Tag Archives: Whatever Wednesday

Whatever Wednesday: Love Thyself

Today? Better spent stuck in an episode of Fawlty Towers. Specifically the one about the construction workers and the ever changing door. Because wow. It’s nearly 5pm and I thought staying in bed was a better option at 9am. Turns out I was right.

But enough about focusing on what went WRONG today. Time to focus on some positive.

That’s where John from Daddy Runs A lot comes in handy. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I digress.

Two days ago, John posted a Link-up in which he challenges you to list things you love about yourself.

I knew I wanted to write for it as soon as I read it.

Today is a good day to finally write. I could use the ego-boosting. Even if it’s self-inflicted. Yes. I know that makes me narcissistic but hell. Aren’t we all to a certain degree? Besides. It’s really more of an exercise in getting my brain out of the negative rut in which it’s so flawlessly stuck itself today.

Here goes.

(Note: These are in no particular order)

1. My sarcasm. I adore my fluency in sarcasm. I do. It’s allowed me to view the world in a lighter manner, to find the humor in the dark, and then inappropriately remark upon it to others. It’s my second language. It’s allowed me to make some really hilarious friends on Twitter too. Snark, anyone?

2. My eyes. Hazel and flecked with gold as they slide from green to blue to grey, my eyes are quite possibly one of my most favorite things about myself. I’ve been told they’re deep, gorgeous, beautiful, full of soul and heart, seductive, and trance-inducing. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them in this list.

3. My hair. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair since the birth of my second daughter when brushing it became part of my Postpartum OCD. I chopped it off then but have finally grown it back. It’s halfway down my back, chestnut brown with lots of natural auburn and gold highlights. It’s also annoyingly straight and silky. Seriously. My hair? Belongs in a Pantene commercial. It’s that gorgeous. I like how it feels on my back when I’m wearing a tank top and how it slides over my shoulders too. It’s comforting now instead of anxiety inducing. Plus it frames my eyes nicely. 😉

4. My writing. I’ve been writing since I was 6. My first short story was 11 pages long. One of my other first pieces was a two page piece about Organisms (you totally read that wrong, didn’t you? Shame.) I attended Duke Young Writer’s Camp in HS instead of going to Disney World with my brothers and grandfather. Okay, so they decided to go after I was accepted to Duke for the second summer in a row. Still. That’s dedication. I have a degree in English. Without writing, I would perish. Writing is my outlet, my peace, my soul. It’s what I do. Yanno, when I’m not doing the postpartum thing. I’ve been told I’m a natural by several people. Asked how I do it so well. Um. I’m horribly unorganized in this department and just write when the mood strikes, pouring everything out in five-ten minutes or less. SO there you go. No trick.

5. My big heart. Again, this one is a love/hate relationship but my heart has taken me some really amazing places, especially this summer. Sure it’s hurt like hell sometimes but there are no regrets. I refuse to look back and be sad because things are over but will instead smile because they happened (thank u, Dr. Seuss!) I believe my big heart has allowed me to see the world differently than most, to be open to embracing everything with love and compassion. I can’t imagine living any other way, despite the pain to which this opens me to as I glide through life.

6. My free spirit. I’m happiest when surrounded by nature. Kind of like a wood nymph. I adore that I can sit in the middle of a forest and be filled with peace immediately. Or stare at the ocean. Or sit by a lake. Or.. you get the drift. I adore that I am able to just “be” when necessary. Float off into the middle of peace and stay there for a bit. I know this is a gift and I am beyond blessed. For this, I am grateful. I totally love this about me.


So there you have it. Six things I love about myself right now.

You should go over to John’s place and link up too, by the way.

Whatever Wednesday: Finding Happy

When I was 5, my Aunt died. Then several other relatives passed away at an alarming rate. Much of my childhood filled to the brim with memorial services or talk of how yet another relative succumbed to the ravages of cancer. Some relatives I was very close to yet other relatives, like a distant cousin named Keith, I barely knew. But still. Death. Always peering over my shoulder. Always there.

School wasn’t any easier. I grew up in a small mostly white town at the Jersey Shore. On the walk home, it wasn’t unusual to see a Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Benz, or BMW. And yes, I mean on the same day, not throughout the week. We had a Dodge Ramcharger and a Datsun. The Ramcharger was rusted out. It’s special feature was that we could watch the pavement slide by as our parents sped up and down the Turnpike and other badly paved roads. This was awesome unless.. roadkill. Then EWWW. The other kids weren’t nice to me. They teased me. Called me “Corroded” whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Yeah, I was even bullied with intellectualism. Awesome, right?

In the 6th grade, we moved to VA. Given the opportunity to reinvent myself, you better believe I did. I had friends the first day. Things were awesome until High School when I bloomed. Yes, I mean BLOOMED. The ensuing sexual harassment sucked. I endured it until I graduated because, well, I was a kid, and my memories of bullying as an elementary kid came flooding back.

Then? College.

Wow, college. No more sexual harassment but there was that time in my dorm room when an acquaintance tried to force something on me. Thankful for strong legs and a good aim, I survived. He did too, but believe me, he never spoke to me again.

During college, I drove a lot. I sat at a local state park and made friends with ducks. I stood in the middle of a lake during a thunderstorm and let the rain beat down on me, praying for a lightning strike just a month or so after my grandfathers died within 19 days of each other. Clearly I survived.

I found myself then, deep under all my pain, all the crap which had been buried on top of me. Strong. Beautiful. Amazing. I promised never to lose myself again.

Only I did.

I fell back into a hole, dug by myself. I sacrificed myself for what I though I wanted. For the life society trained me to believe was mine. Only it wasn’t and I was drowning just like I wanted to do that day when I waded into the lake.

I needed to breathe.

I’m breathing now. It’s taken me 9 years and a few months to get here, but I’m breathing. I’m smiling. At the beginning of the summer, I couldn’t smile. Once I started smiling, my face hurt. For two weeks. Yes, my FACE hurt from smiling. That pain, though, the pain in my cheeks, my jaw, my head, was a pleasant and welcome pain. Yeah, this summer has hurt. It’s hurt like hell. But I’m welcoming the pain. Because the pain means I’m feeling again. It means I’m no longer numb. It means I’m living. Loving. Embracing.

If living my life requires that I go through periods when walking on shredded glass would be preferable, I’ll take it… and I’ll smile despite the blood and tears. I’ll take the pain. I’ll take the happy. I’ll take the joy of finally exhaling surrounding it all.

In this moment, no matter what, my life is beautiful.

It’s beautiful because I am living it.
No more apologies. Just me. Living. Outloud.

Whatever Wednesday: Blank

There are words in my head. Lots of words. Thousands.

They dance about on tables crafted from the finest membranes in the world, flashing through the dark lit only by firing neurons. Clothed in slinky new dresses they sway the night away as they swallow copious amounts of tequila, wine, and vodka.

Then they stumble home, dark circles beneath their eyes, smeared mascara, broken heels, and the facade of happiness floats away as they climb wearily to their lofts in lower Manhattan, desperate to collapse onto feather laden beds. Covered with silky comforters, they sleep until the following evening when they arise, slip into even slinkier dresses and creep out to even swankier clubs in order to dance the night away.

I try to catch them, these words.

They disguise themselves each night in a different mask. Scatter to the wind and hide inside clubs with bouncers larger than the Titanic itself.

So I wait.


As my words dance the night away, laughing, joking, drinking, as I huddle outside in the hot humid air, parched to the core, unable to reach in and grab an expletive to express my frustration. It’s as if they’re inside some giant claw game and I am forced to spend quarter after quarter yet still come up empty.

I want my words back dammit.

Whatever Wednesday: My kids got sick and all I got was this lousy t-shirt


t-shirt photo sourced from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1185427 Text added by Lauren Hale


Our family does not believe in visiting the pediatrician once in awhile.

No, we like to clump all our visits together. When I say together, I mean one right after another. We have visited the pediatrician’s office three times in one week, one appointment per kid.

Why can’t they get sick together??

Since the beginning of February we have all had some sort of ickiness. Our youngest was diagnosed with the flu. Our daughters both had the ickiness plus an ear infection a piece.

Oh, and then there’s the broken middle finger.

Our daughters were sick together. I took them to the pediatrician. As we got out of the car, my middle daughter wrapped her hand around the middle column of the car doors. I slammed my door shut. On her fingers. She immediately began to scream. Tears flooded her face. I asked what was wrong. She couldn’t tell me. Finally she pointed to her hand. Barely sticking out were her fingertips. My heart caught in my throat as I reached in to unlock the door. I fumbled and finally pulled the button upward. Grabbing the handle, I flung the door open and freed my poor daughter’s hand.

We got inside and I asked for ice.

Keep in mind that this poor girl is ALREADY SICK. Fever, sore throat, absolutely miserable thing.

We were sent for x-ray after her appointment.

I got a call the following day telling me that her middle finger was broken. The nearest orthopedist? 30 minutes away. Our appointment was in the morning. I had to get x-rays to take with me and make it to the appointment by 10am.

The orthopedist said the finger was barely broken, just a hairline fracture. We could buddy tape it for comfort if we wanted. Taping lasted a day and a half as our four year old kept pulling it off.

This past Monday I took her back to check healing progress. She’s just fine, I’m happy to report. I know my heart will soon heal but for days I felt horrible guilt for having broken a bone in my precious daughter’s body. It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe. I failed. I beat myself up royally for a few days. My husband assured me he had even warned our daughter to keep her hands out of that space in the car prior to my accident. I’m making peace with the fact that accidents happen. Certainly doesn’t make it hurt less but it helps. She’s been a trooper through all of this – bragging that her finger doesn’t even hurt.

And no, I didn’t really get a t-shirt. But I totally should have.

Whatever Wednesday: Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dearest Dad,

Today’s your birthday. You’re officially well, another year older.

We discussed several things to get you.

Finally settled on a dancing and singing Gorilla.

But guess what?

They are greedy bastards.

The one we found required several thousand tons of bananas.

And wanted a massage every day.

Don’t even get me started on the Mai Tai requirements of this banana munching, massage needing big baby.


Given that we clearly were not able to meet said Gorilla’s requirements, we did the next best thing.

We borrowed Roger’s.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

We love you and wish you many more years.

Including at least one with your very own Singing Gorilla Birthday Telegram.




Whatever Wednesday: Sweet Pain Relief

For close to a month, I have struggled with a toothache in my lower right molar.

I went through a full 10 day course of Antibiotics.

The toothache calmed down.

Then the bastard had the cajones to check back in to see how things were going. Ppppth. Thoughtful but oh so not necessary.

Last Wednesday, I visited the ER in a desperate attempt to kick it’s arse.

Antibiotics and prescription pain medicine. Sweet relief, right?


This bastard was here to stay.

I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday in bed. I threw up. I managed to eat. I wanted to cling to the ceiling and never come back down.

Friday I had to force myself to help with our yard sale efforts.

By Saturday morning, I was exhausted. Yet I made it until nearly 11am until I had to call it quits and collapse into bed, once again, defeated by a tooth.

Sunday morning we skipped church. I felt great for most of the day, only taking Extra Strength Tylenol. I stayed out of bed. Finally! I had turned a corner! Hope began to creep into my heart.

By Sunday night, hope skipped town and Hell all too happily took it’s place.

Monday morning found me writhing in bed, eyes rolling into the back of my head, shuddering, clenching my hands into fists which nearly drew blood, crying out to God to make the pain stop. Even after administering the maximum dose of pain medication. I wished for unconsciousness.

My husband got on the phone with our church, the local walk-in dentist,  managed to snag me an appointment with a local dentist recommended by our church later that afternoon.

By my appointment, I found myself again in the throes of wicked pain. Wicked, wicked, wicked pain. I prayed for the pain of my first labor – and that’s saying a lot – my first labor was Pit riddled with a non-working epi. Nasty stuff, people, nasty!

The dentist examined me, made a phone call, and scheduled me for extraction the next morning. He also wrote new prescriptions for me, including an anti-nausea med. God bless him.

Tuesday morning, I practically skipped over to his office to get this bad boy removed.

The dentist who extracted my tooth was amazing. Course, the Nitrous Oxide and damned fine Novocaine (which didn’t wear off for another 6 hours or so) helped.

I sit here with a gaping hole in my mouth. Sure, it hurts. A little.

What was the cost for all of this to me?

Absolutely nada.

And that folks, is the miracle.

God is good.

Whatever Wednesday: Favorite Childhood Movies

The Goonies. The NeverEnding Story. Red Dawn. Howard the Duck. The Princess Bride. Toy Soldiers.The Boy who could Fly.

Anything with Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and gang in it, Say Anything, Adventures in Babysitting, Crocodile Dundee, Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, Funny Farm, National Lampoon’s Vacation series, Any Star Trek movie EXCEPT The Wrath of Khan (that’s a whole ‘nother post though), The Mission, WarGames…. I could go on and on.

These are some of my FAVORITE movies as I grew up.

No, I didn’t list the Gremlin or Freddy movies. I have never seen them. My parents did not let me watch them and quite frankly, I have no desire to watch them now. (Even though I’ve been told my darling doggy Maggie looks like a Mogwai – and yes, I used IMDB to spell that correctly!)

But the other movies were faves.

I’m sure I have left some out. There have been many many other favorite movies along the way as well – Pretty Woman, Erin Brokovich, Radio, What about Bob, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, Big Daddy, Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, Wedding Crashers, Star Trek X, and many many many others.

The movie I’m most excited about sharing with my kids? The Goonies by a mile. I’ve already shared The NeverEnding story with them. But The Goonies will have to wait until I’m okay with them hearing some of the language present in the film. I know they’ll love it.

What about you? What are some of your favorite flicks? Which ones are you most excited about sharing with your kids?