Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorite!

Another product recommendation: 

Several months ago I saw the Fabletics had come across my FB feed. I checked out their stuff, but they didn't have my size (they only had small sizes available), so I didn't order. A couple of weeks ago I revisited their website, and was pleased to find they had added my size to their workout clothing line! My order arrived yesterday, and I LOVE THEM!!!!! The capris fit perfectly, the fabric is the perfect thickness, and were very comfortable. The tank with built-in bra actually fit well enough to NOT require another sports bra underneath. For a chesty girl, this is a rare thing.

This is the outfit I ordered. 

If you join their VIP club, your first outfit is discounted significantly, but you will need to opt out, or place an order each month by the 5th or they charge your card $50 (which then leaves you with a credit for a later purchase). They also sell single pieces, if you don't want an entire outfit. If you opt out, there are no charges that month. If you're looking for some comfy, quality workout gear, go look at their website.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Judge Not...

I am a fairly non-judgmental person. 

I don't pretend to know anyone else's heart or motives, 
so I try to be gentle when people mess up. 
I mean, we've all been there, right?

I have not always been so kind...
or forgiving.
I usually held my most harsh feelings toward
people who had committed what I felt was the worst crime...

In my life I have seen and felt the pain caused by this.
It is devastating,
It leads to lying and betrayal.
And hurts everyone in its path.
Nobody comes out unscathed.

There was a time in my life
many years ago
when I actually refused to support
anyone who I knew had cheated.
I wouldn't watch Jim Carrey movies,
or listen to Bruce Springsteen,
or watch a Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie production.

And then something happened...

I had a dear friend who messed up.
And he was too ashamed to tell me because he thought I'd hate him.
I was stunned, because I didn't hate anyone.
I certainly could never hate my friend anyway.

But I'd judged others harshly for the same mistake.
And I had been anything but kind and loving with their situations.
So he had no reason to believe that I wouldn't 
judge him with as little kindness as I had them.

That really shook me.
And forced me to evaluate my heart.

As time passed, all of my little grudges slowly went away.
In fact, it is an inside joke between Mr. C and I.
I have a very dry sense of humor, and we always tease about it.
So if you've heard me say I won't listen to Bruce,
or watch the Jolie-Pitt duo,
or laugh at Jim Carrey,
please know it was 

I am all about forgiveness, second chances, and redemption.
There is not a soul among us who hasn't messed up at some point.

We all need 

Well, all of us except...
Tom Brady.
for another woman
(It doesn't matter that that woman was Gisele Bundchen),
so he is obviously scum, right?

When the Superbowl was decided this year,
and the Patriots made it,
I realized I still held very harsh feelings toward
Mr. Brady.
I don't know him, or his heart, or his situation,
But I still felt justified in disliking him.

One of my friends is a huge fan of the Patriots,
and I teased him that I just cannot support his QB.
I even mentioned that I loathed this particular player.
Yes, I realize I am proving how awful of a person I can be.
And this friend replied that I was too nice to loathe anyone,
even if he HAD left his pregnant girlfriend.

I replied that I guess I'm not that nice... 

And then I realized that, although I had thought I'd changed,
and loved everyone, and forgave when needed,
I was still that same judgmental person I thought I'd left behind.
Because if I judge even one person (even THAT person),
I'm still unkind.

So I began to think.
A lot.
And I realized that Mr. Brady was most likely not the
villain I'd always considered him.
And I felt that what I needed to do was
see him as a person.

Just a man...
who isn't perfect.
I'm certainly not perfect, 
so why should I have expected that from
anyone else?

I decided the best way to see him in a kinder light
was to become acquainted with him
so to speak.

So I clicked the "LIKE" button on his FB page.
I began to see him as a husband and father.
He obviously adores his family.
He actually writes really cheesy and cute
things about his wife.
He is pretty funny and not afraid to make fun of himself.

So, I want my friend Mel to know that he is right.
I'm not mean enough to loathe anyone any more.

We're all just struggling to get through life.
I don't want to be one of the people knocking anyone else down.

But don't expect me to be a Patriots fan.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Favorite! Lisa Leonard Designs

is based in San Luis Obispo, California.

She makes beautiful pieces of jewelry.

This is my favorite bracelet.

Every time I wear it,
someone makes a comment about its beauty.

She also has a complete line of jewelry for your
Word of the Year, as well!

Go check her out.

PS - This is in no way sponsored by Lisa Leonard Designs. I have posted about her company before, each time without compensation (or permission, for that matter). :)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

How Will I Be Remembered?

We attended two funerals this week. Both for men we did not know (each was the father of a friend). Each service still managed to touch me in a significant way.

The first funeral was on Saturday. Katie's friend lost his grandfather. The little boy had texted her a few days after Christmas asking her to have a playdate, but she had been sick. She responded the next day and said when she was well, she could come over. He called a short while later and told her his grandfather had passed away that morning. The service was held at St. Mary's. Katie not only attended, the family included her in the program as one of the children carrying the gifts to the front of the cathedral. She walked in with the family, and when I saw her, I noticed she was walking with her friend, and holding his hand. She sat next to him throughout the funeral, helped him kneel, stand, and sit when appropriate. The love and care she displayed at the tender age of 9 was something I will always remember about her. Katie is a fun-loving and happy child, but she also has a tremendous capacity to love. She has a nurturing heart, and she loves deeply.

The second service we attended was this morning. The gentleman was the father of one of Mr. C's childhood friends. This man was a father of five, and a grandfather. They did a 10-minute slide presentation of photos from his life. What a beautiful life it was. I saw photos of the man and his wife, with his children, and with his grandchildren. Always a smile on his face, never afraid of being silly. In fact, the photos people responded to the most were the funny ones. Having never met this man, I was surprised that I became teary-eyed several times.

As I listened to the pastor's eulogy, he made a statement that really hit me,

"Every one of us will eventually be in the same place this man is - people will pay their respects to our families, and they will remember each of us." 

Wow. Talk about a wake-up call. I have often heard people comment on how they'd like to be remembered...but is that how they WILL be remembered? I'd like to be remembered as young, vibrant, beautiful, and thin - but I am none of those so that is not going to happen. However, I feel I am joyful, caring, loving, and happy - and hopefully others see that in me, and will remember those things. I left the service determined to really focus on the qualities I want my children to think of when they think of me.

I also know some areas I need to improve. I am an introvert. I need alone-time to recharge. I don't do well in groups because I get so nervous, and I don't reach out to my friends as often as I should. It isn't that I don't think of them (I do - all the time), or that I don't want to spend time with them, but I fail miserably at keeping in touch, and scheduling visits. We, as a couple, don't socialize enough with others. This is a big area I need to work on. I love so deeply, but I fail at putting that into action.

My One Little Word for 2015 is SHINE. My goal is to shine physically, spiritually, and in my friendships. I want for the ones most dear to me to know they are loved and valued.

I am taking steps to make this happen.

Physically: I set up a session with a trainer at the gym today. I am going to get back into shape, and get my back strengthened again.

Spiritually: I am always working on this. My back issues have prohibited me from attending church regularly (the pews KILL my back), so I feel I am losing touch with my faith. I am going to get back to a regular schedule of study and prayer.

Friendships:  I am going to make a better effort at keeping in touch, whether it be sending a card, a short electronic note, a visit, or a phone call. My goal is to contact at least two friends each week for this entire year. And they can't all be the same friends. It may be that I send a PM to someone who made me smile via something they put on FB, or someone who inspires me. It may not even be someone I know personally (we can all use a little pat on the back occasionally, right?). I just want to reach out and let them know they have touched me in some way.

Happy 2015, my friends. I think it is going to be a great year.