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Letter to my daughters…

 

My youngest daughter turns 12 today… a “tweener” as she is known as. I sit here, thinking of all the things I wish her and her almost 15 year old sister should know as they grow and mature. I thought I would share all the “If I knew then, what I know now” advice.

Body Image and Looks

Please do not judge how you are suppose to look by magazines, TV and stores. You are the prettiest when you are comfortable with who YOU are. Sure, makeup is fun, but LESS is more. Change the color of your hair – that is fun too – but listen to the professionals! Size 2 is not the norm. Curves ARE beautiful. If you want to wear something that doesn’t match and is silly – wear it, hold your head up high and ROCK IT! If you feel good in it and confident in it – THAT is what’s important! Be healthy and take care of yourself…that is what is important. Doritos ARE yummy…but handful vs. whole bag is best ūüôā¬† Living off celery and water ruins your body. Diet food is gross and usually tastes bad. Everything in moderation. Plastic surgery is NOT an answer. Embrace wrinkles when you get them-it is the way the world knows you laugh.. a lot! Remember it takes more muscles to frown than smile!

Brand Names

     Brand name products DO NOT make you cool or a sign of success. If you find a brand of something you like Рstick with it. Why over pay for a tag, label or status symbol?? I begged for Jordache jeans when I was your age and guess what? I never got them and I turned out just fine!! People should like you for who YOU are not WHAT you have. You do not always need the newer, bigger or better version of something you already have to prove who you are. Hey Рlook at the crappy TV we watch 90% of our shows on vs. the big TV in the basement!?!

Swearing

I know, I know…I swear. I swear when I am mad. Is it right? No. Does it make me feel better when I stub my toe and yell “SON OF A BITCH” – sometimes. When I stub my toe or spill something and yell “SON OF A NUTCRACKER” you girls laugh and then I end up laughing. It doesn’t sound cool when you swear. Even if “everyone on the bus or school does”. It makes you sound dumb.

Education

I know right now you do not love going to school and all the work that comes with it. I didn’t either. I liked school for the social aspect of it – that is probably why I took Algebra 3 times before passing it!! I didn’t finish college. Looking back I wish I would have worked harder and finished college. It is always good to learn new things. Read. Ask questions. Learn about things you know nothing about. Do a crossword puzzle – try it in pen vs. pencil and rock it! Travel when you can. Learn about other cultures. Education is the key!

Boys

Where to even begin!!! Boys ARE good. They mature slower than girls – that is key to trying to understand them. Don’t date someone just because he asks or is Mr. Popular. You date some one who treats you and your heart like a piece of fine china. Someone that has manners and morals.¬† If a person doesn’t make you feel safe and loved – then that person is not the one for you. Trust me when I say: SEXUAL activity does NOT make you popular and does NOT make a person love you more. You save that until you are completely in love with a person. A person you want to commit yourself to. When that time does come, we will talk more! (yes, we will whether you like it or not!)

Social Media

I love social media as much as you girls. A couple things… The number of followers, online friends and likes you get on something does NOT determine how good a person you are. Most of those people don’t know who you are as a person – but only as the stuff you post. Every time you post a photo, comment or status update, it is there for EVERYONE to see FOREVER. If someone is mean to you on any social media – drop them or block them. I WILL always check your accounts – with no warning. You cannot determine someone’s mood, attitude or tone of voice thru a type written message. ALWAYS talk in person to people who matter and with topics that are important. I am guilty of this just as much as any teen…PUT DOWN THE PHONE and live life. Life goes by too fast¬† – you need to enjoy it. If you are struggling with friends, boys, health, family – DO NOT post it all over Facebook or other media outlets. All that does is give you fake attention. You talk to the people that are close to you and keep it private. Again, having a million people comment doesn’t mean that all those people care – it’s just an automatic response. Social media can also be a wonderful platform to help others and to share wonderful things – find the balance! Also – I am definitely the pot/kettle with this one: USE A PASSCODE! Think of Robert and all the times he has hacked me! ha ha

Manners and Morals

I cannot stress this enough – and I also can learn from what I am about to say…. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Remember if someone is acting out and being mean – it isn’t right, but you also may not know what they might be battling in their life. Always try and give someone the benefit of the doubt. Speak nicely. Speak loudly. Be kind. Race, culture, income level, sexual orientation, looks, language DOES NOT determine how you should treat a person. We as human beings are ALL EQUAL. Just because it isn’t the same as you, does NOT make it wrong. Use your manners. Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Say Thank you, please and you are welcome. Say I’m sorry first. Forgive. Don’t go back to the past and dwell on something that happened a long time ago and get mad all over again (Maddie – that means the chicken sandwich story! ha ha). Be grateful. If someone gives you a gift – even if its wrapped up dog crap – you smile and say thank you (that is Holly’s advice). Help people in need. Appreciate things without judging. Love. Hug. Smile.

Cleaning, Chores and more

You have chores at home not to be punished, but to learn. All the things I ask you to do and expect you to do are things you need to know how to do when you are out on your own. So next time you are about to roll your eyes and say “ugggghhhh” remember that. You need to know how to cook, clean a toilet, sort and do laundry, make a bed WITH hospital corners, read expiration dates on food, dust (and not just because company is coming over), pick out good produce, change a light bulb, shovel snow and mow a lawn. They are¬† things you might not enjoy doing, but they are important and make you independent and strong. Work hard – it will prove beneficial later in life. Know that if you haven’t used something in over a year – get rid of it. While we enjoy watching a good episode of Hoarders…I never want to see you on that show!

God and You

Trust that God WILL take care of you and lead your life. It may not always be the life you planned, but when you look back you will have learned from it. Think of our family as an example! When life gets hard and you feel like giving up – talk to God and trust in him.

Most importantly, BE YOU because everyone else it taken!

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The Delicate Balance of Family

A good friend’s birth daughter wrote this blog – it is beautifully written!

Peyton's underused blog

It’s an awfully strange notion to feel a part of two very different families.

When I met my biological mother’s family for the first time last month, I felt akin to them almost immediately. It was very odd to meet and converse with the only people I have ever known to look like me, to see the origins of my affinity for word games, to feel a part of a community that would have been mine.

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The most powerful experience for me came in the form of a 6-year-old girl. My birthmother’s niece [my cousin?], Erica, looked just like I did when I was younger, and seeing her catching minnows in the lake and tricking her older cousins in the sandbox reminded me of doing those things with my adoptive family… spending summer days fishing off the dock and coating my cousins’ cabin with fart spray. By watching her, in a…

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Aretha sang about it, famous authors have written about it, but yet we lack it when someone is “different” than us. Why? I will admit it…when I first heard that Bruce Jenner was going to transition into a woman I wanted to take in the whole crazy show… as a circus type show.¬† I recorded the Diane Sawyer interview. But when I watched it, I didn’t see a “freak show” – I saw a person who had to hide who he/she REALLY was for 65 years. 65 years! That is over half a lifetime. I saw a person in pain because she just wanted to be the person she was born to be. I teared up, my heart broke. This person could not be their authentic self because of society.

I watched the ESPY awards last night because Caitlyn Jenner was receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. I wanted to hear her speech. I knew it was going to be powerful. I knew she would turn her pain into a platform to help others. If famous respected people in the sports and entertainment world could give her a standing ovation because of her courage…then perhaps society could learn something and accept others no matter who they are. If people world wide could respect Bruce Jenner the Olympic athlete, then they would accept and respect Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender. That respect could be passed down to others struggling with who they really are and afraid to be authentic. That it is ok to be your authentic self.

This world we live in is not black and white and people don’t fit into the molds society creates for them. That is what makes it wonderful. The part that makes it freaky, ugly and upsetting is the molds we EXPECT people to fit into. Sometimes it is not that easy or clean cut. The people who don’t fit into the molds are the ones that can make a difference. They can take their courage to not fit into these stupid molds we have created and live authentically. That is courage…

After last night’s speech, two quotes have stayed with me…

“Accepting people for who they are…Accepting people’s differences” – Caitlyn Jenner

“From respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us” – Caitlyn Jenner

 

family, marriage, Uncategorized

Confused….

The events this past week leave me feeling confused. I LOVE the fact that #lovewins. I love that all human beings can share in the sacred union of marriage. Marriage is not something you enter on a whim – it is a commitment. If two human beings love one another, respect one another and want to commit to one another for better for worse, for richer for poorer etc til death do them part – WONDERFUL.

I do not like to talk about religion and my faith openly and publicly…it is a very personal journey to me. I am not looking for a big religious debate. I am stating my opinion and what I believe. What I think, pray about and believe are between God and I. But I am finding myself confused….and I believe others must be as well. I believe in God. I believe the Bible is the holy book in which we live our lives by. I believe God has the ultimate plan for us and he is the man (or woman) in charge. If you put your trust in God – all things are possible. I believe that he creates each one of us differently. How we go about our journey with what we are given is what matters. He gives us the crazy detours in life and its is our job to find a lesson out of them. I also am a person that is not black and white – I believe there is gray area. Why would God create a beautiful human being that cannot help who they love. If two people love each other, why is that bad!?!?! If the two people are both women or both men – why is that bad? Why would God create a person who is designed to love a person of the same gender and say it is bad? They just want to love and be loved. period. I know many people in same sex relationships – to see the way they look at the person they love is beautiful. I also know many man/woman relationships that are filled with bitterness, anger and divorce.

The God I know and trust teaches us to love one another. That all human beings are worthy of love. We are all beautiful and loved in the eyes of God…