So This Is 40

IMG_0798.JPGToday I turn 40. There will be no big bash or crazy partying going on, which for me is the opposite of how I usually celebrate my birthday. In the past, the month of February is all mine. I make plans for lunch and coffee and drinks with different friends and celebrate all month long. But this year is different. I spent the weekend with my guys and did a college campus preview weekend and then just chilled at the beach with wonderful friends. As for today, I will be going to the Rodeo tonight and seeing Reba and then home. A low key kind of night. Why is this year so different?

I think it’s just that am embracing some of the simpler things that bring me happiness in my heart. Here are some of the things that make my happy:
1. A venti americano with some agave and coconut milk or a great vodka with tonic and double twist or lime or a beautiful Pinto Noir.
2. Just being with my besties. Nothing big or amazing. Just to be with them and do nothing and be comfortable in that moment.
3. Watching a good horror film or a real bad B film with friends or my guys. Trying to solve a murder mystery and the whole script before it gets to the halfway point.
4. A bunch of daisies in a simple base it even a coffee cup or just a daisy plant – that works too.
5. A goofy card or letter that is handwritten and comes through snail mail. I will even take a folded note passed to me through someone else just like in school.
6.Sitting in the sun and feeling the breeze blow across my face or wrapped in a sweet embrace of smells of the earth.
7. Playing some music from now to 60’s with a good beat and just dance around without a thought of how it looks. It can be at home, at store or anywhere.

At last but by far not least:
8. To be with my boys and play video games, going to sporting events, play outside or just travel about. This fills my heart with joy!

Now, don’t think I won’t jump on the invite to go clubbing and dance all night long or have coffee or share a meal and have great conversations. And I love to throw a party!!! These things have not changed but I am realizing that the small moments and the little things truly are the moments that fill my soul and remind my how blessed I am with what I have.
My life is not perfect, in fact, it can suck sometimes. I would be crazy to want a perfect life anyway. All the people of my life have a special place and they love me with all my stuff! Thank you God for this life and for letting me be me and not forcing me to grow up. I AM NOT OLD – I AM ALIVE and WILL LIVE THIS LIFE.
Bring On 40 – this crazy bitch is ready for the ride and will wear her tiara the whole way through!

Kisses Y’all

Why Princess Monie? and Only 7 Days To Go

TiaraHave you wondered  why I use the name Princess Monie? There really is a story behind it and is not pretty or perfect BUT it is true.  It is the real me and how I came to be the Princess that I claim to be.  I heard a lady at Wal-Mart say tonight as I walked out with my husband after our Valentine’s Day night of grocery shopping (this is how we enjoy our night without kids) that we all have the right to pray the way we want.  And my first thought was “Amen Sister”.  So funny!!!  Just 19 years ago, it would have been a much different response.  I would have been angry and rude and just plain ugly! I was not a woman who walked in faith.  I was a “girl” struggling to make some big choices who was pregnant and had no idea what the big picture held before her.  I was a chick that thought the world was “fucked up” and that there were only a couple people who understood how she saw the world.  WOW!!!!  I can’t believe that was who I was.  But, I wouldn’t take any of it back!!  If I did, I would never have been able to be a Princess and see that it is path that we all have a right to walk.  Okay, if you are a guy- you should be a Prince.  So, here we go!

I have talked about my pregnancy out of wedlock. I have shared my struggle with being an Ugly Betty kind of girl.  I openly have told the whole world how looking in the mirror has not always been great.  But, what I haven’t shared is that I was so very lost and confused about where I stood in the”big picture”.  We all have a place in the “big picture”.  If you have no desire to hear about my my faith or relationship with my Heavenly Father, just click away now.  This is you chance to opt out!  I warned you – so no bitching!!!  Here it goes:

I grew up in a Catholic household.  I studied and learned, just as a good Catholic girl should, all the prayers and rituals required.  I read the passages that were discussed in catechism.  But the questions I had were never answered in a way that fulfilled my wondering mind.  As I got older and entered my teen years, I only became more rebellious of the Catholic church and searched for answers.  I had friends and joined organizations hoping to find the answers, but never completely did (or at least that is what I thought).  Eventually, I hit a point where my logical and scientific mind and the religious and faith seeking side came to a head.  I read book after book and took class after class trying to find an answer that made sense.  I was afraid to look past the Catholic church.  It was really all I knew even though I had friends of different religions and had visited their churches.  I know now that there was a part of me that refused to let anyone show me what was out there.

Then came the pregnancy!  Once I decided to have my son and raise him the best I could, I knew that he needed more than I only could offer him and the one thing I knew was a constant in my family history was church.  I went back to the Catholic church and asked what I needed to do to raise my son with a strong foundation.  The “church ladies” told me the classes to take and the steps that were required to have my baby to be protected by God and the purpose of Godparents.  I did as I was told once Dru was here and picked the two people I trusted most for this important role and told God that I would do this whole thing for Dru.  My faith was non-existent!  After my son’s baptism, I was changing him in the restroom in a stall and it was the moment that created a shift that hurt for some time.  Two older ladies walked in to the restroom and were discussing my son and me.  They talked about how dare I come into “their church” with my bastard child and stand in front of the congregation like I wasn’t a whore.  It hurt to my core.  I finished dressing my sweet baby and I walked out with my held head high even though my insides were screaming and crying about how much I HATED this moment.  We took pictures and had a celebration afterwards and I just held it all inside.  I had already mastered the art of hiding it all and just doing it by myself.  Man, was I sooooo lost!

Time passed and little by little God started to send me sweet notes of love and encouragement, I just didn’t see them right away.  I had friends at work that invited me to join a gospel choir and friends at the club that invite me to a “different” kind of church and had my little sister inviting me to a “bible study group”.  I joined the gospel choir because I loved to sing and the people that invite me intrigued me.  I went to church with my friends from the club because I loved to hear them sing and it gave me something to do early in the morning with my son on a Sunday morning.  And I finally gave into my little sister to get her off my back.  What I didn’t know then but I see now, was that a foundation was being laid in my life.  And this foundation would eventually become firm and stiff and the life I have now we be built upon it.

The music I sang with the choir at work spoke to my soul.  I have always loved music and songs which truly are the soundtrack of my life and the ones I learned with these amazing people sang a truth in my soul to the deepest parts of my being.  Heading out to Boerne to go to church on Sunday with my friends, showed me that people see past what is on the surface and will open their hearts to you with knowing all your crap.  And then going to “bible study’ with my sister taught me that reading the bible was more than just recalling historical facts and talking about someone’s life, but that it was a set of rules and promises that spoke to ME and that everyone might interpret it differently.  Eventually, I found myself accepting my sister’s invitation to her church.  It was small and I was sure they would judge me  based on my life choices just like the Catholic church had previously.  Now, yes I had been going to church with friends but they  (church body) didn’t know much about my life and the choices I had made, especially when it came to my son.  My sister’s church family knew more about me.  Many of her best friends and their families went to this church and it was a small church.

I went weekend after weekend and then it happened.  I was sitting in church watching my sister use her hands to interpret with beautiful mastery and elegance what the pastor was sharing with the church body.  Then out of no where – it happened – like a explosion in my mind and shaking of my body – I knew that I was there for a reason and that reason was to understand that God was way bigger than me and accepted me “AS IS” like a scratch and dent appliance.  He was willing to take me broken and jacked-up with my scandalous past and “bastard” babe!  HE LOVED ME!!  I was someone that could be loved and my child was supposed to be here and that there was a purpose for us.  It may not be world changing in the history books but it was a purpose.  I accepted Jesus into my life and was ready to learn what could be taught and find that path that laid before me.

Eventually, I became involved at church and embraced the Christian faith.  I sought the Word more and more each day and committed to Christ and God to raise my son to be a strong Christian man. God in turn blessed me with love and friendship and partnership for life with Steven.  He, too, grew in faith and Christ with Dru and me.  As time was passing, I started to realize that I was never comfortable with being a girl even more so a woman.  I always tried to be like this woman or more like that lady, but never considered myself much of a lady.  And then that moment happened, I was reading the bible and in Romans I begin to see that the children He speaks of includes myself. I am an heir and God is our King of Kings which made me a Princess and my son a Prince.  We are all royalty.  We are all here for a purpose. Now, I knew I had free will and so did my children, so the best thing I could do was continue to grow and look to God.  And this inspired me to grab hold of the title Princess.  I am His Princess and my husband is a Prince and my framily are all royalty.  They just have to claim it!

So do you claim it?  I now feel blessed through good and bad and know that there is joy in every breath I take and with each loving touch I give and receive from those I come in contact with daily.  I am indeed a Princess and love to see all my royal family!  I still have growing to do and more scripture to memorize.  And I have learned to accept that I will never know it all when it comes to what God has to teach me.  I will always be His child and He will show me, guide me and inspire me until the day I die.  And I will die knowing I am absolutely loved by my Father the King of King.


Princess Monie

With 2 days To Go Its About the Hair

Hair to me is either one of my greatest accessories or biggest enemies. My history with my hair goes back all the way to my birth. Now, I don’t personally remember the lack of hair when I was born, but it has been a discussion topic on many different occasions. Being a child born in South Texas to Mexican Americans parents, there is usually one tell tale sign that you are of Mexican decent and that is having a head full of hair as soon as you emerge from the womb but, not this chica. I was bald like a “white” baby. I would look at pictures of myself compared to my lil’ sister and cousins and notice the significant lack of dark hair. It drove me crazy!! What happened. Granted I hadn’t discovered the science of genetics or learned about all my genealogy yet. So all I could do was guess that I was the oddball of my family. Eventually, my hair grew in and it was super straight and so dark.
My mom let it grow long and cut it short. I had ponytails, braids, and messy hair. I had the bowl cut and the shag cut and the Ugly Betty cut. I even had my hair permed when I was in early elementary school for my Aunt Mari’s quincenera and looked like a Mexican little orphan Annie. Or like a poodle coat had been stuck on my head!!! So not cute. But my poor mom would try to curl it with the curling iron and it was straight as a board within a couple of minutes of having done it. I had a hate hate relationship with my hair as a young kid. My mom would use bobos to put my hair in ponytails. Bobos are what we called the ponytail holders that had those plastic balls on the ends. I would dread it – the pulling and knots in my hair. Then when the hair would be released from the kung-fu grip of the bobos, I could feel the blood coming flooding back to my head. That was probably when my need to start learning to do my own hair became so important.

The first thing I decided to do to express myself with my hair and get away from the ponytails and bobos was to get a bob haircut in my late years of elementary school. I did it right before summer, not realizing that it would grow back double fast, I would have to start doing my own hair. Unfortunately, not being a real girly girl was to my disadvantage especially with it being the latter half of the eighties and the start of the big teased cemented bangs!!! Little did I know that this was the start of my hair experiments. Experiments being the key phrase when it comes to hair.
I thank God for my one of my besties. I remember getting on the bus for Windsor Park with jacked up hair and seeing that look on her face. She was going to fix what I had attempted to do. We would go to the girls restroom and out came the Rave hairspray. I totally believe that the girls of Corpus Christi in the late eighties purchased enough hairspray to put the hole in the ozone all by ourselves. And how we all don’t have major brain damage from inhaling all that stuff is unbelievable. I longed for a spiral perm – it didn’t take right. I got perms and they looked ok, but never like the cool girls. I would try all kinds of things. I tried lemon juice, went through bottles of Sun In and tried every thing I read in a magazine. The one thing I was not allowed to do was actually dye my hair.

And then it happened one summer, my hair started to get all kinds of highlights from the perm and constant beach time. It was summer between my high school freshman and sophomore years. I was spending most of my summer vacation with friends in Corpus. So I got tons of time hanging on Padre Island and naturally sun bleaching my hair. My family and friends thought I had colored it. I really hadn’t, but that was pretty much the turning point when I discover what I could do with a box of hair color. I tried the span of strawberry blonde to a range of rainbow colors by Manic Panic until my early twenties. I let it grow to almost my waist and I have cut it as an alter boy’s. I have had corn rows for weeks on end or worn wigs until I decide what to do next. My hair has become my favorite accessory and play thing. My hair isn’t perfect. The colors I put in it never come out exact. I have had some of the best colorists do my hair and the color never is exactly what they were aiming for but usually ends up a cool creation. My perms and waves tend to do their own thing. I guess my hair is just an expression of me. You never know exactly what I am going to do.


Desperately Seeking Monie with 13 Days Left

Desperately_Seeking_Susan_34425_MediumI remember when I was a kid and the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” came out. I was maybe 10 years old and wanted to be like Susan. I was jealous of Roberta who was getting to be like Susan. When I decided it was time to accept the person I saw in the mirror, I had no idea that I would be more like Roberta seeking Susan.  The funny thing about Roberta is that she had it in her to be adventurous and step outside the role she thought she had to live.  I was like that in some ways.  And with my ever-changing body and life, my 30’s were a rollercoaster and I was trying to figure out what box I should be in instead of realizing that I needed to stop seeking something I wasn’t.

A little more than a year after my gastric surgery, I was just getting comfortable in my new skin and the me in the mirror and then came new change.  I got pregnant with my second child 12 years after my first.  Again, my body started to change and my focus shifed to my health for the health of this new life.  And then change flew through the door after the birth of my son.  I dropped the weight and got back to a more aggressive workout routine and continued to seek out who I saw in the mirror everyday.  As Bliss got a little older every day, we noticed that he was missing milestones and yet again my focus completely left me and moved to the well-being of my little one.  The stress and worry of doing what was best for both my boys and how to handle our new world started to take its toll on my well-being.  I made poor food choices, wasn’t sleeping, quit working out and withdrew into our own private world.  Looking in the mirror wasn’t something I did much except to make sure my hair was not sticking up.  And the person who I caught an occasional glimpse of was not the Monie I knew at all.  My circle of support was a small tight knit group and they did their best to help keep me afloat.

Little by little, things got better.  As a family, we found a routine and figured out the path that was best for all of us.  And then I stepped on the scale at a friend’s house and the number staring back at me was 199 pounds!!!  How did that happen? I looked in the mirror and for the first time in quite some time really looked at myself.  I needed to seek myself the way I had sought God years before.  He and I had great conversations over the past couple of years in my darkest and most difficult moments.  Now, I had to start seeking the joy and victory and avoid the desperateness that was there.  And seek it I did. But without desperation – instead with joy and gladness.  My little one was here and my oldest was amazing.  I had a wonderful and supportive man.  I had framily (friends and family) that lifted me up and stood by me.  How did I miss it all!!??  The joy was everywhere.

It started with the little things like styling my hair and looking in the mirror and loving the person staring back at me.  Eating a healthy dish for not just me but also my family.  Pilates and walking made me feel good.  And the more I took care of me, the better I was at caring for my family.  I started to look in the mirror and not just like, but love the person I saw staring back at me.  I was no longer desperately seeking the Monie who should fit in that perfect little box.  I was growing into the me I was all along – and that person would never fit into that box or any box.  Embracing me and loving who I am and will become is all I need to do.

Couple redoIs my weight perfect? No, I honestly want to lose 10 more pounds.  That would be in my target zone for my doctors.  Is my body model perfect? Never and it doesn’t need to be.  My skin sags in areas no one wants to hear about and my bat wings can be kick ass sometimes and annoying at other times.  But, it is my body and I will dress it up any way I want.  Am I calm and predictable? It depends on the situation – I am great in a crisis, cool and calm.  That has been a God send for the health of my boys.  But I am loud and have been known to think of something and just do it.  You only live once and I want to live life with gusto.  Will I ever be like Susan? Absolutely not!!  I will be Monie.  Which means if I want to go to the grocery store dressed in my Underoos Harley Quinn or Wonder Woman top with a tiara on my head and Nike’s on my feet, I will.  The next day, I might be sporting just a pony-tail and sitting in the library in comfy seats reading books with my little one.  And the next day, I might be in a suit sitting with some friends having a business lunch.  It is who I am and I have found Monie.  I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  But don’t a lot of us??? So until then I will stick with Monie Just Monie.

Fat to Skinny and Still Not Me with 16 Days To Go

I have been struggling with writing this entry.  Keep in mind that we all view ourselves differently at times than the world does – and this has never been truer than when it comes to my reflection I see in the mirror.

The person I see in the mirror has changed some over the past decade, but the truth is that my body has changed drastically.  As a pre-teen and teenager, I struggled with my weight and the girl that I saw in the mirror was not very pretty.  I would see my friends and wish that I was more petite or more flat chested.  As the years passed and the weight struggle continued, I found guys that saw past the weight and they made me feel sexy and empowered.  I knew my weight was ballooning and not healthy.  I sought out advice and help from my doctor and he continued to tell me to just eat better and exercise more.  As I entered my 30s, the number on the scale was in the high 200s and it seemed like nothing I did would change it.  Dressing in busty tops and embracing what body I had was becoming easier for me.  I knew my husband loved me for me and NEVER EVER told me that I was fat or needed to lose weight.  My friends would compliment outfits and tell me I was pretty.  The terms overweight, obese or unhealthy never crossed their lips.  The only person that ever admitted that I really needed to do something was the doctor and his solution was always a pill or a diet.IMG_0593-0.JPG

By late 2005, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I decided to see a new doctor and get a second opinion on my health.  I was tipping the scale at well over 300 pounds.  At the time, when I looked in the mirror, I knew I was overweight, I just didn’t SEE I was that big.  I found a new doctor and right away I explained my struggles and he sent me for labs and to an endocrinologist and a different gynecologist.  My new team of doctors determined that I was diabetic, anemic and my hormone levels were unacceptable.  And lastly, I had some serious issues with my ovaries.  We got to work on all the above listed items.  I immediately started to read books on what I should and shouldn’t eat and changed my diet to best reduce sugars and increase iron in my life and that of my family.  My husband and son were very supportive.  I even enlisted a couple of friends to be people to hold me accountable when I made poor choices.  I soon also found out I had severe sleep apnea.  Exercise was never my most favorite thing but it was also never my enemy.  So walking as much as possible became a priority.  I started to lose a pound every couple of weeks.  Then, the game changer happened.

I went in for a check-up in June of 2006.  My doctor explained a procedure he would like me to consider called gastric bypass.  He had already spoken with my insurance company and since I had always had an annual physical and questioned my weight and my doctor has missed my diabetes (which I found out I was supposed to have been informed about at least 6 years prior) and my hormone deficiencies, they were willing to pay for most of the procedure.  It was all so much so fast!  The doctor said that once I met with the surgeon and start down the path it would 6 to 18 months until I would have the actual surgery.  Feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure, I told Steven everything.  He and I decided to go to a meeting to learn more about it and meet with the surgeon.  We figured I had plenty of time to change my mind over the next several month.  I made the call and we were scheduled for an education seminar in early July.  We went and got an appointment 3 days after the seminar with the doctor.  I met with the doctor.  I was a terrific candidate for the procedure.  I only needed a mental health evaluation and to meet with a dietician.  I did those both the next week.  By the end of July, I was on the list for the procedure.  I all happened so fast.  But I still believed I had time.  So, I took a trip to LA and spend some girl time with my bestie and our LA Family.  I had only been there a couple of days when I received the call that someone had cancelled their surgery and if I could be surgery ready in 11 days.  I said YES.  My bestie and some of her co-workers supported, encouraged and helped me to drop 10 pounds.  When I landed in LA. I was weighing 320 pounds. With the strict food program and exercise I was doing there, I dropped 10 pounds by the time went into surgery at the beginning of August.

Once I woke up from surgery, I was ready to get to work.  I made a promise to myself and God that I would do everything I was told and get myself healthy.  The idea of living to see Dru grow up and live his life and spend my golden years driving Steven crazy all crossed my mind.  Those were great reasons to do it all.  But I had read once, that losing the weight for a special occasion or person can be short-lived and that ultimately, you should do it for God and yourself.  He had created me for a purpose and that purpose would never happen if I can’t care for the ONE body He gave me.  I ate like I was told. I cooked new and interesting dishes.  And I exercised 5 days a week.  Most of my family and friends were supportive and encouraging as I moved forward every day.  I met some resistance from some that thought I was taking the easy way out or thought I had made my choice to have surgery on vanity.

Those things hurt me.  I never saw it as an easy way to do it.  Being cut open, having a piece of me removed and then living with all the side effects for life is not easy.  And to think I did it for vanity sake was the furthest thing from the truth.  As the weight came off and my body started to change, I became less and less confident about me.  The person in the mirror staring back at me was not me.  My body was shifting and changing in ways that I never expected.  I didn’t know how to dress this new body and was uncomfortable about all the compliments.  I was, very honestly, terrified!  I didn’t feel sexy or powerful.  I felt like people noticed me and I couldn’t understand why.  This thinner, twisted version of my former self was strange.  I just wanted to go back to being Monie.  Then I remembered I made a promise.  I refocused and made new goals and looked to those who have always had my back.  I ran my first run.  I did a leg of the Beach to Bay run in Corpus.  That was huge for me!!  And then I started to focus on a trip to Paris for a a friend’s wedding.

(null)I was shopping for dresses and outfits to wear for this trip that would take me the farthest I had ever been from home.  I spent days going from thrift to thrift store to hunt down clothing.  Mostly, I avoided spending money on clothes because I didn’t feel comfortable going into the mall and asking for help to find clothes.  I felt so awkward about what size I wore and what was okay on my new body.  Looking at myself in a mirror could be confusing!  If I was covered in clothing, I looked one way.  I looked “normal”.  Without full coverage clothing, skin hung in strange places and I looked like a saggy mess.  But, I continued to exercise and do my best to take care of myself.  At times, I would feel selfish putting my needs first.  When cooking meals, it became about what I wanted and should eat.  Grocery shopping was a much longer process with label reading and re-education on every trip.  All I knew was that I felt great and my body was working much more efficiently and I wanted to be the best me I could before I climbed on that plane.  Little did I know how much I needed this trip with my guys and some of my closest friends.

With bags packed and passports in hand, we left the USA and headed to France.  I thought this would be an eye opening and great educational experience for my 11 year old son.  My son loved France and did have an amazing experience, but I was the one that had the eye opening moment!  I realized that this body was different and strange BUT it was mine.  I knew it wasn’t what I had envisioned and I also began to see those that see me for me – would always see Monie.  The only person being super obsessed with the bizarre shape in the mirror was myself.  My friends and family that were in France with us treated me the same and loved me the same.  I was the same person I was the previous year before I had gastric and that would never change.  The “Thing” that needed to change was my mindset and this would not happen overnight.  What I did know for a fact was that I would do this and just had to continue to keep my Father God in the center and hold tight to my support system of family and friends.  Little did I know that this road would be a big mountain to climb, but at least I would be surrounded by a fabulous group of people and that the person staring back at me would always be me.

Aaahh!!!! CLOWNS – 22 Days Left

imageZombies, love them. Vampires, please bite me and I don’t mean those sappy Twilight kind. Snakes, rats and spiders make great pets. Things that go bump in the night cause me to investigate. Heights are fabulous. Bugs, get me a can of raid. Worms, research projects. Flying means another pin on the map. Public speaking, been doing that since junior high. BUT Clowns, those scare the shit out of me!!!!

I can’t remember a time in my life when clowns did not cause the fight or flight reaction in me. As a kid, I tried to not let people know about how terrifying clowns were to me and my view of the world. I even did things to push myself to get over the fear. I remember when I found “It” by Stephen King in the public library in junior high and thinking “if I can get through this book, I can beat my own fear.” I was crazy wrong!! I read that book and had nightmares for weeks. Pennywise was the perfect representation of why clowns are just plain wrong. I find them absolutely positively evil!! Let me explain:

The clown with the white face, exaggerated smile, and bright happy coloring is just all wrong to me. The past several years has seen an increase in creepy and gory clown faces with jagged teeth that look like they will shred your flesh – this clown does not scare me so much. The “evil clown” is a more natural representation. You know they are bad and want to hurt you. So you just avoid them. The bright happy clown is luring you in like a woman in a push-up bra and glammed out make-up lures a man. The innocuous clown is the clown I fear because it is the unknown behind the make-up. So many people use make-up to hide, alter or all together change what they look like to the naked eye. Clown make-up completely obscures the true person behind the make-up. The costume they wear hides or distracts from what their eyes might say. The clown offers balloons and candy and things to draw you in. These are the things we warn our kids about when we say things like “don’t take candy from strangers “. For some bizarre reason, at some point, clowns were no longer perceived as strangers. WHY?????!!!!

Coulrophobia is the irrational fear of clowns. I remember when I learned there was a term for it. I felt some relief inside to know that I was not alone. As the years have passed, I have had some not so great run-ins with clowns at unexpected moments. My reaction has been neither graceful nor polite. I have run away and burst into tears at my church prior to an event and I have backhanded one when he grabbed my shoulder at a park and I was not prepared. Yes, I have gone to parties with clowns and taken both my boys to the circus. In all these circumstances, I have to mentally prepare myself. I still have nightmares after an encounter with a clown even when I know it is coming and I still catch myself shaking when one pops up on my Facebook or a commercial at Halloween even though I know they will be every where. I insist on going to haunted houses every year and working on defeating the fear that exists.

Will the fear ever leave? I don’t know. Do I think I will ever have to kill a clown for trying to get me or the ones I love? I hope not. Do I think I could kill an evil clown? Hell yes!!!

Most of my friends know how I feel and sometimes they will mess with me about it. But they all know how real it is and that you can only push so far before the reaction isn’t funny. If you want to see me cry or lash out like a crazy person, just keep pushing. All I can say is, I warned you!

Wine Coolers and Cramped Spaces – Down to 23

1994In my very late teens after graduation, I had two chicas that I were constants in my life. Blondie and I had met on the business high school and I met Kinky though Blondie.  By the way, I have changed their names to protect the innocent.  The funny part of that whole statement is that none of us were very innocent.  Blondie offered to let me come live with her in her very small one bedroom apartment.  And then Kinky was there all the time, too.  That means 3 late teen girls were living together in an apartment a little over 500 sqft. with a single bathroom.  We were all broke all the time and still managed to go out and have fun on a regular basis.  Blondie worked at Chili’s, so we got a discount to eat there and I was all good with eating mac and cheese made with water instead of milk and tuna fish.  Kinky was a genius with a make-up brush and taught me some tricks that I use to this day.  There was drama and laughter and good times and crazy times.  We watched each other deal with boyfriends and family issues and always had one another’s back. 

To this day, I still can’t tell you how we pulled it off, but we went to whatever club or bar we wanted to and always manged to find a party.  And then we always got home in one piece.  We never let each other leave with a person we didn’t know or lose track of each other.  We created a bond that I thought back then was pretty damn cool.  Little did I know that it would hold strong despite where we each ended up.

Kinky eventually left San Antonio and moved up north to Chicago.  I had planned on joining her, but God had a different plan and it included my surprise pregnancy.  She met someone got married and then moved back and then got divorced and moved away again and ended up in Jersey.  She then met her other half and they had a mini version of her and they married and have had another.  Blondie has stayed closer to home most of the years.  She married someone 10 years her senior that she met in the midst of our party days and she settled down and got married.  They then had a super handsome son and now her life is really about to change because she is on the verge of divorce after being married well over a decade.  Through all the ups and downs and miles in between, we always find each other when it matters the most.  There are 2 things I know in my heart of hearts about both of them, they have always been straight talkers to me and if I decide to start dancing on an empty dance floor, they won’t question my sanity and they might even join me.  Love you ladies but the phrase crazy bitches is probably more what you would expect hear – so Love You Crazy Bitches. 

30 Days and Favorite Phrases

I was sitting in a public setting and listening to people talk.  And of course, people watching!  I heard two guys talking and one said to the other, “hey, that’s what she said” and the other guy just laughs.  My first thought was – “do people still say that?” and then I started thinking about some of the phrases I would use on a regular basis.  There are those sayings that where trendy and then the ones that got picked up at some random place and they just stuck for a limited time.

I actually have one word that I used so often I am sure it almost drove my dad insane. LIKE!  There is a whole generation that did not know how to have a conversation without throwing the phrase LIKE into it.  Example: So like the other day, I like totally saw this hot guy and like almost died!  And the dramatic touch was usually thrown in for effect.  I must have “like almost died” daily.  I have lived in Texas my whole life.  So why is it there was a valley girl phase in my past?  The like phase started not too long after the valley girl phase.  My valley girl wasn’t as extreme as the main character in the movie “Valley Girl” but it could definitely be annoying. 

As I have gotten older, I catch myself using certain phrases.  I recently noticed that after giving my opinion on something, I will finish it with “I’m just saying”. I guess picking up or using certain phrases is a habit I haven’t been able to shake.  I do not think it is such a problem that I need an intervention or go through some kind of “recovery process” but I would be okay with those who are closest to me to point out when I get stuck on a phrase.

There are two phrases that I only use in email and letter writing (yes, I still enjoy snail mail).  And these will stick , do not ask me to quit using them.  They are KISSES or KISSES AND WISHES.  To me, it is they way I let my happy light shine out to you all in this great big world.  Think about some of your favorite phrases that slip into your everyday conversations or terms you use frequently.  Here are a couple more:

You know what I mean, ya know what I am saying, As if, what the, you’re killing me sweets, just chillin

So, have a great day and laters dudes!

Pregnant?? NO!!!! And Another 31 Days

scanWhen you are 20 years old and single and enjoying life – you literally have your whole life before you.  The prospects are boundless.  Traveling and exploring beyond the boundaries you have stayed within are ready to be crossed.  Plans are being made and there is nothing to stop you.

That is how I felt.  I was preparing to move away from the only state I had ever called home and live my permanent single life.  BUT I noticed that my not-so-favorite friend that tended to come monthly for all women hadn’t stopped by in awhile.  I reluctantly bought that stick test and thought I will just prove that this is all stress about the big move and go out afterwards.  I did my thing and waited.  In just a matter of seconds, there were 2 little lines.  I read and re-read the instructions.  I was sure for the first time in my life I had forgotten how to read the English language. And then I admitted to myself that I had flunked the test!!!  This annoying little stick was telling me that I was pregnant.  How did this happen?  This has to be wrong! NO – not me!  Did I skip a pill? These are the thoughts that started to run through my mind.

I had always seen people get excited about a new baby.  Most women long for motherhood.  I was not one of these ladies.  In those moments after realizing the truth of the situation, I just sat on the floor and cried.  There was only one other person who knew that I was afraid I might be pregnant and she could keep a secret.  There was no need to tell anyone else.  If I partied hard and had a miscarriage, no one else would ever know the truth.  What if I went ahead and moved away, I could put this thing inside me up for adoption and my family would never feel the disgrace of me getting pregnant like this.  Decision making in the moment of fear and confusion causes you to run some crazy scenarios.  And run them I did.  There were only 2 things I knew for sure at that moment: this pregnancy happened from a one night-stand and I was not going to let anyone make this decision for me.

Eventually, I came out of the bathroom and decided to party first and deal with life later.  And party I did!  But then life slowed down enough I knew I had to make a true decision.  The more I thought about it the more I felt I needed to keep the kid.  This pregnancy was one of those .01% kind.  I had been using protection as had my partner.  This kid was meant to be here and I wasn’t sure that I could raise him but try I would.

Now, to do this, there were a couple of decisions I made in those first few weeks that would affect the rest of my life and of the fetus growing inside me.  I chose to tell the guy that was the dad that I was pregnant and I was keeping the baby.  He had no obligation to help raise it or be a part of it’s life.  That was totally going to be up to him. And he opted out, so I felt it was in the best interest of myself and him that the only other person that should know who the biological dad was would be my best friend Sandy.

I started to tell my family.  I can’t say that any of them were exactly happy to hear that I was pregnant and on top of it I would not tell them anything about the dad.  Most of my friends were supportive of my decision and only a couple played the guessing game of who could be the dad.  After finally let the cat out of the bag with everyone and me settling into the idea that I would be staying in Texas and having a baby, I had a big scare.  I started to have problems with the pregnancy.  I went in to see the doctor and he explained that I could miscarry or take the appropriate steps to protect the fetus and the pregnancy.  I am not gonna lie – I saw a big opportunity here.  I could truly miscarry this baby and I wouldn’t have to do this whole single mom thing.  I only had a few minutes to make my final decision – to have this baby or walk away.  I again chose to have it.  I did what I was supposed to, had to do bed rest, take it easy and let the fetus grow and get stronger. After a handful of weeks, I was out and about again and trying to figure out the what next thing.

I went ahead and went back to college for the Spring Semester.  I had a great group of friends that would hang out with me and started to get excited about us toting around a baby.  I heard the heartbeat and I found out that this thing inside me was a little boy.  That ultrasound was huge for me.  Watching him move and put his tiny little hand by his face had me in awe!!  Was I really growing a person inside of me?  I started to focus on reading to him and talking to him on a daily basis.  I threw names around and some of them were horrible, some were worthy of a rock star and then I found the right one – ANDREW!  I called him DruDru when I talked to him when no one else was around.  And I started to read a book called Love You Forever and desired to be like the mom in the book.  I spent hours singing karaoke with friends and having friends sing to him.  I even turned 21 while I was pregnant.  That was not the 21st birthday I imagined but we all made the best of it.

Dru kept growing and I kept trying to envision what my future held.  As the weeks passed by and my tummy got bigger, I started to tell everyone I was done being pregnant and for him to hurry up and get here.  Then his due date came and went and I thought “this damn kid is never coming out!!!” and it really felt that way.  The doctor saw me on Thursday and said they would have me come in Monday to induce if I still was pregnant.  Very early the next morning, I climbed into bed with my mom and fell asleep after a restless night.  And then I woke up feeling like my mom had kicked me and she laughed and said it must be baby kicking and then I felt another pain.  I was in labor.  And it lasted for hours – actually just over 32.  And I ended up with a C-section.  My friends and family hung in the whole time and rallied around me in the hospital.  My kid was coming into a world where a whole group of people were already vested in his life.  The moment he was laid on my chest after his birth – everything ceased to exist and I realized that I had just looked into the eyes of the first love of my life and no matter what I would never let anything happen to him.  So in less than a year, I went from a single party girl to a single mom.  My life was still going to change and I would still explore and cross new boundaries, just not the way I expected.

The only thing I knew for sure was that I loved him and the future was still full of adventures!

32 Days Away and Wondering about Underoos

underoosWonder Woman Underoos were the underwear of choice when I was about 4 to 5 years old.  I wanted to get up every born and put on why my Underoos and transform to Wonder Woman.  I knew that I was supposed to be an Amazon woman and when I grew up I would chase down the bad guy and use my lasso of truth on them.  Underoos were AMAZING!  I remember other friends, boys and girls talking about what which Underoos then owned and which were our favorites.  The one thing that annoyed me then was that I wanted to wear some of the Underoos made for boys.  As the years passed, I still longed to wear those super cool Underoos. Every now and then, while shopping, I would stumble across them and noticed that new looks and designs would come along.  Eventually, I had my own kids and wanted them to have those moments of being their favorite super hero.  Let their imagination go wild as they ran around the house saving the world and stopping the evil villains of the world.  Find them in the underwear section of the store for boys was pretty easy in the late 90’s when my oldest was small.  He preferred Batman and would submerge himself into the alter ego of Bruce Wayne.  Again, I would reminisce about myself feeling invincible in my own Underoos.  Then came son number 2.  When he hit the age for Underoos, my husband and I noticed that they were hard to find.  I wanted my youngest to enjoy the same excite and wonder that the rest of had in our childhood.  I would check every undewear department that we came upon.  Where had Underoos vanished to? 

I took to the internet and started some research and read that production of Underoos were stopping.  REALLY?!?!  The only thing I could do now was starting hunting online for those who were charging more after the news or pray that a pair in just the right size fall from the sky.  Let the miracle happen!  okay, it wasn’t exactly a miracle that happened, but I was pretty exciting when I finally spotted some Underoos.  My in-laws had taken my family and I on the local military base to do some shopping.  As was now a habit, I wandered over to the boys underwear department and there they were.  A pair of actual Underoos.  One package and in just the right size and on clearance to boot.  I did a little happy dance and told my hubby.  Z would get to experience Underoos.  I know this seems crazy but their are few things that I can share with my boys that are exactly the same as when I was a kid.  He loved his Underoos!  The sad part was that there weren’t anymore.  Now, I have shared with friends how much I loved Underoos and that I would wear them to this day if I could.  This is where the whole growing up can come into question.  Does a grown woman really need to wear Underoos?  At what point should the matching underwear stop?  Actually never!  Woman can wear matching underwear our who lives if we want.  Whether you get you stuff at Wal-Mart or Victoria Secret or Agent Provocateur, woman still wearing matching underwear.  Now they looks and styles vary and most women are looking to wear a cami matching their panties, but many like their bras to match.  Well, someone somewhere must have been thinking the same as me about still wanting to don their Underoos as an adult. 

This past Christmas, my “big sister” (not by blood but by spirit) got me the most fantastic present….Adult Wonder Woman Underoos!!!  I was so excited I wanted to explode like a 9 year old on Christmas Day.  Turns out that Hop Topic has started to make Underoos for adults.  The designs are a little different and the styles seem to be focused on DC Comic characters for women and for guys their are DC and Masters of the Universe ones.  I love my Underoos again!  The first time I wore them, my little one came into the bedroom and said “Mom! You are a super hero.  Guess what, I am too! I have on Spider-man underwear. Do you think Daddy and Buh Buh are wearing some too?”  I can’t lie it made my heart happy…