Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life is Rough

Let's face it. Life ain't easy! My mom would respond to our childish "That's not fair!" quotes with a stern "Life ain't fair!"
And boy was she right!!??!! (for the umpteenth time...)

From time to time we get down. Get in a funk. Get depressed. Whatever word you use to describe a feeling of blah-ness. I am the epitomy of blah right now. But, I shall rebound, this I know for sure.
The next time you feel blue try one (or more) of these to see what works for you.

So, here are the Top Ten Ways to Cheer Up by Jerry Lopper
1. Breathe
Breathing is normally a subconscious function, but conscious breathing can help reduce stress and tension. Focusing on your breathing keeps your attention on the present moment and is a common component of meditation, a proven stress reducer. Breathe deeply and slowly, noticing each breath you inhale and exhale.2. Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine. Keep handy a book of jokes or a favorite comic strip cartoon. When you feel blue, immerse yourself in the humor and go for a stomach-aching full laugh. Deep laughter improves your immune system and helps you keep life's problems in perspective.
3. Return to Nature
Go for a walk in a park, sit by a fountain, or gaze at a poster of your favorite ocean or mountain scene. Reflecting on a beautiful natural scene can lift your spirits.

4. Gratitude
Make a brief list of three to five things in your life for which you are grateful. Reflect on each item and identify the positive way it impacts your life.

5. Give of Yourself
Providing an uplifting message or thought to someone else also uplifts you. Call an elderly relative or friend. Offer a few minutes of your time to baby-sit or walk the dog for a busy neighbor. Helping another moves your focus and will improve your spirits.
6. Exercise
A brisk walk or any other form of physical exercise will improve your mood. Weed the garden or clean the house. The physical activity will help lift your mood.7. Daydream
Recall a great vacation or a wonderful family reunion. Reflect on a card or letter someone sent you that was touching and showed they cared for you.
8. Use a Strength
We all have unique strengths, capabilities at which we are particularly talented. Use one or more of your strengths in some activity.
9. Tend Something You Care About
Tend to a garden, a favorite house plant, a pet, or your car. When we tend something we provide a loving, caring attention to it that is a form of giving. Tending is not a chore, it's a blessing.
10. Apologize
Guilt and regret can hang around us like a lead weight, bringing on mild depression without our awareness of the cause. Offer up a sincere apology for things you've done or said that offended or hurt another. You'll feel the relief of your burden of regret even if you aren't able to personally deliver the apology. Offering it up to the Universe is sufficient.

So these will be My Top Ten Ways To (try) and Cheer Up today:
1. I already breathe deeply. I have anxiety, I have to. Or else I die. - Check!
2. I always do that. Mostly at myself. I guess that is a good thing. - Check!
3. This I don't do near enough. Although today I summoned a friend at work, Susan, to just get me out of this hell hole known as work. It helped. - Check!
4. I am gonna just choose three today. (1) My God (2) My family (3) My friends
5. I try and always be there to lend a helping hand. To a neighbor. A friend. A complete stranger. I know how great I feel when someone helps me, so I try and do this a lot.
6. Not nearly enough. I'll work on that....wait! Does chasing Layla count? Does dancing with Layla count? Does running up and down the stairs at work at least four times a day count? Oh! I'll work on that....I sure do miss Pilates!!!
7. Not a problem. I am having a hard time focusing now a days. I wish I was on one of those beds....
8. My strengths? I think I need to define exactly what they are? Can someone help me with this?
9. I tend to Richard everyday. I tend to Layla everyday. Perhaps I will tend to ME today?
10. And I am sorry to myself. For neglecting my inner body. And I am sorry to God. For losing sight of what matters. I pray He can help me be a better person.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Missing Uncle Phil

It is so hard to believe it has been a year since my beloved Uncle Phil went to be with the Lord. God rest his soul.
I am so blessed that Layla was able to meet Phil. But, so sad to know that she will never really get to know her Great Uncle Phil. And what a truly great, funny, itelligent, witty and caring "old soul" he was. These cherished pictures were taken about seven months before his passing and I so greatful for them. Thanksgiving 2007.

It is still so very hard on my mother, my grandmother and my cousins. My mom misses her brother terribly and it breaks my heart to hear how she still longs for their old conversations everyday. His loss was sudden, and far too soon.


Here's to Uncle Phil. Your spirit and memory will live forever. You are missed everyday. We love you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Take me out to the ball game

Layla attended her very first professional, national league baseball game on Saturday. We had a wonderful time. And to top it off - the Astros beat the Detroit Tigers 7 -1!!! Go 'Stros!!!!
Here was our view of Minute Maid Stadium as we approached for the 6:05 pm game!

I am pretty impressed with this shot below...pretty nice!
(You cannot tell by the look of it, but it was 102 degress out...whew!)

Welcome to Enron Field! Oops, I mean Minute Maid Park. (Old habits die hard.)

And here we are...

We met up with my older sister, Michele, and her husband, Brad, who were in town for the game. They stayed with us on Friday night, and we had a very nice visit, that doesn't happen often. At least not often enough!!!

Layla was not very interested in the ball game when we first arrived...

...she was more interested in the cute teenage couple behind us.

But soon the action picked up and the crowd was going wild!!!

And that is when Layla took notice and started hootin' and hollerin'!

Her favorite part of the game was when the Train would blow his horn. Choo-choo!!!
And luckily that was often. Astros - 7. Detroit - 1.

As we were headed back home...that was our seventh inning stretch...we mad a stop to snap a memorable picture atop the concrete baseballs lining the street.

The hard part was making Layla get OFF of the baseballs. We sat there for 10 minutes.
I was finally able to coerse Layla into dismounting the ball and she was fast asleep for the night about 15 minutes later. What a day?!?

Friday, June 26, 2009

The R&B curse of the 25th

As if you cannot tell, I am still reeling from the news of Michael Jackson's death. And listening to the radio this morning, and all of the tributes everyone is leaving, one listener brought up an interesting coincidence...
Aaliyah died on August 25, 2001

Lisa "left eye" Lopes died on April 25, 2002

James Brown died December 25, 2006
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009

I do realize these deaths are only a small portion of the infuential leaders of R&B music, but each of them touched my life in their own special way. Very ironic that they all happened to pass on the 25th of the respecive months...

Where it all started

This is my first taste of the icon that is Michael Jackson. Circa 1982. My first memory of him.


Although the live concert video below is circa 1996. A good year for me. Graduated high school.



Classic. Absoultely.

A Dancing Machine

That he definitely was.



Enjoy. Michael Jackson will live on forever through his music. R.I.P.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Complete Shocker

Michael Jackson. Dead. Gone? Wow...very surreal.

I am in a state of shock.

I learned that Michael Jackson went into cardiac arrest today around 3:45 today. As if that news wasn't shocking enough...I received a text from a friend at 4:45 that read, "Michael is gone."

It was hard to believe. I suppose it still is. Very much so actually.

These are some of my favorite memories of Michael.


An icon. A legend. A whole world left in shock.


And his death comes on the very same day we were mourning the death of another American icon, Farrah Fawcett.


And we lost Ed McMahon a few days earlier. Sad. Do they always come in threes?

I think I first became aware of Michael Jackson around 1982. Yeah, I was only 5, but I knew who he was! And the more this tragic news has tried to sink in today, I have realized exactly how he touched my life in many, many ways throughout my life.

I know most of you reading this have tried to moon walk, don't lie! I know I tried. Never really could master that....I came close though. And who hasn't danced to Thriller, Billie Jean or his Pepsi commercials? I danced to Smooth Criminal for a dance recital one year. Great costume, fun dance and awesome song! (I might have to scan that picture in!?!)
And wouldn't you just know it...my senior class song? Wait for it, wait for it....You Are Not Alone by Michael Jackson! Oh yeah. As you can see, I have always enjoyed The King of Pop. His incredibly talented voice. His style. He was truly a gifted performer.

And now my little performer, Layla, absoultely digs Michael too. By far her favorite artist! She can listen to an entire CD of his. One of her favorite songs is "The Girl Is Mine." And she always asks for daddy. That's 'their' song. (Heart melting.) And all bets are off if "Billy Jean" comes on.

Speaking of favorite songs. I wanted to list mine, but then I realized I could list entire albums, so what's the point? Go buy his CD's. They are timeless.

I pray for comfort and peace to be with his family, especially his children. His friends. His fans!

I hope he has found his peace.

Momma's first braids

Again. Not much to write about. Just showing off my too-cute little girl!!!

And the fact that I "braided" her hair for the first time over the weekend. She was sitting still long enough, only because she was in her high chair watching Sesame Street!

The end product is not great. Don't get all excited! But, the end product is Layla, so of course it is great!!! What was I thinking?

A face to love

Silly face jumpin' on the bed
Pretty face looking into her vanity
Scared face (hands) - busted by mommy
Tongue twisted face

Bath Time for Layla Today!


I sing to Layla when it is time for a bath. It goes a little something like this...
It's bath time for Layla today...
It's bath time for Layla today, today, today!
Real original, huh? I know. The talent is ridiculous!
I don't have a lot to write on this post, I just have a lot to show...eat your heart out Layla! She will absoultely hate me for this....one day.
Caught ya!
This face is ALL Richard!!!
Mommy - why do you keep taking my picture? Give me the camera!
No. Seriously. Mom. STOP!
Or else I will SPLASH you!!! (That is exactly what she did.)
Posing!
And she can go from this...
...to THIS! In .05 seconds...love it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Calling Baby Boy Dillard


You are up next little man! Get ready. Get set. Friday is your GO day!!!!

We are oh so excited to meet you! Be a good little boy and be easy on your momma. She is a super nice lady and does not deserve (too much) pain! 8-)

Our anticipation is growing....just like you! And your mommy's belly!

Welcome Cameron Parker Young


Up next we have Mr. Cameron. Cameron Parker Young was born on Monday, June 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs. 15.6 oz. For all practical purposes, he was 9 lbs., ya'll! And mommy is a trooper!

Okay. Not cool. I tried to steal these pics from Courtney's Snapfish account. They came out tiny. Beyond tint. The pics I snapped are saved on my computer at home. I am suppose to be working. Oops. Just busted myself. Oh well.
Cameron looks just like mommy. And big sister, Addison, looks just like daddy. How sweet is life? Perfect little family.
Mommy looks wonderful!!!!! (NO fair!)
And little man, oh so cute in his muscle man shirt! Stylin' already....

And big sis looks so concerned when Cameron started crying! How adorable?

And here is mommy with her kiddos. TWO of them now...

Best wishes to the Young family! Here is to a fun summer of babies!
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