There is a story, for every day, of every year past.

Do you remember this time last year? What you were doing? Where you were going?

Do you have days when you realize…..Wow, that was a YEAR ago…….really? It stuns you.

You can’t believe the time has flown by, that it’s December, almost Christmas and New Year’s (again).

I have glimpses of those years past all the time. Maybe, it’s just having a good memory, or from the photos I take.

For instance, I came across this photo.

Two years ago, bowling with a broken right hand.

This was at the end of the seven weeks casted at my friend Karen’s birthday party. My cast was pretty grimy and I had (almost) mastered being a one-handed (with a non-dominate left hand) typer, writer, hair washer, and eater extraordinaire. Amazing what you can do when you have to. However, my bowling was not so hot – at all. I always remember my cast this time of year, because I could NOT put up the tree one-handed.

Last Thanksgiving, this is what the girls looked like together. Crazy cute, right?

This year.

Still crazy cute!

What’s funny about this is Brownie. Last year, Molly had a death grip on Fred; my mom’s Shih-tzu and our love of Fred is the reason we ended up getting Brownie Poo in July.

Molly holding Fred.

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. His last birthday.

A year ago today, was the last day I hugged my dad, and kissed his cheek.

We drove to Ada on Saturday. Sydney made her first loooong driving trip in the driver’s seat under our supervision (notice I was in the backseat). She was fifteen with her freshly printed permit.

Sydney with only her drivers permit driving to Oklahoma.

She did very, very good. We drove straight to the hospital where dad had checked himself in about a week or so before. He had a hernia that perforated part of his bowel and they had done surgery. I had talked to him on the phone, his birthday, and he sounded pretty weak. But fact is, he had worse things happen health-wise in his life. This wasn’t anything. But…in all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, I opted to just stop, and spend the day traveling to Oklahoma to see him. Just in case. IF something happened, I didn’t want to have any regrets, or I should haves….

We arrived to his room and he looked a little more worn than I expected, but better than what he had sounded on the phone. He did look older. Jason, Sydney, and I sat and visited for a while. I don’t like hospitals. I, especially, don’t like Valley View. My grandpa died there, my second cousin, my step-dad…..I just don’t like the place. The only thing good from Valley View was the memory of seeing my favorite aunt, dad’s sister, there. She used to work at the front desk and as a crazy teen I would stop by to see her. But she had moved to Houston many, many years ago.

Dad was watching football.

Dad was a man with nine and half-lives.

Dad was going to be fine.

I left the hospital room with a squeeze and a kiss fully knowing, I would see him again. At home, in front of his big screen TV, watching OU, with his trusty Buddy dog at his side.

We went to the local Mexican food place for my fill of queso with mushrooms from Polo’s. The only place that makes it just the way I looooves it. When we go to pay, I realize, I don’t have my purse. Now, you know what happens when a girl realizes she doesn’t have her purse, and all her worldly possessions on her persons.


It’s panic mode. I searched the car, the restaurant, the sidewalk……everywhere….and came up with only ONE place it could be. My dad’s hospital room.


Isn’t that strange? Because, I never lose my purse. Or forget it.


At first, I was a little irritated. We had said good-bye already. We were ready to hit the road for the long three hours of driving. What was this?

Then, I gathered my thoughts. I listened to my instincts. One thing I wished I had done was brought dad a present, or a card. In our rush, we had just taken off from Texas and came to the room empty-handed. So we went to the local Wal-Mart and I shopped for my dad’s Christmas. I shopped to cheer him up in that dreary white-walled hospital room. And I brought him his favorite things – OU stuff.

I also, picked up a Christmas fern plant in substitute for a Christmas tree, just in case, he was stuck there until close to Christmas.

Dad's OU blanket and Christmas fern.

He brightened up when we returned. It wasn’t just the gifts either. It was the surprise, the second visit in a day. I didn’t even mention my purse sitting on the empty hospital bed in his room. He kept wanting me to hold his blanket up so he could see all the colors (he is color blind like me). Reds he DOES see. The furry bear guy – which I have no idea what he has to do with OU – reminded him of his Buddy dog. He loved it. He had me lay it out on the bed next to where he was sitting. We admired the blanket. We admired the Christmas fern. We watched some football together, talked, and laughed. I left happy I had gone back. I needed that time and his smiles. No regrets. I knew, I just knew, he was going to be fine and recover – like always.

Dad passed away about midnight the next day of major heart failure.

My last-minute trip to Oklahoma. My return to that hospital room. It was no accident. It was a gift. My Christmas gift. From God, from dad, from the world of father’s and daughter’s. It was my last good-bye. My last memory.

Oh, how I cherish my favorite blanket.

Merry Christmas Dad. I miss you. I remember this day…has it really been a year?…and I’ll never forget it.

Sunday’s Healthy Reflection

On Sunday this time, yay!

Stop living life for what’s around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.

– Grant L. Miller, motivational guru

Enjoying the road to accomplishment

It’s possible to be a little too focused. With blinders on, it becomes easy to completely live in our vision of where we will be in the future, while ignoring the improvements that we have made in the present. The road to a healthy lifestyle is a long trip. While it’s very important to realize what we are shooting for, we also need to make sure that we keep our heads in the present to enjoy the progress we’ve made. If your goal is to lose weight, instead of waiting to celebrate until you lose it all, enjoy today’s small victories and take advantage of your improved health now. This approach serves as motivation for any aspiration in life. Set ambitious goals and enjoy the road to accomplishing those goals, because life might pass you by if you are always planning for tomorrow without ever seeing today.


Brought to you by SPARKPEOPLE.

One of the first things that come to mind when I read this, is all the things you put off, or miss out on due to weight issues. My example, Laugh Fest at the Parks Mall –  for The Levity Project, Katie has actually posted our video under the videos tab on her website. How cool is that? Now, I was hesitant about being “filmed”. The camera adds ten pounds, I wasn’t wearing black, I hadn’t lost the TWENTY pounds – and had done nothing to try and lose it. Me self-conscious? Heck yah!

Obviously, We did it anyway. What it came down to was this, if I waited until I looked “perfect”. For one, it’d be never. HA. For two, I would have missed out on participating in this event. I wouldn’t have lived in the present. I would have planned a future event based on something that might happen – I could have missed it.

And you know what? I treasure that day. I treasure laughing with Sydney. I treasure our participation with the Chicago laugh flash project group at the same time. I am thrilled we did it. We will never have November 7, 2009 – 12 Noon again. Sydney will never be fifteen again, this year is it. For her to be fifteen – pretty amazing.

One thing I never did, was wish her older than she was. Some relatives would, they would want her to be a certain age, to do grown up things with her. They couldn’t wait til she was bigger. Every new age, it would be an older age they would pine for. I would nod quietly, but inside I celebrated that instant, and the milestone she was at. Maybe because, I couldn’t have any more, and that made me more aware of the here and now.  I couldn’t help but think, you are missing it.

Could it be, this span of your life, to you, is just a meaningless phase until you get to the next big thing?

Friends, you are missing it.

The last thing that comes to mind is this………
When I moved to Dallas, from a small town of 20,000 (actually I lived outside of that town), so it was even smaller. Think rural, no paved driveways –  not even a traffic light. I could not wait to get to the big city. Who needed a small town? Everyone knew your business, they didn’t have any major restaurants (back then). There was only one movie theater. We had Wal-Mart, but  no mall, the list goes on and on.

Back then, the country? The worst place ever. We couldn’t  even get cable when it first came out. It was a year before we could.  I missed out on all those MTV video premiers.  In my mind, the quicker I got out, the better.

And I did, at the tender age of seventeen. When did something change? Probably when Sydney was born. Suddenly the city lost its charm, and I worried my little girl would be swallowed up by it. I questioned myself, why did I leave the small town? How in the world could I raise my child in the city? What was I thinking? Panic and regret, and you know, I was missing it. I was missing out on life in the present.

Fact is, Sydney is a city girl. The country makes her go, “Ewww!”  This is where I chose to live, and this is where I make the best of it.  I think I mentioned, I don’t do unhappy, and my longing? Just didn’t suit me. This was it.

It  turned out wonderfully.  Sydney has done great in the city. I have no clue why I worried. She is smart, well-adjusted and thrilled to live here. (well, okay, it’s not FAIR she is not an OU fan, but I digress)

I do love it here.  Do I miss the small town I was raised in? Yeah. I realize all the benefits a small town has to offer.  All the things I did as a child, that I wanted her to do,  and have memories of.  But why miss out on all the opportunities around me?  And there is a lot – museums, zoos, gardens. I found the greatness in it all. New memories, new traditions.

Time is zipping by, I’m not getting younger (big surprise, I know). I am celebrating with joy. Today will never come again. I’m not going to let anything hold me back, not my weight, not what people think, not my regrets, not my mistakes – Nothing. I’m taking hold of today and enjoying it.

What victory are you going to take hold of today? What regret are you going to put in your past for good? What is holding you back from enjoying this instant? Don’t miss the journey, don’t let life pass you by, accomplish, thrive, and live.

The Final Chapter

Not in NaNo, laws no! Not even close.

It is the final chapter of a long, drawn out, wanttorunawayandhide saga.

And honestly, I really debated about writing this at all, but it was such a significant part of my day and psyche, how could I not. I think getting it out, therapeutic for me, and maybe some of you can relate.

You see yesterday, I went to a lawyer. Now, I am not fond of visiting lawyers, doctors, or dentists. Well, actually I LOVE my dentist. Goodlookin’ blonde Norweigan, sweet and kind, yes I love him but not the stuff they do to my teeth – OW. Generally, don’t like the visit itself. I have actually gotten better about these kinds of “visits”, as I get older and things start falling apart I’m too old to care anymore, but I digress.

Yesterday, off I go, nerves wrecked – lawyer – blech. Now let me just tell you, I have put this off for TWO and HALF years. Yup. Just couldn’t deal with it. Why can I today? I am not sure. I think because if Jason and I take that step forward, I want to enter into our covenant completely free of my past. He deserves that. I deserve that.

So this visit is the final nail in the coffin, uhh, I mean the end of it. It’s a bankruptcy lawyer. Husband number two either refused to work, or when he worked he didn’t make ANY money, and I mean ANY. Oh, there were always excuses……bad day…..bad client….bad boss….bad hours…..the list goes on and on.

Point is supporting him, a daughter, two car payments, a house payment and ALL the bills (not to mention his penchant for things) on ONE measly travel agent salary just does not work without accumulating enormous debt. Enormous.

My credit was perfect when I met him, no bills, everything was paid off. I lived in a cheap two bedroom apartment that I loved. It was in a country town outside the city, you could actually SEE stars out there. It was great. How quickly that can unravel when the man you marry refuses to be so low as to live in an old apartment. And the country? Not for this city boy.

I am not blaming ALL the bills on him. Truth is I made the money, I could have put my foot down. I could have REFUSED things that he wanted. Honestly, I was just trying to keep the peace, he cycled so rapidly. His good days so few. He promised so many things and I believed some of those in errant….

Llike he would succeed at his commission paying job, like when we bought a house I couldn’t afford on my own that he would actually help, which he promised to do, like he SWORE he would, like he got really pissed at me for questioning him about.

I could go on and on, but seriously, WHY? It’s over and done, divorced finalized October 2007. I can cry, complain, and stress but it doesn’t change what happened. It doesn’t help me by dwelling on it. I have LEARNED from this. These are the things that make you stronger, tougher, smarter.

I learned to never, ever take good credit for granted. I’ve learned someone really has to back up their words with actions, or it’s no dice. I’ve determined so much, but I couldn’t FACE that last thing. Bankruptcy.

Maybe you don’t think I need bankruptcy, it’s just some credit card bills? Heck, do credit counseling! Let tell you, if it were that easy I would, but this man refused to put the house we I bought up for sale. It was one of two in the whole neighborhood with a game room. Plus, we had a nice upgrade, berber carpet throughout. It was unique. It would have sold.

Instead, he squatted lived there six months until he was evicted by foreclosure. The house SOLD within a MONTH of being back on the market (just like I thought). I had told him I’d give him the profit, he could have had a fresh start with money. Siiiiiigh.

If that were the only issue fine, foreclosure is not that bad, believe it or not. But the car he drove was in both our names. The car he never paid for, the one I paid for, so he didn’t pay that either, obviously since he never paid anything. It took them a year and a half to repossess it. A year and a half, he dodged them to keep driving that car for free.

They sent me a bill for $17,000 dollars. GULP.

My only choice is/was/and will be bankruptcy. To start over, to re-build, to finally have closure.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought, this happens in a lot of divorces. Not everyone has an amicable one where people actual work together. Some just get screwed, badly. In fact, most do.

I prayed a lot yesterday. I took my lumps. I faced my fears. I didn’t want this hanging over me anymore. It was finally time.

Plus, the ONE credit card I still had ($300 limit), I mainly used it for online purchases (to not risk my bank card). Well, they canceled me. I BURNED with shame of it. I had PAID that card off many times, never missed a payment. I can’t blame them though, they checked my rancid credit report. It reeks.

As anguished as I felt driving to that lawyers office (crying), I felt a spark of hope. Hope for my future, hope for a new start, hope for a final conclusion.

When I left that lawyers office, hope was on fire – blazing. I wanted to feel bad about the cost. I would be paying for this a loooong time, but not even that could bother me. My festive celebration could not be squashed, I did it!

The Final Chapter? Yeah, it’s a bankruptcy chapter. The end.

Maybe you have something in your past, holding you back from moving forward, the weight is heavy on your shoulders. Let it go. Put it down. As Jason’s five year old would say, “Be brave”. Then finally, walk away. The last page has been written. It’s time to start a new book.