Saturday, July 31, 2010

(43-4) Positivity

I've had the pleasure of knowing my wonderful friend Russell B since my Junior year of high school and he has ALWAYS been a very special and important person to me.  Russell was close with my mom and SHE was a big fan of his.  Russell was / is very well-mannered and kind hearted and during all of my difficult times he was a very devoted friend.

Since Russell and I had this consolatory connection and my Mom had thought SO highly of him; I asked him to honor her by walking me down the aisle at my wedding and he happily agreed. Luis followed suit by asking Russell if he would stand beside him as his Best Man after bringing me to the alter; and again he consented.

Having Russell as such an integral part of our wedding was the quintessence of our day and I hope that through the years, Luis and I have amply expressed  how very much his presence and participation meant to both of us.

Yesterday I got an email from Russell, and before I go on let me affirm that I have his complete permission to share our correspondence with you.

In response to my "43-2" post, Russell wrote:
Very nice - I know this is a tough b'day for you - really did not want to make note of it on FB with the well wishes - keep it positive....but I can only imagine what you are going through.
So to turn this around - lets reflect on the good times and the well wishes that come from all over - and remember your folks with smiles and happiness.
Enjoy in the love of your husband, children and friends.
To which I replied:
Thanks Russell! I am FINE! And I am totally taking a positive attitude about this year; which is why I'm doing the daily blog - God help me.

And Russell wrote:
You never cease to amaze me.
And I then asked WHY???
To which Russell answered:
You are always just sooooo positive about everything no matter what - yes I know you have your moments - but you stay so positive.

To which I responded:
That's sweet of you to say. And all I can say is that it feels better to be positive than negative. I know that my life has been unusual in so many ways but I also know that I have so much more left to do and I just feel like this is the year. My kids are still very young; Luis and I are still very much in love and I think I can do more good here than with God right now - so he doesn't need me yet! I'm digging my heels in and I'm not giving it a thought AT ALL; REALLY!

I am THANKFUL for all that I have and CERTAINLY for your friendship!
And then, given Russell's respect for my privacy; I did the unthinkable and asked if I could publish our emails.  I told him that no one was safe anymore;  and I have to laugh, I mean here he was trying to keep our PERSONAL conversation off of the very PUBLC facebook and then I asked if I could broadcast it to the world through my blog.  However, knowing me as well as Russell does, I'm sure he just chuckled and then agreed.  But here's the thing;  I think that I asked because I don't believe that I could have written the words that I had so easily written to him any better for "The Bumpy Ride."   The truth of the matter is that I am just going about my life as if it's business as usual.  I refuse to consider the what ifs or give negative ideas a moment of my time. I'm just trying to live my life with positivity and gratitude.  Each day surely is a gift and it is up to each of us to choose our happiness.  I CHOOSE to be thankful for what I have rather than sad for what I have not.  My blessings are many and my friendships are abundant.  I have exceptional children, a marriage beyond compare and dream that I am following.  I hope that you will all do the same.
Till next time...

Friday, July 30, 2010

(43-3) Definitions

It has come to my attention that I may have SLLIIGGHHTTLLY  misrepresented the "Urban Dictionary" definition of Slendiferous; as it seems that the meaning, entered by Spork in February 2004, was actually entered as slendiferous craig; and not just slendiferous (a fact I chose to ignore at the time.) But when I went back and looked at it closely, I found that the sentence that's given as an example of the term is: "Dude! That 70 yard run was splendiferous craig!"  Now look carefully; he wrote sPlendiferous he didn't even use the word that he was defining; so I'm not sure what to think.  I'm REALLY baffled about this term and how to use it now, because even though I like to think that I'm down; I have no flippin idea who "Craig" is and in my opinion; the fact that Spork used THAT example is just nullifying HIS definition.
Now, based on what I told you yesterday, a couple of you (myself included) have already committed to adding slendiferous to your vernacular and to you I say JUST DO IT!  Why shouldn't you say slendiferous to mean "coolest of the cool" if that's what you want it to mean?  These things have to start somewhere.  Remember the movie "Never Been Kissed" with Drew Barrymore??  I loved that movie; and in it, the popular boy  "Guy Perkins" would make up words and pass them off as the cool new word of the day.  So OK, just think of me as your own personal Guy Perkins... Slendiferous??
I should also add, that while I was trying to find out who this illusive Craig is, I found several definitions of MY name in the Urban dictionary;" meanings ranging from "very outgoing but shy girl"(which is actually true for me;) to "always makes you laugh" (I sure hope so;)  to "Sometimes thinks too low of herself, but has no reason to at all."  (Which definitely is me but I don't think it's exclusive to MY name;) to "An awesome girl. generally athletic and always looking to loose weight. May not be the average sized but is deffinitly a good girlfriend to have, so cute!  (And no, that wasn't MY typo, I copied and pasted but I just couldn't resist it...)  But THIS is my favorite: Paige  - sweet, fearless woman that doesn't let anything stand in her way. Prepare to be inspired by Paige, never let down by Paige, and always understood by Paige.
With that said,  I think it's only fair to conclude that if I can CHOOSE the definition of my name; or clearly make one up for myself (as it seems;) then YOU can certainly choose the meaning that you LIKE for slendiferous.  Go for it, use it up, spread it around...Keep on truckin.
Till next time...

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yesterday I truly was The BIRTHDAY Queen.  I'm thrilled to say that my birthday was positively wonderful and I relished every moment of the day.  I woke up early intending to start writing "The Bumpy Ride," but when I checked my email and saw how many well wishes I had; I was delightfully detained.   I would be remiss if  I didn't start off by saying how overwhelmed I was by EACH of the birthday greetings that I'd received on Facebook; in addition to the encouraging responses regarding yesterday's post and my new endeavor.   It seems that a lot of people on Facebook play a numbers game and they add "friends" that they never even communicate with, but that's NOT me; so it was so touching to see how many people wished me a Happy Birthday.  There were tidings from childhood friends, and new acquaintances; from Junior High pals, and High School cohorts, from College chums to work buddies, from old neighbors to scrapbook sisters, and from EVERYONE that I love and cherish in between.  The birthday wishes abounded; and though this is typically true for most people who use Facebook - on this significant birthday, it meant THE WORLD to me.   My friend Judy (who I've known since I was 4) wrote "Happy Birthday to my dear friend! Hope it's a slendiferous day!!"  Well, I thought that this was a FABULOUS comment; though I have to admit that I wasn't really sure what slendiferous meant.  Loving to use the dictionary and thesaurus as I do; I Googled the word and was just about to "assume" that Judy made a typo on SPLENDIFEROUS when I found that according to the "Urban Dictionary," slendiferous is  A little known term that denotes "the coolest of the cool."  Well who knew that Judy was so in the know... and that's pretty much what I wrote back to her.  I thanked her for thinking of me and gave her props for her progressive phraseology.  And so class, SLENDIFEROUS is our word of the day; and I DID indeed have a SLENDIFEROUS Birthday!!!

What I think I enjoyed most about my day was that I didn't do anything remarkable - I just did things that make me happy; with people that I enjoy.  I went to Starbucks with my friend Lori, went home and made the kids lunch; went for a pedicure with my friend Shannon; which was a double pleasure since we went to Pure Elements which is our friend Jenny's salon.  Unfortunately, Luis had to work; but The kids and I had a terrific time when we met Michelle M & Max at Red Robin for dinner AND I got to use my FREE birthday burger coupon.  As if that wasn't enough; Luis brought me a Tiramisu cake and I finished my slice along with my blog and I felt VERY satisfied on all levels.

I woke up today, happy to take on day 2 of being 43 and was surprised to procure even MORE birthday salutations and some gifts that I NEVER expected..  The generosity of my friends was / is just astounding and I feel SO BLESSED to have the kindest, most thoughtful people in my life.  Now what could be more slendiferous than that???
Till next time...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Today is my 43rd birthday and though any birthday is a cause for celebration, and the 43rd may not be monumental for most; it's HUGE for me!
When I was younger, having a day of celebration on my actual birthday sufficed. If I was having a party and it happened to be on a day other than my authentic birthday, I then managed to eek out 2 days of jubilation; and as I got older, my birthday festivities grew into "My birthday weekend" and even "My birthday week."  Then just the other night, a wonderful friend advised me that she literally celebrates her birthday for a month. Well wonderful friend and readers alike; this year I am doing one better... I am actually going to celebrate my birthday for A YEAR; and I am so hoping that you will rejoice right along with me...
Now I know that a YEAR of celebration may sound extremely excessive; so please allow me to explain further (as if I wouldn't...)
On March 4, 2009 I posted a blog called "100 Random Things About Me," and #14 was: My parents and paternal Grandfather all died at the age of 43 and that WON'T be me.  OK, the gasps were deafening; but not to worry; I AM FINE!  Rest assured that other than being overweight and suffering from an occasional anxiety attack; I am in perfect health and I have no intention or expectation that I will be leaving this planet any time soon; HOWEVER, following my usual make lemonade out of lemons philosophy; I believe this needs to be a year of recollection, reflection, observation, appreciation, and change; and I plan to do this right before your very eyes.

In my last post, "For A Cause;" I wrote "I've got something planned that you're NEVER going to believe."  And  I have to laugh (lovingly) at how many people guessed that my news was that I was pregnant. Shocking really;  but in a sense, I am giving birth; NOT to a child; but to a creation nonetheless.  So, here it is.  In celebration of my life and all that I need to acknowledge, appreciate and be thankful for;  I am pledging to post a blog EVERY day this year.  (And again the gasps abound...)  Now I know what you're thinking; "THIS coming form a woman who said she was going to post twice a week or AT LEAST a minimum of once a week and then disappeared for weeks and months at a time?"  And the answer is "YES!!"  THIS from The Queen of DELAYS.   THIS from The Queen of PROCRASTINATION.  THIS from The Queen of COMMITMENT, The Queen of KEEPING HER WORD!    Am I fallible?  Absolutely, but hey if Julie can do it; SO CAN I...  I   HAVE TO!!  So yes, for the next 366 days (gotta include making it to birthday 44 of course;)  I am going to endeavor to write a post a day.  They won't ALL be my usual narratives or lengthy storytelling; (though some will - wink,wink;)  but at the very least, I will write about something that I learned, enjoyed, or recalled that day.  I may pay tribute to one of my MANY extraordinary friends, or write about how I reacted differently in a situation that previously would have driven me up the wall.  I am going to do my best to learn to be a kinder person.  A more patient person.  A person who really DOESN'T sweat the small stuff.  A person who can find the silver lining and can recognize beauty in unlikely places and predicaments. Oh don't get me wrong;  I know that life isn't PERFECT; but it sure beats the alternative!!!  I know that you can't ALWAYS find a positive when there are circumstances that absolutely suck.  BUT, in the face of all of that, I want to be A person who made the MOST of a year in her life, didn't waste a minute.; and reminded you that Life Is Beautiful.  AND who knows; maybe once I'm done commemorating my 43rd year; and 366 posts; I'll actually have a book...

So there you have it. .. My big news!  I hope that you continue to join me on this BUMPY RIDE and grow along with me this year.
Till next time...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For A Cause...

I suppose it would be easy for me to start telling my latest story and not even acknowledge that I haven't posted a blog in over two months ~ but then I just wouldn't be me; now would I ?  I'm not going to give you a lengthy list of excuses for my absence; just one BIG one; I've been in a SLUMP!  Now a slump is totally different from having writer's block; because I certainly do have stories to tell; and rest assured that in good time THEY WILL BE TOLD -  but ever since we returned from Puerto Vallarta (in early June,) I've had several unexpected situations that have caused me an extraordinary amount of stress and I just haven't had the wherewithal or the confidence to write (even though I REALLY wanted to.)  My anxiety had been getting the better of me; and it kept me from doing what I LOVE to do and THAT made things even worse.  Even though I kept trying to convince myself that I was ready to write; I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Even though I was receiving requests from friends and readers asking me to post a blog; I just couldn't try; (though I hope that they know how grateful I was / am,  for their encouragement and how flattered I was / am by their interest.)  I know that  I'm stronger than all of the forces that seemed to be at work against me but actually writing just seemed impossible; UNTIL I witnessed something that moved me so much, that I KNEW it was time for me to get back to work.

On Monday I took my kids to swim team practice and while we were getting ready to leave; one of the coaches handed a bag of plastic bottle caps to a girl that we didn't know.  Someone asked why she was collecting the caps and she explained that a friend of hers had a friend who had Leukemia and that for every 700 caps that were collected, she would get a free treatment.  Well, my kids heard this and as soon as we got into our minivan, they immediately started searching for plastic bottle caps.  Then, as soon as we arrived home, they checked our garage, and our recycling baskets, and even though it was 109 degrees in the shade, they went out to our back yard and tried to dig up some more caps. After they'd found a few, they came inside and started searching our pantry.  Lyndzi said "Hey Mom, when will you ever use apple vinegar?"  And I explained what I use it for; to which she replied "Maybe when you're done, we can use that cap."  And then she continued searching further, suggesting "What about the mayonnaise and the peanut butter."  Kelsie then chimed in with "Maybe when I'm done taking my medicine, we could use that cap."  To which a very enthusiastic Lyndzi said "Do you take it two times a day?"  And Kelsie answered excitedly, "Yes, morning and night."  They then tried to think of other places that they might find caps and they remembered that Luis had a growing collection of water bottles in our Toyota; so they called him at work to make sure that he hadn't thrown the bottles away.  As luck would have it; he said that he had just cleaned the car out the day before and so we explained that we needed him to bring home the bottle caps from now on and get others to give them to him as well.

I was SO touched by my kids call to action, that I knew my slump was over and that THIS was the story that I was ready to write.  I found their desire to help and their compassion absolutely inspirational, and I was overcome by their good will and humanity.  Just because it's who they are, my kids were interested in (say it with me) THE GREATER GOOD; and that's not an expression that I have even used with them thus far.  And so, in the interest of THE GREATER GOOD, I thought that others might want to help too and since I wanted to write this post armed with all of the information that you would need to get involved; I promptly started researching bottle caps for cancer; (YES, sometimes I actually research something before I write about it...) and I found out that it is a total hoax.  Snopes reported it, as did several other articles; all with quotes from the American Cancer Society, stating "HOAX,"  "Urban myth" and absolutely UNTRUE.

Can you even imagine how difficult it was for me to explain to my kids that the 73 bottle caps that they'd collected since Monday, were not really going to be able to help anyone.  To say they were dejected would be an understatement, because they wanted so badly to help.  But you know what... THEY DID!  Their deed helped remind me of what truly EXCEPTIONAL, AMAZING people they are and I realized that in order to perpetuate this path, I shouldn't waste a minute worrying about trivial things, or stress about situations that I can't control; because when I do, my disposition prevents me from giving the best of myself TO THEM and NOTHING is more important than spending time with my children.  I recognized that all of the time that I had spent worrying and stressing was time that I could have spent focusing on the positive, which is that I am raising kind, considerate, loving individuals. People who are already going out into the world and trying to make a difference and NOTHING  deserves my concern and attention more than that!!
So now my slump IS officially over (because I say it is. ) I'm BACK and I'm ready to write AND I've got something planned that you're NEVER going to believe; so you're just going to have to stay tuned to find out.
Till next time...