Dying in Conversation

As you know from my previous couple of blogs, my precious gran is in the end stages of life. I am trying, with all my might to slow down and be present in the process. I want to cherish the last moments and observe outside of what I normally would.

Today was good. Relatively speaking.
My gran was more responsive. She was awake most of the day. She knew who we all were. She could carry on conversations. She scolded my uncle for picking on me (she always has taken up for me).  I find myself wondering if this is a boost of good because the end is more near or if we really are improving in some ways. I’m a little selfish in her good day because it gave me another chance to visit and have conversation with her.
I don’t think we enjoy simple conversation enough.  I think we sometimes feel like we have to speak so “significantly” and be full of opinions, that we forget some of the best things shared, are simple.
Today, I purposely had and soaked up plain conversations.  And even still, in the midst of this sadness, my heart is so full.  I cannot say that enough.  My heart is SO FULL.  I am amazed at how when you slow down, what you really get out of it.
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I talked with my gran who even in dying, is still showing upmost kindness.  She apologizes to her nurses for having to do the unpopular work.  She says yes ma’am and no ma’am.  She doesn’t ask for anything.  But she tells you that she loves you.  She scolds my uncle for picking on me.  I watched her talk to every single visitor she has had today.  She has asked more about them than giving them the chance to check on her.  She asked great-granddaughters how their day was and never complained even when she was tired.
I soaked up her simple kindness in conversation.

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I talked with my little nieces who came to visit.  I had the privilege of keeping them occupied in the spare room so we wouldn’t disturb gran and my sister could visit with her, without little hands and voices.  I learned that Oreos are very important to toddlers.  Few sounds are sweeter than the conversations between sisters as they share some Sweet-Tarts.
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I learned that 6 year olds know what selfies, Snapchat amd wi-fi is. Sometimes all we really need are a handful of snacks, an Oreo crumbed kiss and to hear “ricia I wub you whole bunch”
I soaked up innocence in conversation.
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I visited with my gran’s aide (I also used to work with her as a teenager when I was an ER clerk). She has served others for 26 years.  She has always been vivacious.  She loves a good casino and shopping trip.  She just lost her husband 2 months ago and decided to keep working to stay busy.  Her dog also died this week.  She is thankful.  My gran responded the most in conversation (that I saw) with her.  Her voice is gentle.
I soaked up strength, resilience and gentle in conversation.
Today is good.  My spirit needed it.

Dying Hands

As fun as it is to post the dating dramatics and shopping in my closet outfits, my writing (which honestly has always been more for my own therapy than if one person read it or not) lately has been to release and process the fact that I am facing my grandmother’s passing.   
It’s probably a bit morbid to think that this is what I asked for. No, of course I didn’t ask for my grandmother to go through this that will end in her passing. She is my favorite person I have ever known and I could fill up so much of your time bragging about her. But I did ask for a slow down and a reset. I did ask for more time with my family and to bring some appreciation and perspective back into my life. And that is certainly what is happening. It’s not easy. And I am not saying my train of thought is for you to agree with. But I am saying that even in the saddest of times, there is a lesson. You get to choose whether you grow from the experience and learn a lesson or whether you wallow or even go backwards. I am choosing to learn. 

  
I am fortunate to be able to spend these last moments with her. I feel even more fortunate that even in the little sleep we are getting, that I am getting alone time with her in the later hours after everyone has gone home. 
Tonight, her hands are telling the stories. 

  

These hands. My goodness they have been through some stuff. 
They have worked themselves to the bone as a farmer. 
They have cooked no less than 10,000 of the best meals you have ever had. 
They have stroked my hair as a little girl while I laid in her lap during church and listened to my pop teach. 
They have been firm on my butt maybe once or twice. 
They have wiped tears and been the best comfort when my parents were mean to me 😝
They have prayed while the heart ached over the loss of her forever love. 
They have been the kindest hands I have ever known…..

The Adele Hangover Explained

I cannot remember a time when I anticipated a human’s existence as much as I have the return of Adele.  I tried to prepare myself as much as possible.  I even entertained the thought of waiting til Saturday to download the album (psssh – puh-lease) just so that I could be completely and emotionally available to soak it up.  Instead, I downloaded at 12:34 in the morning, listened to it as many times as I could before I crashed at 2:30 a.m., wrote about it and now the only thing I am preparing for is the crash of the internet she is surely bringing with her today.
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I am legitimately suffering from an Adele hangover.  And in an effort to help you navigate the emotional roller coaster you are about to go on when you hit play, I have given you a brief recap of each song.  It would be silly of you to think you were going to download and listen to only a couple of songs.  So you’ll need to be sure you read this going in.
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Overall, I expected another sad album that would leave me in the deep pit of despair while drowning my candy cane flannel pajamas in my wine induced tears.  Instead, there were moments of “yeah, you can shove it mr ex…..” and hope, and acceptance of the life that was….and that I’m gonna be ok.
GLORY GLORY Adele.  You could not have done a better job.  I’m actually concerned about you as a person.  The attention you are about to get is going to be overwhelming.  I hope you don’t wear yourself out.
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Without further delay, let’s get started.
By Track:
1.  Hello – there isn’t much left to say about this one.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you have already heard this one and are clear on her message.  At this point, we should all have this one on our list of songs to belt out in the car.  I am hoping, if you are a seasoned Adele fan, that you have already worked through the emotion of this one.

 

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2.  Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – IF I have to pick a favorite right this second, it’s this one. It’s just where I am at.  I’m hurt and a little angry at my ex.  He promised things and dragged me through empty promises and a few years of making me think I was asking too much or crazy for expecting to be treated like a decent human being worth someone’s effort (he didn’t even put effort into replying to the break up text).  He has already moved on with his new love who I’m sure is wonderful and making him the happiest person on the planet (so you can see where her line of “You set me free.  Send my love to your new lover.” has a ring to it for me).  I have dwelled on hearing about him do all the nice things he does to win someone over up front and how I wasn’t enough to make him keep loving me past that.  This song single handedly, in a matter of 3:43, got me over that.  I’m proud to say I’m now in the phase of, “have fun with that mess.  It will wear off and you’ll see the real him. And I’ll just be over here remembering that I am enough and I have great things ahead.”  Thank you Adele.  I will send you a check for the therapy and I’ll be singing the lines of “I’m giving you up. I’m forgiving it all.  You set me free.” allllllll day.
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3.  I Miss You – I didn’t know I could miss someone right next to me.  But the next time I am actually with someone, this song will probably be all in my head and I will secretly be doing a video montage that has a “seize the moment” theme.  It will be a mix of the passion from the early days of Fitz and Olivia from Scandal, a flash image of that one time a guy and I made eyes at the airport that clearly said “we would be explosive together”, and the short imagination that I have the body of a Victoria Secret model walking across a semi-dark room in slow motion.
4.  When We Were Young – This song says “We had some good moments.  It was kinda like a storybook.  I wasn’t expecting to run into you.  I didn’t know I would feel this way when I saw you again.  So I need to tell you about it, if you have a sec.  But please don’t try to win me back. Let’s just have a quick moment and move along.”  This has the potential to make me really miss someone from way back when who, at the time, seemed like the greatest thing ever.  I could easily have a few drinks and be swayed into thinking they still might be that great………until his wife and 4 kids walk up and he says “get er done”………gotta be careful with this song! 🙂
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5.  Remedy – I needed a break from my own love life. The songs were making me too raw.  So I chose to look at this as an ode to all my kick butt friends.  Maybe a little out there.  But I couldn’t take myself to imagining this song being played as a message to my groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting on me to walk down (side note – you can bet this will play at 9/10 weddings you attend in 2016).  But I could let myself think of all my “core people”.  Especially the ones in rough times right now.  I want to be the Remedy for them.  Cheesy? Maybe so.  But I love my tribe.  This song makes me happy to have them.
6.  Water Under the Bridge – Second favorite.  Sadly, also applicable to at least 5 of the past guys I’ve dated.  Instead of talking to my friend about how “they always drag me along, drop me, but then realize I wasn’t that bad after all, and come back around.” or “they just keep me hanging cause they can’t decide.”, I’m just gonna put this song on and wait.  This song will also be applied to my shower dance routine.  It just has a good beat and I have killer hip moves in my shower concerts. It just seems natural to incorporate.
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7.  River Lea – For every person who tries to tell me how to live my love life, this song is for you…..well, the first couple of lines are anyway.  The rest of them are for every dating situation that I sabotage before they even have a chance to turn into something good.  It’s an apology before we even get started.  Because of who I am, I will probably leave.  But it’s ok.  I’m ok.  And you will be too.
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8. Love in the Dark – At first, I thought Adele was relating to every girl who has despised being naked in front of a man in the light.  But then, I realized, that once again, she must have followed my most recent ex and I around.  She puts a simple “We have to be done here.” to beautiful music.  At least in the song, when she is being brave and trying to leave on the best note as possible, she gives the hint that the guy doesn’t want her to and tries to make her stay for 5 seconds.  I can’t say the same for my situation.  But thanks to her, it’s makes me think it’s ok.  We’ll move on.  We’ll live our different adventures and be better for it.  But, for the record, I still don’t want to be naked in the light in front of anyone.  Ever.
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9.  Million Years Ago – Regret.  Loneliness.  Longing.  Only listen to this one if you can sit in front of a window, looking into a field, reminisce on your past journey and then shake it off.  It will be too easy to listen to this one and get stuck.  Don’t do it.  Fight it.  This song is the only permission you have to do something crazy immediately following. Book a skydiving adventure.  Write a book real quick……do something.  Anything.  Hurry before you dwell so hard on what you never did that you never come out of it!
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10.  All I Ask – You all just thought she was going to address exes in this new album. Nope. She throat punches you with taking friends to the next level too. Get out of my head, lady. I will not conspire with you! This song will tempt you to confront someone you “think” you might have more feelings for.  Don’t do it.  Don’t leave your heart at their door and ask them to hold you like they are more than friends.  This can’t work out well for anyone.  We’re all scared that we might not love again, Adele.
(I believe she meant something totally different than I interpreted – maybe like a “If this has to end, let’s not make it a mess.  Let’s just soak it up in case we don’t ever find another love.”  But in Alicialand – you get a different spin.)
11.  Sweetest Devotion – I let you in.  I wasn’t expecting to like you.  You came in with a hammer apparently and tore down some walls when I wasn’t looking.  And that turned out pretty cool.  You make me want to be a better person.  I value your opinion.  Let’s do this. I’m all in.  
See, she gives us a happy ending.
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And this is why it should’ve been perfectly acceptable to call in to work with an Adele hangover today.  We should also just cancel all awards shows next year and throw one big Adele award party.
The End.

The Only Time Floppy is a Good Thing….

Is when it is in reference to a floppy hat or floppy disk. 

IMG_4999I wasn’t aware I even had a love for either until my exchange student demanded that this hat come home with us a while back (isn’t it a fantastic hat…..and I’m completely swooning over the layers of necklaces).  The other floppy love isn’t as much about the floppy disk as it is the times when they were popular.  Ok, maybe they were never popular.  We just didn’t have any other choices.  But, the times that the floppy disk lived in, well, they just seemed simpler.  I think we all go through spurts of longing for simpler, don’t we?  I actually associate floppy disks with my dad.  He was a computer teacher at the time and we had what seemed like a gazillion of them laying around.  See, I’m already going back to simpler memories.  My dad seemed to make everything simple.  

Life is busy.  We are moving so fast towards whatever, that we lack the ability to be simple.  Sometimes that leads to a state of just “blah”……know what I’m sayin?  I am a prime example of this in so many ways that I have lost count.  When I get to going too fast, if I’m being cheesy, life just gets a bit floppy.  The difference in me now is, that I try to be very aware.  I try to slow down every once and a while and examine where I am allowing too much floppy and work towards improvement. I quit beating myself up a long time ago for getting to a state of floppy.  Forgiving yourself is important.  I just try to note it, stop it at the first acknowledgement, and move forward.  What do you do?

Here are where floppy isn’t good for me……Can anyone relate?  

  1.  Floppy Friends – It’s taken me a really long time to be ok with not feeling obligated to keep friends around that aren’t good for me.  Nobody has to be a jerk about it but I simply cannot allow friendships that are a flop to continue.
  2. Floppy Boys – I have no idea when it happened or what switch was flipped, but it has been really cool to try the approach of actually being direct and intentional about my dating life.  Sure, it has cut a lot of guys out of the mix, but that’s more than ok.  I cannot allow myself to give parts of my heart away to someone who gives me floppy effort (or no effort at all).  I was SO SCARED to take this new approach for myself, but so far, I am pretty pleased with how it’s going. 
  3. Floppy Habits – they gotta stop.  They just do.  It is more important than ever, with my recent diagnosis, that I make good choices.  If it doesn’t work for the good of my health, or the good of my life goals, it absolutely cannot become a habit in my life.  I accept this as a constant work in progress for me! I know that if there is one crack in my life, floppy will creep in and take over before I turn around.  Obviously, I am not 100% every day, but having a good army to stand guard helps!

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I’m thinking I need to track down a few old floppy disks and keep them handy as a reminder that I can’t let anything but my cool hat get too floppy! 

Let’s have a great week.  Want to?

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Casually Sequined

When is it ok to wear sequins to work?

Answer:  It is always ok to wear sequins to work.
One of my fav go to casual outfits.  Covered in feathers today and my hair is cooperating.  It’s gonna be a fantastic Friday for sure! Great tops, fabulous old-school clock necklace and awesome chunky bracelet.
Oh, and a selfie with my dog, because, duh….🐾❤️
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I’m feeling extra casual and random today but this outfit makes me feel like I put way more effort into being cute than I did.  It’s ok to say out loud that you’re cute, ya know.  You can do that and you can mean it.  If you don’t feel like you can, just put some sequins on your body and you will magically be transformed into a sassy, confident individual! 🙂
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Here are my top five random thoughts about sequins and other things today:
1.  Sequins are better than boys today.  It’s the first couple of days in a long time that I haven’t thought about my last heart break.  I am moving along from it in way healthier ways than ever before (because, unfortunately, this is the 3rd heart break from the same person).  The way I felt when I put this sequined top on (and the one I wore a few days ago) is honestly better than any guy has made me feel in ages.
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2.  Why do we not feel worthy of wearing something sparkly in every day life?  We should.  Because maybe some extra sparkle is just what this crazy world needs right now.
3.  I hope the people who put sequins on clothes are happy people.  I like to think they are working somewhere that is full of rainbows and unicorns and happy music is playing while they apply them.
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4.  If someone doesn’t appreciate a little sparkle from you (no matter what form you bring it in – sequined clothes or otherwise), then you don’t need them in your life.  And this sweet life is too short to let those people linger.
5.  If you aren’t leaving people in a better condition than when you came across them, then you aren’t doing life right.  So, get to it!
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Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Polka Dots……(and other ridiculous things we convince ourselves of)

Look, I’ll be honest.  The smallest thing on my body are the holes in my ears for earrings.  That is a cold truth.

I’m not advocating that you accept me wearing a thong bikini on the beaches of Brazil.  I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody…..

I am, however giving myself permission to stop convincing myself that I can’t wear something because someone said so.  

Insert cute polka dot scarf here.  

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it’s only the beginning.  I started with polka dots around my neck and now I feel like every polka dot outfit I come across in the stores is begging me to try it on.  I caved and tried on one dress and folks, it took my breath away.  Not because it was scary, but because I actually don’t look like I am carrying octuplets with it on. Can we all agree that even though it’s not typical, this maroon and coral combo is legit?  Especially these shoes that I forgot I had!

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My whole life has been a ridiculous web of lies convincing me that I can’t do something.  And it’s all solely based on someone else saying that I shouldn’t.  It doesn’t always get said directly to me (I mean, I have never received a direct call from Gucci, but…..) and it doesn’t always get put so bluntly.  But it happens.  And ultimately, it’s my own fault for letting any part of me believe them for even one second!

Here are some of the ridiculous things I have let myself be convinced of.  I am curious to hear some of yours!  

  1.  You can’t wear skirts because your legs are too thick.
  2. You can’t write that book because you don’t have time and you’re really not that good.  Nobody will even buy it because you can’t have a best seller without a big publisher.
  3. You can’t wear that furry vest because it just makes you look like a sheep dog (that’s a good blog “a-comin”).
  4. You won’t ever save money because you were never taught money management. 
  5. You can’t go sleeveless because some kid might innocently get caught in the crossfire of an arm swing and die.
  6. You have to keep your hair longer so people don’t concentrate as much on your round face.
  7. You will only ever have an average love that you will have to just settle for because the real big love isn’t for girls like you.
  8. You will never get to speak in front of people and do the type of public speaking you want because only skinny girls do that.
  9. Nobody will listen to your story or learn from your journey.  You aren’t liked enough to have people help spread your message.
  10. You just need to accept that you will always be average.

Doesn’t that just make you mad and sick and a host of other things reading it?  Simply ridiculous!  So glad that even though those thoughts still creep in from time to time, I stand on an AWESOME promise that I AM ABSOLUTELY meant for great things and I ABSOLUTELY will do them!

Hugs!

FashioKNEEsta Follies

Now that you’ve been following the blog and are all caught up on the great shopping in my closet project (if you have no idea what I am talking about, click here), I am excited to share what I come up with.  What I am not excited about is my inability to talk about it.
I have plenty to say.  That’s never a problem.  But I struggle in the world of fashion blogging.  I’m not even trying to be one of those.  I am just stupid excited that I have cool things in my closet to mix and match versus draining my bank account for new stuff all of the time.  I studied great fashion bloggers far and wide.  They talk in fantastic detail about their outfits, the brands they wear, the occasions to wear them, the story behind the purchases…..all very fashionably romantic.  It seems no matter how hard I try to come up with a story or a great bunch of words in relation to what I am wearing, I fall short.  Every.  Single.  Time.
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Chances are, whatever I am wearing was on sale, from a store that was probably on my way somewhere, that I forced myself to stop into, because…..I honestly hate shopping.  It doesn’t make sense.  I know.  I am a girl, of course I like shopping.  Nope.  For various reasons (I’m poor, I hate the inconvenience of the mall, etc), I just can’t make myself like it.  I have instead decided to just post the pictures of the outfits and chat with you about other random things.  Is that cool with you?  Yes?  GREAT!
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I accept that I will never be a fashionista.  It’s a burden only an elite few can bear.  The word fashionista did make me think of knees though (and it actually made me think of it while I was peeing – which is where I do my most genius thinking).  I have great respect for knees.  You can’t hate something that essentially holds you up.  Mine deserve more respect than most, because, let’s be honest, they are carrying around a few extra poundage than most.  I guess it only makes sense that with all the pressure they are under, that sometimes they buckle.  The fact that they never buckle at a good time is when I struggle to still love them.  For example, last night, I had a killer outfit on and pulled into the grocery store to own some food shopping like a boss.  Being there at a busy time encouraged me to walk taller and strut with a little extra confidence on the off chance that the future Mrs. Me was inside awaiting my arrival.  Then I went down.  Not downtown to listen to music or have a few drinks.  Down as in down on my knees (and not by my choice).  It felt like I had an audience of 4,239, but turns out it was only 7.  As usual (I fall a lot more than I care to think about), I picked myself up, acted like there was something in the middle of the floor that tripped me up, and moved on to picking out the perfectly ripe bananas.
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Today’s outfit:
I am pretty certain that I will wear this dress til the threads are barely staying together. It will never go out of style in Alicialand!
And these boots……..they have been screaming from the depths of my closet to come out for the fall. I like to imagine that when I stand in my closet trying to figure out what to wear, they are jumping up and down like Donkey from Shrek saying “pick me, pick me”…..It’s going to be a great fall with these guys!!
Kudos to all of you who this fashion thing and make it look so good.  For the rest of us, grab something out of your closet and wear it with the confidence that if you fell in the banana aisle, you would still rock it!

50 Ways To Be A Woman

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!!!

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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When bad things happen to good people…in the bathroom

I promised myself I would blog for the next 30 days and not miss a day (it’s part of my journey and whether I am good at it or not, it’s very therapeutic). Well, I am tired and decided it was faster to tell you my story versus typing it out. Unfortunately for you, that includes videoing myself (which is hard when I use my hands to talk), no makeup, and a messy background. But, you gotta start somewhere right? 🙂

So, welcome to the first official “Story time with Fancy Pants” ….it’s only gonna get better from here folks!! 🙂

P.S.  I apologize for getting carried away and letting the word a$$ slip out…..boo for potty mouth!