Reminding myself to be a better me….

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I am one of those people that starts getting in the holiday mood right after Halloween. As the last piece of candy is given out, I am on my way to the stereo cabinet to get out a favorite CD of holiday music. And for some reason that annoys many other people. If I “like” a post about Christmas or mention that I am already shopping for my family people are absolutely up in arms because I am not appropriately honoring Thanksgiving.

I have to tell you, I just don’t get the big deal about Thanksgiving. For one day you stuff yourselves to the gills full of carbs and dessert then pass out on the couch pretending to watch football. At least that is how it was when I grew up. And I don’t think we should be thankful just one day of the year. That should be every day.

But the Christmas season at my house was full of magic!! It started with the Sunday after Thanksgiving at church. We lit the Advent wreath and sang hymns that we saved for 11 months of the year and brought out only now. We all knew them by heart and could sing harmonies without even looking at music. We went home that day to decorate the house and see ornaments that we made as toddlers. The mantle smelled of pinecones and candles.

Tradition is such a big part of Christmas. We baked and decorated cookies and gave them away to neighbors. We went through our closets and prepared bags of clothes and toys to be given to the less fortunate. We wrote Christmas cards to people that we didn’t keep see anymore but we wanted them to know we were thinking of them. Music was playing constantly.

Giving is such a huge part of why I like Christmas. I love to find gifts that someone will really love. Ask E, I like to give presents so much that I frequently can’t wait until the day we are supposed to exchange. Giving gifts is one way that I say “I love you” and I need for my family to feel that from me.

Christmas is a time where we spread joy! More charity work is done then. We focus on family and friends. We walk house to house singing just to spread cheer. We throw money in the bucket at the store. We forget about ourselves and think about others.

So what if it goes on more than a month? Does that really hurt anyone? Bring on the Egg Nog and let’s watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”. And a Happy Christmas to you all!!

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I have a lot of friends that are more conservative than me. Well, it’s not hard to be more conservative than me. LOL  And, after all, this is Texas! We are different, but I love them and respect them. Their beliefs come from their experiences and deeply held values just like mine do. As this next presidential election approaches I remember how bad it all got last time on social media. People were saying mean and hurtful things on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I want to say only positive things on my page during the election and ask all my friends to do the same. I can say positive things about the people I support. Please don’t argue on my page. You can say positive things about the people you support. I will not be contrary. Let’s keep it all positive and no feelings should be hurt. We all vote in the way that we believe will be best for our country. It’s like raising a child, we all do what we think is best at the time. No one knowingly does anything to harm their child or their country. And I appreciate you doing what you think is best for me. Even though we think differently you vote in a way that you believe will make this country best for me. Thank you for caring about me that much. With that much mutual caring and respect, no differences can tear a good friendship apart. Here’s to a friendly election! The media may get ugly. but I will not!!

Maybe its because it is a completely made up holiday? Maybe its because no one cares. Nonetheless, in honor of Sweetest Day 2014 I am going to list 10 things that I love about my Sweetest, E. (Also I am missing him tonight because I am at one party and he is at another )

1. He is the best IT guy ever!! I get so mad at my computer I throw it across the room! He heroically catches it, fixes it and gives it back to me – oh so patiently.

2. He is the stability to balance my uber-enthusiasm.

3. He loves doing finances and paying bills. Yahooo!!

4. He never tires of giving back rubs and foot rubs.

5. He is Zestfully clean and always smells soooo good.

6. He does NOT snore!!

7. He is a great dancer and is patient with me since I mess up a lot.

8. He is very intelligent. With him around I don’t need to watch the news because he keeps me up to date and he can figure out anything. I sometimes call him Edipedia.

9. He supports me all the time. He puts up with me throwing parties all the time and he is the world’s biggest Introvert. My happiness is his ultimate goal. That’s like…. WOW

10. He is the definition of loyalty. I know that no matter how I screw up, he will always forgive me. He will be with me until the end. For that I am very grateful.

I love you E!!!

Sometimes I really hate Social Media!

 Tonight my heart is heavy. Two of my dear friends have had a misunderstanding and now there are hurt feelings and a friendship has been damaged. All thanks to Facebook!! It has really made me stop and think about the power that we give Facebook – to all social media – to help us choose friends and make decisions. It just doesn’t feel right to me. And we are all guilty of it.

 Think about it – have you ever thought:

“She didn’t like my post! What a witch!” or “How could he support that candidate? What a fool.” or “She posts pictures of her grandchild all the time. Does she really think we care?” or “Those people who do those FB quizzes all the time – Get a Life!”

 Well, I have to say, WTF!? We are giving Social Media way too much power!! Are we letting Facebook decide for us whether or not to like someone; to decide if their values are right or wrong; if they are intelligent or their priorities are in the correct place?

 Arguments break out over Facebook and it shouldn’t happen. Social Media makes it very easy to be loud whereas 5 years ago this would never happen. The term “unfriend” didn’t even exist. I wish it didn’t now.

 I wish people didn’t take Facebook posts so seriously. I wish people didn’t post or share so much. If it isn’t positive and uplifting to the world, why post it? Just remember, all this posting and sharing wouldn’t have happened a few years ago – not unless we were sitting around a kitchen table and then “unfriending” would not happen. But with social media actions are harsh, the written word is never as gentle as the spoken word and visuals are way too easy to pass on.

 People are different. They just are. Let me give you an example. I have a friend named Cheryl and I don’t think she’ll mind me using her as an example. Our politics are as different as night and day. She’s dark red and I’m blue as can be. But I could not love her more. She is such a sweet, loving and generous person. If I was sick, she’d be the first one at my door with chicken soup. I have cared for her kitty for her when she had to be out of town. If you look at the stuff we post on social media we are as far apart as you can get. But because of deep admiration and respect we allow each other to voice individual opinions without comment. Her upbringing, her values, her beliefs make her who she is. That will never change and the same goes for me. We are different, yet there is respect (and a lot of hugs too.)

 Social media makes it too easy to hate and I say it has to stop. Don’t let crud (posts or shares) from Facebook get under your skin. Blow it off, move on and resolve to stay positive yourself. Don’t argue, don’t blame, don’t correct and don’t disrespect. Be kind not harsh. Be patient not rash. Take a deep breath and don’t act too fast. Do not give any social media power over you.  Facebook should never end a friendship.

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And we are rolling! I know may of you will be surprised by this, but we are soon selling our house and moving. Its costs a lot  more to live in Houston/Harris County so we are moving out a bit. Not really far at all. With me leaving my job so that I can care for my sweet granddaughter, our income has changed and so – we are going back into boxes as we speak! I thought I’d make a joke of it and tell you all we have decided to start flipping houses to make more money but I didn’t think you’d believe that.

For those of you who like this house, believe me, we do too. But since we have start thinking about moving, we see more and more that is not perfect. Like the gate – I don’t want a gated community! Makes it hard for all the parties!! 🙂 And can you believe they do not recycle here? I don’t know how many 2 liter bottles we have thrown away in a year. Hundreds!!

The important things to remember:

1. My granddaughter, Holly, will not be cared for daily by a day care center. She will be cared for by Grandma and that thought makes my heart sing.

2. It isn’t the physical structure that makes a house a home, its the love that is inside. And between E & I, our wonderful extended family, and the greatest friends in the world, any house that we have will be home and full of fun times, laughter and love.

3. This has been a bit stressful for us – to figure it all out, make adjustments and do the whole moving thing over again. But it is also showing us what a strong team we are. TEAM NEWMAN! Together, we can handle anything. That’s the very awesome thing about marriage. Nothing ever has to be handled alone.

So…… Don’t be surprised if you see a post about packing or house-hunting. Don’t be surprised if you see a photo of a For Sale sign. We are OK with it and we are together. The adventure continues ………

 

Quick Thought

I was tempted to get mad, but what good would that do? I choose to be happy and loving instead. It will be better for everyone if I assume the best, look for the bright side, see the glass as half-full, forgive wrongs, don’t be overly sensitive, and strive to share laughs. Yup – that is who I want to be every day. Who can I make happy today??

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Couples Night

The most important relationship in my life is the one I have with my husband E. More than any other relationship it is the one I want to work hardest to keep strong. I have heard that a good things to do is to spend time with other couples so that it what we did tonight.
What a blast!! I love our single friends to pieces but its good, once in a while, to hang out with others who have a partner in life who they are 100% committed to as well. We can laugh at the differences between men and women. We can joke about who will sleep on the couch if they don’t play the game fairly, we can talk about fighting over the remote or make jokes about what its like to be married to a woman having hot flashes.
And, more than anything else, we can know that no matter how much we joke and tease, there is no one we admire, support and love more than our spouse, our partner, our Number 1. So, thanks to the couples who joined us tonight – thanks for being here. May it be the first of many!
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