Tag Archives: thankful
I loved working at Friday’s when I was eighteen years old. I really learned a lot about myself that year. I moved out of my parents’ house on a whim, my only major boyfriend left to go into the military, and I was utterly alone yet surrounded by lots of new people. It was a real test of character, and I didn’t do so hot most of the time. But, it was an experience that made me who I am today. I learned how to dress more appealing. I learned the definition of customer service. I learned how to take care of myself. It took a long, long time, but eventually I learned how to be happy with myself and that I am worthy of a happy, healthy relationship that wasn’t long distance. I learned what I wanted out of life, and not what I was told that I wanted. I really found myself.
One night at Friday’s I was shift leader. I worked with more seasoned servers, was the youngest person waiting tables and ready to tackle anything that came my way. I was unstoppable. Until that night. I had tables from hell, someone complained about my service, I continued to get double and triple sat and just couldn’t catch a break. The manager saw my utter frustration and let me go early, replacing me with not just another shift leader, but two shift leaders. They made leaving hellatious. I had to do extra cleaning than normal, had tables that sat and sat and sat and wouldn’t leave, and was bullied by these two much older (probably a whopping 25-30 years old) men. It was utter hell. I might as well had sucked it up and just finished my leader shift.
The past two weeks have reminded me of that night, minus the flair and free dinner. Everything that could go wrong has. I cried at inappropriate times. I lost my cool in a situation that I shouldn’t have. And, it wasn’t just one facet of my life, it has been my home, financial, family, work, you name it. Fortunately, my relationships stayed in tact, otherwise I am not sure that I’d be able to write at all. When I think, “this is it! It can only go up!”, nope- a new blow. But, unlike my night at Friday’s, I am not quitting. The bar closes at 2 AM and I am going to persevere until the last customer walks out the door and the last chair is put up on the table. I am going to earn my free dinner, and the chance to boss everyone else into doing their side work. I am going to show life that it takes more than a complaint, triple seating and bullying to get me down. I may cry and complain to my close friends, but I will keep on keeping on.
It is almost 2AM and I see the end in sight. We have new opportunities coming our way. I am the new Environmental Board Chairperson for my daughter’s PTA, I have new amazing friends, Jeff and I each have professional opportunities and he and I become a stronger team every day. That is my focus. My children do something hilarious every day. We can laugh. We can snuggle. We can at least enjoy each other every evening.
I watch my tween meltdown and she thinks everything is the end of the world. Not being eleven anymore is enough to be thankful for! Man, that is a hard age. I am thankful that it is almost 2AM and tomorrow is a new day. Even if something bad happens, it really can only go up and it can also be a whole lot worse. I have so much for which to be thankful. I am glad I started my Happiness Project or I would have completely derailed. It is almost 2AM and tomorrow is my day off where I can sleep all day. That is how I recovered when I was eighteen. Now, I get up and have a cup of coffee and watch the news knowing that I am going to have a full day filled with hilarious moments. Even on our worst day at this house, there is something funny and memorable. That alone is worth it.
Daily Prayer: Thank you God for being with me. Forgive my whining and thank you for opening my eyes to the bigger picture. You strengthen me through these exercises and for that I am thankful (if not at the moment, I will be soon). Please stay at the forefront of my mind and guide me down your path and not my path of whining and giving up. AMEN!
Thanksgiving: If I didn’t duplicate Pollo Regio’s green sauce, I made some killer green sauce that I may just drink.
Kardashian Kash: A full family tropical vacation sounds pretty good, right now.
Happiness Project: I have been wheat free for a full month! I have been getting up with the alarm for the most part, pretty consistent with full hair and makeup, doing my stuff at night, and staying on the small things. These past two weeks have been a good excuse to not do it, but although I wasn’t perfect or ideal, I did okay. That is better than I would have been in the past. Go me. I am thankful for the Happiness Project. I would be in a dark, dark place without it.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Lady bugs! Red velvet cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting and Twizzler antenna. http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com
Lately, things have been pretty awesome. Jeff and I have constantly been on the same page. No fighting, no arguing, and generally feeling happy on every level. Not that we fight normally, but none of the normal bickering that comes with everyday life and the end of a busy holiday season. The kids have been good listeners, not sick, and a ton of fun to be around. It has been peaceful and harmonious. Then BAM! I get a call to come pick Syd up from school.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal, but it threw everyone off. Easton was a pain tonight, Q was cranky, Syd acted like she is mistreated and Jeff came home in the foulest of moods. What the heck? So instead of giving into the negativity, I am trying to smile, trying to watch or listen to something funny, and trying not to yell or freak out. I will not end this day negatively. Am I perfect at this, no. I have yelled a couple of times and given the eye to the kids when they were being gross at the dinner table, but I will end this night well.
Tomorrow- Foodie Friday: Coconut oil and all of the possibilities and benefits.
Daily Prayer: Thank you God for helping me to act the way I want to feel. Thank you for helping me to be an example to my kids. Thank you for keeping me positive when I don’t wanna. AMEN!
Thanksgiving: I am thankful for Sydney’s growth over the last year. Middle school is hard and awkward, but she is learning to handle it with more and more grace and confidence every day.
Happiness Project: I got up today when my alarm went off, even though I really didn’t wanna. I worked out, even though I didn’t wanna. I cleaned the house, didn’t wanna. I went up and made sure Syd’s room was clean. And I am writing even though I wanted to just watch TV and fall asleep in my chair. If I keep this up, I will be on auto-drive and do it anyway. Man, I am proud of myself and that makes up for what I didn’t do so well today.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Sydster Special- chocolate cookie-cakes stuffed with vanilla creme mixed with your choice of Oreo or candies such as Heath, Kit-Kat, or Twix. http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com
I make friends pretty easily, but don’t have a ton of life long friends. After sixth grade I moved away from the friends I had known since first grade to Lago Vista, TX. I started seventh grade there and moved after just six weeks. In that six weeks, I played french horn and met a girl that ended up working with me at Jim’s in San Antonio when we were eighteen. Small world. From there, we moved to Round Rock. I went to Deer Park Middle School for the rest of the year before moving to San Antonio. I have connected with some of those friends on Facebook, but don’t really keep in touch. I moved to Benchmark Way, in San Antonio. I lived there throughout eighth grade. That summer we moved to Boerne.
I went to Boerne High School for two and a half years. In that time, I moved three times. Halfway through my junior year, I moved back to Benchmark Way and finished my high school career at Churchill High School, and reconnected with some of my middle school buddies. I still see my best friend from Boerne once ever couple of years, but haven’t seen my Churchill friends in years. I get friend requests, tagged in pictures and occasionally get a Like or comment on Facebook from these folks. They are a staple on my Words with Friends and Draw Something lists.
I moved south of Fort Worth after high school and lived there for about six years before meeting Jeff. He and I lived in Arlington for a year and then moved to Dallas. We lived in Dallas for five years. That is the longest I’ve ever lived in one home besides the one I lived in when I went to middle school. Since I moved away from my territory south of Fort Worth, it felt like our friends were really his friends and that I didn’t have any of my own.
As you know, I am big on the power of the word. I wrote that I really wanted some friends of my own. I needed something outside of Jeff. He has life long friends and I can’t vent to his besties. I love hanging out with his best friend and wife, and consider them my own friends, but I can’t whine and moan to them if I’m having a bad Jeffro day. Not that I ever need to talk crap about my favorite Jeffro, but hey.
Now we live in Plano. One of my work friends came to work with me, so we talk daily and go to lunch. My neighbors on either side of my are a year older and a year younger and we were all pregnant at the same time. There is a neighborhood mothers’ group in which we have weekly playgroups, monthly meetings and ladies nights out. I have a community now! One of the moms even works with me and has a son a day younger than Easton. It is so weird how badly I wanted my own group and now I have WAY more than I could ever ask. I am SO thankful for these ladies and am excited to build these relationships. We even joined the local church where a lot of my neighborhood attends. It is so awesome to have a community of friends. And, my children will grow up with theirs. We can watch out for each other as far as what our children are doing, an unofficial neighborhood watch and we have a network of mommies to help support each other in various ways.
I am thankful for my new friends. I am grateful for Jeff’s friends who have taken me in as one of their own. And, I am thankful to be in a neighborhood in which my children can build life long friendships. I didn’t even talk about book club or PTA. I am trying to be more involved so that I can make even more friends with families of children Syd’s age. Book club is a ton of fun, but I have not been as diligent with my reading or attendance due to my reading of various how-to baby books.
My Daily Prayer: Dear God, please cloak me in love and accessorize with kindness, compassion, patience and empathy. Help me to keep my heart open to all of your children. Even when it is early in the morning and I am a little cranky with those who cannot park very well.
Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for all of my new friends!
When I Have Kardashian Kash: I will be crafty all the time. I will have a room dedicated to my crafting and time to create everything on Pinterest that I care to create and no material or utensil will be out of my budget.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Check out our pumpkin flavors coming soon! MMMMM…pumpkin.
People used to always ask me what was wrong. I didn’t know how to just be without frowning. I’d get a haircut and the stylist would ask why was I sad. I didn’t want to be perceived as unhappy or sad. And now, I really want to show the world who I am. I don’t want to be seen as unhappy. I’m not.
I am quite silly. To some, probably obnoxious, to others hilarious. I want to be seen as that joyful person. I am full of joy. Joy for having a normal life. Joy for actually feeling normal. I know that normal is subjective. For me, normal is having a somewhat predictable life. Go to work, pick up kids, come home make dinner, husband comes home, bathe kids and clean up, go to bed. But I want to be more than just the predictable mom. I have a joyful, but structured life.
Growing up, nothing was predictable. My parents’ moods changed from one moment to the next. What was acceptable one day, was a mortal sin, the next. My Dad had money one day and none the next. We moved every six months to a year. Nothing was consistent. My longest relationship was a year long and my best friend and I had a few times of estrangement, so not even my personal life was normal or consistent. I continued these patterns of change and upheaval until I had Syd. She grounded me, made me focus on our future and provide her the stability I didn’t have.
So I am full of joy at what seems like the mundane. But, it is so exciting to me. Jeff comes home every night and we talk about our projects and the future. The children show us their latest tricks. While we are by no way perfect, I am perfectly happy with just being. We practically do the same thing week in and week out. After twenty years of the unknown, let me tell you how joyful I am at the thought of predictability.
So I am occasionally told to smile by my boss when I am frowning at my computer screen, but in general I try to walk around with a permanent smile. Even on my worst day, it is far better than what it could be. My worst day was probably losing my dad. But, it was the day that I reconnected with family, and the day that Jeff had a professional break through, so it was bitter sweet. And it led to me writing a short story about him and we just finished shooting the film adapatation of my story. Sometimes I get into it with family or go months without being spoken to by someone, but at least it’s not years. As long as I can find that “at least” to every situation, I can find a way to smile throughout the day.
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for not only showing me the “at least” in every situation, but for showing me the most. Thank you for helping me to make the most of most everything. AMEN!
When I Have Kardashian Kash: I really need a llama. I need some baby llama drama in my life.
Tomorrow- Thankful Thursday
When I went to San Antonio a few weeks ago, I was caught up in nostalgia and that always makes me think “what if”. What if I would have gone to South West Texas with my best friend, as planned? What if my first real relationship would have worked out? What if I would have had a normal upbringing? What if I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant when I did finally go to college? What if I graduated in four years and not ten? It is really easy to go there and wonder, and think about how I could be much further along than I am. Or, I can be thankful for where I am because of my past, and not in spite of it.
But then I look at what I have. And it is more than pretty cool. I married someone who brought my creativity back out. I used to write when I was depressed or alone. I now write because I love life. I write because I love to write. I am trying to get creative with how to find time to write more. I have so many books and script ideas, but also a full time job, three children, and a bakery that I am getting more and more business. Have I ever mentioned that I am NOT a morning person? That’s not entirely accurate. I don’t mind the mornings, it is the whole getting out of bed thing. If you ever want to pray for me, I could use some help getting my butt out of bed. It would seriously take God’s help to get me up early. That is one thing I am always asking Him for help with. I could use that time. But, there was I time that I couldn’t get out of bed at all. And I am thankful that Jeff pulled me out of that habit.
And then there’s the what if of having a baby when I was twenty. She pushed me into becoming responsible, and taught me how to love not only her, but myself. She gave me the opportunity to raise someone the way I wanted to be raised. I try to be fair, but firm with boundaries and expectations. I encourage her to seek her passions, but also take her education seriously. I try to be there when she’s alone, but not coddle her. She makes me a better person and taught me some tricks for raising my next two babies. But, she is the one who taught me how not to be selfish and to get on a responsible path.
If I would have had a normal upbringing, I wouldn’t have had the crazy experiences that make such good inspiration for my fictional stories. I can’t wait to get through my projects that are in the works to start a story based on the time that my step mom sent me, my dad and my step brother to AA and I ran into my high school coach. So many things wrong with that scene, but looking back it is hilarious. A) I drink maybe a beer or a glass of wine a week, even when I don’t have a small window in which to consume, and B) who goes to AA as a family unit? Man, the dysfunction is pretty funny now, and I am thankful for who it has made me. I am a little quirky, but I have some good ideas for scripts, short stories and lots of books. My life is stranger than fiction. I can use my real life stories for the weird parts of a book and fictionalize the normal parts. I am thankful that I can now appreciate that, and not wallow in self-pity. My life is actually a comedy and not the tragedy that I used to think it was.
Then there is the what if my earliest relationships would have worked out. They taught me what I need from a lifetime partner. What I like, what I can’t live with and what I need. I need someone to push me to be on time, more organized and structured. Got it. I need someone to push me creatively. Got it. I need someone to not only understand my quirkiness, but to love it. I am constantly told how weird I am for things like being picky about canned veggies and not liking corn on the cob, but loving to eat anything bizarre and strange. I have strange humor, and am a weird hippie-yuppie hybrid. I am pro-natural childbirth, and I’m anti-Red Dye 40, but okay with occasionally eating Goldfish as a meal if it keeps everyone happy and I am okay with processed cheese, coffee, and Dr.Pepper. I recycle, but choose plastic bags at the grocery store and drink only bottled water. I know I can be hypocritical with my philosophies, but try to live up to my own standards and beliefs more everyday. One day I will be an early riser who jogs five miles a day, doesn’t consume caffeine, and fixes fresh organic meals for my family, always takes my own bags to the grocery store and drinks water from a cup. But, right now, I have to be okay with my kids going to bed too late, and eating processed foods sometimes.
But, although I try not to get caught up in the “what ifs” and the “I ought tos”, I am thankful for what I have. And, what we are is not perfect, but we are a tight family unit with more in common than not. We all are creative and love a good meal, singing loudly in the car, and bathroom humor until Easton talks only about poo-poo. So, we’ve toned down the groadie humor, but still laugh at things that thirteen year old boys would find funny. We enjoy the book store, cooking, swimming and eating. We enjoy sweets a little too much, but try to make up for it with swimming and other extracurriculars. We do contradict ourselves at times, but we do the best we can and sometimes that is the best we can do.
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for helping me to be my best, and accepting that sometimes my best is good enough just for today, but tomorrow’s best will be far better. And that is okay. AMEN!
When I have Kardashian Kash: I will take acting lessons so that the parts that I write for myself aren’t given away. Especially when it is a just a featured extra.
Tomorrow- Family Friday