Category Archives: family

Celebrating Halloween Just for Me

Halloween MummyHow do you celebrate the holidays? For the last 25 years my answers focused on my attempts to make the holidays memorable for my children. Now that they are adults and teenagers, they aren’t interested in many of the traditions of their childhood. Without the kiddos to concentrate on, I’m left me pondering what makes the holidays important to me and how to celebrate in a way that brings me joy.

It’s back to my word of the year, happiness, and figuring out what makes me happy – just for me.

I keep calling it an adjustment, but it feels like opposite extremes of the spectrum! All those years, bringing my children joy truly made me happy. The flip-side of not having them to focus on sometimes leaves a painful void. It’s hard to not take their lack of interest as a personal rejection – that I’m not important to them, rather than the activity. Realizing what I was doing to myself has helped a little. But I’m still trying to fill the gap.

With Halloween is around the corner (yikes!) and once again I’m looking for how to celebrate that feels like me.

Halloween candyWhen I was a kid Halloween was cool because you dressed up and got candy. With my kids, I stuck to the cute side of Halloween. I loved walking around the neighborhood with my kiddos, visiting the neighbors. But my favorite part was talking and laughing with my kids. Last year, my trick or treating days came to an end when my teenagers chose to hang out with their friends or had to work. I’m so glad I was able to enjoy taking them out one last time the year before, even though my neighbors gave me grief for not sending my teenage kids trick or treating on their own.

My oldest daughter loves the scary side of Halloween, with her haunted houses and zombie walks. But I’ve never been into the spooky parts. Do you know how hard it is to find Halloween activities for adults that don’t revolve around getting scared or drinking?

I bought a costume to wear to work on Friday and we’re having a potluck. I’m thinking about making Monster Munch and Mini Mummy Bagel Pizzas. I also put together a “pumpkin” decorating contest. I gave everyone a print out of a blank pumpkin for them to decorate. We’ll invite the other teams to vote for their favorite.

If I have enough energy, I’ll spend Halloween night in the driveway with festive activities for my trick-or-treaters; paper pumpkins for them to decorate, pumpkin bowling, and a bean bag toss. Maybe a few quick games of Halloween bingo or I could share some Halloween trivia.

I’m not sure if any kids will be interested in taking a break from their candy quest, but it is fun thinking of the possibilities. I think I’ll be okay on my own this Halloween.

Posted in Celebrations, family, Motherhood | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

September 2015 Review

September 2015 was the hardest and saddest month I’ve had in a long time! I knew I’d have a hard time with my daughter going to college but it was still more than I bargained for with the empty house. In addition to the time alone, I’m trying to learn what brings me peace now that I don’t spend so much of my life taking care of my children. But that is another post for a future date. On a more cheerful note, here’s a review of last month’s accomplishments from September.

September card-3 – The number of words added to my book (or in this case the sum total of words edited out)

.2 – Pounds gained, it’s a good thing I started working out the last couple of weeks

1 – Birthday card made, I haven’t done that in a while

2 – Books read including Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

2.5 – Hours cruising Canyon Lake with my honey

Wheel on the wall5 – Days on antibiotics to kick a nasty case of bronchitis

10 – Mini signs on the bicycle wheel on my wall

16 – Pictures on Instagram

18 – Projects finished in September

32 – Construction paper spiders on my kitchen wall to celebrate Halloween

$100 – Gift card to Kneaders that I won!

445 – Just Wanna Be Me pageviews

49,987Pinterest views

Top Just Wanna Be Me Posts for September

Posted in Books, Celebrations, family, Home, Photography, Womanhood | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

July 2015 Review

July KneadersJuly 2015 is in the books and I am so glad I wasn’t moving this year (unlike the previous 2 Julys). Not only did I not move, but I continue to get more settled and have added a little more character to my home – bicycle wheel and all!

1 – Blogger event at Kneaders. There was delicious food with all kinds of interesting things to look at and socializing. In addition to some of my favorite things, we had a kitchen tour.

1 – New software, yay Scrivener! I did get my book transferred over, but I’m still learning all the cool things it can do.

1.6 – Pounds lost in July, almost as much as I gained in June.

2 – Kinds of muffins for Sunday breakfasts; Blueberry and Chocolate.

3 – The number of treats I made this month; Salted Caramel Brownies, Brownies, Hot Chocolate Cookies. My kids and my co-workers loved them.

3 – I finished 3 books! It took me a couple of months to finish my commercial insurance book (AINS 23). And significantly longer to finish The Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. (Add links)

July Dinosaurs

5 – People around the table at Ted’s Hot Dogs.

11 – Projects completed, a little cleaning, a little decorating and quite a bit of reading.

30 – Day Thigh Slimming Challenge

38 – States visited the blog.

41 – Photos posted on Instagram.

54.15 – Percentage of Just Wanna Be Me visitors are men!

100 – Plastic dinosaurs hidden around my house. When we find one, we hide it again for someone else to find.

150 – Crunches, baby steps.

205 – Number of visits from Russia, beating out USA. What’s going on there?

464 – Inner Thigh Pulses

512 – Side Leg Lifts

551 – Side Lunges

633 – Just Wanna Be Me pageviews

712 – Leg Swings

751 – Plie Squats

762 – Words added to my book.

25884 – Pinterest views

As you can see by some of the last numbers, I did pretty good sticking to the 30 day leg challenge.This month I focusing on my bootie and trying to sneak more ab work too. August holds some other excitement other loving my body back into shape, but I’ll tell you about that in a few short weeks. Please share your July highlights or August goals!

Top Pinterest Posts

1. Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

2. Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan Sauce

3. Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

4. Cheddar Potato Balls

5. Tuscan Chicken Skillet

Top Blog Posts

1. Pizza Nachos

2. Book Theme Party Decorations

3. Culture of Being Nice

5. June 2015 Review

Posted in Books, cooking, Exercise, family, Home, Photography, Womanhood, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on July 2015 Review

The Culture of Being Nice

How many times have I told my kids to be nice? Be nice and share your toys with Susie. Be nice and give Johnny a turn. It drives me crazy when parents act like saying please is a golden ticket that gives their kid a free ride to whatever they want. Maybe this is just more of me getting meaner, but I can’t help but wonder in hindsight if sometimes I have taken away my children’s voices all in the name of being nice.

I recently watched my daughter panic at an invitation she wanted to turn down but struggled with declining and still being nice. I know I taught her this, but in hindsight I’m not sure how avoiding is any nicer than being straight forward.Nice Beach Cake

I know she isn’t the only one who has trouble with what nice actually means. One time a lady at church was talking about a co-worker that was constantly harsh and abrasive. From the description the co-worker was toxic and should have been avoided. But the church lady decided the best way to deal with her abusive co-worker was to try harder to be friendly, and make her a cake. And most of the women in the room seemed to agree that her “Let me reward you for walking all over me” attitude was a great idea!

There is no shortage of the opposite extreme either. Strong personalities seem to smell us from a mile away. But I’m learning it’s not nice to reinforce that pushing and manipulating is acceptable. Even when we’re interacting with moderate personalities, our hesitation and beating around the bush can be hard to interpret. Is the hesitation because I have other plans, or don’t like Chinese food, or am not interested in spending time with the person who offered the invitation? Or maybe, I just need a little encouragement.

I’ve also noticed that when I’m talking to someone who is obviously being nice or encouraging, I catch myself wondering if their compliments are sincere or if they have some ulterior motive. It’s like I’ve spent so much time putting a positive spin on everything to be nice, that I wonder if the tables have turned and I’m on the receiving end.

I absolutely believe that when sharing my feelings it’s vital to do so with kindness, tact and sensitivity. However, honestly is equally important to be honest for the greater good of the relationship. Additionally, it’s important to be sensitive to the other person’s needs and wants, to be aware of their body language and strive to truly understand them. When I’m authentic, it creates a safe environment of trust.

I’ve had years of building bad habits that will take time to break. But I’m working to be content with who I am, and then maybe I can help others to do the same. What are your best tools to find a balance between being nice and being honest?

Posted in family, Motherhood, Womanhood | Tagged , , | 1 Comment