Friday, November 26, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband said it would be hard to top last Thanksgiving for the kids because we spent it in Hong Kong Disneyland. And it was great. But this year was SO much better for me. I LOVED my year away, but I missed my family and our traditions, more than you can possibly imagine. Last year, my parents and my brother didn't even have Thanksgiving dinner because they all thought it would be too hard. So they went to the track instead. And then they went to my cousins like we always do. I got to talk to them while they were at my cousins. But I was crying so hard I couldn't really have a conversation with them. I was fine until my dad answered his phone. Then I started crying so hard I couldn't talk. He thought something was wrong. I could barely tell him I was fine, through all the crying! So yeah, family's kind of important to me; especially my parents and my "baby" brother.

This year we went to Mom and Dad's for the full fledged Thanksgiving dinner. After that we went to my cousin's. And we had a great time. I LOVE going there. This year was a little tough because my aunt, Kim's mom, passed away a couple of months ago. And she was a delight to be around. So yeah, this year, there was a hole in our family. But I think we all still had a good time. And she would have wanted it that way. She wouldn't have wanted us to dwell on the fact that she's not there. Because really, she was there. And now her kids and grandkids have their own special angel in heaven. What more could you ask for?!

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. I might not look like Jennifer Aniston or Sandra Bullock; have the money of Donald Trump or Bill Gates; or the self-confidence that I've longed for my whole life. But you know what? They don't have the things I have. A husband who loves me despite all of my flaws and all of our differences. Three beautiful children who try my patience one minute and make me smile the next. Parents who always loved me and taught me respect and integrity. A brother who was always there for me and still is. Family that's always been such an important part of my life. Friends that love me for who I am and don't expect me to change to be more like them.

So yeah, I think I have it pretty good. And sometimes, especially in today's world, it's good to sit down and just be thankful for the things we DO have, instead of dwelling on the things we DON'T.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This week on Facebook I did a whole week about things I am thankful for. I decided to post them here, in the order I wrote them. I hope you all have a happy, safe and YUMMY Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for my hubby and my kids. Even though there are some days that I long for some peace and quiet, my world would not be complete without them.

Today I am thankful for my wonderful parents. They showed me they would always love me and be there for me, no matter what. They taught me respect and forgiveness. They showed ME how to be the best parent I can be. They helped me, be ME. Like it or not! :)

Today I am thankful for my "baby" brother. He always "had my back" when we were growing up, and lucky for me, he still does. He's an amazing Uncle and Godfather to my children. He's one of the best people I know, and I thank God every day that he's a part of my life.

Today I am thankful for "My Angel". Even though she's been gone for 12 years, she's always in my heart. She made me feel special and I never doubted her love for me. She's always been my hero, and she always will be. I love you Grandma. Thanks for EVERYTHING.

Kellie Pickler - My Angel

Today I am thankful for my "besties". U know who u r. Thanks for listening to me, crying with me, laughing with me, and most importantly letting me know you love me. Esp when I was in China and thought you'd forget about me! Whether we've been friends for 27 years, 21 years, or just a few short years, u mean the world to me, and I thank God for you every day!

FRIENDS by Michael W Smith

Today I am thankful for my family. My WHOLE family. I have 15 aunts and uncles, 18 cousins, and too many 2nd cousins to keep track of! I am very lucky to have been a part of such a special family. From summers in Lebanon to Christmas Eve in Mt. Washington "patiently" waiting to open gifts, family has always been a special part of my life, and for that, I am very thankful.

Today I am thankful for Ryan who's my polar opposite, yet he still loves me and puts up with my "idiosyncrasies"; Jason who's growing into an intelligent free thinking tween; Andrew who's smart and funny and always makes me laugh; and Sarah Beth who constantly tries my patience one minute and tells me she loves me the next. Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful family.

Today I am THANKFUL. I am so happy to be home for Thanksgiving this year. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I was listening to a talk show the other day and they started talking about marriage. We’ve been married for 14 years and we’ve been together for 15 ½ years. Wow! That’s kind of a long time!

I remember a few weeks before our wedding talking to my mom. I was starting to get nervous and wondering if I was doing the right thing. It’s not that I didn’t love Ryan, it’s just that I was getting scared. It’s a big step. And it’s one that I don’t think people take as seriously as they used to. Anyway, she told me it was normal, and that everyone has doubts some times.

I'm not sure if it was before or after we got married, but I remember talking to Ryan's Grandpa and he told us that marriage is not 50/50 it's 90/10. Sometimes YOU give 90 and HE gives 10, and other times HE gives 90 and YOU give 10. And sometimes you feel like YOU'RE always giving 90 and he feels like HE'S always giving 90. But that's what marriage is. No one ever said it was easy. And if someone told you that, THEY LIED!!!!

Ryan and I couldn't be more different if we tried. He's a UofL fan, I'm a UK fan. I'm Catholic, he's not. I love country music, he HATES it. I like to talk, he doesn't. I like being around people, he doesn't. He's organized, (or at least pretends to be), and I'm not. But somehow we've made it work 14 years. I know people that have a lot more in common that couldn't make it work that long. And that's what it is. It's work. I remember my mom telling me when I was younger that if spouses would treat each other the same way we treat our kids, there would be a lot less divorce in the world. And I think she's right. I mean think about it. Our kids tick us off, and 5 minutes later, we're over it. Our spouses tick us off and we could still be mad 2 weeks later! Our kids don't listen to us, and we get over it. Our spouses don't, and we remind them a bazillion times that if they had listened to us, they would know what's going on. Our kids say something to hurt our feelings, and we get over it. Our spouses do, and we might remind them of "that thing you said" 10 years later! I think we tend to love our children more "unconditionally" than we do our spouses.

Marriage isn't easy. It's a job. And sometimes that job is easier than others. It takes listening to each other, talking to each other, enjoying each others company, and RESPECTING each other, to make it work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CHINA . . . .

Someone asked me last night if I miss China. Funny thing is, I do. There are parts of it I really miss. I miss going to the wet market every week. I miss having coffee with my neighbor/friend and chatting about our husbands and our kids. I miss going to the Underground to find my "bargains". I miss exploring the city and knowing that we're seeing things we'll never see again, and that most people never get the opportunity to see. I miss my Ayi. I REALLY miss my Ayi! Especially when it comes time to do the laundry and clean the bathrooms!

China was a great experience for all of us, and I'm so glad we did it. Even as hard as it was for me when we first got there and also towards the end when it was almost time to go home. I still don't regret our decision to go. We got to see a part of the world that most people never get to see. We got to experience a new culture. We got to meet new people from all over the world. And somehow, I think that makes us better people. It makes us aware that there are other things out there. It makes realize how lucky we are to live where we live and have the things we have.

So yeah, there are times I really miss China. But I am very thankful for the opportunity that we had to experience life in another country. Most people never get that opportunity, so I consider us very lucky.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I've been "stewing" for the last few hours because of something I heard on the radio. I figured the best way to feel better, is to write about it and get my feelings out.

First, let me start by saying that I came into the "discussion" towards the end, so I didn't get to hear everything that was said before. I do know they were talking about bullying, how it affects children, and some things that can be done to help stop and prevent it. One lady had the courage to call in and talk about her daughter who was cyber-bullied so badly that she committed suicide. Her family has started a foundation in her name to talk about bullying prevention. Someone then called in to say that they thought bullying was a natural part of life and that it's a good thing because otherwise we'd all be too soft and sitting at home "watching Oprah." He then made a comment about Portia De Rossi who has a new book out, and went so far to say that she DESERVED to be bullied. I'm sorry, WHAT?!?!? I wanted to go through the radio and strangle him! My first thought was that he never went through anything like that growing up, and more likely was the bully, and also, that he obviously has no children that are having to face it on a weekly basis. (Don't misunderstand me, my kids aren't being bullied every week, but they're getting older and they do see things happen. They know what it is, and they know to tell me or another adult if something DOES happen. And they HAVE told me things that have happened).

But how can ANYONE think bullying is a GOOD thing? There have been 7 suicides in the last couple of months because teens were bullied so badly they thought there was no way out. There was a case of cyber bullying a few years ago where it turned out it was the MOTHER of another girl that was bullying a TEENAGER! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! The courageous lady that called in to talk about her daughter and what happened to her. How can you hear those stories, and think it's okay? How can you know that teens are taking their lives because they see no way out? How can this NOT be an issue that we should be worried about?

I wasn't "bullied" so to speak, but I've pretty much been made fun of my whole life because of my size. I think that's why it's such a hot topic for me. I HATED high school. There were parts of it I liked, yes. (My best friend whom I've known since we were 13 is about the only thing that comes to mind at the moment). But overall, I hated it. Because I was different. I wasn't pretty and popular and a size 2. I don't think I've been a size 2 since I WAS 2. I was different. And I stuck out like a sore thumb; especially at an all girls high school where everyone else was prettier, smarter, and more well liked than me. So yeah, maybe I tend to get a little more upset and bothered by it than most people would. But I'm okay with that. I'd rather be MORE aware of what's going on around my kids, than LESS aware.

Don't get me wrong. I still had a good childhood. A GREAT childhood actually. But honestly, the only reason I have even HALF of the self-confidence that I have is because of my wonderful parents and my AMAZING Grandma. They never failed to tell me how much they loved me and how special they thought I was. Heck, my parents STILL tell me that now, and I know my Grandma would too if she was still here. But that's not the same thing. They're your family, and they're SUPPOSED to love you for who you are. Thankfully, mine did and does.

But I still sensor everything that comes out of my mouth when I'm around other people. I question the things I said and did and wonder if they were right or wrong. I don't say a lot of things that are on my mind, because I don't want people to make fun of me. I constantly worry about what people think of me. I think I'm a good person. I HOPE I'm a good person. But sometimes, I don't think other people see that, because they don't take the time to look past the outside, to see what's inside.

So again, yeah maybe I'm a little sensitive about the subject. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Because I think that only serves to make me a better parent, and I hope, a better person. But don't EVER tell me that you think bullying is a good thing. Because believe me, I won't be worried about censoring what I say.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Someone asked me to write a couple of articles on our travels and experiences in China. I'm a little excited and A LOT scared. What if no one likes them? Or worse yet - what if no one reads them?! I haven't done a lot of writing since we've been back. I keep saying that I'm going to, but I never got back to it. Maybe this is my chance to start it up again.

So wish me luck. And HOPE that at least SOMEONE reads them!