A Weekend to Remember: A Daughter’s Gift

A Daughter’s Gift
Author: Robert Sexton

When I imagine
the life you will live,
I think of the pleasure
your presence will give.

I see the joy your smile will light
and the wonders you’ll weave
when your dreams take flight.

I feel the hope
that will grow with your grace,
and the difference you’ll make
to each heart you embrace.

I imagine your life
as I know it will be;
for, my daughter, you’ve given
all this to me.

Deck chairs outside the cafeteria.

Loved how the colors turned out, this is a cute little bird.

We didn’t stay in a cottage but this was the stained glass windows on one of them.

What started as a weekend retreat with the women of my Church, turned into a mother/daughter retreat for Sydney and I. We had precious times together. Lots of talks. I won’t go into the sermon series, but I will say it was about unfading beauty. Beauty that is inside. Beauty that is spiritual. Beauty that is in other things besides outward appearance.

What an incredible message for a teenage girl, yes? Let’s just say our “talks” were because all the main prizes that were handed out – or the big ones I should say – were on laser facial treatment for your wrinkles. Spray tanning, mineral make-up, laser hair removal. You get the idea. Um. Yeah.

So we talked about what unfading beauty REALLY MEANS. I thought the message was pretty loud and clear, but then it got muddled a bit. Luckily for us, we are on the same page. My mom was a beauty queen, but she did not teach me outward beauty. I truly believe beauty shines from the inside. All that outside stuff you do is just pursuing what your inside already knows. You are BEAUTIFUL.

That was our weekend. It was entirely too short, but I treasured it. Happy Monday!

Confession Wednesday- Driving, dogs, and doo doo

Confession Wednesday Button

Thanks to Karen at A Peek at Karen’s World. I am taking part in this week’s confession Wednesday. Thanks Karen!

I must confess. I love my puppy Anna. She is sweet. She is snuggly. She is almost two years old now, and finally, FINALLY getting past ALL the puppy stages. She has been EXTREMELY difficult to train, to calm down, and to adapt to, since she is a Greyhound and not a Lab.

Don’t look at me like that Anna. You are a GREYHOUND, not a Lab. Raising your eyebrows at me won’t change that fact. Also, Salem is not your “real” mommy but she loves you like her own. She does. You are very lucky.

Anna this morning I was NOT happy with you. It was NOT okay.

Don’t look at me all shocked. What did you do Anna? It’s disturbing. Waking up at 6am, to the permeated stench of poo, which in my sleepy haze thought was just a horrible case of dog farts.

It wasn’t until 645am when the smell brought me straight outta bed. Stronger. OH MY LORD, what’s that SMELL?? Uuuuughh….then I realize…..someone had an accident. Since it wasn’t a human household member, it must be a pup. Sydney..shame on you for thinking it was ME when you went down the hall to the laundry room and past my shut door catching the scent. I NEVER thought it was YOU.

I was fearful to look into your crate, as I should have been, it was a mess. Oh P-yew! I let you out. Assessed the damage. Poor girl had covered up most of it with your only blankie. You were in the middle of the crate most of the night, sitting straight up, in the only clean spot. I let you out THREE times before bed, dangit!

It wasn’t hard to clean, but gross as heck. THANK YOU PETMATE for making an extremely durable home that was easy to clean. I totally became a fan on Facebook. A lot of bleach and a roll of paper towels with each smeared wad carefully placed, one by one, into a plastic grocery sack. Tied up tight and put in the trash in the garage. Blankie went into the wash, with bleach and hot water and lots, and lots of soap. I washed my hands a 100 times.

I hope you didn’t mind the babywipe bath. Best I could do, and you really did well not to get it all over you. Just one little spot. You smell really nice with the doggie perfume I had handy.

I confess, I was not happy with you Anna. But it was me that bought the meat filled treat bone night before last. Sorry it didn’t sit so well. My bad.

I must confess….I have the most beautiful daughter in the world (at least I think so). Just look at her. But sweetie? I still HATE driving with you. I don’t offer the wheel, like EVER, unless I feel extremely guilty for not helping you learn to drive.

I just get so stressed out, hitting the imaginary brake, and heaving myself against the side door when you back up punching the gas, not turning the wheel, shooting straight out of a parking space with CARS parked behind us. Ahhhhh!

Deep breaths. Listen, I know. I can relate. I am a terrible driver. Remember yesterday morning at school, I stopped on the crosswalk, without realizing it, blocking the handicap ramp. I watched in horror as the boy in the wheel chair rolled up and couldn’t get past me to go to school. To my extreme shame, I couldn’t MOVE. Cars in front, and cars in back. See, I really shouldn’t be your teacher.

I don’t know how parents survive this, but I am told we do. It would greatly help me if your dad were around. Please understand. I don’t hate you. I hate the system and the learning process. Plus you can’t help that you are blond, it’s genetics.

But I promise to do better. I swear. You will be a good driver (and me too). I will fulfill my parental duty. Love you mean it!

Why I heart Facebook <3

Let me count the ways……but first, would you care to join me for dinner?
I don’t want to be rude…….

Fantastic red wine, and a scrumptious salad from the local Italian joint. Mmmmmmm. Yummy, now where was I? Oh yeah.

Why I ❤ Facebook, let me count thy ways. Yonder my true love waiteth on thee application of thine interest.

Whoops. I suppose I should start with why this is coming out tonight, rather than waiting until Valentines Day. Heck, I figured if the stores could start putting out Valentines stuff after New Year's, then I could tell my story weeks before Valentines Day. Besides, single people need to know. I need them to know.

My workmates were accusing me of not being able to keep up with my friends on Facebook. ME?? I talk to EVERYONE. Okay maybe not all of them, but I’d like to think – I know what’s going on. Some of the time anyway.

I have 600 friends. This is a snapshot of my profile. I have added who the six randomly displayed are in captions.

Now, before you get all judgy on me, that I couldn’t possibly know that many people. I’ll admit. I don’t. But the potential to know them is there. If I were not friends with them, the potential to know them is gone. I would have zero interaction and zero chance of it. Make sense?

And I can hear you now…how can you be friends with strangers? Keep reading, you’ll see. It’s really not so different from blogging or making friendships in person.

From the display pic above, I know all of them except for one. Scratch that, I’ve met in person all but two of them. Cheryl and the question mark guy. That guy, I’m not sure who he is, but according to his profile. He is single. Most likely I became friends with him through this app.

Except back in my usage day, the pic was a smiley face. 🙂

Here is what the info says for this application.

Are You Interested? is the leading social dating app to meet new friends. Click YES on people you like and find out who likes YOU!

Basically, a picture comes up tells you what state they are in and maybe some profile information. You click yes or no. They get notified. Then, your picture, and brief info comes up to them. They can then click yes or no. Yes is a match and goes in a certain place, so you can see those who LIKE you. Whooppee! From there it’s up to you what you do. Add them as a friend. Send them a message. Poke them. Or even forget it. You can even change your yes to no (do they know women or what?).

In all seriousness, this is mostly for fun. Because there is a LOT of weeding. Liars. Married guys. Turkey grooms (as in the country). Nuts. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, or get too offended. By being turned down, or grossed out by someone like Fester Adams clicking yes on you. It’s just FUN. If it’s not fun, for gosh sakes, don’t do it.

I became a member of Facebook somewhere around May 2007. I was invited by my Canadian girlfriend Michelle. At the time we were online friends from ediets. Later that year, we met in person at a thirty-something ediets get together in Ohio. We dubbed it Girls gone Wild – GGW. That weekend all she could do was talk about Facebook this, and Facebook that. And shut up already! Ha, love you Belle, but she must have got to me. When I got back home, I started using my Facebook account for serious.

I did what I do. I play with it until I figure it out. I obsessed. I was hooked. The games, the fun, the many different people from all walks of life. Some extremely interesting. Some not. Sometime later that year, I got my laptop.

I got on Christian Mingle. I used the message boards (except the Theology board-whatever you do- DON’T go there-shudder) to get to know people, rather than profile shopping. The relationships and dating board, he said, she said, and many more. Good people just having fun talking about anything. It’s really a much better way of getting to know someone by their interactions with others. Over 200 of my Facebook friends are Christian Minglers. Over a 100 of those, I have actually met in person. Making connections was easy because of my openness.

Now, that’s my Facebook and online history in a nutshell. I’ve been online a LONG time. I’ve been on Facebook a LONG time. I know everyone who is a friend, if not from school, work, Church or in person – then at least how I became friends with them and from which application. I cherish them all. I am interested in what they do and have to say.

Which brings me to the WHOLE point – some of you know – Jason was on Facebook in the early days. The days that myspace was all that and a bag o’ chips. I didn’t have one, neither did he. I had Facebook. People would say, “Facebook WHAT? That’s just for college kids.” I’d always add, “And Canadians! Who are way ahead of the United States. You wait, and see.”

Hmmm, Can I get an I told you so? My Mom has a Facebook. Myspace? (what?) Can’t hear ya now…but I digress.

My days on Are you interested? began around fall 2007, after my divorce. I was especially nice some days, and friendly. I clicked yes on everyone. I even clicked yes on a picture of UT (not even their face) which is INSANE because I am Boomer Sooner. ANYWAYS, that guy ended up being married although he posed as single. JERK! No picture? They are married! Please single people, use your common sense. But don’t be too paranoid either.

Some days I clicked no on everyone. Rather harshly I might add. Two time divorcee, it’s an ugly place to be and I’ll freely admit. I had guy issues. Mkay?

So Jason’s picture comes along, somewhere around Spring 2008. I was extra happy that day. I see this.

You know what I really see? A smiling person. Now he could be 300lbs, super hairy, wearing a pocket protector in the rest of that picture, but he was smiling. My ex #2 NEVER smiled in pics. He was Italian mobster cool, handsome, a tough guy, who would show no emotion. I clicked YES on Jason’s beaming smile. 🙂 Who cared about the rest.

I don’t know if I added him as a friend, or he added me. Some days I was brave and added anyone, and everyone. Some days I didn’t. However it happened, and neither of us can remember. We became friends. At the time, it didn’t mean much. Anyone in your city had access to all of your Facebook page. Nothing was private. I could see his pictures. He could see mine. I got his status updates, and he got mine. Back then you couldn’t comment on status updates like you do now. You had to send a message and there was no chat. Friending someone was more of way of saying, I’d like to get to know you better.

We played games; wrestling, scrabble, friends for sale and (lil) green patch. We’d send Starbucks, hearts, and play quizzes. You get the idea. Banter, fun, and frolic.

His pictures were nice, but few. He wasn’t 300lbs but he looked short (from what I could tell). Cute girls (just babies). Nice house, that he had just bought. He told me right away he was separated and going through a divorce. My heart broke for him and his little children. Having just been through a divorce and many DivorceCare sessions. I knew all to well the pain of it. I was still raw myself, but not nearly as fresh and tender as his wound was. She wanted the divorce not him, that always makes it harder to get over.

He knew he needed time before he would date. I knew it too. Friends we could do. Come to find out, as we messaged off and on, out all the people from all over the world on, Are you interested? Jason lived 6 miles from me. What are the odds?

It never crossed my mind to meet him. We were just friends. I did meet a few other guys from, Are you interested? Yeah, they turned out to be REAL duds. Even worth some horror story post some day. God blessed the broken road. I figured them out quick. The signs were all there. If you don’t let yourself get wrapped up in the petty things (they’re so cute, sexy, funny, attentive, tall) then you’ll catch on to them. Have faith in yourself. Use your guts and instincts. If you have reservations, there is a reason.

Obviously Jason and I eventually met. That’s a story for another post. Come to find out, there are many Are you interested? success stories. How cool is that? I’ll have to submit ours.

My point, resulting from the conversation today about all my so called “friends” is this…. I would have never met so many great people had I not reached across cyber space and added them as friends. Like Jason. My love. My light. My incredible partner, supporter, and dear, dear friend.

I would have never met, Sandy. She is like a sister to me. I met her this last fall. She was a Christian Mingle buddy from the message boards, that I became friends with on Facebook after I left Mingle. There are many others the same way. Patty Lynn, Anita, Clyde, Stephen, Becky, Mary Lou, Shane, Bob and many, many more.

I opened my life to the possibility of new friendship way before the time of real “social networking”. It paid off in the greatest reward of all. My future husband. Think about that.

To this day, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I make new friendships, and open heart doors all over. Twitter. Blogging. Catalogs, and clubs. It’s like God’s front porch. Along comes someone that he sweeps up to sit next to you on a rocking chair. Maybe you are little surprised and standoffish. You move back and forth sharing your banter watching the world go by, sipping some ice tea.

Next thing you know, they are an old familiar friend. You don’t know how you lived without them, and you can’t imagine how in the big wide world you ever even met them. How? When the world is so big, and we are so small. It had to be divine. Had to be.

My friends, if you are not social networking in a decade of social networking, you are missing it. Go see what it’s all about. It’s not just spam, and sales. You just might be surprised. Give it time. I didn’t start with 600 friends, nor did I start with more than 5 twitter followers. Be patient. Be open. You might meet someone that changes your life. Or maybe, you yourself, might change someone’s life.

Jason, thank you for smiling your way into my interested heart. I am interested. I am so interested. Interested in our life now, and interested in our future life. Oh, how I adore you. I am so glad you stopped to chat on my front porch. I am so glad I wasn’t afraid to share, who I was with you, and the online world. What I would have missed.

For all you fanatics – all things wedding – just launched wedding website http://jasonandangelia.com. This will be updated as we go along.

What’s your online story? And why haven’t you added me as a friend? 🙂

Friend me on Facebook.

My Twitter.

Disclaimer-I have dated off and on online since 1998. To this date, no crazy has stalked me-well for long anyway-harmed me or my child in any way. Not saying it couldn’t happen, or wouldn’t happen. Just saying, it didn’t happen to me.

Fighting the Funk

Owww, we want the FUNK! Give up the FUNK! Owww, we want the FUNK!-Snoop Dogg

Well, maybe I don’t mean peace funky…..

Maybe I mean junky funky….. from cake, and holiday treats.

Anyone else feel the need to detox? Not just from food, but from the lethargic state of holiday. You know? The one where you just happily proceed through the day….it’s a holiday. I don’t have to do that. I can do what I want. Eat what I want.

Laze around in sweatpants, smacking on chocolates, feet kicked pondering, UM, nothing. Ahhh….

So when Monday rolled around to “normal” , it was a bit of shock to my delicate system. Whuh? OH! It’s back to business is it? Slammed all day at work like you’re a house in Extreme Makeover. Then, I get to head to Dallas to pick up my daughter from the airport.

Hello Love Field my friend. Gimme my daughter and no one gets hurt.

The threat worked. It spit her out like a bad seed. SCARY how well I know this airport.

My little child (the Sushi Monster) is jonesing for Sushi. Well, DARN. 🙂

From the airport we take the freeway south. We are admiring the gorgeous downtown Dallas skyline  – look at the pretty ball. The freeway is fairly peaceful and open. I am thanking my stars it’s not downtown Houston.  Death grip on the steering wheel, foaming at the mouth as drivers zoom past, shaking the car wildly –  waiting – for that one half second when the back end is plowed under and we are left on the freeway broken. Yeah, not a fan of driving in Houston.

This is so much better. Light traffic. Nice midnight blue sky. The moon is shining. The downtown buildings are still sporting their Christmas dos. I’m so grateful, and relaxed, feeling the holiday fuzz buzz of funk coming back. That’s when I remember….I FORGOT to pay rent. It’s the 4th. I’m a day late. Whuhh, whoops?

When work didn’t succeed in popping the holiday bliss bubble, then that sure did. Prick. Guess what folks? Back to the real world. You know the one where you have to do stuff. Like pay rent. And take kids to school. No more presents. No more candy.

After Sushi, I pay my penance. I take the drive to Fort Worth to drop a check in the box.

Dallas and Fort Worth are not close. If you are taking notes, you’d note – I already drove to Dallas.

Contrary to popular belief, they are a good 30-40 miles apart depending on where you are driving from and to.  From where I live, it takes an hour to drive to West Fort Worth and back.

Are we there yet?

Sleep was late. I had strange out-of-body floating dreams. (?)

Day two of, in-your-face, it’s not a holiday anymore. I wake up early to take Sydney to school. I grog my way to work. I am in serious need of de-funking. I need my groove back, my energy, my git r done!

Then I found out. I won on three giveaways! Yes! This happened in ONE day! I don’t enter very many and I am newish to giveaways. In fact, I had just stated on Mom Bloggers Club thread about what I hope to get out blogging  in 2010. My statement was that… I’d like to get more involved in giveaways and learn more about them.

Hey, hey, hey! Ask and you shall receive. I must say. It’s very nice to win. What’s even nicer? Meeting other bloggers and their blogs. And even nicer than that? Getting blog awards. YES I DID. But I’ve been hoarding them like a troll in a dark cave. There, there my pretties. Thing is, it’s time to bring them out and bedazzle you.

But…it will have to wait just a wee bit longer. I want it to be  special. Super special. Like my 100th post kind of special. Why? Because that’s what my bloggy friends deserve.

My 2010? Is picking up speed now. I am zooming right along. I plan to be a bridezilla formulate wedding details. I discovered The Knot Website. Why yes, I do plan on being an irritating, giddy bride-to-be (gag) with a wedding website. Because you only get married once twice to the most incredible man in the world one time.

In a Church.

In an actual planned Christian ceremony.

With ALL your friends and family (I hope? Email me your address? angeliasims@gmail.com).

So funk with no groove? Back off and hit up some moss under a rock. I got stuff to do. It’s time to get down.