Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What A Great Year!

I can't believe how quickly this year went by. So, many wonderful things happened this year. Dreams were realized, fears were overcome and friends were made. I love the fact that as I look back on this year, I can't find any negatives. I know they exist, but they are overshadowed by all the good. I am humbled by the people that came into my life and said that I helped them through a hard time or that I posted a quote that they needed that day. I am also thankful for the many people that touched me so deeply with their kindness. 2013 has shown me how you truly can make a difference when you try and dwell on peace, goodness and light.

Don't get me wrong, my husband will confirm that I am still my same old anxiety ridden, nervous semi-agoraphobic self. I haven't reached nirvana yet. Very far from it, in fact. However, I now know that when you really try to find peace within and focus on helping others, a change does happen. I experienced things this year that I could only have dreamed of last year. So, guess what? I plan on dreaming even bigger and better things for 2014. I hope the New Year brings us all closer to things that excite our souls. May we live each day to the fullest and find peace within. Thank you for checking out my blog in 2013. Let's do it again, real soon. One more thing, I have decided not to make a resolution for the coming New Year. I have decided to give myself a theme.

My Theme for the New Year is: LIMITLESS

"The sky is not the limit. The universe in its' vast, infinite state is where our dreams should lie. Ever growing, evolving, adding layers upon layers of just how far we can go. Be limitless, always." Jocelyn A Dorsey"



Peace and Love 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Gunther Chronicles....continued

       


       A few months ago, I thought I would be writing the final chapter in the Gunther saga. Little did I know that Gunther would once again take center stage, but this time ON TV!! If you remember, Gunther had pulled me down the last time I walked him and I busted up my knee pretty bad. Because of this, my husband had agreed that maybe we should find Gunther a new home. I know he didn't want to get rid of him but,he was getting dismayed that Gunther had become so large and powerful, that no one else in the house could walk him except for him. And, Gunther was now so protective of us that he didn't like anyone outside of the house.    


     This is where the story gets kinda weird. I had written a letter to Steve Harvey about how my wanting to find Gunther a new home and Paul's not wanting to, was causing some stress. However, right after that, things started to shift. I realized that Gunther had no idea of his power and strength and when I looked in his eyes, I could tell how much he loved us. I felt so bad. But, at that point, I still thought it was better if we found him a new family. The search began. There was no shortage of people that wanted to take him. There was even a guy that wanted to drive all the way from Georgia to get him. I thought we had found the right family in downstate Illinois, but each time, it was me that found the reason not to give him up. I told my husband, that maybe we needed to find him a trainer. But, we worried that we wouldn't able to afford the cost of training with a son getting ready for college. Everyday our thoughts switched back and forth about what would be the right thing to do for our family AND for Gunther.


       Weeks went by and we still hadn't found the right family. At least not in my eyes. Not that they weren't good people, but we wondered if Gunther would accept the change. He was only used to us and I remembered his vet telling us a while back that Mastiffs get depressed when they think their owners aren't coming back. The thought of that happening to him really was working on me. There is no way he would understand why we had left him. Anyway, around this same time the Steve Harvey Show called us and said our story was interesting that they wanted us on the show with Gunther! WHAT!!!? I mean, I know I wrote in but, I guess I never thought they would actually call us back. Well, they did and we were headed to the show. I was thinking, "Whew, glad we didn't give him up"! Not because of the show, but because maybe they could help us somehow.

       
      The day of the taping came and we were a bundle of nerves, but once we got past traveling with Gunther, getting him in and out of his crate, in and out of elevators and around tons of people wanting to see his massiveness, everything went pretty smooth. The surprise was that we were given a year of training for him. WOW! Prayer answered. A real professional trainer for Gunther. The only thought that popped in my head was, "No way he's leaving us now"! I guess that is why none of those people seemed right. Because they aren't his family. We are! He is still a hulking, slobbering giant that no one can walk but my husband. But, he is also a sweet lovable big baby, that with proper training will be even better. They say things happen for a reason. I guess they do. At least with Gunther they did. Benji the poodle isn't really happy Gunther is sticking around, but he'll get over it.



     

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I love free stuff!!!



I never knew how many wonderful products you could get for free through the internet, when I first started surfing the web. I soon found out that their are tons companies that love to send out sample and full sized products for potential consumers to try out. Through these samples, I have discovered a lot of new products that have become my favorites. It is a great way to "try before you buy". There is a great site that I use to obtain samples called, Influenster. www.Influenster.com That is the one I want to tell you about today. When you sign up with them, they send you free, full and trial sized samples of many different products for you to try out, keep and share your experiences about. Not long ago, I received a box from Influenster. They called it the #RoseVoxBox. Inside this box was Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle, Dr. Scholl's for her Cozy Cushion Insoles, Rimmel-London-Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara, Belvita Crunch Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits and Kiss Gradiation nail polish. These were all great products! I really enjoyed using the nail polish and it was perfect timing for the cozy cushion insoles. They helped keep my feet extra warm in my boots. I had to hide my Lindor Truffle from my children. I saved it for a special occasion called, "their bedtime"!  I use mascara a lot when I work so this Rimmel Scandaleyes really was perfect. I have my hands in water a lot, so I do't always take the time to pamper my nails. The Kiss Gradiation polish was really cool. It was a way to create different looks and layers with the different polishes. I had tried the Belvita breakfast biscuits before, but not the blueberry flavor. I thought it was really tasty and I keep a box on hand for when I am rushing out the door. Not every box from Influenster comes chocked full. Usually it is just one item at a time.

So while you're on the information super highway, be on the look out for some freebies along the way. And, check out Influenster.com while you're at it. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Holidays are upon us

 





   I can't believe that the Holidays are upon us again. This year has flown by. Since I last posted on my blog, a lot has been going on. We still have our giant dog, Gunther (more on that in an upcoming post), and we have been going through the college application process with our son lately. Let me tell you, that is not a very pleasant experience. I liken it to purchasing a home. Cost as much or more, but you have to come up with more money quicker and the mortgage is a heck of a lot shorter. We are in, "praying for scholarship money", mode. Because all the colleges he is interested in, haven't offered him any scholarships and all the schools he could care less about attending have offered him "full ride" scholarships. It is maddening, I tell you. I am so happy that we won't have to go through this again for a least another 6-7 years.


   I have also been having some health issues lately.I switched hospitals and they are running every test that can be run on a person. It is pretty stressful, but I am thankful that at least it seems I have some doctors that are trying to help me feel better. Of course when you start digging, sometimes you find things you didn't want to find. More about that later also.

 
   On a lighter note. I am fixing Thanksgiving dinner this year. Even though this in itself is not news, I am excited about it because I am making the turkey and I never make the turkey. My mom always makes it. I really wanted to give her a break and make the meal.She will be adding a few dishes, but the bulk of the meal will be made by yours truly. I am enlisting the help of my husband and sons to get everything done. That should be fun. We are celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday this year because my hubby has to work on Thursday. I am starting to prep my dishes starting this Saturday so I don't stress myself out too much. I am making Turkey, Dressing, Mac and Cheese, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and some Cakes and Pies.

  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When your children are smarter than you...



I was thinking about the many conversations that I have with my sons and sometimes, I swear they are smarter than me. I mean not in terms of parenting or guiding them on their journey to adulthood. But, academically they know a heck of alot more than me at times. My 11 year old son used the word, "crestfallen" yesterday to describe how he had been feeling earlier in the day. I smiled, said I was glad he was feeling better and quietly "googled" the word, "crestfallen". They do this to me quite often. Their extensive vocabulary has me doing double takes every other day. I must admit, I am spending more time lately brushing up on my vocabulary to keep up with them. Just the other day, I stopped off at a Teacher's store to get them a poster to help them use more descriptive words when they write. I ended up using it to help myself. I won't even get into Math. They may as well be speaking Russian with a Chinese dialect. My teenaged son who is awesome in Math, used to quiz the two younger boys on math questions and I would be just smiling and nodding my head. But mostly I was thinking, "what the heck are they talking about"?  I could jump in on a few of the questions,(the really easy ones) but for the most part, I was on the sidelines. Now the young ones quiz each other. Same thing when it comes to Chess. I never learned how to play it and when they have conversations about it, I am lost.

Bet you're wondering how I homeschool aren't you? Me too.....me too.

Language Arts and Literature were always my strong points. I enjoy Science but Math has never been a friend of mine and I am so happy my husband is good at it and willing to teach our two youngest boys.

While writing this blog today, I realized that I don't ever remember helping my teenage son do his homework. As an elementary school student, he never needed my help. And when he went to highschool, I never understood any of his assignments.

Let me stop writing now, I am really starting to feel like my brain is liquefying.I think I need to go read an Encyclopedia or watch Jeopardy or something. Maybe if I start now, I will be ready for, grandchildren. 10 years should be enough time to prepare.........I hope. Maybe 20 years would be better.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another Year Without Her

My Angel, Camara (October 2, 1999-November 18, 1999)
Today would have been my only daughter, Camara's 14th birthday. But I can't celebrate it with her. In fact, I never got to celebrate any birthdays with her because she died when she was only 7 weeks old. Camara was a beautiful chubby cheeked, 8lb 9oz blessing from God. She was my 1st and only daughter after having my two oldest sons. We were so excited to have a daughter. I had had a rough pregnancy and even her birth was traumatic. During one of the checks to see if I was dilating properly, the doctor was able to feel Camara's hand. On top of that, she was actually holding her umbilical cord and it was starting to come out. Or course, that led to an emergency c-section. She was delivered safely and she seemed healthy at the time. We brought her home a few days later to start our lives as a family of 5. I was battling a post-partum infection when Camara took ill at 3 weeks of age. We rushed her to the emergency room and by the time we passed her off to the triage nurse she had fallen into a coma. She was transferred to a different hospital where a team of doctors rushed passed us as my husband and I sat dumbfounded. This couldn't be happening to our family. After a few hours, the tests were conclusive. Group B Strep meningitis. At the time, the hospital where I received my pre-natal care didn't routinely test for this. If they had , they may have been able to prevent this. Camara spent 4 weeks in the hospital. I spent it next to her in a daze. She died in my arms November 18th, 1999 with her dad by our side. There is so much more to the story, but I don't really want to feel all of that today. Today I would just like to remember how she felt, how she smelled and how much I loved her. Happy Birthday Camara Sabreen. You will never be forgotten.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Evening

The rest of my day was very uneventful. Not usual for my household. I really didn't do much but relax today. I didn't even cook dinner. That's right!! I did NOT cook dinner. I let the boys fend for themselves and none of them starved. I did put together salads for myself and my two youngest boys, but those other have to step up. The day has come to a close.  Ky and MJ are done reading and I just finished saying evening prayers with them.We had a good talk tonight about being thankful for the many blessings that we have.Those little guys of mine are amazing! We have some of the best conversations at night, when I come in and sit on the edge of Ky's bed. We talk about some of everything. One night I am going to have to record one of our many talks. They inspire me quite often.

So, the house is almost quiet. My oldest is in his room playing a video game as usual. The teen is supposed to be getting his clothes ironed so he won't have to do it when he wakes up (hopefully not late) in the morning. I am winding down myself and that usually means getting in bed, saying prayers and meditations, telling myself I am going to sleep and then watching HGTV until it goes off the air around 3 a.m.. I don't stay up that late every night and I hope I don't tonight because the boys and I have lessons in the morning. Let me tell lack of sleep and dealing with children that have had a full, good night's sleep really don't mix. There is not enough coffee in the world to help me. So, let me end this blog for the night and get myself into sleep mode. I have been kinda tired all day and even tried to take a nap, but I couldn't fall asleep. Nothing a trip to the Bahamas, lulled to sleep by the ocean can't fix.

The night is peaceful. A finish to the day. The crickets sing their lullabies and tell me they will keep watch until the day is new. Sleep well, good people. Peace and Blessings. 

The Morning






Good Morning. I stayed up this after my husband left for his 24 hour shift. The house was so quiet I wanted to enjoy it while I could. A slight breeze came through a few windows. I opened them all. I looked outside and the birds were all there waiting to be fed. I let Benji stroll around in the yard while I poured the seed into the feeders. The sky is heavy and grey, but the sight of the birds and the sounds of their songs lifted the residual sleep from my brain and any gloominess from my spirit. Sparrows, morning doves, purple-headed grackles, goldfinches, green monk parrots all vocalizing at the same time. I was transported to a tropical rainforest for a few moments, a smile came across my face. I snapped myself back to reality and decided to make a cup of my favorite pomegranate green tea. I sat close enough to the window to continue listening to the choir of birds. An extreme moment of silence came through for a moment. No birds, no cars, just silence.. I took that moment to give my thanks to God for another day. With my tea steeping next to me, I began to write. I knew this day was starting out to be a good.
.


to be continued............

Saturday, September 7, 2013

GET UP

It has been a few days since I had the chance to post. I have been trying to immerse myself and the boys back into homeschool mode. Made it through week one, but it wasn't easy. None of us was quite ready to get into lessons. That is one of the pleasures of homeschooling though. When the energy levels are low, you can always take a break and regroup. Of course, taking too many breaks can lead to a total lack of motivation and loss of brain cells. I am talking about me of course. I think the fact that Summer break felt like it was only 2 weeks long instead of 2 months had a lot to do with that.  And, we also didn't get out and do much of anything. No trips to the zoos or amusement parks. I spent most of this Summer planning things to do and places to go without ever doing any of them. We did have one great trip to the Aquarium, but that was about it. I need to start doing more of the things I say I am going to do. It is just so hard for me sometimes. I was telling my mother that, my husband and I were invited to go out on his co-workers boat for a couples get together. I was super geeked to go for about 5 minutes and then the gravitational pull of my butt to my couch took over and my interest quickly waned.  My usual excuse is that I am tired. I use this excuse quite often actually. It has kept me from weddings, parties, baby showers, etc... It even keeps me from conducting homeschool the way I want too. I have all these great ideas and fantastic lessons plans, but somewhere between my brain and the actual implementation of those ideas, something goes all wrong. I'll get back to this in a minute..........

I was in a seriously funky mood last week. I think getting pulled down and banging my knee really affected me more than I thought it did. I was upset, that I wasn't healing as fast as I thought I should, that my body hurt as much as it did and that I couldn't move around. I let all that and some other stuff pile up and just start an avalanche of negative energy that took me over. It got so bad that a woman I respect very deeply, send me a message that only had two words in it. She said simply, "GET UP!" Those two little words slapped me awake. I said them over and over to myself and stopped feeling sorry for myself. I got up, worked in my garden and started to feel a little better. I began meditating and praying and counting all of my blessings and I felt even better. I made sure to keep my surroundings clear of clutter and chaos and the negative energy lifted. How grateful I am for that friend and two little words of advice.

Now back to my other situation. We all get into the bad habit of making great plans and never doing them. We start out each year with resolutions that never come to pass. We say we are going to do better, have great intentions and then make excuse after excuse of why it doesn't get done. And then we wonder why our situations stay the same, or why we fall into ruts. It is simply because we haven't applied the GET UP mantra to this part of our lives as well. I got up and felt better, but I didn't keep going and that was my mistake. I needed to implement at least ONE idea that I had. Because guess what? If I don't, I will fall right back into that same funk. Upset that I am not doing any of the things I said I was going to do. So tomorrow, God willing I will do one thing that I said I was going to do and hopefully, Monday I will do another. And, so on and so on. Each day that God gives me, I will thank him for it, and move on an idea that I have had. Even if it is as simple as eating healthier or getting my boys out the house more regularly. I will GET UP and do something. Because I don't want another year to pass me by doing the same old thing and complaining about it. Heck, I don't want another week to go by. I must GET UP and STAY UP! What is the quote? "In order for your situation to change, you must change your situation". Something like that.  But you get the idea.

What do you need to GET UP and change? What's stopping you?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Think I Need A New Challenge

Ever since I finished the challenge, I haven't been able to think of one thing to blog about. Not much has been going on since my knee got all banged up.It still hurts really bad. I don't remember taking this long to heal We started our homeschooling lessons today, still haven't found Gunther a home. My husband has managed to catch a Summer cold and I am trying to avoid him. My green beans are growing at a very rapid rate, along with the cucumbers and green peppers. The goldfinches have finally accepted their new bird feeder. My oldest son went on a job interview today at chick-fil-a. (praying he gets it) I made ground turkey enchiladas for dinner tonight (ask me for the recipe) and I am thinking about making a pistachio cake for dessert and hopefully turn in early.

I know what. Why don't you all send me suggestions about things to blog about? Or I just need to take a few field trips so I can have some new, fresh things to share with you. Thanks for reading.

Peace and Love

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Did It!!!

Wow! I can't believe today is the final day of the #31WriteNowChallenge. I had no idea how awesome this experience would be. While it was difficult trying to come up with things to write about some days, there were days when I found myself bursting with things to share with you. I want to thank the new followers to the blog. A BIG thank you to my friend, Kyra who is the one that told me about this challenge in the first place.and to those that sent me messages encouraging me to continue writing everyday.  I make no promises. But, I will definitely try to post more than I did before this challenge began.

Sometimes we need to be challenged to see what we can do. I never thought that I could post everyday. Now I know I can. I learned some things this month also. That some dreams, no matter how hard or long you wish for them, never come true. And that's okay. Just don't forget to keep dreaming. I learned that I have way too many things that I want to accomplish, that gardening can be a spiritual thing. And, the biggest thing I learned is that when you own a 190lb. dog, Just let the leash go and pray. It is a lot less painful than trying to hang on.

Thanks again for reading my blog.
Peace and Love ♥

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gunther-The Final Chapter



After my injury on Wednesday, much consideration and many hours of discussion, my husband decided that it would be best to find Gunther a new home. I thought I would be happy that I would no longer have to hear his thunderous bark or feel it shake the floor. I figured I had had enough of his incessant drool and bad manners.I was finally going to be rid of Gunter. And then, I got sad. I thought about how Gunther would feel leaving us. We are really the only people he has ever known. We have loved and cared for him. gave him treats, baths and belly rubs. And let's not forget those walks. All of his spots, his smells,his bed, his family will all be different when he leaves us. And he won't understand why.

I went over possible solutions with my husband. Maybe we didn't have to give him up. Maybe we could send him to obedience school so he wouldn't pull anymore. Maybe we could make a video and send it to Cesar Milan. Surely, he could help us with Gunther. Maybe we could buy the empty house next door for him to live in. hey must be something we could do! But at the end of the day, we knew that even if we did all those things. Gunther needs a new home. My husband has been having a very hard time lately with his legs. Walking Gunther has become increasingly difficult for him. His walks have become shorter as my husband's pain has gotten worse. And with my older son's both busy, there really isn't anyone here to give him the attention that he deserves. This won't be a quick turnover though. Whoever takes Gunther has to be the right fit. They must understand this breed and they must have the time,the patience, the personality and the fenced in yard for him. And, most of all, they must love him. These next few days as we try and find a new family for Gunther, will be hard. We love him and we want the best for him. It won't be easy trying to find a home for a 190lb. big baby. But,we are confident that it all will work out in the end.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Trouble With Gunther- Scrapes and Cuts Edition




Today started out like any other day, which in my house could mean anything. I spent most of the morning folding laundry with my husband. We had decided to finally tackle the clothes mountain that had taken over my bedroom. The day was going pretty well. Until.......I had to walk Gunther.

If you read my previous blog, I had sworn to never, ever, ever walk Gunther again. He was too heavy for me to hold and I was afraid that he would get away from me and possibly go after someone, someday.

Well unfortunately today was that day. I wasn't even supposed to be walking Gunther. Both my husband and oldest were home.  However, my husband was fast asleep after a particularly busy day at his firehouse and my son had been complaining about his legs hurting. I now believe the whole leg story was just a clever ploy to get out of walking Gunther since he is also intimidated by his sheer size and strength. So, I set off to walk Gunther with my two youngest sons. The walk was fine. We took our regular routes and let him smell the neighborhood smells and visit his favorite spots. We even walked a little longer to get some exercise. We had just come back when my boys decided to run around to the front of the house. I was just about to open my back gate, when I saw the man who lives in the house two doors down from me coming down the alley. (notice i didn't call him neighbor) But, that's another post in itself.

Gunther, who REALLY doesn't like this man, decided that today would be the day that he would relieve this man of his pants, shirt, shoes and possibly his esophagus. It happened in a split second. Gunther lunged at the guy and of course the man starts to run. Bad Move! This just excites Gunther and he gives chase. I try to get a better grip but there is absolutely nothing I can do at this point. I fall to the ground, the searing pain in the leg reminds me of every cut and scrape I have ever had in my childhood all rolled into one. But, I can't focus on that right now. I have to get Gunther. I see that the leash has snapped, is laying on the ground and he now has the man up against a wall. The man is yelling. And, I am watching Gunther inch ever closer to the him. I stand up and yell to the man, "Don't Move"!! I give the "SIT" command and he Gunther actually obeys. "Oh, Thank God", I think to myself. I put the leash back together and get it securely around Gunther's neck. I look down at my capri's and see that the right side is in shreds. I can imagine only what my knee looks like underneath the tattered fabric. The man quickly gathers his groceries that he tossed and says something to me about owning a dog that I can't handle. For a split second I think of letting the leash slip. I know, I know  Bad Karma. Clearly he doesn't realize that I may have saved his life.

I said a quick prayer of thanks that the situation wasn't worse. The man still has all of his body parts and while I am scraped, bruised and I have a sprained thumb, I am also okay. I hobbled up the backstairs, manage to get Gunther back into his crate in the basement and come upstairs. I wake up my husband and point to my knee. I tell him what happened and he felt really horrible. I go into the bathroom to check my knee and yes, it is as bad as it feels. I cleaned it with soap, water and peroxide. Muffling my screams with every pour. I covered it with gauze and replayed the scene over and over in my head. Each time seeing how Gunther, having every opportunity to bite the man, didn't. I then realized that Gunther wasn't trying to bite him. He was only trying to keep him away from me. It is in an English Mastiff's nature to be protective of his family. I know for sure that  I can't survive another incident. I know my poor knees can't. I think this is the first time, I was glad to have big legs.The extra padding surely saved me from breaking something. And while I can breathe a sigh of relief that I won't be getting sued, there is still the trouble with Gunther. If we are going to remain one big happy family, he is going to have to be thoroughly and professionally trained. Soon!  If that isn't arranged in the next couple of days.....

Anybody want a  190lb. Mastiff?  Time for Gunther to take a trip. (shhhh, don't tell my husband!)


The Aftermath

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When your children inherit your fears

I was crushed when I found out yesterday that my brilliantly talented son, Khalil wasn't going to be in his school's Philharmonic Orchestra.He has spent 4 years in his the beginners, intermediate, and symphony orchestras playing the cello and I was waiting for his Senior year to finally watch him play in the Philharmonic which is the highest Orchestra in his school that you can perform in. That Orchestra travels, competes and has received several awards and accolades throughout the years. So, I couldn't understand why he didn't want to be in it. Probably the same reason he stopped tap dancing, playing the violin and also why he hasn't started writing his personal college essays or chosen any schools to apply to yet. FEAR.

I honestly think he is actually afraid of being successful or he just doesn't want to do all that it takes to get there. It hurts so bad to watch my son settle with jut doing enough to get by. He could be a straight A student, he could get into any college in the country, he could have everything he ever wanted in life but he just doesn't try. And this kills me. I have been so upset all morning wondering what I have done wrong in raising them that they are afraid to grasp their greatness. Then I remembered my friend Bridget's words to me at least once a week telling me how I should write for a living or being told that I could be a great actress, or photographer and me saying, "Nah, I am not good enough".  Dammit! Did they inherit this from me? Did I somehow pass on my fears to my children in utero even though I been telling them to go after their dreams since day one? And it isn't just my teen that is like this. My oldest son is the same way. He is almost 23, in a part-time job he hates for the past 3 years and not putting forth any real effort to change his situation. Content to just sit in his room complaining about what he doesn't have. And I see the same behavior in my younger sons as well. My 10 year old wants to dance and act, but he shies away from any classes or opportunities to at least try. The youngest is a different story all together. He will try any and everything, but we tend to not put him in anything because of the attitudes of the older boys. And, he just hasn't really shown an interest in anything besides dancing down the aisles in the grocery store and embarrassing his brother, MJ. That is being handled, though. I will not let him sink into a mediocre life. I will start letting him take different classes until something sticks. I didn't have the opportunities that my sons have. Back then my mom was more inclined to tell you what you should be doing rather than asking you what you wanted to do. She has since changed and even apologized for not helping me go after my dreams. I now wonder if even if she had helped me would I have quit. I mean even today, I am still not doing all I can to reach my goals because fear stops me. And, now I am watching it stop my sons and that breaks my heart. They are bright, beautiful talented people filled with insecurities, feelings of being inferior and inadequate to those around them. Just like their mom.

I don't know how to help them, because I have never really helped myself. I go so far and then I stop. The lump in my throat grows bigger and I choke back the tears because I have to get ready to do lessons with my young ones. But what lessons am I really teaching them? I can give them all the lessons they need in reading, writing and arithmetic. But, what I can't seem to teach them is how to embrace their brilliance and how to not let fear keep them from the lives that they dream of. I am sorry boys. I wish to God that I never passed this horrible trait on to you. I have to find a way, but I don't know how.

I won't give up though. They are too important to me to watch them follow in my footsteps. They deserve to live their dreams and not be crushed under the weight of fear. They deserve to be all they can be in this life. I just hope it isn't too late. Maybe I can keep pushing froward in my own life and they will see that no one ever said it would be easy. But when you face those fears and keep trying, it is always worth it.

The struggle continues.......

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Life Ain't So Bad.....

I was looking back at some of my old blog posts and I must say, I have had a pretty interesting life. From this side it can seem pretty humdrum and non-exciting for the most part, but when I read some the things I have experienced, I think, "Hmm, I have done some pretty cool things and had some wonderful experiences." I think it is the "grass is greener" syndrome. We tend to think that other people are having tons of fun and their lives are so great and our own lives suck! I know I have those thoughts all the time. But, I have been a part of some really cool things. I have been flown to L.A. to shoot a commercial with my entire family. I have worked in movies and television for 14 years. I have had a well-known actor tell me that I have a gift and that I should pursue acting as a career,(still trying to wrap my head around that one) I have been to a wrap party of one of the most popular shows on television and hob-nobbed with actors that I truly admire. I have had a $40,000 car driven to my doorstep and left with me for the weekend,(just to try out). I have sat in the movie theater alongside the Great Roger Ebert and written a review for a movie. I have traveled to the Bahamas and swam with sharks(accidently), been stung by jellyfish and been cut by the dorsal fin of a red snapper. Which resulted in me having to dodge barracuda that were attracted to my bleeding arm. I have had a 2 pet squirrels. I have also had chinchillas, 2 lizards and I even had a stray dog give me her eight puppies in the middle of the night one by one so they wouldn't drown during a heavy rainstorm. I survived brain surgery AND a craniotomy. I had my nose broken with a sucker punch to the face. I had a c-section without anesthesia( I would NOT recommend this one at all) I have been almost electrocuted, I have been badly burned and I have delivered several children with very large heads without any drugs. I have fed a tiger cub a bottle, seen a stingray "fly" out of the water, wrapped a 14ft python around my neck and I have been present when two people that I loved so very much took their last breaths.

I am sure there are more that I could list, but I will try to remember and save them for the next time that I dare think, that I haven't had an interesting life. I am blessed. I may not have achieved all that I wanted or even scratched the surface. But, I have been given some wonderful memories to help me realize that my most life changing and awe-inspiring moments have been unplanned. They were gifts and events that the Creator chose for me to have. They haven't all been happy. But they have all carried me to this moment right now. How incredible is that? I bet if you went back through your life, you could find some crazy awesome memories to relive as well.

I had no idea what I was going to write about tonight and I can't even tell you how this post came about. I guess it was just waiting for the right time to come forth and this was it.

Life is funny like that, isn't it?

Today I was Inspired....

I recently re-connected with a  guy who went to high school with my brother. They played in the band together back then and I hadn't seen him for over 20 years. I came across his profile on my brother's facebook page and sent him a friend request(or he sent me one). I don't remember. Anyway, he was dealing with his father being terminally ill at the time and he was writing about the experience. I found myself entranced by the words he was posting about his father's last days. I cried the day he posted about his father's transition. I visualized every syllable. They touched my very soul and I wished that I could somehow be a comfort for him during this time of great pain for him. Little did I know that his words would play again in my head and be a comfort to me months later as my own father made his transition after his battle with Leukemia.

Since those days, my friendship with Brian and his wife, Mira has blossomed. And, my husband and I have had the pleasure to spend some time with this lovely couple and really become closer. We have found out that we have a lot of things in common. reconnecting had been a godsend.  Brian started running and biking after his father's death. He would post his distance and I would watch it get longer and longer. He would talk about getting ready to run his 1st Triathlon and I would think, "Wow, that is a huge undertaking for someone that just started to run". But, I hadn't been around Brian in a long time so I had no idea that when he says he will do something, he does it.

Brian completed that Triathlon today and while he says it didn't go well, to me just the fact that he said he was going to even do it and actually accomplished it, is nothing shy of amazing!! It got me to thinking about the things I still want to accomplish. None of them is as grueling or physically demanding as doing a triathlon. I would be happy just to stay on my treadclimber for 15 mins without feeling like I am gong to die. My list is more along the lines of, places I want to go. Finally getting a large speaking role in a major motion picture. Moving out of Chicago, and  finally being fluent in Spanish. Looks, like my focus will be on hablando en Espanol. Not that I am giving up on those other things. Getting better in speaking Spanish just seems like something I can truly shoot for right now. Or it probably the thing that brings me the least anxiety. But, Brian had me thinking for a moment that I could do anything. ANYTHING! I could live the life I see in my dreams. I could get that major acting gig. I could make enough money to buy that fabulous house and travel with my family around the world.  If I switched my focus from just dreaming to actually putting forth the actions needed to make those goals and dreams come true. Brian could have put the word "triathlon" on his bucket list and looked at it every day. But, he didn't. He said, " I am going to compete in a triathlon". And then he got off the couch and put into action the necessary steps to reach his goal.

Yes, today I was inspired. To not just dream, but to manifest.

I sincerely hope it lasts longer than my resolve to stop eating fried foods. That hasn't been very successful . But, I have to start somewhere, right?

Pray for me. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I went to a party tonight...

YES! You read that correctly. I got out and actually went to a party tonight. Actually, my husband and I went to the party. It was a birthday celebration for a guy that I have known for 40 years. We grew up together and his parents grew up with my mom and dad. So, we have been connected forever. We almost didn't go. Paul and I  have gotten so used to just staying in our house that it has become a bit difficult for us to get up and out. But, I am so glad we did. It was so great to see our friend, Kory and his wife, Desiree. We laughed, talked and even played a few games.The games were hilarious! I will never be able to look at an Oreo cookie again without thinking of this night. Some of Kory's cousins, who I also grew up with were there and it just felt so wonderful to be with them. They are just a good, positive, loving group of people that I always feel comfortable being around.

The last time I went out to a party was in April. That is a long time between outings. I guess I have been taking the label of, "stay at home" mom too literally. It is just the way I am though. I have really never been a person that hung out or partied a lot. Even in highschool. I never went to one dance or homecoming game or even hung at the mall or went to movies with friends. I was just content to come home, read my tv guide and chill.

But anyway, tonight was a good night. I came home feeling joyous, accepted and among people that love me and that I love back. It's good to have people like that in your life. Even if you don't get the chance to see them as often as you'd like.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Who knew what a cucumber could do...






I must admit that I woke up in a funky mood today. It was seriously one of those "woe is me" mornings.  I was ready to just cry and count all the reasons I didn't want to get out of bed. I have been feeling like nothing is going right. I haven't been working on set in a few weeks. I haven't been able to get any auditions and I haven't been winning any contests or sweepstakes and I was just feeling really down. But one small thing changed my entire day for the better. And what was that small thing, you ask? It was a cucumber.

I planted a small garden this year. Just a few vegetables from seeds to see if they would grow. Well, this morning my husband went out to to the garden and picked the biggest, most beautiful cucumber I have ever seen. When he brought it inside and laid in my hands,all of the funkiness faded away. I was so happy and thankful that I had grown this awesome cucumber in my own garden that all of a sudden, I felt kind of silly for complaining about all the things that I thought weren't going right in my life. Here was this deep green cucumber in my hands. My 10 year old held it,and smelled it and proclaimed that it was, perfect. While we were marveling at this garden miracle, my husband was back out in the garden looking for more treasures. He came back in the house with an even bigger cucumber, 2 green peppers and some gorgeous green beans. I asked for forgiveness for my morning whine fest. And, I thanked God for the bounty that he had provided my family with. Sometimes we just have to be reminded of the abundance in our lives. Today my reminder came from a cucumber.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

And How Was Your Day Today?

Since I have absolutely no idea what to blog about tonight, I will just tell you how my day went. It was a pretty good day today. It was hot out, so I stayed indoors all day. I spent some time reading,talking on the phone to a few people, tried to get my son's highschool schedule changed(it worked), played a few hidden object games on the computer and fixed dinner. I fixed spaghetti with ground turkey and some fried chicken legs. It is one of the few meals that everyone in my home will eat. I told you all before that I have a pretty picky bunch.

School starts for the teen next week, so I thought about meals to fix so I can get dinner on the table earlier. There is only one month left before Autumn begins and I can't even rap my head around the fact that 2013 is almost in the history books. This challenge to write a blog post everyday in August is teaching me a lot. Not sure exactly what it is but it is teaching me a lot of it. Seriously though. I have been in more deep thought about my life, my future and the steps I need to make, to achieve the things I want. Most of it seems like I will need sheer luck or a monumental miracle to make some of these things in my mind come true, but at least the dreaming will keep me busy.


Well, I am signing off good people. I am going to watch HGTV until my eyelids are heavy.


By the way, how was your day today? Leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Break From Facebook

I took a partial break from Facebook. I really needed to because, I found myself spending way too much time on there. It was the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I did before bed. I was constantly checking my pages and the newsfeed and "liking" this post and sharing that picture, all day everyday. Facebook can be overwhelming at times. You are actually seeing the situations, thoughts, actions and reactions for hundreds or thousands of people on a daily basis. Your brain and psyche are taking and processing all of this information along with your own and it can make you a bit loopy if you let it.

One of things I love to do on facebook, is sign up for freebies. Freebies are products that companies give away at any given time and you have to be really quick to claim some of these products. I get pretty lucky most times but sometimes I miss out. No big deal. Some people get really pissed when they aren't quick enough to claim a freebie. They actually leave hateful posts with bad language and everything. All because they couldn't claim and free product that the company didn't have to give away in the 1st place! It is pretty weird. I don't understand that kind of response at all. It's not that serious.

The other thing I like to do is sign up for sweepstakes and contests. Now, when I first started out, it was a lot of fun.I would win a few things like toys, games or even food items for the family and it was exciting. I met up with more "sweepers" and I found out about more contests and sweepstakes and saw that some people were winning really nice prizes. Trips, cars, electronics and more. WOW! I can really get into this! I was doing this for about a year and everything was going along great. Then I started seeing that people were actually fighting, back-stabbing and getting jealous over what other people were winning. Some of these crazed sweepers even started getting some sweepers locked out of their own personal pages over some dumb, juvenile crap. This is supposed to be FUN!!

Now, I must admit it can get a bit depressing when you are entering all the same contests as other people, but you aren't winning anything for a long stretch. I mean for a while I seriously started to take it personally. I figured the sweepstakes gods hated me and I just couldn't wasn't going to win. This was a stupid way to think of course, but I am telling you it starts to happen. I see the posts everyday. People getting really depressed over not winning and letting it seriously affect their lives.Some go so far as to start "unfriending" or blocking people that are winning more than them. Really? Is this what we have become people? I needed a break from all that. Not from my close sweeper friends, but from all the crazy ones with their in-fighting and bad-feelings and general nastiness.

I also needed a break from what I call, being a Social Outcast. Now, this is my own thing and I deal with it, but it is real and I bet I am not the only one that feels like this. Being a social outcast is when you have all these "friends" on your facebook page, neighborhood friends, old classmates, people you worked with, family members etc.......and you start to see all the parties, events, weddings and "what nots" that they all go to together that you haven't been invited to. For some of us social outcasts, it is like taking the worst days of our childhood and/or school years and living them again as an adult. It shows you how some things never really change. Now, while sometimes I have honestly gotten my feelings hurt by this, for the most part I could care less. But, I mention it because it is real and maybe someone else out there can see that they aren't alone. Moving on..............

Now the last reason I needed a break is strictly because, if I see another person's fabulous tropical vacation pictures, my head is going to explode! Here I am trying to figure out dinner for 6 every night and there they are, on a freakin' beach sipping Long Island Ice Tea and Pina Coladas for the 4th time this year! Or they are talking about the magnificent midnight seafood buffet that they just had on their 21 Day Cruise to the Riviera!! AAAHHH!! My summer vacation was a trip to our local Aquarium. I touched a Sting ray! It was a very nice trip to the Aquarium and I had a lovely day there, but COME ON!!!  I need a vacation so bad I am beginning to save my tears just so I can be around salt water! Man, that sounded pitiful, didn't it?

Sorry, I had a moment.

But that's what facebook can do to you if you are not careful. It can start to gnaw away at your common sense and make you start comparing your life to everyone else's and that can truly make you crazy. I don't need help in the crazy department. I live in a house with my husband, 4 sons, a poodle and a Gunther, remember? So, I am taking a break from it for a while. I need to reconnect with myself, my family and count my many, many blessings. Will I go back? Are you kidding? Of course I will. I have freebies to claim and contests to enter. But, I promise not to let it take over my life. Really, I promise. Just call and check on me once in awhile, okay?
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Hour is Almost Upon Us

In just a few weeks, I will attempt to embark on another year of homeschooling my two youngest sons. I read so many blogs about homeschooling and marvel at how organized people are. They know what they're teaching, they have their cute little homeschool spaces all decked all and organized. It is just so darned depressing! Here I am trying to figure out what I am going to do. I am wondering which curriculum will work best, hoping I can keep them interested and engaged. At the same time, I am thinking about my other son, who is about to be a Senior in highschool. The thought of just how fast this year is going to go actually has me a bit nauseous. How do people do this? I mean, the school year hasn't even started yet and I am already stressed out and ready to hide in a corner and weep. 

Breathe..........I keep trying to remind myself to do this. 

As you can possibly tell, I am feeling a bit on the edge. Actually, I am feeling a LOT on the edge. I just want everything to go right. There is so much riding on this year. I have never had to help someone pick a college, and fill out applications and apply for scholarships. All while trying to make sure I get my now, 4th and 6th grade sons where they need to be academically. And when the parent is the sole teacher, you feel like everything you do is under a microscope. 


Breathe............


I know I will get through this year. I don't expect perfection, but I just wish I was more prepared. I guess I feel like it is all coming so fast. And the fact is, it IS!! I guess we are never really ready. We just have to take it one day at a time. I know if I don't go take a seat somewhere and calm down, I won't be any good to anyone. Tomorrow is for registration the Senior class. My son gets his last highschool schedule,last ID, last buscard and yearbook. As nutty as I feel, I can only imagine how he must be feeling. He walked into this school a shy little 7th grader and now he is a big time, tall, handsome Senior. 

You know what? I think this year is going to be just fine. I am going to do the best I can and try and not get too overwhelmed. Benji just might have a new nail-biting partner though. I'll keep you posted.

Peace

Come Headaches and High Water

Tonight I come to you with the probably the shortest blog post I have written in a while. I was out of commission most of the day with head, neck and shoulder pain, due to my Chiari (at least I think it was from my chiari) It was just really one of those days that I could have stayed in bed. But, it was so beautiful outside that I knew I wanted to have my husband light the grill so I could cook enough for a few days. Which actually turns out to be dinner and lunch for the next day, since the teen and his appetite are back. For dinner tonight he had a hamburger a hot dog and a large ribeye steak. Did you hear me mention any vegetables? Anyway, that is a blog post all its own. So, I managed to get the meat ready in between headaches and actually had a few hours without pain. I even got the nerve to pick the beans from my garden. So, all in all even though my day had a some rough spots, it turned out to be pretty good and I am glad to be able to still get my daily post in. Now it is time for me to take my medicine, get some rest and pray my headache has subsided by the morning. This mama has things to do. 

To everyone reading this, thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking out the time to read my blog. 

Keep reading and tell your friends. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Long and Winding Road

Today was one of those roller coaster days emotionally for me. Up, down, twisted and turned hour after hour. I blamed a million things, being a gemini, the weather, hormones, not having enough chocolate etc.... The real problem is that I have a lot of fears. Fear of failure, of not being good enough, of not being there for my sons and husband, fear of feeling resentful if I don't do things for myself.  Fear of not being able to live my dreams. The list goes on and on. So, you get the idea, Right? Yep. I am an emotional mess. But not always. It just seems to come in waves. I have so much on my mind lately and sometimes my brain just gets overwhelmed. I notice I have been taking a lot more naps lately. It is a good way to recharge. Being a wife and mom, you always have to be there for your family. But, you still have take to for yourself. Which in my situation, is not very easy. I mean I do get the occasional moment away, but it is almost time to start up our homeschool lessons again so, even those few moments will be less. Do I sound ungrateful? I really hope not. I struggle with that. I never want to sound unappreciative.. I feel truly blessed to have a husband that supports me. I also love being able to stay home and homeschool our youngest boys. I thought really long and hard about putting them back in school. But,when we weighed the pros and cons, we just couldn't find any pros right now.

And now on to the elephant in the room. My acting career. Better yet, my lack of an acting career. As hard as I try, I can't seem to figure out how to manage being a stay at home mom that teaches her children from home and goes out for auditions and actively pursues an acting career. It just doesn't seem possible. While some people see that as me giving up, I think it is me setting priorities. God knows I wish I had the freedom to go off and live my dreams of being an actress. However, I have two really important people that need me more. It isn't easy though. I have wanted to act since I was a little kid and it is hard to not being to pursue full steam ahead. Don't think I am giving it up. If a job comes my way, I am all over it. But, until that day I need to be the best teacher to my sons that I can be. I hope to still work as an extra as much as possible and  I still dream of one day going to the Oscars. For now, I am just hoping the roller coaster ride stops. I am feeling a bit dizzy. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Return of The Teen... Part 2




He's Home!!! I was so happy to see my son. He looked like he matured in the past 5 days. Dare I say he looked like a college kid.  I only got half a hug from him, because his brothers almost knocked him over. He was happy! I could tell. He had on a sweatshirt from Tufts and underneath, a t-shirt from Cornell School of Engineering. (can you tell that I'm smiling)? He got in the car, talked for about 5 minutes, said he WASN'T hungry, and then promptly pulled out in his earplugs and turned on his ipod.

Yep, my son is back! When we arrived home, he went in his room and started unpacking. I could hear bags rustling and he came out with t-shirts from each college, a keychain from M.I.T., and a coffee mug from Harvard. He looked so proud. I asked him which of the colleges he visited, could he see himself as a student. He said, "All of them". Not sure if what I was feeling at that moment was happiness or sheer panic of how to actually pay for this teen's college education. This whole college thing just got real!

I am going to need a moment, so I don't start hyperventilating, talk amongst yourselves..................

Okay, I'm back. Breathing normally but, Whew! My husband and I didn't attend college and my oldest son did a year at a junior college, but he came home every night. So, this experience is a lot like bringing home a baby for the first time. You want the best for your baby and you don't want to make any mistakes. You love and nurture that child. You protect him and smile as he starts to scoot around the floor. You watch him start to crawl, then pull on the furniture and then one day he lets go and walks across the room.

My son just took those 1st few wobbly steps this week. Soon, he will run. I hope he doesn't stop until he reaches his destination. Until his dreams come true. 

The Return of the Teen Part 1

Tonight my son will be home from his 5 day East Coast college tour. It has been pretty different without him around. For one thing, I noticed that the food lasted a lot longer and my two youngest boys had the run of the video-game consoles so there was a lot less arguing. In my dreams, I see me going to pick up my son from the bus and him smiling and running to give me a big hug and a kiss and tell me all about his trip. In reality, we will pick him up,he will say hi, jump in the front seat and say he's is hungry. That's my son. This entire trip he has only called me one time and that was on the 1st night. I haven't heard his voice since. I take this as a sign that he really had a great time. And I can't feel bad at all because he only posted on Facebook once when he left for his trip! I pick him up in about 8 1/2 hours. I will let you know how he says, IF he says how his trip went.

to be continued......

Times, they are a changing....

The topic of change has been coming up a lot in my life lately. My sons are all growing up, different things are happening, priorities are changing. It is truly an amazing time. Take for instance tonight. Tonight is the first time that I only have my son MJ home with us. His other brother's aren't here. Man, that feels weird! I am so used to there being some type of noise in the house until at least 2 a.m. during the Summer months and now it is super quiet. Sure, it's great to sit and be able to gather my thoughts and write, but it is weird. It was super quiet like this the other night when it was just me and my little guys and it really got me to thinking. My family is changing. Oldest son, will be moving soon(hopefully). Teen headed to college in a year and my not so little guys growing so fast. Me and my husband counting gray hairs, and comparing body aches daily. Benji needing Prozac for his nail-biting and food issues and Gunther still thinking he's the same size as Benji but using his very large head to lift my youngest son off of his feet.

I used to always wonder how it would be when we would be empty-nesters. But, I didn't really dwell on it. It was more like a quick passing thought of, "Man, one day all the boys will be grown". And now those days are coming seemingly quicker and quicker. I am so thankful to watch them grow and be a part of their daily lives. I hear so many people talk about how they never have enough time with their children or spouses because every one is so busy working or doing other things and they look up and one day all the children have moved out and their lives have suddenly, (over time)changed.

We've all heard the sayings:

Change is inevitable
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
Everything Must Change
If you don't like something, change it.....

The list goes on and on but, you get the idea.

There are some things however that never seem to change.(at least for me)  I still love my family with all my heart, I still want to visit Fiji, I still want to take my family to Florida for a vacation, I still hate mix-matched socks, I still have to put my right shoe on before my left and I still want my speaking role in a TV show or Major Motion Picture.

Yeah, yeah I know, now you know where the dogs get it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Captain's Log- Day 147

Well at least it feels like Day 147 in my head. This Challenge to blog everyday in August is getting pretty trippy. I am feeling like Ren in my favorite episode of The Ren and Stimpy show. The episode is called, Space Madness. The first time my brother and I watched it, we were literally in tears from laughing so hard. Anyway, the episode is funny because Ren and his friend, Stimpy have been in space so long that Ren starts to go mad. He starts talking off the top of his head and doing weird stuff. I feel like that sometimes.Actually, I feel like this, most days.  But in a much milder,less full psychotic break kind of a way. Have you ever looked at situations and they just seem nuts!!? I had one today and my cousin, Isabelle will understand this and probably laugh at me.

Anyway, my husband and two of my sons habitually bite their nails and it drives me up the wall! I am always yelling at them( in a nice way) to stop. So, imagine if you will, me telling my youngest son all day to stop biting his nails only to sit down, get comfortable and look down to see what? MY POODLE BITING HIS NAILS!! You gotta be kidding me? Whose dogs does this besides mine? I yelled at him to stop and then cracked up laughing at the sheer craziness that I have a dog that bites his nails. We just took him to the vet to get his nails cut and he still bites them. Only in the Dorsey House will you find such insanity on an everyday basis. I swear I need a reality show. I have a neurotic poodle that bites his nails and also won't eat the food out of his food bowl. He has to move it to another part of the house to eat it. A genetically modified, Mastiff that is bigger than all of my sons put together, a feral cat that hangs out in the yard to try grab one of the 100+ birds that we feed everyday. He has been lucky a few times, much to my horror. And I haven't even mentioned my sons who are hilarious. I wish you could hear some of their conversations, they are indescribably funny.

When it comes down to it, I guess it's the insane moments that keep you sane. You don't want to be walking around with Space Madness all the time, but it sure keeps things interesting. 

To sleep, perchance to dream- ay, there's the rub"-Hamlet

Sorry about getting the blog out so late tonight, or so early depending on how you look at it. I would have been able to sit and write earlier, but my 10 year old, MJ sometimes has a seriously hard time relaxing and going to sleep and stay asleep. Even now, he is still in his room talking to me way after midnight. He is trying to get me to let him turn his fan on even though the central air is on. He is convinced that he cannot go to sleep without the sound of the fan, and his two favorite stuffed animals and a cover concealing what's under his brother's bed, and the hall light on, a night light and the door cracked ever so slightly. Yes. We go through this every night. His younger brother has been sleeping peacefully for hours and MJ is still trying to settle down. I have tried a warm bath, making sure they aren't watching tv or playing video games several hours before bed. Most nights he usually reads himself to sleep. only to wake up 15 minutes later and not be able to get back to sleep right away. Most nights aren't as bad as tonight, but I think some of it has to do with him missing his brother who is away on a college trip.

Speaking of the college trip. I spoke to my son tonight when they reached their second destination and I could hear the excitement in my his voice. I haven't heard that in forever. My usually very reserved son, sounded almost downright bubbly! I am almost 99.9% sure now that he will NOT be staying in Illinois for college now. He got a little taste of being away from Chicago and I feel like he will definitely want to experience more. I don't blame him. I hope he gets to see the world one day. 

Well, my eyes are feeling a bit heavy and MJ is quiet, (for now). I seriously never thought that at the age my boys are now, I would still have "sleeping through the night" issues. I think I will put his radio on the Classical  music station. As long as they don't play, March Of The Valkyrie, we should be okay and he and I can both get some sleep. 

Peace and Love

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Holding On and Letting Go




 I waved at the bus as it drove off, this morning. My 17 year old son, Khalil was on that bus. He was leaving for his 1st college tour to the East Coast. As the bus pulled away, I was transported back to his first day of pre-k. His teacher said he always kept her honest. He would stand behind her during story time and make sure she read all the words. Now, in the next two weeks he will enter his Senior year in high school. And here I am wondering where the time went. My baby is now a young man. A young man hopefully going off to college in a year's time. Part of me hopes he stays in Illinois for college, so I can see him on the weekends and cook for him and stuff like that. But the other side of me hopes he goes away, so he can properly spread his wings and discover himself and all that the world has to offer.

It can be so hard to watch your children grow up and move on. It's like one minute you were carrying them in your arms and changing their bottoms and now you are helping them look over college apps and essays. This is a very emotional time for me. It is a huge time of change. I already have a son the same age I was when I had him and I have already warned my teen-aged son to be ready for fits of uncontrollable crying and lots of random hugs. I want to inhale his possibly last full year home and just bottle it. There have been so many times just today, that I wanted to show him something, or say something to him only to remember that he wasn't here. It tugged at my heart every time. WOW! If I am like this just hours into a 5 day trip, I may need to be sedated when he leaves for those dorms. I really will try and hold it together but, this is hard.

As I fuss at my two younger sons about getting ready for bed, I notice how much they too have grown in the past year. My baby boys are no longer babies at all. My 10 year old is almost my height and he has the same sized feet! I told them a million times today about holding on to me or laying on my shoulder. "Get off of me", I said to them over and over again. But, I was really holding on to each precious moment because soon like their brother, they will be moving on to the next part of their lives. I have often wondered, if I knew ahead of time how heart-wrenching being a parent is, would I have done it? Yes, I would. They drive me crazy, make me cry, make my heart swell with pride. But they are my boys. They are the light of my life.

Tonight, I hold on to the hope that letting them go will enrich our bond as mother and sons. I pray they find their way, live their dreams and always know that I love them with all my heart.

Still Taking Those Baby Steps.






I enrolled in an Actor's workshop back in May. I did it for several reasons. I wanted to challenge myself, face my fears and more than anything, I wanted to find out if I was just wasting my time thinking that I could act. I have never done any extensive acting and even though I always felt like I could, I never had the chance to find out and get feedback from a professional. So jump forward to today August the 10th. The day was finally here! What would it be like? Would I know anyone there? Would there be tons of people with extensive experience staring at me? Would I feel like I belonged there? Would my nerves get the best of me and cause me to freeze? I just didn't know. So, I decided to leave all of those questions and doubts at the entrance door and go in....

The workshop was being held by Tommy Ford. www.tommygotajob.com  Now, this man has been acting for 25 years and has starred in many television shows and movies. I must admit I was a bit intimidated at first. To my surprise, he walked in with his family, jumped right in and instantly made us comfortable. He told us that he didn't mind the fact that there weren't a lot of people there. In fact, I found out that the workshop was almost cancelled because the Mr. Ford usually doesn't do the workshops with less that 30 people. But, as the universe would have it, he decided to come anyway. I am so glad he did. 

We started off the day doing a variety of acting exercises. I had dreamed of doing these things and here I was doing them. It was gritty, emotional, humbling and very funny at times. I laughed, cried and learning so much. I got a little nervous when at the end of our most intense exercise, I saw him handing out scripts. "Oh God, we have to do a scene", was the first thing that ran through my mind. Duh!! Acting Workshop!! 

The scene I had was deep. It was a scene where I had to go from laughing and talking to my supposed best friend, to standing up and cursing her out. We did our scene, and Tommy congratulated me and my scene partner on a job well done. I couldn't believe it. I just did my 1st dramatic scene in front a group of strangers AND a Hollywood actor, producer, director and got congratulated on my work. Can you say, 
"Dream Come True"? I thought I would faint. But, I held it together and tried to contain the extreme feeling of happiness and accomplishment that was coming over me in waves. 

We watched the rest of the actors do their scenes and learned about how to use our past experiences to develop our characters. After all that was done, we had the chance to mingle and talk to Tommy one on one. He said, that I had a gift and that I should continue pursuing my acting career. It was and is still hard to take that and believe it. I guess I am afraid to think of myself as a good actor because I really haven't done much. But, do believe I have tons of potential and I really hope to be able to find out just what I am capable of.

So the dream of becoming a professional actress continues. Some would say that I am already there with the 14 years of experience I have being an extra. I say, "I have only scratched the surface, but I am more than ready for my closeup".




Friday, August 9, 2013

Drawing a Blank

I really don't have much to share with you all tonight. Except to say that I have really felt good the past 3 days. I am taking my 1st acting workshop tomorrow and my son's trip is quickly approaching on Sunday. I feel excited about these new adventures and I hope they both turn out great. But other than that, not much is going on. Summer Camp finished up today and now BOTH boys have said they want to return next year. They got out of it what I hoped they would. They made friends, had fun and I am glad I signed them up.

I can't believe we are already into Day 9 of this blogging challenge. It is a stark reminder of just how quickly the summer is going. School starts back for my teen in a little over 2 weeks and we didn't even get the chance to have any outings No museums, zoos or amusement parks. I think we are going to have to cram some stuff in pretty quick.

Well, I am going to keep this one brief as I have to get some sleep in order to be fresh for my workshop. I am pretty nervous, but ready for the experience. I hope to have lots of good stuff to tell you when I get home.

Peace

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Comes To An End


Well, not exactly Summer. Just summer camp. Tomorrow is the last day of camp for my boys. This was their 1st experience and I think they did pretty well. Yes, they did question my love and loyalty to them in the beginning, yes they did achieve a new level of dirty, and yes they did miss several days because I let them talk me out of making them go. But in my defense, they did go the majority of days. They did have fun and say the phrase "awesome day at camp" at least 10 times, they did make some new friends and they didn't get sunburned or get ringworm.

My youngest is already saying that he definitely wants to go back next year while on the other hand MJ has let me know that he has had his experience and that it is time to move on. We shall see about that. The dreamer in me hopes to be able to take them to Europe next Summer. Or maybe rent an RV and travel the West Coast.We could stop along the way to watch the stars, see the Grand Canyon, run from bears and all that great stuff. I want to give them more. They deserve it. They are growing so fast before my eyes. Soon, I will be getting them ready for college. I want to give them the experiences I never had and broaden their horizons beyond kickball and freeze tag.

However, if my dreams don't pan out and Summer camp is our only option, I am gonna find the best darn funnest, awesomest camp in the whole city!! And they will beg me to go everyday and they will thank me forever for being such a cool mom!

Or maybe, they will just go back to the same camp they went to this year and I will make sure to stock up on the "ringworm be-gone cream" But. I will still be the cool mom. Cause that's just who I am !

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Treat For Myself Today



Oh my goodness, I almost forgot about my post today.

I must tell you, I had a good day today. I treated myself to the Hair Salon and it was quite therapeutic. I have come to the realization that they can be something quite magical about having your hair washed. I felt like tons of stress was released as my scalp was masterfully massaged and the warm water flowed over my hair. Washing away all the tension that had been built up. I caught myself being quite tense at first. I took a deep breath, let my muscles relax and I just enjoyed the moment.

The person who did my hair today is my cousin. We didn't know much about each other but I knew the I was in very capable hands. My hair looked good, smelled good and I felt like a new woman. I only get my hair professionally done maybe once a year and it was due. So tonight I will sleep on my face, so as to not ruin my new "do". And in the morning, I will try to remember not to wait a year to do something nice for myself anymore.

Disregard the sleepy look on my face. I still have a hair-washing hangover.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fire and Ringworm, Oh Boy!!

Catchy title isn't it? Well, not if you are on the receiving end of both of those topics. Luckily we only actually had a brush with both today but that was enough for me. The ringworm part happened when I went to pick up my sons from camp. I was handed the dreaded "note on yellow paper". I opened it to find that there was an outbreak of ringworm in their camp and we were cautioned to be on the look out for it. Lovely! I immediately started itching and I haven't stopped since. I know it is all in my head, but the thought of the boys or myself with ringworm just gives me the "willies". We were so close to the end of camp and now this. The boys are now afraid to go to camp and want to stay home until Friday, which is the last day.

Now on to the fire part of my day. My husband has been a firefighter for 15 years. That means I have spent a huge chunk of my life sitting on pins and needles while he is on his 24 hour shift. To say I was relieved when he got promoted to Engineer almost two years ago, is an understatement. Being an Engineer means he no longer has to go into fires. He stays at his engine and makes sure the others get water. So, imagine me getting a text from him saying that he got burned today.He immediately said it was nothing serious and that it was only from some embers that floated away from the building and went down his back. But, my husband has a very bad habit of downplaying his injuries. In the past he has called me about a small cut on his lip, which turned out to be a gaping hole that required stitches and a "high ankle sprain" which was actually a very serious injury which consisted of multiple breaks in his leg and foot, torn ligaments and ripped tendons. That one required surgery, pins, wire mesh, bed confinement, extensive rehab and him being off of work for close to 6 months. So, you can be certain that I will be checking his back when he gets home in the morning for more severe injuries and checking the boys scalp and skin for ringworm.

And now my youngest just came to me and told me he clogged up the toilet with paper.....again.

*Sigh*


Monday, August 5, 2013

Is it Friday yet?

The title of my blog today, is a phrase that means absolutely nothing to people that homeschool. Our children are always home, always with us. It can be a blessing as well as a curse. Homeschooling is a great thing and I am so glad that we live in a State where we aren't regulated and have to get our curriculum approved and do the standardized testing thing. That would really make it just like school, just at home.

The flip side to that is the fact, that the only time I am not with my children is when I am either sleeping, working on set, shopping for groceries or at a doctor's appt. That can get a bit crazy. I love being with them of course or I would never have started homeschooling them, but not having "me" time is wearing me out.

I need to find more time for me. I need to take myself out to lunch or to a movie or something that doesn't feel like a chore. It's important to have those moments and I still haven't quite figured out how to do it. Hmmm? Maybe I will go in search of fun things for me to do and write blogs post about them. First step, get out of the house..

to be continued.......from Fiji would be nice. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One of those days

Would it be okay if my entire blog post just consisted of the word TIRED in bold letters across the top and that was it? I am sure that lots of people would understand it perfectly. That is truly how I feel today. And it is not totally a physical tired. It is that, along with being mentally tired. I want to just somehow transport myself to a deserted beach in Fiji. Just laying back listening to the waves and having the salty water spray across my lips. Alas, I am not in Fiji. I am in Chicago. Trying to juggle this thing called motherhood and marriage. But, I have to be grateful for it all. My husband and sons are truly a blessing in my life.

No one could have ever prepared me for how consuming being a wife and mother is. They are always on my mind. I am constantly praying for them, hoping for them and sometimes wanting to grab and shake them. They can bring me to a point where I literally feel like I will die. And miraculously, I don't. And because I haven't died so far, I know that I can get through what ever the situation is. And believe me, there have been some situations. In families there always are.

So today I write this post, stressed out, tired, worn out, grateful, thankful, blessed and loved.
And if anyone has an Oceanfront beach home, that they would like to loan me for a month( in exchange for cookies), I will gladly accept it. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Trouble With Gunther- Day 3



Due to a scheduling mix-up, my husband, who was supposed to be off today had to work. This meant that the task of walking our 185lb. English Mastiff, Gunther fell on me. I wasn't too concerned about walking him. In fact, I figured it was a good way to start my day. Walking a dog as big as Gunther is always a workout. Little did I know that walking him today would exercise me physically, mentally and almost cause my heart to stop beating on several occasions. The walk started out fine enough. I had my 9 year old son with me, and we started off. We got to his regular spot, which is actually a wide median strip in between a busy thoroughfare. Passer-bys were doing their usual, staring at the 4-legged behemoth walking in the grass dragging me behind him. And I was trying out my, Cesar Milan techniques of walking with confidence so your dog will know you are in control.  Unfortunately, Gunther didn't read that chapter of the book and suddenly decided that something smelled really good in the middle of the street!! He lunged forward, easily pulling his leash from my grasp. He bolted toward the street and all I could think about was how to explain to my husband that our dog had caused a 7-8 car pile up on Stony Island and how I would pay the bills for the therapy sessions my son and I would require if anything horrible happened to Gunther. Thankfully, I got a hold of his leash just as he reached the curb with cars speeding by. I pulled him back with all my strength and dug my heels in. I managed to gain control of him and decided that the walk was officially over. I was so scared!! All I wanted to do was to get him back home as quickly as possible. I should have know it wouldn't be that easy. The 5 block walk home was just as grueling as Gunther tried to grab the bumper of a bus passing by, a 4 foot tree branch and whatever else caught his fancy. We finally made it home and I got him back in his crate. I washed my hands physically and symbolically as I called my husband and informed him that after this latest ordeal, I would NEVER walk Gunther again. My heart rate has since returned to normal and I am breathing without the aid of a paper bag.

I foresee an aquarium in my pet ownership future. This dog walking(dragging) stuff is for the birds!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Day Two-I almost forgot

Whoa! it's only day two and here I am almost forgetting to post. I have a good reason though. I was working all day on set and didn't have access to my computer. It felt to be back there and sometimes a little sad. I say that because, I am still not where I want to be as far as acting is concerned. I am really ready to do more. But, until that opportunity arises, I am more than happy to continue doing the work I do. I was on set at 11 a.m. today and was happy to see so many familiar faces. We also welcomed some new people into the fold. They had never worked as extras before so they were in awe with the fact that they were actually on the set of a how they watch all the time. I remember feeling like that also.

The highlight of my day was being greeted by the principal actors. David Eigenberg, Christian Stolte, my guy, Eamonn Walker and I even got a big hug from Charlie Barnett. That is what makes it all worthwhile. It is a pleasure watching these guys work.

Anyway, that was my day. Time for me to get some rest. Maybe I will dream of something awesome to post about in the a.m.

Peace and Love.
Joce

Thursday, August 1, 2013

And away we go!

See, I knew I would have something to blog about. I just really didn't expect for it to be that I had to take my car in to have my radiator replaced! That was a hit to the wallet that I didn't need today or any day. When you own a home, a car and have children, the wallet never stays closed. There is always something that needs something. My mom always tells me to find the mercy in these types of situations. The mercy is that, we can pay for it and that I can get my car back today so I can work on set tomorrow. It stings a bit, but getting my car back means I can get to more jobs. More jobs, mean more opportunities for me to be seen. And, who know? Maybe, one day I will be discovered, land that dream role that pays a ridiculous amount of money and I can walk into a car dealership and purchase whatever car I want. (Which right now is a brand new Honda Odyssey). Think I am stretching it a bit? You never know. Maybe my radiator needing to be replaced will be a blessing in disguise. Dream Big, children. Dream Big!

Now until, that fantasy comes true, I will be here brainstorming with my hubby. We will be trying to find ways to make money and save money for all the "somethings" this family seems to always need.


Happy August/ Blogger Challenge

Good morning, everyone. I accepted a challenge for bloggers to post at least once everyday in the month of August. It is called the #31 WriteNow Challenge. I accepted this challenge because frankly, I have gotten lazy and I really need to start writing again. My first fear was that I wouldn't have anything to talk about everyday. But, I am wife, mother of 4 sons, I have a moody poodle and a 185lb. giant that thinks he is a lap dog. I homeschool my two youngest sons and I work as an extra on the set of a television show. There is ALWAYS something to talk about.

So, I hope you will join me this month as I attempt to get my blog out to you everyday this month. I also hope that you will share this blog with your friends as I would love to build my readership.

Stay tuned,

Lots of good stuff to come!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Summer Break (sort of)

Being a homeschooling mom, I basically spend 24/7 with my now 9 and soon to be 11 year old sons. I love their company, but it can really start to make you a bit crazy somewhere around October. Having no other people that homeschool within a 50 mile radius also makes it difficult to have adult conversations and for the boys to socialize. Although, they still keep up and hangout with their former classmates. So, because of this, my husband and I decided to put them in Summer Camp.We figured they would be excited to embark on this new experience, weekly field trips, new friends, arts and crafts, learning how to swim, etc..... Their initial reaction was not quite what I expected. You would have thought we sentenced them to 6 weeks of hard labor the way our 10 year old reacted. There were many days of tears where he asked were we just trying to get rid of them. Our 9 year old, Ky was much more optimistic. He actually was a bit excited. As the days grew closer to Summer Camp, I wondered if I had done the right thing. My rational mind, knew that I had. But the part of my brain that had been scrubbed clean by a growing overload of mommy guilt was questioning my motives for actually wanting to spend a whole 6 hours away from my precious boys Monday-Friday.

The first day of camp arrived and I have to admit it tugged a bit at my heart. It had been well over a year since I had entrusted my sons to strangers for the day. I kissed and hugged them and told them they would have a wonderful time. I had almost made a clean break before my youngest asked me if I could stay and watch them play. Darn, my over-emotional self! I smiled at him, choked back the giant lump forming in my throat and made my way to the door. I got in my van, and decided to drown my sorrows in a shopping trip to Target.

It felt weird at first, walking around the store without the sound of  my boys arguing or asking for this or that. But, as a glanced at the other childless women in the store, a peace fell over me. I relaxed and started filling my cart with all sorts of stuff I would never have had time to even consider buying when shopping the boys. 2 hours and $80 later, I decided I had better get out of the store. I came home to a quiet house for the 1st times in a long time. My husband was at work and my older sons were still asleep. I had time read a few emails, figure out dinner for the evening and before I knew it, it was time to pick them up again.

The reviews from the first day were mixed. Ky was excited and ready for more. MJ looked as though he would have rather spent the day doing yard work or getting a blood test at the doctor's office. Since that day, there have been good days and days where they have both begged me to stay home. I must admit, I did cave in once. We all went to the movies, out to lunch and had a great time.

There are 20 days of camp left. At 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, that is 120 hours of potential "me time".

A girl could get used to this.