Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm just being honest

I have hesitated to post because I just feel like complaining.
I realize that I am immensely blessed, but the complaining is not so much about what I don't have, it's more about what I do, or don't do.
I certainly understand now why my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and pretty much any person older than me at the time told me to go straight to college, finish college, then worry about the rest of my life after that. Everybody but me seemed to know what I would end up doing. It's almost as if they were looking at a window above my head that showed a view of my future. Here I am, up past 2:00 a.m., not studying, married with 4 kids, trying to fit everything into my life like it's a 20 year-old pair of (cheap) jeans - bursting at the seams, with holes starting to wear through in unflattering places.
I just want to get something over with. I want to know what my life is supposed to look like.

11For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jer. 29:11

Friday, February 15, 2013

Watch Out Boys!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. My 6 year-old daughter woke up so excited - almost like Christmas  - when I was about to do "This Little Piggy" with her toes, she said, "Do 'this little piggy's daddy is coming to her school!'"
My husband started this tradition with our oldest daughter when she was in kindergarten (maybe even daycare) where he would go to her school in the middle of the day and bring her a ridiculous amount of gifts: roses, tons of candy, stuffed animals, balloons, and whatever else he could think of. (I would say "whatever else he could think of that she could reasonably carry home on the bus," but I think he's forgotten about the bus some years LOL) Me, being the penny-pincher, have always felt he went a bit overboard and when we were expecting our youngest daughter, I warned him that he was going to have to keep up, but that didn't worry him. Eventually, I washed my hands of it and let him do what he does because they love it so much.
Obviously, it's nice to show our kids love and give them nice things for Val-day, but my husband wants to do more than that. His whole motivation is that his girls get so used to getting flowers and nice things for Val-day that, once they get older, they don't just accept any old thing that some little boy decides to get them - these little boys must come correct! LOL Also, it's not just about material things, but about the thought they put into it. My girls are not going to be blown away the first time some guy gives them flowers because they've had that before.
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful."

A prime example: Black Ink. (First let me tell you, I REALLY try not to get into these foolish so-called "reality" shows, but if they happen to be on TV, I'm almost like a moth to a flame - except for those extra-foolish ones like Bad Girls Club that serve no purpose other than attempting to turn men on by displaying ridiculous cat-fights and drunkenness - but that's just my opinion.) Anyway, I happened to get engrossed into an episode of Black Ink Crew - the show about the black-owned tattoo shop in Harlem. I normally wouldn't even watch this show because I don't care anything about tattoos, but the people are interesting. So, one of the artists is getting involved with the owner of the shop and he gives her flowers on their first official date and she gets all teary-eyed and says no guy has ever done something like that for her before. Huh??!!
Now, let me say a few things:
1. How old is she and is this the first guy she's ever dated? (I'm guessing not, b/c after the date she mentions to him what she wants to do and it doesn't seem first-time-ish to me)
2. Come on guys! Flowers? That's too much to ask nowadays? I realize that there are plenty of women who say they don't like and/or care about flowers, but there's nothing wrong with spending a little money to get a woman you care about something beautiful.
3. I've made mistakes, and definitely dated some losers, but I've always known that a guy who doesn't do little things (like flowers, chocolates, or even writing love letters) isn't worth being with and definitely not worth ME giving ANYTHING to him - time to move on.
4. I am thankful that I'll never have to worry about this from my girls. Their dad has set the standard high AND they have seen him demonstrate these things with me on Val-day - I always get a little bit more than they get and I also get flowers and other gifts on non-occasions, just because he wanted to brighten my day. :-) So chivalry ain't dead!
I guess my message is both to dads and women. Dads - if you want your daughters to end up with men who are better than you, or at least as good as you, set the standards high early on. Make sure they see that the man in their life is supposed to make them feel special and valuable, and even make sure that other people (i.e. their friends at school) see this. You don't have to go overboard (like my husband does at times :-) ), but make sure they feel your presence and your love. That makes it more likely that they won't settle for some user/loser.
Women - just because a guy gives you flowers, doesn't mean you have to return the favor (hopefully you get my drift, I try to keep this blog PG).
Tulips - one of my favs!
There ARE men out there who will make you feel special and loved, but sometimes that calls for waiting patiently. You can do it! In the end, you will be glad you decided you weren't going to settle for just anybody. Also, a man who gives you lots of expensive stuff is not necessarily the one either. I've gotten expensive gifts from guys only to find out that he spent more money on his main girlfriend! I like the saying, "Not gonna be the same fool twice!" I did it once for ya'll, now don't make it twice! ;-)
I'm now thankful that my husband goes a little overboard for Val-day and I accept it with open arms - especially while I'm eating chocolate! LOL

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Okay, I'm going to need to hit "Restart"

Since this blog has "honest" in the title, I must be honest with you - I failed my smoothie fast. :-( I did really well the first 2 days, but I forgot that my husband had long ago planned a dinner date for us on Saturday (the 2nd day of the fast). First let me say, if FedEx had not messed up and lost my first(!) blender, I would have been done with the fast by Saturday so they get all the blame! Just kidding :-)
Anyway, I will give you some details about the second day because I already knew it would be the worst after watching "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." I was actually okay when I woke up, just a little hungry. It wasn't until I had to drop my son off for his ACT at 8:00 a.m. and attempt to study, that I started feeling a little weak. At that point, I went ahead and made a smoothie, which I posted about in my last entry. Yes, it was awesome, just like I said, but I don't know if it was a combination of all the excitement, having to run errands and attempt to study, but I crashed majorly about 2 hours after my smoothie. At that point I was angry with my kids for needing transportation, I was angry with myself for being in school, I was angry with my professors for assigning assignments, and I was angry with my husband for wanting to go on a date with me!
Later that evening, once I overindulged with appetizers, soup, italian food, and chocolate mousse cake, I was Nice Natalie again. Unfortunately, I knew in my heart that I would be eating regular food the next day. I had utterly failed.
Yesterday, I did make a half-hearted attempt at a breakfast smoothie, but with only half a banana, and no love inserted into the recipe, it fell flat. My son came home from school to catch me with peanut butter on my fingers and an empty cereal bowl in front of me - he later posted on my facebook, "YOU HAVE FAILED!! try again tomorrow!" Thank you son, thank you for your encouragement...
So, since I can't go to class with a smoothie migraine, I will definitely try this fast again, but not until Thursday or Friday. I will let you know how it goes. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I haven't updated in a while because I've had too many things I want to talk about, but not enough time to figure out what to tackle first! LOL However, today, I could no longer stay silent while I was sipping on this:
I know, it doesn't look like it is so special, but this thing made my day! I haven't even had any coffee today and I'm still happy and awake!
So, let me tell you about my "green" smoothie (or "thickie"). Here is what it looked like before I blended it up:
Ingredients listed from the bottom up (I really didn't measure anything, I just eye-balled it:
4-6 oz. water
2 pitted dates (no sugar added)
1/2 banana
2 small-med. cored apples (I used 1 red delicious & 1 golden delicious)
1 kiwi
1/2-3/4 cup frozen berries (mine had blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, & raspberries
1-1.5 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup spring salad greens
1/2-3/4 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup coconut (I accidentally got the bag from the baking aisle that was sweetened and since I'm trying to avoid extra sugar, I just rinsed it before adding it)
To make it a thickie: 1/2-3/4 cup oatmeal
What set it all off: a pinch of grated fresh ginger root 

Okay, I realize that I am super-extra excited about drinking a bunch of blended fruit, spinach and oatmeal, but when you're dreading a self-prescribed days-long fast of consuming only these things, it's refreshing to find something that makes you say "Mmmmmm!" :-) Today's smoothie did that for me. 
Yesterday was my first day and I also did 2 batches of smoothies. The first one was excellent, but I put half an orange in it and did not realize until I was drinking the rest of the pitcher for lunch, that if you make a smoothie with citrus fruit, DO NOT LET IT SIT FOR 30 MINUTES OR MORE!! I had poured what was left from the pitcher into a glass and refrigerated it, thinking I would come back later to enjoy the great tastes I had created before, but it was SO BITTER! You know how when you were a kid and you knew you shouldn't eat the orange peel because everyone had told you not to? Did you try to taste it just one time anyway? I mean, it's such a beautiful color and it tears easily, so you know you can bite it. Well, if you're one of those kids who tried it, you know what my leftover-from-breakfast lunch smoothie tasted like.  :-/ Oh well, lesson learned. I still tried to doctor it up and I did finish it b/c I didn't want to waste all of that stuff. I will definitely put oranges and/or lemons/lemon juice in my smoothies in the future, but I will only do it if I'm making a small batch, or if I have enough people to share it with. :-) 
Well, that's my two cents added to the green smoothie movement. I will definitely add more info, because I think this is something everyone should try. I'm looking forward to having more energy, fitting back into my jeans :-), and developing a greater appreciation for fresh fruits and veggies.

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