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Courtesy flush, please

11 Nov


Okay, ladies. Let’s talk.

I’m not sure why bathroom etiquette is not taught in school. It really should be…say starting in kindergarten when they teach you to wash your hands after going.

It appears to be skill that is lacking among some women.  Probably among some men too…but I don’t frequent their bathrooms so I’ll keep this to the ladies in the house.

Rule #1 – If possible, please leave an empty stall between us. Meaning, if a person is in stall 1, skip stall 2, and use stall 3.  There is no need for your feet to touch mine…in fact, it’s a little creepy.

Rule #2 – Flush…Flush…Flush.. Flush often. If in doubt, flush again.  You can never flush too much.


Rule #3 – I’m not in there to have conversation….and frankly neither should you. There are lots of places to make a call…sitting on the bowl should not be one of them.

YES, the person on the other end of the call CAN tell where you are…bathrooms echo. I know this because my husband subjected me to this mental image torture before I put an END.TO.IT.

Once it’s in this mind trap, it’s hard to erase….

To recap ladies, please, please, don’t pee and chat….or worse, poop and chat.

Rule #4 – Which brings us to this…. If you are a public pooper, please have the courtesy to choose the stall that is the furthest away from the entrance. No one needs their nostrils ripped out and handed to them upon entering the room.

It’s just not nice.

Oh, and if you are a serial public pooper, you may want to invest in some poo-pouri for your purse. Just spray in the bowl before you sit.  It’s magic!    (tested out on the husband mentioned above)

Trust me, your friends…heck, everyone,  will love you for it!

Point is, there are rules ladies. Follow them.  Do your part to keep America…and our bathrooms… beautiful.

.…steps off soap box…..

Never heard of Poo-Pouri? Watch this witty commercial for your daily chuckle:

The bumpy road to happiness

6 Jul


I shut down my blog a few months ago.  Something was weighing heavy on my heart. I knew if I spoke, I would let it all tumble out.  I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to hear the judgment that circles the lips of those around me.

You see, I’ve been down this bumpy road before. When I was about 16, I gave birth to the little boy that saved me from myself.  He is simply the best thing that has ever happened in my life.  Yet, many around me felt compelled to voice their opinion, to question my choices…It was rarely positive or up lifting.

Oh, I get it. Trust me. I know I was just a baby myself!  I knew I made a choices that separated me from the crowd.  However, I was already on the road. Their advice at that point didn’t serve a purpose.

Unfortunately I soaked in way to much of that poison.  I allowed those words to linger to long, to transform the way I thought about myself.  It took years for me to shake that old coat.



And now…Now my son, who is 22, just had a baby of his own.  She is precious and perfect and beautiful. She holds every ounce of my heart.  I love her…I adore her.  I can’t get enough of her.

As I was holding this perfect bundle of joy today, I wondered why I ever let the “haters” silence my voice…AGAIN….

I’m back on the bumpy road… but I’m older, smarter…more confident.  I’m a fierce, confident, kick ass  momma lion.  I won’t allow, won’t tolerate, won’t participate in the negativity. Our family is beyond happy…over the moon happy.  You simply can’t imagine how happy.

You see, we know all to well that there are far worse things in the world than having someone new to love.

I don’t know how I got so lucky to have so much love in my life, but I’ll take it.

Even if our road is different, slightly bumpy and unnavigated…I’m a bit of an explorer.    I tend to make my own road…and make it beautiful.

DSC_6169 se



12 Jun



I’m human. I’m a girl. Yessss, I’m sensative. Of course I’m emotional.

I want to be liked…If I’m being honest, I really want to be adored…and when I’m not, I feel diminished. Devalued.

I understand that not EVERYONE is going to like me. I’m okay with that. Really…. I mean, if I don’t like you, I’m perfectly okay with you not liking me. We are on even ground.



It is, what it is.

But if I like you…respect you, even…It is beyond bothersome to me if you fail to see (and adore) my awesomeness.

It happened today. It was the pits….

I went through the day feeling small…. All the while knowing I’m to BIG to feel s.m.a.l.l..

To bad they don’t sell over the counter Fix-a-Flat for the soul.



7 Jun

dbaf5d44c0c5f50b5b1fbcc9a6c6f40c (2)

I want to write, but I’m not ready. Not ready to tell this story locked inside. Not yet.

When I have secrets, they consume me. They naw at my thoughts and dig their way into my spirit splitting me in two. One side is content with me, understanding, accepting what is–as is…The other, is completely effected. Infected…leaky, swollen, full of puss… THAT side, that infected consuming side, whispers in my ear songs of shame and guilt. The record is on constant replay. It is loud. It echos. It leaks into my daily life, questions my worth, rattles my self-esteem. I try to shake it, try to out run it…try to drown it with alcohol or sugar, or bacon. Sometimes it works…..

Normally I am an open book. What you see is what you get. I like it that way. It’s easy. More days than not, I’m happy, content, secure….Secrets take far too much out of me. I purposely try to avoid sipping their poison. I don’t do things that require secrets. I like my life simple, easy…secret free.

I know myself to well…I know that nasty girl who lives inside where it is dark and cramped. She screams insults at me. Her Rolodex of all my wrongs are right at her finger tips and glide off her tongue. She smiles at my failures with a knowing look, eyebrows raised, lips pursed… That look…that look kills me. Her bite is painful…..I don’t know her name but her voice sounds an awful lot like mine. When I’m hiding, It doesn’t feel like my skin. It feels like hers.

I’m biding my time with this story, keeping her at bay with a stick..I hear her snears..feel her pokes….but I fear the outside voices more than her’s. At least her voice is familiar….

I’m hiding…I know it. I’m choosing it.

Breaking up with Mr. Perfect

14 Dec

brene perfectionism

Perfectionism is a beast, ripped with muscles earned in the gym of manipulation.  He is a bully.  He pushes me around, knocks my books out of my hands, and calls me names. When I’ve had enough,  we battle…  We have knock down drag out wars.  Begrudgingly, I tend to cave at his taunting.  My rationale?  If I let him get his way, the voices will quiet….However, they always seem to return.

Don’t get me wrong.  He is not ALL bad. People are not seduced by things that are ALL bad…He is suave. Moving carefully, weaving in and out of my thoughts…. He can make me feel on top of the world, worthy of praise and valuable.  He gave me a reason to work, to get up in the morning…The drive to succeed. At first you think you found your own personal coach. Cheering you on, pushing you harder, never letting you quit….

Yet, if you know him well enough, you’ve seen this player’s game…Just when you reach the top of the mountain, that moment of happiness, he whispers:

“Don’t get to comfortable.”

“Are you sure that was your best?”

“Are you going to settle for that?”

“If only …..”

The more you open up your heart and dreams to him, the more he space he consumes.

Yes, Perfectionism and I have deep roots. Years ago, I really thought he was my friend. I thought he cared for me and I let him in.

Recently, the light switch flipped and I was flooded with clarity.  I realized he wasn’t working with me to obtain joy….he was stealing it. Never allowing a moment to savor without criticism tarnishing my reality.While he may have looked like my personal coach in his cute little gym shorts, he most definitely wasn’t as interested in me as much as he was in himself… He has a huge ego, Perfectionism.

I knew it was time.  Time to breakup.  We were no longer on the same path.   I just couldn’t continue to hold his hand, knowing  his real motives.  

Confronting Perfectionism wasn’t easy.   He begged and pleaded, showing me all the things we had accomplished together.  All the things we’ve yet to do….  I couldn’t bring myself to say, “It’s not you.  It’s me.” ….It was him…I knew that much. 

My only option was to evict him from his comfy, rent free, residence in my head…It was ugly.  He didn’t go quietly…or easily.

The ass that he is, still pops in from time to time.   Most often at work when my guard is down. But now that I know his game, I can brush him off easier. The more I reject him, the less he hangs around. Maybe he’ll get the point and go away for ever….Could I get that lucky??

Beware though…I’ve heard he is on the prowl. 

If you happen to see him, and he asks about me,  tell him I’ve changed my number. I’m moving on….



Walking in the darkness

17 Nov


I contemplated writing about my experience last week….not wanting to go there, but desperately wanting to let it out…I created this blog with the intention of quieting the voices in my head. To get the hamster off the wheel….In the end, I decided to go with what my spirit was craving. A release of emotion…so here it goes.

Last week was the absolute hardest week I’ve had to endure to date.  It started Sunday night. My cell rings, I glance down to see it is my best friend, aka sister, H.  I smile, and say “Well hello!”….what I hear back leaves me spinning.

H’s sister, happens to have the same name as I do.  Hope.  She says, “Hope, it’s Hope.”…I feel confusion rush to my face, my eyebrows squish down around my nose…Did I just hear that right?  I glance back at my caller ID….It clearly says, H.  What the hell is going on, I think…Oh please God…please……Don’t let anything happened to H.  My heart races, it is now in my throat as I wait for an answer.  I can feel my throat pulsing…She pauses.  By now I’m sure something is wrong…..I want to scream…tell me damn it!…tell me what is wrong!….Then through her tears I hear her words.

I want to vomit….I want to un-hear….I cry out…”Oh my God….Oh my God….I don’t understand…Oh my God”….My husband overhears my cries. He bounds down the stairs two at time, rushing into the kitchen.  I’m bent over, hand to my head, tears in my eyes…I see him searching my face for answers…I cover the phone  barely able to whisper what I’ve just heard.  He sinks…Slumps against the counter….

My H has lost the love of her life….Her husband, the father of her 4 children, has passed…and the world has stopped.

Every second of what follows is heart wrenching.  I fly to Indiana to be by H’s side; to help fill in the gaps where I can. Yet I’m lost. I don’t know where to start, what to do, what to say….


Nothing I say, nothing I can do, will turn back the clock to happier days….I glance around to the family and friends rallied to support H and the children.  She has a full house.  We are strangers, connected only by the love we share for the family….We all have the same look…With tears and mourning in our eyes, we nod with the acceptance that we are all here for the same reason…We tread lightly around each other, carefully acknowledging that we are ill equipped to navigate this bleak road of heartbreak and loss. When our eyes meet, there is unspoken realization that it will take all of us… ALL of our love, to pull them through.

By mid-week, I realized my vocabulary, the English language in general, simply does not have words that can express the sorrow in this house.  H’s sobs are from the pit of her being. They are heavy, deep, uncontrolled. I listen sympathetically. We hug gently. Patting her knee…knowing that we are helpless and hating that we are.  We can only be present…chest deep, wading through the muddy anguish with her and the children.

I want to medicate H and put her in a box for 10 years…only taking her out when the pain has stopped and the coast is clear.  But I know this pain will be part of the healing process….

I know she has to walk through this…and so I offer to hold her hand.

Please keep H’s family in your prayers.


**Rest in peace Mark. You were a good husband, awesome daddy and a hard working provider. A genuine man with a broad smile, and a chuckle when you least expected it. I hope when you look down from heaven you see all of the love.  May your angel wings be big, bright and beautiful.  **

Friendships that never grow old

25 Oct

– 1990 –
Title       /      Artist
1) HOLD ON  / Wilson Phillips
3) NOTHING COMPARES 2 U / Sinead O’Connor
4) POISON / Bell Biv Devoe
5) VOGUE  / Madonna

Ohhhh yeah, buddy…”Hold on to one more day” (Wilson Phillips) ….It was 1990 something.     ^ Those were the top singles of the year ^.     I remember singing that song at the top of my lungs…and I can’t hold a tune!  BIG hair  and big earrings were in. Keds and tight rolled jeans….I actually don’t have a ton of memories from this age…which is probably a good thing.

Have you ever had that friendship that no matter where you left off, you can easily pick up?  They know your true heart, before life got complicated with bills, kids, car pools, soccer games, and husbands.  They love you for you, for the memories you created that binds you together like gorilla glue. I am lucky to have been blessed with  two sisters like this.  No, they are not my bio-siblings. But I love them with every ounce of my being. If they needed a kidney, they could call me.  They are my sisters.


*That is me on the left. S was rockin’ the denim look…and blue hair..Don’t let this picture fool you though. She was oh, so cool.*

My friendship with S started before we could speak. Our fathers were friends…and while I can’t say many positive things about either of them, they did kick start this sisterhood.  For that, I tip my hat.  S and I recently met up after nearly 20 years without any communication. Facebook opened the door and we eagerly sprinted through to each others arms. We spent an entire day together; me watching her family play on the beach. I adored every minute of it, trying to capture moments in time on the lens of my camera.  It was incredible and easy….crazy easy. Peaceful….I’m not sure what either of us expected when we setup the date, but the ease of picking right back up as if we never skipped a beat surprised us both.  Obviously, we are both grown with families. Surely we have changed since we last saw each other at 15…but our spirit had not. It was still right there, waiting. She is like a piece of my puzzle that I had been waiting to fill….  I would give her a kidney in a skinny minute.

H and I became friends in 1989/ 1990.  It was my freshman year of high school and I had just moved to Indiana.  She lived in my neighborhood.  We instantly became friends and pretty inseparable until I moved back to SC. We have the kind of friendship that no matter how old I am, I turn back into a teenager when I’m with her.  We giggle and horse around. Oh, don’t get me wrong, she is my sister in every sense of the word.  The kind you poke with a stick, but would beat someone with the same stick if they tried to do the same… With out a doubt though, she is probably the only one on the planet that can transport me back in time…maybe because she knows all my crazy teenager secrets! My kidney is hers, should she ever need it. (But she has to promise to keep her mouth c.l.o.s.e.d!)

heather*I only post these because H just did a TBT on Facebook. These are the only photos I can find, but I know we sat in this photo booth nearly 100 times. Maybe I hid them to protect myself. Who knows?*

I’m not sure where I would be without these women to love me. Our friendships allow each other the grace to be busy raising our kids, married, doing what needs to be done to keep the ship afloat.  Our love has a strong bond.  It is not jealous or demanding.  There is an unspoken, underlining current that ripples through these each of these relationships. It  whispers, if you need me, I will be there. It is in our tone, in our walk, in our hugs….We will drive like a bat from hell to come to the rescue. We will kick ass and take names. We will listen. We will cry. We will pick you up and dust you off. We will be there despite everything that could happen, everything that will happen, the silence and distance…We will be there…and yes,  I will give S & H my kidney if they need it.

I just pray that both of you don’t ask for one….especially at the same time….

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day

Wilson Phillips

Komen 5k – Mixed Emotions

22 Oct


Third Organized 5k run for 2013 – complete!

I had so much fun! I loved people watching. Several caused an eruption of laughter…..maybe that is why my time sucked….It was my worst time for a 5k to date.

What I’ve learned over the last few months is:

1) Cut yourself some slack. Just because you are running your 3rd organized run of the year, it doesn’t mean it has to be your BEST run of the year. Who really cares?

2) I’ve allowed myself to venture into other exercise options….Hot Yoga to be exact. It kicks my ass. It leaves me sweaty and exhausted…and I love it. Because of this, my running has taken a back seat…my time reflected that. I’m pretty positive that no one cares…and if you are doing what fills your spirit, that is even better.

3) Sometimes you just have to go with it…and smell the roses…and watch the crazy people dressed up for your entertainment.

4) Anything faster than my walk time is a run. Period.

I had the opportunity to run with my friend Deb, her sisters, and friends. They are all A.MAZ.ING. My friend Deb is a cancer warrior and survivor. She did so with the most positive attitude you could imagine. I’m in awe of her to this day. I’m not sure she realizes what an inspiration she is to those who are lucky enough to call her a friend.

I also ran in honor of my friend B who lost her battle with a female cancer just a few weeks ago. She was only 38, two children, married to her only real boyfriend, with whom she started dating in middle school. Ladies, if it is a removable part, REMOVE IT! She is my second friend in less than 5 years to battle and lose this fight. REMOVE IT, then fight like hell! B fought like hell…she fought, and fought, for years she fought…. She was heavy on my heart and mind during this 5k. What a beautiful light, extinguished way to early. Prayers go out to her family.

It was a hard run..hard day, for sure.

Heavy heart. Heavy thighs. Open eyes. Doing my part to find a cure.
and desperately hoping I was able to breath it all in….

Love and peace

5k 1


5k 2

group after

Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee

30 Sep


Oprah’s Life Class is one of my favorite, favorite shows. I can’t begin to tell you the number of ‘ah-ha’ moments I have experienced in my PJ’s watching t.v.. However, I tend to let the shows pile up on my dvr until I’m emotionally ready. Sometimes, I just don’t want to face the music, confront a fear, recall the past, examine my warts and all the ugly that resides just beneath my skin that only I can hear, see or feel. I’m really good at stuffing all that junk away, disguising it with sarcasm and a smile….But there are times that I’m brave and willing to slip on my amour in the name of growth.

Last weekend I watched Brene Brown on Life Class. She is a researcher, publishing and speaking on shame, vulnerability and living wholeheartedly. Yes, wholehearted living…that is the word, the definition of what I’m longing for. In short, the theory is that because of shame we build walls to deflect how vulnerable we are. Yet, we are not able to live wholeheartedly if we are not vulnerable. The essence of wholehearted living is putting your WHOLE self out there for relationships, for experiencing the unknown, for building creativity…none of these things, she rations, can happen if you are not vulnerable. I’ve bought the book….it is on my to-do list.

What I’m currently focused on is the idea of shame. There is a TED talk where Brene does a remarkable job outlining shame…check it out here:

Where does shame come from? Why does it linger in our hearts, around our minds, whispering in our ears? Why don’t we talk about it with our friends? It is almost as if we are ashamed of shame….I’m not prepared to answer all the questions about shame or even claim I’m an expert…Maybe Brene Brown can do that for you. What I will tell you is that once the veil of shame was lifted, there was a realization that shame is rampant. It can start at a young age from our well-meaning, loving parents, when they say those little phrases for behavior modifications…”Boys don’t cry.” “Good girls don’t wine.”..and if you do, you are bad…you are shamed. After a life time of hearing you don’t fit in here, you can’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, why can’t you be quieter, why can’t you express yourself more…trying to be someone we are not. The layers of shame are so deep we don’t even recognize it as shame, but as a way of life…It leaves us battered, worn out, changed, lonely, and fearful.

Over the last month or so, my younger son has been wearing tall knee socks —with shorts. I love his individuality and I encourage it. He now has three different pairs of superman socks (one complete with a cape), along with several other solid colors. He is fortunate to go to a very small school where the children are more like family than just a school. When asked why he wears them he replies “That is just the way I roll.” When asked where he purchased them, he replies “”. This makes me smile broadly. I’m super proud of him for stepping out and being his own ‘man’.

Today I took him to a doctor’s appointment at a new office. As we were walking up, a lady squishes up her face while lifting her brows and with disgust in her voice says, “boy, what is with you and those socks??”….

Um, do I know you??

Before I could evaluate what was happening, I saw my son’s face fall, his eyes down at his feet…I thought OH NO YOU DON’T…you will NOT SHAME him for his socks…

…Because he defines coolness differently than you…because what he wears is out of the norm and makes YOU uncomfortable…

Want to see me go from zero to crazy?? Mess with my children! I squared off, looked her right in the eyes, and with a curt smile I put her shame back where it belonged. On her shoulders. I did so politely and with out saying a negative word. But under no uncertain terms, she knew she had crossed a line. As we walked away, I reached across my son’s shoulders, giving him a slight squeeze… “You are so super cool.” I said, “Man, I love those socks.” He smiled that big toothy grin, eyes dancing.

We adverted the shame slinging today, barely…but we did it.

When you know better, you do better.


29 Sep


For the record, I consider anything faster than my walking pace, a run…

So, I’m not really a runner. My body isn’t made for it. I hurt when I run. My calves tighten instantly like stretched rubber bands ready to pop. The arches of my feet scream and my hips ache. I’ve been attempting to run for about two years now, and within the first half mile, these pains return and stay with me until I finally succumb. Yet, I keep lacing up my kicks, enthusiastically thinking this time will be different. It never is.

This morning I started my run feeling good, better than average. My aches returned a few minutes in. I pushed them out of my mind, bouncing to the beat of the music. At some point it hit me that the familiar voice of the runkeeper ap lady had not come on yet…I must be doing better than I thought! She is programed to tell me my pace and mileage every 5 minutes. I kept pushing. I hit the end of a street, which I know from experience is about a mile…still the ap lady had not come through my ear buds. I looked down. DAMN. I must have hit the pause button…six seconds into my run. I had no idea how fast I ran…and instantly I wanted to quit.

I thought to myself, are you running because you want something to measure? If you are not able to measure it, does it make it worthless? This is a common thread in my life right now…something I’m working on…You see, I like numbers. Numbers are safe. They are constant, reliable. 2+2 is always four. I love the exactness, the perfection of math. If done correctly, you are always right. No, I thought, that isn’t why I run. Although I do love logging a run into runkeeper.

So why am I running, torturing my body for what seems like a minimal amount of calorie burn? It isn’t the only exercise I do. I take a weightlifting and dance classes at the gym. I work in a 90 minute hot yoga class weekly. Running is battle, a true war between my mind and my body. For the next 2 miles I allowed myself to contemplate this.

Where I live we have awesome trails that wind around the various neighborhoods and provide views of the lake. This is where I run. Even though I have music blaring in my ears, it is my escape from the noise. Sometimes while running my mind goes completely blank, sometimes it solves problems, sometimes my focus is the music and at other times it is my screaming tendons. In the spring I’m reminded to soak up the world around me as the smell of honey suckles blooming fill the air. In the fall, the changing of the leaves tug at my heart signaling what I already know, life is short. The gators in the lake reinforce that fear is always looming right under the surface. The blue herring is both a symbol of strength and calmness as he effortlessly plucks fish from the lake. The wild flowers sprinkled along the trail show the artistic work of God’s hand. I deeply breath it in, while pounding the pavement, replacing the negative energy I’ve inadvertently consumed during the week with the simplicity of nature.

I run to see the world through a micro lens. For me, it isn’t just about the stats (how fast, how far, how much). It is about the silent exploration, the anticipation of what will unfold on the trail. I may never be a great runner. I’m not even sure that it matters to me. Through this process, I realized there is freedom in being a pseudo runner. More important to me is the desire to explore, to witness life from a new perspective, to be open to what is around the corner, to absorb, to allow it to change me for the better. Running is so much more than the act itself. For these reasons, I will fight through the pain, battling my own body, against all odds.. pushing..sweating…to log another mile…and gain another ounce of clarity.


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