MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Archive for the ‘ME’ Category

Colorado

Posted by mbamommy on August 14, 2012

It’s been a rough summer around here. From the wildfires across the Front Range to the police shooting in City Park to the Aurora Theater shooting, I’m starting to look forward to a new season and get this one behind us.

I know the theater shooting has been discussed, dissected and debated already. But, I feel like I need to voice something myself.

I don’t get it. Truth be told, I don’t get a lot of things. I don’t get how someone could do that. I don’t get how it could happen here, in a place where people choose to move to. And I don’t get how it’s happened again. I was living in Aspen when Columbine occurred. I remember the dulling shock of watching the news. I remember the horror I felt. I remember being terrified for friends who lived near there. I remember thinking “How?” and “Why”? And I hate that I felt all that again a couple weeks ago.

But, what I don’t get most is the absolute (in my opinion) wrong reaction people seem to be having.

I read an article about how after the shooting, gun applications in Colorado increasing by 40%.

40%?!?

And then I read an article about a guy who was arrested for carrying a holstered weapon into a movie theater. No, he didn’t break the law, he had a license for that fire arm. Fine. But, his rationale for carrying it was that if found in a terrible situation, he can and will reduce casualties with counter fire.

Counter fire.

Reduce casualties by shooting more.

W.T.F.

I don’t get it. I don’t get how SO many people don’t see that two wrongs don’t make a right. That unless you’re going to escalate things to the point of everyone walking around with an atomic bomb in their pockets; thereby essentially disarming everyone, you’re not making the world a safer place by adding more fire power to it. Russia and America escalated things to that point in the Cold War. And, they came to a standstill because neither one was going to be the first to pull the trigger. Because no one was going to win. The entire world would have been blown to high heaven.

But I don’t think that would work on a micro level. You’d get two hot shots walking around with pocket a-bombs and someone inevitably would flip the switch.

I think a better solution is to outlaw guns 100%. That’s the only way you’re going to guarantee that no one’s going to get shot. No guns. No chance of shooting them.

I get why people use guns to hunt for animals that they plan to feed their family with. I personally could never do it, but I get that. And, I get the desire to have a gun if you’re living in the middle of bear/lion/tiger infested woods. Again, I personally couldn’t do it, but I get it.

What I don’t get is how someone living in the middle of a large city is allowed to amass a collection of semi-automatic weapons. And I don’t get how we got to the point where someone felt the need to arm himself to go to a movie.

And I’m mad. I’m mad that this a$$hole has made me think twice about taking my kids to see their first movie in a theater. I’m pissed off that he’s made me feel that terror again. I’m furious that I had to think about what I would say to my 5yo and my 3yo if they came asking questions. I’m sad that some of the trust I felt has been taken away.

*sigh*

My heart aches for Colorado this summer.

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Bad Habit?

Posted by mbamommy on August 9, 2012

I’ve decided I’m going to start smoking again.

Ok, which part of that statement is more shocking to you? That I’m going to start smoking? Or that I’m actually admitting to having smoked in the past? Yes, it’s true. For those who haven’t known me my whole life, I haven’t always been….well…angelic. I made some bad choices. I tried a few things. I broke a couple rules. And I had a blast doing it. Sue me.

I know, I know. I know all the research. Smoking is bad. It makes you smell bad. It makes your breath stink. It’s bad for other people. It could even kill you. Blah, blah, blah.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I don’t miss smoking. I don’t miss how much they cost. Or having my wardrobe smell like a bar. Or smelling like a bar myself the morning after. I appreciate the additional lung capacity that quitting has given me (Crossfit would be waaayyyy more challenging if I still smoked). And, hey, those holes in your neck are a pretty big turnoff. As are the wrinkles and the raspy voice.

But let’s focus on the positives here, people. Well….maybe just one positive. And it’s an important one! Ready for it?

Smoke Breaks

Back when I smoked, I took smoke breaks. I still see people taking them now (of course, it’s usually at least 50 yards away from the entrance of a building, right by the dumpster, in freezing cold weather….). I took them at work. If I remember correctly, I think employers were legally required to allow a smoke break every hour. I remember co-workers who didn’t smoke being jealous of that break. And, I took them with friends. I’d walk outside, get 10 minutes of fresh(?) air, chat with some peeps or just stand by myself there smoking. It was like a built in 10 minute self (or friend) check-in multiple times a day.

And, boy, I do miss that.

Ok, so maybe picking up smoking in order to slow down and take breaks throughout the day isn’t the most intelligent idea I’ve ever had. There are some serious health risks involved, after-all. But, whaddya say we re-implement those mandatory self check-ins? Those 10 minutes every couple hours to grab a friend, stand outside and chat? I can’t see anything wrong with that!

Fine. I won’t pick up smoking again. I’ll just pick up smoke breaks.

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Make it Count

Posted by mbamommy on August 7, 2012

In my last couple posts, I’ve made reference to the fact that there’s been a lot of change around here recently, which led to my blog absence. In some sense it’s been pretty life changing. All good changes, thankfully, nothing like going through Z’s diagnosis a couple years ago, but life changing nonetheless.

Almost exactly a year ago today, I posted about my life as a slot machine. Well, the slots have stopped. The Refresh button has been pressed. FINALLY!

The kids are fully entrenched in their languange immersion school. They’re doing so well that S actually won a speech contest earlier this year. They’re making friends, having fun and learning a ton. What more could I ask for?

J’s job is going great. He’s loving it and is on a fantastic career track.

We bought a HOUSE. We’re no longer renting our teeny tiny temporary home and have found our dream house. I’m never moving again. Seriously, it’s from here to the old folks home. I can walk the kids to school. I can walk to Starbuck’s. I can walk to the parks, the pool and my friend’s houses. It’s an easy commute to downtown and basically anywhere else I’d want to go in Denver. I’m so thrilled to have found it and so happy to have that stability in our lives.

I found a JOB. A full time job, working at a really great digital agency, managing top brand clients, making more money than I expected and with a Senior Director title.

I quit that JOB. A full time agency job, with all its stressors, travel, and demands on my time and mental bandwidth turned out to not be what I wanted. I could have done the job. We, as a family, could’ve manage the travel, the hours, the chaos, the craziness. But I realized that I didn’t WANT to. Yes, it was great to have the extra money. Yes, it was fun to be challenged and work with smart, engaging peeps. But, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating poorly, not working out and drinking too much. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and playing to my strengths.

I started another JOB. A part time, work at home opportunity with my previous client. This one is perfect. Just enough responsibility without requiring me to be on call 24/7. Minimal travel (only once a year), working with great folks in an industry I love and with the flexibility required to keep my family running smoothly. I’m making some money, not a ton, but some.

And, who knows, maybe someday it’ll lead to something more. But for now, it’s allowing me the balance I so deeply crave. It’s allowing the MBA, the MOM, the MRS and the ME to have equal opportunity to shine. I’m happy and I’m being true to myself.  Not all the time, of course. I’ve certainly had my moments. This is life, not a game show, afterall. But, with the balance I’ve created, worked for and am lucky enough to have, I can handle those moments better.

I can (dare I say it?) have it all.

The morning after I left my previous job I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Now that we’ve completed the refresh of our lives I can actually start living it. Between Crossfit, eating well, working part time, playing with the kids, playing with J and living in Colorado, I think I can make it count.

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From Couchfit to Crossfit

Posted by mbamommy on August 2, 2012

A novices’ backlash to pullups and cleans.

I said I’d do it.

I finally joined my local Crossfit box and I’m getting my a$$ kicked almost every day. It’s been a month. Well, technically, it’s been 2 weeks of skills training class (or, what I like to call “learning how to get your a$$ handed to you without getting injured”) and almost 3 weeks of regular classes.

This is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve done (physically) in my life. I’m intimidated and in awe of the women that workout there. I am almost twice as slow as the fastest women there. I come in close to last every day. I get lapped. My hands are torn and my body is sore in places I didn’t know could get sore. And I keep going back for more.

I love it.

I love it because it’s such an intense physical challenge. I love it because at the end of the workout and I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, a peace comes over me that lasts throughout the day. I’m happy, calm and content (I think it’s the endorphins). I love it because even though I’m one of the last to finish, my fellow crossfitters cheer me on and stick around until everyone’s done. I love it because one of the ladies that works out there has a tattoo that says “Strength is Beauty”.

I’m never going to be one of those stick figures you see in the magazines. Not with my natural build. My Dad told me once that I had “football shoulders”. My Mom told me that I have “birthing hips”. Sweet, right? Well, I forgive them for unknowingly feeding into my insecurities about my physical attributes. Because, they’re right. I’ve got shoulders and hips. Not much I can do about that, right? So, if I’m built to be strong, why shouldn’t I do my damnedest to fulfill that genetic predisposition?

I titled this post, “From Couchfit to Crossfit”. And, it’s true. I’d say that, historically, I’ve been “couchfit”. I’m not obese but I could stand to tone some things up and lose some fat. I can run/walk a mile but it’s not very fast. I go to the gym and get on the elliptical for an hour but never push myself that hard. I can do headstands in yoga, but not without the help of the wall. I lift weights and you can see some definition in my arms and legs but not much. I’m ‘couchfit’. I don’t look terrible in clothes but I certainly avoid wearing a bathing suit when possible.

Not anymore. I’m committed. I want to be strong. I want to be fit. I want to be crossfit.

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Live Unapologetically

Posted by mbamommy on July 31, 2012

Have you ever said you’re sorry without meaning it? I sure have.

I’ve apologized to get someone else to own up to what they’ve done.

“I’m sorry about hitting your car.”

“No, it was my fault, I was texting, I’m really sorry”

(note, this didn’t really happen, but it does add color, doesn’t it)

I’ve apologized as an intro.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just happen to overhear you say….”

I’ve apologized for my existence.

“Well, excuse me for breathing.”

I’ve apologized for someone else.

“Sorry my son just knocked down your kid’s tower. He didn’t mean it.”

I’ve apologized to get reassurance.

“Sorry I burnt your dinner.”

“No honey, it tasted great. I love charred burgers.”

I’ve apologized for guilt.

“I’m so sorry I forgot your birthday.”

What I don’t usually do is apologize to myself.

“Self, I’m sorry I make you feel guilty for not doing things perfectly. It’s really ok and you’re doing a bang up job with this life of yours. Keep it up!”

And, you know what? It’s really not that sincere. And, just like I wouldn’t want to say ” I love you” without meaning it, I don’t want to say “I’m sorry” without meaning it. It cheapens the emotion behind the phrase when it’s tossed around indiscriminantly.  It negates the real apology I listed above.

So, I’ve decided to live unapologetically. I vow to try my hardest not to apologize if I don’t mean it. I also vow to try my hardest to live in such a way that I don’t feel it necessary to apologize.

And the first order of business is NOT to apologize for being absent from this blog. Every time I have a self-inflicted sabbatical, I start out again by apologizing to you, my reader. But not this time. I got busy. A lot has happened since I last posted which has dropped the importance of this blog down a couple notches. It happens.

I’m not sorry.

The good news about a sabbatical is that it allows for post ideas to build up and I’ve got an arsenal of things I want to write about. I am going to start blogging again. And, I’m going to take my own advice. I’m always telling clients that the most important thing about increasing readership on a blog or making a presence for yourself in social media is to have consistent content. I tell them to decide on the cadence of content you’ll post, create an editorial calendar and block time on your schedule. And then stick to it. Write.

Here we go…..

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Labels

Posted by mbamommy on December 15, 2011

I am….

a mother

a wife

a sister

a daughter

an advocate

a friend

an ear

a shoulder

a heart

a brain

a body

a life

a tear

a smile

a giggle

a tickle finger

a Mommy monster

a squeeze

a hug

a kiss

a hand

a sigh

beautiful

strong

willful

independent

curious

scared

unsure

confident

loving

angry

sad

joyous

…me.

I do…

autism

a job

an exercise

a meal

some housework

a lot of talking

a lot of reading

a lot of writing

some yoga

some meditating

errands

pick up/drop off

child care

driving

discipline

…things.

There’s a difference.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Whole Ox

Posted by mbamommy on December 11, 2011

My best friend from high school lives in Hawaii.

Jealous, right? I know, me too.

She’s also a surfer. And just posted on Facebook that she paddled out at 4am to see the recent lunar eclipse.

Even more jealous, right? I know, me too.

Not only that, but she’s married to this super cool guy named Bob McGee. No, not Bobby, although he’ll only roll his eyes at you if you call him that…he’s pretty tough to annoy. I know, I’ve tried. ;). They moved to Hawaii for the lifestyle. She surfs and he cooks. And they’re both awesome at what they do.

She also owns a coffee shop and he’s opening up a deli. And not just any deli, a deli that will make its own local, grass fed, WHOLE animal deli meat. How cool is that? If you’re any sort of green/primal/environmentally conscious person (or just someone who loves good food) you understand how important this is. Especially if you live in the middle of the Pacific where it’s pretty hard to get food shipped to you.

So, here’s the deal. He’s trying to raise funds to purchase a smoker. Not just any smoker but tha BOMB smoker (I guess…I don’t know a whole lot about smokers but he seems to think it’s the cat’s meow so I’ll take his word on it.)

Take a look at his fundraising page. If you live in Hawaii, I’d encourage you to support a budding local business. If you’re not an islander, I’d still suggest supporting him. I think what he’s doing is pretty amazing.

The Whole Ox Deli

And, while I’m only *slightly* jealous of their lives I do want to do my part to support them in any way I can. That way, I can go visit them and have a free place to stay, a built in surf instructor and chef.

Now, you’re jealous of me, right? I know.

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Shout Out

Posted by mbamommy on November 24, 2011

I was perusing Facebook this morning, seeing everyone’s comments about Thanksgiving and what they’re thankful for and it got me thinking. I wasn’t planning on writing a Thanksgiving focused post, but everyone’s comments made me realize I had something to say today. What am I thankful for?  Of course I’m grateful for my friends and family and for their and my good health. That, in my opinion, goes without saying. Without friends and family and without health….well….that’s just not a life I want to lead.

So, then I got to thinking about are all the things I’m thankful for that allow me to live my life. This life. Not the one I imagined. Or had conjured up in my head when I was young and naive. But my day to day real life. So, below are the list of things that I’m giving a shout out to today (in no particular order). And, I promise to do my best to support these things as much as they’ve supported me.

I’m thankful for….

  • HIMAT – without which we would never be able to consider private school or purchasing a home
  • My Angels – without whom I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Early intervention – without which I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Weighted vests – which have made such a difference in impulse control and executive functioning for my little man
  • Education – on so many levels: my degrees, my kid’s budding bilingualism, my understanding of my son
  • My husband’s job – for providing us with so much
  • My job – for its work-life balance
  • That I live today and not at an earlier point in history – all in, I think we have it pretty good
  • My iPhone (yes, it’s made that much of a difference in my and my family’s lives)
  • My arms and legs – which allow me to do all the things I do throughout the day
  • Living in Colorado – because no matter what happens on a bad day, it’s happening here and that makes everything brighter
  • My daughter – my constant ray of sunshine
  • Social media – because how else would I be able to re-connect with people I haven’t seen in 15-20 years?
  • Straight irons – without which my hair would be a complete mess
  • Skype/FaceTime – which allows me to be with my family no matter how far away we are
  • My blog – for being my outlet  and YOU for loaning me your ears (eyes?) and hearts
  • Toddler alarm clocks that change when it’s time to get up – because otherwise I’d be starting my day at 5am
  • Kid’s Clubs at the gym – for giving my little sensory seeker a means to get his squirmy worms out while mommy gets to exercise
  • My Toyota Highlander – the most reliable, safe-feeling mode of transportation I’ve ever had

There’s more…and maybe throughout the day I’ll continue adding as I think of things. But, for now, I think this is a good start.

What about you?

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Return Again

Posted by mbamommy on October 10, 2011

As I believe I’ve mentioned, I’m Jewish.  J, Z and S are all Catholic.  This was a decision J and I made before we were married.  I’m not exactly sure when we made the decision, it was a 6 month process…..somewhere between dating/living together and being engaged.  It was the most difficult, soul-searching decision I had ever made in my life.  And one that I think about almost every day, even now, almost 10 years later.  J and I believed it would be the most difficult challenge we ever faced in our lives….the most difficult thing we’d have to confront together.  Z’s Asperger diagnosis certainly blew that one out of the water, but it’s still a big one.

Maybe someday I’ll write a full post about that time.  Maybe.  But not now.  I don’t think I’m quite ready to share all of that just yet.

What I will say is that it was the right decision for J and I.  And, it was the harder decision for me.

My relationship with Judaism…and organized religions in general….has always been somewhat spotty.  Nothing fit quite right.  I remember going to High Holy Day services as a kid and I not enjoying it.  The first thing I would do was check to see how many pages the service was so that I knew how much longer I had to sit there.  I never felt comfortable speaking all the “Thank you Yahweh” stuff.  I just didn’t feel it.  I did love the songs though.  I’ve always loved singing the Hebrew songs I grew up with.  And the one highlight from services as a kid was the moment that I’d catch my Rabbi’s eye.  And, he’d wink and smile at me and I’d smile back.  That always made me feel special.

Through college and beyond I rarely went to services.  Some of the time, I’d completely forget that the High Holy Days were upon us and be surprised when my Jewish co-workers were out of the office.  Whoops.  Bad Jew.

Even in recent years, when it’s become so much more important to me to go to services, I still dislike going. But I am the one who will introduce Judaism to my Catholic children.  I’m the one responsible for what type of relationship they’ll have with their mother’s religion. I’d guilt trip myself into going to either the evening or morning services….drag J along and then feel uncomfortable with all the “Yahweh” stuff again.  I’d rarely stay for the whole service and I’d rarely fast on Yom Kippur.  Bad Jew.

And, the negativity I’ve felt.  The disappointment I’ve felt from other Jews because of my decision to raise my children Catholic hasn’t made it any easier not to be a Bad Jew.

At least until this year.  This year, I found an organization here in Denver called Judaism Your Way.  It’s not a temple, but they hold services throughout the year and do life cycle events.  The Rabbi was trained in the Reconstructionist movement, which is new to me (I grew up Reformed).  It’s extremely open to anyone and everyone: jewish, non-jewish, interfaith, straight, gay, old, young, super religious, super atheist and anyone in between.  Their motto is “Wherever you are on your Jewish journey, we’ll meet you there.”  And, they truly do.  The services are free and open to anyone.  The Rabbi was more than happy to sit down with me, discuss my situation and offer advice and resources that he thought would help me.  He accepted me, my decision and my family for what we are.  And welcomed me to join.

So, I went to services this year.  My plan was to go to the evening service and then the kid’s service the following morning.  I figured that’d be enough religion for me for the year.  And, I’d be including my kids into an easy to digest, fun way of participating in the High Holy Days.

What happened was just short of amazing.  I enjoyed going to services.  Let me repeat that.  I enjoyed going to services.  I didn’t feel uncomfortable speaking the words along with the rest of the congregation because they weren’t all “Yahweh this and Yahweh that.”  There was some of that, of course, but it was much more focused on the spirituality of the religion.  Of using religion to understand yourself.  The songs we sang felt like a comfortable, soft,  well-loved blanket.  They brought me to tears.  They fit my mood.  They lifted me up.  I loved the rabbi’s sermons.  They actually put on a performance the morning of Yom Kippur instead of strictly reading from the torah.  They brought it to life and made it relevant.  Yom Kippur services were 2.5 hours.  And it went by in a flash.

That has NEVER happened before.

I had planned on only going to the evening services and kid services.  I wound up going to the evening, kid and morning services.  Both S and Z loved the kids services….we sang “L’shana Tova” for the rest of the day after Rosh Hashanah services…all while picking berries at a local farm (we couldn’t find apples….but, it was the same general idea).

It was a wonderful High Holy Days experience for me.  The first I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in a very long time.

There was one song that they opened each service with that resonates enormously with me.  It has a haunting melody and I can’t seem to get it out of my head.  Because, again, instead of focusing on God, it focuses on the individual, on knowing who you are and where you are in your life.  I’m pretty sure there’s a Hebrew version of it out there somewhere, but, true to their goal of being as inclusive as possible, they sang this in English. As was a vast majority of the service.

Return again.  Return again.  Return to the home of your soul.

Return to who you are.

Return to what you are.

Return to where you are.

Return again.  Return again.  Return to the home of your soul.

Now, here’s the thing.  Two weeks ago was Rosh Hashanah.  This past weekend was Yom Kippur.  Next weekend I’m going to a weekend yoga and meditation retreat in the mountains.  And I feel like all three events will speak to me in similar ways.  And I feel like I will gain something out of each and every one of them.

At the end of the day, I am Jewish.  It’s as much a part of me as my hair and eye color, the shape of my body, and how my mind works. It’s a piece of me, although not all of me.  And, I feel like I’ve finally found a place where it fits quite nicely.

And this, my friends, is what I want to pass along and how I want it passed to my children.

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Be Real Not Perfect

Posted by mbamommy on September 30, 2011

I’ve been ignoring my blog for a few days now because I’m trying to get this post straight in my head.  But, I also can’t get it out of my head so I might as well dump it here, right?

The other day I read this amazing post from Single Dad Laughing called “The Disease Called Perfection“.  I found him because a friend posted a link on Facebook, I in turn re-posted it and several friends of mine re-posted again.  Viral, anyone?  And, here’s the thing.  The post is SO FLIPPIN WORTH READING.   It shocked me, made me cry, made me re-evaluate everything I’ve ever thought.  Literally.  I was already a fan of the Imperfect Movement.  And, now I am a HUGE fan of SDL.  I guess the perfect/imperfect issue isn’t limited to just  special needs kids.

So, here it is.  Me Being Real.  Wait….please, read SDL‘s post first, otherwise this list won’t make a lot of sense to you.

There are days when getting out of bed is a chore.  Well, not really getting out of bed.  It’s the getting through the day that’s a chore. When I’d rather just sit and stare into space than work, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, pick up and drop off the kids, cook the meals, playwith the kids.  These are the days that I daydream of escaping.

I hate the way I look.  I’m embarrassed about my weight (and, sadly, if you looked at me, you’d probably think I was nuts).  And I tend to not have the follow through to really do anything about it.  As soon as I start to see a difference in how I look, I sabotage myself.  And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

I’m extremely critical of others.  And I think it’s to make myself feel better.

I scream at my kids too much.

I don’t have enough patience with my kids too much.

I’m short with my husband too much.

I’ve spanked my kids before.  Out of sheer anger and frustration.

I pick my nose.  And then I get mad at Z when he does it.

I’m extremely hard on myself, beating myself up for ever error and mistake I make.  Whether it’s large or small, it’s completely all-encompassing in my own mind.

There are more Real things about me…waaaayyyyy more imperfections…I could go on and on about those imperfections.  But, I’m not going to because that would be a downward spiral that I don’t want to get myself into right now.  Instead, I’d like to point out where I think SDL comes up short.  He challenges all of us to Be Real.  To show our Imperfections.  OK, I did that.  But, what about the things that are good?  That I should be proud of?  That I NEED to shout out about as much as I NEED to shout out the imperfections.  Isn’t that a part of being real?  Not just being honest about the tough stuff but also being honest about the good stuff.  All too often we focus on the negative, shameful things in our lives…even if it’s in our own head.  We don’t give the good stuff enough light.

So, here it is again.  Me Being Real.

I’m a good friend.  I may not have a ton of time to see them, but at the end of the day, I’m someone my friends know they can call.

I’m a good advocate for my son. I’ve changed my entire life plans and aspirations in order to give him the tools he needs to be happy and successful.  No, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  But, it’s what I needed to do.

I’m a good role model for S.  And, it’s because of her that I continually try harder.  Because I want her to grow up to be like the best me.

I’m a good wife.  I support J in any new initiative he wants to do.  I rarely say no to his plans.

I’ve got some good ‘guns’.

I have a pretty face.

I’m smarter than the average bear.

I’m a good writer.

What about you?  Be Real.  Here.  Now.  Tell me everything.  Especially the good stuff.

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