Friday, May 27, 2011

Family Dynamics

Have you ever noticed that not all families are like the families on TV?  Well, maybe I should rephrase that… not like the families on TV when I was growing up.  My family is NOT the Cleavers or the Huxtables.  However, we’re also not at all like the reality TV families either (thankfully).  But, I do believe that every family has a little bit of dysfunction.
My family is no exception.  When we have family functions, there is usually someone that is already in a bad mood when they arrive.  Mind you, it’s never the same person that arrives in a huff.  We’ve kind of rotated that job around during the years.  But, when you have family, you are invariably going to rub someone the wrong way every now and then.   And besides, they don’t call marriage an INSTITUTION for nothing.  As one family member eloquently puts it… “you really ought to buy a wedding dress and a straight jacket at the same time.”   
Yes… we all have some quirks and we have to run interference for some battles every now and then.    But, in the end, we all love each other, quirks and all. No one knows how to push all your buttons like family.   No one knows you (and loves you anyway) like family.   And no one can tease you for years about a silly mistake and get away with it like family.  So, laugh it off, and love them all!

In my family, we put the FUN in dysfunction! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Insanity in the gym

I've been walking/running with my girlfriends every morning at 6a for many years.  But, we're at that age that no matter how hard we work, we just stay the same.  So, we decided that we should shake things up a little and step it up a notch.  One of the girls suggested that we join a couple of ladies that are working out in her church gym.  It sounded like fun, and so we decided that we would join them yesterday.

When we got there, they told us that they were doing an exercise series and they had been at it for about 3 weeks.  We all were pretty excited  thinking that we weren't that far behind, and that it should be fun.  Then she pulled out a box of CD called the Insanity workout.  Hmm... this should be interesting!

Well... the warm up was at warp speed.  I was completely out of breath before it was even over.  In fact, it was so fast that I thought I might have a heart attack.  Then, we did 5000 squats (well not really, but it felt like it), and tons of power squats and pushups, and jumping jacks and running in place, and suicides, and who knows what else.  This was totally insane. (haha)   I realized very quickly that this tape was going to kick my butt.  I stopped several times during the 45 minute work out just to catch my breath.  I realized that I was pushing hard, but at the same time constantly repeating "Dear Lord, please don't let me die right here in the middle of this aerobics class!"   So, with all that praying, I got a physical workout and a spiritual workout right there in the church gym.

When we finished, there was not a dry spot on my body.  I was pleased that we had worked so hard, and also kind of scared that I was going to feel this later.  We decided that we would go back today.  I made it through again, but there were several times that I felt like I couldn't do one more push up or power squat.  And once again, I found myself praying that I would not die.

Well, after 2 days of Insanity in the morning, I can honestly say that my feet hurt, and my calves hurt, and my thighs hurt, and my hamstrings hurt, and my butt hurts, and my chest hurts, and my biceps hurt, and my triceps hurt, and I really don't think that I can make it up the stairs to go to bed.  Apparently, I've worked some muscles that I forgot that I had.  Well, let me tell you that I certainly remember them now!

Will I go back... yes, I think I will, because it's how I roll.  I don't love pain, but I really can't stand for something to beat me!  And, Insanity definitely got the best of me today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Family Therapy

  My daughter graduated from college this weekend!  Woo Hoo!  I am so proud!  The big university graduation was in the evening on Friday the 13th, and her graduation from the Business School was on Saturday afternoon.  We had it all planned out to go down early enough for dinner on Friday, and then come back early enough for lunch on Saturday.
But what I didn’t count on was the emotional roller coaster that I would feel.

 I had to pack a whole lot of work stuff into Friday morning so that I could take off Friday afternoon and Saturday.  But I could not concentrate AT ALL!  I was trying to schedule showings for homes for a young client, and would think about the fact that my daughter would soon be looking for homes.  (Eyes tear up)… Then I was putting together paperwork for a short sale listing appointment, and realized how thankful I was that  my daughter was going to be starting her new job next week… (Eyes tear up).   WHAT???  I am just so proud of this huge accomplishment that I can’t seem to hold back the tears of joy.   But, I felt like I was watching a freaking Hallmark commercial!

At the graduation, I noticed that there were plenty of moms that had tears in their eyes. It’s just that we’ve watched our kids work so hard to get here, and we are so very proud.  Still, I realized that if I was getting this teary-eyed at graduation, I was never going to make it through a wedding.  Then it hit me… get it all out today, and maybe I’ll be good for the ‘real graduation’ tomorrow.    

On Saturday, we picked up Britt and headed over to the Coliseum for round 2.  We got there early, and parked pretty close.  What a beautiful ceremony!  It was so wonderful to see my daughter walk across the stage, and then see her face on the Jumbotron receiving her diploma.  This time, I didn’t cry!    We had decided to whoop and yell when Britt came across the stage.  And, let me tell you, that we also talked the people in the row behind us into yelling with us.  Celebrating instead of reflecting…That kept me happy and tearless!  Having my family there to celebrate with me made all the difference.   

When we got back to our car after the graduation, we noticed our parking spot.  We had parked in a spot that was designated as ‘Family Therapy’.  We couldn’t stop laughing.  How appropriate is that?  Emotional basket cases need therapy, right?    Yes, I guess from the outside looking in, therapy might be deemed as a good solution for our family!  But, who needs therapy when you have each other?  We snapped pictures of the parking space.  Then we took pictures of the crazier of us standing there too.  (And by crazier, I mean me!)   What a great way to end the day.  Do we really need therapy?  Probably, but for now, I guess laughter really is the best medicine, and family is the place to get it.  So… bring on the Family Therapy… I’ve got a few more milestones to get through and I want to do it with a smile on my face!          

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Moth Day!

My family works very hard to make Mother’s Day special for me and their grandmothers. Tom always makes a delicious meal, and the girls help.  We are all pampered during the day, and it is quite wonderful. 
When they were younger, the girls always made Mother’s Day cards for us.  As they have gotten older, they started buying them.  However, both girls are very artsy, so this year they decided to make a card.  And by they… I mean Rachel… Brittany supervised. 

So Rachel set out to make an elaborate card with the Minions from the movie ‘Despicable Me.’  The inside of the card must have taken hours.  She spelled out ‘Best Mom Ever !!!!!’ in block letters and had 1 Minion holding each letter and exclamation point.  SO CUTE!  And, so much detail too.  The front was amazing too.  It had a Minion lowering a sign and about 10 in a crowd clapping.  I know this took her forever to finish, and it was beautiful!

Except… when they looked it over, neither girl noticed the letters missing on the front.  It said ‘HAPPY MOTHDAY!’  haha… What does a mother do to keep from crushing the spirit of her child that worked so hard on the card.  Well… I’m not sure what a normal mom does, but this one just chuckled and said ‘Happy Moth Day? ‘   Rachel looked at me, and in her best Minion voice said ‘Whhhhhaaaaaatttttt?????’    She grabbed the card, looked at it and said ‘Well SNAP!   How did I do that?’  Then Brittany grabbed the card and started laughing… She hadn’t notice it either.  

Soon the jokes started…
‘Oh… I’m just a caterpillar, and in any moment I will erupt from my cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly… oh… I mean MOTH!’   And… ‘ Be careful, don’t hold it up to the light!’  And ‘Thank you for my beautiful Moth Day card’… I’ve never gotten a Moth Day card before’, ‘I never knew people celebrated Moth Day’… and so on… Yep… It’s pretty clear that I will never be a normal mom! 

I wouldn’t trade this card for any other card in the world, and my girls know it. 
But, Moth Day is a subtle reminder that no matter how hard you try, mistakes sometimes happen.  It’s how you handle the mistakes that matter.  You can get defensive or you can give yourself a break and look for the good in it.  I loved seeing Rachel handle this little oversight with grace and laughter.  We laugh a lot in this family… and it’s a good thing.        

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Friend Suzi

Written 2 weeks ago, but just posted:
I was on vacation last week laying in the sun, relaxing.   But… all that laying in the sun brought on a monster FEVER Blister .   If you’ve ever had a fever blister/cold sore, you know what a huge pain in the patootie it can be.   I was 35 years old and pregnant when I got my first fever blister on my lip.  And, about once or twice a year, I get one in the same exact spot on my lip.  Uggghhh!
In the beginning, I absolutely hated going anywhere or seeing anyone when I had this huge monster on my lip.  And of course,  I usually had a meeting with a new client about the time it was the biggest and ugliest. 
So… now, I just have to deal with it.  But, how do you deal with it when your fever blister enters the room about 30 seconds before you do?   Your friends all try to act like it’s not noticeable, but, really?   Your family, now that’s another story.
Last night, my daughter  said  “Hey mom, you’ve got a little chocolate smeared on your lip”  Bahaha…   I expect it from her, but my neighbor slipped up today and said “Hey, you might want to check your lipstick in the mirror”.     She wasn’t trying to be funny, and she just absolutely turned pale for a second when she realized it was a cold sore.  BUT… I just laughed and said “Oh, that’s my friend Suzi.  She’s been tagging along everywhere I go lately”.  
Something this big can’t be denied!   And, since I can’t hide it, and I can’t stress over it, I just decided to acknowledge the elephant in the room.   And this is one huge elephant!   
So… I just decided to give my elephant a name, and stop pretending it’s not there.   When I went out with the girls today, I said “ Hey everybody, meet my  friend Suzi.   Suzi joined me on vacation, and she just keeps hanging around.  In fact, you probably noticed that she came in first.”    LOL!   We shared a few jokes about the disaster on my face, then moved on to another subject.  And strangely, I didn’t seem to care anymore.  
Sometimes, we’re faced with the things we just can’t control.  The more you try to control it, the more it controls you.   And, who in their right mind wants to lose a minute of precious time to something that doesn’t even really matter in the first place?   Who cares if you have a largely noticeable fever blister on your lip?  If you don’t care, no one else will.  So get over it, and move on.  There are plenty of other things to worry about.  You know what… by facing my stressor head on, I took the trauma out of it. 
Miss Suzi came on like a thunderstorm in April, and tried like the dickens to make me uncomfortable.  But, since I had to have her tag along all week, I decided to make sure we both had fun!   Instead of being stressed out all week, I just decided to laugh it off and move on.   Who knew that getting older and wiser was going to be this much fun?