Finish the dang wall already….

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I have lived in my apartment since mid March. I am yet to decorate. I have a pile of great things to hang on my living room wall. Every week I was having girls night and every week we would say “for real. This week we are hanging crap”. And every week the wine would win. And now my friend had moved to New Jersey and the pile still sits there.

20140714-060128-21688199.jpg Read the rest of this entry

50 Ways To Be A Woman

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adelmore:

Just when I was bummed because I didn’t have anything epic to blog about today….I read this. Good stuff. If I were going to make a list, every single one of these would be on it.

I grew up in a place where women were not valued in the least. You weren’t validated unless you have a man and you certainly should never put yourself first or value yourself….cause that’s just selfish.

If you know me, you know how this great blog made my heart go pitter patter.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

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1. Practice good personal grooming habits. If you are going to have colored hair, keep your roots covered. If you are going to have fake nails, keep them filled. Take care of your skin, take care of your teeth. 

2. Dress modestly. Gain attention through who you are rather than the parts of your body you choose to expose. It is worth far more in the long run. 

3. Certain fashion staples will always remain timeless. A few conservative dresses, a string of pearls, a nice handbag and a good pair of pumps should always be in your wardrobe. 

4. Write thank you notes. It is one of the best ways to make a good impression and literally takes five seconds. It is a dying art that so desperately needs to be revived. If someone is nice enough to give you a gift or recommend you to a position, the…

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Breakup University

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I am going back to school. :-) even though I practically have a masters degree from the school of hard knocks, it seems as if I need to take myself back for a bit of Breaking Up 101. I am not talking about dating break ups either (I seem to be an expert at getting broken up with already). I am talking about breaking up with those people or even “things” that are no longer good for you.

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See, I am a fixer and an extreme lover of broken people. I am drenched in my mother’s “loves to be needed” DNA. I love to meet new people. I cling to them! Literally. When I first meet someone, I just want to know all about them. I usually make fast friends. It’s always later down the road when I am hip deep in the new found friendship that I sometimes realize that I have fallen into a situation that is not healthy. The problem with being so drawn to people (especially broken ones) is that you can easily become so absorbed in them (healing them, listening to their woes for hours, being too available) that you lose yourself without even realizing it.

I know. I know. We are all broken in some way. I in no way claim to be unbroken or superior to anybody. But when you make yourself too available and you give 123% of yourself to a friendship, you also start expecting. And when you cast expectations on people who aren’t built to give them to you, enter disappointment. Disappointment that you are partially to blame for because, chances are, they don’t even know what you expect from them. Everyone’s 100% looks different. I love learning the five love languages for this reason. It was eye opening for me to learn and finally accept that what my “all” is could be different than yours. And that’s ok. What is NOT ok is when you are in a situation of constant hurt. We could cover so much more of this in a long, in depth book so I will try to keep it short. :-) (and we all know that attempt will fail miserably. But hang in there. I promise this is good) When you are in a friendship that leaves you feeling drained, rejected, used, or any other negative emotion, you HAVE to stop. You have to step back and evaluate. What are the emotions I am left with and is the person even aware that it is leaving me this way? If this is “just how they are” am I ok with it always being like that? Are they being respectful of you? Do they place value on your friendship with them?

20140709-214916.jpg I have recently been in quite the struggle with myself and a few friendships. I tend to hang on out of loyalty or “not being the bad guy”. There is also a little hanging on because I know when I go away, they probably won’t even notice. And that hurts. And quite frankly I am tired. I am not moving forward with being a better me because I am too busy “crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for me” (love that quote). I have to accept that some people are not in your life forever. You don’t have to be my friend. We can all still exist on the planet. :-) I cannot move on to the next phase of becoming more awesome and making my dreams come true (and believe me, I am right on the edge of some pretty big things) if I keep crying over hurt feelings from unhealthy friendships.

So, it’s time we breakup. I will not be readily available for you when you don’t have anything better to do. I will not be the one always initiating contact. I will not hang out with you only when I suggest it and only at your house and then watch you post pics of being out having a great time (when you know dang well I would love to be out too). I will not listen to the same problems over and over while you don’t even ask or encourage me about things in my life. I will not be an afterthought.

20140709-214852.jpg What I will be to anyone interested in real friendship is loving. I will love you hard. It’s what I do. I will pray for you more than I pray for myself. I will make you laugh. Mostly at me, but laugh nonetheless. I will make you cheesy crafts for your birthday but not give them to you until months later (because my memory is horrible and I am a procrastinator). My friendship isn’t for everyone. I talk too much (mostly about myself). I am needy. I will flake on 3/5 things you invite me too. And if you are hurting physically, I will retreat and seem like the worst friend ever (because if I can’t fix it or make it better I can’t watch suffering of any kind). BUT, I accept that I am not for everyone. And I am thankful for the ones who hang around. :-)

So be ok with breaking up. No dramatic profession of departure needed. Just quietly walk away knowing you value yourself enough to know when a situation is unhealthy and needs to go. PLUS, the longer you continue, the less of the best you that person is getting. And that’s a wrap on my profound wisdom :-p HAPPY THURSDAY!!!

Dungeons and Douchebags……and donuts

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Although I have taken myself off “online dating” sites, it doesn’t relieve me of interactions with past “dudes” I have had encounters with.  I am happy to say that currently, I am “taking it slow” with someone in hopes of it possibly working out to “happily ever after” but figure that it shouldn’t stop my D&D stories.  It actually makes me appreciate the “just taking it slow” process quite a bit more.  Usually at the end of typing out a beautiful story for you to read, I end up thinking “man, I’m thankful that I am not dealing with any of the currently”.

I would never have written about Steve (I honestly can’t even remember if that’s his name).  He wasn’t anything too exciting in the way of lame material to blog about.  Nice guy.  No real red flags or weird issues.  And honestly we both had pretty much admitted that there was no dating interest there, but enjoyed having a few drinks after work from time to time.  We usually ended up comparing stories about online dating interactions.  I would almost feel worse after his stories because I would see the crazy women he would get messages from and think “ok, I know I am way more normal than this and yet, I’m not having any luck on here”.  I am proud to say I never contemplated mimicking any of the pics he showed me of women such as the lady laid out across her bed in fuzzy Hello Kitty pajama pants and a tank top making a kiss face.  But it doesn’t mean I didn’t wonder what the heck was going on.

Steve and I lost touch.  I hope it wasn’t because of the girl I saw him out with one night in the 80′s shirt and feather bangs.  But, I guess if she swept him off his feet, then congrats to him.  I was irritated that we lost touch at first because I wasn’t even trying to date him.  I was simply a nice person being nice to someone who had just moved here.  We were not exchanging jokes via text anymore.  I was being ignored for whatever reason and I was not happy about it.  That’s just rude.  But, I also know you can’t chase.  And I wouldn’t want to whip out my crazy chasing card on someone I knew I would never date anyway :)

HOWEVER, it does not matter what status you were with a guy, there are certain moments that just don’t help your cause and create small mortifications in a woman’s life.

One of those moments is when you have tried to be “Miss Cool”, you quit talking to/seeing someone and then they catch you at a stop light with your windows down, music up, making sweet sweet love to a Krispy Kreme donut.  Especially when you’re already a “thick” girl.  There I was, treating myself to a donut (just one I swear).  One of my favorite songs was on the radio.  The sunroof was open.  The windows were down.  I was eating that donut like I just got out of prison.  And I hear someone say “hey you”.  I look over, sugar frosting all over my mouth, to see Steve.  Greeeeaaaattttttttttt.

Wait!  What the heck do I care?  I don’t owe Steve anything.  I don’t have to explain myself to him (or anybody).  I am proud to be eating a donut dang it!

And then he says “hey girl, what you been up to?? Do you still workout at that one gym you were going to?  What was the name of it?”.  Really?  Do you think you’re cute Steve (a 38 year old man with a jacked up mister truck that you need a step stool to get into)?  Well, you’re not.  And, that beard doesn’t look right on you either.  I just wave and say “hey!” and quickly take off as soon as the light turns green.  I get a text from him later that says “we should catch up sometime, it’s been a while.  Maybe we could go for a walk”.

No.  We should not catch up.  You have ignored me for months.  And no, I don’t wanna go on a walk with you.  Why are you stalking me about exercise Steve?  I want to eat a donut.  And maybe another one after that.

Ok, so maybe Steve was just trying to have conversation.  And of course I know he really isn’t too much of a dbag (even though the ignoring definitely didn’t help his cause).  I mean I’ve dealt with worse.  And maybe I know that the real issue here is my insecurity about being big and eating a donut and knowing I could make better eating choices. :)

But, knowing all of that, I also still know and am convicted in my belief that you should be who you are.  And in the dating world (especially in the cruel dating world), you do not dare let some person you barely met online make you feel any less than amazing!  The right guy will eat a donut with you.  And if he wants you to be healthier and go for a walk, he will be smart about his approach and craft something like “hey babe, wanna go shopping at the mall” and get you to walk that way :)

 

 

Love in the bathroom stall

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Recently I went on a trip.  Just myself and two of my nieces.  They are ages 5 and 5 1/2.  I never thought I would make so many fantastic memories.  I had this vision of being the cool aunt who took them on this road trip and then documented every detail, printed it in a fancy photo book and gave it to them to keep forever.  They would look back through the book over the years and go on and on about it being the best summer trip ever.  That vision was quickly diminished once we actually started on the road trip.  Instead, they will get documented (and hopefully comical) observations.  They might actually get printed pictures by the time they are in their twenties.  And instead of going on and on about the best trip ever, they will probably just discuss how “Auntie Ricia” has never been on time or followed through with anything in her life so it’s no surprise we are married with our own kids and just now getting pictures of a trip we took when we were five.

ANYWAY!!  As a single woman with no children who bravely embarked on a ten hour road trip with some sassy almost kindergartners, here are my observations in no particular order.  Observations that actually lead to tears upon reflection.  And reflection that lead to gratefulness for seeing life through a child’s eyes for a week and realizing that life really is that simple and that beautiful.

Meet Chella and Jasmyn.  They are cousins and belong to my sisters.  They have never been on any kind of trip like this.  What we thought was a six hour drive to a condo/family resort in TN turned out to be an eleven hour adventure! :)

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1.  As tired as I was I couldn’t help but be heart happy when little miss came barging in my room on the Saturday morning of our departure yelling “ricia, get up it’s vacation day and I got my nails done”.  Seriously, how cute is she?
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2.  I forgot how much fun it is to drive on the interstate, get really close to a semi-truck and do “that arm thing” where you motion the truck driver to blow his horn.  Teaching my nieces this and seeing them laugh when they got a reaction out of the drivers was too cute.
3.  Bathroom stops.  What usually takes me maybe three minutes when I’m stopping for a “pee break” on a road trip suddenly turned into twenty minutes with these chicks.  Just getting unbuckled, out of the car and into the store was a good seven minutes.  Who knew there was so much decision making in using a bathroom.  They are little multi-taskers too.  They never stopped talking all while adjusting their clothes, using the bathroom, flushing and washing.  At one point, they were discussing who had more toilet paper when one said to the other “It really doesn’t matter who has more.  I still love you” and the other replies “I love you too.  We are good cousins”.  I don’t think I have ever confessed my love to anyone in the bathroom stall but I guess it’s as good of a place as any to do so.  Literally every serious conversation that we had on this trip took place in gas station bathrooms.  We learned about kindness and when to take a time out from people.  We talked about stranger danger.  You name it, we covered it.  All in the stall.
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3.  You can only entertain so long before stand still traffic, no naps, and two very opinionated girls (ok three counting me) get to be too much for a car ride.  Then, when you find out that you had the address wrong all along and the drive just went from six hours to ten, all you can do is start praying……and adding liquor to your grocery list.
4.  How many times can you watch Frozen on a week long vacation?  I lost count after 2,456.  I also lost count of how many discussions we had about “when we will be there”
5.  Confession.  Even though we ended up watching Frozen a gazillion times, I may or may not have allowed them to take their headphones out and plug the portable dvd player into the car stereo so that we could all sing Let it Go together.  Can’t.  Say.  No.  It just sucks you in.
6.  When you get “a little lost” in Memphis, never doubt that small children smell the fear in you and are happy to point out the obvious.  “Um, Auntie Ricia, I’m pretty sure you are going da wong way” (as said in the voice of one who has a few issues with the letter r).
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7.  How cute is it when you pass through Nashville, two little girls are blown away and declare that they want to move to the big city, and proceed to make up their own songs and perform them?  Pretty darn cute.
8.  I have never been more thankful for friends who stay up late, google traffic and calm me by letting me know that night construction I am sitting in the middle of will be over in one more exit and not to give up and go running down the interstate to the nearest bar after being on the road for 9 hours.
9.  I can’t even be mad at the two little firecrackers for their stubbornness, opinionated personalities, independence, and ability to strike up a conversation with anyone.  Even though there were times I wanted to choke their precious little arguing necks….I am so glad they have these characteristics and hope they keep them into their later lives where it will benefit them and hopefully keep them from getting pushed around.
10.  How fun is Shrek the Musical at the community theater?  On a scale of one to never doing that again, I would say about a 5.  It was a great idea until it turned out to be 3 hours, had more adult jokes than kids could get and we skipped napped time.  They still say they loved it, but I’m skeptical :)
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10.  When the front desk concierge tells you the directions to the lake and says “the beach is on your left”, and two small children hear that and think they are going to the real beach….as a poor, single aunt, you do not tell them any differently.  You let them think they have finally been taken to the beach and you deal with whatever happens later in life when they realize it was all a lie.  You buy them goggles, Goldfish, and let them play until they literally can’t keep their eyes open.  Because that is the only time you get to remotely relax on a trip like this.
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11.  Catching fireflies never gets old.  It actually gets even better when you’re older and you see the pure, simple joy it brings a little person that you love so much it hurts.
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12.  What was their favorite room at the condo?  The bathroom.  They couldn’t stay out of it when they played inside.  You know why?  Because they realized how great the acoustics were in there.  I would catch them using the bathtub steps as a stage and singing their hearts out.  And so far in their tiny lives, they have never made me more proud! :)  I love a good bathroom concert and am happy to see they do to!
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13.  You DO NOT admit defeat to your family in a situation like this.  They are just dying to see you fail and wave the white flag.  I fed and watered these kids, three times a day (plus countless snacks).  I kept them clean (for the most part).  And most importantly, everyone stayed alive.  You may have to have a few beers after they go to bed.  But, when you’re sisters and mom are back home just knowing you will never survive, you stay strong! :)

14.  Kids have no filters.  They, without knowing what they are doing, can make you question your very existence.  Example conversation:

Them:  Auntie ricia, do you have a husband or boyfriend?

Me:  Nope.

Them: whoa, you’re all awone in dis big world?

Me:  yes, I’m just waiting on who Jesus picks for me

Them:  well he needs to hurry cause you are getting old

15.  Mcdonald’s had to have made these Happy Meals knowing that crazy adults like me would be making a pit stop there after being on the road alone with small children for hours.  Because this one that we got more than accurately conveyed my sanity! :)

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There are countless memories we created that I could take up so much more space sharing.  There was just so much joy on this trip.  The whole time I have been trying to figure out what I needed to restore, and thought the answer was a beach vacation to myself, what I really needed was to get away and see how simple life is through the eyes of a child!  We should never be taking ourselves too seriously!  I never knew I could love someone so much as I do these girls (and the rest of my kiddos out there).  I can only hope that even though this was a simple trip, that it’s something they remember for years to come!

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Speaking my language…when people say what you’re thinking

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I have been struggling so much with self image lately. I want to be healthier (I WILL be healthier). I want to feel better. I have friends who are hardcore “workouters” :-) and I hate feeling not pretty enough around them. I hate being the perfect match for someone BUUUTTTT….them just not being able to date me because of my weight.

 

I am not ugly (or at least my selfies don’t make me feel like I am :) !).  I make myself take a pic (despite what the articles say about that meaning that you have a mental illness) and then look at the pic and be nice to myself.  I literally do this probably three times a week.  And if you have never struggled with loving yourself, you probably have no idea what I am talking about.  If you have ever struggled with it though, you know EXACTLY how hard it is to look at a picture of yourself and not tear it apart.  It seems foreign to snap a pic and think “I really like my makeup today” or “This top looks good with my skin tones.  And how bout that hair today! Good job”.  On top of it being weird to do, it’s not really accepted by society.  In this case, society can suck it though! :)


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I know that I am not ugly because I believe I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved more than any human could ever come close to. I KNOW THIS. I retreat to this daily. Yet, i destroy myself daily with decisions I make (food, people I allow in my life, the list goes on).  It is more than overwhelming trying to get on track and know which direction to go with all the programs, naughty bodies, etc out there.

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Last night in my “reflect on where you’re at time” (which usually involves lots of music, praying and reading), I came across this blog and wanted to scream “she gets it! This is what i know!!”   I’m not sure Claire realized when she wrote this blog that it would fall into the screen of a woman who was desperately searching for encouragement and “relatable” reads.  But I am so glad that it happened that way!

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I dont want to be skinnier for a man. I dont care about that anymore. I want to be healthy to be able to fully carry out my purpose. I want to take care of my body that I was given and be able to live out the acknowledgement that my body is indeed a temple I was trusted to take care of. In all aspects.  Every single struggle I am facing right now (dating decisions, fitness, financial, etc) all boils down to lack of discipline and obedience. And the outside noise and influence I have let effect that even more has to change. Immediately.

Thats a whole lotta rambling and thinking out loud just to tell you I loved this blog Boobs Happen, or…When My Workout Shrinks My Soul.  And to let you know that it is more than ok if your “temple” doesn’t look like the cover of a fitness magazine. Its perfectly fine if you eat in front of your crossfit junkie friends. And its ok to hug people even if they only feel fluff when they wrap their arms around you.

Today is the day I start surrounding myself with same minded people who simply put working for the kingdom first. Who only uplift and encourage. Who refuse to see anything but potential and greatness in me.

Today also happens to be my first workout with a new group that in one day of consultation have given me more support and encouragement than all the things i have done in the past put together. I am thrilled that they dont see it as a job and that they sell it as their mission.

Happy Monday!!

Dungeons and Douchebags with a twist…..Meet Mr. Cooper

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After posting the story of Jacob I had a friend call and say that he was concerned for my “singleness”.  He expressed that he worries that because I have a full cup of “I don’t give a crap” and will happily bust out men via the web that I am in turn scaring other men off who might be interested out of fear that I will blog about them.  I appreciate the concern.  I may be single forever if that’s the case.  And I’m ok with that.  Because the man for me isn’t easily intimidated by me and knows that if he treats me right, I would have nothing but great things to say about him.  I’m a lot to handle.  I’m not for the weak.  And I couldn’t be more proud of that actually.  I fought like mad to get to where I am today.  I am happy and my life is fantastic.  There is zero reason for me to interrupt that with a relationship with anyone less than amazing and someone who will only amplify what I already have going.

ANYWAY!  Just to show I am not a complete man hater :) if I’m going to bust a tool, I might as well also showcase some of the good ones I have come across.  Now, allow me to introduce Mr. Cooper.
The great Aaron Cooper
I recently met Aaron Cooper on a dating site.  I can’t even remember how I came across him but I remember his profile being HILARIOUS.  I love funny people whether we are a good match for dating or not.  I am also finding more and more on the dating site that I am just happy to meet new people and have much more success with that than actually dating anyone on there.  I could tell from his profile that he is more than quick witted and probably enough of a brat to keep me on my toes.  Quite honestly it is just refreshing to come across someone who doesn’t take the dating site too seriously.  Although his profile “about me” section was completely done in good humor, you could still sense by his photos with friends that he is at least somewhat put together upon first review.
Here is a small snipit of his online dating profile (read left to right, it’s worth it).
Aaron's Dating Profile
I wish I had our email correspondence to display here but since I am not active on that site any longer, I can’t retrieve it.  I don’t know that it would have been that entertaining anyway.  I think it went something like me messaging him telling him it was the best profile I had come across and that I was making him my next “dude of the day”.  I’m pretty sure I also declared that we should be friends.  Maybe it was more like begging him to be my friend but either way he seemed game so how it came to that doesn’t really matter.  :)  Side note – Dude of the Day is a group email that I send out showcasing some of the online dating’s finest profiles.  And by finest profiles, I mean the lamest.  I was excited to share Aaron’s profile as a twist to the daily email and show that maybe there is hope.
Aaron lives 3 hours away from me and for a host of other reasons the reality is we will probably never date.  I think that has actually made it more fun to get to know him because there is no pressure of impressing him or trying to “woo” him with my charm.  We have become Facebook friends and although I seem to be a bit more serious than he is, I love that our humor is in the same ball park.  I wish I was as bold as him on some of my posts.  When people comment to me “Oh Alicia you have no filter, your posts are funny, you’ll share anything” I want to say “oh, meet my virtual friend Aaron, I can’t hold a candle to him”.  I would provide a link to his page for you all to go friend him too but he is on hiatus from Facebook until he loses 20 pounds.
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Without senselessly rambling too much further, let me just say this about the great Aaron Cooper.  He is beyond funny (just look at the pic of himself he is willing to post), easy on the eyes (in my opinion), has more charm in his pinky than the last 20 guys I have been out with, loves his children (and if I can tell how great of a dad he is thus far without even meeting him yet, imagine how great he must really be in person), isn’t too proud to write sappy things about his dad or other family members declaring his love, is real, has a great man voice (inside joke), seems to be kick butt at his job and loves it, and has been nothing but kind to me.  Even past girls have rated him on the app LuLu with great reviews (yes, it’s an app that rates men.  It’s girls only and highly entertaining).  His conversations keep me on my toes and challenge me because none of my normal “tricks” or bs work on him.  I am so happy to have his random chats throughout the day to get me through crazy work days and whether he knows it or not, just knowing him in this short time already and the way he carries himself in our virtual friendship makes me want to be a better person.
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I am excited to meet him eventually in person and hopefully laugh as hard as I do now when I correspond with him (and for him to embrace being friends with a “big” girl and get a glimpse into life from a big girl dating perspective).  I have recruited him to be “the guy side” of my book I’m hoping to finish in this lifetime and look forward to putting together “epicness” to share with planet Earth.  I can already tell he is a heartbreaker and can’t wait to see him find the woman of his dreams!
Thank you Aaron Cooper for being a decent and funny human and giving the online dating world hope!