Archive | January, 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

8 Jan

After the last five months, 2014 requires a Thelma & Louise change your life kind of approach … without FBI pursuit of course. So I’ve decided to wake up with a Tony Robbins-Steve Jobs-TD Jakes-Clear-Eyes-Full-Hearts-Can’t-Lose kind of attitude.





Instead of waking up like this …


Image via

Image via


It’s a work in progress. I’ve never really been a morning person, but who said beginnings have to start at the crack of dawn. They can start any time.

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

6 Jan

It left me with that Thelma & Louise you’re-different-now-kind-of-feeling … with the exception of driving off the cliff of course.  I know some people out there hate all that is television and think it’s the devil and in truth with all these awful reality shows out there, I can’t blame them.

However, this TV adventure left me with a positive feeling, which I thought was a pretty awesome way of continuing the New Year,  and I have Netflix to thank for that.

Well in truth after every night for two weeks I wanted to slap myself for being so stupid and not watching it when it was actually on the air. I mean for crying out loud I’m a sports fan, and football enthusiast, but I’m also a lover of good characters and great stories. And I might have been put off by the fact that it looked like one of those teenage shows, but I realized I was way off on that. And so I watched and watched and watched until 2 a.m.


Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor and Coach Eric Taylor

I know, I know. Some may think that staying up late watching television is crazy, but I got hooked and had to watch episodes back to back to back.

I looked forward to the “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t Lose.”

I got cheesy in me when it comes to sports stories, it’s part of the old jock in me.

In any case if you haven’t guessed it by now it’s the show Friday Night Lights. If you haven’t seen it …

Dude … I encourage you to do so. I don’t normally recommend shows that are not on FX or AMC, but this one is definitely a must watch.

They have some pretty badass characters and even though it had some strong female characters like Mrs. Tami Taylor and Dillon High School student Tyra, I was drawn to the dudes. Not so much because they were good-looking more so because of their stories.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

I loved the inspiration behind Dillon High Football Coach Eric Taylor and his pregame and half-time speeches. He also cracked me up with his you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me stare followed by one-liners. I liked seeing the back-up quarterback Matt Saracen and his coming-of-age story. I liked the surprises that Tim Riggins had in store for me and I rooted for him to smarten up and catch a break.

However I tripped out on how much beer was being consumed by everyone and how easily they got it. I was also amazed at no matter how big the hangover, they always said ma’am or sir when asked a question. I tripped out on my need to say y’all after watching the show. I tripped out on how Buddy Gaherty and the boosters created so much frustration and anger that I constantly rooted for them to fail in their sneaky ways and leave Coach Taylor alone, which happened sometimes.

In the end Coach Taylor and his players got what they deserved and I was able to take advantage of the little life lessons throughout seasons 1 to 5. One of my favorites was Coach Taylor’s pregame saying.

“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.”

It helps when you’re feeling crappy in the morning. It helps when you’re about to venture off into a new day. It helps when you’re writing your novel and are stuck. It helps when you’re a football player in Dillon, Texas and you’re ready to take the field in the state championships. It helps.

You can use it in any scenario, doesn’t necessarily have to be sports and you don’t necessarily have to say y’all. But it definitely helps you get in the Thelma-&-Louise-this-is-going-to-change-my-life-today-kind-of phase. This therapy is universal and it’s cheap, so it’s best to get Netflix and get right on it.


Sandbox Adventure List 24: Pinky Promises and the Not-So Rocky Mountains Adventure

3 Jan

A pinky promise is a sacred thing to a five-year old. It must be kept at all costs, even when things are out of your control, you have to make it happen.

Have to.

You’re mom: Creator of Sandbox Adventures, LEGO builder extraordinaire, Optimus Prime Transformer master, and CapriSun pouch straw pusher.

That’s me. I make things happen.

So in honor of 2014 I thought I’d keep the almighty sacred promise and make snow possible in California — Southern California.

It hasn’t rained and the average winter weather in my neck of the woods has been about 70 degrees, so I had a pretty good idea that sledding, snowmen, and snowball fights would not be easy.

Not impossible, but not easy.

But a pinky promise is a pinky promise, so I made the drive to the mountains in hopes of avoiding car sickness and making a Charlie Brown Christmas moment possible for my kids.

As we drove up the winding roads surrounded by rocky mountains and pine trees I saw this and wasn’t sure it would happen.


Beautiful right?

Beautiful right?


Yeah. I wasn’t sure. All I knew for sure was that we probably wouldn’t need the sweatshirts, thermal underwear, hoodies, gloves, mittens, beanies, or chains for the tires. We needed sunscreen and sun glasses. But like any mom I was prepared and had them both.

After another forty minutes up the mountains I finally saw some hope.


Some hope.

An opportunity to wear beanies.


I was happy our bathroom pit stop showed signs of winter life. People were actually wearing snowboard pants and I thought the further we drove up the better our chances for our snow day to happen. And even though it wasn’t Utah-Colorado-worthy weather conditions, it was still good enough for pinky promises to be possible.

I’d like to thank the makers of Pirate Booty, Goldfish Crackers, Cuties Oranges, Dora The Explorer Enterprises, Superhero Book authors, LEAP Frog LEAP Pads, and LEGO DC Universe Visual Dictionary creators, for making the two-and-a-half hour drive saner than usual. It helped this Sandbox Adventure List item definitely rise to the top of our list, because when it comes to kids and road trips you never know. Nervous breakdowns and George Costanza moments can happen at any time, so you’re thankful for the things that make the experience better than expected. So with a little help I was happy that I checked one off the list for my kids. And even though it was a Not-So-Rocky Mountain-adventure we had a great time and 2014 was looking good.


The sliding area, where we spent most of the day. My kids seemed to get the hang of it pretty fast, although for some reason I kept spinning around and going backgrounds.

The sliding area, where we spent most of the day. My kids seemed to get the hang of it pretty fast, although for some reason I kept spinning around and going backgrounds.


My daughter enjoyed chillin' down the kiddie slide.

My daughter enjoyed chillin’ down the kiddie slide.


My son decided to go the Superman route. It was the best Justice League adventure yet.

My son decided to go the Superman route. It was the best Justice League adventure yet.



More Super Soul Moments

1 Jan

This is it.

Everyone is talking about it.

The get-off your ass promises you make to yourself in order for this year to be less mediocre than the last.

And why not?

Change is good when you’ve had an Eat, Pray, Love kind of year, but without the awesome travel experiences and more George Costanza moments.

But it’s all good. Getting off your ass is important. It inspires stories, and as a writer I need some good comic relief. But I didn’t have to wait until January 1st to make changes or to get inspired for change. Living a life of I-can’t-believe-this-is-where-I-am sort of catapults you into wanting something different, or at least sticking to the dream you had when you were 20-something, on a weekly basis.

But not everybody needs change, some of you are freakin’ fantastic all year round, and that’s cool, but in truth I don’t fit that demographic. I’m just happy some of the time and when I am I’m swimming in it every minute. But I could always more.

So what’s the plan for more? What are my changes? What are my goals? What are my self-improvement projects?


Image via OWN Network

Don’t have my entire list. I’m working on it. Although I don’t have anything to quit. I do everything in moderation except self-doubt. But I’m working on it. I did however have an epiphany during my girls night out. It was Super Soul Sunday! Except it was on a Thursday. Yeah. Super Soul Sunday on Thursday.

For those of you unaware Super Soul Sunday are awesome episodes of your-life-could-be-better-than-it-is-and-I’m-not-judging-you-but-here’s-how-you-can-improve-it-if-you-want-to. It has awesome quotes from Oprah and her many guests on the OWN Network. Their life stories end up affecting change in your own life story. It’s like free therapy.

Yeah. So I had one of those live and in person, but it wasn’t with Oprah, it was with a bunch of my college buds. And in truth, I really needed the outing, with all the stress of the I-can’t-believe-this-is-where-I-am-right-now  existence I’ve gotten some more gray hair and I’ve been perusing the anti-aging aisle at the CVS. They don’t have cream or Nice N’ Easy formula for “crappyness”. But they do have Ben & Jerry’s, and that cures any problem.

So I guess one of my plans, goals, self-improvement projects, or get-off-your-ass moments would be for more Super Soul Sunday Moments on any day with anyone. I mean it doesn’t have to be Oprah and it doesn’t have to be Sunday. It can even happen while binge watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix on a Tuesday.


That’s one goal. Definitely more Super Soul in my life.

The other is to always have more Ben & Jerry’s on hand, in case the Super Soul gets too deep and comedy can’t save me from drowning.

Happy New Year.