Monday, April 30, 2012

Thirty...Family Dynamic

Question #24: " Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now."

Family dynamics is defined as the forces at work within a family that produce particular behaviors or symptoms. It is the way in which a family lives and interacts with one another that creates the dynamic. And that dynamic, whether good or bad, changes who people are, it burrows into their psyche, ultimately influencing how they view and interact with the world outside of their family.      
Growing up I had a biological father, a step-father, a biological mother and a step-mother. I lived with and was raised by my step-father and my biological mother. I saw my biological father and my step-mother one night a week and every other weekend...

...I remember as a young girl thinking to myself that when I grew up and had children I would NEVER, EVER get divorced. I never wanted any of my children to have to suffer through the pain and confusion of divorce...or act as a "go between" as my little brother and I often had to do with our own parents.

Unfortunately, divorce found it's way in my life for a second first marriage failed and my ex husband and I had an infant (Hayden had just turned one). I decided that I was not going to let my failed marriage define who I was, or who my son would be. My ex husband and I remained friends (we even live next to each other) and my son's step mother and I get along beautifully. She is wonderful to Hayden and that is really all I care about.

Today I am happily married (going on 13 years!) to hottie hubby and we have three boys (that includes Hayden). Hottie hubby and I work very hard at raising our boys with Christian values and morals. We provide a happy home where all three of our boys know they are loved and adored. We encourage our boys to be the best that they can be in all areas of life, to make the right choices and to love everyone.


Question #23: " List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them."

1. Reading. I love to read...especially a really good Christian book. I recently finished "Erasing Hell" by Fances Chan. I have many "daily devotional" books that I read and of course I love any book by my favorite author Jodi Picoult (she's a secular author).

2. Shopping. Specifically for shoes. I heart shoes! Or picture frames....I love picture frames.

3. Cleaning. Does this count as a hobby? In my sick, sick world...yes, it does.

4. Blogging. I LOVE to write. I love to tell stories. I LOVE sharing my life!  ;)

5. .....I cannot think of another hobby. Really....does anyone have five hobbies?? That's A LOT of hobbies....that's A LOT of time!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Question #21: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?"

I don't like this question....

....I don't know how I see myself....I hope that in however many years I will be healthy, happy, loved and following Christ.....

....just like I am today!  ;)


Question #21 "If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?"

 The power to heal....

....I would heal my step-dad. He suffers from progressive MS and at the age of 62 years old my mother and I had to place him into a nursing home to receive professional care. It's heartbreaking, it's painful and it's depressing....

....and I would give anything to just heal him. 

Thirty...Childhood Memories

Question #20: "Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood."

1. When I was seven years old my best friend, Lana Patterson passed away from Leukemia. Although she was very ill most of the time, her illness did not keep us apart...I often went with her while she received treatments in the hospital. We spent a lot of time together, staying at each others homes overnight, playing at the park and we were in the same class at West Elementary School. We were in the first grade when Lana died...I remember the morning that she passed, it was very early...the sun wasn't even up yet. I heard the phone ring as I lay in my bed....I can still remember hearing my mother's footsteps up the stairs towards my bedroom and the creak of my bed as she sat on the side, gently rubbing my back to wake me. "Lana passed away this morning..." she whispered. I don't remember if I said anything....or if I just cried. I'm not really sure I understood completely....

2. My grandparents owned a men's clothing store downtown called Czarlinsky's (their last name). I used to make bows for the Christmas packages during the holiday season....I loved my grandparents store. My brother and I used to weave in and out of the clothing racks, squealing with joy as we played "catch me if you can...." Sometimes my grandmother would let me ring the customers up and I loved the feel of pushing the buttons on antique cash register, the sound of the bell as the cash drawer popped open. After the lunch hour and the crowd had died down my grandfather would walk me next door for hot onion rings from Daisy Delight! That was always a great treat!

3. After my parents divorce my father moved into an apartment on Hutton Lane. It was a small, one bedroom apartment and my brother and I would stay with him on Wednesday evenings and every other weekend. Once  during a weekend visit my father bought me a package of rub on tattoos and I had placed a tattoo on top of my right hand (I was eight years old). Later that evening I decided I didn't want the tattoo on my hand anymore and I tried to wash it wouldn't come off. My dad was watching a football game with my brother so I shut the bathroom door and grabbed my father's razor that was inside the shower. I started to "scrape" the tattoo off my hand....after about five minutes of "scrapping" with no avail, I walked into the family room and asked my dad for help....he FLIPPED out!! I remember him saying that I could have cut a vein and bled to death.....he couldn't believe what I was doing. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night....I had visions of blood squirting out of my hand and me dropping dead on the bathroom floor. 


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thirty...Location, Location, Location

Question #19: "If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?"

So, there is a couple at our church that just put their home up for sale (by owner). The husband has accepted an associate Pastor position with a church in Southern Missouri. Bittersweet for this family, I am sure, as they have only lived in this home for a short time and they have put A LOT of work into it. ....if I could live anywhere....I would choose their home. I know, not really what you were thinking...or perhaps whomever posed this question was thinking.....but let me explain why....

The home is in the neighborhood where my aunt and my uncle lived when they lived here. In fact, the home is next door to my aunt and my uncle's home. Growing up I spent a lot of time in that neighborhood....riding bikes, sledding down the steep driveways, climbing trees, playing freeze tag. The neighborhood is quiet, family oriented and GORGEOUS....many of the front yards are made up of beautiful trees that provide shade on a hot summer day or glisten with snow filled branches in the winter. The home itself has four bedrooms...the thought of four bedrooms makes me would mean that each one of my boys could have their very own room...something they have never had the luxury of having. be a bit cheesy....I love the thought of living in a home that has been occupied by a family that has been a family we have admired from afar. We don't know the Hughes family very well...although we do attend the same church, we have never had the privilege to spend a lot of time with them. But time has not stopped us from seeing what an incredible family they they love on those around well as loving on those afar (Niki is involved in mission trips to Africa). The two daughters are amazing role models for all children and Jay seems strong in both protection and faith as the head of the household. They are truly an amazing family.

Ahhhhhh.....yes......I dream of calling up the Hughes family and saying, "We would like to buy your home...."

.....but....the first rule in Financial Peace is to pay with cash.....and we just don't have an "envelope" that has $215,000 in cash.....yet.  ;)


Question #18: "What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?"

Ugh. I really dislike this question and I considered skipping it all together. Forgiveness is such a touchy's a very serious and DEFINITE aspect in the Christian way of life. I have learned within my faith journey that UN-forgiveness is a sin between you and God....which is why forgiveness is a necessity.  

In my life, the most difficult thing that I have had to forgive (and I am still working through) is my mom and my dad's divorce. I was seven....and I've posted about their divorce a few times on this blog so I am not going to go into a lot of detail. 

....Everything that revolves around their divorce are things that I have needed to forgive. Divorce is such an ugly, ugly beast and what is most disturbing is the rate of divorced families grows each's at an all time high right now. When children are involved.....well, it's unimaginable. It's painful. It's heart wrenching....and it never...NEVER goes away. 

I am walking on the path of forgiveness with my mother, my father and my step-mother. The path also includes my sister and when he was still here, my brother. 

....what I like best about forgiveness is the healing that comes with it....and I definitely feel like I am healing. Slowly. 



Question #17: "What is the thing you most wish you were great at?"

There are many things I wish I was "great" at...but right now I really wish I was great at quoting scripture. I would love to be able to approach any situation and say, "Remember what the Bible ______ verse _____, it really applies to this particular situation." .....instead, I bring up Google and type in "Bible verse for _____ situation." Lame. 

I think that is why I'm so crazy about the Christian women in my life....all of them are the BEST at quoting the Bible or sharing stories from the Bible that are relevant to various things in my life.... 


Question #16: "What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?"

I need to play "catch-up" with this 30 day challenge so I'm going to be quick with my answers and post multiple times today! Yay for's supposed to rain all day and now you will have some reading material!  ;)

 5 Greatest Accomplishments:

1. Three beautiful, healthy boys! I have an incredible 16 year old, Hayden. He looks so much my like my brother did at that age. He is very active in the music program at the high school and he plays junior varsity baseball for the Jays! He's witty, charming, smart, outgoing and very "girl" crazy!  Jackson is 12 and he's my "mini" Mark. He takes after his father so looks, personality and intelligence. He has beautiful hazel eyes and he loves to cuddle. Jackson plays the clarinet in the middle school band. Benjamin is the baby, he is 11. Benjamin is the spitting image of me! Like me, you never know what is going to come out of his mouth and he's always the center of attention. He is a straight "A" student and involved in football, basketball and choir! He is the only one in our family that is left handed and has blue eyes! I'm extremely proud of all three of my boys!

2. My faith. My decision to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. Best decision I have ever made. Accepting Christ into my life has changed everything...for the MUCH better. It is often refereed to as being "saved" and that is exactly how it feels...I was "saved" from sin (meaning that my past, present and future sin is forgiven), my marriage was saved, my choices are now made for and around children ALL accepted Christ, so they have been saved too. Hottie hubby and I were "saved" together a little over three years ago and I'm so happy with our decision!

3. My job. This may seem trivial to you, but for me this is a BIG one! This year (in July), I will celebrate five years with Modern Litho-Print and Brown Printing. This is a biggie because before finding my way with MLP/BP I was a job hopper....seriously, the longest I have ever been with a job was two years...barely. 

4. Financial Peace. We are not completely debt free...but we are WELL on our way. We started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace almost two years ago and we couldn't be happier with the program. Totally awesome to pay off debt, build savings, create investments and follow the "envelope" system. If you are not familiar you should be! Check it out, Google it....START TODAY!

5. My marriage. Why my marriage? Because I've had a failed marriage....and I know the pain. Hottie hubby is absolutely the most amazing man...and he is all mine! Next week we will celebrate THIRTEEN years of marriage...and I'm completely overwhelmed with love and admiration for him. He is the best part of all of, the boys......I love him completely with ALL of my heart, ALL of my soul.

Friday, April 27, 2012


30 day challenge, Question #15 "If you were an animal, what would you be and why?"

Easy. I would be a chameleon. Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes (I could see everything!), their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait (a sign of confidence), a prehensile tail (great for multitasking), crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads (jewelry, yes?), and the ability to change color...(this is the part I find intriguing). Colors include pink, blue, red, orange, turquoise, yellow, and green....of course I would be prone to pink.  ;)

I've always been told that I "adapt" well in any surrounding... I'm a "people pleaser" and I can see where a chameleon could be thought of as a "people pleaser" too....think about it, chameleons change to "fit in." I like to fit in, who doesn't? ....and I'm big on change. 

Yes....if I were an animal (is a chameleon classified as an animal? Does it count?) I would without a doubt be a chameleon....a PINK chameleon.  ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


30 day challenge, Question #14: "Describe 5 strengths you have"

Well....a focused challenge is definitely not a strength. I've absolutely failed this 30 day challenge....BUT, one of my strengths is making up excuses...   ;) and my excuse is pretty darn good. The past week I've been staying at my mother's home caring for her as she heals from back surgery. I also have a special needs sister that still lives at home with my mother and I've been caring for her as well. So, am I excused??

5 Strengths:

1. Personality. I rely on my upbeat and positive personality A LOT. I think it's my best asset and it certainly has helped me in my career (sales) and friendships. If I'm to be honest, I got my personality from both my mother and my father. Both are very outgoing, HI-LARIOUS and dynamic people.

2. Organization. Hands down, I'm THE BEST! Everything....and I mean EVERYTHING in my home and office are organized to perfection. Hmmmmm......the more I think about it, this could also be a often has a stronghold on me.

3. Details. It's all in the details, right? I'm really good at remembering names, birthdays, favorites, etc.

4. Writing. I love to write (hence the blog). My mother is an English teacher at the high school, so I come from good stock.  ;) ALTHOUGH....that does NOT mean that my grammar is always correct. Okay?

5. Crafty. No, not evil...  ;) (although hottie hubby might say there are times...) I'm pretty good at arts and crafts, especially "Do It Yourself" projects around the home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


30 day challenge, Question #13: "Describe 5 weaknesses you have"

Wait, you mean I have to admit that I have weaknesses? ...I'm not perfect??

I suppose the first step is to admit that I have weaknesses...

My name is Betsy Dudenhoeffer.
I have weaknesses

However...I am learning that it is in the midst of our weaknesses that the power of Christ dwells in us!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

The strong, the self sufficient, the capable ones do not need Jesus.

And so, the Lord in His grace and mercy reveals to me how very weak I am... And
I cry out, Lord, help me! 

...and for those of you who know me well...I guess it is only fair that I also include in this post that I STINK at handling struggles, life trials, hardships...blah, blah, blah.  Having admitting to that, I also know that God is in control...I just have trouble handing complete control over to Him. I'm learning!

My {Top} Five Weaknesses ...because we ALL know I have way more than five...  

1. Control over my emotions. I cry at the drop of a kidding. In fact, I'm choked up just typing this....

2. Selfishness. I'm most likely the most selfish person you will probably know, I'm just really good at hiding, maybe you are laughing at that....maybe I'm not so good at hiding it. I think everything is about that I've said that out loud (or at least typed it) you should know that I am trying VERY hard to change my selfishness. I pray every day that the Lord work on my heart...and He is!  

3. Focus. I am thinking about self-diagnosing myself with SEVERE Attention Deficit Syndrome. In the time I've started this post I've done at least twelve different things!

4. Over-processing EVERYTHING! My mind is CONSTANTLY running....always thinking of the "What ifs?" It's exhausting. My kids ask, "Can we go outside to play?" My mind kicks's too cold, they could get frost bite and lose their's too hot, they could overheat and have a heat stroke.....etc.....

That goes on for hours....and it's not just about my's literally everything within my life....

5. Pronunciation of words. This can be VERY entertaining. I think that I hear words being said one way...but my way is wrong....then I use that word in conversation and I'm really, really wrong in either how I used it, or how I pronounced it. For example, I thought that "Palm" Sunday was "Psalm" lie, I said "Psalm" Sunday for YEARS....actually, I just figured it out last year!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thirty...Typical Day

30 day challenge, Question #12: "Describe a typical day in your current life."

Let me start by saying there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, "typical" about my life!  ;)

Monday through Friday my alarm sounds off at 5:30 am. Most nights I will have just gone to sleep at 3:00-4:00 am so I am NOT very friendly in the mornings (although on Friday mornings I MUST be cheery and fun and upbeat...I do a radio show called "Betsy at the Movies" and I'm "on" for my peeps!)

After roughly ten to fifteen minutes of groaning and complaining about how tired I am, I force my legs to swing over the side of the bed and I shuffle my lifeless body to the shower. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.....a shower ALWAYS refreshes me! My showers last anywhere from thirty to forty minutes (what?! Is that a long time?)

After my shower I make my way upstairs to the kitchen (the master bedroom is on the lower level of our home) for a freshly brewed hot cup of coffee that hottie hubby has made me (complete with Truvia and Bailey's {non-alcoholic} Irish creamer).

Between sips of coffee I wake my three boys (who are also not "morning" people) and they begin their routine of teeth brushing, hair combing, deodorant while I make beds and then get breakfast for them (don't get all excited and think I'm "mother of the year"...breakfast in my house is a Pop Tart or a bowl of Cheerios) and feed the dog.

While my boys are eating, I make my way back down the stairs and blow dry my hair, apply make up and get dressed....while listening to the news.

After washing the breakfast dishes (which really means placing them in the dishwasher) and wiping off the ktichen table, the boys and I pile up in the Trailblazer and I take Jackson to middle school, Benjamin to elementary school and the last stop is the high school where I drop off Hayden.

I make my way to my office, downtown....all of that activity takes place before 8:00 am! Whew!

I work between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm but I'm in sales and so my days are never the same. Sometimes I will have an appointment with a client that requires a meeting at 7:30 in the morning or after 5:00 depends on how I schedule my days.

Most days I spend my lunch hour at my parents home where I sit with my father. He suffers from progressive MS and is wheelchair bound. I also have a twenty-two year old sister that has special needs and she lives in the home too. However, all of that will change...yesterday my mother and I placed my sixty-two year old father into a nursing home (I'll post on that later).

After work I stop by my parents home to check in on my dad. My mother is usually home from teaching and I will often help her out by running to the grocery store or throwing in a couple of loads of laundry or getting supper put together for them.

When I return to my own home my hottie hubby usually has supper ready and I sit with the family to eat. We talk about our day, what is in store for the next day...sometimes we play word games or memory games at the table.

Dishes and cleaning up after supper are always a time I use to "unwind" (I love to clean, it's a stress relief for me). Often I will do a load of laundry or two (that's really all there ever is at a time as I keep up with the laundry on a daily basis). Some nights I have a Bible study or Awana (a Christian children's program that I help out with), praise and worship practice or one of the boys will have Boy Scouts or a baseball game. We are very rarely home in the evenings.

I will shower (again...I like to "wash" the day off before bed) between ten and eleven and then I climb into my bed and watch my shows that I record (Young & The Restless, Real Housewives, The Voice, Smash, Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, GCB, Once Upon A Time, The Doctors and The Office).

I read my Bible (or a devotional book, which is what I am reading now) and then I lay in my bed and my mind swirls with the events in my life.....I don't sleep well.....I have too much going on in my head.

And then 5:30 am comes around again......

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thirty...Pet Peeves

30 day challenge, Question #11: "Describe 10 pet peeves you have."


Easy. And I apologize ahead of time for the "snottiness" that will come across in this post.

Ten Pet Peeves:

1. Whistling. I absolutely cannot stand it when someone whistles. I don't care if it's a tune, a way to get someones attention, a cat call....whistling is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

2. Empty toilet paper rolls on the dispenser! Really? Are people that selfish and lazy that they can wipe their own butts using the last of the toilet paper and then walk away WITHOUT replacing the roll?? The answer to that question is yes, in my house there are FOUR boys that leave an empty roll for me to replace (and it never fails, I always make the discovery as I'm reaching for the toilet paper....)

3. "Jeff City". Listen up folks...I was born in and live in JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri. The Capitol of Missouri was named after President Thomas JEFFERSON, not Thomas JEFF. So please, PLEASE do not refer to your hometown as "Jeff" City. Please and thank you.

4. "Where at?" The answer is: "In a place where we DO NOT end our sentences with a preposition."

5. People who still write checks at the grocery store checkout. Please, for the love of all things fast and convenient....there are debit cards now people! Get one. Use it. Stop holding up the check out lines, because chances are I've been waiting for a good twenty minutes to even place my items on the conveyor belt, while fighting with my children as they ask for the twenty-fifth time if they can have a king size bag of M&M's.

6. Slow drivers in the passing lane. No need for an explanation. They make me want to curse.

7. People who talk on their bluetooth headsets in public. There are two reasons for this one. A. No, it does not make you any more "important" when you have what looks like a ginormous hearing aid hooked to your ear. B. I feel like a COMPLETE moron when I have just spent the last five minutes answering every question you did not intend for me. Seriously? How am I supposed to know you are not talking to me?

8. Busy signal. Hello??? Call waiting??? Please!

9. Starting a load of laundry and never switching it to the dryer. Or....carrying through to the dryer BUT leaving it for me to fold. Ahem....hottie hubby??

10. Department store salespeople who will not take "no" for an answer. I'll take this a bit further....when they ask you, "What can I help you with today?" and you respond, "I'm just looking right now, thank you." ....and they FOLLOW YOU and MAKE SUGGESTIONS or follow up your response with, "Ok, well, today we are having a buy one get one free sale, so if you need something I will be right here." Right, but I just told you that I'm just looking, meaning...back off. Or when you are checking out....oh, this one REALLY FROSTS MY COOKIES....and they ask, "Would you like to apply for a store credit card and receive 10% off your total purchase?" and I reply, "No, thank you" and they follow up with, "You can pay the balance off right away and you save money on your total purchase." It is at this very moment that I want to pull that salesperson across the counter and scream dirty words at her, explaining that it has nothing to do with paying it off right away, but EVERYTHING to do with the fact that I'm a Dave Ramsey girl....I don't do credit cards. And P.S....that 10% that I'm "saving" on my total purchase.....right, it comes back two fold in interest rates on that stupid credit card that you are attempting to shove down my throat.

Excuse me now as I go switch the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer....after I replace the toilet paper.  ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thirty...Embarrassing Moment

30 day challenge, Question #10: "Describe your most embarrassing moment"

In my case, it's "moment(s)...."

One of my strengths (this will come up in an upcoming question/post) is that I am the first to and BEST at laughing at myself. I have quirky, bizarre, surreal and embarrassing moments happen to me on a daily kidding. I have always been forthcoming with my silliness...sharing the most horrifyingly embarrassing moments....on this very blog, for the world wide web to know about!

....all of that being said, I'm going to answer the question "describe your most embarrassing moment" by reposting three of my "moments" below. Each example is recorded on my blog, but for the purpsoses of those who are not "computer savvy" and do not know how to "link," I will simply repost....(this makes this the LONGEST post ever, but I PROMISE you it will be WELL WORTH the read...hang in there)!

I present to you:

TMI Thursday
Masked Panties
There Was A Full Moon On Friday Night

TMI Thursday...

I absolutely had the most embarrassing moment of my professional career today. For those of you who read my blog and believe that I am truly a princess...stop reading. For those of you who believe that I am without fault...stop reading.

What I am about to share is fact, I think I'm going to have to move my family to another's that bad...

This week has been filled with the joys of the Christmas season...I have been delivering Christmas candy to my clients, spreading good cheer to those that I appreciate! Today was no different. I checked into the office, grabbed the few boxes of candy I had left and hopped into my car to deliver the candy to the last of my clients. I made three stops before lunch...handed over the candy, giggled in conversation and wished a Merry Christmas. My next stop was to JCMG to have some blood work done. I had been fasting for twelve hours per my doctors orders and I was starving...I quickly got into my car after having filled six (SIX!!) vials of blood and I rushed to the nearest Taco Bell (BIG MISTAKE). I was SO HUNGRY...I sat in the drive through for what seemed like hours, inching slowly towards my beef mouth was watering as I came closer and closer to the drive through window. BAM! I was handed my bag and I hadn't even pulled out of the parking lot before I inhaled that beef was fabulous!

Do you see where this is going?....

Next stop...last candy drop of my favorite clients! I wasted no time...I wanted to get this Christmas candy out of my smelled SO good! I drove straight to Columbia and as I was pulling into the parking lot of my client's office my stomach gurgled..."hmmmm....that kind of hurts." I sat in my car for a moment and let the cramping subside. I opened my car door, grabbed the candy and walked into the building. The receptionist greeted me, "Good afternoon, can I help you?" I smiled, "Hello! Is Bob* in the office?" (*in effort to protect the victim in my story I have changed the names). The receptionist asked me to have a seat in the lobby and she would ring *Bob and let him know he had a visitor. As I turned to take a seat in the lobby my stomach cramped up again...this time I made a sour face..."ouch!" I felt a bit nauseous...and admittedly a tad faint. I panicked, "did I take my seizure medication this morning?" I thought back to my hectic morning...yes, yes...I remembered taking my medication. "What is wrong with me?" I felt hands began to clam up. I sat down in a chair and I closed my eyes for a brief moment. Taking a deep breath in I softly whispered, "get it together Bets, shake it off." I opened my eyes to the sound of *Bob's voice. "Hey there Betsy!" *Bob stuck out his hand and I grabbed it, apologizing for my sweaty palms. *Bob invited me back to his office..."oh, I am just here to drop off this Christmas candy, I can't stay..." *Bob replied, "come back for a second, I want to run an idea by you." What a nightmare...I really needed to use the bathroom, I felt like I might vomit...but I took another deep breath and followed *Bob back to his office. As I was walking behind *Bob it suddenly occurred to me that the beef burrito I had scarfed down half and hour earlier was giving me extreme gas...OMG...please, Lord Jesus, PLEASE give me some time to meet with *Bob and then I will use the bathroom....PLEASE don't do this to me. Jesus had other plans...

As we walked into *Bob's office I decided that I needed to use the restroom right more waiting..."I need to use the restroom, I'll be right back..." *Bob sat in his chair, "this will only take a second, sit down." I in a nightmare? What do I say? Do I tell *Bob that I'm about to crap my pants and I REALLY need to use the restroom??? Pride got the best of me...I decided I could hold on a few more minutes...

Are you palms sweating now...because you know what's coming next, right?

I turned to take a seat...and just as I was lowering my behind into the chair....

Are you going to make me say it?

I let out the biggest....LOUDEST...toot (we don't use the "F" word in my house).

I wanted to vomit I was so embarrassed...but I figured I had already shocked the hell out of my client with the noise that had just escaped my rear face was scarlet red...I could feel the heat of my embarrassment. There was complete silence (yeah, where in the heck was silence just moments before?)!! I didn't know what to say...I couldn't even apologize. I just sat down and starred at the floor.

After what seemed like a lifetime, I looked up at *Bob to see his head resting on his desk and his body convulsing with laughter...the kind of laughter where there is no noise because you can't even breathe....

"I hate you." It's all I could think of at the moment. "I am literally praying to God that the Earth will open up and swallow me and you are sitting across from me laughing at my expense....I hate you."

*Bob raised his head and looked at me through teary eyes..."I'm sorry. I know you are humiliated...but that is damn funny."

Damn funny indeed...I set the Christmas candy on *Bob's desk and left him in his office...shutting the door to trap him in the foulness that had just leaked from my it funny now *Bob?

Masked Panties...

A girlfriend of mine bought me a gift certificate to a local tanning salon for three spray tan sessions! What a FABULOUS idea, right? She knows that I feel better about myself when I am tan, and she also knows that having skin cancer seven times, currently battling melanoma, I am under strict orders to stay away from tanning beds...
Last week I called the tanning salon to set up my first spray tan session. I was given instructions to shower before hand, shave all the unwanted hair, and exfoliate my body. Do not apply any lotions or sprays, wear old clothing and bring something to pull my hair back off of my face.
I have never been to this particular tanning salon, so all of this was very new to me. I was already feeling a bit uncomfortable about having to stand in the nude while the tanning technician spray "paints" my body, so I felt really uneasy when I walked into the booth and the lady asked me to undress saying, "if you would like to wear panties you may do so." Duh, of course I would like to wear panties...I just didn't realize she meant my own...

let me explain.

The tanning technician wears a surgical mask while she spray "paints"...that mask was laying on a chair inside the booth.
Do you see where this is going?
I began to undress, taking off ALL my clothing and neatly folding it over the chair and I picked up the mask... (okay, I guess I'm going to have to spell this out to you...I thought the mask was the "panties" the technician was referring to when she said "if you would like to wear panties you may do so")....
and I put the mask on.
Down there.

And then the tanning technician walked in.... was right about that time that I realized the mask wasn't for me (you should have seen the look on her face)!

To make a long story short, I excused myself and quickly redressed. I was too humiliated to stay.

No spray tan for me...

And no offense to my dear friend that gave me the gift certificate, but I totally re-gifted it to another friend. I won't be going to that tanning salon. Ever. Again.

And as a side note, it took me a good ten minutes to figure out how in the world to put on that mask...think about it...the "leg holes" are on the felt really uncomfortable and I kept thinking, "stupid skinny girls!"

There Was A Full Moon On Friday Night...

I think I'm past the pain....

past the humiliation...

past the point of no return, as they say....

For those of you who follow my blog, do any of you ever wonder how I continue on in my life? Do any of you doubt the perpetual craziness that boils in my head? It is the moments like I am about to reveal to you that agitate that craziness....

Sit back, my friends, enjoy what could easy be another most embarrassing moment in the life of Betsy...

**Warning...Inappropriate Self Disclosure....

As a quick side note, I should mention that I very rarely wear underwear (sorry mom...I know this is a nightmare for you)!

So, Friday night was the Chamber Gala and I spent hours getting all gussied was curled tightly in an "up do", makeup was applied to perfection, pearl necklace was borrowed from my aunt, black dress, neatly pressed, sparkly black high heels were bought for the occasion....

I pulled my grandmother's Pendleton coat from the coat closet...floor length, gray wool, like something from the movies that Audrey Hepburn would wear....I adore it! I draped the coat over my shoulders and stepped into my chariot...(okay, so it was my Trail Blazer...a girl can dream, can't she?)....

I arrived a few moments after six...the Capital Plaza, brightly lit, ladies being dropped off at the front door while their husbands parked the car...(me...yes, well...hottie husband is away with the National Guard for a few weeks, so I parked my car all by myself and walked the four flights of steps in the zero degree weather, in four inch heels I might add)...

I entered the atrium...overflowing with the "who's who" of Jefferson City, Missouri. Men stood in black tuxedos next to their wives who wore sequins and taffeta, sipping on their white wines and pink blushes...

I walked towards the coat check in, taking my place in the long line, watching the line grow behind me. I stood, Pendleton coat still on, rubbing elbows with the elite as I waited my turn to check in my own coat...

Take a deep breath folks....this is where it gets ugly...

As I advanced upon the check in counter I began to slowly gather my coat off my shoulders, releasing my right arm out of the coat, allowing the fabric to fall to the other side as I pulled the coat completely off....

wait for it....

Gentleman (who by the way is a local business owner and among what you might call the "elite" in JC): "Whoops..."

Lovely Lady (also a local business owner, married to the brother of said gentleman above): "Oh Betsy! Your dress!!!"

That's when I felt it...

The breeze.

Yes...static electricity is a wicked, wicked thing.

My grandmother's coat was FULL of static electricity, which in turn transferred to my dress...

and my dress was up around my waist....baring my assets...all of it.

*Remember inappropriate self disclosure above.....


There was a full moon on Friday night...right there in the atrium of the Chamber Gala!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thirty...Ten Influential People

30 day challenge, Question #9: "List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how."

When I hear the words "influential people" I admittedly resolve to thinking of celebrities, politicians, authors...famous people.

... But so often it's the influence of ordinary people, not obvious, not flashy and bright, not so immediate, that have the greatest impact within our lives.

Ten people that have influenced my life:

1. Beth Campbell (or Mrs. Campbell, as I called her). Mrs. Campbell was my algebra teacher in high school...and for those of you who know me, math does NOT come easy for me. To add to that, you must also know that I was NOT an "easy" teenager (this is not a secret, I've been very upfront about this fact!) Mrs. Campbell was so very patient with me on a daily basis...putting up with my constantly flapping jaws, note passing, unfinished homework assignments and comments like, "Seriously Mrs. Campbell, when in 'real' life are we ever going to use the Pythagorean theorem??" One very specific memory I have of Mrs. Campbell (not that this is very flattering for me) is when she pulled me out of class after I refused to stop talking to my desk mate about who I should go to prom with and very calmly and lovingly said, "Betsy....if you cared as much about algebra as you did who you are going to go to prom with, you would be an algebra genius!" It was true...I simply did not care about or like algebra, but I ABSOLUTELY adored my teacher! Mrs. Campbell NEVER gave up on me. She challenged me to know the rules of "operations" and "relations." She was sensitive to my constant need for attention and she loved me for who I was...diva and all!  ;) Because of my love and adoration for Mrs. Campbell I decided that I wanted to be a teacher...I wanted to pass along the same attention, influence and guidance to those who most needed it just like she did for me! Although I did not end up becoming a teacher, I do have the value of loving on others for who they are all because of Mrs. Campbell's influence!

2. My grandmother Czarlinsky. Oh, I could go on for pages and pages about how my grandmother influenced my life. I was a first born grand baby and from the moment I was born my grandmother spoiled me rotten! I was her "baby" up until the day she passed away, I was twenty-four years old. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer at the very young age of sixty-four years old. I was devastated and fourteen years later the pain of missing her is no less than it was the day she left our world. My grandmother was the epitome of what a hardworking, passionate, courageous, fun-loving, and wise woman is! Alongside my grandfather, my grandmother ran a family business, was a mother to three girls, a wife, community volunteer, AND while working her full time job at the age of sixty-two she went to night school four nights a week and graduated from college!! My grandmother inspired me to be the best that I can be! She was my biggest cheerleader, always by my side no matter what. When I made mistakes, she would tell me to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and start again..." She also was "famous" for the saying, "I'm gonna set you on fire!" referring to spanking our bottoms when we as grandchildren misbehaved....of course I cannot recall one time that she actually spanked any of must have been a vision that was enough to scare us into behaving!

3. Darla Porter. Darla is one of the owners of the company that I work for. I was introduced to Darla just over five years ago and little did I know at the time she would be an instrumental piece in some very major changes and decisions within my life! Darla was my first "real" introduction into the Christian life. She was full of grace, mercy, love, friendship, compassion....second chances ;) I say that because when I interviewed with this company some of the other owners did not want to hire me. I had a "party girl" reputation and I was not what they were looking for. It was Darla that offered the opportunity to prove myself...a "second chance" so to speak. She saw something inside me that nobody else did. Offering friendship, Darla took me under her wing and I began to attend a Bible study with her on Wednesday nights. Through the Bible study I was introduced to Christian women who loved on me like nobody else had ever loved on me. There was no judgement, no pressure...just pure, Christian love. I saw Darla as someone that I wanted to be like and so I began to pursue was something I saw in Darla that I didn't have. Darla inspired me to begin living the life that Christ has meant for me to live along....

4. Becky Meeker. Along the same lines of my work, Becky is also an owner of the company I work for. Becky is married to my sales manager (together they are part of the ownership group), and so I really began to get to know Becky through business trips. It was our first business  trip to New York City that I asked Becky what it meant to be "saved." I had heard the term in Bible study and I didn't know what it meant. Becky explained to me that being saved meant asking Christ to come into your heart, to forgive your sins, to cleanse your heart and fill it with Christ's love. Becky is another friend that has excepted me for me....faults and all. She offers unconditional love and friendship and after talking with her in NY about what it meant to be saved I quietly in my personal time cried out to the Lord and said, "Father God, all of these people you have brought into my life recently, they all have one common thread...You! I want the same love, grace, mercy, FORGIVENESS, passion....I want You." Becky has nurtured my spiritual growth in ways she probably doesn't even realize and I love her more than she could ever know!

5. Hottie Hubby. Hands down, most likely the MOST influential person in my life. Mark is my gentile giant. Quiet in his ways, he comforts me in his mere presence. My love for him is pure and complete, and the happiness he brings into my life on a daily basis is like nothing I ever imagined I could have. Mark gives me the freedom to be me, in all my quirks, pouts, mistakes.....and my glory  :) Mark is the reason that I confidence and my strengths come from him.

6. Kris Crawford. Kris Crawford is a young lady (younger than me) who I go to church with. She doesn't know me well at all. Honestly, I don't know Kris all that well. Roughly six years ago I met Kris in a business meeting at a local bank. She was introduced to me as the Graphic Designer for the bank and I was meeting with the marketing director, selling advertising services. Kris came into the meeting with a notepad and sat across from me. Kris is quiet...and strikingly beautiful. Kris has the sort of face that brings peace and comfort to others. I remember sitting across from Kris and studying her demeanor...gentle. I glanced at her notepad and saw that she had drawn a cross, circled by birds. There was a Bible verse written at the bottom of the page....I looked at my notebook, circles, triangles, a flower and the scribblings of various notes from a previous meeting. I looked at Kris and I thought, "I would like to have a friend like Kris, but I could never be Kris's friend....I'm not good enough." In that moment Kris looked across the table and smiled at was a smile that would stay with me for a very long time....a smile that I needed in the particular moment. I walked away from that meeting thinking that I would like to be someone that can make others feel as good as Kris Crawford had made me feel in that very maybe I was worthy. I now see God's plan...and looking back I smile at His awesome and AMAZING ways. Kris and her husband Brooks attend the same church that my husband and I do. Occasionally Kris's husband leads worship and I've have the opportunity to worship with him. I've gotten to know Kris just a tiny bit more than that first meeting so many years ago...what I have learned is that she is kind, extremely talented, warm, faithful, devoted, pure....influential. Kris inspires me to expand my faith to new boundaries! She inspires me to smile more!

7. My step-dad. My step-dad came into my life when I was eight years old. He was my mother's "Prince Charming," having come in on a white horse, scooping my mother, my brother and me up and all of us riding off into the sunset. Of course, it wasn't that fact, it was painful. My brother and I rebelled as many "step-children" do. But my step-dad loved us unconditionally. My brother and I were never introduced as "step-children," but rather, "my children." My step-dad met every date I ever had, bought every formal dress for every dance, attended every cheerleading competition, applauded and whistled at every piano and voice concert...he was my rock, my strength and my dad. More recently my step-dad has taught me the meaning of faithfulness no matter what....he suffers from MS and no matter how much pain he is in, no matter how much "life" is taken from him...he continues to give praise to God. He trusts in the Lord's plan for him. He is comforted in knowing that one day he will be called home to be with our Lord and Savior. My step-dad is incredible.

8. "The Tuesday Night Club." Ha! The Tuesday Night Club is from YEARS grandparents and their group of lifelong friends would meet one night a week (you guessed it, on Tuesday nights) for dinner. Fellowship, laughter, political arguments, tears, support, comfort....they were valuable friends. Little did this group know how much influence they had in teaching me the importance and worthiness of friendship!

9. Lana Patterson. Lana was my very best friend in childhood. We were born within five months of one another, our mothers were friends, we lived fairly close to one another (close enough that we spend each and every day of our lives together) and we were in the same first grade class together at West Elementary School. Lana had leukemia. She was very ill and often are times together were spent in her home while she lay on the couch and I sat with her, watching cartoons. Lana had lost all of her hair due to chemo and she wore a wig. One day at school, Lana and I were playing on the monkey bars, hanging upside down, our arms swinging free, legs hooked over the bars, blood rushing to our cheeks. We were full of laughter, simply enjoying the of the other girls in our first grade class came running by where we were playing and she grabbed the wig off of Lana's head and ran across the playground, waving the Lana's wig in the air, poking fun of Lana's bald head. I immediately jumped off the monkey bars and ran over to Lisa Robinett, who was standing in the middle of the playground, twirling a baton. I grabbed the baton from Lisa's hands and I chased the little girl that had Lana's wig....catching up with her, I took the baton and swiftly hit her over the head, grabbed the wig and took it back to Lana. Of course I got into BIG trouble....but it was worth it. I had Lana's back....all the time. Unfortunately Lana passed away a few months after that. We were seven years old. In the short time I knew and loved Lana she taught me about taking life as it is and running carefree with it. No matter what the circumstances are, they can always be worse. Always hold your head up high and fight for what you cherish!

10. Jesus Christ. No explanation needed.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


30 day challenge, Question #8: "What are 5 passions you have?"

pas·sion [pash-uhn]
1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

That is a pretty "passionate" definition!! ;)

This post was fairly simple for me...I'm a very passionate person. A lot of that comes from my dramatic personality...also my addictive obsessive personality.... I starting to sound scary?  :)

Along with the definition, when I discover something that I like, I develop strong amorous feelings towards it...a desire to know more, a compelling emotion that creates a strong craving within!

Five PASSIONS of mine:

1. Christ, my Lord & Savior. He has risen and the same power which raised Him raises me. Because He lives I have eternal, abundant and glorious life in the Lord! I am coming to know that God really shines through me in my brokenness. When I allow him to repair, mend and mold me, I begin to become who intended me to be!
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. " ~ Philippians: 3: 10-12

2. Family. As a Mom, I have a long list of mistakes that I have made. Everything from my personal blunders to parenting blunders. I did not become a follower of Jesus until I was an adult, so that left a lot of time for wandering around lost in childhood. That being said, I do not want the same for my children and I am more aware of the value of time spent with my husband and children. It is very important to me (and my husband) that we teach our children the importance of knowing Christ, the fulfillment there is in developing a relationship with Him. My passions in family time are the giggles, the smiles, the cuddles, the scripture we read together and the memories we create each and every day!

3. Journaling. I've been journaling for roughly ten years. It began as an exercise that my therapist wanted me to do...."Every night before you go to bed I want you to write about your day. It can be a sentence, a paragraph or a novel if you need it to be...just write your thoughts." I did just that. Each night as I sat in my bed, side table light glowing, I wrote. Sometimes it was just a sentence or two. Other times it was four to five pages simply depended on my day. After a few years I began to journal my past. Events, good and bad that I felt were important for me to record. Three years ago I began this blog; however the blog has not taken the place of my old fashioned paper and pen. I have countless notebooks, some are spiral bound, some are leather, others are paperback...ten years of my memories, thoughts, advice, prayers.....all tucked away in a safe spot for my children to read some day.

4. Music. I come from a musical family. Both my mother and my father sing. I have an aunt that is a professional gospel singer. Growing up, my dream was to become a Broadway performer. I took piano and voice lessons for twelve years! I participated in all the school musicals, as well as some of the community theatre musicals. Music is all around me! Every song that I hear has a memory woven into the notes. I can listen to music and feel so many emotions, often becoming overwhelmed in the beauty of the melodies. I have become especially passionate towards the music we play during worship. I have found that the words, the melody, the all plays an iatrical part in hearing God's voice.

5. Cleaning! I know....c-r-a-z-y! Not to me! I LOVE to clean! Cleaning is a release for me. I take pride in my home and all that I have worked for within my home and keeping it clean comes naturally for me. I love the smell of Comet, bleach, laundry detergents, Windex, Pledge.....ahhhhhhhhh......the sound of the broom bristles across my ceramic tile in the kitchen, the steam pockets that emerge from my hardwood floor steamer....the vacuum......I LOVE IT ALL!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thirty...Dream Job...

30 day challenge, Question #7: "What is your dream job, and why?"

Without sounding like a complete brown nose...I actually have my dream job! I am a print marketing and mailing consultant with Modern Litho-Print and Brown Printing. I sell printing. I help businesses create marketing pieces from conception to design to printing and mailing the piece (if the client wants to mail it).

I absolutely LOVE my job! I love the daily challenges in prospecting (looking for new business/clients), the ever-evolving education within the printing industry AND part of my selling "territory" is NEW YORK CITY!! 

...but I would have to say that my FAVORITE part of my job is the people that I work with and for!! The people that I work for are the very people that play a HUGE role in my salvation. These people are the epitome of who Christians are...loving, graceful, merciful, forgiving, hard-working, trustworthy and full of passion for Christ! Everything they are and do reflects in the success of the company!

I'm living, er...working, the dream baby!  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thirty...Life's Hardships...

30 day challenge, Question #6: "What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?"

We may wonder why God allows us to be subjected to certain trials, hardships and suffering. But it is in those trials that God comforts us. It is in the trials and hardships that we can choose to draw closer to God and can experience His peace knowing no matter what, He knows and is still in control!

That being said, I still struggle in my daily life and I have experienced many hardships/trials. Most recently I experienced the death of my younger brother, my only full blood sibling. I am not sure that I can properly put into words exactly how horrifying, shocking and damaging the sudden loss of my brother had on my heart...but I can say that one of the blessings about becoming a Christian is that I have a hope that non-believers don't have when it comes to death. I have a very specific promise when it comes to eternity and believing in Jesus Christ, and because of that promise I believe that I was and am able to better shoulder the burden and grief of my brothers passing.

Within my brother’s death, I believe that the heaviest sorrow for me was seeing my brother in death. Does that make sense? Standing over my brother’s lifeless and cold body as he laid on the hospital bed, his hospital gown neatly tied and smoothed across his body. The thin, white covers evened across his lower half, his hands placed by his side. There was a ventilation tube coming from his mouth which the doctors could not remove until after the autopsy. His eyes were not shut all the way and his face was pale and rough where his facial whiskers had been neglected for several days. He looked bloated and his hair was unruly around his swollen face. I specifically remember his right foot peeking out from the bottom of the covers…I gently caressed the top of his foot and tugged the corner of the blanket over his big toe. I smiled at the thought of his big feet, remembering how difficult it was for him to find a decent and affordable pair of size sixteen shoes….no longer would that be a concern. I sat at the edge of his bed and I laid my head next to his chest and I wept. I didn’t want to look at his face, it wasn’t how I wanted to remember him….but I couldn’t help but lightly stroke his cheek and quietly whisper to him how much I loved him. I struggle with that being the last vision I have of my brother.

I literally did not sleep for the first four to six months after my brother passed...I was afraid to close my eyes because when I did, I saw him lying in that hospital bed. I was emotionally exhausted, but at the same time forcing myself to be strong and stable for my mother's sake. I suppressed my sorrow deep within my soul...

... My husband begged me to seek help, to find someone to talk to. I had finally been beaten down by weariness and agreed to see a grief counselor, but I have found that prayer has been what has helped me to sleep, prayer has been my comfort, understanding.

But I am still flesh...therefore, I still struggle. I still have nights where I am afraid to close my eyes. I still have days where I am frantic for the answer to my question of "Why?"...days were I am so overwhelmed by the ache of missing my brother, his contagious laughter, his humor and his silliness.

Friday, April 6, 2012


30 day challenge, Question #5: "What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?"

I have A LOT of happiness in my life and right now the top five things that make me happy are:

1. Truth. As a Christian I posses the Truth in my heart. Walking beside Christ has helped me to better deal with struggles/worries, allowing me to be "happy" a majority of the time!

2. Friends. Honestly, I could go on and on about the AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL people that God has placed in my life...especially recently. He knows exactly what I need and He has provided through the blessings of friendships. I am surrounded by incredible Godly women that I absolutely adore!

3. My boys. My three, precious and gorgeous boys. Of course, there are days that I want to get in my car and drive far, far away from my boys....but I love them so very much and they bring me an immense amount of love and happiness.

4. My hottie hubby. I don't want to brag...yes I do....I have the most AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, HUNKY, HOTTIE, LOVING, STRONG, GODLY, TRUTHFUL, TRUSTWORTHY, GENTLE, HUMOROUS, MERCIFUL, INTELLIGENT, DEDICATED, HUMBLE, RESPONSIBLE and PASSIONATE husband EVER! I love him with every cell in my body!

5. My church. I cannot tell you enough how important finding a church and church family has been to me...not only me, but my family. We joined Memorial Baptist Church three years ago and it was absolutely one of the best decisions we have ever made. I adore our Pastor, the music helps me to hear God and to PRAISE God, the staff is dedicated and the members are loving, kind and GRACIOUS! I love, love, love my church!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thirty...Sixteen Again...

30 day challenge, Question #4: "List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could"

I'd like to begin by saying that I wish I could be 16 years old again! Oh the days of no worries...

*As a side note, four days before my 16th birthday my youngest sister was born. Brendan (who just celebrated her 22nd birthday!) was born with a heart defect, a collapsed lung, both legs were broken and she was life flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital. Certainly this was not how anyone expected her birth to play out...

...I'll save the rest of that story for another post.

So, I'm my thirty-something self and I have an opportunity to tell my sixteen year old self 10 things...

I would say: (dear mother, I apologize ahead of time...some of these may shock you, disappoint you, disgust you...but I have to be honest...)

1. Hangovers are so overrated. Ugh....I'm ashamed to say that my first experience with alcohol (and a hangover) was at the tender age of 16. I stayed overnight at a party with my best friend (of course both our parents were told that we were staying the night at another friend's house....our parents knew nothing about a party) and Purple Passion was the drink of the night! A bottomless cup of Purple Passion sent me into a drunken stupor and the next day I paid for it....

2. Drop the bag of Cheetos....that hot 'Victoria Secret' body of yours will be replaced with the body of Rosanne Barr. Start eating healthy now! Do NOT brag about how you can "eat whatever I want and I don't gain weight..."'s there honey, trust me!

3. Be nice to EVERYONE...especially the nerds. Believe me when I say it WILL come back to bite you in the butt. Besides, you'll end up marrying one!  ;)

4. DO NOT....I REPEAT, DO NOT listen to your "friends" that will dare you to run out on the football field during the homecoming football game in your skimpy cheerleading uniform WITHOUT underwear or WILL get caught by the coach and you WILL be in a world of trouble...and even though it will feel like it was totally worth it, it isn't. And too will come back to bite you in the butt later in life.

5. Driving isn't nearly as exciting as you think it gets really old... And when you become a mother you take on the role of taxi stinks.

6. Ask your parents to show you how to put gas in your car. Trust me, it will be really embarrassing at the age of twenty-one to ask your boss to show you how to fill up your tank.

7. Seriously....stop obsessing about boys. Who cares who your date to prom will certainly will not matter when you are paying the bills at the age of twenty-one because you are living on your own after flunking out of college and your parents have "given up" on you. Focus on school...use your full potential.

8. You are not going to marry your high school sweetheart...yes, you may think you are "in love" but you really don't know what "love" is right now. Your self-reasoning of "I'm going to marry him, so it's okay to have sex with him..." will create a plethora of problems for you. Get your hormones in check and wait until you are married!

9. When your parents give you the opportunity to gain trust with them and they leave you for the weekend at home with the keys to the suburban but tell you that you may "only use the car for an emergency".....your parents definition of an "emergency" is NOT to gather six of your closest friends and tepee the house of the girl that dared to flirt with your boyfriend. You WILL get caught...not only by your parents, but by the police...oh yeah, and DO NOT try to outrun the cops...the law ALWAYS wins.

10. Do not run home after school to get the mail before your mother gets home. Even though you beat your parents to the mailbox and were able to pull out your mid-term grade card that had several "C's" and "D's", you will still get will not take your parents long to figure out that you burned the grade card after they see the giant burn mark in the carpet of your bedroom.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thirty...Parent/Child Relationship

30 day challenge, Question #3: "Describe your relationship with your parents."

I would describe my relationship with my parents as abstruse. “Complex” seems to be a good word to describe my life in general, so it only makes sense that my relationships tend to follow suit…

I use the word abstruse to describe my relationship with my parents because there has been a lot of back and forth, and of course with each parent there is a different dynamic.

My parents divorced when I was seven. Both my mother and my father remarried when I was nine. I was raised by two sets of parents; two “mothers” and two “fathers.” Truthfully I was not an easy child to raise…I know, you are shocked…I’m so easy to manage now  :)

Growing up my relationship with my mother was fierce…we argued constantly. My relationship with my step-father was strained…I overused the saying, “You are not my real father, and I don’t have to do what you say.” My relationship with my biological father was unbalanced, as my brother and I only saw him once a week and every other weekend if he wasn’t traveling for work. My relationship with my step-mom was distorted; my opinion of her was based on overheard conversations and bitterness.

After leaving my parents’ home and experiencing life on my own, the influences of the bond between my parents and I began to change. I married, had a child and then divorced. Experiencing divorce as an adult and in my own failed marriage was much different than how I had endured divorce as a seven year old. A deep and rooted anger and hatred began to rise within me. Jealousy consumed me and the once tolerable relationship with my biological father started to become intolerable. I think for the first time I realized just how damaging divorce can be…especially as I watched my then fifteen month old son being passed back and forth between his mother’s home and his father’s home…the confusion on his sweet little face. The questions I had as a seven year old watching her father walk away began to surface…”Why did my daddy leave? Why can’t we be a family? What did I do wrong?”

Whereas the relationship with my biological father had capsized, the love and respect towards my step-father began to float to the surface of my heart. As a twenty-something single mother I suddenly had the ability to look back and see how my step-father had come into my life and loved me despite the fact that I wasn’t his own. He offered an unconditional love, something I wasn’t familiar with and didn’t recognize until I had matured.

My mother and I had finally gotten past the point of mindless arguments over makeup, boys, clothing and people I had chosen to associate with…my teenage years were long gone and we were able to move forward into a woman to woman/mother to daughter relationship. Of course with any relationship, we still have our struggles.

Today, I am a thirty-something mother of three boys, a wife to an incredible and strong husband and a new Christian, stumbling in my faith walk but always aware that Christ is my Savior and my strength…

Along the path of my faith journey I have come to realize that the one facet that lacks within our family is boundaries. I am learning that boundaries are vital for people who desire to have Godly, healthy relationships. It’s frustrating to know that if I had known the importance of having boundaries…if WE (my entire family) had known the importance of boundaries…it could have changed the whole trajectory of my life!

…Throughout the years there are many words I could have used to describe my relationship with my parents; dependent, fatigued, damaged, egocentric, loving, nurturing



..I would describe my relationship with my biological father and my step-mother as on the path towards healing…

…my relationship with my step-father…rewarding.

…my relationship with my mother…blossoming each day

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Continuing on with my 30 day blogging challenge...

Question #2: "Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears."

(I am going to go a step further in my answers by sharing with you how I deal with my fears...)

Wikipedia defines "Fear" as a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger.

When I think of the word "Fear" I think "entrapment" and "consumed"...

I would love to answer this question and say, "Fear? I fear nothing! I laugh in the face of fear! I fear only my God in that He is my disciplinarian...I fear failing Him."

But the truth is that I fear many things.

Cancer...that is a legitimate fear of mine, and rightly so if I do say so myself. After all, I have battled cancer on SEVEN different occasions. I have also been surrounded by cancer within my family, with the outcome of death in more than one case. Cancer is an ugly disease and because cancer has "consumed" and "trapped" me in the past, I have a fear that it will be my demise. How do I deal with my fear of cancer? To begin, you should know that I don't really "deal" with any of my fears, meaning that I still harbor fear...I am not "cured" of fear. BUT...I do have the ability within my fears to "Be still and know that He is God..." ~Psalm 46:10 (my favorite verse). When I feel fear rising within me I pray...

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~John 14:27

Losing control...another legitimate fear. Don't we all fear losing control? Are we not all control freaks? I think my need to be in control stems from my parents' divorce. I was seven years old and I can specifically remember feeling like life as I knew it was spinning, spiraling downwards into a deep, dark hole. I felt alone, I was afraid, confusion circled around me...I was out of control. When I think back I believe that in those moments I clung to false beliefs that if I had control nothing bad would ever happen. Years later, as a Christian, I have learned that when you  give God control, you are accepting the truth. The truth that you cannot do anything without Christ! The Lord wants to use me and He has a plan for my life...

Don't laugh at my last fear...and in all honesty and sincerity, I mean no disrespect....

I have a fear of midgets. Seriously, I fear "little people." I know exactly where this legitimate fear stems from...the movie "Foul Play" starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn circa 1978. I was four years old. The movie has an albino man and a midget and the midget FREAKED me out. He wasn't even a mean midget...he was just a salesman, but Goldie Hawn's character was frightened of him...and so was I. If I encounter a midget or even see a midget from afar, I become frozen in fear. How do I deal with my fear of midgets? I don't. I honestly cannot find anything biblical that will help me not be afraid of midgets. I can't even find a midget in the Bible....because that might help...not really.

Three legitimate fears. Three "perceived" threats, as the definition states...

I have to say that coming up with just three was really difficult...

...I could go on and on if we could list things like spiders, snakes, cockroaches, worms, monkeys that have pink bottoms, water that I can't see through, tornados, birds and squirrels.

Oh yeah, and balloons. Balloons frighten me, but that's a-whole-nother post.

Monday, April 2, 2012


My dear friend and fellow blogger, "Sewing For Him" began a fun adventure in the blogging world with a 30 day challenge! I wanted to follow suit and so I begin my 30 day challenge today. Here is how it works:

Each day for thirty days there is a topic presented. I will submit a blog entry on the topic given for that day. The topics are:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Let's get started with topic #1:  List 20 random facts about yourself.

I've done several "random facts" about myself on this blog, so I'm not sure there is too much you don't already know...

1. I have a newly developed obsession for pistachio nuts! I have a 3 lb. bag sitting on my desk at work and I snack on them all day long! I can't get enough! Are they healthy??? Please say yes...

2. If I have a Big Mac from McDonald's, I eat the meat and condiments only. I remove the bread (3 slices) and eat the non-cheesy hamburger patty with the special sauce, then I eat the cheesy hamburger patty with the special sauce, lettuce and pickles. Hottie Hubby refers to it as the ‘Big Mac autopsy’. I’ve been doing this since I was old enough to order a Big Mac. And for all of you wondering what happens to the bread...hottie hubby eats it.

3. I love watching the show "Snapped"...true stories about women that go crazy (hence the "snapped") and murder their husbands or the harlots that are sleeping with their husbands. Hottie hubby says that it scares him that I am so interested and wants to know if I am plotting something...he is convinced if I murder him I would get away with it.

4. I eat cake batter. No, I don’t mean that I lick the beaters and the spatula, I mean…I put a cupcake’s worth into a bowl and munch on it while the cake bakes.

5. I never graduated from college. It wouldn't take much for me to get my degree but then I look at my sister and think, "nah....I'm good." My sister graduated top of her class with a degree in journalism/marketing. She teaches yoga....and she is STILL making student loan payments seven years later. ....I'm very happy and secure in my job and I make more than my mother...who has been teaching for almost 40 years!

6. I first shaved my legs when I was 10 years old and my mother went CRAZY! I was staying the night with my friend, Missy Dallmeyer and her mother let her shave her legs. I tried it...and honestly I didn't do too bad. My mom freaked out and I wasn't allowed to shave my legs again until I was 16...that is child abuse if you ask me. On my 16th birthday I shaved my legs and when I was finished it looked like a scene from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"!! I still have a scar on my right leg...

7. I own roughly 200 pairs of shoes., obviously I have a shoe fetish!

8. Hottie hubby and I began Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace" two years ago and it's the BEST thing we have ever done for our financial situation AND our marriage. Sadly, my shoe fetish has been dramatically reigned in...

9. I am obsessed with Broadway Musicals. I dream of being in "Wicked" and when nobody is home I blast the soundtrack and put on my best performance for my pretend audience.

10. I have a very addictive personality...meaning that I when I find something I like, I cling to it...I become obsessed with it (just look through my list so far and count how many times I've used the word "obsessed" or "fetish")...this goes for, material objects, people....

12. I have roughly 15 books that are sitting next to my bed waiting for me to read...and yet I buy a new book at least once every two weeks. It's sad....or maybe an "obsession"....  ;)

13. If I could go back into time and "rename" myself...I would choose the name "Elise" after The Sound of Music....and then I would want to dance and sing about being 16 going on 17 in my father's gazebo with a cute boy...

14. I hate driving and will physically pull my body inwards when trying to fit through a small space while I "oooooohhhhhh" and "aaaaaahhhhhh." I also duck when I go under low bridges and can be found gripping the seat and trying to put my foot through the floor to find an imaginary brake pedal on the passenger side when my Husband is driving.

15. I recently had a conversation with a coworker about a scary movie (Paranormal Activity) and that night I literally had to run as fast as I could from my bedroom light switch to my bed, jumping on the bed like I was 5 and scurrying under the covers, pulling them tight against my chin....what?! I didn't want the boogie monster to get me.....

16. I would love to be an OB/Delivery nurse.

17. I love reality's smutty and SO entertaining!

18. My hair has been every color of the rainbow....or at least it seems like it. I'm not really sure what my natural hair color is anymore....

19. I cheat when I play scrabble against my computer....and I'm convinced the computer cheats too.

20. I've worn glasses since I was four years old. My left eye is a lazy eye. My step-dad used to say, "it's not your fault that your left eye is attracted to your right eye!" And even when I'm wearing my glasses, if I'm really tired, my lazy eye will begin to roll in.....