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Friday, December 8, 2017

Returning to the Wonder

Last night could only be described as magical. No, I did not pay a visit to a Disney castle. No, Harry Potter was not involved. Instead, I had the immense pleasure of being granted a white night in December. For the first time in my memory, I was able to see snow. Not just ice and slush. Fresh, sparkling, wet snow. The kind you can build a snowman from. The very type you can mold into a ball and throw at your children and spouse. It was a glorious sight. And one that this southern belle never thought she'd see without a trip up north.
It will be a memory I hope to treasure for the rest of my life. My husband came upstairs as I was on the computer and says, "It's snowing outside." I made him repeat it. Surely, we were not getting snow. We are too far south in Texas to dare hope for something so majestic. But he said the same words, "Its snowing outside!" I ran down the stairs and to the back door where there curtain was already pulled open. White specs were floating from the sky, coating everything in a blanket of frozen beauty. Suddenly, it was as though I had become a child consumed in awe. What had happened to our world that such a sight was possible from my own backyard?! I couldn't wait to be outside in it. I wanted to feel the cold and bask in the falling flakes. We all threw on the heaviest jackets we had  (which were mostly hoodies) and shoes. My kids were racing to be ready to go outside. Laughter and amazement echoed throughout our street. Families were stepping outside and gazing about in a mixture of joy and disbelief.

It was beyond beautiful. I stood there in front of our door, just taking it all in. The cold hit me dead on, but somehow, all I could think about was what I saw. Snow. Maybe its because this was my first time. Maybe its no big deal. I just felt this overwhelming happiness take over. 
 (Live Long and Prosper!)
My husband is from Colorado. He was happy to see how much we enjoyed the wonderful event. He is no stranger to snow, ice or cold weather. Even he, however, was in shock. Snow in south Texas?! Couldn't be. He was also so glad that it was a wet snow. He had explained before that there are different types of snow. The kind that is wet and moldable. And then there is the dry, powdery kind that is useless for fun. But you know what he enjoyed most of all? The fact that his family was having such a great time in it. It was our first time. All my kids and myself had never had such an experience. Who knows when or if we ever will again. My oldest daughter learned, very quickly, how much pain can be gotten from runny on ice. She fell and hit her face. Then slipped when coming in and bruised her rear end. My younger son also slipped and his bottom. But through it all, they loved it. 
We had to tuck the kids in, as school was still scheduled in the morning. But after all the children were safely (and warmly) snug in their beds, my husband and I stepped outside again. We threw snowballs at each other. I enjoyed the crunching of the snow under my feet. He said it was similar to nails on a chalkboard though, to him. It really was just like the movies! The next day, it was well into the afternoon before the snow had completely disappeared and left only water to show that it had ever been there at all.
I couldn't get enough of it. I actually wish we could have another night just like that. Hopefully, we will have more around Christmas time when we go to Waco to spend it with my in-laws. That serene view. That peaceful beauty. The fun moments. I want it all again. I want to feel like a child again. No cares in the world. Just bliss in the falling flakes of white. I don't know what it is, but I know its intoxicating. Wherever you are, I hope that you find something like this to enjoy this Christmas. Be it in the snow, the company, the food - whatever brings you the most happiness. Find that overwhelming feeling of exhilaration! And hold on to it as long as you can.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Learning to Hold Back

This week has not gone as I had hoped. And I'm only midway through. Lack of sleep and enhanced pain are two things that turn me to the dark side. Popping pills every day just to keep mobile. I'm blaming the weather. Here in Texas, it can't decide if it should be hot or cold. We wake up to 40 degree temperatures, and by the time the kids are exiting the bus, it's 80! Then, we wake up this morning and its in the 40's with rain. The weather report says we should look for snow tomorrow. I think whoever posted that needs to have their head checked. This is Texas. We get slush. Maybe ice. Not really snow. There is a difference. And if that is truly what is coming, I don't plan on leaving my house at all. Besides walking the kids to and from the bus stop. But no driving for me. The fleece blankets are on hand and a sweater will be with me wherever I go. 

I had hoped to try to get a massage this week. It had been suggested and seemed like my best option in breaking up the tension in my neck and shoulders. Sadly, my husband and I had other things to do and we never made it. Life is good at getting in the way. Instead, I applied for a job. Here's to hoping, right? It was nice being a kept wife for a while, but it seems to be a necessity now. Which brings me to the topic of my post. Some might say what follows is a product of the lack of sleep and the immense discomfort I'm going through right now. Maybe they are right. Or maybe I really have seen the truth. Warning to the weak - the truth hurts.

So came the revelation. I'm a southern born, and raised, lady. I'm traditional for the most part. I can be very outspoken too. I'm honest. Brutally so. Employers find that reassuring. Friends and family - not so much. I never truly put much thought into it. When I see something I don't agree with, or something that seems wrong, I have a tendency to speak up. Believe me, I think my words through carefully before I speak, though that does not seem to matter. People don't want to hear what may be the truth. It can be too offensive. My husband is from Colorado. Or as he puts it, the north. He is quiet, reserved, and as most of his family are - a peace keeper. They don't do confrontation well. They have the normal family drama, but they keep it to a minimum. When they don't like something, they don't often confront the source, but rather go around it until it reaches the top and they can't dance around the circle. I get it. I don't like confrontation either. But over the years, I have learned that it is sometimes necessary in order to grow and develop better relationships. This is where I probably rub them wrong. I speak out and I don't cower. And as my husband put it, I do so because it is how I was brought up. It is the "default" that my family has. Somewhat true. We speak up when we feel something is truly wrong. Or, as I often do, when I can't keep it bottled up anymore and it just erupts like a volcano. He also made the comment that we "tear each other part" with this method. Talk about a slap in the face. But I guess if you think about it, he's right. When we speak up and put each other in their place, lay out the injustice of what they are doing, what is really happening? In my mind, we are showing a fault that needs to be addressed. Like when someone is acting as a spoiled brat, for instance. I, personally, want people to think about how they are acting. How their words affect others' emotions. But is it really my place? Who am I to tell you if you are talking to someone with the wrong tone? Whether it be your spouse or your mother or your boss. In this day and age, doing so is wrong. Or maybe it was always wrong, but here in the south we still did it. 

I'm unapologetic for my words. As I mentioned, I think them through before I send that message. And since that is how I talk to most people - through typed words - they might sting just a little more. You can't read emotion in a text message. Not unless you add some cute little emoji. Something to soften the tone for your reader. I'm not a huge fan of them, but I sometimes use them to get across a tone and keep people from freaking out on me. So, if I send a message and someone else gets offended, that's that. The only thing I have to be sorry of is the fact that you didn't have tough enough skin to take it. Or that you are too blind to your behavior. Harsh, isn't it? 

This is one reason I don't like being around people. I'm an introvert. I think most people are ignorant or just plain stupid. I find that most people don't think about what they are doing or saying or what the consequences will be. And people are generally too selfish. So, I like to distance myself. I'll be honest, I do this with friends and family too. I get to a point where I don't want to be at risk of being in a conversation where my personal beliefs or ideas will clash with another. So I'd rather avoid socializing altogether. There are a select number of people who can ask me to hang out or chat and I'd do so without fear. I can count them on one hand. They are the few that can handle everything I say without taking offense and are not afraid to tell me when I'm wrong. But after realizing the truth that my husband laid out this week, I think I need to tighten the reigns on my words. I think I need to put distance in my text messages. I can't trust myself to share an opinion. Not if it runs the risk of tearing someone apart. So, I'm putting up the walls. Locking away my voice of reason. Putting into park, that drive to make things right. I'm going to take a backseat and let others do. Right or wrong, it isn't my place to say unless you are my kid. Or unless it is a rant in the journal or blog. Because lets face it. No one really reads either. Okay, my mother reads the blog religiously. And she's one of the few who can take what I say with a grain of salt and tell me when I need to shut up. I say this with love. She's the one who was always telling me, "Opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has one and they all stink." We think our opinions are helpful and matter, but seriously - they don't. Unless you are asked for it - maybe you should keep it to yourself. 

  • Think twice before you act or speak. 
  • Learn to hold back. 
  • And develop thick skin for the times when someone else shares what they think. 
Lessons that I hope I can stick to and that you can learn from. There is a time to speak up, but it is not as often as you might think.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Journey to Pain Relief: GoFundMe

I'm making my way through each day. Pain may not kill a person, but it can drive them in one way or another. For me, it pushes me to do what I can on the days I'm feeling better. They don't seem often enough. I've started having headaches every day or every other day. And they often reach migraine status. The pain goes from inside my head all the way down my neck, and finally, into my shoulders and the spinal section between them. Then there is the constant feeling of being off-balanced. A lightheadedness that makes me feel as though my head isn't attached to my body. I'm uncertain in each step. I jokingly told my husband, I just bounce off the walls - back and forth - until I reach my destination. He didn't see the humor in it... Lastly, I'm experiencing a rise in the  tingling sensations in my hands. They switch off, but at least one usually has this feeling at any given time. 

Some of my husband's family gave him some money recently. A gift. He was talking about things we could use part of it for. Either towards a new mattress or maybe a new pillow that supports my neck better. He even thought maybe a massage to loosen up the neck tension would be helpful. This last one seemed pretty good to me. If we are able, that's what I'll do next week when he can help with the baby. I think this might ease the pain and with less tension, the headaches will lighten up. 

He still wants me to leave the GoFundMe campaign going. I'll be perfectly honest, I feel as though it may have been a lost cause. I've received 2 donations so far. And both have been from my younger sister. I teased her about funding my next medical procedure singlehandedly. Sadly, if that were the case, I won't be getting another procedure for at least 8 years. I'm thinking now just isn't the time. Everyone is pouring money into Christmas gifts. And if not that, then they are like us. Broke. Everything coming in goes towards bills. Especially with the economy as it is. Still, he encourages me to keep it active and have hope. 

That is why I have decided to post this and ask for a favor. Even if you can't donate, I am asking you for two other things. If you are spiritual, please pray. I don't hope for miracles. I believe they are possible. Just not for me. But maybe pray that I have less pain. And secondly, please share it. Just maybe someone out there can help. If not, at least I can say I tried.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gojo Purell Review via Shoplet.com

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise endorsed or told what to say. All opinions are my own.*

I'm so thrilled to be hosting a review for Gojo today. They sent me a pretty big assortment of Purell products.
And just in time, as we are coming into the season for sickness! The weather has changed in most of the country already. Texas is a little slower. It is still fluctuating between summer and frozen. You wake up and it's 40 degrees. But by lunch time, you are in shorts and a tank top saying it's too hot outside. This alone can make people sick. You know how your nose starts running when you are in and out of a cold building too much? Well, it's no different from in and out when you live in a state that doesn't know which season it is supposed to be in.
Then you have to consider what happens when you have kids. Who are also in school. My husband likes to say that "kids are walking biohazards". If there is a sickness or disease to be gotten, they will get it and bring it home to share. This is why having tissues in key areas of the house is essential. This is why every sink has soap. Why there is Lysol spray up and downstairs. And why you will also find Purell products spread out with easy access to all.
I love hand sanitizer. I feel cleaner when I use it. As though the germs are sliding right away with its usage. So imagine my surprise and glee when I opened the box and found that Purell has some new (to me) things out there. Like a spray for surfaces. The Professional Surface Disinfectant spray. No rinse required. Just spray and wipe. Particularly for food surfaces. I can now clean the table like I would my hands. They are $17.36 for a carton of 3, which translates to about the same price you would pay for cleaners in the stores. 

And the soaps? I did not know they had Healthy Soap now. And they are scented! Soothing Cucumber, Fresh Botanicals, and the Clean and Fresh scent. I'm thrilled! I decided to use the botanical scented one first. I was half expecting there to be a Purell sanitizer smell, followed by a fresh scent. I was wrong. It's just the same sweet aroma and acts just like soap. You can get a carton of these for $91 - $98.98, depending on the scent you choose. From what I understand, there should be 24 of these bottles per carton. I think... my math could be off.
Lastly, we have this big container of travel-sized sanitizer packs in carry cases. You can attach them to the diaper bag, your purse, the stroller, headrest in the car, and here's a good one - how about your kids' backpack?? I mean, let's face it. Schools are germ factories. This pack has 25 inside. Selling at $58.71. It would be great on your work station too. How often does your desk get visited and need some shared cleanliness? When I worked, I shared santizer, Lysol wipes and body spray/perfumes. Smell good and clean up at the same time!
One of the greatest things I need to mention, is that you can get these products from Shoplet.com. Shoplet is the largest e-tailer of office products. They provide office supplies, office furniture, and even medical and cleaning supplies

So let me know what you think. What is your favorite product? Do you think they are worth checking out, buying? Leave me a comment below!