Monday, February 28, 2011

Perception is everything

When I was 25 I looked like this... and I was told I was too big, chunky, and I was moo'd at if I ate cookies or chips.  THIS is where my spirit was broken and I know that for a fact.  I've never had "eating" issues but 12/16/1995 began my body image issues that have scarred me to this day.

I was competing in a fitness competition, running and working out WERE my job.  I modeled and I hated it.  I knew that those people were after perfection and I knew what that cost me.  I was raising two kids at the time and running my health club AND my other job... working.  I looked and felt pretty good BUT it was exhausting and it was never good enough.

Fast forward 10 years and somehow I managed to stay thin.  I didn't have kids anymore, I was single and dating and had some time on my hands.  So -it helped a lot when I was getting married.  Funny how you take care of yourself when you know you are getting married and you'll be captured in that photo....forever.

but then, reality sets in and as you can see by all of my recent pictures, I'm no longer a size 4. 

I'm a six - some days an eight and while some people say that's "small" - I feel horrible. I try and tell myself that I'm 40 this year, I have a 2 year old, I work full-time and eating healthy is H-A-R-d!

I think all of those things are excuses though and I have no patience for those with me (or you just for the record). So I'm trying to find balance. SUCH a hard thing to do - BALANCE.  I try and eat well, work out, drink occasionally and avoid smoking and drugs at ALL costs.  I want to be a good example for my son.  But it's hard because lately, I'm lazy.

Today I was reading my "Power of A Praying Parent" and it said this: A person who already feels rejected interprets everything as rejection - a mere look, a harmless word, an insignificant action - while someone who feels loved and accepted thinks nothing of the same look, work or action.

It also noted: Some can let things roll of their back, because they know deep within, that they are accepted.  Others, however, may bear deep emotional would from incident after incident of rejection, so any perceived lack of acceptance can transform their personalities into something ugly.

Finally - Even though God's love that is ultimately most important in anyone's life, a parent's love (or lack thereof) is perceived and felt first. Parental love is the first love a child experiences and the first love he(she) understands.  In fact, parental love is often the means by which children actually open themselves to God's love and come to understand it early in life.

My parents did this well.  I have always known that I was loved, and cared for, that they thought I was special and talented and loved to be with me.  But somewhere in my first marriage - something in me broke.  I allowed abuse into my life and it crushed me.

So, why am I writing this in Tristan's blog?  I guess because I want him to know the good, bad and ugly of life.  Of MY life.  I want him to know that he is loved that God loves him. That I love him, that YOU love him.  If my child doesn't feel loved or good enough then he has believed the lies of the enemy.  I will NOT accept that.

I want Tristan to see himself not measured by the scale, by the size of his biceps or through the eyes of others. I want him to see himself the way that God sees him. 

T, you will make mistakes, you will hurt and get hurt, you will feel less than and not enough but always, always look to God's Word to see your TRUE value, your TRUE worth and your TRUE beauty.  Mommy struggles with vanity, with what others think and so rarely I go to God's Word and read who HE tells me that I AM... not who I want to be (because no matter how hard I try, I'm broken) - but He sees me blameless and wonderfully made.  He doesn't care if I'm a size 4 or size 40, he wants me to care for myself (honor my temple) and live in this world putting others first.

It's really true... perspective is everything.

Isaiah 54:17:   No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteous is from Me, says the Lord.

And he sleeps - FINALLY!!!

So yesterday I put Tristan down for his usual nap at 12:45pm. Now, because he's in the big boy bed... he has more control over his situation but usually I have no issue.. he goes down.

At about 1:30 I could hear him in there yelling "Ohhhhh Toooodles!" and for those of you that watch The Mickey Mouse Club House - you know how funny that is. Toodles is Mickey's "helper" that gets him out of a tough situation. So I went back in and told him it was time for "Night Night" and he crawled in his bed.

I went back in at 2:30pm and he was in the corner of his room, quitely playing with all of his stuffed animals. He was talking away, playing with blocks and balls and reading stories to ..well, I don't know who....
At 3pm I called Holt... "Should I let him get up, we obviously can't go to Mattie's birthday party" because I KNOW he will melt at some point... Holt and I agree, 3:30pm he could get up. Maybe he was done with naps!
3:25 I went in... he was wide awake...panting like a puppy and trying to lick my arm. Ok, that's new... and strange... but sooo funny so I belly laughed which of course made him belly laugh.
We came into the living room, I put on The Mickey Mouse Club House... he wanted chips. Baked Cheetos it is - check! He wanted juice... apple juice he received - Check! Changed his diaper - check! Sucked his boogers... stinkin' runny nose - check!
Door bell rang... Bebah came over to pick up some dinner. I said your grandson is over there, I'll grab your food. We commented on how well behaved the dogs were (I was so proud)...
Two seconds later - Ruth Ann is cracking up. She said - TRISTAN IS ASLEEP...
I said NOOOOOOOO way! I've been trying for HOURS. In his room?
She said no....

HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, I put him in his bed!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Date night - DONE RIGHT!

Last night our church made 750 goodie bags to give away to the first people at the church to pick them up. What an awesome way to build into marriages!!

when you arrived... they even gave you a little Polaroid to remember your night!

and off we went. We had a sitter lined up but they accidentally messed up weekend, Bebah wanted to see Tristan so it worked out perfectly.
We took Tristan to dinner with us at Red Fish Grill and he was awesome. We were passing the time in Pier One (I know.. INSANE to bring a two year old into Pier One) and he was SO good that I bought him a paper yo yo... I used to love those things. That $1 item was short lived... BUT he fell in love with a dinosaur. Not's really an alligator but he is adamant that it's a dino... so .. it's a dino. Will show pics later, he's sleeping with him right now.
We had a ton of questions to read and discuss and it makes you go waaay back and also brings you in to the present and gets you talking about what you love about each other.

We needed that. Holt and I have had a really rough 4 years in our marriage. Family stressors, finances, leaving our friends and community in Chicago just about wrecked our marriage. We are in counseling and in ReEngage and it's changing our marriage for the better.
Anyway.. the questions were great and we were able to really tell each other what we LOVED about each other. IT was a bit toough with a two year old though... so....
We dropped T off to Bebah and Gwampa and headed to my surprise.
Let me start off by saying this is TOTAL love for me from my hubby... he hates these.
We bought $20 worth of tickets. He said he needed to "build up to" my favorite ride so we started off on the ZIPPER. It's kind of like that big boat at six flags and you just swing back and forth and back and forth and you are weightless for a second....
Well THIS zips around and around and around... complete circle, hang... repeat circle hang... then she haaaaaaaaaaaaaaangs and then you go backwards. Mid ride Holt yet "Why is this so loooong? We only gave you 4 tickets??" I almost peed in my pants.

Then we rode another ride that I can't find a picture of but it was just circling and it was intense. Even I wondered why I said yes to that one.
So we only had 8 tickets left (1 more ride each) and after we walked around and let our stomachs settled ... we hit it!
I LOVE THIS RIDE. You go around and around in those bucket things AND if like me you love to spin... you rock back and forth and spin WHILE spinning. OH IT IS A WOW for sure (do I get a point for that Holt?)

Now this is the version that I am used to... Tracy Poole can attest...we had a carnival on our school grounds once in Buffalo. I made her ride this so many times that we had goose eggs on our spine from hitting the back so many times while spinning. Remember Pook?

Then we headed off to OBEETZ...a jazz club we just read about.
More questions, more great conversation at this odd little place... not really a jazz bar but COOL for sure!

This wasn't the guy that sang but it was the same "deal" - guy, guitar,mic, on small stage - awesome!

This is the dessert display and we ordered a piece of cheesecake... Date Night Done right told us to chat about questions while you had dessert too.... I'm not a dessert person but I DO love cheesecake. It was the LARGEST piece I have ever seen in all my life and I'm not kidding. It was like 1/4 of the cake for $7. yes please!

So we sat, played "I Spy"for about 45 minutes (I spy a turtle with no head, I spy a creepy figured triangle sign, I spy an alligator, I spy a beer on a diving board) - I'm telling you it was stellar... they are decorated with lawn art and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Imagine this at night... good stuff

It's someday how I hope our backyard will be. Inviting, hilarious, red wine flowing and full of Jimmy Buffet/Kenny Chesney music...bring on the sand!
We ended with the rest of our questions and both just held hands and realized that THIS is how you make a date great.
Thank you Watermark - thank you Holt... we haven't had that good of a time in about 3 years. We needed it...let's do this more often. I love you!
PS - Tristan when you start dating at 45 ... ask Daddy - he's a pro!

Irish Eyes are Smilin'

Tomorrow is silly hat day at school....

Trying to warm Tristan up to the idea...

he hates hats and kept saying OWIE (it's on a headband)

and as you can see, he wasn't having any of it...

But I explained that this was in honor of GG Joan... and EVERY March we celebrate GG Joan...

So he decided that BECAUSE she gave him her hair and eyes... that it would be ok

and he dealt with it

and he fought me a little (a lot) but in the end, I asked nicely...

and he obliged. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Ok, ok Mom... I bribed him with PEZ. It worked didn't it????????????
I love and miss you Grandma!

Kayla's gift gives on and on and on...

Ms. Megan is 18!

Well, we arrived early to set up for Megan's surprise party and Tristan got smooches and frosting from Auntie Connie!

Check SpellingPeek-A-Boo!
Showing off cake #1 - little Megan!

and I'd say she was shocked...wouldn't you?

And the Tristan Whisperer arrived.... he loves Lauren!

Happy Birthday Megan!

Connie greets her hubby John

And Grandma Grace (who is deaf - you'll see some signing so I thought I'd explain)

Megan's face full of pure joy!

Holt records the entire night

Lauren steals Tristan kisses


and then the big surprise

The Farmer Five (her best guy friends in choir are coming... the pic below she still hadn't seen them yet)

Connie and John and one of their best friends

Ooops, these are out of order. Brianna was involved in a tie breaker and couldn't think of the answer that even I knew... Megan's favorite Broadway Play- WICKED!!

Lauren - the Tristan Whisperer got him to eat EVERYTHING on his plate it was awesome!

ok, back to the Farmer Five arriving....

they sang Happy Birthday to her then revealed their shirts...
she didn't get it...
so Connie had to TELL her she was going to Italy with them in July for her 18th birthday


and couldn't have been more excited!

Meg and all her friends

I told them to give me a goofy face... and they did well

Hopefully I can photo shop this because I think it will be a cool shot
Megan and her Ya-Ya's

Blowing out candles...

family shot

then the rest of the Texas gang...

We all said our favorite memory of Megan and her best friend Gabe went last
Not a dry eye in the house..... sorry about her missing head... it was just a really difficult room in the Olive Garden to take pictures.

He was laughing and was great

I think she was touched too :)

Connie signed everything that each of us said so her Mom could "hear"

It was quite impressive
then Megan discovered helium... first time for everything I guess... I just can't believe it took her 18 years!

She was hooked.
What an awesome birthday, Connie is SUCH an awesome Mom... so intentional.
Now... can I come to Italy too? I'll take better pics I promise!