Lookin Lively Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Father's Day I'm reminded of all the things my Dad has done for me. The list is crazy long...but I wanted to hit a few high points.

My Dad showed me that real men do dishes and laundry.
My Dad showed me that real men TRY to do their daughter's hair. Many a birthday party I attended with a hot mess of a pony tail...but he tried! :)
My Dad showed me that great Dads get up at 5:15 to take their daughters to practice softball. Even when I was old enough to drive myself, he still went with me.
My Dad showed me that he supported me by driving all over the USA to take me to various sporting events and almost NEVER missed a game.
My Dad showed me what it meant to be a true partner to my Mom by sharing in the household work, giving us baths, and supporting my Mom in her career.
My Dad STILL shows me what it means to be a great Dad by playing baseball in the yard with his grandsons.
My Dad showed me what a it means to be a hard worker when he got laid off and mowed lawns and worked in hot stores to still provide for our family.
My Dad showed me that a father-daughter relationship is so special, we have a secret handshake-handshake to prove it. :)

Randy Lively is a stoic and sometimes quiet man who has a fabulous laugh, a huge heart, and big smile.

Thank you Dad for teaching me so many things...and continuing to be an amazing Dad to us and a phenomenal Grandpa to my sons! I love you and hope your Father's Day is as special as you are! It's not just on Father's Day that I realize how special you are, it's every day!

Also, Happy Father's Day for the first time to my brother! Happy Father's Day to  I love you both BIG TIME!!

Lookin Lively Thursday, May 19, 2011

So...I may have a lack of the P word. I pray about it daily...and then when it doesn't come fast enough, I want to just have it.

The P word has eluded me my whole life. For instance...let me introduce you to me at age 6. While waiting to go to the pool, my Mom said, I have to change and then cut your bangs and then we will go. Seeing as I wanted to get to the pool ASAP, I got the scissors out and did what I refer to as the count it cut. I started at my scalp and counted as I slid my fingers down my bangs and trimmed when I got to 3. I did that all the way across. This picture is about a month after I cut them. You can see the attention to detail.

I can still remember standing over the trash can, scissors in hand, counting and cutting away. It is only today that I realize, a mirror might have been a valuable piece of equipment. However, after the counting cut, my mother emerged from her room only to see her daughter with these bangs. Suffice it to say, I had to wear a hat to the pool that day...and for many days after that. A lack of the P word led me to many other accidents, injuries, and frustrations throughout my childhood.

As an adult, I wish I could say those prayers for the P word had led me to a more relaxed, peaceful existence...but that would be a lie. Let me give you an example. One month ago, we had an 80 degree day. It was on that day that I decided I wanted to put up my poo. (I have a 12' blow up pool, that I refer to as a poo because it's not really a nice inground or even above ground pool. It is a lovely wonderful 12' blow up oasis that I spend a lot of time in...that then folds up in a jif for the winter.) Anyway...so, I tell RDaddy I would like to put up the poo today. He said, sure, after the boys take a nap we will get out there and set it up. So, for 5 minutes after that conversation I waited for the boys to wake up...then decided I wanted it right that minute. I went and dragged the poo out of the garage, laid it out in a new spot, aired up the top ring, and started filling it up. Much to my chagrin, 5 hours later the pool was 3/4 full and taking on the shape of an oval instead of a circle. So, by this point, I figure I've spent $60 in water...and 5 hours of my time. RDaddy comes out of the house and just looks at me...then the pool...then back at me..then laughed.

All I had to do was wait an hour for RDaddy to help me. Instead...I wanted to do it right then. Not to mention, it has been one month since I filled it up and it has not been warm enough to swim, yet. So, we had to let ALL the water out, move the pool to a more even location, and fill it up again. So, I have spent another $60 in water, a month's worth of chlorine that I haven't even swam in, and two days of time.


Lookin Lively Friday, May 13, 2011

This week I am thankful that is BASEBALL SEASON!! As a kid, I loved softball…and I still do. I think it's something about that team experience that I have always really liked. I love sports and baseball certainly ranks high on my fav sports list! Now that I'm a Mom, it seems even more exciting to watch my sons play. Tonight is opening night for our Jr. Ball League and I couldn’t be more excited! This is my favorite pic from last year.

Chance is finally old enough to be on a team too! I can't wait to watch both of them this year!

One of our favorite activities over the summer is seeing our local minor league team in action! I can’t wait to take the boys to more Southern Illinois Miners games this year! Here’s a pic from one of our many trips last year.

Also, as part of our Miner’s excursions…the boys feel the need to take a pic with every single mascot…every single time. So, here are a few of those….

So, here’s to summer and baseball!

Lookin Lively Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So, I've decided to start a Thankful Thursday spot on my blog. So, for my first Thankful Thursday, I select my Momma.

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." - Washington Irving

Kathy Lively is my rock.
She is kind and caring...she is witty and wise.
She is tough when I don't even know I need her to be...she is gentle when I have been tough enough on myself.
She taught me to value myself...she taught me to value everyone else.
She showed me how to be assertive....she still worries about me when I get a cold.
Her love is unchanging and steady...even when I make mistakes.
She taught me to learn from those mistakes...not to let the lesson pass me by.
She showed me how to lead...she taught me it's ok to follow sometimes.
She shows me to love God through my actions...not just through my prayers.
She taught me it's ok to let it go...she taught me to keep fighting for it.
She taught me to be my best...she taught me to love me for who I am.
She gives me advice when I need it...she just listens when I don't.
She is my number one cheerleader at everything I do...she is there when I win...and when I don't.
She taught me to work harder...she taught me to enjoy my life.
She taught me to cook...she encourages me to keep trying to cook.
She taught me it's okay not to be everything to everybody....she taught me to be the everything to the people that need me to be.
She tells me when I'm right and backs me up...she tells me when I'm wrong...and backs me up.
She taught me to laugh through the tough stuff...she taught me to cope.
She teaches me to be humble...she teaches me to dig deep for my best.
She pushes me to be my best me...she helps me up when I'm not.
She makes me feel like I am the most important thing in that second...she doesn't know she is important to so many people...in so many seconds.
She taught me how to be a lady...she taught me how to play sports.
She taught me that life isn't always easy...she taught me that the downs are as important as the ups.
She taught me how to drive...she still hits the brake in the passenger seat when I do.
She taught me to be proud to be a woman...she taught me to be a good wife.
She taught me how to put on makeup...she tells me I'm pretty without it.
She taught me to be accepting of others...she taught me to love.
She shows me every single day...what I want to be.
She taught me how to be a Mom...and I hope against hope...that I can someday be to mine...what she is to me.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love you so much, for everything you are..and everything you do. God gave me you...and for that, I will always be eternally grateful. I hope your Mother's Day is as wonderful as you are...

Lookin Lively Sunday, May 1, 2011

Let me introduce you to the "legendary" entourage. Being a Mom to boys is awesome. My life is filled with dirt, sports, and love. I can't really think about how it could be any more awesome. So...in order of birth...put your hands together for THE ENTOURAGE!!!!

Playing forward...he's smart...he's tall...he's beefy...he's an intuitive kindergartner....Mr. Gavin!!!!!

Gavin is a my type A child. He isn't a fan of change...and likes everything to always stay the way it is "supposed to be." I am going to brag for a second...sorry...it's the Momma in me...he is super smart...but he is also the most sensitive child I've ever met. Whether it is crying over a fish with a hook...or trying to answer the oil spill or helping the people in Haiti, he's on it. How such a little person can take on so much, is amazing to me...and sometimes scary. He could quite possibly be a future President. He loves sports and never loses the energy to stay moving from morning to night.

Next up, playing post....is Chance!! More commonly referred to as Chancie or Chancie Mo Mancie. He may be skinny...but there's a lot of personality in that little package! Please, put your hands together for Chancie mo Mancie the Candy Man!!

He is my smart, free spirited, hilarious little man. He refers to himself as the Candy Man. Before his eyes open in the morning, he asks..."can I have some canny?" Chancie is very affectionate and never lets a moment go by without telling you how much he loves you and how much you mean to his world. The humanity of his soul, blows my mind every day. If we could all take a lesson from him and tell people how we feel about them, the world would be a kinder place.

I am pretty sure that I am the luckiest lady in the entire world. These boys keep me on my toes, challenge my mind and soul to always be better, and literally make me love harder than I ever knew possible.

For a long time, these were the only main men in my life. I wouldn't change those times for anything. I am a better person and human being for getting to know and love them. My Mario and Luigi are the best things in life!

As I start a new week, it's nice to think about how they change my world every single day.

Lookin Lively Friday, April 8, 2011

So, in my earlier post, I referenced the interview I watched on Oprah with Jenny McCarthy. I wanted to share a little bit more about that interview and how it changed my life.

Before that day...I had been through a lot of uncomfortable dates, online dating, and basically was over it. As a divorced mother of the two coolest boys in the world...I wanted to give them a complete family, like I had.

However, the harder I pushed for it..the worse it got. I realized that I hadn't fully turned it over to the Big Man Upstairs. I was still white knuckling the steering wheel, pretending I was listening...but I wasn't.

So as I turned it over...and spent a lot of time by myself...I began to remember how much I like myself. I remembered that I am an awesome Mom to the boys..and that's what I'm in charge of, not the rest.

During that time, I saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah and it opened my eyes. Here is a snippet of that conversation, courtesy of www.oprah.com. Read it and think about it.

One thing Jenny didn't do after her breakup was place blame. "If I went and blamed him, I miss the lesson," she says.

A simple exercise helped Jenny learn what she needed to from the breakup. "I actually wrote down a list of all the things that I would say were blame," she says. "[I wrote], 'He did that.' And then I crossed off 'he' and I put the word 'I,' and then I reread them and I was, like, 'Oh my God.' I found my participation also and really used those as life lessons."

Jenny says the most important lesson she learned was that she didn't need a lover to have love in her life. "I came out of it going, 'I am the love of my life,'" she says. "Now everybody that comes into my life is just whipped cream, but I come in as the full sundae."

Through listening to her in that interview, I realized, I had to let go of the past, turn it over to God, and remember that I am the love of my life.

So now you know how Jenny McCarthy changed my life. :)

Lookin Lively Friday, April 1, 2011

So..I thought I would start my new blog with 29 things about me today…as a freshly turned 29 year old.  Yes, I really am 29…not 29 and holding for the 4th year.  Will I feel different at 30?  Probably yes…but TODAY…I am still in my 20’s.  So here goes…
29) I am a Mom to boys.  This is quite possibly the coolest thing about me.  A lot of who I am today can be directly related to the fact that I am a Mommy to amazing sons.
28) My life’s goal is to love big time.  I am one of those people that does everything in a big way.  The most important thing that I do big time- is love. 
27) I am pretty tall for a girl.  I am 5’9”.
26) Cotton candy is one of my favorite things in life.
25)  I love sports.  I love to play sports, coach sports, watch sports…I am basically a sports junkie.
24) Math is not my strong suit.  I can’t add, subtract, multiply, or divide very well.  I wish I was better at it...but I don't stress over it.  I usually just say, you can't be good at everything.  It just sort of is what it is…words are my game…not numbers.
23)  I came from good stock.  My parents are awesome.  As an aside, my family plays a hugely humongous part in my life.
22)  I desire to be more organized and even buy the supplies to make it happen.  However, thus far, my organizational skills are a little lacking…and the supplies are in the closet.
21) I have a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication.  I am a very organized communicator…but that does not mean I keep my closet in any sort of organization.
20)  One of the most monumental things I have ever heard came from Jenny McCarthy. I will share it with you because I feel like it might mean as much to you as it did to me…”I am the light of my life.”  I will revisit this at a later date on the blog…just thought I’d share it in my 29.
19)  I wear knee socks of various colors and patterns all the time.  Even if I am wearing knee boots, there is a very good chance that I am rocking some striped or argyle socks underneath.
18)  I don’t collect anything.  I am fascinated by people that collect things…cards, coins, etc.  I have never liked anything enough to gather a bunch of something.  I think it’s awesome that people collect things…and I always like to look and hear about other people’s collections.  I just don’t have my own collections.
17)  I am ADD.  You will probably notice when you become a loyal reader (here’s for hoping you already are!!)  It doesn’t really bother me that I am ADD, it helps me be more creative and to think 17 steps ahead of what I’m doing.  My bf, RDaddy is finally learning to just go with what I’m saying or doing…we will clean up the tornado my mind has left behind later.
16)  I am Aquarius.  I find that I pretty much fit the definition to a T.  I have never met an Aquarian that I didn’t like.
15)  I believe in humanity.  I think the spirit of being a human is amazing…we can overcome unbelievable things, we can create amazing things, and we can achieve things that are beyond our understanding.
14) I can still do a toe touch.  I took dance forever and was a cheerleader.
13)  I rarely forget a face…I won’t say never…because that would be an unrealistic expectation of myself…and then I will feel like a giant nerd when I can’t remember you. 
12)  I tried online dating.  After a series of unbelievable fails in real dating, I hopped on a few online dating sites-at the urging of a loving mother who wanted nothing more than a loving relationship for her favorite daughter.  Online dating led to a series of uncomfortable and awkward situations that I will never forget.  However, I do have friends that are married from being on such websites, so I know it can work.  Suffice it to say, I was not successful-more on that at a later date.
11) I am in an amazing relationship with a man who rocks my world..that lives two blocks from me.  I had a rule against dating people from my town…I broke the rule and I am super glad I did!  RDaddy is crazy awesome and makes me laugh all the time. 
10)I have a bucket list.  (I will save this for a later blog post…but will give you a taste of it.)
  •  Sky diving 
  • Be in a flash mob
  • See Oprah Winfrey
  • Visit the Grand Canyon   
  •  Fly in a plane with no doors
  • Go upside down in an aircraft
9)  I like things that don’t match.  When things get too matchy matchy, I get uncomfortable.  For instance, come to my house for dinner…and I don’t have a “set” of plates.  I have random plates that I like- polka dots, stripes, circles, squares, purple, aqua, etc.  

8)  Cooking is not my favorite thing.  I don’t really stink at it…but I wouldn’t consider myself (nor would anyone else) a Martha Stewart type.  I have friends that are fantastic at presentation, food quality, taste, and make it look easy.  Chances are if it’s dinner at my place…it’s not all done at the same time…something didn’t turn out quite like I planned…and there is not a wine pairing going on with the meal.
7)  Learning to grill has not come easy.  Many dinner time fails have occurred as a casualty of gaining grilling experience.  I am getting better…but let’s just say, it’s going to be a while.
6)  I have a familiar face.  People always think they know me from somewhere.  I have no idea why…but it’s just sort of one of those things. 
5)  I believe people come into your life for a reason.  Conversely, I believe sometimes people exit your life for a reason too.
4)  I love birthdays.  I am a HUGE fan of people’s birthdays.  I usually call mine, birthday month…and ironically I share that day with one of my sons! 
3)  I tend to be overly optimistic.  This lends itself to being a poor gambler-the next hand is always going to make me rich! 
2) I wear my heart on my sleeve and have no poker face.  Sometimes, I wish I was one of those people that could mask how I am feeling…but you will typically know exactly what I’m thinking by looking at me.  Believe me when I say, you don’t want to be on my team if we are playing Trivial Pursuit.  I will give away the answers every time.
1)  I am stoked about blogging more.  I have lots of friends that pen fantastic blogs and have inspired me to start my own.  So, hold on to your hats kids!  Lively is ON it!