Sunday, February 19, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 18 and 19

I won a perk from Klout for a Dreamworks Family Fun Night at the Opryland Hotel here in Nashville.    I have to share it with you because it was just so awesome! We received a package that included a one night stay at the hotel (man, the rooms are nice), free dinner, free ride on the Delta Queen riverboats, the boys got to meet Alex from Madagascar, and at the end of the night...a DJ dance party with Shrek, Fiona, and Puss in Boots and lots of yummy snacks and drinks and a free souvenir photo.  The cherry on top was a complimentary Shrek themed breakfast served to us this morning in the room.  What a breakfast too! Scrambled eggs (some of the best I've ever had), sausage and bacon, potatoes, Shrek shaped waffles and pancakes, fruit, muffins, danish, croissants, coffee, Shrek juice, and milk.  Yummo! We had such a great time and an added bonus was all the exercise I got walking all over the HUGE Opryland hotel and dancing at the dance party.  Such an awesome and it cost us absolutely nothing.  Pretty cool for people who are as broke as we are.  LOL! Here's a picture of my boys with Puss in Boots at the dance party last night:

Friday, February 17, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 17

What do you think of the saying, "A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life."

I have had several women friends who have sons and they told me that once they were grown, they grew apart.  I know my husband and his brother are not close with their mother at all, but that's not completely a fault of theirs.  On the other hand, my sister is still very close with her son and my aunt seems to be close with her grown sons as well.  On the daughter side, I know that I'm virtually inseparable from my mom and my sister is very close with her too, even thought she lives out of state.  I sincerely hope that this will not be the case with my sons.  I am working very hard to keep close relationships with them and I'm hoping that I can be accepting of the women they choose as their partners in the future.  So, I guess the saying is subjective.  It really depends on the individuals and the family circumstances surrounding them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 16

Respond to the proverb: "Treat your family like friends and your friends like family."

I've heard it said before, "You treat your friends better than you treat your family." I guess what it means is that we are just really comfortable with our families, and usually feel certain that we can speak to them and treat them however we want, whether it be good or bad. This is because our families (usually) love us unconditionally. This isn't always the case with friends. So, the proverb is stating the obvious. We should treat our families like our friends and treat our friends more like our families. Makes sense to me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 13, 14, 15 and ROW80 (FAIL) Check-In


ROW80 Check-In after the jump (below)....

What do you think of the saying, "blood is thicker than water."
I'm not sure what I think about this saying.  I mean, are there things that a family does that are unforgivable?  I think about people like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy.  Their families loved them and I think, in Dahmer's case, that they still loved him even after all the horrible things he did.  I know I always say to myself that I will always love my sons, no matter what, but what if (God forbid) one of them was to turn out really bad or commit some horrible crime.  Would I be able to love them still?  I really think that this is something that a person just will not know until it actually happens to them.  So, what do I think of the saying?  Well, I know that we are more able to forgive our families than anyone else so in that sense, I would have to say that it's true.

Tell us about someone you love -- your partner, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, dog...

Since I mentioned my sons above, I just want to set minds at rest that my sons are two wonderful individuals.  

My son, Gabe, has had a lot of problems and struggles over the years.  He has ADHD and severe anxiety.  School, and life in general, has been a constant struggle for him.  Yet he perseveres and continues on.  As he is getting older, he is becoming more conscientious and despite all his problems at school (he has been bullied and shunned by other kids), he never gives me a hassle about going and he keeps trying.  He was lucky enough to be picked to attend a magnet school for junior high and I'm so excited for his future! 

My son, Reece, Gabe's little brother (well, they're only 14 months apart) is my little smart one.  He has consistently been an A and B student for the past several years.  He learns very fast.  He also shares my adoration for reading which I am absolutely thrilled about.  He makes friends very easily and he is a very kind and conscientious child.  He still has a bit of immaturity which can lead to some bratty actions at times, but overall, he's a good kid.

They are loving sons and I love them more than anything in this world. <3

Joyce Brothers said, "When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." True or false? 

I would have to say 'true'.  I wouldn't trade my family for anything in this world and I didn't have them, I know I would not be as happy of a person as I am.  I am very close with my mom.  She's really my best friend.  I'm close to my dad and my aunts and cousins.  Although my sister lives in another state, we are still very close and I'm also close to her kids, my nieces and nephew.  My husband and I are somewhat close (we've grown apart over the years).  Although things are not like they used to be, we still have a relationship that I can only describe as comfortable.  But the two members of my family who have truly made my happiness are my sons.  Being a mother has been the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  So yes, family happiness is the greatest happiness.

ROW80 Check-In

Yeah, you read the post title correctly.  FAIL  Not a big surprise coming from me.  I've failed at pretty much every goal I've set for myself for the new year.  I'm still trying and I'll never give up, but it's hard not to get discouraged.  One day leads into the next and before you know it, another week has gone by.  Another week of epic occurrences of not accomplishing anything productive.  *frown*  Ah well, a human being is a work in progress and this human being is going to be up on that easel for a long time.  But you know what?  Just like that painting is eventually finished, so will I be.  I have faith in that fact.

I have decided that the only way I'm going to get anything done is if I remove myself from all distractions.  My kids are at school during the day, but my husband works 2nd shift so he's home while the kids are at school.  Then at night, the kids are home.  So I have family distractions and TV and internet....aaarrrgh!  I'm sure you all can relate.  Then there's the fact that we live in a small two bedroom aparment.  There really is no escape here.  I'm seriously considering renting me a small, climate-controlled storage space to use as my little writing retreat.  It may sound crazy, but I'm serious.  They're actually relatively affordable, but I'll most likely have to keep it a secret.  My husband will probably think it's dumb.  He just doesn't get the artist's life.  In the meantime, I'm going to...

--continue research
--reading on the craft
--do more planning to continue where I left off with the WIP

Thank you for listening to me whine.  ;O)

Monday, February 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 10, 11, and 12

Do you live close to your family?

I grew up in Michigan, living with my parents and my sister.  My whole life all our relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) lived in the south and we only saw them once, maybe twice, a year.  When my parents split up in 1985, my dad moved down to Tennessee to be near his family.  I moved down in 1991 to pursue a singing career (that's a long story) and to be close to my dad.  My mom and my sister remained in Michigan until my mom decided to move down when my second son was born.  She was tired of working retail and the job market up there was not good so she knew there were better opportunities in Tennessee, plus she could be close to her new grandsons (my sister's kids were already almost grown, or close to it).  So now I have my beloved mom here with me and I'm close to my dad, my grandparents (which is good because they are getting up there in age.  My grandfather is close to 90), my aunts and uncle, and my cousins.  The hard part is that my sis and her kids still live up north and we don't get to see them as often as we would like.  I guess it's a trade off, but it sucks!

For day 11 and 12....

I was saddened yesterday when I heard that Whitney Houston died.  I can't really say that I was surprised though.  She had really let her life go and it's yet another sad example of a person who lets a man and a substance(s) ruin her life.  Let me explain.  I do mean to say that Bobby Brown contributed to her downfall, but it was her responsibility to walk away from a debilitating relationship.    When she finally did, it was too late.  When she made her comeback...what was it, two/three years ago...she just did not have it anymore.  That kind of failure can be devastating to a person who once had so much talent.  And substance abuse only exacerbates a person's ability to stay strong, to overcome, and come back from a set back like that.  I pray that she did not kill herself, but ultimately, if she was still using drugs, she most definitely contributed to her own death.  Rest in peace, dear Whitney.  May you find the peace that you could not seem to find in life.

The Grammy awards! What a great show this year.  Not a boring moment, in my opinion.  Of course, Adele was the highlight for me.  I just love that woman! She has such a terrific voice and she seems like a humble and grounded person.  It was obvious that she was a bit nervous to sing after having just recuperated from major vocal cord surgery, but she really pulled it out.  Such an awesome voice.  I truly believe that she deserved every last one of the six Grammys she won tonight.  So looking forward to her future records.  Other highlights of the night for me were The Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl...be still my heart), Rihanna and Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, and the Paul McCartney performance at the end.  Also, liked the Glen Campbell tribute because of Blake Shelton (lurve him!).  I did not enjoy Nikki Minaj (ugh! So overrated) at all, but really that was the only performance that I could have done without.  Well, Sir Paul's first 'standard' performance left a lot to be desired.  Sorry....  In all, an excellent show.  I have the Grammy 2012 nominees CD on the way and I can't wait to play it and relive the moments again. =O)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Days 7, 8, and 9

Who is your favorite person in your extended family?

I would have to say that would be my aunt, Gina.  We used to spend tons of time together from when I moved to Nashville in 1992 up until a few years ago when she became really busy working.  Now we don't spend as much time as we used to, but I will always remember all the fun stuff we have done together.  From the Halloween parties we used to host for her daughters (these were more than just parties...more like haunted horror houses...a lot of work, but a total riot) to just going to yard sales, shopping, or going to movies, we always had such fun together.  I keep meaning to talk to her more often.  I don't think we'll ever go back to the way things were.  Our lives have become so busy.  But we need to at least go to lunch together from time to time.  I miss our close relationship.


Do you have a friend who is practically a brother or sister?

My best friend, Lisa, who I've been friends with since 6th grade.  We were always super close and we remain so, even though she lives in Michigan and I live in Nashville.  It doesn't matter if we don't talk for months and months.  Every time we get together, it's like we have never been apart.  Those are the kinds of friends who are like brothers and sisters.  The ones who love you unconditionally and never stop being your friend no matter what.  That is what Lisa is to me.

Talk about this quote: "Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends."

What this quote means to me is that family is family and no matter what, you love them because they're family.  They were chosen by fate and fate, in my mind, means it was meant to be.  They were meant to be your family.  On the other hand, when you choose your friends, you are making that choice.  You are choosing a friend who treats you good and right or a friend who treats you like shit.  Going back to the question above, true friends are like brothers or sisters, and they are chosen by fate, in my opinion.  But the 'friends' who have fallen by the wayside or abandoned you in times of need, who were chosen by you, were not chosen by fate because friends like that are not meant to be.  Make sense?

Monday, February 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 6

I'm not using the writing prompt that was posted today.  However, this month's team is relative so I will share with you my new grand-nephew.  Introducing....

Joshua Tyler
Born Friday, February 3, 2012
8 lb, 11oz 
19 3/4 inches long

My first grand-nephew (I have two grand nieces by my niece, Amber).  The first boy born in quite awhile.  I was beginning to think I was going to be the only one with boys. =O)  Isn't he precious?!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 3, 4, 5

Do you have siblings?  What are they like?

I have a younger sister and a half brother.  I didn't grow up with my brother so I really don't know much about him other than that he is a good man, a loving husband, and a great father.  I wish we could have known each other more when we were growing up.  It would have been nice to have a big brother.  I do have him now though and that's what counts.

My sister and I were very close growing up.  We spent a large part of our childhood and adolescence living pretty far out in the country so there were many times that we were all we had.  I love my sister dearly.  She is a kind and giving soul.  So willing to sacrifice herself for others.  I worry about her because I think many people might try to take advantage of her kindness.  Don't get me wrong though.  She's no pushover.  She's just a very soft-hearted person, sometimes to her detriment.  She has always been there for me and I could not have asked for a better little sister.  I will always be proud of her and she will always hold a top spot in my heart.

Saturday and Sunday...free writing


I'm combining Saturday and Sunday because, as usual, I'm behind on this blog post a day thing.  I really must force myself to start writing these in the morning.  Then I can't let the day get away from me.

What a weekend! I went to see The Woman in Black on Saturday.  Wow! A great movie.  Very gothic, atmospheric, and creepy.  I was on the edge of my seat and hiding my eyes the entire time.  Daniel Radcliffe was very good in it.  I think he has a brill career ahead of him.  I also was supposed to be participating in a read-a-thon, but I did not do well on it at all.  Maybe I need to have a self-imposed read-a-thon by myself.  Something to consider.

How about that Super Bowl?! So thrilled that the Giants won.  I was going to have to join a convent if that Hail Mary pass would have hit its mark.  Thank goodness it didn't.  If I had to hear anymore Tom Brady this or Tom Brady that, I don't think I could have stood it.  LOL  In all though, it was a great game and I though Madonna's half time show was excellent (with the exception of Nikki Menaj, that is).  That woman is amazing for her age.  She's still got it, even after all these years.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

NaBloPoMo-Day 2

Tell us about your father....

Not many are lucky enough to have a dad like mine.  When we were little, Dad had no problem taking me and my sister places.  He wasn't one of those dads that couldn't 'handle' the kids on his own.  My dad liked spending time as a family.  Whether it meant playing games, going on family trips, or just going to the movies, Dad always made it fun...and funny.  I really remember Dad making us laugh a lot.  I think the most important thing about my dad was that he was always there when we needed him and we could talk to him about anything.  The same holds true to this day.   Dad is always there when I need him.  A better father I could not have asked for.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo--Day 1 and ROW80 Check-In

Tell us about your mother....

No one has a better mom than me.  Of course, I'm biased.  Truly though, I only have good memories of times with my mom.  When my sister and I were growing up, Mom was always there with a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.  I had a mom who really spent time with me and never seemed bothered or distracted. Don't get me wrong.  We had our ups and downs, especially when I hit those bitchy puberty years that all girls seem to go through.  God bless her (and, as I look back, thank God I have boys...LOL)! When I became an adult, Mom became more like my best friend.  When I moved away, I missed her so much, we talked on the phone many times during the week and we visited each other as often as we could.  When she moved here when my second son was born, it was like a dream come true.  There's nothing like having a mom and a bestie all rolled into one.  Not only is she a wonderful mother, she's a loving and thoughtful grandmother to my sons and they simply adore her.  So there you have it.  Now you know why my mom is better. ;O)

ROW80


Yes, yes...I know.  I have been missing in action with ROW80. *hangs head*  I really have no excuse.  I just seem to be in epic fail mode.  I think I took on too much at the beginning of the year.  There are always such high hopes with a new year...and a bit of 'rose-colored glasses' optimism.  Now, the reality has hit me.  I've realized that I am buried under a pile of review books for my book blogs.  I'm talking, "will I ever dig myself out?" buried.  I've also figured out that my new eating habits that I did so well developing last year (and subsequently lost 40 lbs) have fallen by the wayside since Christmas.  I mean, every single day hasn't been a total miss, but I've had many days of evil eating self.  Plus, I meant to really start exercising, but so far that has been, well....meh.  Other realizations, let's see...NaBloPoMo January, once you get behind, you may as well forget it.  And the novel, oh the novel. I'm stalled.  I can't even bring myself to take it out.  And did I mention the house guest from hell?  I need not say more.  Oh yeah, one more thing.  The swearing...oh the swearing.  It seems the more frustrated I get (see all of the above), the more I swear.  Potty mouth.  Where's the soap?  And forgot to mention that I hosted a week long read-a-thon last week.  Yeah, I know....

So, what to do, what to do?

  • review books--I have changed my review policy on both my book blogs stating I am no longer accepting review requests until I get out from under this backlog
  • eating/exercise--I am still participating in Change Write Now and checking in with my team daily and keeping track of points is helping me to stay a bit accountable, but I haven't done as well as I should and I hate to make my team suffer for it.
  • NaBloPoMo February--yes, let me give this one more shot.
  • oust the house guest
  • swearing--maybe if I come up with some creative substitutes? 

What am I going to do about the writing?  Well, I'm hoping the daily journaling will loosen things up a bit.  But I really feel like I didn't do enough research for the novel.  I began during NaNoWriMo and it was so damn rushed (don't we know).  So, I'm going to do a little reading and research before I embark once again.  There's a read-a-thon this weekend and I think I'll have some research and writing books as part of my reading list.  I'm thinking Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg and What Life was Like in Medieval Times and probably some others.  I'm hoping to be ready to take the novel out again by mid to late February.  I know this isn't really a clear, tangible goal, but it's all I've got right now.  I hope my plan works.  I'll probably have to come back here every day and read this post for motivation.

I hope other ROW80-ers have been doing much better than me. =O)