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Myths About Marijuana

After watching 60 minutes and many other shows on the issues now taking placing in Colorado after the legalization of Marijuana I thought about the article that my Mother once wrote about the issue. So intelligent and wise-here is a guest post from my mom.  Thanks Lucy!

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Drug use in America continues to increase among pre-teens, teens and young adults.  Despite major efforts from law enforcement and drug task forces, substances of misuse are available to anyone seeking them and too many others caught in casual situations who are encouraged to experiment.  Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug in the country.  More than 1.2 million Americans ages 12 and over participated in substance use treatment for marijuana in 2006, making it the second most prevalent substance of concern behind alcohol.  The percentage of Americans seeking treatment for marijuana use more than doubled from 1993-2005.

Young people who use marijuana or alcohol tend to be more prone to denial, justification and rationalization than users of ‘harder” drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.    There are many individuals who have smoked without experiencing significant consequences, because many of marijuana’s effects develop gradually and are therefore difficult to recognize, and because societal attitudes toward marijuana are ambivalent.

Some individuals adhere to beliefs about marijuana use that make it more difficult for them to recognize the harmful impact of use on their lives.  Below are discussed four myths concerning marijuana and it’s use that will assist parents to generate in their children critical thinking concerning about the choice to use in discussions with their children.

Myth#1:  Marijuana is all natural; therefore it is safe and healthy to smoke it. (“God put it on the earth for a reason.’  “It grows in nature, so it’s fine.”)  Today’s marijuana is not the same substance as the plant that grew indigenously in nature.  The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  The average THC content in seized street marijuana more than doubled in 14 years, increasing from under 4% in 1983 to 9.6% in 2007.  This increase is attributed to decades of cross breeding and cultivation techniques used by people intending to synthesize a more potent substance.

The belief that marijuana is healthy because it grows in nature presupposes two ideas:

If something grows in nature then it must be healthy.  Using this logic, one could argue that rubbing poison ivy on one’s skin or eating poisonous mushrooms is healthy.  In truth, some things in nature are healthy for consumption while others are not.

Plants that grow in nature were intended to be smoked by humans.  If marijuana exists for some cosmic purpose, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was intended to be smoked.  Perhaps human beings weren’t designed to smoke anything, since inhalation of smoke is a tissue irritant that is initially rejected by the body.  Tobacco, opium and coca all occur in nature, but I have encountered few marijuana users who believe that smoking those substances is healthy.  Historically, marijuana has been used for other purposes (e.g. rope, clothing, mats, fishnets and oils).

 

Myth#2:  Marijuana is harmless.  (“No one dies from it.”  “It never hurt anyone.”)  There is an element of truth in this belief, given the lack of strong evidence that marijuana use causes fatal overdose.  However, overdose is just one way in which substance use can be fatal.  In the 2002 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report, marijuana was the only substance involved in 2 overdoses, 35 deaths and 69 other drug-related deaths.  A national estimate of deaths associated with marijuana only is 581, but that figure might be low as some metropolitan areas do not include marijuana in toxicology tests and others do not report any toxicology results.  This number also excludes any deaths in which any substance besides marijuana was also detected.

Recent advances in technology have allowed scientists to unlock some of the mysteries of the brain.  THC molecules bind to receptor sites in areas of the brain responsible for the regulation of the functions found to be adversely affected by marijuana use, giving us an explanation for how marijuana does what it does.

For example, marijuana use can cause significant impairment when a person drives a vehicle or operates machinery, which undoubtedly poses a risk for accidents, legal problems and fatality.  Chronic use has been linked to cancers, respiratory ailments and immune system malfunction.  Marijuana causes sleep stage irregularities, affecting memory, immunologic functioning and subjective well-being.  Marijuana-related memory impairment can have vocational and educational implications.  Chronic use has been linked to reproductive impairment.  Young people with Axis I conditions (e.g. ADHD, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders) are prone to self-medicating with marijuana, but use can exacerbate their symptoms.

Some teens used marijuana extensively during the pivotal developmental stage of adolescence.  They self-medicated with marijuana when they experienced aversive emotional states, whereas their non-using peers were developing healthier coping strategies.  Impairment emotional regulation and amotivational syndrome are often the results.  Having trained their minds to depend on foreign substance to achieve homeostasis, these individuals are left with few coping tools after they abstain.  Some individuals would consider prison, unemployment and even death as viable alternatives to life without marijuana.  Knowing the potential negative consequences of marijuana use might help clients make more informed decisions about use, abstinence and recovery.

Myth#3:  Most people smoke marijuana.  (Everybody does it.”  “You can’t tell me you haven’t.”)  Slightly greater than half of young Americans have tried marijuana at least once.  Findings from the 2007 Monitoring the Future Survey suggests that 42% of all 12th graders have used marijuana at least once, 32% have used in the last year, and 19% have used within the last month.  Findings from 2006 suggested that 57% of Americans ages 19 to 30 had tried the substance at least once in their lives, 26.5% had used in the last year and 14.9% within the last month.  However, most Americans do not continue to use the substance or use it regularly, as is the case with the typical client in treatment.  If it were true that most Americans used regularly, that would not prove that marijuana use was harmless for all people.  Nonetheless, individuals who present with cannabis-related disorders might be prone to rationalizing their use based on a belief that ‘everyone is doing it,” whereas knowing that abstinence is not atypical might be encouraging for some individuals who choose not to use.

Myth#4:  Marijuana makes you creative.  (“It expands your awareness.”  “It opens you up to new possibilities.’)  Some people think that marijuana use could enhance creativity given its enhancement of the senses and subjective nature of the concept of creativity.   However, when defined as divergent thinking, creativity is not enhanced by occasional use of marijuana and is diminished with regular use.  In a series of experiments in 1960s and 70s, participants evaluated their work as more creative when they were high than when they were abstinent, suggesting that people think themselves to be more creative only when experiencing euphoria.  Clients who value their creative works are encouraged by the fact that many successful artists are abstinent or in recovery, fueling confidence that one can be creative simply by using one’s natural abilities.

As parents it is important to be informed and have the answers to arguments before they arise.  An informed parent is credible and it is difficult for a child to argue with the facts.  Sharing opinions, values and beliefs is also an important part of parenting.  Have the conversations, someone will be, make sure you add your voice.

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Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and in our small town

For Christmas Eve groceries-there are none to be found

All citizens are celebrating at the town hall

In looking around-I’m related to them all

It’s a family affair to celebrate this day

But wait, an outsider who showed them the way?

They came in so quietly in their fur covered shoes

With a scarf, long coat and some clear colored booze

We all said hello and welcomed her here

But inside we were wondering why she stole the cheer

She sat in the corner and made some small talk

Then asked where tomorrow she could go for a walk

We all looked in awe at this city lady

No walking on Christmas, that’s a day to be lazy

The night ended quickly and we returned to our beds

Waiting for Santa-our scriptures we read

We said thanks to Jesus for all that he did

Then in anticipation, we tucked in each kid

It was early the next morning as I flew out of bed

Not lazy this morning, there are cows to be fed

I rushed to the field with barely a light

After-all, when work starts it’s really still night

Eyes to the sky I watched with such glee

Waiting for Santa, hoping to see

But instead of a sleigh across the bright sky

It was the city slicker walking-boots knee-high

She waved at me, jolly, from across the way

I tipped my hat, “good morning” it’d say

She stood there, just staring, watching me work

I just kept on moving, she’d think me a jerk

Then out of her bag a camera did appear

Then flashes and clicks the cows ran in fear

I simply smiled but inside I did not

She wants a show-then a show I have got

So I reached my hand all covered in muck

And scratched my own butt and made sure some stuck

I let one fly so loud and so long

Then added a burp it was almost a song

Then placing my finger a side of my nose

I breathed in deep and then let out a blow

Snot went a flying so straight and so true

I was not photographic and now she knew

The look on her face was not that of joy

So off she went walking with her silly camera toy

I finished my chores and returned to my home

To spend a few minutes with my family alone

Santa had been here, I hadn’t seen a thing

But I guess that’s okay for gifts he did bring

The children will play with their toys in a while

Outside in the snow, the mud and hay pile

Friends will come from all over the town

Asking, “what did you get?” not a frown to be found

We’ll invite our new friend to join us for chow

She’s an outsider, true, but she’s one of us now

One of many reasons to live in this place

With mountains and valleys and lots of real space

The kids will wake up and their smiles I’ll see

Then back to the field is where I will be

It’s a slow day that’s true I’m taking some time

But the cows and that field, the responsibility’s mine

Coffee in hand the kids start to rise

I can’t wait to see the joy in their eyes

I look out the window, and a light flashes from sight.

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night”

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Dear Me

Dear Much Older, Much Wiser Me:

If the advice I am often given and the articles I am reading are correct, then you are looking back on our life and wishing you would have done at least a few things differently.  You are wishing you would have let more things go.  You would have let the floors hold just a little more dirt while you sat right in the middle playing cars with your kids.  You would have chosen not to take that extra job so instead of being in front of the computer, you could instead be reading a book to your sidekicks.  You would have done with a little less stuff and instead spent a little more time.  You would have yelled less and hugged more.  After-all, the time went so quickly, you would have embraced every moment.  You are probably looking at your life wondering if you could have done better.  Wondering if you failed.  Wondering why you didn’t try harder.

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Just in case that’s you, I want to tell you just a few things.

You feel the same way now.  At the end of every day you reflect and wish you would have done more.  You wish you would have spent more time with the kids.  You are worried you are doing it all wrong and that you are screwing it all up.  You worry that every time you yell, you are doing damaging harm.  You worry that every time you shoo your sidekicks away as you take an important call that you are wasting precious moments.  Especially on those days when you had one thing after another and didn’t get even a smidgen of a chance to really focus and play, those days you really feel it.  Then you worry that maybe you are focusing too much on your kids and not enough on your husband who you also love very much and who is working just as hard as you, and then wait, are you enabling your children too much?

You don’t get enough sleep.  You have so much to do.  Especially in December when you are trying so hard to get things right.  For no other reason than that you want to see your sidekicks smile.  It’s fun, but it’s exhausting. I think as you are looking back you are forgetting just how tired you are.  That down time, the alone time you feel you have too much of now, you didn’t have enough then.  I promise.

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I just finished folding laundry and cleaning the house today.  I know you think maybe I should let it go a little more and spend a little more time, but I worry about the little buggers that are ours.  They can’t live in filth.  What about the lesson about appreciating the things we work for?  I’m teaching them that, so hopefully you don’t have to bail them out in the future because they never learned.

I make sure they eat healthy, most of the time, and worry about me to.  Not because I really worry about me, but because I am worried about you.  I hope you are healthy and happy.  I hope instead of wishing you would have spent more time just living it up, you feel gratitude that at least a small focus was on health and wellness.

I know you are thinking that you wish you would have worked a little less, you did want to be home with the kids right?  But here’s the thing.  I worry about you too.  I don’t want you to have all the stress of catch up.  You are sitting there (I hope) not in a financial pinch, but instead living comfortably.  I did that for you, while raising our kids and keeping the home.  Of course not alone, our husband did that too, but we tried to do our part.  Remember that next time you wish you would have done it differently.

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Our kids laugh, you laugh.  You love being a mom more than anything.  They are incredible souls that are so amazing.  Life is really, really great.  You are happy and enjoying it, right now in the moment.  You are embracing it and feeling joy and pride at what you are accomplishing every day.  You despise the articles that make you feel guilty and then hold them close to your heart just trying to embrace them too.  It’s a very awkward (but totally fun and thrilling) dance.

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But sometimes you still yell, but only after speaking at least twice.  It’s trying after-all.  The kids leave messes.  They throw things.  They spill juice. They break things.  They fight with each other. They go out the doggie-door. They throw eggs.  They pull your hair.  They ask you the same damn question 62 times in a row. They dump crackers on the bed. They color on the walls.  They hate sleeping. They cry and throw fits. They puke and they poop.  They wake you up at night just because they can. They push your buttons.  All on purpose.  All at the same time.  They act differently for Grandma.  Oh, and you’re tired, frustrated, and wishing you were doing better.  So you yell and immediately feel bad.  Then you dance in the kitchen with your sidekicks, play chase, and eat popcorn (and drink wine) because it’s fun and they  (you) deserve it.

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Trust me when I say, what you are feeling, so am I.  I am doing the very best I can to be a woman who will make you proud.  I don’t want you to look back and wish I would have done better.  But just in case you are, here’s a little note to assure you that I wish I could do better too, but I am honestly, completely doing the very best that I can every day.  I love our sidekicks and our husband too.  FYI…I also love you.

From a younger, only a little wise,

Me

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From Relay Race to Real Life

This last weekend I participated in a relay running event here in Park City.  I along with my 6 teammates (yes 6-in a world of 6 man relay teams-we run with 7) we ran just under 67 miles.  This was my first relay race and was an incredible experience.  There are so many things that I could touch on that change a person but instead I will share just a few of our slogans that will change the way that I will embrace life.

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“Embrace the Suck”

This was our team motto and was written on the side of our ride.  A military motto that we chose to help push us forward even though our mission was nothing in comparison to those that represent our freedom.  It did, however, make an impact on not only us but in other teams struggling that day.  Sometimes things suck-but if we make it to the other side-we gain power.

“I’m All In”

One teammate in particular embraces all of life this way and we couldn’t help but be pulled into the enthusiasm as we embarked on our journey.  Really, this is the only way to live.  Either you are in, or you are out.  Focus on what matters and make sure it counts.

“I hate Royal Street”

Okay this one, maybe doesn’t make as much sense to some, but it applies, everyday.  Even though this teammate now officially hates Royal Street-guess what, she made it to the summit and is still kicking.  She looks back-still hating it, but is really okay.  Sometimes in life we may come across things that just plain suck.  It won’t look better tomorrow, or even ten years from now, but we are still kicking and should be very proud of ourselves for what we accomplished.

“God made me for this”

That’s right.  We have so much more strength and power than we can even imagine.  We are incredible, little perfect wonders that God made.  We can do it.  Even when it is hard-we can work harder, push further, and when all else fails-start crying and pray-but we will make it…today (right now) may be terrible and horrible, but maybe, just maybe tomorrow will be amazing.

“The wind, this hill, I feel like I am going backwards”

But you aren’t.  You are going forward and from the outside we see your struggle but girl you are moving.  Sometimes in your hardest moment you may feel that you are going the wrong way, but we see you.  Press On!

“This is endurance running-and it feels good”

Sometimes a really good challenge is the very best thing for our soul.  Pushing ourselves to do something amazing changes just about everything.  The training will improve confidence while the challenge will improve strength and the accomplishment-well that-it changes everything.

“You Are Awesome”

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I can only share my own experience but it was amazing.  I enjoyed the time spent laughing in the car and especially the feeling of being a part of something so incredible.  These people who I ran with will always be my friends.  They accomplished amazing things.  I am motivated to be more like them. They helped me accomplish something that I never could have done on my own. Thank you!

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I conquered a really big hill that I had been training for–for months. (4.33 Miles at a 10.5% average uphill grade)

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I got to meet my biggest support crew at the top of the summit in my husband, dad and sidekicks.  image4

I realized what incredible people my teammates were who helped keep me going up the hill even when it would have been faster to walk-I kept running. Because of them, my sister, and my kids.  I told my legs to shut-up….it worked….the next step, I said it again. It’s all about persistence.

image1 (1)All-in-all I am a big fan of relay races. I love the whole experience-even when it was hard.  I highly recommend you try this in the future.  For us, we were a bunch of “non-runners” and we did really really well.  You can do it too-I know you can!  You….Are…..Awesome!

 

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Learning Life Lessons In Good Clothes

I am a self-proclaimed life long learner.  Not just because I love education and believe in it, but also because I continuously make mistakes and it’s either get up and learn or lay on the floor and waste away.  Sometimes literally.  I fall a lot.

I learned a pretty big lesson this last week though from sidekick 1.  She saw me learning and even said, “Sometimes you teach me things, and sometimes I teach you things too.”  So right.  Everyday.

I was busy one morning so my well-trained one decided to help me out by picking out the outfit that I was going to wear for the day.  She selected an incredibly bright pair of leggings and an equally bright but not of same color striped tank top.  When I saw the outfit I laughed. Out loud.

“I can’t wear that, everyone will think I am crazy and they will laugh at me.”  Bad Mom.

She cried.  Real tears.  “I thought you would look so pretty in that mom.”

Shame.  Frustration at myself. Anger at my actions.

Why can’t I wear that?  Why do I worry about what others will think?  She will learn this all too soon and lose the special that makes her sparkle extra bright.  She too will try to conform in order to fit in.  Why now?  Bad mom…Let her be her.  Show her she can.

“I’m so sorry.  I do love that outfit and I will wear it.”

“No Mom.  I don’t want you get laughed at.”  Sniffle.

“I will wear whatever you want me to wear.  You know fashion so much more than me (It’s really true).”

“Okay Mom, I picked this one instead.  It’s not as bright.”

I don’t love selfies but I couldn’t resist.  (This is my best “tight pants” dance move)

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You bet I rocked this in public. (no that is not pink in the pants-it’s orange) Proud of it, head held high.  I even found the nicest lady I could and secretly asked her for a compliment.  She told me that she loved my outfit.

“Did you hear that?  She loves my outfit.  See you were right.  I don’t know anything about fashion and I should listen to you more.”

“Do you like my outfit too?” She asks the lady with a smile a mile wide.  Then she twirled and did a little break dance move on the grass to the music.

I learned to “embrace myself.”  I learned that life comes far to fast in the world and I am not ready for her to have to fight it yet.  I’m not saying that social norms don’t need to be taught.  They do, but only when it defines character and shows respect.

Today I will wear my “fashiony” outfit, embrace life, and show my kids that I am still learning too. I think if we all face the world together we stand a fighting chance.

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It’s a good thing she loves me and forgives me right away.  My mistakes would add up if she didn’t.  Look how cute she looks though.  She really is a doll.

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The Looks

When I was younger,  I wasn’t afraid of very much.  I often found myself on stage dancing freestyle to the intermission music in plays and Christmas programs.  I wanted to dance, and was encouraged and allowed by my parents to express myself.  As a mother now, I wonder if my parents ever had moments of concern or embarrassment. They never showed it.  But still….

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Sidekick 1 wanted to do the County Fair Talent show.  She has talked about it all year, but when I asked her to practice or prepare she flat-out refused.  She insisted she would be fine.

Thinking of the event, the many spectators, and the idea of my daughter not winning a ribbon stuck in my mind.  Would she be embarrassed if she was the only one not prepared,  would I?  Would she be upset if she didn’t win a ribbon and the other kids did?  Finally I tried to encourage her to back out of the competition and proceed with life as normal. (not my proudest mom moment) This stubborn sidekick of mine again refused.  Instead she gave me what I wanted and danced in the basement the entire time to the song that she had selected.  “Hey Mickey.”  She’s darling. So I did what any mother would do and tailored her costume, helped her get it just how she wanted it to be and told her I was proud and that she was amazing!

I still worried, would the crowd get to her?  Would she be sad if she didn’t win?

The night of the talent show this sweet and spicy little sidekick of mine took the stage.  Smile on her face, eye contact with the crowd and a consistent flow of movement and shakes all across the stage.  My cup of pride ran over.  I was so incredibly proud of my brave little lady.  Oh,  how I love her and need her energy in my life.

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The best part-she was so proud too.  I may be biased, I may think there is a little favoritism in the judging but my four-year old little girl had more stage presence and confidence than any child that took the stage that night.  Her routine was not choreographed, but she looked at the audience, not a teacher…and she smiled.  She didn’t win.  She noticed that others got ribbons and their pictures taken and that she did not.  This made her sad.  It made me sad.  I know that children need to learn that they won’t always win, but I sure wanted my little sidekick to win this one (and everyone).  She then looked at the participation certificate in her hand and said, “but I got the gold star.”  I replied, “you sure did, and it says shining star and that’s the best of the best.”

She’s proud of herself.  She doesn’t feel embarrassed with her own choreography. She just loves to dance, loves to perform, and loves herself.  The audience loved her.  I was so proud. I don’t know if I could do it anymore, I wonder if I could ever get that confidence and lack of caring for the looks that others might give me back.  The very thought scares me.  I wonder, exactly when do we lose that spark in life? When do the looks add up?

Anyone want to do a talent show next year? Let’s take our confidence back!

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A Few Steps in a Walk Across America

I have a few traits that seem to be pretty well-known by those in my closest circle.  Sometimes I am teased and bring people into things that they may or may not have wanted to do.  But sometimes…I become a part of something really, really cool.

Example A:  I would do almost anything for anyone, my husband would do anything for me, therefore, he gets roped into doing a lot of things for others, that probably wouldn’t be on the top of his list.  i.e.  taking boxes of food to a bunch of kids stuck in a home with drug addicted parents.  Not his idea-not safe for me on my own-so he does it for me.  Good man.  Not …fun…

Example B: My sister loves to chat.  She gets stories out of people and learns a lot about others.  Then she tells me stories and “opens the crazy,” as she says.  Ian and his walk across America fits here.  She met Ian and Jake as they came into her store to buy some shoes.  She told me their story and I then contacted them on Facebook and promised breakfast.  I woke my kids up at the crack of dawn (my niece and nephew too) so they too would get to be a part of this walk.  My sister, dad, and sweet cousin joined in the walk. Together we walked a few steps through town to support them on their way.  The mission is one I am very passionate about. I urge you to support their cause.  You can find Ian’s story here.  The blog is: www.ianwalksamerica.com and he’s almost to his destination.

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My mom was a therapist, my sister following in her tracks.  My mother was innovative and believed in the power to help make change.  She worked miracles.  I saw it because I worked alongside many of her clients.  She was passionate about suicide prevention and had a plan in the works just prior to her passing to offer her gift to those in need to help keep people like Ian from losing their loved ones.  I am proud of her and her work.  She would have taken a few steps with these men too, she probably did that day.  So not just for Ian but for my mom, for my sister, and all others working in Mental Health or in need of services-support this cause.  It matters.

 

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Just a Drop of Juicy Gossip

It seems as if I have seen the side affects of gossip my entire life. Maybe  it was the small town, maybe we are just interesting. Recently, I saw this again and I find myself compelled to speak out. I am far from perfect, and know that I too make mistakes, but hope that I can strive to do better and be better every day.

Gossip is so easy to get tied up in. The fresh new story about someone else, and dare I say, an opportunity to feel better about your own self and your current standing. How sad it is that we look to others so often as a comparison for our own life and our own worth.

For me, living here in Utah, it seems that not attending one specific church seems to give others even more ammo to judge and speak out against another. It’s hard to be looked at equally in all things, to be included, and to be a part of. It’s difficult to find a place in a community so focused on showing others their worth, rather than feeling it in their own heart. I know this doesn’t fit for all involved, but certainly does for some.

You may be saying “not me” but reach deeper. Do you ever find yourself judging others and then speaking about their hardships in a negative fashion? Does this make you feel more worthy?

Gossip cannot be undone. Your actions in those moments cannot be reversed. An apology can go a long way. But even further, an acceptance of your own errors and faults, but mostly, a desire to do better and to change the next time around. Working for the hope that next time you hear a juicy bit of information, you bite your tongue, call the person involved, and learn for yourself the truth of the matter. Share only good news and good things. Your heart will change from the inside. I promise you will find more joy. Imagine your example to others. One drop in that very big pond of negativity. Let’s shake things up a little. Go forward with a kind tongue and an open heart. It is not our title (religious or otherwise) or the size or our home, but it is the intentions of our heart that make us who we are.3842161463_dca05eaa24_o

Theodore Roosevelt said: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

To each their own battle.  I hope to help another rise above, not get lost in the fall. I am not casting any stones.  I know I too fall in the trap.  I want to be better.  It is just the sting of a family member causing another heartache that makes me sad.  It motivates me for more. I hope it will you too.

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Getting Older-In a Swimming Suit

Each morning when I look in the mirror, my body begins singing back to me.  I know I use a lot of music-but I love it.  Set the mood:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTqGzpnolLk&sns=em

At about 50 seconds is when it really begins:  “A little bit softer now,  A little bit softer now.”  You know the part.  Usually I, instead embrace the rest of the song and dance my way to a kiss and hug from sidekick one and two.  I revel in the amazement of what my body made.  Those two precious souls.  Thinking of it that way, the little extra, the scars, and even extra dimples are well worth the reward I have received.  Still…

We went boating the other day with a couple of really good friends.  Mom in the group is super in shape, hard body, Olympic hopeful.  No doubt she will get there and she looks amazing.  You can imagine my fear to be in front of this company in just my swimming suit. But alas, the skis were calling me and my kids were anxious to get in the tube.  So I peeled off the cover-up and embraced my own body-as it is-to live this life and enjoy this moment.  It was amazing and my kids had the best day ever.

I learned a lot.  In my pre-mom body, my confidence came a lot from my appearance.  The ability for me to be able to stand in front of strangers, unashamed in a bikini.  I was always fit and it mattered to me.  Now…my confidence comes from my mind, and ability to raise my children.  They existed together today, and I chose the confidence in me and my children to shine through.

As our friends left, my sweet Olympian, who is more than just a fit friend, said, “Let’s do this again soon.” and I realized that to her, It doesn’t matter anyway.  She sees me for who I am and is glad to hang around.

I will work on my physical well-being for my kids one day, but I would miss out on so much if I hid in fear of the thighs that are so smitten with one another that they are having a hard time staying away.  I would miss out on my life.  So I will continue to “Shout” and enjoy my day, love my kids and live my life.  A little swimsuit horror won’t last forever-but I guarantee those memories will.

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Mischievous Mom Moments

Many things took place within the space of two weeks.  I lost my mother, Mother’s day, and her birthday (Happy Birthday Today Mom).  I don’t want to mope, so instead, I thought I would share some humorous thoughts that I learned about my mom after her passing, that I really wish I could call and laugh with her about.  I think most mom’s will get this.

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Nap time is not for the child. It’s for the mother.   No wonder she forced me to “take a rest” long after I ever slept.  Much needed time for a stay at home mom.  Recharge so I can return to the World’s Most Okay-est Mom Status.

That candy did not get thrown out-You ate it.  You Liar you.  I laugh now, so I know it is not a long-term damaging lie, which means I can use it with my own children, and I will.

Fixing a child’s hair is no easy task.  I now feel for all the times you told me to hold still and focus.  I understand the week you let me do my own hair as a child to see if it was worth it (backfired a little, I though my scraggly hair was great).  I now wonder if the time you dripped wax from my eyebrow onto my eyelashes (leaving a huge space afterward) was actually a retaliation for my behavior.  I am considering it myself even now and she is only four.

-It’s the littlest things that make a mom proud.  Moments only a mom can love.  The first violin recital, dance recital, or singing event.  A poop in a potty or at least close.  A hug and a kiss at an unexpected moment.  Or the first page of a first book “Pie went up the hill and met a horse and a mermaid.”  It’s amazing.  We mom’s love some pretty silly things, but it makes our hearts full.  You got it.  I know you did.

Asking a child to practice, almost makes lessons not worth it.  She’s my past coming back to haunt me-I know it.  Instead of playing the songs that are asked, she just wants to play her own. It’s like DeJa Vu.  How did you do it?

Having Multiple Personalities is hard work.  The time you put in to being the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy amazes me.  Sometimes I just want to tell them the truth, but no, you did it flawlessly. I just want to ask you, where you hid all the loot. I need ideas here.

When stopping to pee on a long road trip-it isn’t really always for the child. This mom bladder really sucks some days.  It’s just good I have tiny excuses, and I wonder how many times you used me.  Does it get better?

No no, it’s okay, I can run to the store.  It’s a getaway. Like a mini vacation in a busy week.  Even a busy store is slower than times at home. When the kids are with Dad, I will browse every aisle slowly as if there is something I must need.  List Schmist.  No wonder you liked trips to the store 45 minutes away.  Add a drive and it’s almost a day at the spa.

I’m a never-ending, cleaning, laundry, cooking, fixing, boo boo kissing and bandaging, horsey, ball throwing, diaper changing machine.  Sometimes that’s it.  But thrown in there, I’m also “Mama” the most loved lady in all the land.

When I open my mouth-sometimes I find you coming out.  Even the things I thought in my youth I would never do or say.  I realize as an adult that those were often the times that probably changed my future.  You were my mom first-always.  Sometimes it would be easier to just be the friend, “Nope that kids not mine-crazy parents” but you didn’t, and I won’t either.

I’m so proud you are my mom.  I wish we could laugh about this now.  I know there will be many more things that will make me laugh about you especially as I realize all the trickery that goes into being a Mom.  It’s hard word raising little people, but it’s a lot of fun too! Thank you! I am so glad you were born!

 

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