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Breadwinners

Monday, March 26, 2012

The headline on Time magazine right now is that women are overtaking men as the country's breadwinners. According to the article in 40% of households women are the primary breadwinners, earning more than the men.

I am one of the 40%, even though I am not married currently. I fully support myself and my two children without alimony or child support from the ex. While I was married I gradually caught up to my ex's wages and then surpassed him. It was one source (of myriad) contention; he was not able to handle the fact that I earned more than him, although he was happy to let me pay all the bills so he could use his $ for whatever. For my part (and I am generally pretty good about being objective) I do not believe I ever made an issue of who made more or threw it up in his face; it honestly doesn't matter to me who would be the primary breadwinner. More important is that it would be an equal partnership, where both people contribute what they have and can do, equality being defined by effort and involvement and not by a numbers game.

But I find that a number of men in my acquaintance of various ages are intimidated by a woman who earns as much or more, and even some women who feel that monetary support of the family is the man's "job". I'm not saying that viewpoint is wrong, as long as it works for both people in the relationship. For myself I just cannot conceive of being wholly dependent upon someone else.

For curiosity's sake, how do you feel about this situation? Are you, or would you be, comfortable if your wife made more money than you? Or, women, would you be comfortable earning more than your husband?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRI_BABE 3/28/2012 4:03PM

    When I used to be a computer engineer moving toward management, I did not think I felt comfortable if I made more. I don't know maybe I still wouldn't.

Then I changed careers and moved into journalism and then the field opened WAY up, LOL, as far as that was concerned.

My last boyfriend, though, I made more money than him, and yeah it was kind of weird. I didn't like how we were limited on things we could do or if not I would have to pay. I wasn't even making THAT much money.

Then again, who knows WHAT he was spending his money on... that's part of why he is now my ex!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/28/2012 12:43AM

    Interesting....

SWMBO worked for the first few years of our marriage. Then #2 son was diagnosed with some pretty hefty special needs requirements and we decided it was best if she transitioned over to the stay at home mom role, especially since my job requires me to be gone so much.

I do pretty good for all of us and we've got some pretty good long term plans.....

Comment edited on: 3/28/2012 12:43:52 AM

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CATS_MEOW_0911 3/27/2012 12:25AM

    I have never been married, but I earn quite a bit more than my boyfriend. It does not seem to be an issue. He seems to appreciate my self-sufficiency as a single homeowner. I don't think it should matter who earns more, as long as the overall household responsibilities are split however it works best for that household.

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RETRACING-STEPS 3/26/2012 7:49PM

    Someone who would be intimidated about the swapping of a cliche gender role isn't someone I would ever want to be with. My husband is working now while I am not, because I'm finishing up school. I'll be done before him, and once I'm done I'll go straight to working, and if he needs to focus on school he can stop working. We do whatever works for us. We've talked about it before and how absurd it is that people would be threatened by a woman making more. Terribly sexist and old fashioned. It shows a level of disrespect to be so jealous of someone being 'better' at something than you. You shouldn't be bitter about your spouse's success, as long as there is no cost to the relationship.

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REBECCATKD 3/26/2012 6:56PM

    I am also one of the 40%; my husband just resigned in January after 19 years in the sales industry. He's taking some time as a stay-at-home dad while I teach 8th grade. We both love it! He get time with the kids that he's missed out on, and I come home to a clean kitchen and completed grocery shopping.

My mom always said, "I don't care what you and your sister decide to do as a job as long as you can support yourself. I don't want you to have to get locked into a relationship because you need the man's money." Hear, hear!

Way to be the role model of a financially independent woman!
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DRAGONCHILDE 3/26/2012 3:45PM

    I'm the primary breadwinner in my family. In fact.. I'm the sole breadwinner. My husband's a stay at home dad... and I work from home. He has chronic health issues, so it works for us. He's way better at it than I am. I think he really misses working, and would prefer it, but we're coping with the hand we've been dealt.

I used to be a SAHM, but after he started getting sick, I went back to work.

He isn't threatened by me; as a matter of fact, we take great pains to make sure that he has control of as much as possible to help offset the fact I make the money and manage the finances. He doesn't mind that part... he sucks at handling money. For example... he's always in control in the bedroom. ;)

He doesn't mind that at **all**

Comment edited on: 3/26/2012 3:47:51 PM

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DOODIE59 3/26/2012 3:38PM

    That is one of my -- well, it is my ONLY -- regret, but it is a big one: That when our first child was small, we both agreed that I would stay home with our children. At the time, my husband's future looked golden and I was underpaid. Now, I have no marketable skills and when you add in the factors that I am in my 50s and overweight, the odds are not good that I could get anything other than a minimum wage p/t job working the shifts no one else wants.

If I could do one thing differently, I would have kept working in the field either through time-sharing or by going freelance. (I was an editor). The two-pronged argument for doing that being that editing paid enough p/t to make a difference in a household's finances, and second, (and more important) that I would have been continually upgrading and keeping my skills current. My advice would be to tell young people to always keep their feet in the door:) Also, there is not much support for stay at home parents, so it is very easy to lose your sense of self and worth. Those two characteristics are very hard to get back once they've gone:)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to post my thoughts on this subject.
Deirdre




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KJDOESLIFE 3/26/2012 2:30PM

    I've made more than my BF for the 6 years we've been together. He stands a chance this year to pass me - if he doesn't this year, he will pretty shortly! He doesn't care (and calls me his "sugar momma" - jokingly, of course) and I might pout a little when I get surpassed, but it benefits both of us (planning on getting married), so does it really matter who it comes from? Men may get mad if they feel like their time has less value than a woman's.

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LPETRO119 3/26/2012 11:54AM

    My hubby and I have flip-flopped over the years with which one of us were the one with the bigger paycheck. Now we earn almost exactly the same amount. We never made a big deal about it, as we both understood we both had good earning potential. When I was the one who brought home the bigger check, seemed like OTHERS who found out made a bigger deal of it, though.

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KKINNEA 3/26/2012 11:45AM

    I'm comfortable with it up to the point where spouse doesn't save any money because he's trying to cover equally. I think we'll need to re-evaluate again.

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NINJA_SMOO 3/26/2012 10:46AM

  Currently, I make quite a bit more than my boyfriend. I don't think anything about it - like you said, so long as we're both contributing what we can the actual amounts aren't especially important - to me. I know it bothers him sometimes that I am the primary breadwinner, but I just tell him the same thing - contribute what you can.

At the same time, his career has much more potential for growth. Without further training that I fund myself, I'm going to hit a ceiling fairly soon. He can progress way further through on-the-job training that is covered by his employer. Not to mention, kid(s) will happen within the next ... less than 10 years for us, and when that point comes, I don't want to be working full-time and my current occupation isn't a position I can keep on a part-time basis.

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CODEMAULER 3/26/2012 8:54AM

    My husband has been a full-time student for quite a while, so any 'bread' I'm making is more than he is contributing (in fact, he COSTS me, LOL!). Even when he re-joins the work force, it's likely that I will out-earn him, at least for a while. He is fine with it, but a lot of his friends give him grief about it.

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WE_PA_FIT 3/26/2012 8:47AM

    excellent points russell38! It usually is deeper than the 'apparent' issue, i.e. money.

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WE_PA_FIT 3/26/2012 8:42AM

    I too earn more than him, and like you- I'm kind of glad that I do. Gives me independence. Sure I wouldn't mind extra help so I can live more comfortably. And he does help out. But knowing that I can take care of things on my own, by myself gives me relief and makes me feel proud. especially after bouncing back from a previous divorce on my own, I'm really protective of finances and my 'things'. No one can do it like we can!!!! and on his part-- yes, the fact that I earn more, makes him very insecure. And like you I never make it an issue yet he still let's it affect him, which ultimately affect us.


Comment edited on: 3/26/2012 8:45:10 AM

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RUSSELL_40 3/26/2012 8:37AM

    I think if you are making more money, it is because you have more marketable skills. Especially if you are a woman. So if I had a wife that made more, I would be proud that she was good at her job. Maybe guys get mad because they realize they aren't the smart one in the relationship?

Some might wonder why you would want a spouse that couldn't help with the bills. I wonder why you would want someone who lacks skill at their job. People who excel at what they do have more confidence. Maybe men don't like the confidence.. don't want women gettin' uppity! Third, if you marry someone who makes way less than you, who is not good at their job, and lacks confidence, could it be because he/she is below you in the brains dept? You have to actually talk to this person for years to come. Nothing worse than trying to converse with stupid people.

I think that besides the money issue, there are other issues the men really care about.. all of them part of their real goal, a wife who is inferior. Sounds like a dependent to me..lol.

I do think that it would be difficult to maintain a relationship if the pay gap was large because of these reasons.. whether the man or the woman made more( if they both worked full time ). I don't think it should matter who earns more, but a lawyer, and a 7-11 cashier probably won't be a good match. One would either feel inferior OR superior.

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REDSHOES2011 3/26/2012 8:20AM

    I also earn more then my deceased husband and present boyfriend.. My present boyfriend is also a cheap skate- he can't comprehend my share of money keeps the roof over his head.. I only work part time but I earn more then him, because of the job I have- I work as a free lance resthome helper and with this job comes a cart load of stress..
He can't comprehend cars don't say ouch- my clients moan if I am late, complain if forgotten and this makes me a perfectionist to avoid my boss getting pissed off..
emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/26/2012 8:21:05 AM

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LRK4CHRIST 3/26/2012 8:02AM

    WOW! Good information. Its just the truth anyhow.

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Tugging on Superman's cape

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Last Saturday Master N was in town and came to karate. He is a 5th degree black belt in our style and also in tae kwon do, and in jujitsu. I spent some time during class working with him on creative one steps - basically he throws an attack and I have to block and counter attack. On the first one he smacked me in the face. So, yeah, tugging on Superman's cape and all that class left me feeling like a rank beginner again.

Monday I received the internal job offer, which will involve relocating in the next 2 or 3 months. So Tuesday I updated Sensei B and told him we will need to talk about the demonstration requirement since I won't be here to practice with the people who would participate, and that I would be back in July for the test. He said no problem, we'll just test in May before you leave - two months earlier than I had planned. emoticon

Today I finished week 3 of the push up challenge - 714 total pushups. 5 sets per day on Sun / Mon / Wed / Fri and 4 sets plus extras in class on Tue / Thu.

Today I also an the Mud Dogs Half Marathon in Mt. Pleasant. It is the 3rd HM in the winter series and my qualifying run for becoming a Half Fanatic. I finished in 2:18, and although not a PR it is 2 minutes faster than the HM in February and 8 minutes faster than the one in January. I'll take it.

This afternoon I had to meet with my ex to have some papers notarized for the kids' upcoming trips. I wore today's race t-shirt and the notary asked about it. My Psycho ex butts in to the conversation, "I don't know why you keep doing these things, it's not like you're ever going to win, it's stupid."

Yes, he said it. Yes, he is still alive (there were witnesses).

I contented myself with a mere "I do it because *I* can" with a very heavy implied subtext of "and *you* can't".

My turn to be Superman!

Say, Jack, hey don't you know
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with [FFK]!
(Jim Croce)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRI_BABE 3/28/2012 4:06PM

    You are so awesome. Great job on the running too! I don't know if I would have been able to restrain myself like you did with a comment like that. I would have probably said similar but thrown in a lot of insults, etc, so good on you!!



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KAYZAKCX 3/26/2012 2:56PM

    Ah, those pesky witnesses...congraulations on the half marathon times.

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SAHARASUE 3/26/2012 8:18AM

    emoticon emoticon Congrats on a great day!

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LRK4CHRIST 3/26/2012 8:03AM

    Yes! U can do this. LOL! With the physical capability u have and the motivation to be better in life, u will be fine. Many blessings to u. Stay focused!

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DOODIE59 3/25/2012 11:06AM

    There is no doubt in my mind you will own your new job, respond to the sped up time frame re your May test, and get on top of every other challenge that comes your way. You personify Just Do It:)

FFK just does it.
Deirdre

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BECOMESTRONGER 3/25/2012 2:30AM

    Congrats on becoming a Half Fanatic. emoticon emoticon I hope to become one myself one day.

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SAC-6582 3/24/2012 11:53PM

    Awesome blog! Congrats on your time in the Mud Dogs Half Marathon.

Steve

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/24/2012 11:21PM

    Well, looks like you better start doubling up on the high kicks and the board breaking!

Congrats on the job, the push-ups, and the HM....sounds like dumbass ex doesn't really get the whole fit lifestyle thing at all....it should be nice to see how he fares in about 20 years!

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SAFARIBABE 3/24/2012 11:15PM

    emoticon Sounds like an awesome day all the way around!! Can I be like you when I grow up??? Love the knife to the ex! So...give with the details....what's the job and where are you moving to? NYC by any chance? LOL You ROCK FFK...keep kicking butt and taking names!

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JANUINE 3/24/2012 10:06PM

    Wow! What a day. I applaud your cool. And I love Jim Croce.

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Pushup Challenge Week 2

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The pushup challenge is about consistency, not quantity or style. A minimum of 4 sets of pushps each time, no more than 6 times per week. I am slightly obsessive about data, however, so I also keep track of the numbers, but that is for me personally and not part of the challenge. It isn't about who can do the most but building a consistent routine. Just wanted to make that clear up front.

So my results for week 2:
Sunday-5 sets
Monday-5 sets
Tuesday-4 sets, plus extras in class
Wednesday-5 sets
Thursday-4 sets, plus teaching the Geek Squad a lesson
Friday-5 sets
Saturday-no pushups "rest day"

Total for the week = 598 pushups, a new phone, free screen protector & application, and a Best Buy gift card.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRI_BABE 3/22/2012 6:22AM

    So you're looking fabulous! What's new? I can tell you're still pushing it hard. Inspiring.

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VYVIENN 3/22/2012 4:12AM

    Man oh man, I NEVER want to hear a word out of your keyboard again when it comes to my silliness with pushups! Would I voluntarily do nearly SIX HUNDRED of these little buggers in ONE WEEK? Uh.... like, NO!!!

So: awesome job on your challenge!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 3/19/2012 11:39AM

    Hey, my friend! "Speed caught up" with your blogs, and I hope all is well with you now! emoticon

I am so behind, but just plugging along, and I will get caught up on my Sparking. There is so much less stress with less "stuff" to do on it. I am not worrying about the points so much, and just tracking the necessary things and keeping up with blogs of my best SparkFriends. So much nicer! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 3/18/2012 7:37AM

    WooooHooooo!!!! Unfortunately I only made it through 5 days thanks to some LONG days at the office. But there is always next week!! So watch out Kitty! I'm coming for ya!! LOL

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/17/2012 9:00PM

    Very cool....Big 300 point goodie enroute!!

I still say you go back to the Geek Squad dressed as a Trekkie.....it'll just make them quiver and quake.

Remember, you get more done with a smile and a gun than you do with just a gun!

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LODESTONE 3/17/2012 8:44PM

    Amazing! good fitness challenge, and even better the new phone and gift cardQ They owed you one.

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JENN03275 3/17/2012 8:37PM

    Great job!

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The picture on the wall

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FANGFACEKITTY: 1
Best Buy: 0

My daughter dropped of the phone for repair almost 3 weeks ago. The repair was supposed to take 3-5 days; they said they would call. After nearly 2 weeks I still had not received a phone call. She went in and they couldn't find my account, couldn't find the phone, had no record of the phone. I both called and went in the next day and they still couldn't find my account, couldn't find the phone, etc. I expressed my displeasure and hoped they would be able to find it by Tuesday. They promised to find my phone and call; I promised to return. Once again they never called; I, however, keep my promises.

After allowing them an extra day I went back in.

The Geek Squad did not stand a chance.

I pick up my new phone after work today.

But I suspect they are putting my picture on their wall as a warning to be extra careful in any future dealings with me:

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 3/15/2012 11:07PM

    ROFLMAO!!! OMG....don't they know never to mess with a p.o'd kitty with really BIG fangs???

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DEZZIEJAMES 3/15/2012 8:10PM

    Wooo Hoo!!! You're so fierce!!!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/15/2012 7:48PM

    Did you crush their pocket protectors or mess with their rubik's cubes? I say next time you go in dressed as a Star Trek Ensign with thigh high boots and chew their asses out in Klingon!

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SATSUMAS 3/15/2012 6:47PM

    I've been following this story and waiting for the finish, and I wasn't disappointed.What a lady,good on you.

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INIT2LIVEIT 3/15/2012 6:06PM

    Warrior Kitty!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/15/2012 3:50PM

    You GO girl!

emoticon

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MIQUEY73 3/15/2012 3:28PM

    emoticon Glad the phone is being replaced! I can't believe the incompetence and lack of customer service they displayed!

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CBAILEYC 3/15/2012 3:24PM

    FFK FTW!
emoticon
C~

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RUSSELL_40 3/15/2012 1:58PM

    They lost the phone, they replace it. Sometimes acting crazy helps. Geeks scare easily. They might not let them post a picture though.. geeks might see it and start crying..lol

At least you got your phone, and no geeks were harmed in the making of this transaction... were they?

emoticon

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DOGSTARDADDY 3/15/2012 1:46PM

    Good for you!

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ELYMWX 3/15/2012 11:35AM

    Beware the Kitteh!

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KKINNEA 3/15/2012 11:18AM

    The kitty strikes!

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DOODIE59 3/15/2012 11:17AM

    It's not like you didn't give them fair warning ...

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MAMADWARF 3/15/2012 11:05AM

    Hahahaha, I love it!!!

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VYVIENN 3/15/2012 10:52AM

    Let me insert my most evil laugh here: mwahahaaahaaaaa! Good for you!!

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STSCOTT11 3/15/2012 10:41AM

    They had NO IDEA WHO they were messin' with. lol

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Sucker punched

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just when you think you're with the program... emoticon

Friday I reconnected with an old friend I had lost contact with, "Mr. L" who is no longer married either; had some impure thoughts emoticon but it turns out Mr. L already has a girlfriend. OK, no big deal, this is no reflection on me. I've still reconnected with an old friend, life is still good.

But Old Me launched a sneak attack and sucker punched me yesterday. Second guessing everything, lots of negative self talk. It's like being married again to my emotionally abusive ex-husband. Mr. L was from that period in my life and is the only thing I can think of that would have triggered this attack, prompting old memories and emotions.

I fought long and hard to get out of that mindset but I just can't seem to shake it right now. Old thoughts, old habits are fighting to start again and I don't seem to have the energy to beat them down again. It took everything I had last night to go to karate and not speed dial the pizza place and eat myself into a food coma. It is taking everything left of my reserves not to go shopping right now; for a partially recovered shopaholic this is the material equivalent to a food binge. I'm not sure I'll be successful, but I'm sitting here blogging during my lunch hour so I won't have the time to find a store.

The little badge on my page says I'm a SP Motivator. I certainly don't feel very motivating right now.

But at least this time around I have the tools to fight back.

I decided I will have my little pity party of 1 for today. I will feel sorry for myself, I will let that evil little voice tell me how horrible everything is. I will store up all those hateful words.

Then I will program my playlist tonight with a lot of very loud & angry music. I will go to the gym for my speed run and push myself harder than originally planned. If I can't sweat this out of my system I will pound that evil bitch voice in my head into pulp and do a victory dance on its broken lifeless body.

Then I will go to Best Buy and "discuss" my missing phone, which they have lost. The wrath of FFK is a mighty thing, I almost feel sorry for what they are about to experience.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMARIES51 3/15/2012 11:14PM

    I loved your blog and you are a true motivator, because you have shown us how even when everything is going fantastic, those old negative past demons can rear up and bite you when you are least expecting them. I call this the triggers. There will always be triggers and you are definitely learing how to recognize them and fight them in a new positive way. Good for you!

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BEATLETOT 3/15/2012 9:10AM

    This reminded me of a story I read awhile ago. I don't know what happened with this story:

http://abcnews.go.com
/Technology/PCWorld/story?id=42
92635#.T2HponL45JE

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SABLENESS 3/15/2012 9:02AM

    Awww sweetie, no need to kick yourself, new self or old. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do something really really nice for yourself today. Need a massage? Got time to spend outdoors? Have a pet to play with? We've all been on that fall off the wagon spot. Your plan is great. Let Big Buy have it!

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MCJULIEO 3/15/2012 7:39AM

    Just because Mr L is now available and you are, too, doesn't necessarily mean that he's a good idea anyway... You deserve better than just "good"! You deserve "The Best"!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/14/2012 9:38PM

    Ouch, that inner voice is certainly not the same FFK that has run a half marathon and a warrior dash. That is certainly not the same FFK voice that dropped 60 or 70 odd pounds this past year. It is most certainly not the voice that is soon about to go Bruce Lee on her testing for black belt TKD master. And it is certainly not the harpy's voice I hear challenging me (gadget guy, indeed!) to push-up challenges.

Must be some noisy bug flying around your place....crush it....it is insignificant compared to everything else you have going for you!

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SAFARIBABE 3/14/2012 7:00PM

    Ooo good plan!! Take out all that frustration on Best Buy!!! Just don't get arrested! Hang in there Sugar! You have. Tremendous amount to be proud of! You are NOT that girl from way back when! I say if mr L was from that era...so much the better that he's taken. Time for you to proclaim a new era.... The FFK Era! One where you define what you want to be and find new sexier men to be it with!

Youre pretty awesome Hun! Don't lose sight of that! You motivate me every day no matter how tired or achy or anything else to get down on the floor and do those bloody pushups. Cause one day I want to be able to do as many as you and gadget guru. And I'm getting there BECAUSE of the two of you...as in BOTH!!! So stick that in your pipe and don't smoke it cause smoking's bad for you!
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KAREN42BOYS 3/14/2012 6:28PM

    Go do some angry sweating! this sounds like a most excellent plan!

You are on top of what you are feeling, and you've got a plan for coping. Even if you screw up with overeating between now and the workout (not that I'm saying you will), you can still go kick some booty running that treadmill to death tonight!

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OFABULOUSME 3/14/2012 2:24PM

    You tell that negative talk where to go. No one's gonna mess with your mojo!!

Enjoy your pity party - just don't let it give you an emotional hangover!!

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DOGSTARDADDY 3/14/2012 2:05PM

    Fear the powerful wrath of FFK, best buy.. especially when she's pissed.

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DOODIE59 3/14/2012 2:02PM

    You've done too much to empower your true self to EVER go back. Take your pity break, then get back to your real self -- the strong one -- asap. She's the worthy one:)
Deirdre

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DEZZIEJAMES 3/14/2012 1:49PM

    Mr L. is just going to have to miss out... I can' wait till you meet Mr. Right!!! *hugs*

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KKINNEA 3/14/2012 1:23PM

    We're here to motivate you now through this tough period. You've got the plan - attack with full force!

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VYVIENN 3/14/2012 1:09PM

    emoticonWeird stuff going on right now... but I'm sure you can exorcise (or is that exercise?) those demons!

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FITNFUNJEN 3/14/2012 12:50PM

    FFK, YOU ARE AWESOME! Don't believe any of that negative self-talk! The journey to better health is really an emotional one, not just physical. But you are handling this hard time beautifully! Don't give up the fight! You can do it! You are worth it! emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 3/14/2012 12:49PM

    Go get em ! LOL

Everyone has a momentary lapse of reason. It'll pass and you'll be back to your ol' motivatin' self in no time :o)

How'd the run make ya feel? I think I may need one. I've been such a slacker.

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