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" . . . so ya can't please everyone, gotta please yourself!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Rich Nelson's song "Garden Party" . . . ok from my distant youth! LOL

But I love that idea, because it really is impossible to please everyone, and when you TRY, you end up compromising what makes YOU happy most of the time.

I have just really been focused on how fragile life is and how difficult it is to "let go". But loss and "letting go" is part of that circle of life (thank you LION KING for that phrase!)

You look @ your kids as they grow up and you have all these plans in your head for them. College, successful career . . . you know . . . the things ALL parents want for their kids. But as things turn out, that plan might not be THEIR plan. So our job as a parent is to "let go" of OUR plans and help our kids with what THEY want in their lives. VERY hard sometimes.

As you who follow my blogs already know, my son enlisted in the Army and left for basic training on March 5th. It was very hard letting him go, but you know what, I DID. HE needed that in order to find his own way, his own path. And despite all the bumps in the road encountered during his turbulent Middle School and High School years (can you say ROLLERCOASTER RIDE?) I love him with all my heart & soul. Sometimes it hurt my Mom heart, though, because it was clear he didn't feel that love at all. **SIGH** Pretty typical of the teen years.

He has been in basics now for 2 weeks and 3 days. We have had very limited communication (totally understandable AND necessary). But the letters we've gotten from him (2 -- and I think I've read them at least a billion times -- ok maybe a billion and one emoticon) I see so much maturity and clarity infused into his thinking. . . something sorely lacking @ times when he lived here. Again . . . pretty standard for a teen. It brings me to emoticon sometimes.

The letter we received from him yesterday is a prime example. He indicated that it is tough but he's determined to honor this committment, even though it's really tough. I'll share some of his comments:

"I already feel like I'm changing. I want to thank you for raising me the way you did. I know it was difficult, but without you guys, I don't know what I would've done. " From MY SON!

"I'm looking forward to seeing you all (at graduation)." Wow! Again, MY SON said this.

"I miss you guys and love you guys much. They say home is where there is a roof. They say home is where people are, but home is the feeling that you can't feel from anyone else. I miss home . . . " OMG (ok, 'scuse me . . . going to get my millionth box of kleenex).

Back again. Never in a million years would I have anticipated John saying ANY of these things to us. NEVER. He was always an envelope pusher, tough guy, never show emotions. Seems like he's seeing it's not all bad to FEEL things.

HUGE lesson. I see this in my own life. When I started this journey, I ATE my feelings away. What the heck . . . facing emotions HURTS sometimes. but I've learned that in the long run, dealing with the emotions is HEALTHY. It allows us to move on. Seeing this is my 19 yr. old son (20 in August) totally amazes me. I don't honestly know if **I** had that kind of maturity at 19, almost 20!

So, though it's been an adjustment for all of us, it is a good thing. Change always takes so much courage and strength. And there are days when you think you don't have it in you, but you dig a little deeper and voila! Yes indeed you DO have it in you!

Thanks for reading this blog. As painful as change can be, it allows us to become who we're meant to be. That's awesome . . . totally awesome. Worry less about pleasing others and more about pleasing YOURSELF, accomplishing what YOU need to be a better, healthier, stronger person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

N_STITCHES 4/10/2012 8:19PM

  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions with us. Certainly a strong woman raised a strong young man. Thank him for his service to our country from a proud American......Patti

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ANNETTEV8 4/5/2012 5:36AM

    Hi - I could relate to what you have said about raising teens! My son sounds so like your son! My son joined the Navy - and after the first 12 weeks of enforced no contact - he suddenly realised that his family meant so much to him.. I got the same kind of letters - which I treasure!

He is no longer in the Navy (NZ vigorously trains them but has nothing for them to do when they are finished) - but has come away earning top place in his intake of Marine Technicians (so gained confidence in his abilities finally); learned a lot about himself - and now knows how to iron!! :)

Having children is the hardest job ever - heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time! :)

I admire your amazing weightloss - you are now, where I want to be in the future!

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FLGIRL1234 4/2/2012 10:11PM

    I love this blog on so many levels! Thank you.

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MARTHAWILL 4/1/2012 5:30PM

    That was a wonderful blog to read. So rewarding as a parent to watch your son grow in this way. Congratulations mom. You have obviously done a good job parenting him - better than maybe you give yourself credit for.

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YANKEEBELLA 3/31/2012 4:57AM

    Thank you, thank you for sharing this. You reflect so much of what I have gone through with my sons.
When my son finished boot camp, he was much more mature also. It is beyond words what I felt at time.
I always was told it was selfish to please myself (Catholic upbringing, taught by nuns). I now see where I made mistakes. But everyday is a new beginning and each day I work to please myself without hurting anyone else. The two are not mutually exclusive. That has been a real lesson for me. I am also learning to not be hurt when someone chooses to please themselves over pleasing me. Again, that is not about me...it is about their needs and their needs are to be respected just as mine are.

Enjoy those letters and any phone calls you may get from John. That graduation is going to be awesome!

Go Army!

Blessings, Susan

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LEANJEAN6 3/30/2012 7:54PM

    Oh Barb--my virtual sister---- Whatta nice boy!!--It almost made me cry--Just be there--support him--pick him up sometimes--and hug him--I guess that is what he sees now, in yer home--So nice!!---- I feel for yu!! You must miss him terribly!!! But--he will come home-always--- Hugs--Lynda

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DOTSLADY 3/27/2012 10:11PM

    What an emoticon blog, and it brought me to tears right along with you. No snots though - LOL. Oh, pass the tisshew. *honk* ;0)

I'm so happy for you. You deserve this after all ... and they will get theirs when they have their own.

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GOTTASTITCH 3/26/2012 10:01PM

    You have so much to be proud of. It is so nice when you see kids actually learned some of the life lessons we try to instill in them and know it did not fall on deaf ears. But so important to SHOW them how to live instead of TELLING them. Sounds like you did it just right.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 3/26/2012 9:22PM

    Your blog really had me crying. I am so proud of John. You are a SUPER mom to have raised such a wonderful son. He will go far because of the way your raised him and the unlimited love you have given him. Continuing prayers for him and for you!!
Blessings and hugs,

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HOPESINGH 3/25/2012 11:18AM

    Oh, I'm so happy to read this! The army indeed is a very maturing experience, even before or without the battlefield. You learn a lot about responsibility, hierarchy, solidarity... Lots of stuff. Glad he's already seeing thing in a new way, and it's wonderful to see how much you appreciate it. emoticon

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I.M.MAGIC 3/24/2012 8:12PM

    I agree with IOEINC.

Your son has an amazing MOM!


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RONNIEHUEY 3/23/2012 1:14PM

    You have an amazing son! You did a good job raising your son. I didn't hear from my daughter for at least a month. I was so worried about her.I just knew her temper would get the best of her and she would haul off and hit the DI.Didn't happen thank goodness. Now that shes in Afghanistan I keep up with her on face book.I still worry, but know that she is doing what she wants.God bless our children!

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CIVIAV 3/23/2012 11:28AM

    please, please me oh yeah!

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MELIVA 3/22/2012 11:35PM

    Fantastic blog...now, mind sharing some of your kleenex? How wonderful to see just how grown up and mature (and in quite an honorable way) your son has become. I am so happy for you and continue to look towards June for THAT blog.

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PATRICIAANN46 3/22/2012 11:21PM

  What a GREAT blog!!!!! As the mother of 2 sons who both "Pushed the limits", I totally understand what you and your husband went through.
There is NOTHING like that first time totally away from home with no way to go back until boot camp is done to make you appreciate just how good HOME and your PARENTS are. He is realizing that and is finally able to express it to you. This is your reward for all the years of sleepless nights (at least it was for me). BOTH of my sons had epiphanies like this and put it on paper just how much my husband and I meant to them. I have saved their letters and STILL read them every once in awhile.
I am VERY happy for you.

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MISSCUS 3/22/2012 9:46PM

    as I wipe my tears, you are a good mom for letting your son grow up. He has life to experience. Good for you! My son is 37 now, and I know how it feels when they are really grown up. Brings tears to my eyes too. I think every day about our young ones in the military. I was a military wife too. It can be hard, very hard, and also can be joyful. Life brings change, and change can be really good for people.
Enjoyed your blog.

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/22/2012 9:11PM

    What a great kid you raised, and what an eye opener basic training has been for him. emoticon So use the tissues and pop your vest buttons! You done good, mom.

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NORASPAT 3/22/2012 9:07PM

    I had watched that in my friend feed several times and I had a preconceived idea what it would say.
That was a really excellent Blog, we have three sons, and letting them go with smiles and hugs and balling as soon as their back was turned.
I totally agree with all you have said and you said it so well.
It is great to look at those sons with love and you are correct none of them has been able to follow their dreams for one reason or another. I am happy they turned out to be kind compassionate men just like their Dad. I thought only I was shaping those men but DH most definitely gave them Wisdom. HUGS and Many Thanks to you. Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 3/22/2012 8:41PM

    Okay, first I got chills, then I got teary-eyed. I am SO happy for you. You earned this, you and your husband so deserve this gratitude. What a wonderful young man John is, to be willing to let you know that all the sacrifice, all the tears, the worry, the sleep lost to anxiety, the time and energy spent directing and redirecting him - all so very worth it. I am happy for all of you. I, too, love that song and the message. We have to ultimately make decisions that we ourselves can stand behind because we are the ones that will be left living with the choices we have made. You have set a wonderful example for him of making poor choices (too much food for all the wrong reasons) and then owning up to it and making healthy choices and having the improved life to show for it. Nice job! emoticon

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INFLATED 3/22/2012 8:00PM

    Tears dribbled out of the corners of my eyes as I read your blog.

Life has a way of teaching us what is inside of us, especially basic training in the military.

I was a girl that wanted my own way when I lived at home with my parents. Dad had strict rules and in hindsight, knowing he would enforce them, kept me out of a lot of trouble I could have found myself in.

Our parents are our first models in life. For some, their parents are not good role models.

The military basic training has a way of causing you to recall precious memories. There is no place like "home." Your son is now able to have something to compare living at home with. I would rebel when asked to do things by my parents; in the military rebellion is squashed. You learn it is easier on yourself to comply with what is demanded of you and you think back to your rebellion when you lived at home.

Your son is telling you, he loves you. He probably realizes it now in such a way as to not be able to word it or put it on paper just how much you mean to him.

I would do what FLPALM said. I would frame one copy of the blog and put hers underneath it facing the opposite direction to give to him later in life or to find in your possessions some day.

The other copy I would carry and pull it out to read when you miss him. With guys, it is hard for them to discuss their feelings. When they get together with other males, they don't talk about their feelings like females do.

Your son is expressing that he misses you dearly and now appreciates the sacrifices you have made to raise him and to guide him. He loves you, you are HIS Mom!

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IOEINC 3/22/2012 7:10PM

    I hate to say this but I am going to say this anyway. I TOLD YOU!!! I could tell just by getting to know you that you and Jason did a fanastic job as parents!! SO heartwaming to read this. Made me teary!!! You deserve a great big emoticon. He sounds like such a wondeful young man, but after all you are his mother!!!!
emoticon again. June will be here before you know it!!!
DO I get to do my I told you so dance yet? (That's from Will & Grace-Debbie Reynolds played Grace's mom and she used to do the I told you so dance). I love it when I'm right!!! AM I getting to smug, sorry... Seriously so glad that things are working out.I couldn't tell you not to worry... we are moms, that's what we do best but know this, my dear friend, I am so happy for you!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
And I love the blog title. My girls thought I was crazy when I bought one of his CDS with Traveling man and Marylou. ANd he was cute too. And the girls ended up liking his songs. What a wonderful blog!!

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THECRAZYMANGO 3/22/2012 5:03PM

    It is a hard lesson to learn that it is okay to have emotions, good and bad. I am glad he is accepting this! emoticon

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AUNTIEA1959 3/22/2012 4:41PM

    thank you for sharing this with us all. I had to reach for a kleenix or 2 myself while reading it. the letter you got from your son reminded me of something my mom told me about when my brother was gradusting boot camp in the Navy (coincidently, his name is Jon - no h). Mom & Dad were with my brother just after the ceremony. He was in his white dress uniform & he thanked mom for being so strict with us growing up because "it made boot camp a breeze". He didn't know his C.O. was behind him when he said that untill he heard the C.O. yell "A breeze?? Drop & give me 50 & don't get a speck of dirt on that uniform!"

the C.O. then went to my parents & had a chat with them, his back to my brother so he would not see his C.O. grinning from ear to ear.

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THETURTLEBEAR 3/22/2012 4:10PM

    I got all teary reading this too. I understand how that must feel. I am getting tiny glimpses of my "real" son again...and tiny bits of maturity too. I'm still feeling a bit shaky about getting up my hope, but I am very happy for him. I am SUPER happy for your family!

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SWTHNY- 3/22/2012 3:40PM

    what a wonderful blog
God Bless

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FLPALM 3/22/2012 2:54PM

    I so needed to respond to this, but ALL FOR THE GOOD!!! I love how you opened your heart, and letter to us, and shared John's words and thoughts with us!

As a parent, and grandparent, I want to let you know.....YOUR CHILDREN LISTEN, even when you do not think they are! Being a good parent, an example of love, understanding, and caring, THEY GET IT! This is a point, I am trying to "teach" our daughter, now the mother of two (which will become three in two weeks or less) during her "MOTHERHOOD/PARENT" younger days!

You have taught your son well, even though you could see "HIS EYE ROLLS" hear his "HUFFING BENEATH HIS BREATH" or the numerous other "antics of any teenager!" You did WELL, my FRIEND! He KNOWS he was LOVED, his HOME is in his HEART, and always will be! Love him, teach him, and believe me, HE IS LISTENING! Trust me on this.....I've been there, done that, and learned this "myself" when I least expected it!

Thank you for sharing....now print out YOUR BLOG, fold it and tuck it inside your wallet, purse, or whatever.....when you need to, you can pull it out read it. and SHOW JOHN, when he "HAS THIS SAME FEELING" with his own children......say 20+ years from now!!!!

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SHERYLDS 3/22/2012 2:30PM

    I will be keeping John in my thoughts and prayers
and you already have a reserved spot in my heart.
Pat yourself on the back Lady...You did a great job

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March 5, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Well, my dear son John is off now. I don't think any of us got sleep so didn't need the alarm to get up this morning @ 3 am. Was WIDE AWAKE! Had a chance to have one last cup of coffee @ the table as a family before we left to drop him off.

It was very, very hard to leave, but squeezed in a few more hugs, "I love you's" and "I'm proud of you's". **SIGH** That's going to have to do till we see him again @ graduation in June.

Thank you all for listening and supporting me. It has helped me beyond measure.

God bless us all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSYVIRGINY 3/11/2012 6:14PM

    Hope you are feeling better. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOTSLADY 3/11/2012 5:12PM

    I salute you both. emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 3/10/2012 11:48PM

    I know you are very proud of him even though your heart is breaking to say goodbye even for a short time. Tell him thank you from all of us!!! I know that I will be a basket case when my grandson leaves for his basic training for the Marines in June. You and your dear son will be in my thoughts and prayers daily.
Blessings and hugs,

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RONNIEHUEY 3/9/2012 1:12PM

    God bless your son! Thank him for his service. Yesterday my daughter called me from Afghanistan.She always starts by saying "'I'm OK" Were were cut off after a few minutes,however she Face booked that she was OK.Yum! does that mean a few mortars fell?She doesn't tell me everything that happens over there.However when she writes about her truck turning over and landing upside down in the river and she had to cut the canvas in order to get her partners and gear and weapons out ,then swimming to shore.I thought I only had to worry mortar fire.I love face book! I can have contact with her anytime unless her crappy internet goes out.Good luck with your son and his service

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XRSIZE18 3/7/2012 4:46AM

    ((((Hugs)))) That must've been rough but at least he has a good mom to support him through it. A kid could only be so lucky...

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PATRICIAANN46 3/6/2012 10:27PM

  God Bless him and all of our servicemen and women who are serving for ALL of us. I am forever grateful to all of them.
You and your husband sound like wonderful parents, so he will be well prepared to face whatever comes up. Letting go is so hard, but it is the part of the parenting process that we all know is coming and yet we are so ill prepared in so many ways to carry it out. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you that this time goes well and fast and that it will be June before you know it.

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INFLATED 3/6/2012 1:11PM

    Hugs to you! I cannot tell you how much I needed to mature when I enlisted. I did not know I would lose my Dad the following year and it was good that I had a job in the Air Force to take care of myself and so I could send an allotment home to Mom.

I married one month after Dad died and that was a mistake. I knew nothing about cooking or housekeeping.

I remember when we had phone privileges during basic training, telling my Mom and Dad through tears, that I wasn't going to make it and couldn't believe I had signed away four years of my life for this. Both reassured me saying I would make it. Dad said that I was being trained in case of war, to obey orders and not to fall to pieces. Once I learned their motive, I would be able to endure what was dished out. It did help me to understand that when I was being hollered at, it was a test to see if I would break down under stress. I passed.

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NUMD97 3/6/2012 12:00PM

    You know, probably more than most, as you have expressed in the past, that saying "the words" even if some cringe from it, is so incredibly important.

Your son leaving, knowing how proud you are of him, will carry him in those "bad moments", of that I am sure.

Before you know it, the weather will warm, and you will be counting the days till you see him at his graduation.

I wish you nothing but the best as you wait for that happy day to come,


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YANKEEBELLA 3/6/2012 9:52AM

    Is your son going to boot camp?

My older son was in the Army for 6 years with 2 Middle East tours. Never thought I would have to have the military in my life again after being a Navy wife but my son's decision to quit college and enlist changed that. He is out of the Army and back in college.

It was tough but prayers and positivity got me through.


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SHARON10002 3/5/2012 9:55PM

    Yes, those goodbyes are always so hard; not only on us, but them! Out into the world of the unknown! He will grow by leaps and bounds from this. And remember that each day that goes by is one day closer to seeing him once again! emoticon

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MELIVA 3/5/2012 9:46PM

    How proud you must be!! I realize that there is probably a lot of sadness that goes with sending him off and for that I'd like to give you a big hug. Hope June comes quickly!

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CANNIE50 3/5/2012 9:45PM

    Oh, sweetie. I pray you, and John, and the rest of the family get some sweet sleep soon, and some relief from the worries. You are strong and have so many good coping skills. You have placed yourself in a much better position to handle this challenge to your heart, than you would have been in, in the past. He will have so much to tell you, and will gain so much gratitude for the comfortable, loving care you all provided him - it made him strong enough to be a young man capable of this huge step. Bless all of you.

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/5/2012 7:51PM

    Thinking of you! emoticon Strong moms, strong sons! He can do this, and we're all here for you, too.

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SUNNY332 3/5/2012 6:29PM

    Awe - Bless your heart. Praying that all goes well on this new venture of his. He is to be applauded as he is one of our True American Heroes. Do be sure and keep us updated.

Hugs, Sunny

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JULIA_211 3/5/2012 3:40PM

    May God bless your son and keep him safe. emoticon emoticon

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FLAME42 3/5/2012 3:00PM

    Hugs are coming your way today...... Will pray that June gets here very quickly and you get to hug him in person again.

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FLPALM 3/5/2012 10:53AM

    Just be proud of him! I think we ALL ARE! GOD Bless him!

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NORASPAT 3/5/2012 9:19AM

    Thinking of you today. I do know the feeling and your son knows he is loved.
I too am thankful for our soldiers. Many arrive home here in Bangor Maine and if we are at the airport I make sure we give them the "soldiers thanks".
Put you hand to your heart and extend it forward like blowing a kiss. That is "thank you" with out having to stop them as they hurry away to their next flight.
I hope your son gets many "Thank You's" signed to him we all must show our appreciation. Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 3/5/2012 9:16AM

    Think about how proud you will be when he graduates basic. It is a great thing he is doing. It is young men like him that make our country what it is today. Just be thankful that we are not fighting in Iraq anymore.

Bring back memories of when my brother was drafted and Vietnam was going on. My mother cried so hard, and I told my brother to hide underneath my bed. We all were so scared. Luckily he never went to Vietnam. He was stationed over in Germany. Worse thing that happened to him was he got a dear John letter from his fiancee.

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CIVIAV 3/5/2012 8:50AM

    Bless you all!

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SHERYLDS 3/5/2012 8:49AM

Wish we lived in a kinder, gentler, world where there wasn't a need for young men to do what he's doing.
I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts.

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TOOTHFUL99 3/5/2012 8:37AM

    He'll be fine. What a generous step he's taking, to serve our country. Make sure you tell him thanks from me! It's people like him that make our way of living possible.

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IOEINC 3/5/2012 8:28AM

    Those extra hugs will carry him through to June when he gets more extra hugs at graduation. Will be thinking of you today!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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It's here, it's here!!! Birthday party!!!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

First of all, let me start by sending a huge THANK YOU for all the notes, goodies and well wishes. I can't begin to answer everyone's response personally (tried to keep up . . . can't type fast enough). PLEASE know you're all so very special to me and I so appreciate your love and caring.

Ok, onto the party people!!!

Did my aerobics/CV exercise already -- shoveling. Darn Mother Nature!!! Oh well, it's done (the shoveling) for now.

Now . . . for starting this party. Favorite childhood memory and worst fashion faux paux I ever made.

HMMMM... favorite childhood memory. Can't limit it to just one, so here goes.

We always took a vote on Thanksgiving about where we'd like to go (in those days, museums were open every day except Christmas). So, we'd have a "secret ballot". Everyone wrote their vote on a piece of paper and we put it in a hat. Whichever Museum got the most votes, that's where we'd go. Well...not always. One year, there were 2 votes for the Museum of Science & Industry, 2 votes for the zoo and ONE vote for a NAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!! I think that year we did the nap AND the Museum! LOL We all pretended not to know who voted for the nap, but we knew!! DAD. Gotta love him.

Let's see. My cousin was visiting us from Kansas City (same one we convinced that if you swallowed a watermelon, it would grow in your stomach . . . now that happened to co-incide with my Mom being pregnant! THAT one didn't turn out well, but I digress, as usual). He was dressed up and was feeling AWKWARD, because he didn't like being dressed up. Ok, I can understand that for sure. My brothers were that way too. Anyway, my Mom solved the problem. We had a gravel driveway. She told Jeff, "Go grab a handful of gravel and put it in your pockets. Then you won't feel so dressed up." To this day (ok he's 56!) he remembers that!! Not only is my nickname Watermelon, he always has a stone in his pocket! LOL

Fashion faux paux: Fishnet stockings. Holy smokes. Those were popular in the day (and I see kinda making a come back now, so don't want to offend anyone who wears them today! ) I HAD to have a pair. Uncomfortable!!! But had to be fashionable!! UGH What's up with that one!

So, fire away with your stories. We have a million of them!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SABLENESS 3/8/2012 2:04PM

    LOL and memories! I had the fishnet stockings--yes, they were uncomfortable, especially with the contraptions one wore to hold the things up before pantyhose--AND a great pair of white go-go boots. Love your mom's solution to cousin not feeling so dressed up. I had an uncle whose gifts were feast or famine. You either LOVED whatever it was he gifted you with, or you wondered what possessed him to think of that. He was great company, and I still miss him. Belated happy birthday.

Wondering about our friend MAGICKAT. I drop a line now and then too.

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FLPALM 3/3/2012 5:47PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! I got back late last night and trying to catch up with my SPFS! I love your "memories!" I'd love to take a walk down memory lane, every now and then, and giggle.....it does a heart good!

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CANNIE50 3/1/2012 11:13PM

    First of all, I am so jealous of your fishnet stockings. I longed for a pair, along with a pair of white go-go boots - I didn't get either one, which is probably a good thing except I am thinking that, as a very old lady, I will probably have to do a bit of wish fulfillment so I picture myself in fishnets and go-go boots when I am 90 - emoticon My favorite childhood memory is my baby sister holding on to my finger so tight, gazing at me with her big blue eyes. I told my mom I could not go to school because the baby would not let go of my finger. I just hung up from talking to my "baby" sister. She is in her mid-40's now and is still as cute as a button. Sorry I was so late to your party - thanks for letting me join in anyway. emoticonto you.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 2/29/2012 6:33PM

    emoticon blog. Really had thinking and tripping down memory lane. Too much going on to write more. Thanks for sharing!!!
HAPPY, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! May this year be your greatest one ever!!!
Blessings and hugs!!!

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WILLITWORK1 2/29/2012 5:21PM

    what a wonderful blog. Got my laughs for the day. Hey, I remember all those awful short shorts, fishnet stockings, etc. Remember pants suits made out of polyester???

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SPOKENWORD 2/27/2012 4:14PM

    One of my favorite childhood memories was my father renting a 16 passenger bus/van to Fort Worth, TX for Christmas. There was snow and ice as we traveled I-440 which was new at that time and rarely traveled, especially in this weather. We made it safely and had so much fun! Even though once we finally got there, my sister's power went out for hours! lol Love my family!

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INFLATED 2/26/2012 1:20AM

    LOL, I had to come back and read what others wrote.

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ALOHAEV1 2/25/2012 10:33PM

    Oh what funyou sure shared some fun times with us. Great idea by the way! Insert pic of birthday cake with brightly shining candles here...

Chubby Checkers brought to mind Fats Domino back in the 50's. Lived in New Orleans then, near his home was a skating rink. The owners would open up the windows crank up the volume with his music if he was in town he'd come on over and visit!

I remember fish net stockings (complete with garter belt) back in '68. Actually wore those with my going away outfit. Don't ask me what I did yesterday why I remember that, who knows?

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BOSS61 2/25/2012 8:32AM

    Happy Birthday! Great blog; thanks for sharing!

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WILLPARKINSON 2/25/2012 3:36AM

    Happy birthday to you! Congratulations on your family. They sound awesome. It's easy to see that it runs in the family.


I'm ready for birthday cake!

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RENIESSPARKIN 2/24/2012 11:34PM

    HAHAHAHAHOHOHOHO! What fun, just like you, CD.

Favorite childhood memory: We were spending our summer vacation with my maternal grandparents. Grandpa took me to the hen house and let me pick an egg from one of the nests. Then I got to take it to the Emporium and I traded the egg for some penny candy. I got cinnamon bears and malt balls.

Fashion faux paux: Hot pants when on my period and forgot to clip the string shorter. emoticon We also wore the poodle skirts with the hoops in our slips, along with pantaloons. It was great for the guys coming up the stairs while we were going down at school. Oh, my! How scandalous.


Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 11:35:14 PM

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MELIVA 2/24/2012 10:59PM

    Happy Birthday to you!!!

Fashion: I live a daily faux pas...really. I think my biggest were the incredibly HUGE glasses that I wore on my tiny little face when I was in grade 2 (through grade 4).

Memory: Oh there are so many. I remember going to my cousins wedding when I was five or six. I was all prettied up in a fluffy dress and I got to dance with the groom (my "new" cousin). The photographer had a field day with this and had me stand on the picnic table (barn dance style reception); he wanted me to give the groom a kiss....thought it would make a cute shot. I fought that camera man and refused to kiss the groom because he was "married now." Not that I'm older I see how silly this is, but I couldn't wrap my head around this as such a young kid.

Happy Birthday!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 2/24/2012 10:10PM

  Worst Fashion Faux Paux............Oh, I have made many!!!!! One that comes to mind is the formal that I wore to the Prom my Freshman year of High School. We didn't have enough $ to buy a new dress for the Prom, so I borrowed one from a neighbor who was a few years older than me. She also had a somewhat smaller waist. The dress fit fine as long as I was standing and didn't eat or drink anything. After the dance, we went to a fancy restaurant to eat and I had to go to the restroom every 10 or 15 minutes with the girl of the couple we doubled with, so she could unzip the dress and I could breathe. I don't know what my date thought, but he did ask me out again, so he couldn't have been too freaked out. emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 2/24/2012 10:03PM

  I have so many favorite childhood memories, but one that came to my mind immediately, was the day I finally got even with my evil boy cousin for all of the ways he had tortured me for years. He was 10 and I was 8. There was this old barn or shed at the end of the block where I lived. Two of my friends and I were walking past the barn on our way to the lake, when he jumped out to scare us. Luckily the 2 friends with me were fairly big boys, about 10 or 11, and neither of them liked the COUSIN. Between the 3 of us, we pushed him up against the barn, lifted him up, and hung him on a large nail by a belt loop. There was no way he was getting down and we were far enough away from houses that there was NO chance of anyone hearing him. We left him there for about an hour. He NEVER bothered me again. emoticon

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THECRAZYMANGO 2/24/2012 8:54PM

    My favorite memory is...
..going up north to the cabin where we had no TV. We'd play cards together, splash around the water, go fishing with my Dad, help build the campfire and bring our childhood friends to the cabin.

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IOEINC 2/24/2012 7:50PM

    Had to come back again. Having so much fun. We are having angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries (also a favorite of mine) in honor of your birthday. I have really enjoyed reading the stories. As for the fashion stories all I can say is What were thinking back then?? Have a great time tomorrow with your parents!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/24/2012 7:28PM

    Me again! Did someone say CHUBBY CHECKERS and the twist??? Doin' it as we speak. Next, the limbo. Gotta work off some calories, you know, even virtual calories! Have fun!!!

Setting up a game of TWISTER in the rec room. Better get my walker ready for THAT one! HEE HEE

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LEANJEAN6 2/24/2012 7:13PM

    Woo Woo!!---- Whatta list of memories! I love it!!! And whatta party!-----Dancing-swimming---- sunning--eating----never getting tired--laughing---- I loved this Birthday!!!!---You are so funny---Lynda

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1CRAZYDOG 2/24/2012 6:40PM

    HEY GUYS, it's ME. This has brought back many tender childhood memories for me reading all your stories! What fun!

Refreshments and goodies served @ the buffet bar . . . help yourself! NO CALORIES! That's the very best part!

Just LOVE reading all these stories. Wish I could answer all of you personally, but I am soooooooooo appreciative that all of you have taken the time to share such wonderful memories! You're a wonderful, wonderful group of friends!!

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FLAME42 2/24/2012 4:22PM

    I would have to say that one of my worst "fashion" mistakes did not happen as a child, it happen while I was a teacher. A very dear friend and I went on a fun shopping day, we each bought a wig. Wearing that wig to school when you are a junior high school teacher is just plain stupid, did it anyway. Only did it one day.
One of my childhood memories that still haunts me to this day is being chased across our pasture and through a barbed wire fence by a black Angus bull. To this day I don't trust Angus or any bull for that matter.

I hope your birthday is spectacular and you have a wonderful time reading all these comments.
emoticon emoticon emoticon..this is a very low calorie cake!!

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IOEINC 2/24/2012 4:08PM

    Hey Barb,

Did I say Happy Birthday yet??

What a great party!!! Sooooo many great stories.

Favorite childhood memory-My maternal grandfather took us (my two older brothers and my cousin into Philadelphia for the first time at Christmas time. I was 9. We went on the train and I remember feeling so grown up like I was going on a trip. We went to all the stores, not to shop but to see all the Christmas displays. There were quite a few big local department stores bac then and two of them, John Wanamakers and Lit Brothers had big Chirstmas displays. Lit Brothers had a whole floor devoted to a recreation of a colonial Christmas village that you could walk through and see into the homes and shops.The mannequins had moving parts. It was pure magic for me. Then we went to Wanamakers where they had a little monorail up near the ceiling which my cousin and I got to ride (sorry brothers too big for it) and we could see everything down below. Then we got to see Santa. None of us still believed in him (remember I had two older brothers) but it was still nice to see him. Another department store Gimbels and ate in their restaurant. I even remember what I had-grilled cheese and a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream. Everyone slept on the train on the way home. My grandfather was such a very special man, just being with him was a special treat and we lived with him in his house so I saw him everyday. It was just such a lovely day and even lovlier memory.

Fashion faux paux...hotpants. I had a pair one summer, I think the summer I graduated from high school but could have been before that. They were gray and not really all that short. My friend and my cousin decided to wear them to the boardwalk one night so I went along and wore mine, but I felt so selfconscious in them. I joined Hotpants Anonymous and swore off them forever. Although now that I am older.... hmmmm... as if!!!!

I wish you the happiest of birthdays ever!!!!

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Thanks so much for being you!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 4:13:21 PM

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NORASPAT 2/24/2012 3:57PM

    My favourite child hood memory was getting home from school. I lived with my Grandmother and she would put up the rug frame from the table to the back of the couch. She would sit on one side and I on the other and we would use a blunt awl to pull up the loops of fabric. We called them Clip rugs and they were made out of old coats ripped in to strips. The backing was old sugar sacks from the grocers.
I would lean over and poke a hole and holding the fabric I would pull a loop through the hole. We sat and talked and it all felt so cozy. Once in a while the cats would decide to catch the dangling fabric and if their claws caught just right they would pull out my work. I would get upset but Gran taught me to laugh when it happened, and she laughed with me. Clip Rugs to sit on in front of the hearth.

My fashion FauxPaux was my red pedal pushers. Mothers fault not mine. My mother was an accomplished seamstress. People asked her to sew for them and she never thought to ask for payment she usually was given fabric instead. My mother had made herself TREWS womens pants in those days. She asked me if I wanted a pair and I said yes. She made them way too short in the crotch so she lengthened the crotch so they were no longer pants but they were pedal pushers. I was a really overweight kid. My Gran did not like me wearing them. She said they looked bad but I still wanted to wear them. They were baggy below the knee so she put White laces in the front and tied them is a bow. I walked outside to meet my Mam and she shooed me in to the house and that was the last time I ever saw them. I was really upset, they were my dream pants but she never wanted to talk about them. I can close my eyes and visualise them with the White laces at the bottom. Thanks for the memories.!!!
I guess for Birthday cake we always eat fruit cake and never ice cream but I sure will share it with you now on your very special Day 1CRAZYDOG, Happy Birthday.
Pat in MAINE emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULIA_211 2/24/2012 3:04PM

    My favorite childhood memory is more a routine. After school I would sit on the floor in front of the TV to watch "The Flintstones" and eat Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip cookies,while my mom cooked. emoticon emoticon Yum! The good old days when I had no clue what a calorie was!

Thank you for having me at your birthday party! Now, let's boogie! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INFLATED 2/24/2012 2:27PM

    Favorite Childhood Memory

I loved horses and wanted one. We had a corner lot on the last street in a small town and had a field behind our yard. Dad had an old garage along the road into town and used the top part for a garage and the bottom part for storage.

I found some horse shoes and began sleeping with them under my pillow. I guess I figured if lost teeth bought the tooth fairy, maybe a lost shoe would bring a horse to me.

One day, Dad took me to a riding stable and we went to look for a pony. I saw a beautiful white horse that put me in mind of The Lone Ranger's horse, Silver. A paint pony was running with the horse. I pointed to the horse. We got into the car to go home and Dad asked me what I was going to name him. I thought for awhile and said, "Sugar." Sugar being all white.

One day a car pulled up in front of the house and there was a pony in the area where there should have been a back seat, lol! It was the paint pony that had been running with the white horse. Suddenly, it dawned on me that a horse was not a pony and I was getting the pony, not the white horse that was so beautiful.

Sugar was mine though and was ornery. He would pass too close to a wall and scrape your legs, go under low tree limbs to try to brush you out of the saddle. He chased Mom when she went to hang out clothes on the line (she fed him peppermints) and then go back and pull down the sheets and clothing with his teeth, popping the clothespins up into the air like tiny rocket ships. We moved when I was nine and didn't have proper space to keep him at our new home so I had to sell him.

Fashion Faux Pas

My Mom, my sister and I all wore the same size clothing when I was in high school. This made for more outfits, but sometimes when you were looking for something to wear, it was in the dirty clothes because someone else had worn it.

We weren't allowed to wear slacks or jeans to school except under our dresses when there was snow on the ground and the slacks had to be removed and kept in the locker before the bell rang for Home Room.

Mom was always frugal. She told us that she would buy pantyhose for us but the color had to be the same for all that was bought. When we got a runner in a leg (remember using fingernail polish to stop a run?), we were to cut that leg off and then wear another pair with the leg cut off to make a pair. They were expensive.

I was sitting at my desk with my legs propped up on the bottom of the desk in front of me. My best friend looked over and then passed a note to me. The not read, "What is wrong with your legs?" I moved them around and bent over and had a look and then saw that I had two different shades of pantyhose on. Evidently, my sister had bought some pantyhose and threw them into the wash and lucky me had pulled them out of the drawer and put them on.

I was also given a dress for my birthday and came down the stairs with it on to show it off and I said it felt a little too tight. I had it on backwards and the darts over the breast were pointing out over my shoulder blades. I also put a plain-colored dress on backwards and realized the tag was in front just as I walked into the church building. TGIF=This Goes In Front! I check now as I age to make sure there are no tags in the front! Yep, that is what kind of friend you have! It takes nerve to be seen with me, LOL!

Happy Birthday! I hope this is a great year for you!

I love your birthday idea of writing about these things!!!!

Cake, ice cream and coffee please.

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SHERYLDS 2/24/2012 1:11PM

    Childhood Nightmare that now strikes me funny...
at 6 my grandmother and mom took me to Puerto Rico to meet the relatives. Everyone wanted to see the cousin that looked like Heidi on steroids....what can I say, at 6 I could pass for 8. So one day we end up in my grand uncle's house, a big fancy home. Long day, lots of people, lots of celebrations, little kid tired. My 'mean' older cousins were greatly entertained by teasing the heck out of me. Someone had given me a lolipop earlier, and I wasn't about to let someone steal my 'treasure'. So I wrapped it back up in the cellophane and put it in the headboard (that had an area to store books and such), and someone tuck me in and tucked in the mosquito netting, and I went to sleep. A little while later, groggy, I wake up thirsty, and call out for my grandma to bring me some water. She turns on the light.

well...Remember the movie 'INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM'. where Indiana Jones and someone else is trapped in the room and the walls are sliding in and they are about to be crushed and Kate Capshaw as Wilhelmina "Willie" Scott has to reach into this hole in the wall and pull a lever to stop the walls from crushing them, but it's covered with insects.
I don't think there was one clear foot of space on that entire net that didn't have an insect hanging on it. I was completely hysterical screaming....my grandmother and mother were hysterical sreaming and laughing.

I never took candy to bed with me again. It was a complete nightmare then but it is funny when I think back now.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 2/24/2012 1:05PM

    Fashion disaster I was in the first grade. We lived in New Britain then just as I do now. About 1/2 mile from where I am now. There were maybe 7 of us neighborhood kids who walked to school together. I had just gotten a new pair of penny loafters. We were kicking them off and seeing who could kick their's the farthest. I hit Johnny Kater in the mouth and he started bleeding.

Up until the age of 12 I would spend the summer's in VT with my Uncle Rol and Aunt Hazel on the dairy farm. He had 100's of cows and many horses. My aunt had a big garden. My cousins and I would get up in the morning, not as early as Uncle Rol and go to the barn. We would come home for lunch with the shovel or pitch fork over our shoulder. One day my aunt asked Gary What did you do today and Gary said shoveled sh*t. He ate a bar of soap. I had my own horse for the summer. I had to take care of it too. We would go swimming at Lake Champlain. When I was 12 after I was up there for 3 days, I was rushed to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. I was allergic to the animals and my parents had to come and get me. That was the end of my summers in VT.

Can I have some cake and ice cream now? Happy Birthday and I hope you have a wonderful day. Now where's my cake?

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 1:07:05 PM

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LINDAKAY228 2/24/2012 1:03PM

    Happy Birthday!!!!
Ah yes, the fishnet stockings. I had to have those too! Remember getting holes in them too because I've always been hard on any kind of hose. And as someone else mentioned the very wide bell bottoms also that were hip hugger and worn with a very wide belt. Always wanted to wear those but I was pretty chunky in those days and couldn't wear them the way they should have been. I always wore a loose fitting top on the outside of my pants with the bell bottoms. I also remember we couldn't wear pants to school unless the weather was really bad and then we had to listen to the radio to find out if pants were allowed that day. Boys hair couldn't touch the collar of their shirt and girls would get sent home in high school if they didn't have a bra on. Oh the good old days ha ha.

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CIVIAV 2/24/2012 12:23PM

    Fashion faux pas and it fits with a childhood memory. Grade 8, wearing low cut, wide bell bottom in khaki green with only two snaps to close the pants. How did they stay on. And with those pants, wearing a danskin burgundy, shiny leotard. To top this off, at the bottom, under those bells I was wearing off white leather shoes with a 3 inch cork wedge heel! And one of my best friends was wearing almost the same thing! YIKES!
To this day I still have fond memories of those pants. When the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants came out I called my friend Beth to reminisce... Ah memories, they get sweeter with every passing year. And here's to another great one!

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MARBELLA008 2/24/2012 12:22PM

    I LUV parties, and especially one as special as this one. AUNTB is here too I see, and her party story made me remember my very favorite one, so here goes....

I too spent a couple of weeks ever summer with my grandparents on their farm in Brady, Texas. I would wear my long blond hair in braids, jeans and plaid shirt, and probably barefoot. My best friend was their hound dog TINKER, so he and I would go out *hunting* on all the sheep trails around. I would take my trusty BB gun and we were FIERCE! One day we went into the barn, pulled a piece of wood away from the wall, and I tried to shoot all the mice that fell. How we didn´t get crossedwised with a rattler I don´t know. We usually saw at least two each vacation, and dear Grandpa would shoot them with his big gun. Great memories, and wish I could do it all over again. Big hug Tinker. You are not forgotten.

(am now standing in line waiting for my gooey chocolate cake...my party dress is pink and have bows in my hair....Happy Birthday Crazy! ♥♥)

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AUNTB63 2/24/2012 12:12PM

    Childhood memory....born and raised in the city. Both parents worked full time (back than it was unheard of for Mom's to be away from home...full time). So one summer we ended up going to a farm during the day...taking a bus as far as we could and being picked up usually by a tracker.....what fun we had doing chores and learning about the farm way of life, but also glad to get home to rest up for the next day.
Awful fashion story: while in grade school I was an early bloomer and my Mom (God bless her) always was up on the latest fashions.
We went to get those "starter" bras....only I got the different colored ones...pink, yellow, blue.....Know one told me I should wear the white one under a white blouse.....hence the blue one sure did show throw....and EVERYONE knew it....
So I told a story....now can I have some cake? emoticon
Happy Birthday......enjoy your party.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2012 1:45:38 PM

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It can't be . . . or can it???

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yup, it is! It's that birthday time of year. I will be a YOUNG (BWAHAHAHAHA!) 58 yrs. old on the 24th.

I thought about it and decided that I'd like to share my birthday with you all. A virtual birthday party! Who can resist a party, right??????????

Lynda . . . you inspired me on this one for sure. Your virtual b-day party was a blast!

Soooooo....I had two ideas for a birthday theme. The first idea is sharing the story of the worst fashions you wore just because it was fashionable! The second idea is sharing a favorite childhood memory (Lordy, I know . . . we've got a million of 'em! LOL)

I couldn't ultimately make the choice, so I decided to leave it up to you, dear Sparkers. You can share your worst fashion faux paux or your favorite childhood memory or even BOTH! Even more fun!!

And the best part . . . this party is NON-CALORIC! HEE HEE . . . no calories allowed.

Can't wait to read the stories.

Hope to see you there on the 24th!

Hugs one and all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 3/1/2012 11:07PM

    I am so behind on reading blogs so today I am playing catch up. Now I am off to your bday party, VERY fashionably late.

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LINDAKAY228 2/24/2012 8:49AM

    Sounds like a wonderful way to party! Happy Birthday. I'll be 57 years old on the 28th of this month so we're not far apart are we LOL!

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DFROMTX 2/23/2012 5:36PM

    Happy Birthday a day early!! Will watch for tomorrow's blog...should be interesting.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELIZACG9 2/23/2012 5:10PM

    Hope your day is great! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 2/22/2012 10:33AM

    WooWoo--I am coming for sure!!!! I love Birthday Parties and because it is a virtual one---I can eat EVERTHING!!--LOL
Great Idea!!!!!--WooWoo!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REEKU731 2/21/2012 11:25AM

    Happy early birthday!!! I hope you have an amazing day!!! I'll try to stop by on the 24th and check out your virtual party!!!

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WOOFGANG 2/20/2012 1:03PM

    I am going to say Happy Birthday early because I don't want to forget to wish you well my friend! You always take a moment to stop by and say hello, and it is so appreciated.

Okay, I am going to give you a fashion "OMG, I can't believe I really wore that!"

Picture bright red elephant bell pants. HUGE legs on those things. Picture matching knit red sweater/top type of thing, victorian style with red ruffles around the wrist and around the neck. Probably one of the ugliest outfits ever! I topped the whole thing off by braiding my wet, stick straight hair and sleeping on it overnight (lots of little braids around my head) so that when I woke up, it was frizzed out HUGE. I ended up wearing a headband (think American Indian headband) around my forehead and tied in the back of my head in a big bow just to keep my hair tied down.

My mother was mortified, she hated that outfit - was supremely embarrassed by it...I'm surprised she let me out of the house. I think she would have rather I had on a micromini skirt! Yes, this was the 70's....

Happy Birthday 1CRAZYDOG!

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RENIESSPARKIN 2/19/2012 5:24PM

    Wow! Both you and Ivory have your birthday's the day before my only granddaughter's. What a blast and hope you have a very happy b-day--both of you.


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ALOHAEV1 2/19/2012 7:02AM

    Absolutely a Great Idea! Will do my best to add to the celebration, since I'm older some of my memories may not make sense.

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IOEINC 2/19/2012 12:06AM

    Do you think I would miss it?? No way in.... the world!! Got it marked on my calendar and will be home all day without wheels as my car is getting inspected. I am getting my stories ready (some of which you already know, no I will come up with new ones) and really looking forward to it!! emoticon

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KRYS210 2/18/2012 9:18PM

    Looking forward to an amazing virtual birthday celebration!

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INFLATED 2/18/2012 8:41PM

    This will be a fun read when it is posted. I will tell you Happy Birthday early. I think my memory brain cells fell out as I lay sleeping.

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IVORY1825 2/18/2012 1:32PM

    How have I missed the fact that your birthday is the DAY BEFORE MINE! OMG awesome! I'll actually be in Disney World for both our birthdays, but I'm running the Princess Half Marathon on the 26th, so that balances it out. I'll have to remember to pop online and share a story with you though.

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MELIVA 2/18/2012 12:15PM

    Awesome idea!!

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MAYGIRL14 2/18/2012 10:02AM

    What a fun idea! A sister friend also shares your birthday.
I think I destroyed most of those "fashion" pictures....

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MARBELLA008 2/18/2012 7:53AM

    I´ll be there! My first virtual birthday party! Hope the cake will be a gooey chocolate one!

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FLAME42 2/17/2012 11:32PM

    Never been to this type of party, sounds like lots of fun. Hopefully I will remember the date, I passed your age long ago so the memory isn't always the most reliable.

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THETURTLEBEAR 2/17/2012 10:45PM

    Love it!

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NORASPAT 2/17/2012 7:47PM

    It sounds like a plan CRAZYDOG I must somehow remember it.

We have a calendar and i never look at it, I am in though Hugs Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonfor the invite. Pat

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IAMAGEMLOVER 2/17/2012 6:50PM

    I'll be there. No ice cream and cake huh? Sigh, oh well through the lips onto the hips Let's see that makes you only 10 months older than me. We aren't getting older, we are getting better.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPOKENWORD 2/17/2012 4:28PM

    Awesome! Thanks for the invite! Looking forward to being there!

Here's an early Born-Day present!


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What have YOU gained on your journey?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wow, today is my 2nd Sparkversary! Amazing journey! This is my opportunity to evaluate what I have GAINED from Spark. Yes, I've gone from a high of 192 lbs. in Nov. 2009, to 100 lbs. (which I've maintained since Jan. 2010). that has made the most profound difference in my health, my spirituality . . . everything that makes me , well . . . ME. So I thought about it and thought I'd list what I've GAINED over this past two years.

S park Friends. God bless each and every one of you!

P ride in my accomplishments and who I've become. I definitely am NOT the same person who joined Spark. I'm the new and improved version of ME. When I started out the journey one of my overwhelming thoughts was that if my lifestyle changed, would **I** no longer be ME? Absolutely not! I have found I am, as I said before, the new and improved ME . . . but most importantly, still ME! That makes me proud.

A new respect for the relationship between mind-and-body. Your body can only "deliver on" what you equip it to do. If you put healthy nutrition and ideas in your body and mind, it will never fail to deliver physical and mental health. Never. But we have to respect that WE are responsible for the feeding and nurturing of our bodies . . . our temples (thank you SAC!) that have been given to us.

R enewed enthusiasm for life. Who WOULDN'T feel renewed with more physical and mental energy! I sure feel it . . . everyday in every way.

K nowledge that I have gained each and every day is boundless! Not just limited to what I've learned here on Spark, but just in general from life experiences!

V ersatility is soooooooo important. Perfectionism kept me from seeing that my "all or nothing @ all", "if it's not perfect, it's not good enough!" attitude was leading me down a path of mental and physical illness. Learning to compromise, learn from failures, be able to think outside the box. Wow! What a breath of fresh air it is to be able to be versatile.

E nergy. Honestly, some days I feel like the Energizer Bunny. Wahoo!

R ationing, watching portion size. It's not always what you eat but HOW MUCH. Boy, that is something I have to watch every day. Worth weighing and measuring? YOU BET. When you weigh and measure your food so you're eating proper portions, even if the scale doesn't show it, you'll see changes in your measurements, the way clothes feel, the way you FEEL!

S ense and sensibilities! Not every day is going to be the PERFECT day, maybe not even good. BUT learning how to "get through it", realizing that analyzing what IS going on can help you figure out how to do things BETTER. This is a HUGE step forward in making my life happier.

A ttitude is EVERYTHING. Do we wake up everyday in a good mood? Probably not. But we have control of our reactions to even the most aggravating situations. THAT IS POWER!

R olling on the floor laughing! Yes indeed . . . a sense of humor. Where would we be without it! Looking @ the absurdities sometimes in life helps us re-adjust our perspective, step back, and LAUGH! Laughing is wonderful medicine, and is contagious.

Y OU are important. Never, ever forget to put you on your priority list.

OK, so all these are things I have gained during my two year journey on this wonderful site. I know life is FULL of ups and downs. It always will be. No getting around that one. But if we keep our heart open, our minds open and keep putting one foot in front of the other, we'll GET THERE!

Maintenance is part of my life now and will ALWAYS be a part of my life. That's good! It means I care enough about me to DO THE WORK!

Those are my thoughts after two years. I can't wait to see what is to come (I know there will be ups and downs) and am ready.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XRSIZE18 2/14/2012 5:37AM

    I love this! Congratulations on your Sparkversary. You have touched so many lives - mine included! Your positivity is unmatched.

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SLIMINMIND 2/14/2012 1:07AM

    Congrats. What a story for me to read! Truly inspirational!!Thanks. emoticon

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CMHARRISON12 2/13/2012 9:42AM

    WOW! What a wonderful accomplishment! 2years!! Sorry I didn't see this on your special day, but everyday is more special...you have all those things that are part of you now, and become a part of each one of us when you share them with us. Thank you so much for being part of my journey. I'm determined that this year will be a goal weight achieved year for me, and with SparkFriends like you, I will find my way! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWMAC2011 2/10/2012 10:52PM

    You have accomplished so much and continue to be a big inspiration to me. Congrats on emoticon! You've written so many important things, all of which I agree with. Mostly that attitude is all! Can't wait to join you in maintenance!

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NUMD97 2/10/2012 8:57PM

    Happy anniversary! Job well done!

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AUNTB63 2/10/2012 8:04PM

    I can't believe I missed this yesterday.....so sorry. Belated greetings on you anniversary. Just loved the blog. If any one didn't know you before this blog, they will now. You are one of those success stories I will read and re-read forever.
Thanks for being so honest. You are so passionate about the journey you went on and continue to maintain that passion. If I turn out half as good as you....I will feel satisfied. Hope your snow isn't as high as our drifts were...now just hunkering down for the below zero wind chills......stay warm and thanks for being my friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARAMAC2012 2/10/2012 4:54PM

    I'm still very new here, but every time I read a post such as this I'm reminded that the journey is just as important as the destination, and that the people we meet and things we learn on that journey may be what make the destination so worth arriving at.
What you've achieved is amazing! emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 2/9/2012 11:52PM

    Happy Sparkversary to one very AMAZING PERSON!!!
Blessings and emoticon

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TOOTHFUL99 2/9/2012 10:19PM

    Happy Anniversary!!!

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CANNIE50 2/9/2012 9:16PM

    Happy Happy Happy Sparkiversary - you are inspiring. May I just point out that with each blog that you write, and that I enjoy, and with each comment you leave on my page or one of my blogs, I like you more and more. It is a treat getting to know you and I look forward to many more "conversations". emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 2/9/2012 9:11PM

  Happy Sparkversary!!!!! emoticon on all that you have achieved. I loved your blog.......it is so inspiring to all of us who still have a long journey ahead.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAJ0621 2/9/2012 7:52PM

    Totally loved this blog!!! Happy Sparkversary and Congratulations for all your achievements!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULIA_211 2/9/2012 5:41PM

    Happy Sparkversary! emoticon emoticon emoticon What wonderful accomplishments! Very emoticon that you have maintained your weight loss! You are my inspiration! emoticon

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CIVIAV 2/9/2012 4:52PM

    Yeah you! Happy Anni!

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    You are AWESOME!!!!!

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MARBELLA008 2/9/2012 4:29PM

    Did you mean to say, you have lost to ONE HUNDRED POUNDS? I cannot believe you are so strong to get down to 1/2 of your weight. You must be so proud of yourself! Love having you here with us

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INFLATED 2/9/2012 4:05PM

    We gain a lot of knowledge about ourselves on this journey. If we examine ourselves, we might find what caused us to overeat and be able to realize triggers that cause us to binge.

Each one of us is different and yet we have a community here and friends that encourage us to do the right things.

Great blog and congratulations!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 2/9/2012 2:58PM

    I have been on spark 60 days today. Far cry from what you have achieved. I loved your blog.

Congratulations on all the you have achieved and Happy Anniversary.

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FLPALM 2/9/2012 2:32PM

    This is PERFECT!

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JAGRIF 2/9/2012 1:30PM

    What a fantastic blog!!

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SHERYLDS 2/9/2012 1:29PM

    100 pounds....OMG

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. ~Nelson Mandela

Happy Anniversary

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REEKU731 2/9/2012 1:26PM

    I love this blog! Congratulations on how far you've come and happy anniversary! I'm proud of you and everything you've gained over the past 2 years!!!

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THECRAZYMANGO 2/9/2012 12:12PM


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HOPESINGH 2/9/2012 12:09PM

    Happy emoticon
So you're actually half of your older you, though probably bigger mentally!
Each thing you mentioned is so important! I am particularly familiar with the battle with perfectionism...

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NORASPAT 2/9/2012 11:59AM

    Great Blog, well done on such a big loss. i have been here 2 years and one month and i am almost at 40 pounds down. My health issues greatly improved as is my outlook. Take care Pat in Maine.((((( emoticon))))) emoticon emoticon

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LOOOKINGOOD 2/9/2012 11:43AM

    Great post!!!! Pride and versatility are the two points I hope to improve upon during my quest for fitness.

Happy Sparkversary!!!!

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