My Sexy Man Is One Tough Mudder

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This is a pic of my very funny, very sweet hubby from our trip to the Bahamas back in May. As you can tell by the signs pointing in his direction, he’s as warped as I am. it works for us.

We always make sure to visit Señor Frog’s when we’re there. He loves going to that place! He’ll participate in the free shot limbo line, he’ll cheer on contestants in whatever convoluted drinking game the dj’s come up with…and he’ll always get one of their Piña Colada Yardsticks.

We really enjoy each other’s company, so this separation for work has been a bit difficult. Text messages and phone calls doesn’t quite cut it. I wouldn’t do anything differently…We have a friend that needs me. But I miss him like crazy.

This weekend hubby and some of our friends will be participating in an event called Tough Mudder and normally I’d be there to cheer him on. This is a pretty intense event from all I’ve seen. Check out the videos in that link. you’ll see what I mean. I can’t be there this time. I’m too far away. I know he’s going to kick butt, but I really wish I were there to see his success.

Only a little more than a year ago, he was significantly overweight. He is now down 170 lbs. he did it all naturally! Honestly, he never thought he’d be able to get down to this…he wasn’t this thin even in high school! but he did it! He decided it was time to get back into shape, so he modified his eating habits and started working out. He was driven. We did it together, and I’ve only lost 50 lbs, but I’mokay with that. I just keep pounding away. I’m so incredibly proud of his success, though, and feel like the event tomorrow is the culmination of all his hard work.

Well, even if I can’t be there in person I’ll be there in spirit. Help cheer him on with me! So, tell me, what things have you accomplished that surprised yourself? What accomplishments has your significant other…or maybe another family member achieved that made you sit back and say…WOW!?

Isn’t my hubby a hottie? 😉

Who I Am…

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I’m smiles of welcome
That warms my eyes.
A clever tongue
Wielded like a sharpened knife
Or rich sweetness of honey…
The choice is always
Yours.
I’m the core of steel,
Honed
By determination, grief and God.
I’m tears at sappy movies,
Laugh out loud with books.
Words and music
Flow
Like the blood in my veins.
I believe the best,
Till worst is proven.
Faith is more than
Lip service;
infused into my heart.
Slow to anger,
And slower still
To forget.
Work hard,
Play harder….
Enjoy the raunchy.
Brutal honesty is
Valued,
Respect is earned.
Push
And I push back…
Harder.
Control is my strength
And my weakness;
I rarely let it go.
I love
Without reservations
And try to never hate.
I may bend,
Sometimes fall,
But will never be broken.

I’ve seen lots of posts about letters to yourself…or descriptions of where you’re from, and I’ve loved them…but they weren’t quite right for a girl who’s from everywhere. So I decided to try to write about who I am. There’s a song by Jessica Andrews called Who I Am that inspired my vision.

I’ve decided to accompany this post with a few pictures from my youth… Like the one below… My first piano lesson. 🙂

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Or my goofy, funky attempt at clashing…

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Or showing a bit of my inner wild child/biker chick.

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And finally, a little Glamour Shot that most people who know me call my flirty look…aka trouble just walked in…

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So tell me…who are you? What makes you tick at the core? Feel free to critique…I love feedback.

The Music Of Love

Maybe it’s being away from my hubby longer than I’ve been from him in nearly 19 years, but I’m feeling a touch romantic today. Of course, it could also be that love songs have some of the best lyrics…or that I’ve been sending a friend a bunch of tunes, but regardless, it got me thinking.

Remember Mix Tapes? It used to be the ultimate romantic gesture when I was a young teen. The songs hand selected your specific sweetheart in mind…songs that would tell that person how much you cared… Do kids even do stuff like that anymore? Watching the youth of today I’m beginning to wonder if romance is lost on them. Or maybe it’s the simple romantic gestures…that don’t cost anything but thought and time. So here’s the deal. I only have my iPad, so it’s making my usual way of posting impossible, but I’m going to try.

I was thinking. What songs have been dedicated to you? Or maybe sung to you. What songs have you dedicated to the loves…or maybe crushes…of your past? Everyone has one…just ask Taylor Swift! 😉

My first “real” boyfriend, Jay, lip sync’ed this song to me…Always but the relationship ended. He lied. He cheated. Suddenly, this beautiful song became something I couldn’t stand. Oddly enough, all these years later and I still don’t like it.

Then there was Brad. He was my blond haired, blue eyed Adonis. He towered over me at 6′ and made me feel delicate and beautiful standing beside him. The washboard abs were icing on the cake. Brad was all about the romantic gestures. He was my mixture tape guy, but he was also the boy who draped me over him while laying on the couch kissing…and sang I Remember You against my lips, all the while gazing into my eyes. It was sweetly romantic. And Send Me An Angel was one of the songs he put on my tape. Of course the down side is that when we broke up…it was not amicable. Hate Everything About You became our theme song, LOL! And yes, we found a way to sing that one to each other, too…LOL!

Hubby and my first romantic dance was in a parking garage. We had just pulled in when Wonderful, Tonight came on the radio. He stepped out of the car, got my door, then pulled me into his arms, a spontaneous, romantic gesture. Of course our first dance at our wedding will also always have a soft spot. My Destiny will, for me, always tell the story of hubby and me.

Now it’s your turn. Share your lovey dovey songs. Or your I hate you songs… Don’t be shy! Everyone is welcome. Music soothes the heart!

First Time Sharing

Tonight I have firsts on my mind. First crush, first kiss, first love, first time, first heartbreak… I know, oddly innocent and nostalgic, but after my buddy LJ Kentowski mentioned in the last blog that I had a ton of memories, I figured it was time to jog everyone’s memory. So please, sit, relax and take a ride with me on this train of reminiscing. Think back to your firsts…when you hear the word, what comes to your mind? Bet it’s more than one thing!

My first solo: in church. I was 2. Song? Jesus Loves Me!

First Plane trip: 8 months old. From Philippines to California.

First best friend: a little blond girl named Corinne. Unfortunately the friendship was short lived based on all the travel our family did with the military. I was 3 and she was 4.

First crush: a boy in the Philippines. His name was Michael. He was 7, I was 6. He was my teacher’s nephew. He gave me my first kiss on the cheek. We lost touch when I moved to the states, but eventually got back in touch when I was in 8th grade.

First “real” kiss: I was 14. The boyfriend’s name was Joe. He had dark, almost black hair, dark brown eyes, a smattering of freckles over his turned up nose, and sexy lips. He was also the first boyfriend to give me his jean jacket to wear as a sign that we were dating.

First love: a boy named Jay. I was 15, he was 16. He was Italian. Brown hair and eyes. He had olive skin and an awesome tan to go with an awesome body. We were both big flirts. Our song was Atlantic Starr’s Always. He was a football player and wrestler. His sister was one of my two best friends. The other one was a girl named Laura. He cheated on me with her, effectively ending our friendship. Later I forgave him and took him back. He would be the first and last guy I’d do that with. This also makes him my first heartbreak. We were just too volatile for each other in the end. To this day I hate that song.

First time: actually, it’s kind of sweet! It was hubby. I was 9 days from my 20th birthday. I’d decided long ago that I wasn’t going to rush sex. I wanted it to be something I wouldn’t look back on with regret. Too many of my friends were like that. I decided waiting till marriage would be unrealistic for me. So I decided I needed to wait for someone I was in love with.

First job: babysitting at 13 years old. She paid me $5 an hour. The kid’s name was Michael & he was my brother’s best friend.

What firsts do you remember? Do you look back on them with nostalgia?

Here’s an awesome song about firsts that could’ve been written for hubby and me.

For The First Time

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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This is the gorgeous view from directly outside my hotel. See what I mean about gorgeous mountains? El Paso is beautiful. So far everyone has been amazing. They’ve been kind, welcoming and generally just bone deep nice!

Tonight, I’m chillaxing by my hotel bar with a glass of Malbec and feeling inspired. Last night was my first good, full night of sleep since I arrived. It wasn’t overly crazy so I had the opportunity to relax and catch up on some of my favorite passions. I’m enjoying Sophie Oak’s Siren Unleashed and read some of the amazing people whose blogs I follow. In fact, Crazy Train To Tinky Town wrote a really cool blog about airports and people watching. It inspired me.

I’ve spent a lot of my life in or around airports. This trip would be no different. In fact, I’m about two or three miles from the airport right now. As fun as people watching in an airport can be, I’ve found that the people you meet on the plane can be even more intriguing.

So my question…do you remember your most interesting travel seat mate? Tell me about them…and what made them so memorable. If you don’t have a memorable seat mate, maybe share your most intriguing conversation that happened during travel…

My cousin says I’m a magnet for “interesting”. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s not that I’m a magnet…it’s that I interact! I talk. I listen. And then I’m constantly entertained…which always translates to storytelling.

I’ll start with the most interesting interaction I had in an airport. A few years ago, hubby and I were heading to Dallas for a Cowboy game. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it…it was our honeymoon! Usually we catch a flight from our nearby airport, but this time we headed out of Tampa. As we sat in the airport, John Gruden came walking up. Apparently, he was also going to be on our flight. He was working for ESPN at the time and doing the show. I spotted him, then pointed him out to hubby. He walked up and shook Mr Gruden’s hand and told him how much we enjoyed him. The guy was very cool. In fact, he found us when we landed at DFW and told us to find him at the event and ask questions. He was absolutely great. He treated us like new friends. We loved it.

My most interesting “on the plane” interaction? The June I graduated from high school, my biological grandfather died. I knew the news was not going to be good when my cousin called at 6am. No one calls that late in my family in less there is an emergency.

I was going to be flying alone to Michigan… I was 18, so it wasn’t a huge deal. When I boarded, I noticed an elderly couple toward the front of the plane, but otherwise it was just me. Seated by a window on the center of the aircraft, I was just settling in when a group of tall, large, strong men walked onto the plane. As they took their seats, I noticed I was surrounded. Two of the giants (I’m only 5’3″…and back then was only 105 lbs) were sitting behind me, two in front & 2 more across the aisle, plus the rest of the guys on the plane. The guy in front of me was the sociable sort and turned around.

Kneeling on his seat in my direction our conversation went something like this:

Him: Hi there!
Me: (tilting my head to make better eye contact) Hello…
Him: How are you?
Me: Fine.
Him: Are you from Detroit?
Me: Nope. Going to Michigan for a family emergency.
Him: I’m sorry. (Pauses) Soooo…. How old are you?
Me: (Realized he was hitting on me and checking my status as jail bait…Rob Lowe had just recently gotten busted) I turn 19 tomorrow.
Him: Really? Got any proof?
Me: My military brat ID.
Him: Can I see?
Me: Sure.
Him: (smiles down at me) Happy birthday! (Turns to his other buddies) Hey guys…can you believe she’s 18?

I laughed. He had just waved the “go” flag for himself and his friends. I was also right…I was on a flight with a college football team. Suddenly I found myself under a microscope as they all peered over the chairs at me and said hello. I laughed. Then the guy continued:

Him: So, how long are you going to be in town?
Me: A few days.
Him: You should give me your number. I’ll take you out and show you the city.
Me: (laughing and a bit coy…and not nearly as naive as he thought) My mama told me not to give my number to strangers.
Him: I introduced myself. We’re not strangers anymore.
Me: Why don’t you give me YOUR number. If I want you, I’ll call you.

After a bit of playful debate, he gave me his number. As we got of the plane, he and five of his friends insisted on escorting me “safely” to my family. The look on my relatives’ faces were priceless! Their eyes were huge as the boys all said goodbye, each stooping down to give me a hug.

I never did call the guy back…but is it any wonder why I so enjoy ménage stories? Does this not help to explain my interest with the Mile High Club?

Your turn!

Long Nights And The Superficial Psyche

I have been burning my candle at both ends lately. Tonight is my first night back to my hotel room at a reasonable hour. It has been an insanely busy few days. We were going to open Thanksgiving night, but there was too much prep work to be done. My work day for Black Friday went from 7pm on Thanksgiving till about 10:45 am. I returned back to work at 6pm to close. We left the store around 10:30 or so & got back to the hotel around midnight after a stop to Walmart.

Tonight we left around 7pm & went to dinner. We sat at the bar where we talked sports and life and love with our very cool bartender. While discussing relationships he’d mentioned the value of being humble. For the benefit of being thankful for what you have without putting on airs or false pretenses.

His story? A couple of years ago he went to a bar in a bigger city with some friends. There was a beautiful woman sitting at the bar, so he thought he’d say hello. He walked up to her & here’s what happened.

Bartender: Hi there!
Girl: (looks over haughtily) Make and model of your car?
Bartender: (looks at her in disbelief, then sarcasm) 1978 Pinto
Girl…turns away.

Really? How utterly pretentious and superficial! Unreal. All she cared about was money. She deserved the lying response he concocted after her disrespect. It may explain why he told me he was glad to have found an amazing person… Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting financial security or maybe an equal partner, but any number of things… But not like that! No wonder he said he wasn’t interested in “rookie camp”.

So tell me, folks, have you ever refused talking to someone based on something superficial? If so, tell, tell! When meeting someone new, what things have intrigued you enough to give a stranger a chance in the past? What things have you heard people verbally or theoretically snoop into at bars or clubs or restaurants that could be found offensive by the recipient? What things do you think are important to a relationship?

The area is beautiful out here! When I drive the freeway, I can’t believe that just looking across has me looking at Mexico. I am really enjoying those mountains! I promise, pictures will eventually be posted.

I do miss having time to write…I need to make tome to do what I love. If I’m mildly incoherent, please excuse me. I’m worn out!

Good Night!

Passion Energizes and Why I’m Thankful

Last night I planned on getting into my hotel room and writing a quick blog before crashing face first into my bed. Planned. Well, we all know what they say about the best laid plans… (Silly side note…why is it that all the best lays are reserved for plans?) What actually happened? After a workday that started around 10am, I left the store around 11:40 pm. I immediately changed into comfy clothes…aka Pj’s…and flipped my iPad open. I woke up at around 7 am, hand dangling over my king sized bed…tablet still open, relaxing on the floor. It had fallen out of my hands! Keep in mind, I baby my electronic with as much love as I show my doggies…who I’m missing (along with the hubs). That should give you an idea of how utterly exhausted I was.

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That’s my baby pup sleeping!

The thing is, I should feel exhausted. Drained! But I don’t. Instead, I’m exhilarated! I’m on a new adventure. I’m using some of the most powerful leadership tools in my arsenal…and I’m loving every minute of it. Things have certainly not been easy. We had our final inspection yesterday. We passed. We called our entire staff in to help us clean and organize. They all showed up…initially uncertain, but there. But enthusiasm is catching…so I shared mine. In under five minutes everyone was talking, cleaning, folding and organizing new merchandise and the place was filled with smiles and laughter. I was able to set expectations, give tips and pointers, begin the initial process of building a team. There is nothing quite so energizing as being able to start learning your staff…their strengths and weaknesses, then teaching them how to use them in a way that guarantees their success. We will be grand opening a Cowboys merchandise store in El Paso on Thanksgiving night/Black Friday!

I’m not going to lie…I wound up steamrolling the guy who is supposed to be the manager running this place. If he’s smart, he’s learning a few things about leadership, setting the tone, expectations and how to motivate, energize and train. If he’s smart. My only concern is that I enable my very good friend who has entrusted me with her brand new store…to get off on the right foot. It is my job to ensure her success. And they can either get with the program or get out of my way! 🙂

Today I am thankful for the beautiful mountain view outside my hotel room window…(will take some pics and post when I have time) El Paso is gorgeous and the people have been welcoming. I’m thankful for you guys…because your warm acceptance, kind words and crazy humor have really been a huge source of enjoyment these last few months. I’m thankful for my handsome, loving man who supports everything I do, including a nearly month long trip to be here, using another of my passions. I’m thankful for the gifts and talents God has given me. I’m thankful for my family’s unwavering love and belief. The beautiful friends (and cyber friends) that I’ve accumulated. I’m also thankful for the songs in my heart and the smiles on my face.

I’m also thankful for all the many firsts I’ve experienced this year that have enabled me to be exactly where I am today. Yes, that includes first time being fired. 🙂

What about you guys? What are your biggest strengths? What are you passionate about? What are you thankful for?

And here’s a little writer humor for ya’ll…

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Muses And A Comedy Of Travel Snafus

After a crazy day of travel that started way too early on less than three hours of sleep, I’m finally settled in to my new digs.

Many of you are writers or artists of some sort, so you’ll understand. Yesterday my inspiration bug bit. My problem? My house was still in shambles from our dinner party the night before and I was catching an 8 am flight the following morning.

Here’s the thing about priorities… My to do list should have been as follows:
1. Pack for my 3+ week trip
2. Clean up my messy kitchen and dining area (so hubby won’t have to)
3. Write…if there’s time.

What actually happened? I followed my muse, of course, causing #1 and #3 to flip in priority order. Since I was on a roll and wanted to finish my WIP…..that’s what I did. During my breaks I loaded the dishwasher and started to pack. I finished packing around midnight. Finished my WIP at about 2:30 am. My alarm was set for 5:30 (saved time by showering at midnight).

At 5:45 my friend picked me up for the airport. I kissed hubby and the dogs goodbye and was on my way.

I should have known today would not go smoothly when I waited more than 10 minutes for the curbside check in guy to finish with the only couple in front of me only to check in at the counter instead. At the auto check-in the lady told us TSA was busy and had an hour long wait. I was almost through the line when the couple who’d been checking in curbside finally got there. Good thing I didn’t wait. Right?

Our flight left on time, and even arrived in DFW when it was supposed to. The problem? There was still another plane at the gate. We sat on the Tarmac for over 30 minutes. My actual arrival time was 9:51am. My connecting flight began boarding at 10:10 with a scheduled departure time of 10:40. By the time I made it off the plane it was already 10:36. I did what any seasoned traveller would do. Stop at the gate and talk to the lady at the counter in an attempt to get them to hold the flight for a few extra minutes.

As The woman and I talked the gate told her I had 10 minutes. She’d already mentioned the next flight, but they’d told her to have me rush to catch the shuttle and try to get my flight. I was in D concourse and my flight was in c. Gamely I rushed to the new gate, huffing and puffing through my poor sinus infected body, bogged down with luggage and expecting to die of what might become my first asthma attack. I got there 5 minutes after the flight took off. Of course!

Next, they rescheduled me for a later flight…leaving in a little more than an hour. Sweet! Except it was all the way back where I started. In D concourse. At least this time I didn’t have to kill myself. The time gave me a chance to grab a bite of the worst seasoned orange chicken and fried rice I’ve ever had…and to take my meds.

Finally I got on my flight to El Paso at 12:45. I was thrilled! This time everything went off without a hitch. Well, till I got my voice mail saying the rental car place was giving my friend a hard time about me getting the car on her credit card. No worries, though, the hotel has shuttles to and from the airport. With Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand I was ready to conquer anything. Good thing because I didn’t see my luggage on the carousel! Fortunately, when I walked into the baggage claim office, my bag was already there…waiting for me.

So here are a couple of pictures of my new home for the next few weeks…

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What about you guys? Have you experienced Murphy’s law while traveling? Tell me the story… What do you do when your muse and priorities collide?

Of All The Naughty Places…

I seriously don’t know what it is about being sick that makes me think all sorts of raunchy, inappropriate thoughts. But it does. Maybe it’s the fact that you hear about all these people who get sick, get on antibiotics and get pregnant…(mostly because some antibiotics can negate birth control).

So what kinds of thoughts start bumping around in my mind you ask? Places. Now a place on it’s own is not a big deal, right? But the places that were coming to my mind were more of the “naughtiest places you’ve ever had sex” realm. See? Like I said…raunchy.

Everyone has a place that they’ve had sex that made them feel a bit daring…a bit racy. Sometimes it’s not so much the place as the situation. I mean, there’s a reason people have fantasies about The Mile High Club…or the Catholic School Girl…or even Hot Librarian, right? Or for us ladies…The Police Officer or Fire Fighter or Biker Dude.

Now I’ve had some strange conversations about this over the years. Someone once told me that their fantasy was to do it in a church…under the pews. Yeah…that did nothing for me. I honestly think it had more to do with her need to rebel against traditional religion….maybe her parents overdid the whole strict church parents thing with her. Who knows?

And hopefully no one is as deviant as Jake Busey’s character in Tomcats, because although the movie was funny… Someone doing this in real life would cross a line for me. But that’s me…If it works for you, more power to ya!

Compared to that, my naughty places are a bit tame. Now I may not be willing to have sex in a church sanctuary, but I have (in my younger, wilder years) done “the deed” in the church parking lot. LOL! Fortunately it was late at night and the parking lot was abandoned. No one was ever the wiser…well, until I shared this tidbit with you guys.

Being bad can also be very fun in a moving car…on a busy road or highway. I enjoy the thrill of wondering just how much people can see… (yes, I’m well aware that makes me a bit of an exhibitionist) I also get a kick out of testing the self control of my partner. Living dangerously, I know….

Have I actually done the beach thing? Yes, though not on sand… I don’t like the gritty feel in all my nooks and crannies, sue me! There are perfectly good deck chairs that can be used for that sort of thing! LOL!

But the wildest place I’ve probably ever been naughty was in a store, after hours…With big glass windows. I was toward the back of the store, facing those windows, bent over a desk. It was fun and daring…

I have a couple of works in progress right now that have scenes in unusual places, but I can always use more fodder for storylines. If you’re feeling daring…where is the wildest place you’ve ever done “the deed”? Is there a place or scene you’ve fantasized about but either haven’t had the time, opportunity or courage to make it a reality? Dirty minds want to know! Inquiring minds hope you’ll share….

I know… You’ll have to excuse me. I’m a little sick. 😉

Happy birthday, Mom!

Several years ago, I was so caught up in my very high pressure retail career that I forgot my mother’s birthday for the first time in my life. My mom was so concerned that she called me and asked me the one question most parents jump to when their children behave in manners they are unable to explain….

“Are you on drugs?”

…That day I gained a valuable insight into parenting. It doesn’t matter how old you are (I was in my early 30’s). Parents will always worry because you will always be their “child”.

Today I no longer have that kind of grinding career. I was able to enjoy the simple moments… Invite my parents and some friends over and honor my mom on her birthday as well as enjoy an early Thanksgiving before I fly out on Tuesday.

Hubby made some awesome cranberry dishes (one with pears and lemon juice and zest and the other a more autumnal one with blueberries). I made my green bean casserole & cheddar cheese mashed potatoes to go with the awesome turkey, gruyere cheddar biscuits, quinoa cranberry nut stuffing, pancit, Mac and cheese and apple pear salad with cranberry vinaigrette dressing.

Dessert was pumpkin pies and chocolate pecan pies with the options for ice cream or cool whip. Hubby also made this awesome drink called Asian pear grapefruit fizz…you couldn’t even taste the vodka! Dogs and children chased each other around my tables while adults conversed.

I finally got to use my formal china I received from my wedding. What do you like about the holidays? What insights have you derived from your parents?

Happy Birthday, Mom!