Friday, July 15, 2011

Five for Friday

You are probably wondering why I lead with this ridiculous 90's picture of myself. Yes, that's me in the "Blossom" hat.  I love this picture for several reasons. I was in 7th grade and it wasn't just the first year of junior high for me, it was my first year in a public school. My family moved this summer and everything in my life changed - my surroundings, my friends, my church, my school. It was a tough year for me. I had a lot of adjustments to make and there was a big learning curve.

I'm sure I planned this outfit the night before (probably days before). I also asked to borrow my mother's heart necklace for the picture because I always loved it so much on her. Don't even ask me what I was thinking with that plaid shirt...I'm sure it was in style at the time. And then there was the that hat.  I worked so hard that morning to get it to sit on top of my head "just so" and I curled my bangs strategically before shellacking them with hair net. Bottom line, I was meticulous.

After waiting in line for my turn with the photographer I get situated on the wooden stool and
he tells me there are no hats allowed in school photos. ...WHAT????? As a timid girl I was frozen. I was always taught to respect my elders... But the hat is where I drew the line. This picture represents the first time in my life that I stood up to an adult and said no. My mother was obviously the best teacher - she would get that look in her eyes and cock her head and say no to me in a way that actually said, "are you crazy? No, don't ask again." The photographer told me a second time to take my hat off and I cocked my head to one side and in the most polite way I could muster underneath the anger and embarrassment I was feeling, I simply said, "no."

You can see by the beautiful picture that I won this fight.

This last year has been a challenge for me and I find myself once again looking for that inner strength I first demonstrated in 7th grade. This time it's not to muster up the courage to say no... it's to say yes. I am discovering the courage to accept change, embrace new adventures and look forward to the exciting unknown.

So that is the kind of week I've been having. I'm taking it a day at a time and reminding myself every morning that being perfect isn't the goal, but being the best I can be in this moment is perfection.

I can't decide if this has been a very short week or a really long week. Is it possible to have a mix of the two? Jim spent his first week in Houston, the first of 8 weeks he will be in Houston I've had a lot of me time. It's good and bad. Although I miss him terribly, I was thankful not to be able to use him as an excuse to skip my after work workouts. I'm trying to get into the new "Barre" workouts and they are really tough. I attended two kick butt classes this week and my entire body hurts. You know those workouts that leave you aching all over? The kind of hurt you feel through your thighs when you sit down? The workouts, although they leave me so terribly sore, have been a beneficial time to myself (although I'm in class with 10 other people) to think and sometimes pray. I often times pray that God would give me the strength to finish that last 8 count of leg lifts - or that a bug would fly into the instructors mouth making her pause class just so I could take a brief 2 minute break to sit down and drink some water. Just kidding, I've never prayed that.  My point in all this is to say that things are changing and I am coping through prayer (the serious kind where I spill my guts to God) and through personal reflection and of course through the support of my husband who's been a rock in my life since 2006. That should be put on a t-shirt.

Because it's Friday and I'm so thankful for Jim, here is a special list just for him:

  1. "Shot Caller, Problem Solver"
  2. Chapstick screwed down
  3. Hittin' easy street on mud tires
  4. Cancelled poker game
  5. Do you remember this day? I'm such a distraction!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Next week I have some AMAZING recipes to share, including those sticky spicy ribs and a variety of fish entrees.

XOXO -Mandy


  1. love the story behind the picture :) hope today is great!!

  2. What a great story and a really great picture (all things considered for that day in age, of course)! My photos from 2-11th grade were horrible, so I'm a little jealous!

    Can't wait for the rib recipe..and from a girl who doesn't eat ribs, that's saying a lot!

  3. love the picture! wish that little girl could have seen into the future to the wonderful person she grew up to be. thank you for sharing.

  4. Finally catching up with your blog. Love it and I totally relate to the idea of finding that inner strength. I've been working on the same thing, which is why my blog's been on hiatus. I've needed to figure out some stuff. Your picture is inspiring!!!!


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