Thursday, August 8, 2013

There's No Crying In High School!

I'll admit, being a single mom can be pretty difficult at times. There are days when my house is a wreck, everything is breaking down and getting old (including my body), the kids are getting on my last nerve and all I want to do is throw myself down my bed, cry and wave my little white flag in the air and yell, "You have me beat, life! I surrender!" But then my kids do something really amazing or funny and I remember that THEY are what life is all about. THEY are the reasons I keep going. So I wipe my tears, hold my head high and know that I've done a pretty damn good job so far.

I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment today. Accomplished because the youngest kid started her first day of high school. But on the same token, it's a little bittersweet. My baby girl is growing up. I shouldn't have cried, she's only going to high school. But I allowed myself to cry for a minute, to be sad for the baby girl she once was and I'll miss, but also to be excited for the young woman she is becoming.

I will end this post with the first day of school conversation between Jules and I this morning. A new high school and in a new town.

Jules: "What if no one talks to me today?"

Me: "They will."

Jules: "The only reason they talked to me the first day of West DeFuniak was because I cried."

Me: "Don't cry your first day of high school."

Jules: "Why not? I cried first the day of 3rd grade and 'BAM!' Hannah talked to me. Been best friends ever since!"

Me: "Well...Don't do that in high school."

Jules: "But what if no one talks to me?"

Me: "You'll be fine.....Hey, sorry I burned your toast this morning. Kind of a sucky ass first day of high school breakfast."

Jules: {Shrugs shoulders}

Me: {Holding up ghetto sandwich} "But how awesome is this PB&J?, without the J." 


Did you have a similar experience with your child today? 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Family Ties

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to South Florida to visit my grandparents in Port Charlotte, Florida. I had not seen my grandparents in over a year. Although I was only able to spend about a day and a half with them, I'm so very thankful I visited when I did. Shortly after my visit, my grandmother passed away.

This past week I have had the chance to reflect on some things. I have thought of my childhood and the fond memories I have of it. I have thought about who I am and of which family members I am most like. I have thought about my dad, my brother, my grandpa Frank and my great grandparents and others who are no longer here. I have thought about all the time that has passed me by and how I have wasted it on unimportant issues.

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with my dad's cousin and I realized that I have a lot of family that I don't know. I really don't know where I came from. Sure I know my family, but I really don't know my family history. Family names and countries in which my ancestors came...this is all stuff I should know. This is stuff that I should be able to tell my children about. This is our history, our family history.

So I am making a change. I vow to get to know better the family I already know, to ask questions, write things down, and to reach out to family members that I never knew existed. And if it means going to family reunions, which I have always dreaded, then I will. You become who you are from your family. Get to know them.  

Today our family will gather together to say goodbye to one hell of a good woman, my grandmother, Ruth Evelyn Carlson Dockery. What do I know about this woman? I know she was a great cook, she raced cars when she was younger, I'm pretty sure she spent more time in a swimsuit than she did in actual clothing, she loved her beer with ice, she was a very giving person and she knew the meaning of "true love" by being married to the man of her dreams for 62 years. She was an amazing woman. This was my grandma. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fear Factor

Since beginning my awesome journey being single again, I have done some pretty exciting and amazingly daring things. I've faced some of my biggest fears, like eating alone in a restaurant, riding a motorcycle and traveling alone. I've conquered my fear of heights by free falling from a 10 story platform, twice. But today...this morning... I did something that totally scared the hell out of me. Something that I would never openly volunteer for.

I knew that I was going to be an Oblationer today in church. Ok, no biggie, I've done that before. Although last week I made an ass of myself and practically sprinted down the isle leaving my partner behind not even realizing it until I heard a voice behind me whisper loudly, "Hey you! Slow down!" And no, it wasn't the voice of God, it was my partner. I'm surprised she didn't kick me in the ass sending me sailing to the altar.

But this morning I was asked by my dear friend Gail to do the first reading. Not really thinking about it, I said yes....then I wanted to throw up. I am not a public speaker. I do not like to stand in front of any size crowd and speak, much less read. It had been more than 20 years, high school, since I had spoke in front of any crowd. So I did some major fast praying. I prayed that I would not trip and fall or stumble over unfamiliar words. I prayed that I wouldn't forget to bow at the altar. But most of all that God would give me the strength to be able to stand up and start walking in the first place. So, I did it. It terrified me and I'm sure that it showed. But I'm really glad that she asked me to do it. Just one more fear I can say I've conquered I'm working through.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

6 Reasons Valentine's Day Sucks

Valentine's Day. Just another gift giving holiday. Another day to spend obscene amounts of money for this one day reserved for that four letter word...L.O.V.E. But what message are we really trying to convey to our loved ones? "Honey, I know I've been a complete jackass the last 364 days. Here's a shitty box of chocolates and a cheap teddy bear to make up for it. And Sorry about those flowers. I forgot you were allergic to those purple things. Maybe the swelling in your eyes will go down enough to see them before they die." Don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts just as much as the next girl. But tell me, wouldn't it be awesome if your significant other sent you a fabulous gift on some random day like March 6th for no other reason than the fact that he just saw two old people making out and he thought about the two of you and your future together and it made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Ok, I know, the old people making out was a little far-fetched and *ehem* gag worthy. And rarely do men get all warm and fuzzy. But you get where I'm coming from, right? 

 So I have collaborated a list of 6 reasons that Valentine's Day sucks. Or at least sucks for me.

1. The color pink. And red. And any shades of pink and red. And the shades of pink and red together. These colors DON'T go together, they clash. Forget trying to wear these colors. If I wore pink, I would just look like a bag of fluffy pink cotton candy. Then you have the Valentines outfit garb. You know what I'm talking about, the annoying shit that retailers put out once a year that can only be worn on that particular holiday. Then you have to find a place to store it the other 364 days of the year, unless you run out of clean socks and underwear and you are forced to wear said garb. At which point you pray that no one sees you wearing Valentine's socks in July. Or God forbid you are ever in an accident and the doctor has to cut your pants off leaving your exposed Valentines underwear wearing ass exposed in mid September.

2. Lent. What did I give up for lent? Sweets. What is a major icon of Valentines? Sweets! Because I have a crazy bad obsession with sugar, if I know it's within arms reach I will snatch it up and woof it down before I even realize what's happened. Of course today everyone is bringing in chocolates and pie and cookies. It's taunting me. I can hear it, "Just one bite. That's all you have to do is take just one bite." But those large boxes of mystery chocolates are pretty awesome, right? I mean, who doesn't love biting into umpteen dozen pieces of chocolate oozing with pink goo. Chocolates with names like Maple Cream and Aspen Cream. Aspen Cream? Ass.pen.cream? Ass cream? 

3. Abbreviation for Valentine's Day? VD! YIKES! How can you like a holiday that shares the same abbreviation as a contagious sexually transmitted disease? Nothing like the thought of syphilis or gonorrhea to put the romance back into Valentines. Can you imagine the confusion if a man sent a text to a woman using those acronyms? Man:"Sweetie, what are we gonna do for VD?" Woman: "What? What bitch gave you VD? I'm gonna kick your A...." 

4. Stupid Cupid. Does anyone else see the problem with a chubby naked man-child flying around in a diaper shooting poison arrows at people to make them fall in love? There is an easier way Cupid! It's called Roofies and Ecstasy!   

5. Flowers. I absolutely dreaded Valentine's Day in school. Florist must have camped at the school the night before unloading a gazillion flowers and balloons. The morning intercom announcer would practically spend all day calling out names of students to come to the office and pick up their loot. So you sit and you wait for your name to be called, "please call my name" while students filed out of class rooms down breezeways to the office. What sucks worse than being one of the only kids that didn't get flowers the day of Valentines? Being the only kid at school that got flowers the day after Valentines. Yes.I.did. The florist forgot to deliver the flowers from my dad and I got them the day after. This was beyond humiliating. 

6. Being alone on Valentines. As if those other reasons weren't bad enough, being alone for Valentine's takes the cake (ugh, I want cake). If your single, you can't go out alone. Why not just wear a huge sign saying "Look at me! I've got No One!" So, you sit at home and watch some sappy movie like The Notebook or Valentine's Day with your monstrous bag of popcorn and think about the fact that pretty soon 30 more Valentine's Days will eventually go by and you will die....alone. It's no wonder that St. Valentine's Day is associated with a massacre. 

                     Happy VD Suckas!


Saturday, January 26, 2013


To start 2013 out right, I wanted to choose a word for the year. A word to live by everyday. This was something new to me. So, I took a couple of days to let the word come to me instead of searching for one. It was so obvious. It seemed like every time I looked around the word was there in my face, on paper, on TV, in church. The word was Peace. I have overcome so much in my life to find Peace. So it could only be Peace.


In the past week, I have read a lot of my friend's Facebook status updates, some with family members having passed, beloved pets passing and some who just asked for someone to say a prayer for them because they were going through a tough time. And I reflect on my word... Peace, praying that they will find Peace.

And today I am reminded again of the word Peace, because today is my brother Miles birthday. He would have been 33. Today, I don't feel sad, I feel blessed. I feel blessed because I was 'Carebear' to such a wonderful, loving brother for 28 years. I miss him...I miss him oh so much. But my heart is full of PeaceFor me, Miles is Peace. 

~Always Blessings, Never Losses~
My life is richer having had you in it

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ain't No Betty Crocker!

Conversation at the grocery store-

Death By Chocolate, My Way
Brownies, Pudding, Heath Bar and Cool Whip
Me: I think I'll just buy some pre-made break and bake brownies for the dessert that I need to make tomorrow.

Jules: No, I like your brownies.

Me: Ok, then. {reaching for a box of brownies}

Jules: What!? You don't make your brownies homemade?

Me: Bahahaha Noooo! Who the hell do you think I am, Betty Freakin' Crocker?

Jules: {Aggravated sigh} My whole life has been a lie...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wake Up Call! (recipe)

This is a recipe for Mocha Cupcakes or "Wake Up Call" as they were called when I owned The Sweet Life. These cupcakes are amazing, y'all! Especially if you like coffee and chocolate. Enjoy!

"Wake Up Call" By The Sweet Life
Preheat at 350

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/3 C. AP flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
1/2 C. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. sour cream
1 stick butter, room temp
1 C. sugar
1 egg

1) Place flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix to combine.

2) Place espresso powder and hot water in a small bowl and mix until coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until well combined.

3) Place the butter and the sugar in mixer with paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 min. Add egg, beat well. Scape down sides, add half the flour mixture, beat well, add Coffee mixture and then remaining flour. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for approx. 20 min.

Mocha Frosting:
1/4 C. butter, softened
2 Tbs. cocoa
2 tsp. instant coffee
dash of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
3-5 Tbs. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, cocoa, instant coffee and salt together. Slowly mix in 1 cup powdered sugar. Add remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pipe on cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taste Like Chicken

Have you ever pissed a vegetarian off? I have. It’s not cool. Last night I made some white rice and not thinking about it, I threw in a chicken bullion cube. The rice was AWESOME! Jules, my vegetarian teenager, grabbed a plate full and was eating it and then asked me, “How do you get your rice to taste so good? Mine never turns out like this.” Oh, shit! It hit me and I almost choked on the mouthful I was eating. Not knowing how to answer, I shrugged off the question. I felt horrible! She finished eating and then went in the other room. I turned to Jack and mumbled, “Oh shit, the rice had chicken bullion in it. I may have poisoned Jules” He laughed.

Here’s how I broke the news to her.

Me: Jules, I have some bad news. The rice you ate had chicken bullion in it. {her mouth drops open} But the good news is, there’s probably not even a trace of real chicken in it.

Jules: {hard, aggravated sigh} What do you mean?

Me: Well, you know when people say that something taste like chicken? For example, “Eat some of this rattlesnake, it taste like chicken.”, but it’s not chicken at all? Well, that’s what I mean. The bullion is probably not even real chicken at all. It’s probably just something chemically processed in a factory somewhere made to just taste like chicken.Get it?

Jules: {long pause accompanied by an extremely pissed off look} How do I make myself throw up?

Me: Here, do you wanna use my finger?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Going Insane

After Insanity workout
Participating in a 5k mud run has been on my things to do list for a while now. So when my cousin contacted me to let me know that there would be one close by and that she and a couple of her friends would be running in it and ask me if I would like to join them, I jumped at the chance. Now, I am not a runner, I never have been, but mud runs are pretty much for any fitness level and they are supposed to be a lot fun. I consider myself somewhat physically fit, but the past couple of months I have really slacked off and gotten lazy. My cousin has been going to the gym and running at least 3 miles when she goes. With a little more than a month to go before the mud run, I guess it was time for me to step it up and get my ass in gear. Last night I was totally stoked thinking about it and feeling like a total bad ass. So I decided to skip the light stuff and jump right into Insanity Plyometric Cardio. Reminder, I have been lazy for several months, so it is like starting over. I started the workout good, nice pace, broke a little sweat...awesome...glad that two minutes had passed. 5 minutes in...a lot of cussing, a lot of sweating, a lot of water chugging. 9 minutes, warm-up is over, THANK.YOU.JESUS! Then I move on to the actual workout.

Round 1. Suicide Drills, Power Squats (dear Lord, how many people have farted doing this move?), Mountain Climbers, and Ski Downs. Oh, did I mention there are 3 sets each of these? There is a 30 second break between each set, just long enough to crawl over to my water, knock it over on the floor and lap it up, peel myself off the floor, gasp for air a couple of times and get ready for the next set.

In between Round 1 and Round 2, there are two extra moves. Switch feet, a move in which you move your legs and arms back and forth like your on one of those ski machines. At this point, I am just trying to concentrate and not pee myself. Next is the Wide Football Sprints. I think this move is thrown in for pure humiliation. If standing in a semi squat, legs wide in football stance sprinting with your ass fat jiggling doesn’t motivate you enough to want to get in shape, then there is no hope for you. Go grab a bag of chips and a box of Ding Dongs and sit your ass down on the couch, your done.

Round 2. Basketball drills, Level I drills (jump up, go down to plank, do 4 push-ups and then while still in plank position do a mountain climber and then repeat), Ski Abs (abs are screaming, repeating the “F” word A LOT) and In-and-Out Abs (abs AND thighs are now burning and at this point all you want to do is lay down and DIE!). Again, 3 sets of each. Delirium and hallucinations set in and at one point I do believe I saw Jim Morrison. 33 minutes into the workout, when sweat (or it may have been blood coming from my eyeballs, I'm not sure) is running down my face and body and pooling in the floor in front of me, the music changed. Last set of round 2 and then it’s on to some Jabs, Cross Jacks, Upper Cuts and Attack moves for the grand finale. You know that part in the Rocky movie when Rocky is running through the streets and everyone is cheering him on and he runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and he gets to the top and everyone is cheering and he looks like he is about to cry? Well, that’s pretty much how the last round of Insanity Plyo goes. I’m running off pure adrenaline now. The urge to puke and pass out has left and I am now crying. I wanted to yell out “ADRIAN!” because I'm feeling awesome and Insanity is one mutha of a workout.

I think I know why the workout is called Insanity. I’m pretty sure delirium, although you are unaware of it at the time, stays with you for at least an hour after the workout causing you to commit random acts of ridiculousness that you would otherwise not normally do, like for instance, running. Thinking that I was feeling quite athletic and awesome after my workout, I leashed up The Sophers and decided to go for a run. Half way through, I do believe sanity kicked in because I had a moment when I thought, “WHAT the HELL was I THINKing?” It was more like a run/walk, but I made it 1.3 miles. Completely exhausted. Bed by 9:30.

This morning I was reminded of all the muscles I had forgotten I had. Abs, calves, shoulders, booty...yup, the muscles are all still there, screaming loud and clear. Do it again tonight? HELL YEAH!!        

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Journey To My Sweet Peace (Part 1)

I wanted to write this first post as a way for my readers to get to know me. I'm a private person, so for me to open up and share my life, my feelings in such a very public way is a big step for me. I have traveled through my own personal hell to find happiness and peace. I believe that people can change...if they want to. I'm proof.

Let me begin by saying, I think there should be a mandatory class taught in every high school called "Everything your silly ass thinks you know, but don't because your too stupid and immature to possibly know these things yet 101". Subjects taught in this class- Marriage is a HUGE commitment not to be taken lightly and Children are FOR.EV.ER! and they DO NOT come with a set of instructions! Of course these are obvious to you and But I'm pretty sure that from the ages of 13 to 18, your brain lacks the ability to absorb this knowledge. I married, the first time, at age 18. He and I have two awesome kids together, Jackson and Julianna. At that age, your pretty much delusional and think everything is going to be a fairytale. So here I was, young, dumb, and obviously oblivious to what the 'real world' was all about. This marriage last a whole 5 years. But I wouldn't change anything, no regrets. Jacks and Jules are my life. They ARE my heart.

So there I was, 24 years young, with 2 kids and a divorce under my belt. A year and a half later, I married my second husband. Everything was wonderful. He had two daughters that I was crazy about and he obviously liked my kids too. We started building the house of our dreams. Life was great. Here is the part where I'm supposed to say "And we lived happily ever after", but instead, God threw me some curve balls. I suck at curve balls.

I've never been one to deal well with the unexpected. I like to be in control. Ok, so I'm a little bit of a control freak (and I'm working on it, I really am). One can only imagine how well I deal with grief.....I don't. I don't deal with it AT ALL. I hide it, I ignore it, I pretend like the situation never happened. I.SHUT.DOWN. I isolate myself from everyone. I don't like feeling vulnerable. I wish that I had the capability of dealing with grief by having one of those 'Freak Out' moments like the graveyard scene in the movie Steal Magnolias, where Sally Field's character, M'Lynn, is standing graveside all sad...then she gets all sentimental...then she's PISSED  as HELL and wants to beat the shit out of someone! So Clairee offers up Ouiser as a punching bag. And everyone laughs and they eat cake. Ok, I made the cake part up, but cake does make everyone happy. I wish I could get all of my emotions out at once like that. It would make things so much easier.

The first time tragedy struck our family was when my brother's fiancĂ© died. No one could have been prepared for this. Least of all, my brother. Knowing he was in so much pain, I didn't want to show my emotions nor how I was feeling in front of him. Hiding my emotions...that was easy. I knew how to do that all to well.

Fast forward a couple of years. We were finally living in our beautiful new home. I had started a catering business a couple years prior and it was really starting to take off. I was busier than I could have ever imagined, working full time and catering part time. Then we got the dreaded news that my dad had cancer, again, but this time it didn't look good. Just when life was getting back to normal, another curve ball. I wish that I could say that I spent as much time with him as I could, but I didn't. This may sound a little silly, but I didn't know how to act around him, I didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to comfort him. It was almost like he was a stranger to me. My dad was dying and I was shutting down. I remember visiting him in the hospital, sitting across the room from his hospital bed and thinking to myself, "I wish I could be strong and brave like Renee (my sister in law)", but instead, all I could do was leave the room and cry by myself. When he passed, I didn't have time to grieve, or so I thought. We had estate and court issues to deal with which, inevitably, made me shut down even more.

Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse, they did. One year after my father's passing, my 28 year old brother died. This was it, I was in hell. God had to be punishing our family for something, right? How could we take anymore? We just couldn't. Then came more legal battles. More of me shutting down.

Numbness, depression, unhappiness, hate, anger, panic, dread, confusion...every possible horrible feeling started sinking into me. My life was consumed with darkness. I didn't care about my business anymore, I didn't care about my appearance, I didn't care about my marriage. I wasn't taking care of myself, so my health was horrible and comforting myself with food was making me sick and obese. Yes, I said it, obese. I was depressed, fat, miserable and I made life hell for everyone around me. I just didn't care anymore. I was letting tragedy define who I was. The worse part of shutting down was that I was disconnecting myself from others, especially my family. I would make excuses as to why I couldn't leave the house, excuses like 'I needed to clean' or 'the dog needed me'.

But as unhappy as I was, so was my husband. He and I had steadily grown apart. We were barely speaking to each other and when we did, they were never kind and loving words. What was such a happy beginning was now becoming a bitter end. No one wants to admit defeat, but I was ready to throw the towel in. When we both made the decision that the best thing for us would be divorce, it immediately felt like this invisible weight that I had been unknowingly carrying around on my chest for so long was being lifted. I could breathe...if only a little, it was a start. I was finally beginning to heal.