Birthday Reflections

And just like that, it’s time to celebrate another birthday.

Is it me, or does time really ( seem) to move faster as you get older?

Gone are the days where the only concern was how much play time you had or which friends were available to hang out. Lazy summers and no cares in the world.

Those times in our lives seem rather fleeting don’t they?

But wait. Hang with me.

This isn’t a sappy post, but one I more enjoy doing as a way of reflection on the year gone by.

It gives me opportunity to see areas of growth and areas I need to shape up more.

I’m smack in the mid 50s now.

#50ish

Go me.

I get Aarp fliers in the mail and am close to qualifying for discounts in some places.

Yes.

Yes I will shamelessly work my age to save a few bucks 🤣

I go for my yearly doctor visits and the little 20 something girl checking me in acts surprised I don’t have a bag of meds with me.

Ah well. Whatever.

Age is merely a number that I’ve never allowed to define me.

Have you ever noticed though, how people do? And boy, do some people get bent out of shape when you don’t stay in the box and play by all the same old and tired “rules”.

**yawn** what’s a box?

Like at certain ages there are expected normal behaviors because you’re “that age.”

Listen, I have no problem diving onto a swing and flying through the air when I’m with the grand babies at the park or any other unadultish shenanigans.

The expectation of society is as you get older you should lay things aside, and uh, “act your age”.

Whatever that means.

Just be quiet and fade away…not likely.

So here I am grateful for another year to live, move, and breathe in this beautiful gift we have called life.

Wisdom

I have to laugh as I hear so many of my young friends bemoaning the fact that they are only a couple years from….30.

It does amuse me ’cause I’m well to the other side of that and I know that life is still good, better even, and really it’s ok.

I enjoyed all the decades behind me but I long for none of them. Each one was a season in my life. A season to learn and grow. To gain wisdom and a wee bit of maturity 😉

It is now, sitting in the middle of another decade, that I can reflect how each one was a working out of the woman I am.

Good times, bad times, hard and easy, frustrations and joys, light and dark, every single season was shaping me.

Wisdom is a gift I greatly appreciate and I can see it more clearly now that ever.

Comfortable in the skin I live in

I have always been comfortable in my existence. But getting older has only solidified that.

I’m good with myself.

I don’t say that in an egotistical way, just a fact. To be comfortable with who you are, the very essence of who you are, is freedom.

It means being ok with your good stuff and not so good stuff. It’s knowing I’m not perfect but strive to be the best I can be. I try to remain open and teachable.

It’s also accepting every part of my physical self and never, ever comparing myself to someone else. To do so only would breed dissatisfaction and be an affront to my Maker.

There is only one of me. I will appreciate the gift of that.

No approval needed.

I don’t need approval to be me….and same goes for you. By that I mean at this stage of my life, I know who I am.

I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what makes my heart sing and what weighs it down. I know how to speak up when I need to in being able to express myself, how I think or feel,or to nicely say no thank you to something.

I know how to stand up and own who I am ( and I don’t mean in a rude or disrespectful way) I know who I am.

It’s not worrying about others or their personal opinions. It’s not being concerned if someone approves or disapproves based on what they would or wouldn’t do.

This past year I’ve…….

Experienced alot of things. Lots of ordinary life stuff, but also bigger events that have challenged me.

I started my fifth year with this blog. It’s been an outlet in writing but my main goal is to keep offering sensible, sane, realistic lifestyle and fitness encouragement and help. I’m blessed by all of you who take the time to read, comment, and offer words of encouragement back to me. I’ve slowly built my own brand as Sassyfitnesschick and plan to keep offering my own flavor of health and fitness tips, all with a side dish of sass 😉

I trained for, and finished my second duathlon. I also again, took first in my age group. I cannot tell you what a challenging yet fulfilling event this was for me. The training as much as the cold,rainy, miserable race day all shaped me in a different way.

I learned more about resilience,tenacity and a whole lotta stubbornness in me.

Ok…well.. the stubbornness is nothing new 😉

I recently was talking to hubby about something and I said ” I don’t quit” to which from behind his glasses and iPad I get a snort followed by “realllyy??”

And then…”Well that’s not a bad thing”

And I don’t. I jump into the deep end with anything I do and I give it my all.

This month marks my one year anniversary since I started my little vintage business last year. When I jumped in I thought I’d try a few months and see how it went. Before I knew it I had hit the 6 month mark. Spring time I moved into a bigger space ( and bigger rent) yet somehow each month it seemed I was to keep going.

Last month when I was notified the lease on building wasnt being renewed and I’d have to either uproot and move elsewhere or just fold it all up and…quit…well that just wasn’t an option. And then there was a perfect space just waiting for me…and now I’m in and settled and can hardly wait to see how this year unfolds.

As a writer, who has a blog, it’s hard for me to not observe people. As a very social creature it’s quite easy for me to interact with just about anyone. This year I’ve met some interesting people, and not always people who look “normal”. By that I mean they are colorful in their clothing choices,word choices,art work on their bodies or offbeat fashion style, not to mention colorful personalities. I find that refreshing. I love how they are good at pushing back against the norm. Long ago, when my oldest was in a rock band, I learned not to judge books by their covers.

My home could often be filled with big men in all black, wearing tons of makeup, plenty of piercings and other non- main stream looks. Yet under it all were sweet guys who loved raiding my cookie jar. Being reminded of those truths makes it quite easy for me to appreciate those who march to the beat of their own drum.

That’s how life works right?

Day by day it unfolds full of the daily norm, the unexpected, the high’s and low’s and if we look for it, plenty of joys too.

The unfolding of this last year has shown me ( more than ever) that I really can do anything. I’ve learned so much more about mental discipline. It’s the strength and unwillingness to quit which spills out into everything I do.

New challenges can be hard and I strive too let them to do the work of making me stronger. I’m facing some now and am trying to remind myself of this.

Getting older isn’t some horrible thing.

Some will never have the chance to experience it.

What’s horrible is remaining unchanged, unyielding, holding onto grudges, judging, poor behaviors, or personal slights, refusing to see different view points or being unwilling to listen to how another person sees something. It’s horrible to age and still hold onto things that should’ve been let go of a long time ago. In my opinion those things are far worse than getting older.

I think age really, is a huge state of mind. I believe how we view it impacts how out loud we live all our days.

My goal is to do it gracefully, to love well, to continue to be open and teachable, to learn and grow from this ride called life, and most of all, never, ever quit.

Cheers to a new year!

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Monday Musings

Ah Monday! I really am glad to see you again. As I shared in my post last week, Wedding Bells and Adventures, I was in NY for the wedding of my step daughter.

If you have gone on a trip then you know your days kinda meld together and it’s worse when you get home.

We traveled back last Monday and I was off on all the rest of my week.

I went to work on Wednesday thinking it was Tuesday. I told someone I was doing something Thursday and they were like….oh, tomorrow?

And I was wondering how we were already approaching the end of the week.

Gah. Tell me you understand?!

The weekend has kinda reset me but getting started with a Monday will definitely put me on track again.

Speaking of my NY trip. I couldn’t help but snap this bathroom sign.

It’s definitely one of the more interesting I’ve seen….

It gets the point across I guess 🤪

In the ways of signs…..

I hopped on the elevator the first morning and saw this sign for hot sauces. Being from Texas, the land of all things wickedly hot, I found it amusing to be in NY and see an ad for hot sauce.

My kids decided they would get Mexican food on one of their nights out.

I had to listen to them complain about how horrible it was

Me: you’re in NY, not Texas. Did you think you were going to get really good Mexican food?!

They agreed it may have not been the best idea.

Back home

Did I mention on our return home, we were preparing for our daughter to move out and into her first apartment?

I’m not sure how this happened so fast but somehow she’s 21 and ready to fly out and start independent living.

This might not be such a big deal but it hit me one day as she was on her way out. She was standing at our front door, an overnight bag tossed over her shoulder, chatting about what she needed to get for her apartment and I saw in my mind, the little girl who came through our door years ago.

At 8 1/2 years old, we were her fifth foster placement within a 3 month period. She came in that same door carrying a small white trash bag.

The sum total of all her life possessions.

A toy, a book and a bag of poorly fitting clothes.

That memory was so vivid I almost wept standing there talking to her.

How had the years gone by so quickly that I was now preparing to watch her walk out that door just a few more times before she wouldn’t be doing it on the daily anymore?

Yet there she stood a much more confident, self assured, loved and wanted young woman ready to begin a new journey in her life.

I cursed myself for those emotional moments that crept up on me.

She is ready for the new chapter and we’ve done our work to prepare her for this new experience.

But still… those years went a bit to fast.

I love this pic from our trip recently. When she was younger she’d always want to know how people knew she was adopted. 😛

We do love watching people’s reactions when we they find out we are mother and daughter Haha

Of course I have decided to find positive things about her move.

Once the years of clutter, clothes and other items are removed from her room and I get to paint and return it to normal again I can move in a complete antique bedroom set I’ve had stashed in my barn. The bed frame has the wedding date of the couple written on the back from 1920. The vanity and dresser have beautiful tri fold mirrors on them. It will be fun to transform the room (and furniture) with this antique set.

Bonus? I got the whole set for 100.00.

So I have my own ways of dealing with these normal life events.

Press on and appreciate new changes.

On topic of new changes

Did I happen to mention I became a grandmother again at the end of April? My oldest son had his first. Little Maddie Blue was the youngest to make the NY trip and she did great. Ironically, if we’re lucky, it appears she may have blue eyes to go along with her name. How positively adorable is that???

Speaking of rolling with life

I was notified recently that the owner of the vintage shop where my little vintage business is housed does not plan to renew her lease meaning…I have to get out at the end of June. ( read my post The Journey of Opening A Vintage Business to see where it started)

Mind you…I didn’t plan on this…nor did I see it coming.

We were all given 30 days before lease was up…so. yeah. I’m sure this was a random decision 🙄

But I’m a person who always try’s to land on her feet so the day I found out, I was heading to our downtown area looking for a new place to house my little business.

And I did.

There is a large vendor shop on our main downtown walking area. I found a vendor who is also leaving at the end of June. Her spot is perfect and the rent is reasonable. The owners of this shop have been in business for over 30 years so I’m not worried about future lease issues.

Yes, it will be a pain to move everything and reestablish myself. I’ve determined to not be salty over this situation but to see it as an unexpected opportunity for growth.

My old location wasn’t on the main part of the downtown area. My new location is so I consider this a big win. I had considered off and on looking for a possible place in the downtown area but was comfortably situated where I was so never really got serious about it.

I’m grateful for a place to move my business and for all the exciting possibilities it holds.

Life is busy and full of changes isn’t it? We either learn to roll with those changes or we can be miserable and unhappy holding on to what was and resisting change when those changes could offer bigger and better opportunities to us.

What about you? Has life tossed you some new things that will challenge you to grow? How do you feel about that?

Wedding Bells And Adventures

Today’s post boys and girls is brought to you from 35 thousand feet in the air.I’m pretty sure it may be quite a long time before I’d write a post again while I’m flying.What adventures have I been up to?Hubby’s daughter, my step daughter, got married this weekend in New York.Our entire family group went which made for a noticable tribe moving through check points at the airports.There were like…24 of us.Other than both flights going up there being delayed and dragging into our hotel at almost 4 in the morning ( have mercy that was a lonnggg day) the travel went well.My husband is from beautiful parts of New York….Albany area…although he grew up in Roundlake.We all made a field trip there on Saturday and my kids got to see his childhood home and hear stories from “back in the day”.I’m always amazed at the beauty of tall forest trees, old colonial styled homes and a calmer and peaceful atmosphere there.Small towns are “villages” and I found a sign that stated as such..Don’t ask why but I thought it was cool.It was fun to visit the places of his life from his earlier years. He still has family there and some made themselves available for us while we were there to visit and catch up on our lives.The weddingAh yes. Let’s get to the good stuff :)Weddings are always sweet, beautiful and full of hopes, promises, and new dreams.I always admire the new couple and think of them starting this journey of marriage.I think about the roads I’ve traveled on mine in 35 years.I wonder if they will have all it takes to withstand lifes ups and downs once the honeymoon is over.For a writer and a people watcher like me, weddings are perfect fodder for my reflective, wandering mind and thoughts.This was the first marriage for my husband’s daughter. She is strong, beautiful, hard working, clever, and fun.She is 42 and found the man of her dreams ( we all like him alot too 🙂 )I’d say she has had plenty of time to consider all she would want her wedding to be….and it was beautiful. She was a glowing, stunning bride and as best as I could tell everything went perfect.Of course the reception is the time when everyone can relax and have fun.And have fun, we did.With a DJ that was a ball of energy, there wasn’t a dull moment.Ok dear readers, I need to admit it here, but yours truly loves to dance.And I did and by the end of the night the heels were off, my feet were tired, my makeup had faded and my flowers had wilted, but gosh, it was a fun night.But it was one song that took me to that deeper introspection.He had all the couples on the floor dancing and they dropped out as he called out years you were married.It felt good to be one of the half dozen left standing when the years topped over thirty, then 35…that’s when we stepped off floor with only a few left.The grooms parents took it with 50 years.I thought about all the years of life lived with a person and all that goes with it.The good, the bad, the ugly and beautiful.And by damn….awards should be given!It takes a whole lotta work to get to that point in your life.Work. Sacrifice. Giving. Taking. Laughing. Crying. Inside jokes and getting each other in ways no one else on planet earth does. Years of being poor. Years of having plenty. Kids. Dogs. House payments. Sickness and health. Hogging the covers and taking over the bed. Learning to embrace and accept each other’s weirdness and idiosyncrasies.All of these thoughts rolled through my head as I danced with my husband, my partner in crime.I thought about his daughter and how she would learn these things too.You think you know your partner on your wedding day and you do.But you know them so much better year after year than you did that day.And it’s just the day in and out of life that you learn these things.They will learn too. They will travel down the road of life together and realize a few years from now they know each other better than they did on this amazing day and there is such a beautiful sweetness in that.Now back to regularly scheduled lifeWe’ve all experienced it right? The fun comes to an end and its back to doing life again that got left behind while you’re off having fun.And here I sit, high above the earth as darkness creeps into the cabin, the passengers quiet as the plane speeds us closer home, waiting to resume life again at home.The wedding was sweet. The time seeing the bride and her new husband was precious.Seeing a few family members let us catch up on life.The time away and having all our family there on a big trip was a first.The ages ranged from my new born granddaughter to us old people Haha and everything in between.Life is precious. But it’s the people in it that make it that way. As I come home tired and ready for my own bed, I’m reminded again of how truly blessed I am in my life.And I’m already plotting and planning when we can go on another adventure again.Have you been on any recent adventures?

Monday Musings

Hello world and hello Monday.

Didn’t we just do this??

Is anyone else appreciating that the days are slowly getting a bit longer and for us, warmer as well?

So I’m feeling a bit victorious...

Why you ask? I’m coming off a 9 day stint of taking care of my very active, busy, precocious 2 year old granddaughter while my son and wife were in Ireland.

Rough for them I know 😛

Anyway, I dusted off my 24/7 mom skills and thankfully they were still in place. And it should be mentioned, being fit has payoffs in keeping up with a non stop 2 year old.

Thankfully she enjoys being busy and enjoyed running and going places with me.

She loves being outdoors with the sun in her face and wind in her hair. She wants to explore and is open to new adventures. She’s fearless and doesn’t hesitate from jumping into things.

She’s my spirit animal, seriously.

We went to the park one day. And of course she wanted me running up the hills with her, and then climbing up the big slide. She delightedly waited at the bottom for me to slide down squealing in joy. We got on the swings, her in my lap holding on to the chains thrilled we were sailing into the trees.

***me…attempting to bend all 6’0 under the slide over hang***

It was all fun and games till she let one arm go. I was trying to keep her on my lap while the swing was twisting wildly and I’m internally freaking out ’cause I’m terrified I’m gonna break her little arm. When I finally get the crazy swing under control and stop us, she turns to me and says “Nanny come on, do it again!” While my heart is still pounding out of my chest…

I got to climb bars, swing from them, and all kinds of other things while well behaved moms in yoga pants sat chatting watching my antics.

It’s the cool thing about being old. You just do what you want and you don’t care if anyone may or may not be approving.

There’s a crazy amount of freedom in that.

And you know something? It is true…what people used to tell me…that grandkids are awesome and blah, blah…I thought they were just running their mouths

You love them in this crazy, awesome, different way from your own kids. They are the reward for not eating your own offspring 😜

They own your heart in ways you can’t explain.

I have 6…and a 7th due in less than a month…another little girl to own my heart. My first born son expecting his first born. I can hardly wait to see him in a daddy role to his baby girl.

I just hope he doesn’t pass out during the delivery….

So yeah, grandbabies are kinda cool.

Then one day, we’re in my car hitting the highway. I drive a Charger and it never gets old letting it open up, hearing the engine kick in, and that swift feel of rapid speed. It’s a head rush.

I do love it.

Then from the backseat I hear….”Whoa!” Followed by a wild delighted laugh. I glanced back to see her with this big smile on her face.  It appears she may enjoy it too…

This was us “driving” later. I may be ruining her for her dad hahaha

The next morning as we were going to car she runs for drivers side and I hear…”Nanny are you ready?”

I spent a whole lot of time laughing. 😂😂

Her parents returned home after a fun trip and collected her.

I missed her sleepy little face that first morning they were back, waking up, calling me and giving me morning hugs and kisses.

We had been partners in crime.

Fortunately they live next door so I don’t have to go to long before I get those again.

Later, I got to enjoy my coffee in a cool cup. Pretty sure not many people have a coffee cup like this around Texas….

Oh yeah, aside from busy 2 year old care, I had time to work on lots of projects for my business. That has kept me running too. I love all the creativity that comes with it.. I find it quite relaxing in a weird way.

I finished this cool antique table this week. I’m excited it has sold already.

Look at those claw feet. I’m a sucker for those.

I repurposed an ugly vintage suitcase…

Look at it now…

And I turned a boring brown table into a clock table which I love…

I’m on a black and white kick….

And one other thing. Check out this super cool antique radio cabinet I scored. I’m totally repurposing it for something else…I can hardly wait to start it.

In other random stuff….

I was running through the store the other day and spotted this.. .

Like…what the heck Barbie?? I know times are a changin’ ya’ll but.. this isn’t the Barbie I knew and loved.

I love the glamorous Barbie even if the world thinks she’s unrealistic. What’s wrong with fantasy and fun play? I like my Barbies with crazy long legs and unrealistic waist sizes.

She had amazing clothes, cool cars and equally spiffy boy friends.

I don’t want a thick Barbie in mom jeans.

I know that may not be politially correct to say but it’s my personal opinion. Childhood is short, why can’t you have something wildly fun and non real to enjoy before you have to grow up?

Maybe there is a market for the mom jean Barbie….I prefer the Barbie who knows how to dress and has the cool car.

Your turn to weigh in…what do you think about a modern looking Barbie? What new projects or adventures have you been up to this week? How will you spend longer days?

Monday Musings

Hello world! Well not only is it another edition of Monday Musings, it also happens to be Christmas Eve on this particular Monday…. which gives me another perfect reason to write a Christmas post.  ( I told you it would be coming ) We’ve got plenty of time heading into 2019 to continue our health and fitness conversations.

But for now…..

As I write this it’s Sunday night. My weekend has been busy with all kinds of preparations and the usual Christmas activities getting ready for the big day.

Who else out there hasn’t been up to their eyes in wrapping paper and tape?

I’m ready to be still for awhile, drink some coffee, and let my thoughts out writing.

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this is my current mood and comfy place while I’m writing. This cute fox cup is one of my favorites Starbucks offered at Christmas two years ago.

Yesterday the kids and grandkids were over to decorate cut out cookies. These are definitely a more time consuming cookie to make, but are so worth the effort.  I get the cookies made, (using cutters that were my grandmothers)  and the kids decorate till they are covered in frosting and sprinkles.

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Can you resist a fat sugar cookie?

I may or may not have eaten one or two”ish” 😉

I love building memories with my family. It’s especially fun watching not just my kids playing and making cookies, but my grandbabies as well.

Oh… and if you know anything about cookies like this then you know they have to be rolled out to a specific thickness.

Rolling pins are the necessary tool….

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Old family rolling pins and some greenery gave this a festive look…. just ignore the coffee part… I was to lazy to change it 😉

So the cookies are done ( well mostly) I never think I have enough. I kinda like giving stuff away to people too and the clan likes having some left to graze on… which means plenty of candy and cookies all around.

Speaking of all those treats….. 

It’s always tricky finding the right ways to put the treats out, yet keep them safe from the dog or little child hands.

I love how this 100 year old desk I refinished earlier this year looks so festive with some goodies on it….

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The cookies are made… the packages are wrapped and spilling from under the tree….

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Christmas evokes many emotions and feelings…..

I love all of the traditions we have during this season. I love the energy and excitement of it. Most of all I love watching my kids during this time. Even my adult kids still get excited.

I recently asked them what made Christmas “Christmas” for them, excluding gifts. (this is what happens when your Mom has a blog and writes. Everything becomes a writing exercise. )

My oldest son told me that Christmas made  home feel “extra homey”

Another one told me that “Christmas is Christmas when all of us are piled up in the kitchen in our jammies, anticipating gift opening and just enjoying the company of FAMILY.”  ( when everyone is older, it’s easier to wait till day breaks to open gifts haha)

Another told me she “loves the “glorious mess” created in the living room on Christmas day. ” she continues…. ” I love the excitement we get waking up, eating breakfast and then opening gifts .”

( it should be noted, they anticipate my breakfast as much as gift opening)

I am going to remember and hold onto the “glorious mess” reference.  I think it’s one of those cool statements to keep for future use. ( I will attempt to remember this in the aftermath on Christmas day)

Christmas is also bittersweet……

I think of all markers of time, each Christmas shows me how we’ve all changed in a year. I look at my children, now adults, and in my mind see them years ago as they were on Christmas morning, children.  Now I watch my grandkids with the same eager anticipation of the morning and know next year, they too will have changed.

Next year as well,  we will have a new family member with the addition of another granddaughter.

I look at all of their excited faces as they sit in their “spots” we all claim each year. This has had to adjust at times when someone new comes into the  Christmas morning.

I see my husband playing “Santa” handing out gifts as he’s done for …well… a whole lotta years now….and think how blessed I am to have him and share another Christmas with him… our 36th.

The dogs are awkwardly everywhere not sure of this loud chaos in their morning.

As I look around the room at my “tribe” my mind also goes to Christmases past, thinking of family no longer with me. Thinking of times when my parents would take certain places on the sofa, or how we’d tease about them falling asleep on each other in the afternoon when things had settled down.  They would come loaded with beautifully wrapped gifts for everyone in huge bags.

My parents were children at heart during the Christmas season and loved doing for others.

They haven’t been gone that long that the ache in my heart isn’t still tender and deep with a carefully grown scab on the grief.

My mom has been gone 4 years and my dad not quite 2.

So my mind sees them and thinks of those days… I remember them in their places and with all their funny quirks that amused us.

I miss them and fiercely wish they were still a part of our family and Christmas celebration.

The beauty in bittersweet….

Although my mind may wander back to Christmases from the past and memories of those I loved, I focus on the beautiful blessings of those I have and the memories we are creating together.

Nothing makes me happier than one of the kids telling me something they enjoy or mentioning a tradition they look forward to.

I find myself doing the same thing I once used to tease my grandmother and mom about. Everyone would almost be done opening gifts and they would have a pile of gifts around them, lost in watching everyone else open theirs.

Last year my kids were like… Mom! open your gifts! As I too, had my pile around me, watching the antics of my family.

So I will join in opening my gifts this year, watching, and adding to the “glorious mess” of the morning and another Christmas will go down in the books.

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Gorgeous right? An unexpected gift this week

But for now…..

For now, tonight, I will sit and admire the beauty of the tree with all the gaily wrapped packages under it.  I know in just a short time, the place under the tree will be empty again. a “glorious mess” left in it’s place,  so I will appreciate the view for this season, for these last few hours.

I will drink my coffee in my fox cup, memories dancing through my head, with my mind thinking about things to still do, tasks still waiting on my list before Christmas day arrives.

I will give thanks I have so much that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree and it’s those gifts I value the most, those are quite priceless.

And Christmas will come and go, and long after a gift may be forgotten there will be new memories, stories and traditions that will become a part of the tapestry of our family, and that my friends, is what makes Christmas “Christmas” for me.

I wish you all the merriest holiday season and a joyful New Year!

Now tell me… what makes Christmas “Christmas” for you?

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The Beauty Of Adoption

Birthdays. We all have them and if we’re lucky and blessed, we will be given a good number of them as we spend our days on this earth. Kids eagerly anticipate them and often are planning them longer in advance than Christmas.

Even though I’m in the age range of “approaching older than dirt”  I guess I’m still a kid at heart.

I want presents. I want an amazing cake and my favorite ice cream.  I want balloons. I want all the good stuff.  I don’t subscribe to being old means you don’t need/get that anymore.

Nonsense.

In my family we are entering birthday season and yesterday we celebrated my youngest, my daughter.

She officially left the teen years behind. She was the last of my brood to do so.

I have grown adult kids.  Holy cow how did that happen??

Yesterday was her official birthday but we will kinda be celebrating her through out the week.  I will be making some type of wicked cake this Saturday, but yesterday we had monster cupcakes ’cause you need something to celebrate moving into a new  decade, right?

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Cupcakes are larger than they appear 😉

 

 

Kids grow up, that’s normal right?

Yep, they do. And as mentioned she’s the last one leaving her teen years so I’ve got a little practice on me with several ahead of her.

But here’s the deal.

We got her when she was 8 years old. Half of her childhood had gone by. Sometimes maybe, I have a hard time realizing she is now a young woman.  Maybe I’m still caught up thinking there should be more childhood years.

Of course add to it she’s a whopping 4’10,  I  sometimes forget that she isn’t a “little” girl anymore.

The choice to adopt.

born under my heart

 

We had children. We had three perfect, wonderful,healthy sons that we were quite happy with.  They were all big when we made the decision to add to our family through adoption. Our youngest son was 11.

We knew we were done with babies and wanted a child that could just get up and go with us and start to fit into our family. We were told adopting older children was fairly easy since there were so many and families tend to want younger children.

The labor begins

Adoption has it’s own labor as much as carrying a child and then delivering them. It’s just a different labor and delivery process.

We adopted our daughter through the foster care system. There are literally hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. foster care. We found an agency to work with and began the classes and working on home requirements, inspections etc that were required.

There was loads of paper work.

Some of the classes were painfully boring. Some things as a parent, we already knew and were just understood yet we had to sit in parenting classes.

We told the agency about the type of child we wanted. We settled on somewhere between age 7-10, race wasn’t important and of course, we wanted a girl.

The delivery

We got the call not many days after all of our official paperwork was done. There was a young girl who needed emergency placement within a couple days or she would be taken to the children’s shelter.  She fit into our criteria, would we want to meet her?

Well, of course we did.

We made arrangement for the next day, a Wednesday, to meet her and her foster family as well as the caseworker at a local restaurant.

It is a weird experience walking in and seeing a child that you know is going to be yours. It is weird knowing you are getting someone else’s child and are picking up the reins to raise and care for them.

There are a whole lot of emotions that are going on.

And not just for us, but for her too. At 8 years of age she had been through more than a lot of children. She also knew that something was up and was trying to be her most ‘impressive”.

We enjoyed our time meeting her and told the caseworker we were willing to move forward.

That was on Wednesday. On Friday December 1, 2006 our daughter arrived with a book, one stuffed animal and a small trash bag of clothes, most of which did not fit.

She was nervous, a bit hyper and desperately wanting to do all the right things.

You see we were her fifth placement since October of that year.

5 homes in a few months through no fault of her own.

Imagine being at your job one day. Your life isn’t perfect but it’s what you know. Then a nice man shows up and tells you that you can’t go back home but you are going to go live with some other nice people. He has stopped at your home and brought a few of your things but that is all that goes with you.

You leave everything you know behind to walk into a new home and life… immediately.

Imagine for a moment if you can, what that would feel like.  The complete uprooting of your life.

Now think of a child having to deal with it.

Is it any wonder they all have some sort of “emotional issues”?

The journey begins

It’s hard sitting here writing this, to think back to those early days when we got her, attempting to remember the way she was.

She’s always been sweet and loving. She desperately wanted a family and to be able to stay somewhere. She also was prone to immediate temper tantrums, biting, lying, and delivering words you might not expect from a child.

In the beginning any wrong move terrified her making her sure that she “would have to go”

I remember asking her one day what did she think was so bad that she could do that she’d have to leave… that we wouldn’t keep her.  In her child’s way she had all these reasons that I assured her weren’t reasons for us to get rid of her like a bag of trash.

How did that happen?

It took day after day of love, care, patience and showing her that in families people make mistakes or do things wrong but you love each other and keep moving forward. There wasn’t going to be something she’d do that would make us send her on to another home.

It took day after day of love, correction, discipline, and showing new examples for changes to occur.

Since we did the foster to adopt route and she was older with parental rights already terminated, we were able to move forward in a quick way with the adoption.

In May, 5 short months later, she officially became ours. But even then it was a long time before I think she really believed she was truly home and no one could take her or make her leave.

We had to develop routines and consistency and set boundaries. We had to show her love in ways our boys never needed it. We had to work through some negative behaviors that are really more survival skills kids pick up going through the upheavals of changing homes and being in foster care.

After about the second day of having her I realized I needed to handle her just like my own kids. For awhile it seems like you’ve got the neighbors kid and you find yourself allowing or even giving them little things they request.  So that’s what we did. If we were committing to make her our daughter then we would handle her like our own.

And then the years move by

Day by day, moment by moment you’re living life. And somehow this new life merged into ours.

Love, patience, training, teaching. helping, more patience and she began to blossom.  The more secure she became the less talk there was she might have “to leave”.

She made friends, was doing well in school was liked by her teachers and was living a normal life a kid should have.

As I contemplate the young woman she has turned into it’s hard not to feel a little proud. Her dad and I consider her no less ours than the ones that biologically were given to us.

She went through her entire high school career on the dance team, maintained awesome grades, worked, kept a close circle of friends and was an overall good kid.

She has finished her first year of college and heading into her second. She has goals set for herself. She is focused and determined. She has continued to work and has arranged her school schedule around that.

She is sweet, compassionate, loving and giving.  Oh, and she still has a strong little stubborn will too haha  But she is also always grateful, always thankful for the life she was given.

I’ve tried to show her how to be strong, how to do things for herself and how to be proud of who she is and not compare herself to others.

I want her to be a woman who knows how to get things done and can see ways to make it happen.

She always says she is blessed and grateful but we remind her we feel the same way.

Adoption.. things to know

We did it more than once. In fact we did it three times. Like pregnancy and delivery each one has their own story and out come.

If you feel led to pursue adoption consider doing it through the foster care system. A little known fact is that it costs next to nothing to adopt.  This could vary state by state but for ours it was nothing.

There are tons of myths about kids in foster care and adopting them. Yes, some do have serious issues. You would need to know and understand your level of abilities and care giving skills if you felt called to care for them.

Overall, there are more kids that are like yours but unfortunately they are in situations they didn’t ask to be put in. They’ve done nothing wrong to be there. They just want to be kids and do kid things and be safe and loved.

The children are many and they desperately want the same things your own kids do.

Love, security, family, a sense of belonging, birthday parties, friends, holiday celebrations etc.

Many “issues” are from the emotional trauma of what they’ve been through. With love, care, patience and a little time these behaviors leave.  Our daughter exhibits none of the behaviors she came with all those years ago.

You can pick the age, sex, race and level of behaviors you think you can handle in a child. You can ask for a single child or a sibling group.

We found the agency and workers we dealt with to be very helpful and encouraging. To this day I maintain connections with many of them.

Keep in mind, you might be excited about the adoption idea, but when you share it with family they may or may not be immediately on board with the idea.

Don’t worry about it.

This is about you and the calling you and your family have. The rest will eventually come along you may have to give it time. Even if they entirely don’t, this is about your family. Just focus on that. Adoption will take all of your positive energy.

Finally, adoption is simply a most beautiful way to not just add to your family but to give a child their forever family, something they all long for.

It’s a beautiful gift you both give to each other and there is nothing more rewarding than that.

Todays post is more of a life post. Sometimes I’ll spend some time sharing things that impact us in our lives. Have you had any connection or interaction with adoption?

Monday Musings

So another Sunday evening and I’m attempting to unwind after a long evening and a busy week. I have coffee by my side, my warm solace, as a sit here letting out thoughts from the day and  the week gone by.

I may regret all this coffee later, but for now, it’s delicious and soothing, an enjoyable way to end a rather long day.

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Speaking of my day. My daughter has decided she wants to start cooking a meal during the week and Sunday is the day she’s chosen.

Is that ok with me? Huh? Say what?? Food I don’t have to cook? I’m down for that. Soooo down for that.

I actually think she’s showing off her potential future wife abilities to her boyfriend who enjoys her efforts.

It’s like he’s studying and taking notes… “Can cook, check.”

Anyway, it is nice to sit down and eat and not have to do it. It actually gives me more time outside in the lovely afternoon working on my projects without stopping to make dinner.

In the process of watching all my kids ( who are adults) roam in and out of the kitchen and put dishes in the washer, I am semi-amazed to watch them barely crack the door open and work their plate or cups in without pulling out the rack and doing it you know, the easy way.

Like, “Hey, we paid full price for a dishwasher that completely opens to allow you to easily put your dishes in!”

I’m not complaining, I mean at least they are making the move to not leave them on counter.. but still I find it amusing…

Stupid things heard in the news this week….

Well, truth be known, I’ve heard a lot of stupid things in the news. I’m left wondering “did someone read that out loud before they decided to use it?”

For instance… “ The foods you choose to eat can impact your health”

Like really Susan? You mean if I choose to eat Cheetos, cheap convenience store hot dogs and wash it down with a Big Gulp Diet Coke followed by a King size candy bar for dessert it’s not the same as having a Salad loaded with colorful veggies and grilled chicken breast or having a whole grain sandwich with a side of fruit ??? And that will have an impact on not only my health but my ability to wear skinny jeans?

You don’t say.

Ah, there are so many other cheesy things. I need to keep a journal and write them down. I don’t know, maybe the world just lacks common sense and the news needs to remind us of that.

So yeah, whole colorful healthy foods are better for you than colored Cheetos AND your fingers won’t turn orange either…

In the ways of things that make me laugh….

I like to laugh. I love people who can make me laugh. We can be friends if you do that easily. If you happen to have my off beat, quirky sense of humor, that’s even better. Sometimes I find humor in the most unexpected things.

For instance, I was randomly trolling a online site looking for my next potential furniture project when I came across this photo….

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Photo bombed by a leg… no it’s not mine.

Ok, my first thought was, ” another poor  victim of that awful blue paint”. But then I was thinking, why on earth is her leg just stuck in that photo? Certainly she is aware that her leg is in the photo before she posted it, right?? Like, how do you miss it?

So I read through the brief description of table for sale. At the end it says “it goes to my knee”.

This dear reader, if you’re not following yet, is her unit of measure.

That is how tall the table is.

It goes to her knee.

I happened to have taken a sip of coffee the day I saw this and almost choked on it from a very un lady like outburst of laughter that was more like a snort.

I’m giggling sitting here writing this thinking again how insane that is… I mean.. my knee to floor ratio is like… 22 inches.

So, I don’t even know how tall you are Karen. How the heck am I supposed to know the length of your leg from floor to knee to know how tall that table is and if it would work for me ? IF I did want it in that awful color….

you’re laughing, right ? 😛

New things I’m perusing….

I got this book recently. A friend was reading it and I thought it sounded interesting so I grabbed a copy.

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One of my fun spring time pleasures… coffee and reading on the patio at my fav coffee hangout

 

 

I am in the first chapter. He talks about the hierarchy of order in creation. He talks about lobsters of all things. Do you know if a lobster loses a fight with another lobster he not only loses his confidence but something more extreme happens. If a dominant lobster is defeated its brain basically dissolves. Then it grows a new, subordinates brain one more appropriate to it’s now lowly position.  It’s original brain just isn’t sophisticated enough to manage the transformation from king to bottom dog without dissolution and regrowth.

Isn’t that crazy?? Yeah he does have footnotes to support that although I haven’t, you know, checked his sources.

That’s all I have to offer now on it. Lobsters can grow new brains. Ha who knew?

So the guy writes in a fun way that is already making me laugh ( see above how I feel about that) while getting his point across.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes life is busy and sometimes it is chaotic and well, rules are good to help keep balance, right? So I’m slowly picking my way through this when I’m not running.. or working on one of my many furniture projects…

Speaking of….

Hubby tells me today on his way out… “Now no new projects ok?”  Of course as he says it we both know…well yeah… he’s likely to find something new soon… haha

I however, smiled and told him probably not….I mean… unless something reallllyy awesome showed up 😉

Ok so, he’s  a pretty cool guy and he really does encourage my shenanigans. He is my creative carpentry assistant when I encounter something that I can’t fake or learn on the fly… like.. building in the lower part of a drawer on a 1930’s vanity I scored last month.

Belle, as I named it, is almost done and will be ready for her debut soon and I’m so excited at how it’s turning out.

Not only did hubby create the bottom half he had to do some dovetailing on it ( that’s what you get with older furniture, those cool interlocking drawer pieces.  Check it out…

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the light board is what he did… pretty cool eh?

 

 

So now Belle has a repaired usable drawer. I’m always amazed at the stuff he knows how to do…. Nifty right?

I also got to spend some time outside enjoying our emerging spring weather working on my antique Sligh dresser I got last weekend. Poor baby, it’s gonna need a ton of work. It’s pretty low on my project list right now, but I am going to try and do little things on it mixed in with my other stuff.

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All that hard bumpy stuff is old paint that needs scraped. The smooth part is it’s original finish.

 

 

And I did get a new piece this week. The sweetest night stand that matches my project dresser, a real fixer upper, Eleanor that I mentioned in previous posts.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/26/monday-musings-5/

In the beginning, I totally wasn’t feeling the love with Eleanor and almost considered flipping her in “as is” condition. I got it for 50.00 and in serious need of lots of veneer work. I’ll say this… I’m now done with the repairs (yay) and she’s ready for her new look and I am totally in love with it now.   Both are a French provincial style and both will be painted the same colors.

Just look how cute this nightstand  is…..

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And I’m pretty thrilled it doesn’t require any repair work,  it’s just ready to have it’s face lift 🙂

What about that cute little door on it? I love it.

Alrighty well that’s a wrap on my musings, thoughts and various fun projects. I can hardly wait to show you some more of my transformed sad pieces in the upcoming weeks.

Tell me how your week went. Have you read anything interesting lately? Are you enjoying spring weather yet or are you still trying to escape the clutches of winter?