you one thing… If I hit a shot that hits the net and rolls over, I am NOT apologizing!  I am so amazed that I look up at the sky and say ‘Thank you Jesus’.  I might even have a 5 second dance party right there on the court!  And if it’s not appropriate to do the actual dance, I’ll just do the 5 second dance party in my head!  Honey, it’s CARTWHEEL CITY for me, if it goes over the net. 

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not at all about rubbing it in the face of my opponents.  That’s not it at all!  I’m a good sport!  And, I’ll be the first to congratulate my opponent if they make a shot like that too. (I might even give them a 5 second dance party.)  It’s just that after you run a ball down, barely get your racket on it and do everything you can to get it back, you just want to celebrate if it goes over, no matter how ugly it is!     I’m not playing championship tennis out there!  I’m far from it.  But, I’ll take every advantage I can get, because I NEED IT! 

Life is a lot like tennis!  You don’t win every game, but if you make it fun, it’s not so hard to take a loss or two.  Sometimes you’re going to hit some winning shots, and sometimes, you may just bloop it over the net!  Celebrate the winners and the bloopers!  Besides, you only live once, but you get to serve twice! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

What am I? Gumby?

The last few years in Real Estate have been crazy.  And I have managed to stay in the game, and stay somewhat positive.  I know that tough times like this make us stronger.  I have always been one for Stretch goals.  I push myself all the time.  But geez… something’s gotta give!

I was walking with my girlfriend the other morning, and I laughed and said.  “I know that God has a plan to make me stronger though these tough times.  But, I feel like telling to him – God- stop trying to make me excellent!  I just want to be mediocre for a while!” 

Now, I didn’t mean it… I know that I’m coming out of this a better person.  But, sometimes I feel like I just want to stop off at mediocre and rest for a few minutes before I push through to good, great and excellent!   Sometimes, I just want something to be easy.  I’ve been stretched past my comfort zone so many times that I feel like Gumby! 

But, when you think about it, being Gumby isn’t so bad.  Gumby is VERY flexible.  You can bend him and stretch him in every direction, but you can’t take that smile off  his face.  He remains strong no matter how many times you push him past his limits.   He never breaks.  He just bends and pops back into shape.

So… keep on stretching me God… It may take years to get to excellent, but I will keep trying and keep smiling… If Gumby can do it, so can I! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pink Flamingos in my Yard

When my husband turned 40, I thought it would be fun to let the entire city know.  So, I had 40 pink flamingos delivered to our yard with a huge sign that said “Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty”.   Unoriginal, but fun, nevertheless!

When the lady came to pick up the flamingos from the yard, my girls (still little at the time) didn’t want her to take them away.  So, she kindly said to the girls “We do have an adoption policy for our flamingos”.  GREAT!  For 5 dollars each, I was able to ‘adopt’ flamingos for my girls. 

Now they came with very strict orders from me… “Now Girls, you can have a flamingo, but they are not allowed to stay outside in the yard, OK?”.   It was fun for a day, but it was not exactly something that I wanted as yard art.  Both girls agreed, and so we purchased a flamingo each.

The next day when I came home from work, the flamingos were positioned prominently in the yard so that I could not miss them when I came home.  ARGGGGG!  I quickly picked them up and brought them in the house.  I reminded the girls that I didn’t want them outside. 

The next day, the flamingos were back… in a different spot!  This time, I decided not to say anything.  I just picked them up and hid them behind a bush. 

Next day… flamingos again… new position… snatched up by me, and hidden AGAIN! No one would say a word about the flamingos… we were all waiting for the other to mention it.  

This went on for days!  That is until I hid them in the garage cabinet behind a lot of stuff! 
Whew!  When I came home the next they were not there.  I know it was killing the girls to stay quiet about it, but they were probably hoping that I would fess up to hiding them. (Note, I say girls… but Rachie was only 2, so this had the markings of Britt all over it!)

I had a great reprieve for months!  That is, until the next summer when we moved.  We were packing the garage, and the girls found them in the cabinet.  They ‘helped’ me pack them to move to the new house.

During the move, Tom and I headed back for the last load of things from the old house while my mother-in-law stayed with the girls at the new house.  When we were driving up the street to our new home I could not believe my eyes.  Right there in the front yard BY THE STREET were those DANG pink flamingos.  I was mortified.  I hadn’t even moved in yet, and my neighbors were going to think I was already decorating with plastic yard art! 

The girls were sitting on the front steps waiting.  They could not stop laughing. When they saw me get out of the car, they slowly stood up.  We made eye contact. You know the kind - that ‘wild west stare down’ kind of eye contact that you give your opponent right before you have a shoot out.  Rachel just stood there and clapped her hands and laughed. But Britt knew not to stand still.  She RAN!  She grabbed the flamingos with one swoop and headed around to the backyard.  I followed suit.  When I caught her, she could not stop laughing.  Of course, I couldn’t either.  We just stood there laughing for quite some time.  How in the world does a 10 year old get such a devious sense of humor at such a young age? And how could she keep her plan so quiet? I’m guessing a certain man of the house had a part in it too!  Way to pull one over on MOM! 

At the end of the day, I found another really good hiding place for the flamingos, and they have never been heard from again!   Britt - 1, Mom - 1.    

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The other night, I was talking with a friend of mine (a fellow broker) who was quite upset by the actions of an agent from another firm that she was working with on a deal.  The agent had sent a very nasty email to my friend in response to a deal that had fallen through for her client.  My friend and I bounce ideas off each other all the time, as a sort of ‘gut check” mechanism.   It keeps us sane (and I use that word loosely) in this crazy market.  So, we were seriously discussing the situation and how best to handle it.

The big thing to note here is that my friend’s husband was out of town, so she was nestled in her calm, quiet home with no distractions.  I, on the other hand, was sitting in the mad house of chaos that I call home trying to find a quiet spot so that I could talk.
I had settled into my office and we were very deep in a conversation when my husband walked in to inform me that he was going to Kroger.

And the three way conversation went something like this:

Tom:  “I’m heading to Kroger, do you need anything?”
Me:  “Katie , hang on a second” - to Tom –“Yes- can you get me some tampons”
Katie:  (Hysterical laughter)  He’s going to buy you tampons?”
Me:  ‘Yes he is… he’ll buy me tampons, but real men don’t buy whipped cream vodka… you should read my blog post about the Whipped Cream Vodka”.
Katie: “You Have Blog?  Where is it, I want to read it.”
Tom: “What kind of tampons do you need?”
Me: -to Katie- Yes I do, it’s not public, but you can read it.”  To Tom – “ OB Super Plus”
Katie: “Ok, I’m looking at it now.” 
Me: Laughing Hysterically – “ That’s not my blog… I was telling Tom the kind of tampons I need.”
Katie: “Oh!” "bahahahaha!"   

Mass laughter ensued. In fact, we forgot all about our serious conversation and kept on laughing.  It won’t be funny to anybody else, but it was hysterical to us.  It’s one of those ‘location jokes’ (you just had to be there) that is funny forever because it was funny at the moment it happened.   The best thing is that years from now, one of us will say “obsuperplus” and we’ll both laugh hysterically.  Good friends, location jokes… nothing better!

I got an email from Katie last night that said “I signed into Kathy's blog for my bedtime story--was disappointed to see that the site hasn't been switched to yet. :) “     

Yep… it will be years before we forget this.    

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Never let them figure you out!

It’s the law of the jungle… Your babies will try to outsmart you from day one.  And our kids are no exception.  Our first born was an only child until she was 8.  She was incredibly smart, and we had to get up very early in the morning to stay ahead of her. She basically came out of the womb 20 years old, and she would ask questions that would just have us shaking our heads. 

We thought we’d be well trained for the second child, but NOOOOOO… she came out of the womb smart too, and she had an older sister that was giving her pointers.    I can remember hearing Britt giving her little sister advice ‘You can wait until she gets to 2 ½ before you go… she always says, One, Twwwwooooo, two and a half, then she says three!’  Tom and I were just thankful that we weren’t outnumbered! 

The problem is that they are like squirrels… They keep finding new ways to get to the nut.  So, you absolutely CANNOT let them figure you out!   So, we decided that the only way we would come out ahead is if we continually shook things up!  For example, in the “One, Two Three scenario that Britt had all figured out… I decided to go from the painfully slow  ONE……Two….. Three….. scenario to the 1 ½  second version - onetwothree, whack!  You’ve never seen little feet move so fast! (Thankfully, We never had to get to the Whack part!)  And for good measure, sometimes, I would use the slow version, and sometimes, I would use the fast version. You may call it meanness, I call it survival of the fittest!

Then we hit the teenage years!  And Whoa Nelly… we had a secret weapon that they had never dreamed of!  It never occurred to our kids that we were once teenagers.  And, too bad for them, both of us were teenagers that pushed the limits.  They didn’t have Ward and June for parents, they had Eddie Haskle and Pippy Longstockings.   But, our oldest had a secret weapon too… good old determination! 

Our oldest was the queen of putting her toe over the line... She would ask if she could go somewhere after school, and we would ask “Did you have any homework and/or do you have any tests that you need to study for?”  Her instant reply would be ‘NO’.  But we quickly learned that she didn’t consider upcoming projects as homework, and quizzes were not tests, nor were finals, etc.  According to her, she was answering truthfully.  We just didn’t ask the right questions.   So, we had to ask…’ Do you have any homework, upcoming projects, reading that has to be finished, presentations, tests, quizzes, finals, assessments of any sort, or anything that is due to be turned in for any class, whatsoever, so help you GOD? ‘  If the answer was NO, then she got the 4W question… Who, what, when and where?  Who’s going (or whose parents will be there, what will you be doing, when will you be doing it, and where is this going to occur?  Any wrong answer meant NO GO!  And, any answer that was later determined to be ‘wrong’ meant NO GO anywhere for a while.  And to make matters much worse… we were the parents that called to CONFIRM!  How dare us!  If I was told that parents would be there, I called the parents to hear it from them. How mortifying!    

Our oldest was able to sneak a few things by us every now and then. Let’s face it, there were times when she just figured out how to get to the nut.  And, many of those lessons were painful for all of us!  But, I’ve still got something up my sleeve!  She’s going to have kids one day, and I will get my chance to watch her scramble to stay one step ahead. 

Now, for the youngest… I feel for her.  We’ve just finished extensive boot camp by raising the first one,  so we’re ready for battle.  But, just to make sure she’s prepared, we have given her one simple rule … “If your sister says it’s OK, then it’s probably NOT! So don’t even try it!”  

See... Mom's have a way of knowing what's best!