Meet Me In St. Louis Part 2 (still Julia’s 15th bday)

Our first night in St. Louis was SO fun, so now how do we top that?  I left it up to Julia since it was HER birthday.  My intention was to try and take it easy on the money situation but I NEVER ever succeed.  Julia and her buddies didn’t create their itinerary based off of the FREE “things to do” in the city.  Too bad for Hubby.  He never likes to let me lose with the pocketbook.  I’m beginning to understand why!  lol

We woke up late and didn’t get out of the hotel until after noon.  BTW…  should you ever decide to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport in St. Louis, you should know that just because you spend a million $ on the hotel room, you will NOT be receiving a complimentary breakfast.  Nope.  Not even a stale donut or a box of cereal.  However they DO invite you to partake in their $12 PLUS per person breakfast!  By this time, my oldest daughter joined us so we were now a party of 5.  I couldn’t justify spending $65 a day on breakfast food when we still had cupcakes.  Granted, by this time the cupcakes were fairly hard, but they were still good enough for a bunch of teenagers.  SO, because we were STARVING, we began our very rainy day at “Hodaks” (another St. Louis tradition) for all the fried chicken we could eat!  Hodaks has been around forever and some people would say they have the best fried chicken and frog legs in the world!  It was good but I wouldn’t say it was the best.  The girls DID say it was the best and that made it all worth getting lost in the city 🙂  Have you ever been lost in a big city where it seems like every driver on the road wants to be in YOUR lane at the same time you are?  Oh and let’s not forget all that AND screaming teenage girls who are literally punching each other in the back seat like a bunch of wild boys!  I told them that THIS was the reason I chose NOT to have boys….

(We finally found Hodaks.  Literally, people who move away from St. Louis and come back for a visit… HAVE to come back to Hodaks for the fried chicken.  I know people who visit this place every time they’re in town)

(Not very fancy but tasty!  I didn’t like the slaw at all and I thought it was funny that the chicken was served on top of a piece of white bread in order to soak up the grease!  lol  But despite the not-so-fancy plastic plates and such, the chicken was SO juicy and seasoned just right!  And by juicy, I don’t mean greasy)

After stuffing ourselves with as much fried chicken as we could all eat, Julia wanted to go to Laclede’s Landing on the riverfront.  No matter that a monsoon decided to visit us on this day.  Anything for MY princess!  lol  If she wants to walk around WITHOUT umbrellas in the pouring down rain, then BY GOD, that’s what we’re going to do!  Just as soon as we found a parking spot and stepped out into the rain, my oldest daughter flagged down a horse drawn carriage driver.  If you’re ever in St. Louis and you want to take a carriage ride, you should know that you CAN negotiate a price with the drivers.  They usually charge around $40 for as many people as we had with us.  My daughter got them down to $25!  Which is good because I hadn’t planned on spending ANYTHING on carriage rides!  We did that LAST year!  ARGH!  It wasn’t HER money, it was just Mom’s, so who care’s right?  lol  Oh and don’t forget that your carriage driver works for tips.  I didn’t realize that (even though there’s a big sign inside the carriage) so I walked off to hear our driver talking to another driver about how PISSED she was to have gone down on the price, yet she STILL wasn’t tipped!  lol  Ooops.  Don’t worry!  I made my oldest daughter tip her!  It was only fair since it was oldest daughter’s idea 🙂

Image

(Here’s our carriage driver trying to rustle us up some more blankets so my precious angels wouldn’t be so cold in the St. Louis rain!  She really was nice to us even if she DID get a little perturbed that we didn’t know to tip her)

Image

(The angels all snuggly and warm with their blankies)

Image

(Mama Bear and her Birthday Princess)

Image

(The Martin Luther King Bridge over the Mississippi River… a view from our carriage ride through the Landing)

Image

(And because I love bridges…  The Eads Bridge…  BTW… check out that cobble stone road!)

Image

(This is my favorite of the MLK Bridge)

Image

(Laclede’s Landing)

Image

(And because I love old clocks too 🙂

So the reason we were on The Landing in the first place was so that Birthday Girl could experience the creepy St. Louis Wax Museum.  I HATE wax museum because they scare the crap out of me but that was the exact reason birthday girl wanted to go!  I found a good deal on Groupon so it ended up being inexpensive.  Thank JESUS something was a good deal!  lol  The people who ran the Wax Museum were SO nice too.  They’re updating the place so some of the displays were in disrepair.  Apparently, they’re in the process of getting all new wax creatures.

Image

(Here’s oldest daughter with her idol, Michael Jordan.  She LOVES basketball and still plays every chance she gets 🙂

Image

(I had to get this one of “little bit” with Mark McGwire because it WAS here birthday and all about the year 1998, when a few months after she was born, Mark McGwire broke the home run record in St. Louis – I know… it was all too controversial… but STILL cool cause it happened right here in St. Louis AND in the year 1998!)

Image

(Okay… so this may be in bad taste but it looks like they have Patrick Swayze embalmed here!  We all LOVE Patrick Swayze but this was way too creepy and helped set the mood.  We were beginning to be VERY afraid.  We had to walk through 3 floors of dark and very scary hallways)

Image

(I’m not sure who this one’s supposed to be.  Possibly Tina Turner?  She was from St. Louis so maybe?  Whoever it is, she sure is CREEPY… Again there’s THAT word!  lol)

Image

(Again in bad taste… the kids said this one reminded them of me and all my stomach surgeries.  They have NO sympathy for me!)

Image

(Thank GOD my oldest found herself a man!  I was beginning to worry because she’ll be 29 this summer!  I wonder if Obama knows his image is being tossed around this way?  lol)

So the Wax Museum was Birthday Girl’s favorite thing to do all weekend!  Who would have figured?  I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough!  I couldn’t wait to get back outside in the monsoon to visit Gibbol’s Magic Store (Gibbol’s Novelty & Costumes)!  Carriage Ride lady told us there was a Magic Man there who would do magic tricks for us FREE!  Well, by God, if it’s FREE, we’re going!  Magic Man goes by the name of Andy G and has a separate business where he puts on private magic shows with a partner.  It’s called Shift Reality.  You can reach Andy G at #415-952-6394 or 415-95ANDYG…  clever, huh?  lol  He’s pretty good and kept ALL of us fascinated and entertained with his free magic tricks!  I’m pretty sure the owner of Gibbol’s couldn’t WAIT for me to get my destructive girls the heck OUT OF THERE though.  Who knew girls could be into so much trouble?  I only turned my back for a minute!  lol

Image

(Here’s Andy G doing a card trick for Birthday Girl)

Image

(Hannah was SO mad when Andy G wouldn’t tell her how he did a trick.  It drove her CRAZY trying to figure out what he’d done LONG after we left this place!  lol  He explained that, as a magician, he had to purchase magic trick secrets.  He just couldn’t go giving his secretes away.  He’d be glad to SELL us a secret though!  lol)

Image

(And of COURSE the biggest instigator of trouble was the 28 year old daughter!  She can’t help herself from trying on every pretty little thing!  lol)

Image

(I never laughed so hard in my life!  BIG TROUBLE daughter helped herself to the theatrical makeup and talked with Andy G as if this were her normal face!  She didn’t even crack a smile so I’m thinking he really thought she wore her make up like this!  He was having a lot of trouble looking her in the eye but SHE had no problem looking Andy G in the eye!  lmbo  Later the owner told us that they SOLD that make up and it cost money for them to apply it to our faces.  So, in other words, my daughter helped herself to some free make up…  I was laughing too hard to be embarrassed!  No wonder I have trouble keeping the younger one’s in line!  We’re not good at setting proper examples!  lol)

Good day but SO long and cold and rainy!  I couldn’t WAIT to get back to the hotel and read in my warm bed.  THAT didn’t get to happen though!  The girls wanted to go swimming.  Oldest daughter and I took them for a little bit and left them at the pool.  At 15, they’re old enough.  PLUS the pool was only 4 ft deep.  How was I to know that when I left they’d set off the alarm at the pool, use the handy cap chair lift and then set off more alarms on the elevator?  I was notified BY SECURITY that my girls needed to be accompanied by an adult at ALL times!  ROFLMAO  Which translates to NO reading in my warm snuggly bed.

Image

(Because I’m pretty sure Hannah was behind us getting into trouble with the hotel management, I’m going to show you all some lovely pics of her mascara lineds face in the hot tub 😉

Image

(Looks like they’re plotting trouble to me!)

Image

(Okay… so I MIGHT have known about them using the handicap chair lift.  Shhhh….)

Image

Image

(And you thought your BOYS were messy?  Honestly, I didn’t know girls could be such nasty slobs!  How did toilet paper get ON the floor by my side of the bed????  But this is what I had to contend with after I left the pool BEFORE security notified me! lol)

Image

Image

(Don’t feel sorry for them!  They TOTALLY deserve my invasion of their privacy!  FINALLY, we got them to go to sleep.  And then we picked at them until we disturbed their slumber.  Check out Julia’s extreme annoyance in the black and white 😉

So all’s well that ends well!  2 days down and 1 day to go!  This old mama’s getting too old for so much activity!  At this point, the nursing home is beginning to sound like a vacation 🙂

Advertisements

Meet Me In St. Louis Part 1 (a tour of my city on Julia’s 15th birthday)

I’m BAaaaaaack!!!  Show of hands….  did anybody miss me?  Ah, no matter, I missed YOU enough for all of us!  lol  My life has been PACKED with so much excitement and activity and I don’t really know where a good place to begin!  I feel like I’ve crammed enough living for a year in these past couple of days.  Or close to it 🙂

So, you all know that last week was my baby girls 15th birthday, right?  I asked you guys for some ideas to help us celebrate in a special way.  You all had some fantastic ideas and we used some of them, so for that I thank you!  Carla suggested a photo shoot and a makeover.  These girls live their LIVES doing makeovers so we didn’t choose that but we DID have a blast doing photo shoots.  We spent the weekend touring the city of St. Louis and took over 500 shots.  By the end of the weekend I think the girls wanted to HURT my camera!  Maybe I over did it a little? Nah.  But they really did have fun and felt so special being the star of the show.  So Carla, THANK YOU!  The girls and I had a BLAST and more importantly, we made some memories that we won’t soon forget.

You know how I am about showing you too many pictures, right?  I do that because I’m proud AND I can’t decide which ones are the more important shots.  ALL of them are important to me.  Don’t worry though, I won’t show you all 500 of them!  lol  I’m going to do little segments, one day at a time.

Image

(I think Hannah was the one to smash the cupcakes… look at her evil face!  She wouldn’t admit it though)

We arrived at the Hilton with Julia’s birthday cupcakes NOT in one piece!  lol  One of the girls threw their luggage on top of the special cupcakes that I had made for the occasion!  ARGH!  NOT a good way to start the weekend.  These cupcakes were delicious and SO pretty before they got smashed.  There’s a place in a town near us called Sweet-T-Pies and they make the best cupcakes filled with any kind of filling you could dream of!  OMG!  They’re the most delicious little cakes any of us have ever tasted! Still divine even if they WERE smashed 🙂  Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Image

Once we got checked into our room, we made Julia hide in the bathroom so we could decorate for her.  Notice the little princess crown on her head?  Part of the deal was that she had to wear her birthday tiara everywhere we went so that the whole world would know that my princess was having a birthday!  Did she do it?  Nope.  She’s way too shy and doesn’t like unnecessary attention.  I’d say this was a weekend where the attention was NECESSARY!  lol

Image

Remember those expensive pretty little smashed cupcakes?  Yeah, as IF smashing them wasn’t enough, HANNAH (Julia’s bff) decided Julia should wear one too!  Silly girls 😉

Image

(Street car or trolley like the one used in Meet me in St. Louis.  Don’t mind the white cloud streaming into the pic.  It’s not a ghost… just the smoke from my cigarette cause I’m classy like that!  lol)

Image

Do any of you know the Judy Garland movie “Meet Me in St. Louis”?  Of course, being a St. Louis native, I grew up watching this classic and LOVE it still.  Every Christmas, it’s a family tradition at my house and we all sit down with popcorn and watch.  The song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was first sang by Judy Garland in this movie.  The whole movie was filmed in University City on the Delmar Loop.  It used to be known for it’s streetcars or “trolleys”.  Well here’s a street car just like the one featured in “Meet Me In St. Louis”.  I can’t get the “Trolley Song” out of my head now!  lol

Image

(I know this is too dark but I wanted to show you the neon sign for the Blueberry Hill restaurant)

Image

Image

(Chuck Berry’s guitar and other music memorabilia)

Image

(Julia can’t decide which crappy food item to order)

The first stop of the night (besides shopping at one of the cool stores on the strip) was Blueberry Hill Restaurant.  You all know Chuck Berry, right?  He’s a St. Louis native who’s legendary for his guitar playing and song writing.  One of my favorites is “Roll Over Beethoven”…  Anyway, this is his restaurant.  It’s a landmark, for sure but if you ever come to St. Louis and decide to visit Blueberry Hill, don’t judge our cuisine based on what you find in this restaurant!  It’s pretty sucky.  Only go here for the atmosphere, the music and their toy collection.  As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by a young college kid who didn’t say hello, instead he barked, “All minors have to be outta here by 10:00 p.m.”.  As IF I was going to keep my kids there doing shots of tequila!  So, not only was the food bad but they weren’t even friendly.  Too bad cause I’m generally a really good tipper and I LOVE to write reviews!  lol The girls had fun and soaked in the music and atmosphere though.  THAT was the important thing 🙂

Image

(I love neon signs and city streets at night)

Image

(the Tivoli lobby where we spent most of our time waiting for the couple to stop their love making inside the theater…  it was beautiful though *NOT the love making* …  I felt like we were transported back to the year 1924 when this place was new)

Image

(the ceiling of the Tivoli… LOVE the decor of these old city buildings)

Image

(my girls were a little bored and didn’t know when it would be appropriate to enter the theater room where the couple was making out… they didn’t want to interrupt)

Image

The big event of our first night was to catch a midnight showing of “A Place Beyond The Pines” with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.  I couldn’t WAIT to show the girls the Landmark Tivoli theater!  This was a theater that made it”s debut in 1924 and it was known for it’s luxury.  For the day, The Tivoli was considered one of the most luxurious theaters in the USA.  It went through a period of decline in the early 90’s and eventually shut down.  The owners of Blueberry Hill renovated it in the mid 90’s and restored it to it’s original state.  However, it would appear to be going through another period of decline.  First of all, I should tell you that the Tivoli is THE place to go if you want to catch an “artsy” film.  Granted, “A Place Beyond The Pines” is NOT an artsy film (the girls HAD to see this one because they’re all in major LOVE with Ryan Gosling, and REALLY…. who could blame them?).  That being said, you’d think that a theater known for their showings of the “artsy film genre” would be a clean and well kept theater.  Or at least I would think that to be true.  Well…  it was clean in the lobby.  The room where we watched the movie had sticky floors and the seats were worn and appeared to have been new in the ’90’s, when it was last renovated.  Upon walking through the door, we were a little shocked to find a college couple doing some pretty HEAVY “petting” and making out!  The girls felt uncomfortable to have interrupted this lovely couple.  Soooo… we had to wait in the lobby until the movie started.  You all know me and MY big mouth!  I suggested LOUDLY that they get a room, which only seemed to embarrass my girls further!  lol  I’ve said this several times before… SUCKS TO BE MY KID!  lol  However, the couple didn’t take me up on my suggestion.  All in all, it was fun to stay out late and watch a midnight movie.  What was scary?  Walking the streets of Delmar after the bars closed down.  We were followed by a man who appeared to be way TOO interested in my girls.  I invited him to let me know what his intentions were.  He didn’t appear to want to mess with “Mama Bear”.  GOOD for him.  He, apparently wasn’t TOO drunk to miss the evil gleam in my eye 😉

Image

And this is how our night ended!  2 of the crazy girls crashed just as soon as we got back to our room!  I wanted to sit up and talk but THEY were tired and wouldn’t humor me!  lol

Ana’s Story (A Journey of Hope) by Jenna Bush: A Book Review

Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope

Ana’s Story

A Journey of Hope

By Jenna Bush

Based on her work with Unicef

Harper Collins Publisher

I love buying books where a portion of the proceeds go to help a charitable organization!  I especially like it when that charitable organization is Unicef.  I’ve been helping to raise money for Unicef since I was a very little girl.  In Catholic school, we used to go around collecting money in little milk cartons.  We’d then send that money into Unicef so that they could help to feed the poor and hungry in third world countries.

Here’s the description from the book:

“She’s 17. She’s been abused.  She has a child.  And she’s HIV positive. She is Ana, and this is her story.  It begins the day she is born infected with HIV, transmitted from her young mother.  Now, she barely remembers her mama, who died when Ana was only 3.  From then on, Ana’s childhood becomes a blur of faint memories and secrets – secrets about her illness and about the abuse she endures.

Ana’s journey is a long one.  Shuffled from home to home, she rarely finds safety or love.  And then she meets a boy.  Berto is one of the only people Ana trusts with all her secrets.  That trust puts Ana on a path to breaking the silence that has harmed her and leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope.

Jenna Bush has written a powerful narrative nonfiction account of a girl who struggles to break free from a vicious cycle of abuse, poverty, and illness.  Based on Jenna’s work with UNICEF and inspired by the framework of one girls life, it is also the story of many children around the world who are marginalized and excluded from basic care, support, and education.  Resources at the back of the book share how you can make a difference to children in need and how you can protect yourself and others”

I didn’t realize I was buying a book written for teens!  lol  BUT I’m glad I did.  Yes, it was a little simple but simple is good.  I read this one in 2 bath tub sessions:-)  What I LOVED about Ana’s Story was that it flowed easily and it was written well.  I found myself wanting to know more about Ana at the end of the book.  It ends kind of abruptly but Ana’s story had to end somewhere.  It was a TRUE story and she’s still alive.  I wonder how Ana is doing now?

This book reminded me of Half The SKY by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  I absolutely LOVE the idea of helping to empower and educate girls and women in poorer countries.  It’s my dream to be able to go to Latin America or India and help in the schools.  Or do ANYTHING that brings hope.  Jenna Bush impressed me with her compassion and her willingness to “get her hands dirty” by helping Aids patients through her work with UNICEF.  As mentioned in the description, Jenna gives websites and even phone numbers for numerous charitable organizations.  She also gives suggestions for what a teenager or an adult can do to help raise money to help several organizations.  She gives ideas for what students can do to protect themselves against the spread of Aids/HIV and ideas on how to stop bullying.

I think this one will be on Julia’s reading list soon 😉

Versatile Blogger Award!

versatileblogger11

Come on now, you know you guys have been missing my most interesting blogging awards!  It’s been over a week, I think, since I’ve bombarded you all with not so cool facts about myself hasn’t it?  Well, because I love you guys and I don’t want you to have to wait a second longer to read ALL about ME, I’m going to be sharing a few more awards with you all 🙂  Thank you Olivia, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Actually, I joke a lot about these awards but I am always humbled and honored that anyone would include me in their list of other cool blogs.  I really DO appreciate the love and I’m always happy to pass along the love.  If you guys haven’t already discovered how awesome Olivia is, you’ve GOT to check out her writing!  She’s one of the most interesting people I’ve encountered on WP.  Here’s what she says about herself:

Olivia Stocum

If you’re reading this, then you’re wondering who I am. So here you go.

I live in New York state with my husband, three children, and our Jack Russell Terror. Oh, sorry, I meant Terrier. I’m a Celtic musician and love folk rhythms. Growing up, I rode horses and shot a bow, and generally lived in my own little world where I had adventures with Robin Hood.

I have placed in a number of writing contests with my fiction and I even won first place once. (That may never happen again!) I am currently working on two series. One is set in 1600’s Scotland and the other is a paranormal romance. I expect to release my first novel July 2013.

Tìoraidh an-dràsta (bye for now)”

Here are the rules for accepting The Versatile Blogger Award:

1) Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post
2) Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post
3) Share seven things about yourself
4) Pass the award along to 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Here are my 7 self absorbed facts all about me.  I’ll try to add pictures so you won’t be so bored 🙂

1.  When I was little, I used to pretend that I was a beautiful singer/movie star (usually Dolly Parton or some other singer with big hair and lots of pretty make up).  Who ever was on the radio singing passionate love songs that would make people cry.  I would imagine that everyone was hearing ME on the radio and that they all loved me.  I was the most famous person in the world!  lol  I think I did this to escape the reality of my abusive family.

2.  My bff’s 20 year old son is VERY likely to become a professional baseball player.  His pitching is OFF THE WALL fast and accurate and I sure wish I knew more about baseball so I could tell you about how much potential he has!  lol  The point is that on April 30, he’s going to go show off his stuff to the major leagues.  It’s pretty much a done deal that he’ll get signed (this is me VISUALIZING positive stuff for him because I know he can do it!).  PLEASE, positive thoughts and prayers for him?  It’s been his dream since he was a very little boy and now it’s our dream for him too.

Image

(remember his name cause you heard it here first!  Bryar Langley 🙂

3.  I used to sneak home every stray animal that I could find.  The last time I did this, I was 17 and found a white German Shepherd.  I named him Joey and loved to go to the park and play ball with him.  One day I came home from school and found that my mom had taken him to the pound because she couldn’t afford to buy dog food for him.  I hated her for this and cried for months over that dog.  I don’t know why I couldn’t understand.  She couldn’t afford to feed us, let alone a dog.  I just wish she would have told me… but I would have had a melt down and made her life miserable.

(this isn’t Joey but it’s one that looks like him)

4.  I’m a believer in the paranormal and supernatural.  I believe that there’s just so much out there that our human minds are not able to comprehend or understand.  I think it’s CRAZY that some people are so egotistic that they believe in only what THEIR eyes can see.  I believe that God can speak to you in dreams.  Oh and while we’re on THAT subject, I love the Long Island Medium and yes I believe she’s the real deal.

5.  During the Spring and Summer, I treat myself to a pedicure every 2 weeks.  I think everyone woman who sports a pair of flip flops SHOULD pay attention to how pretty their toes are.  lol

 6.  And while we’re on the subject of “feet”…  although feet generally make me grossed out, I can NOT resist baby feet!  I absolutely adore chubby little baby toes 🙂

7.  One of the suckiest things about having this ulcer disease is that I can’t drink alcohol at all for fear of extreme pain and potential bleeding.  I used to LOVE Long Island Ice Tea and I really wish that every once in a while I could have one (like right now).

Here’s where I’m going to probably break the rules.  I’ll try to name 15 bloggers more recently discovered but 15 is a big number and if I don’t really know your blog, how am I going to know how versatile you are?  Basically, I’m just going to bring you 15 cool blogs so here goes:

1.  Beth at http://1flashychick.wordpress.com/ (My bff is starting her own blog and here’s my shameless plug!)

2.  Justin at http://justingawel.com/

3.  http://overstandpodcast.wordpress.com/

4.  Ms Red Pen at http://msredpen.wordpress.com/  (someone I’ve loved since the days of Vox!)

5.  Shaun at http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/ (cause I’m always going to shout out to Shaun!)

6.  Sue at http://scvincent.com/

7.  Laura at http://lauradgumm.wordpress.com/

8.  Champ or Will at http://technoteamblog.wordpress.com/

9.  Dave at http://barclaydave.wordpress.com/

10.  http://soletusknow.wordpress.com/

11.  http://projectfirestarter.wordpress.com/

12.  Carla at http://randomthoughtsofatwentysomething.wordpress.com/

13.  Amy at http://nellieanddot.wordpress.com/

14.  Sarah at http://andthisiswhyiwilldiealonesurroundedbycats.wordpress.com/

15.  Steven at http://justafterwords.com/

Okay… have you left me yet?  Hope not!  I tried to bring you all a variety of different types of blogs so a lot of thought really DID go into this!  lol  As always, this is a no pressure award.  Take it or leave it but know that I appreciate ALL of you and look forward to these days when I can spread the love around 😉  If you don’t have time to do this, I won’t be offended.  Hey, you can always save these awards for the days when you’re having trouble thinking of something new to blog about!

Peace out my fine fellow bloggers!

 

WordPress Family… Brand new and very thoughtful award

Wordpress-Family-Award

I know…  I’m getting sick of myself too!  I SWEAR I’m going to be doing other blogs besides these where I’m accepting awards!  Geesh..  But here’s the thing, I feel that if someone I care about, takes the time to show me love, I’m going to show it right back and pass it around a little 🙂  Here’s a BRAND NEW award that just started floating around WordPress today!  And…  my very dear friend Shaun (Praying for one day) started it!  How cool is THAT?  So I made the list for the very first set of people to receive this award?  Now THAT’S what I call epic!  Thanks Shaun 🙂

Here’s what he says about this award:

“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award”

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your wordpress experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love

So all I have to do is nominate 10 people?  No answering questions?  No coming up with new questions?  No stating 10 not so fun facts about me?  lmbo  PERFECT!  Here are my 10 wp family members 🙂

1.  http://charlieandpearl.wordpress.com/

2.  http://rachieadventures.wordpress.com/

3.  http://livonne.com.au/

4.  http://yeoldehumdrum.wordpress.com/

5.  http://lolarugula.com/

6.  http://datingasociopath.com/

7.  http://patinspire.org/

8.  http://theverybesttop10.com/

9.  http://thelovemanifesto.wordpress.com/

10.  http://simpletombornhigh.com/

There are so many more that make up my family but I think they all may be tired of me tagging them and making them have to answer me.  YOU all might be too but I wanted to acknowledge you and how much you mean to me!  As always, NONE of you have to play.  Don’t feel obligated.  But really, all you’d have to do is pass this along to 10 other people, so in other words, I don’t feel TOO terribly guilty about making you feel like you have to do this!  lol  Seriously, it’s that simple!

I’m “IT” a lot…

Tag image65

Ahhhh…. I’ve been tagged by Tazein.  Thank you very much!  lol  I feel like I’ve been tagged in different ways a lot these days…  Because I love Tazein and I want you to check out her blog, I’ll participate.  Besides all that, I’m honored that she even thought of me!

The first rule is that I’m supposed to pass along “tags” to the number of people in my name.  My name is Michelle, and there’s 8 letters in my name… I’ll tag 8 people.

Now I’ll answer the questions Tazein has set aside for me (there are 11 of them):

1-What is your earliest childhood memory?

My earliest memory is of myself as a baby in a baby bed with my brother who was exactly 1 year (to the day) younger than me.  He crawled to my side of the bed and took some of my toys and I bit him. I guess I remember it so well because it could possibly be the first time I received a spanking.  I would have had to be not 2 years old yet and I remember trying to tell my mom that I was going to “Tell dada on her”… in baby jibber.  She wasn’t impressed.  lol

2-From where do you get inspiration for your writings?

Mostly day to day happening or whatever pops into my mind.

3-Are you content and at peace with yourself?

Some days I am, some days I’m not.  I think it’s a work in progress.

4-Which is your favorite movie?

There are a few that I love.  Gone With The Wind is one big one, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mar Popins, The Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Actually I have too many.

5-What is the one thing you wish to achieve in life?

Again, there are MANY things I wish to achieve…  I guess the big one is just trying to live for 4 more years and beat the odds that are given to me so that I can finish raising my daughter.  Other than that, I want to break the cycle of abuse that’s been in our family and be the first generation to raise our children with love.  I think I’m succeeding with that one.

6-Are you a believer in God?

It amazes me that ANYONE could be so self involved that they think their is no God or higher being.  Of course there’s a God.  I’ve seen evidence of this many, many times in my own lifetime.

7-How do you pull yourself out of sadness?

I pray and ask God to take it from me.  I play the piano or sink myself in a book.  I talk to friends and then count my blessings 🙂

8-Which is your favorite place to visit?

So far, I think it might have to be The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I’ve seen MANY places and all are so beautiful in their own right.  The prettiest is the mountains of Tennessee and the waterfalls and the bear and and and….  lol

9-Do you have a family, that is are you married with kids or single?

I’m married with children.  lol  Actually this is my THIRD marriage!  Ughhh…  But I’ve been married to THIS man for 10 years so I guess I’m gonna stick around 😉  hehehe

10-Do you cry easily or keep it bottled up?

If I were honest, I’d say that I get angry when something makes me sad enough to cry.  It scares me so I get mad.  It’s very rare that I cry.  I DO cry over my children and of course I cried for years when my brother was killed.

11-Aer you self- confident, ready to take on the world?

I’m VERY self confident… the only things I’m NOT confident about pertain to my children.  I didn’t have a good parenting example when I was small because my own parents were abusive and unavailable.  It’s hard to know if I’m doing the right thing so I’m always consulting others… books, people, professionals… etc…

Now I’ll share 11 facts about myself (which will be extremely hard to come up with new factoids.. lol).

1.  I’m watching the Today’s show right now.

2.  I’m looking outside my french doors as I type this and realize I need to wash my pathetic and filthy windows.

3.  Weird things always happen to me like they do in the movies.  It amazes me sometimes.

4.  I learned to ride a bike without training wheels AFTER my little brother did.  I was 7 years old.

5.  I was 9 months old when I started walking for real.

6.  I’ve always, from birth, been extremely independent.

7.  I was voted Best Dressed in my senior year of high school.  Some days, fashion is still important to me.

8.  I’ve learned that material possessions won’t make you happy.

9.  I’m currently reading “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander.  WOW.  EVERYONE needs to read this book!

10.  I have green eyes.

11.  When I was young, my hair was blonder… as I get older my hair gets darker and darker.

How’s THAT for some boring factoids?  I’m telling you, I’m running out of stuff to talk about ME.  lol

Now I’m going to come up with 11 questions for my 8 people (in case they want to participate).

1.  Have you ever had a NDE (Near death experience)?

2.  Where is your favorite vacation destination?

3.  Do you have a good relationship with your parents?

4.  Who is the funniest person you know of?  It can be someone you don’t personally know.

5.  Do you play video games and if so what?

6.  What do you do to exercise?

7.  What’s your favorite food?

8.  Do you cook or go out to eat, for the most part?

9.  What color is your kitchen?

10.  Have you ever said NO to someone who’s asked you to marry them?

11.  What is your favorite song?

So here are the 8 people I’m tagging:

1.  http://livonne.com.au/

2.  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

3.  http://sethsnap.com/

4.  http://ihelenblog.wordpress.com/

5.  http://urbanwallart.wordpress.com/

6.  http://thedissocialmom.wordpress.com/

7.  http://andthisiswhyiwilldiealonesurroundedbycats.wordpress.com/

8.  http://littleyellowcar.wordpress.com/

So a recap on the rules.

1.  Post a picture of the award on your blog

2.  Tagback the person who tagged you to let them know you’ve accepted the award.

3.  11 facts about you.

4.  Answer the 11 questions I’ve asked you.

5.  Tag the same amount of people as their are letters in your name.

6.  Ask your OWN 11 questions to the people you’ve tagged.

7.  Contact the people you’ve tagged to let them know they’ve been tagged.

And Here are MY special rules:  NOBODY I’ve tagged really needs to be obligated to play if they don’t want.  I realize many people are busy and don’t have time to do something like this and it’s really no big deal.  It’s something that should be fun and if it’s not, then please don’t give it a second thought.  Have a HAPPY MONDAY!

The Fairy Pools and Religious Hatred…

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scottland

Shaun, this is the place I told you about.  Where is it in relationship to where you are?

I have a Pinterest board entitled “places I want to go one day”.  It’s kind of a “bucket list” destination or dream board.  I LOVE to travel.  It’s probably my favorite thing to do and I’ve always dreamed of going places abroad but have never been out of my country!  Well, besides Mexico.

Yesterday, I Skyped with a friend in Scotland.  It was amazing to me to be sitting on my back deck in the middle of America, listening to my birds and knowing that I was able to bring Scotland SO close to me.  My girls were laughing because of Shaun’s accent, they thought he spoke a different language!  lol  It’s strange to me that we both speak English, the King’s language, yet the dialect makes it so hard to understand.  It didn’t take me long to understand him though.  I was also impressed with how different the UK is from the USA.  The differences in religion and the extreme hatred that goes on in Western Scotland and I’m guessing in Ireland between the Catholic’s and the Protestants.  They actually KILL each other over there in the name of Religion.  THEY say in the name of God but I’m QUITE certain that God’s going to “smite” them down for killing each other in His name! For shame.  I’m Catholic, by birth, and I’m ASHAMED of the Catholic’s who would kill a Protestant in the name of our religion.

Over here, in the USA, one of the our constitutional rights is “Freedom of Religion”.  For the most part, we respect each other. Oh there’s a lot of talking behind each other’s backs.  That’s about it though.  The worst I’ve ever experienced is when I went to my husband’s family’s church in Texas.  I went to Sunday School and I was alone.  It’s a Southern Baptist Church.  The Sunday School teacher began talking about the Pope and how he’s going to go to hell and how ALL Catholic’s are probably going to go to hell.  WTF???  Don’t they know that this is the EXACT reason that people aren’t attracted to Christians?  Out of respect for my husband’s family, I didn’t create the scene I’d wanted to create.  I sat there and seethed.  Later, my husband’s family heard ALL about it.  You can trust and believe that.  Not that I was blaming them, just that I wanted them to know how wrong I felt it was for their leader to say something like he did… not to mention the “Amen’s” I heard from the rest of the Sunday school class.  “Amen’s” coming from some people I truly loved and respected.  My family told me I should have pulled the Sunday School teacher aside and tell him that I’m Catholic and didn’t appreciate what he was saying.  I SHOULD have but I knew me, and I knew that I probably would have NOT been eloquent in my speech.  I would have ripped him up, chewed him up and spit him out.  THAT wouldn’t have honored my husband’s family.  So I let it go and forgave.  Something that was difficult.

My point being that we ALL live in this world.  We’re all united in that we’re HUMAN.  It doesn’t matter what color of skin we have, if we’re male or female, it doesn’t matter what religion we are.  God made us all.  Not ONE of us is better than the other.

Now, can’t we all just get along?  Much love to all of you and have a VERY Happy Friday!