Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 - New Beginnings

Hey there everyone I hope that you have had an amazing holiday week so far and with one more to go, even more reasons to celebrate and be thankful for all the great things in your life.

2014 will be a new year and with a new year come changes and new beginnings.

This time, I will be beginning the new year single once again.

Yes, Mr. Big and I are no longer together.

It was a sudden change that I was not expecting but after much time, I have come to realize that it was the best thing for both of us and my family.

I'm not going to deny, it has been hard and a times very emotional but I have taken more away from this than I thought possible.

Mr. Big and I are remaining friends and that is the most important thing to take away from this.

We placed one another in our hearts for almost three years, a hard break would not be possible.

I wish nothing but the best for him and his family and I'm glad for all that I have learned from him and that he has taught me about myself.

So for now, I await 2014 and the new beginnings that it is bringing my way.

I don't know what the future holds - nobody does.

One thing that is for sure is the fact that I think I'm ready for it, hopefully "it" is ready for me.

Have a Happy New Year everybody.

See you next year!!

Much love!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Climbing Mount'ns

Well, we all know that I recently lost my mind but I think I have found it again.

That is the one thing about life - when things get hard and tough, we find the way to get back up and dust ourselves off and keep going.

As I was telling Tamara, I don't think I fully found my marbles until this morning when I saw the face of that person near and dear to me and what they were going through - it put everything into even clearer perspective.

Sometimes we get wrapped up in ourselves and what we are going through on our own that we forget to see what others go through.

This person just needed some time and space to just be and well, I screwed that up. And I will be forever regretting it.

That was my mount'n that I had to climb.

The other mount'n climbing that went on was a couple weekends ago with the kiddos.

You see, one of the restaurants was having a Winter Wonderland celebration - with bounce houses, slides, obstacle bouncy-thing, goodie bags, and Santa! I thought that this would be a good idea to take the kids to - yeah, I know stimulation overload but I figured it wasn't going to be that big. You know, Island living and all - maybe not everyone heard about it. Also, Mr. Big had the day off so I wouldn't be alone.

Well it rained a bit. I thought we weren't going to go. It cleared up and the kids were getting restless so we tried it.

The first 2 minutes of it were a complete success!!

Afterwards, not so much.

Between Silly just running up the slide without regard for the fact that only 2 kids could go at a time, Buddy's melt-down and being sent to time-out next to Mr. Big about 3 times - I was ready to go home.

Then Mr. Big intervened. (I think he saw the next melt-sown He saw the putt-putt course attached to the restaurant and said "Let's take them to putt-putt"

I gave him the "are you nuts?" look and asked him "Really? Do you think they would handle that?"

His response "You don't know until you try". And so we did...

There were a few hiccups along the way like Buddy flipping out because he couldn't get the ball in the hole. Or Monkey swinging the club so much that he knocked Princess's glasses off her face (luckily they didn't break). Oh and the melt downs at the end when it was time to stop playing. Promises of drinks and sno-cones and goodie bags weren't working too well.

Until the word SANTA was mentioned.

I was initially going to avoid it because well, there is usually a long line and my kids don't do too well with lines. We didn't have the luxury of having access to a Quiet Santa here. But once again, I tuned to my jolly giant and thought - let's try.

We were very lucky because there was NO line - this was easy for the kids to interact with Santa and Mrs. Claus and even get their pictures taken...

She had a blue sno-cone..enough said

Yeah, Princess said she was too big for the individual picture with Santa but said okay to the group picture...

This was a multitude of mount'ns to climb because it had to deal with a very public outing, new activities, and lots of stimulation. In between the ups and downs, the laughing and the was a great day. I couldn't have asked for more - time with my kiddos and Mr. Big all rolled into one - priceless!!

Oh, in case you were wondering about the whole "mount'n" thing - well, a friend of mine was surprised that when I responded to her question as to whether or not I've gone skiing/seen snow I told her that the closest I had come to snow is on the top of a far away mountain in Nevada but I pronounced "mountain" like "Mount'n" - I didn't break down the word into the syllables and well, she loved that and laughed and so this was kinda in tribute to her as well.

And yes, Tamara is totally my blog crush and if I were to ever meet her I think I would just be speechless and shake in my flip-flops.

So this will be my last post of the year...I will stalk you all but this is it for me. Until next year that is.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, good tidings on whatever you celebrate and have a Happy and Safe New Year!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Can You Help Me Find My Marbles?

Yeah, so it seems I have lost my marbles.

Apparently yesterday my mind decided to go on a vacation so when something happened - I became a total other person.

Has that ever happened to you? Where you know that something is going on and it is generally nothing serious but for some reason your brain just stops thinking logically and you go and become this Mr. Hyde-like different than you usually are?

Yesterday something happened with someone near and dear to me and I just took it to a whole other level that I should not have.

I freaked out because this person is on a new medication and of course, I read the dark bold face print warning on the label and well, you know, my Masters in Psychology went out the window and crazy faced lady came in instead.

Even though in the back of my mind I knew that everything was alright because well duh, I know this person and what they are capable of what they are not capable of but yet I went through these scenarios:

- Wrapped around a pole in a car accident
- Arrested because was hanging around the "wrong" crowd
- Lying in a ditch somewhere unconscious
- Arrested for getting into a fight
- Just completely lost their mind and wandering
- I even checked with the police department to see when they would update their website for arrests!! (YEAH, I KNOW CRAZY WTF?!?!)

There was nothing to be worried about but I just could not stop thinking the worst and I don't know why! It is not like me at all to do this.

My trust was called into question when I trust this person with the world and more and I hate that.

I hate that I put this person through hell over something so stupid and insignificant.

I hate that I put myself through this when I should have just relaxed and thought nothing of it like I have done many times before in similar situations.

There has to be something said about these damn warning labels on medication. They make things sound so much worse than they are and then make the sanest of people crazy.

It might have not helped that I had 2 full glasses of wine on an empty stomach when all this was going on as well.

All I know is that I lost my marbles but from now on, I will make sure to not read bold face print on medicine packaging,  not listening to commercials, and keeping the wine to a few sip minimum.

Because seriously, who wants to chase after a crazy lady searching for invisible marbles right?

And to this person who is near and dear to me - if you are reading this because I don't know if you do - I'm sorry for going crazy. I trust you more than you know and promise to never act like this again. You know that this was totally out of character for me and I cannot say sorry enough times for this. I hope you can forgive me for this and only give me shit for it for a limit of one year? XOXO

Monday, December 16, 2013

Changing the Concept of "FAMILY"

When you ask a child what they think of when they are told to describe "family", most would say, - mommy, daddy, and siblings right?

Then asked how their family is special, well, there they would have a variety of selections of things to say.

That is the amazing thing about children - they can see the beauty and differences in life and accept them and just have fun with them because to them, it is normal.

Adults on the other hand, we are a bit more skeptical.

Nowadays though - the dynamic of family has changed and the new family is full of different lifestyles, members, and even hardships - but the truth is, all of it is held together by one thing - LOVE. These are the modern families and we can learn so much from them. 

Huppie MamaOne amazing blogger, Carrie over at Huppie Mama decided to write a post bringing to light the REAL modern family. Like I said on FB - Sofia Vergara and Al Bundy have got nothin' on these families!!

So please, check out her amazing post...

                                                   The Real Modern Family

where you can see and learn from some amazing families and realize, that every family is special - no matter who is in it or what they face every day.

What makes your family special? I know - but hit Carrie up - I know she would love to hear your stories!!                 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Violets Are A Bloom!

Hey everyone!! I got an early Christmas present from Influenster!! Woo Hoo!!

See these amazing goodies?!

I got them in my Influenster Violet Vox Box (#VioletVoxBox) this past weekend and well, I'm not a girl who wastes her time so I got started and enjoyed the products and because I am all kinds of awesome, here is what I think about these products, you know - someone has to do the hard work right?
(I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster)

I love dark chocolate and cherries. I am even a fan of protein and healthy eats bars but I just could not get around to liking the Soy Joy - Dark Chocolate Cherry Soy & Fruit Bar. It was just too dry and felt like I was chewing a mixture of cardboard and chalk. The chocolate flavor was "off" as well. It might be okay for some but for me, its a no go. I honestly couldn't go beyond the first bite.
(@SoyJoy / #SoyJoy #VoxJoy)

Okay, so this box could not have come at a more perfect time!! I had just spent the day with the kids and as most moms, time for a shower is well, sometimes non-existent and washing my hair? Ha! A joke! So when I saw the Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo I heard the singing choir of angels!! So, for my first attempt at a Dry Shampoo - not bad. Seeing as I have thick curly hair, combing it out was a bit of a chore but I have to say, I liked it!! My hair definitely did look and feel cleaner. I think I would use it more when I straighten my hair out to let the look last longer but this product - I definitely recommend - especially for moms. Who knew you could shampoo your hair without getting in the shower?! (@NYMBrands / #NYMCleanFreak)

I previously mentioned that my go to color for my nails has always been blue. Yeah, I've used red or silver every once in a while but that would be for special occasions only. So when I saw the purple hue in my box I was a bit hesitant at first but I said to myself - "You don't know until you try right?" so, while Mr. Big was watching TV (translate: falling asleep in front of the boob tube) I decided to take a few moments for me and try out the Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color in the oh so violet shade known as Vanity Flare. Another hit!! I loved the fact that the color went on smoothly. The brush was not your traditional round stem brush but kinda flat so that the bristles smoothed the color on perfectly and evenly. Two coats and a few minutes later and I was done!! Very quick to dry and n need for a top coat because my nails are oh so shiny. Great for someone looking to change up their look and do it while not having to wait around all day for the paint to dry. Thumbs up in my book and I think I might have found a new color too!! ( @SallyHansen / #TripleShine )

Okay, so we all know that I have made comments about my hair and its, well, mind of its own. I have so much hair, and its curly, and well, hard to maintain that finding good products to keep it tame - well, just don't seem to work. I'm an active person and finding something that will keep my hair out of my face is very hard. I tend to use bandeaus because they are just easier to deal with. So once again, I was a bit skeptical when I saw the Goody Athletique Ouchless Headwrap but willing to give it a shot. The fact that it is adjustable is a plus and definitely that it is made of that quik dry fabric - even better! Especially on those days when I will be running (still sidelined because of my ankle). All in all it is an okay product. Doesn't blow me out of the water but serves its purpose. See? ( @GoodyHair / #GoodyAthletique )

Now, the piece de resistance!  The Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Spa Masque - try and say that 5 times fast! All I have to say is spa treatment in a bag!! I'm not a mask person to be honest. The whole whip it up and lather and wait - well, not my cup of tea. Especially the mess to clean up afterwards - no thank you!! But this mask, this mask is different!! It is a clay infused fabric that leaves your skin feeling refreshed after use. Yeah, you might look like the Man in the Iron Mask while wearing it but the perks are worth it. Easy clean up, smooth skin - sold me here!! Oh and bonus - it smells good too!! Definitely worth it for a busy mom that needs a quick refresher and get away - or if you want to scare your kids into cleaning up their room! ( @MontagneJeuness / #MJClaySpas )

For my first effort on the whole Influenster Vox Box product review - I have to say, I like it!! These are amazing products and I think everyone should check them out and see for yourself. Check out Influenster too! Let them know I sent you!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's Good To Be Healthy

I wasn't planning on writing today. I have a lot to do at work but in my morning routine of drinking coffee and surfing the internet, I came across two things that just connected, in the weirdest of ways but they got my mind working and well, I just had to put it down on "paper" so to speak.

I was reading an article on Cosmo - well, not really an aritcle, it is one of their slideshow list things that they do. This one is titled "10 Secrets of Healthy Relationships".

It went something like this...(As summarized by me of course)

1) Express yourself - Pretty much what it says, express yourself as you are while also listening and "getting" your partner. Take them into consideration but don't just settle to avoid conflict.

2) Quality Time - Again, pretty self explanatory. We all get into ruts and routines so its important to schedule quality time together just for you as a couple so you don't get lost in the routine. This one is difficult for us autism families as sometimes, routine rules our lives.

3) Argue one thing at a time - Yes, this one is important! Instead of throwing everything that you have bottled up inside for months when an argument about filling the dishwasher the wrong way again starts - focus on one thing because it is easier to work through and "fix" instead of trying to get at everything that is bothering you all at once. I know, easier said than done.

4) New Experiences - again, with the routine of daily life we forget to do new things together. Sometimes in conversation we discuss things that we want to do or try, find ways to do them - no matter how simple but adding new things to bond over is a great way to connect.

5) Appreciate each other - This one is a big one! Let your partner know that you value them in your life and all of the little things that they do for you. It could be as simple as a thank you for clearing the table to a compliment about how they handled a situation you just faced together. Your partner needs to know that you appreciate them and that may just trigger them to say "hey, yeah, I appreciate you too for x and y"

6) Contract - we all have unspoken contracts in our relationships. In my relationship with Mr. Big, he does the cooking and takes care of more traditional male roles and I do the "women's work" of laundry, cleaning, etc. This works out for us and I actually like it. We communicate about things that go on with the house but we each know what we bring to the table of the relationship - this is our contract. According to the slideshow/article - you should "re-visit" your contracts about every year or so...I think you should only do this if there is something that is not working.

7) Permission to Speak? - okay, yeah this one sounds worse than it is - its not ask to speak like in a submissive sense, but make sure that the timing to discuss something is appropriate. There is nothing worse than unloading on your partner after he/she has had a hard day and is already on edge. Timing is everything if you want to get the most out of your conversation so make sure its okay first.

8) Spontaneity - well, that one is just what it says. Be spontaneous - keep the spark alive and burning. I know, easier said than done but you've done it before - we all know about the quickie in the car after that dinner date, don't lie.

9) "You" - yes, that's right you!! I'll expand on this one in more detail below because this one is the one that sparked all of this

10) Keep your friendships - again, self-explanatory here. We all need connections and relationships outside of our partners. They cannot be the end-all, be-all of our existences. As long as our friendships are not toxic - keep them!

Pretty good listing right? I think so. Who'd have thought from Cosmo huh?

Well, as I stated above - number 9 really hit me in the heart and it was primarily because of this:
Growing and changing for the better as a person will make your relationship a better place. “One of the most important things about being in a relationship is you learn as much if not more about yourself as you do about your partner,” says Cooper. By watching the way that you react to your partner and the ways in which you’re challenged, you’re forced to grow.
I could not agree more.

You see, a healthy relationship allows you to be who you are as a person because that is who your partner chose to be with. But, at the same time, with this new connection in your life that is so "just right" you learn other things about you that you didn't know before. You learn about sacrifices that you once thought you would never make. You learn about compassion and love in ways that you never thought possible. You also learn about acceptance as your partner is that - your partner. You accept him/her for who they are and learn from them.

I have to say that since being with Mr. Big, I have noticed the differences in myself as a person because of the type of person that he is. He treats me in such a way that makes me feel not only like his partner but a part of him while still allowing me to be me. Does that make sense? The way he looks at life and certain situations causes me to rethink my approach sometimes.

This morning was a perfect example...

I was stating how something last night bothered be because it sounded as if a woman was talking to a person with special needs with a condescending tone as if this person was not capable of the task she was participating in. I immediately judged based on a few seconds and a persons tone of voice. He reminded me that I was quick to judge without all the information. I tried to produce some sort of rebuttal but I realized...he was right. I have always been judged because I "sound" like I have an attitude when honestly, I don't and I hate it. Yet, here I was doing the same thing.

A healthy relationship is so important to who we are as because it compliments us and develops us in ways that we couldn't do on our own. These connections and interactions with that one person who has such profound impact on our lives are what makes us who we are.

Love, affection, happiness are all intertwined when it comes to that significant individual we choose to live our lives with.

And then there is this... In a life where love is not considered possible; where relationships are considered to be out of reach...there are two individuals who found love and have a healthy relationship that means the world to them because it fits them - who they are - their connection is extraordinary and perfectly, well, perfect.