Friday, February 26, 2010

Project Love: Day #28

Ready for Love

Well, here we are, at the end of another month. I want to pat myself on the back for posting every single day in the month of February (note to self: never ever again, the pressure!) It was a struggle, but I learned so much about myself during Project Love month. I think I may do this every year during the month of February. It was a very exhilarating educational experience for me. I learned so much about myself. So much so that I think I have cleared my head and may be ready to move on in search of that lucky bastard to spend the rest of my life with.

In fact, today is sort of an anniversary of mine. It was five years ago today, that I actually made myself get out of bed for the first time in almost a month, put on make-up and venture out in public. It was this day, five years ago that I decided I wasn’t going to let my ex get the best of me. It was this day, five years ago, that I woke up, smelled the coffee, and was determined to find who I had lost!

And by golly, I think I’m almost there. In fact, I think I am kind of thankful for my divorce? Thankful because I don’t know if I would have ever realized how lost I was if I were still married.

So, I say Cheers! Cheers to never looking back. Cheers to the future. And because I don’t like to waste time…here it is ladies, (and by ladies I mean all my friends who I am now commissioning to go off into the world in search of a perfect man for me), my list! Yep…in it’s entirety, I offer you the perfect man list. I refuse to settle anymore!

Short men need not apply! Ego-maniacs need not apply! Men who are lost and can’t figure out what they want out of life need not apply! Oh, who am I kidding, my “need not apply” list could go on forever. And let’s be honest, no one likes a Debbie Downer when it comes to blog posting. So on a more upbeat note, I offer you my list of “must haves”…no questions asked!

1. Hold the door open for me, not because I am a woman but because it is the polite thing to do. Then if you really want to impress me, hold the door open for everyone else…*SWOON*

2. In my book, no means no! When I say I don’t want a foot massage, I really mean I don’t want a foot massage.

3. If you can’t look me in the eyes then I can’t take you seriously.

4. If I can’t sit on your furniture in my jeans then we may not be a good match. I spend a lot of money on my jeans and sometimes I want to sit in them…I know, crazy concept.

5. On the jeans note, properly fitted ones, on a man spell B-O-N-U-S in my book.

6. I do not believe in love at first site nor do I believe in one true love anymore.

7. I want someone who doesn’t want to change me. But encourages me to do so at times.

8. I like PDA when I’m one of the two involved.

9. I like it when you respond to my text messages and emails in a timely manner.

10. Tattoos are fine, tattoos with your ex-girlfriend’s name, not so good!

11. Loves me for me, no judging allowed.

12. Good relationship with his family and friends.

13. Loves himself, but is not “in love” with himself.

14. Makes me laugh.

15. Loves sarcasm, must be able to dish it and take it.

16. Is humble and not afraid to be a dork.

17. Loves movies and reality TV.

18. Checks my attitude when it needs to be (in a loving and kind way).

19. Is not afraid to share himself completely.

20. Smiles and laughs with his heart and soul.

That’s it people…the list isn’t that long and should be easy to find…so put on your glasses, locate your “Man Finding” GPS, and get hopping. After all, I’m going to be forty…some day!

Love is a Battlefield.

Project Love: Day #27

Love Hurts
I once read somewhere that it takes only a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone. In my opinion, there is no truer statement ever made than this one. In fact, I believe that if people really understood the true meaning of love, that it is unselfish and unconditional, then more relationships and marriages wouldn’t be in the chaotic state they are today.

When my ex-husband walked out on our family five years ago, I was crushed! Crushed not because he left (because we had been struggling the six months prior to that moment), but crushed because he was so adamant about NOT going to therapy and working on our relationship. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “I do not want to work this out. I will not go to counseling.” Looking back now, I think “hello red flag, there is another woman in the picture”, but at that point in time that was the first moment that I realized that he no longer loved me. Afterall, who would be that cruel to someone they loved? I think it hurt so much because, he had checked out of our relationship many months before that moment, and I was stuck standing there, in shock, watching my sad pathetic life pass before my eyes.

The sad part about our divorce is that it took me several years of therapy before I could see my fault in the relationship. By no means did I ever think it was all my ex-husband's fault, but I could never figure out what I had done to invoke such a harsh departure from him. I know that no matter what I had done or not done in our relationship, I never deserved to be treated the way he treated me early on in our separation/divorce. But I realize now that he was just trying to figure out a way to cope with what he was doing and get out of the relationship, in the only way he knew how, and that was to totally ignore me and my questions. Looking back now, I just wish he would have had the balls to say what it took me many years of therapy and tons of money to figure out.

I realized that as a woman, I was becoming the queen of self neglect. I didn’t have time to love myself and therefore, ended up ignoring things like my happiness, health, freedom, advancement, education and most of all my self-respect. But I did all this because I thought that’s what a good wife and mother was supposed to do. I thought we were supposed to put our kids, husbands, families and jobs before our own happiness and push through all of the pain. However, what I didn’t realize, is that I was loosing a little bit of myself day after day after day. I was so focused on being a good wife and mother that I lost myself and in the end I ended up losing the man of my dreams.

And, in my mind there is no greater pain.

Love is a Battlefield.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Project Love: Day #26

Fools in Love
Welcome to today's post where I attempt to weave in Top Ten Friday with Project Love, for the last time! Can you believe February is almost over? And when February ends, so does Project Love. I have to admit, it kind of makes me sad.

Anyway, today I give you Fools in Love where I share with you what I think are the craziest Hollywood train wreck couples and why. Enjoy!

10.Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes
I know this will piss a bunch of you off, but any woman who towers over her husband by more than three or four inches, oh, who am I kidding, any woman who towers over her husband by any amount of inches whatsoever, totally freaks me out.

9.Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
These guys are on my train wreck celebrity couples list just because they both always look like they need a bath. I feel dirty just posting about them. I'm off to shower!

8.Lindsay Lohan & Sam Ronson
No explanation necessary!

7.Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick
This couple is one of the many reality train wreck couples on the show Keeping up with the Kardashians. My disdain for this couple is three fold, first, I can't stand it when a couple's claim to fame is socializing, it really irks me, second, Scott is an ass that Treats Kourtney horribly, and finally Kourtney is a very selfish wet noodle. I can't help but feel sorry for the child they just brought into this world.

6.Tiger & Elin Woods
No explanation really necessary on this one either. However, I honestly do hope that they find a way to work through the issues, but I am not confident that that will ever happen. I predict divorce, maybe not now, but definitely within five years.

5.Jake Pavelka (The Bachelor) and Whomever he chooses on MondayLet's face it, this years Bachelor has S-U-C-K-E-D, sucked! If he pickes Viennahe gets a very immature girl with an unhealthy obsession of her father, however, if he picks Tenleyhe gets a woman who was crushed by her ex husband when he cheated on her a year ago. The way I see it, it's a no win situation, neither woman is ready for a relationship!

4.Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt
Need I say more than, I think "Plastic Girl" and "Flesh Colored Beard Boy" deserve each other?

3.Travis Barker & Shanna Moakler
Seriously, you are probably asking yourself, "who are these people?" Well, apparently he is in a band, and she used to be Ms. America, or something like that...whoever they are, they came to be know via reality TV as a couple that can't seem to break up and get back together enough. I think they beat the break up/get back together record of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

2.Charlie Sheen & Brooke Mueller
Oh what can I say about these two addiction addicts? Wether it be porn, sex, women, drugs, alcohol or abuse, this relationship has seen the gamet. Eventually you just hope they will go away and clean up their acts, but I have a feeling this recent episode of humilitating each other publicly is only the beginning.

And last, but certainly not least, my number one craziest Hollywood train wreck couple is....

1.John Mayer & Anyone
Seriously people, if you are dumb enough to ride the crazy train that is John Mayer, then you deserve all the press that comes your way.

Love is a Battlefield.

Project Love: Day #25

Waiting for Love
In this world of quick fixes and convenience, patience seems to be an old fashioned idea. I am even kind of ashamed to admit that I have fallen prey to this instant gratification society that we live in. I want everything and I want it now. But what I find ironic in the realm of patience, is that I tend to spend so much time trying to make it a priority when it comes to my kids, but not so much so as it relates to my life. In fact, I strongly encourage it where my kids are concerned. I often talk to them about sharing with each other, waiting in line for their turn and saving their money instead of wanting to spend it every time they get any in their grubby little hands. But I can talk about it until I’m blue in the face, and still seem to get nowhere.

I find myself not only lacking patience in my day to day life but also in my love life. It’s so hard to try to figure out a way to describe this kind of patience. I once heard an analogy about comparing finding love to someone waiting for a bus. (for the life of me cannot remember where I read this analogy, so if you are reading this and you know where it came from, please comment below and I will edit with proper credit)


There you are standing at the bus stop, anxiously awaiting the next bus going in your direction. The bus slowly approaches and comes to a halt. You hop on the bus and think to yourself, “oh, it’s so full, no more seats available, I guess I will just wait for the next one.” So you decide to get off the bus and wait for the arrival of the next available one.

The second bus pulls up, with a dirty exterior, shabby windows, and smoke coming out of the tail pipe (is that even what it’s called?). You immediately think to yourself, “ewww, this bus is so old and shabby! I’m not confident it can get me to my destination. I think I will wait for another one.” So you let the second bus pass you by.

The third bus pulls up, you hop on, it’s not crowded at all, but it doesn’t have air conditioning and air conditioning is very important in the summer heat. So yet again, you convince yourself that bus number three is not right for you either.

Then suddenly the sky turns dark and thunder rumbles over head. It’s getting late, and you don’t want to stand in the rain. You panic and jump on the next bus that comes your way. Only it doesn’t take you long to realize that you stepped on the wrong bus. You analyze the situation and realize that you have wasted your time and energy waiting for the right bus, or waiting for what you want. But here’s the thing, even if an air conditioned bus comes your way, you can’t always be sure that it won’t break down or that the air conditioner will be cold enough.

My experience with the “bus” usually goes something like this. I see the most beautiful, perfect bus headed down the street. I put on a pair of tight jeans, stick out my chest, bat my eyes, put on my prettiest smile and try to flag the beautiful bus down. But the driver acts as if he did not see me and zooms past me. Obviously, this bus wasn’t meant for me. But I digress.

Bottom line is this, finding the perfect partner to love is like waiting for the bus you want. Getting on the bus and appreciating the bus by giving it a chance depends totally on you. And don’t forget you always have an option to walk. The good thing about walking is that you can always choose to ride the bus if you want. With that said, here is something to look out for when choosing the right bus. I have found, especially as of late, that sometimes choosing a bus that you are already familiar with may suit your needs better than searching for the one perfect bus that you have yet to try. And that’s not always smart.

You may be thinking, “Julie, if you could choose the PERFECT bus, what kind of bus would you choose?” Am I right? You all were thinking that, weren’t you? Well if not, at least you are now! To answer your question, I am looking for the bus that just pulls up, stops on its own and asks me to join him for the ride of a lifetime. And by “ride of a lifetime” I mean the journey through life, not what you all were originally thinking. Get your heads out of the gutter people! This is a family friendly site!

Anywho…I leave you with this, always remember you never lose by loving, you only lose when you hold back.

Love is a Battlefield.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Project Love: Day #24

Crazy Love
Have you ever seen the movie Love Crazy with William Powell and Myrna Loy? Well, don’t panic if you haven’t. And don’t panic if you have never even heard of it either because it was written in something like 1941…way before the time of me and most of my blog audience. But during my little…ahem…hiccup of not being able to think about anything other than my unhealthy fascination with “Mr. Show” or “Hollywood Bad Boy” as I often like to refer to him, I became addicted to old movies…thank you Mr. Show. And Love Crazy has since become one of my all time favorites.

The gist of the movie is about a couple, Steve and Susan, who are celebrating a wedding anniversary, I believe their 5th. They decide to be unique and celebrate by re-enacting their first date. But low and behold the re-enactment is interrupted by a meddling mother-in-law when she injures herself. So Steve is left to take care of her and in the process of, he runs into an old flame in the elevator. The meddling mother-in-law uses this opportunity as a way of convincing Susan that Steve is cheating on her. Susan then files for a divorce against Steve’s wishes because she sees no other option. So Steve concocts a plot that he is sure will save his marriage…he pretends to be insane.

It’s funny when you think about the crazy things like this that people do when they are in love. I think over time they start develop a certain fear, because once you have experienced “love” it’s hard to think of things the way they were before. You don’t want to go back to being alone so you end up doing some things that you normally wouldn’t do, hence “crazy in love.”

I hate to admit it, but I participate in the “madness”s when I am in a relationship or in love. Once, and only once I actually got a Brazilian Wax. I know, your probably asking yourself right now, “what part of I want someone to pour hot wax on me and rip out every little hair from my who ha sounds like a good idea?” Thank God it only took one Brazilian wax for me to realize that the pain endured in that behavior is NOT worth it…now I participate in laser treatments…much more humane!

Another bad habit that I tend to participate in when I’m in love, I quit working out. I know usually it’s the other way around. Usually people work out even harder to impress their new lover. But not me! Oh no. My theory is totally different when it comes to working out. I figure they like the way I look when they meet me, and they will never ever notice the gradual weight gain and change in my body. I know it’s a crazy concept, but it’s how I think. I can’t help it.

My wardrobe also changes when I’m in a relationship. I tend to drop my casual, I don’t really care how I look on a daily basis look and start dressing to impress. But I don’t dress to impress myself, I dress to impress the certain someone in my life. If I can wear something that evokes a comment or a second glace then I keep what I am wearing. If I get no reaction I usually will return what I am wearing or never wear it again and donate it to Goodwill. The height of my heels tend to increase and the hems of my skirts seem to decrease. One time, I even went out and purchased a football jersey for a team that I didn’t even like just because the guy I was dating asked me to. It now hangs in my closet and I look at it every day and shudder to think how much money I wasted on it. My lingere tends to get sexier and skimpier, jeans get tighter, and tops get more form fitted. There is just something about being in a relationship that increases my self esteem and body image.

I also tend to change my quirky little habits like turning on the water when I pee, breaking my sleepover rules by staying at his place during the week instead of just on the weekends, and learning to like the things he likes even if I have absolutely no interest in them.

I know it’s crazy, but I think to a certain extent we all do these kinds of things when we are happily in relationships. However, it is my opinion that these subtle changes are always good, but if you aren’t doing them for yourself then you probably shouldn’t be making the changes.

Love is a Battlefield.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Project Love: Day #23

Unlucky in love
I hate the saying…”unlucky in love.” I hate it because it describes my love life to a “T”. When my friends describe me, they would never say something like, “she has the best love life ever” (well…maybe they would after our discussion Sunday night, but that’s beside the point and never ever to be mentioned again on this blog).

Anywho…what I am beginning to realize is that true love is not like the love in the movies. But more importantly to me true love is only considered true love for those people who invest time in learning about themselves first. For often they are the ones who learn how to get and keep love.

I have been reflecting on my own romantic experiences as of late and realized that I have learned so much over the years, not only about myself but more importantly about love. Some of these experiences I learned by doing and some I learned by watching my friends in their relationships. Either way, I thought you might like to know what I have learned about love…

Things I have learned about love

I can’t hurry or buy love.

Never give advice to friends who have just fallen in or out of love.

Unrequited love SUCKS.

I will never compromise myself for someone else.

Don’t put time and energy in liking someone who is clearly not interested in you.

Even though someone might seem amazing, it doesn’t always mean he would be right for you.

Opposites attract, but they don’t always compliment one another.

Some people aren’t meant to be more than just your friend.

Sometimes a friend can turn into a lover.

Love always finds a way.

Pining after an ex is never attractive.

A relationship with a selfish person more than likely won’t last.

Sometimes you just have to give in.

Settling is never ok.

Love can be very complicated

Good love is worth it in the end.

One can only get by on charm for about ten minutes, but after that you better have something to contribute.

No matter how thin you slice it, there is always two sides.

No matter how hot and steamy a relationship is in the beginning, the passion fades and you better have something else to take its place.

Learning to forgive takes practice.

There are people who may love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.

True love continues to grow, even over the long distance.

Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to love you doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all that they have.

No matter how much you love, some people just don’t love back.

No matter how bad you may be hurting after a break-up, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

It’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.

While I think all of these love lessons are good and have been very valuable to me I think the most important lesson of all that I have learned about love is that I cannot make someone love me. All I can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them. Believe me, people, I have learned this one the hard way. But I wouldn’t change a thing!

Love is a Battlefield.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Project Love: Day #22

Love letters

I love letters! You know, the hand written kind with lots of thought. I love the way they speak, not only the words within them, but of the history they create. The best part of the history of these hand written letter is that it cannot be erased with a click of the delete button. What’s said is said, for eternity.

The fact of the matter is because of technology, the written word is long gone as we used to know it.

And this saddens me. Because no matter how hard I try I’ve never kept an email of someone pronouncing their undying love for me. Not that I have gotten one like that, but there have been some from my past that I wished I would have saved. Sure, I’ve tried to save some and tried to file others away. But eventually everything seems to get deleted at some time or another, whether I’ve upgraded computers or had a computer meltdown.

I can’t, however, say the same for hand written letters.

I have a box that I secretly call my “box of memories” (I know, clever isn’t it?). It is full of old letters from past boyfriends, little notes from my ex-husband, tiny bits of paper with scribbles on them that only I would understand, pictures, and momentos such as ticket stubs, brochures and receipts. Very rarely do I ever get the box down and go through it, but when I do, it makes me so happy it hurts. It hurts because they are little glimpses into my life, a culmination of who I was, who I am and who I wanted to be. These momentos make me smile.

I got my “box of memories” down this weekend and for the first time in ages, it didn’t make me so happy , in fact, it made me a little teary eyed. It made me start to think about how little people cherish anything anymore, even beyond letters. Nowadays life is more about streamlining and detoxing, and less about creating memories treasuring things we have done or experienced.

In the age of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, IMing and texting, the adage of letter writing has gone by the wayside. It is truly becoming a lost art, which is sad, because I compare letter writing to me like I compare having my car serviced. If I don’t have my car routinely serviced and looked after then it just doesn’t run like it should, in the same sense that relationships are “fueled” every now and then with an old fashioned love letter. Think about how much you love to get a card or a letter in the mail, it brings joy to your heart and a smile to your face. Now how do you feel when you get an e-card from someone? Not the same, right?

So in keeping with today’s theme, Love letters, I would like to share with you a very powerful love letter that I have kept in my “box of memories” since the day in junior high that I found it. It is a love letter to Elizabeth Barrett from Robert Browning on the morning of their wedding in 1846.

My Dearest Elizabeth,

You constantly remind me, life is love, constant, un-diminishing love. Every bit of love I have is for you. One day I will find that last inch of it and finally be satisfied that I did the best I could for you. There are so many moments that send me deeper in love with you, I don’t know how far it goes. It’s such that I grow, swell even, looking into your eyes. You lift me.”

Wow! That is so powerful…it still affects me today like it did almost 25 years ago. If you shut your eyes tight enough you can almost feel the love as if it were meant for you. And it’s feelings like these that you cannot ever get from an email or a text message.

Love is a Battlefield

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project Love: Day #20

Fools in Love

Everyone has witnessed it; most have even participated in it.

Yep, I’m talking about PDA, or public displays of affection. Admit it, we all love it when we are one of the two involved in it, but when we are on the outside looking in, it can often be quite horrifying to watch. How come we say “aww” at the sight of two doves cuddling on a tree branch, but when it comes to our own species we react with a feeling of disgust and horror?

I can only imagine how people must have felt one summer night last July when I was out with “Mr. Show”. I think we made out more that night than I had made out with my ex-husband during our entire marriage. We were all over each other like high school kids under the bleachers after Homecoming. As I look back at that evening I am completely embarrassed by our behavior, however, in the moment, I could have cared less about what other people were thinking.

There are many arguments for PDA. You’re in love, you’re crazy for each other, you can’t keep your eyes off each other so why keep your hands off each other…yada yada yada. It’s only human nature, right? There seems to be something so life-affirming about it. Think about it, wouldn’t you much rather watch a couple in the heat of a PDA show than witnessing an argument or physical fight between the two?

Unfortunately, most people don’t feel that way about PDA. There are some out there that think there is nothing more irritating than being stuck behind some sauntering couple who seem to be searching for lost change down the back of each others’ pants. My question is this, do we have to put up with more than that? I mean, is it really necessary to turn the bus into a mobile lap dancing club or a movie theater into the hallway at a junior high sock hop?

People’s opinion of PDA differs just about as much as Democrats and Republicans differ in opinion on Obama. As I stated earlier, I am pro PDA when I am involved and against PDA when I’m on the outside looking in.

I do believe that you should only participate in PDA because you are attracted to each other, not to attract attention. There is nothing worse than feeling that your other half considers you to be his trophy. Steamy PDA’s are all well and good if it turns you both on, but I think it’s also important to be mindful of those that may be around you. Losing your inhibitions at the back of a movie theater might be your ultimate fantasy, but all the gasping and moaning is going to turn both heads and tempers.

Just remember PDA can leave friends feeling squeezed out, especially if they are alone with the two of you. All I ask is that you think before you leap on each other, or invite them to join in…ok, maybe not!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Project Love: Day #19

Love is the answer

Today I want to celebrate the coming together of Project Love and Top Ten Friday with my favorite love quotes. You're welcome!

10. Love, the irresistible desire to be irrestibly desired. – Mark Twain

9. Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. – Albert Einstein

8. Love, two minds without a single thought. – Philip Barry

7. If you are judging people, you have no time to love them. – Mother Teresa

6. Love is like pi- natural, irrational, and very important. – Lisa Hoffman

5. The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. – Theodore M. Hesburgh

4. Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell. – Joan Crawford

3. Do you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me? – Cinderella

2. It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never to have loved at all. – Alfred Lord Tennyson

And my number one favorite love quote of all times…

1. If you love something, set it free; if it comes back it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was meant to be. – Richard Bach

Love is a Battlefield.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Project Love: Day #18

Sea of love

Whoever said, “there are plenty of fish in the sea” obviously was not single and on the hunt for the perfect guy.

Recently I had a conversation with my friend about the quality of single available men looking for a long term relationship. My friend and I disagreed on the “number of available men”…she says there are plenty and thinks I’m too picky. (she’s also married) Huh, I wonder what ever gave her that idea? Maybe it was this excerpt from one of our most recent conversations…

Friend: Don’t give up Julie, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
Me: Yeah there are whales too!

I know…you laugh…but I’m right! If you’re single, you know that I am right!

But the question that this “proverb” evokes in me is this, why is it so difficult for a good woman (and by good woman, I mean me) to find a good man (and by good man I mean breathing)? I think most women (again, I mean me) would bend over backwards for the right man. But what I am finding is that most men in my age range want to be what I like to call serial daters, or play the field.

I have seen so many of my friends give so much and get so little in return. They, like me, get frustrated with the lack of good men and end up settling for some guy that is not worthy of them. And because they (ok…who am I kidding, me again)settle, they expect change from the get go…and we all know men won’t change unless they want to.

Here is a little hint ladies…if a man is getting everything he wants, acting the way he is, he is not going to change. Why would he?

What I am slowly finding is that the problem is not necessarily the men…hold on…the problem may just be me! Looking back over the past couple of relationships (and I use that word, relationships, lightly) I am realizing I am the one that has been doing the changing or conforming into what these men want. And what I have realized is that I wasn’t liking who I was becoming.

One guy I dated made it very clear early on that he loved the fact that his last girlfriend cooked for him. Well…those of you that know me, know that if the box can’t be opened and popped into the microwave for less than six minutes then I don’t “cook” it.

But at the time I was kind of desperate to be in a relationship, so I lied. I told him I was not only a great cook but that I loved to cook. If you could have seen his eyes light up when I told him that I loved to cook, you would have lied too…ahhh, acceptance! I know, crazy, right? Even crazier, I actually pulled it off, for a little while. I would spend my Sunday’s searching for recipes online that I thought were “gourmet” yet easy enough for me to make. I would memorize the recipe and make him dinner on nights that we were together. He thought I was amazing, I thought I was crazy! Thank God that relationship didn’ t last long…I was beginning to spend way too much time and energy on my new “hobby.”

Another guy I dated was pretty spiritual and an adamant believer in the Five Love Languages. For those of you that aren’t familiar with these, they are, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with these so called “languages”. So when we first discussed them I acted like I knew what he was talking about. And because I didn’t want to sound greedy or sleezy I told him my love language was words of affirmation. I was so pissed at myself when he told me his was receiving gifts. My first thought was, “damn this is going to be expensive for me.”

So for the next few months I bought him little gifts, carved him cool pumpkins, baked him cookies, sent him funny notes and all the while I was getting “thank you’s” and “you’re the best babe” kind of compliments. I’ll be honest with you, that relationship sucked about as much as a hooker at a Democratic convention.

I have many other embarrassing stories like these but I am not going to share anymore, at least not today. I want you guys to think that I am this amazing girl that has come so far in my quest to find myself and if I tell anymore of these stories you won’t think that about me.

Just kidding…I actually value looking back at these experiences in my life. It is so much easier to see the stupidity in my actions and learning from them after having been out of the relationships for a period of time.

It’s my learning curve…and I am learning a lot about myself!

Love is a Battlefield.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project Love: Day #17

Falling in love

As I was researching the topic of falling in love I found several things that people said about the moment they knew they were in love with someone. Things like, “he gives the butterflies in my stomach a reason to dust off and fly again” or “I knew I was in love when he told my mom that he loved her cooking even though we both knew she was a horrible cook” or even “I knew it was true love when she came to my house and did my laundry because she knew how much I hated doing laundry.” But there was nothing more profound than when I came across things that kids had said about love.

I thought I would share some of them with you today.

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all of the time, even when his hands get arthritis too. That’s love.”>-Rebecca, age 8
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
-Billy, age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”-Karl, age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without them giving you any of theirs.”-Chrissy, age 6

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure it tastes ok.”-Danny, age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that, but they look gross when they kiss.”
-Emily, age 8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.”-Bobby, age 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate.”-Nikka, age 6

“Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt and then he wears it everyday.”-Noelle, age 7

“Love is like a like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”-Tommy, age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”-Cindy, age 8

“Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.”-Elaine, age 5

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”-Karen, age 7

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”-Jessica , age 8

And last but not least, you know I had to ask my six year old Gibson what he thought love meant. I thought he was going to say something funny, but I was wrong! I may rethink asking him these kinds of things in the future…

Me: Gibson, what do you think the word love means?

Gibson: Moooommmm, I’m building legos right now, can we talk about this later?

Me: Just give me a quick answer and then I won’t bother you anymore.

Gibson: What was the question again?

Me: What do you think the word love means?

Gibson: It means I think you love me more than anyone, well besides Hamilton, because I am the last one that you kiss before you go to bed at night.

Me: Oh Gibson, that is so sweet.

Gibson: Mom?

Me: Yes Geeky (that’s what I call him)

Gibson: Do you think if you would have kissed daddy more at night that you would still be married?

Me: (stunned silent…and that almost never happens!)

So there you have it people, out of the mouths of babes. Maybe we should hunker down and heed their advice. I bet if we did the world would be a happier place!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project Love: Day #16

Love is in the air

First comes love, second comes marriage, then comes the baby carriage…isn’t that how we have been programmed from childhood? Well, somewhere along the way, that soundtrack for my life changed. Actually it has changed several times over the years. Most of the time, it is playing something like John Mayer’s Perfectly Lonely, about someone who is perfectly happy being alone, enjoying the simple freedom of having nothing to do and no one to answer to.

Normally there is something to be said about this song as it relates to my life…

…but not today.

Looking back at my post from yesterday, I think to myself, “BRAVO girl! You have come so far!” But you would probably never know it after reading this post today.

I have had some good romances. I have had some bad romances. And I have probably had a few too many one night stands. Not something I am proud of, but it is what it is and I can’t change the past.

So what if my life didn’t turn out like I had planned. I lost the love of my life, move on, right? I’m trying…but it’s tough. You know what makes it so tough? My friends! Remember the ones I told you about in the past that I wouldn’t have survived these last five years without. You know the ones who picked me up when I was down. The ones who hold my hair when I’m sick or check up on me when they haven’t heard from me in a couple of days…yep, those are the peeps I’m referring to. It’s the girls that I can’t live without that make it hard for me, the single girl, to move on with my life.

There I said it…now that it’s out there, let me give you an example of what I mean by this profound statement.

It’s complicated.

I have this “friend” who I will call “Mrs. Stresses me out on a day to day basis”. She is married to a WONDERFUL man. She has been married to Mr. Wonderful for many many years. Don’t get me wrong, they had their struggles early on in life, but for some reason their relationship works for them now. It would never work for me…but hey, I don’t have to live with them each and every day so who am I to judge, right?

Anyway, “Mrs. Stresses me out on a day to day basis” has become a good friend over the past few years. She is a true “Julie Supporter”. She is there for me when I need her and always has an ear to listen and advice to be given. She has her flaws, but don’t we all?

So what is it about “Mrs. Stress me out on a day to day basis” that makes me struggle with relationships in my life? Well, she constantly complains about her husband, who just wants to help. He can’t ever seem to do anything right. Maybe it’s the fact that she is a control freak, I don’t know. Whatever the issue, she doesn’t treat him very well. She constantly puts him down and demeans him. And the tone with which she speaks to him would be a definite no no in my book. It’s like she takes him for granted each and every day. She doesn’t appreciate what he does for her and her business., at least not on the outside. She may in fact appreciate him and all that he does, but has not ever shown him or told him how much she appreciates what he does.

And this kind of behavior, my friends, really irks me. Some days I just want to take her by the shoulders and shake the shit out of her. I want her to wake up and smell the coffee and realize what a good thing she has in her Mr. Wonderful. Because there are women out there, like me, that would definitely appreciate someone like him.

All I’m saying ladies, and gentlemen, is that if you are in a relationship or marriage, appreciate what you have. Even if there are things about your partner that irritate the crap out of you, appreciate them for who they are and what they do.

Because if you don’t, someone else will.

Love is a Battlefield.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Project Love: Day #15

Hardened to Love

Divorce hurts!

But the crazy thing about divorce is that it not only hurts the person who got left behind, but apparently it also hurts the person doing the leaving.

For those of you that have never gone through a divorce, I say congratulations. And for you, I paint this picture…divorce is like having a piece of yourself ripped away, it’s like a dull ache that never goes away. Divorce makes it hurt to breathe all day, every day in the beginning! It is a deep, searing debilitating pain. It’s a pain that I do not wish on anyone, not even my worst enemies!

Clearly, divorce sucks! According to statistics, the only other event in life that causes more stress to oneself is the death of a spouse. Divorce causes more stress than let’s say getting fired or going to jail. But probably the most stressful part of divorce, if you are the one that was dumped, is the fact that your spouse, or the person you once loved dearly, is still out in the world walking around. And if you have kids, it means you still have to see that person several times a week. It’s not like a death where you don’t ever see that person ever again. Not that I would ever wish death on my ex, but in hind sight it might have made the transition from being loved and married to being divorced and unloved, a lot easier.

The first couple of years after my divorce, the pain just kept coming and coming. Sometimes I would get a breather and think, “oh good, the hard part is over”, but more often than not, when I was overcome with that particular feeling, more trouble was just around the corner.

What made my divorce so awful and debilitating at times, you might ask? Well, in my case, I loved my husband dearly when he walked out on us. I thought we had a good marriage. Did we have a great marriage? Probably not, but it was good. Looking back now I think we both fell into the trap of being only parents and the deeper we got into this role, the quicker we fell away from being husband and wife, friends and lovers.

When my ex left he could never really say that he was leaving me for someone else, someone who could offer him more than I could. So he did the unthinkable, he blew me away with a couple of shots to my self esteem that took me almost four years to recover from. Are you wondering what he could have possibly said or done that was so bad? I bet you are!

Early on in our separation I could never get him to admit that he left me for someone else, even though it was confirmed by some of his friends. He left me for someone he worked with. Talk about a crushing blow…and if that wasn’t enough, instead of him telling me that at the time he took the other route, the route that I thought would always be unforgiveable. He told me, in these exact words,
“I don’t love you. I have never loved you. I am not attracted to you and I have never been attracted to you.”

I will NEVER ever forget those words or the distances in his eyes when he said them to me. You can only imagine what those words did to me after 15 years together(7 in a relationship, 8 married).

Those words sent me into a downward spiral, mentally, physically and emotionally. A spiral that took me years to come out of. Years of therapy and positive self talk. Years of knowing I was not the person he said I was, but not knowing how to believe it. In my mind it was just as Julie Roberts says in Pretty Woman, “the bad stuff is easier to believe.”

I knew that I would never be able to forgive my ex for those hurtful words. To this day, I still cringe when I hear them in my mind. I still get nauseous when I think of that moment in time.

I thank God every day for sending me good friends and a good therapist to help me get over those
comments. For I know now that my ex did not mean what he said. I know now in so many ways that he was just scared and didn’t know what else to do.

I could only hope one day to receive an apology for that moment in our lives. I know not to expect one, but if I ever got one, I guarantee you it will mean more to me than anything in this world ever has.

My ex and I have come a long way in these past five years. But more importantly, I feel like I have become the person I was before we had kids. I am an independent woman and thinker who loves life and all that it has to offer. Sure, I’m still a good mom, but I have also figured out how to balance being a good mom while still persuing my dreams.

I lost my identity once my ex and I had kids! But I’m proud to say that I have found myself and like myself. Never ever again will I let any one individual hurt my self esteem like that.

But what I will say to my ex, if he is reading this is, THANK YOU! Thank you for setting me free and allowing me the chance to see who I lost! For that I will be forever grateful! I still wish every day that we could have figured out a way to keep our independence and still be one happy family, but it wasn’t in our cards at the time.

Here’s to the future!

Love is a Battlefield

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Project Love: Day 14

Valentine's Day is for lovers

For those of you who are single and hating this day with all its happy couples and romance, for those of you who are feeling like there is a big red sign above you that says “hello, I’m single”, and for those of you that want the rest of the world to remember not everyone is happily married, engaged or in a relationship…

...I say, Happy...umm…Sunday?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Project Love: Day 13

Lost in love

Have you ever been so desperate to be in a relationship that you stayed in the wrong relationship? I am embarrassed to admit that I was once that weak. I’m happy to say that it only took one of these types of relationships for me to learn my lesson. And that lesson is, it’s better to be aching for love and alone than it is to be aching for love in a bad relationship.

As I look back on my relationship with “Mr. Buckeye” I cringe. I cringe because of the desperation I see in me at the time. I cringe because of who I became in that relationship. I cringe because I became everything that my parents raised me not to be. I cringe because I became someone I worked so hard not to be. I cringe because I became a weak and dependent woman in that relationship, and I HATE that I let myself become that person.

I met Mr. Buckeye, of all places, at church. He was the first and only guy I have ever dated that had, what I thought were, the same beliefs in God that I had. We took classes together at church and built a great friendship. We had a lot of fun together, which included one great trip to Hawaii. But unfortunately, there were more bad times than good in our relationship.

Two come to mind.

The first one being the time he came after me with a golf club in the parking lot, while his friend looked on.

I don’t remember all of the details of the fight we had had, but I remember the most important ones. We had gone out to have a couple of drinks one Wednesday night after our class at church. We always had fun together when we were drinking, unless Jagermeister was involved. This night Mr. Buckeye had run into a couple of friends while we were out which called for a round of shots, Jagermeister shots. And as usual with Jagermeister, you can’t just stop at one.

Mr. Buckeye was toasting shot after shot with his friends and became increasingly more fun for most, me not being included in that “most” category. Anyway in the course of the evening his buddies were laughing at him and his relationship with his ex-wife. You know, poking fun at him and laughing about the past. At one point I chimed in and cracked a joke too, unfortunately for me, it was funny to everyone but Mr. Buckeye. Mentally he checked out of the evening and his mood changed as soon as I made the comment. I can’t even remember what I said, but I do remember thinking he was crazy for being pissed at what I said. It wasn’t half as bad as what his friends were saying.

The evening came to a quick close and as we were walking out to our car he was yelling and screaming at me about how disrespectful I had been to chime into a conversation with his friends about a woman (his ex-wife) I had never met. I was floored at his reaction. But not as floored as I was about to be. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse or more embarrassing, Mr. Buckeye’s friend pulls up alongside of us to take Mr. Buckeye home. Mr. Buckeye opened up the trunk of his car to put some stuff in his friend’s car and in the process got a hold of one of his golf clubs and held it up like he was going to strike me with it. Thank God something came over him, (and it wasn’t his friend who was watching the whole scenario), before he slammed it on the ground instead of at me. Mr. Buckeye wouldn’t talk to me for two days after that night and continued to bring the events of that evening up throughout our relationship. You know in a “you must respect me” sense of the word.

Most women with a good head on her shoulders would have seen the light at this point in the relationship and walked away. However, at the time, my ex husband was still dating the woman he had left me for and I was desperate to show him that I wasn’t a “loser” but that I was, in fact, happy and in a loving relationship.

The second bad time that immediately comes to mind when I think of Mr. Buckeye is when I had just gotten home from a trip to New York with my girlfriends. I was so excited to see him. We had had a couple of good conversations while I was away and I felt like our relationship was in a really good spot. Ok…I’ll come out and say it, I really missed him when I was gone.

Upon my arrival home I went to spend some time with Mr. Buckeye. I got to his place before he did and I was just relaxing and chilling out when he finally got home from work. I had followed him upstairs so that we could catch up while he was taking a shower. Get your minds out of the gutter people…he was in the shower and I was sitting on the bed and we were talking!

Anyway when Mr. Buckeye got out of the shower the look on his face was horrible. Kind of like the Incredible Hulk, right before he turned green. I could just see in his eyes that he was pissed, but I couldn’t figure out why. His first words to me when he got out of the shower were, “what the hell do you think you are doing?” I was dumfounded, I had no idea what he was talking about. Turns out he was pissed that I was sitting on his bed in my jeans. That’s right people, apparently when you sit on someone’s bed with jeans on you are apparently not respecting him. I think I got at least a 30 minute lecture, well I say lecture, but it was actually a 30 minute yelling match as to all of the reasons why I disrespect him in our relationship.

When he was done talking…ahem…yelling, I quietly got up, got in my car and drove home. I didn’t hear from Mr. Buckeye for days.

Our relationship was not good after that. He slowly stopped calling, I slowly became desperate to hold on to him…it was ugly and finally ended a week before Christmas.

We didn’t talk for months after that. Thank God I never introduced my kids to him!

What I find funny is that a few months later Mr. Buckeye started calling me again. He had admitted to me that he was wrong and that I was one of the best things that had ever happened to him. He wanted to rekindle our relationship, but I had had enough time away to look back and see that I would rather be lonely and single than in a relationship like that.

I thank Mr. Buckeye everyday at the lessons I learned in our relationship. The most important being that I will never ever again let love blind me from being who I am. I will never settle just so I’m not lonely, because being single and lonely is so much better than being lonely in a relationship.

Love is a Battlefield.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project Love: Day #11

Swept Away

I think of him often, daily, in fact.
Some would say it is far too often.
Others would be excited at the thought.

It’s a complex affair of mixed feelings.
The twinge of deep regret of the past.
The entirely too strong desire of the present.

Some days my heart turns bright shades of red out of foolishness.
Other days it beats so strong with happiness.
Either way, I still think of him.

He was flawed, insensitive and selfish.
He is intriguing, funny and sexy.
Attributes I have always found intoxicating.

Maybe I know him to well.
Maybe I know him to little.
Perhaps I am blinded by rose-colored glasses.

I want him more than I have ever wanted anything.
And I still think of him.

Love is a Battlefield

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Project Love: Day #10

Love at first sight

Do you remember that guy from high school that you couldn’t take your eyes off of? You thought he had personally ordered Cupid to aim straight for your heart and steal it away. You know, the one you were convinced would be the father of your children until you heard from the girl two lockers down that he was dating her best friends cousin? You believed in love at first sit then, but after that experience, you grew up quickly, and realized it was probably just one of those Julia Roberts recipes for a Hollywood blockbuster.

But even though you thought you learned your lesson back then, you had an experience as an adult that you swore was love at first sight, only to realize weeks later that you were just head over heels for a beautiful "commitment phobe" who lived thousands of miles away…oh wait, was that just me? Am I the only one stupid enough to fall into that “love at first sight/soul mate” gig as an adult? Am I the only one that had a blurred sense of what instantaneous “love” represented? Was I blinded by the “Hollywood bad boy” that entered my life? Or was I just having trouble distinguishing between having a crush on, being attracted to and falling in love with somebody?

So I don’t feel like such an idiot…I chose the latter. I chose to believe that my “people picker” just had a mind of its own and a direct hand on my heart. And once my heart got involved, it was all over for me.

I believe people fall in love when they meet someone who meets their unconscious criteria, or in other words, when we meet someone who occupies the same qualities as us or a person dear to us. It is this instant connection that I believe determines one persons’ overall attractiveness to another. In mere minutes, I believe we are able to determine the strength of our feelings for one another, not only by their looks, but by how they interact with us, the way they smell, the tone of their voice and the way we feel around them.

I often joke about my “people picker” being broken because I haven’t found the one I am set out to spend the rest of my life with yet. Oh, I thought I had found him at one point in time, but, as we all know, lasting love is a two way street. And I was caught at the dead end of that particular street, if you know what I mean….but I digress…back on track.

I have three different criteria that I base my immediate attraction to men on, physical attractiveness, voice, and words, in that particular order.

First, let me say that, yes, I am embarrassed to admit that physical beauty is the first thing I judge a potential life partner on. I hate that it is this way, but I am only human, and I can’t help it. I wish that outer beauty wasn’t that important, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t rank high on my list when searching for a soul mate. I just feel like sometimes my brain immediately eliminates anyone who is too short, too old, and too scruffy for my taste. It’s like I don’t have control.

Once I have figured out the physical beauty aspect of a man, I am immediately focused on their voice. In a matter of seconds, I can decide if it is something that I can live with or not. I tend to be more attracted to men with a deeper fuller voice. Unfortunately men tend to like the deep, sexy voice of a petite woman, and I am neither petite, nor do I have a sexy voice!

And last but not least you can tell a lot about a man by the words that come out of his mouth. I like men who speak like me or use the same kinds of words that I use. I’m attracted to men who use longer more descriptive words and favor sarcasm. I hate slang or abbreviated text words like, OMG and LOL when used in conversation. That is a total turn off and is sure to be the end of a future with me.

And men that speak “my language”, translation: talk about things I am interested in right off that bat are definitely winners in my book. I am a sucker for a guy that shows genuine interest in me when I talk about my career, because most men lose interest as soon as I tell them I run a non-profit Christian Ministry. I think they immediately deduce, “she is a prude that doesn’t like to have fun”. But I guess I can’t blame them because I do the same with them. If they talk like Mickey Mouse or Mike Tyson I don’t want to hang out with them either.

So there you have it! Whether it is love at first sight or love in hindsight, those first couple of minutes can make or break any romance!

Love is a Battlefield.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Project Love: Day #9

Love Affair

Romantic movies are popular for their happy endings. However, what people often don’t get is that these movies are only meant to entertain. Unfortunately, romantic comedies often give us unrealistic expectations about real-life relationships. Everyone likes to leave the movie theater with a happy feeling, the feeling that the guy got the girl and that they found something really special. The problem with this perception is that it often becomes the reality that people base their own romantic lives on.

I have to admit, when I see things like this
or this

I tend to put myself in the position of the female lead in the movie. In reality, I understand that things like this don’t normally happen, but in the basis of my head, which we all know controls my life to the full, I just don’t get it. I tend to still day dream about how I could be the lovely underdog being sought out by an unknowingly beautiful man.

And when I start to daydream, I create images like thisin my mind…you see, there I go again, Me and my Ryan Reynolds happily portraying the roles of Richard Gere and Debra Winger! It could happen, right? (thanks to my good buddy, Lynn, over here, for hooking me up with this fabulous picture)…Maybe it’s images like these that are what screw up the reality that has become my “lack of love” love life.

I mean, if you really think about it, most romantic comedies depict couples falling instantly in love and promote the idea of fate. There is also this underlying theme that the couples in these movies immediately understand one another. And it’s these ideas that set us up for disappointment or give us permission to create unrealistic expectations in our real life relationships. Unfortunately, it’s these types of movies that often allow us to forget about the big picture…no one ever farts in romantic comedies! Am I right people? Think about it!

What has happened is that we treat these on screen relationships as absolutes! When we see Ryan Reynolds wake up happy and cuddling with Sandra Bullock in the morning, we tend to think this is the normal for every morning. And the fact that Prince Charming would go from girl to girl to girl to find his princess is just unrealistic, yet we allow those fantasies to take over our real life relationships. We are in a sense being fed a picture of how men should act.

The idea has become that people will do absolutely anything for love. We are fed this pretty picture of how men are “supposed to act”. For example, in the movies, if a man finally realizes that he is in love with his female best friend he will make some grand gesture to prove his love for her. He will pull out all the stops, flowers, candles, jewelry, great food, mood music, cross country flights. Real men? Not so much! Men can be romantic, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not practical for them to fly across the country to tell his best friend that he loves her.

And if that isn’t enough, the “simple equation” that has become romantic comedies, is enough to make any woman go bonkers.

Picture this…they meet, they fall in love, an obstacle arises, they break up, one of the two realizes what an idiot he has been and makes the grand gesture, all is forgiven, they fall back in love and live happily ever after. THE END.

It’s often this simplification that throws real life relationships for a loop. What romantic comedies fail to communicate is that there is never just one obstacle. Real relationships are usually working through one obstacle after another…things are never good forever.

But this is the trap people (usually women) fall into. Movies constantly give us this idea that if we aren’t happy then it’s not meant to be or if we fight, then the relationship is doomed. Real people, like you and me, are starting to buy into this. And it’s when we buy into it that we become overwhelmed in our relationships which often lead to disapoinment.

It’s not to say that all of this isn’t entertaining, but real life couples need to take a step back and learn to communicate. They need to realize that hard times are normal and that true love emerges when you persevere through the tough times. Real relationships require time and energy, something that Hollywood often doesn’t promote. But until women (and men) stop expecting their fantasy, and start living in reality, we are going to continue this viscious cycle of creating unrealistic relationship expectations.

And by we, I mean me!

Love is a Battlefield

Monday, February 8, 2010

Project Love: Day #8

The face only a mother could love

Today, I am a great mom to some and a horrible mom to others. My nine year old and six year old happen to think I am the bomb because I let them play hookey from school on this cold Indiana day. However, most parents and teachers are looking down at me right now for the same reasons.

But let me explain…

Today is a big day in the He Who Laughs Last household. Not only is it the day after the Indianapolis Colts 2nd SuperBowl appearance but it is also Hamilton’s 9th Birthday. So obviously we have big reasons to sleep in this morning! (hence hookey day)

I can honestly say that I can’t believe I have a 9 year old. A nine year old whom I couldn’t help but stare at this morning before he woke up. I actually set my alarm to wake up early so that I could go in his room and just watch him. Watch him breathe in and out in somber sleep while reminiscing of years past. I know this may sound creepy to some, but to a mother, it doesn’t!

My 9 Year Old:

Nickname: The Hamster (given to him by my ex’s best friend Jeff)

Other Names he answers to: Ham, Hammy, Buggy, and You, yeah you (depending on my mood)

Things The Hamster inspires me to do:

He inspires me to play more and work less

He inspires me to be goofy and not take life so seriously

His inspires me to stay on the straight and narrow path

He inspires me to be a better communicator

He inspires me to build his self esteem first and my wants later

He inspires me to finger paint more and point the finger less

He inspires me to connect more and correct less

He inspires me to take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes more

He inspires me to take more walks and play more games

He inspires me to stop playing serious and seriously play

He inspires me to run more in the sun and jump in more puddles

He inspires me to do more hugging and less tugging

He inspires me to be firm less often and affirm much more

He inspires me to model less about the lover of power and more about the power of love

Need I say anymore…This boy just makes me smile!


Love is a Battlefield

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Project Love: Day #7

Love the 2nd time around

Today’s topic, love the second time around, is one that I am so excited to write about. Because as a Hoosier (one living in Indiana), I am experiencing love the 2nd time around today (Sunday). I know, if you aren’t from around this neck of the woods, you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, and for that group of people, I offer up this clarification…


Woot! Woot!

The past two weeks have been the longest two weeks ever for me. The anticipation of today’s game is killing me! I wish I had a crystal ball and could predict the future. Ok, maybe not the future in a sense of the next 5 years, but future in a sense of the next 10 hours would be AWESOME! Can I get an amen?

In fact when I think of, love the 2nd time around in a sense that I am comparing it to the Indianapolis Colts, it’s almost like a “remarriage” of sorts. We, Colts fans, are just looking for our happily ever after, for the 2nd time. But just like a remarriage, winning our second Superbowl is probably a little more difficult than winning the first. I don’t know this for sure. In fact, I’m sure there are legitimate statistics on this stuff out there, but frankly, I’m just too lazy to go look them up.

As I was thinking about the 2nd time around I started thinking that some relationships have to be suffering from the seasonal football stress about now. I’m sure there are men out there who have done nothing but focus solely on football since October and their wives and girlfriends are probably at their wits end by now. So this got me thinking that there has got to be a way that football and the SuperBowl can help couples work towards happier more meaningful relationships that can, in turn, lead to a better love life.
I mean there has to be a way for football fanatics in long term relationships to score points with the women they love. There has to be a way for football to help improve relationships…there just has to be.

So gentlemen to help you stop fumbling your way through relationships and start scoring points with the opposite sex! Here is some help especially for you! I have found it…the book for you. It’s called Winning Points with the Love in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time by Jaci Rae. Ms. Rae is a relationship therapist who has figured things out for the men in our lives.

In her book she gives the football fanatic the tools he/she may need on how to use football methodology to win at romance. Sound interesting? It is! In her book she offers advice on how the team concept of sports relates to personal unions, why football doesn’t have to be a seasonal drain on your relationship, how to transfer the rules of engagement from the football field to your bedroom, why sharing passion with a spouse whether it be football or movies or anything else for that matter, can add renewed meaning and intimacy to your marriage, and how to become a “love coach” in your own relationship.

I mean, it’s got it all! Sounds like an ideal book for many of my friends. I may be subtly giving this book as Christmas gifts this year..


Love is a Battlefield

Project Love: Day #6

It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

Is being in love with someone worth the hurt when we lose that love? Would life be the same without the experience of love? Would we be missing something if we never knew what love was?

In other words, is love really worth the risk?

When you think about it, there is risk in almost everything that we do. But there is no greater risk than the risk of love. Every time you share a look or shed a tear with someone special, you are opening yourself up to both love and hurt. Because of this potential of hurt, some people hold back and tread lightly through life hoping to avoid the risk that love may bring. Sometimes we even end up sidestepping what we aren’t able to understand, or turning away from those whom we care about too much, just to avoid the potential pain that love can bring. It’s a battle that we can choose to fight or choose to ignore.

To me, love is the greatest risk of all. But I think it is definitely a risk worth taking! It may scar our hearts and leave us with only memories, but it is worth it. It may make us sometimes feel like there is no need for tomorrow, but trust me, love is worth it. It’s worth the risk!

In order to be successful at love you cannot approach it cautiously because it will not wait for you to protect your heart. Love doesn’t care if you turn away, it is everywhere. It’s unpredictable yet comfortable. It is reliable yet scary. It’s amazing and hurtful all at the same time. It is also something that can bring us to our knees in one blow. Sometimes even when things are good, love hurts, but I think, more times than not, it hurts worse to be alone.

The risk of love never goes away, in fact, it grows stronger and more powerful with time. But it is with total surrender, be it weak or strong, whether we want it or not, that love often finds us.

And it’s only when love consumes our every thought and desire, or every breath we take, that we often get ourselves into trouble. In fact, I believe that love shouldn’t consume our lives but it should be a part of what urges us to live. I believe you may never know true happiness until you have truly loved just as you may never truly understand what pain is until you have lost love.

So hold tight to your memories and never let them out of your grasp. They are the one thing that time can never ever steal from you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Project Love: Day #5

How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

In trying to adhere to my Top Ten Friday post, in a Project Love kind of way, I give you the Top Ten ways to let a woman know you love her, in pictures. You're Welcome!

10. Talking to her...and I mean really talking and listening to her all at the same time.

9. Romantic Bubble Bath

8. Surprise her with flowers

7. Holding hands

6. Admit when you are wrong

5. Write her love notes

4. Cuddle

3. Encourage her to follow her dreams

2. Slow dance in the bedroom

And the number one way to let a woman know that you love her?

1. This picture needs no explanation

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Project Love: Day #4

To Young to Love

Yesterday I talked about my first celebrity crush…Tom Cruise. Looking back on that “incident” still makes me cringe. I think writing about that experience has made me think about it even more. My plan to write about it and forget about it obviously backfired!

But, it did also make me think of my first real crush.

It was on my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Big (name changed to protect the innocent). For your pure enjoyment here is a picture of my fourth grade class, the year is 1981.

Mr. Big is obviously the only adult in the picture. Look at him, will you? Even today, some twenty plus years later, he is still handsome. He was tall and had a fantastic head of hair and beautiful blue eyes. He was the sweetest man I knew. In fact if that guy, the exact one in the picture, asked me out on a date today, I would be all over it.

Oh, by the way, I’m the one off to Mr. Big’s left with the blue jacket, blue jeans, blonde bowl cut, and red high heels. Yes, I said high heels! Hey people, I was serious about this crush…I was no dummy! I knew men liked a woman in heels. I didn’t care if we were on a field trip out in the middle of the country or not, I was gonna wear my heels.

I’m sure my mom fought me on my shoe choice before school…but it looks like I either won the fight, sucka! Or I wore tennis shoes, like she suggested, and then snuck the heels in my book bag and changed on the bus. Either way…I think I made the best decision, right?

And see the cute little red head two people to the right of me, in the green jacket. That is (still to this day) my best friend, Super Mom. She and I met for the first time this particular year and became fast friends. At the time we lived right down the street from each other and from fourth grade on we were inseperable.

We still see each other, not as often as I would like, but we are still the best of friends. In fact, she is the one that my dad first called when he found out my ex was leaving me. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone and my dad knew I needed the support. She was at my house with coffee in hand within 30 minutes. God love her! I still tear up when I think about how supportive of me she has been over the years.

But that’s a post for another day, back to Mr. Big.

He was dashing! I loved going to school that year. Oh who am I kidding, I’m a girl, I loved going to school every year. But that year in particular was awesome. I’m sure I was an annoying fourth grade girl who giggled too much, who was bossy at times, and who always wanted to be the center of attention, but Mr. Big always made me feel like I was special. No, not, “this is getting creepy and deserves to be an After School Special” kind of special. But you know, he always had this way of including me and making me feel like the center of attention even though there were twenty other kids in the room.

Come to find out, when one of my other friends in this class posted this picture on Face Book, it turns out that all of the girls in that picture felt the same way I did.

Huh, guess I wasn’t as special as I thought.

And that particular year, my friends, is the year I believe my insecurities about men always liking my friends better than me, started.

Love is a Battlefield

Blog Design by Blogs by Mandy