Out of Hibernation leapt the Manning Sisters and It all was so Glorious!

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For many of us, this has been an extremely long winter. I have found it so unnerving with every ounce of my being lacking motivation to work out, clean, and be a productive member of society. My extreme lack of sunshine is reflected in paleness, mood, and body. I NEED SUN ASAP!

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time together bonding with my sisters. You see my beautiful sister Root Beer entered the world of the married a year ago and then more recently motherhood this January. We had some fun bonding in between all of her major life changes and it was good. Our baby sister Cream Puff just got her license. EEK! I have been personally trying to spend more time with them as I know they both need girl time and it’s important for us to be close.

This past week at work, Root Beer and I had to replace a few office chairs that were worn. There were 5 that were purchased. Well when she got back to work, we got them on a cart and took them where there was some open space to assemble them. We only assembled 4 of them due to the fact our shipping department got antsy and assembled it by himself. We started pulling the pieces out of the box and of course we got bothered the whole time. Our dad, brother and cousin all approached us at different points of starting and everyone had a different suggestion. Give me a break boys! We got this.

 

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The old chairs practically leaped into the trash!

Chair Races....ready, set, go! We did it :)

Chair Races….ready, set, go! We did it 🙂

I didn’t have to work on Saturday. It was a nice chance to catch up on some spring cleaning, sleep, and laundry. I asked my sister Cream Puff  if she wanted to get a pedicure as we both needed one. Upon getting the list of her chores we were on our way. We stopped by Starbucks first then it was on to the Spa. I wanted to catch up on everything that was going on in her little world. She got asked to Prom by her boy-toy of 4 months. She was excited at her new-found freedom of driving and most of all just excited to relax a bit. I told her that I would help her with part of the list (which included making dinner) in order for her not to get into trouble.

My mom had already started a roast so it was a matter of making sides and a salad to accompany it. While Cream Puff did her laundry, cleaned and organized her room, and dusted the back porch I produced the remainder of dinner. No one seemed to be bothered by that so it all worked out well.

Then on Sunday, Root Beer and I got motivated and finally went out on a walk. It was warmer than it had been for a while and the sun was still shining. I’d like to think we had some fun…

We may or may not have started off jogging when we realized that was a poor life decision...

We may or may not have started off jogging when we realized that was a poor life decision…

We discussed our current fitness goals, men, being a mother to sweet Caribou (her daughter), and girl stuff. There were a lot of laughs and honesty. My phone ended up dying and her phone was left in the car. Oh darn! That meant there weren’t going to be any distractions and Caribou was in her precious Grandma’s hands. We were only going to do one lap at the YMCA which is 1.65 miles but we quickly decided to do another one as to continue our chat. 3.3 miles down, some great laughs in and awesome bonding time with my sister we finally headed home feeling accomplished.

There is nothing more refreshing than the ritual of sister bonding. I love hanging out with my sisters and even though we are all at different points of our lives that’s what makes it even more special. All of us couldn’t be more different aside from the fact we all may or may not be over achievers! I am the single, educated (2 degrees) career driven girl who has the social life. Root Beer is the educated (going on second degree) married girl with child at 25 and Cream Puff is cute 16-year-old who is maneuvering high school well with awesome grades despite her sports schedule, who is boy crazy and dreaming of what’s next.

The Manning sisters haven’t bonded like we have this past week in a very long time. It was long over due. One might say there were a few beautiful byproducts of this long winter. Out of hibernation leapt the Manning sisters and It all was so glorious!

Welcoming Spring with open arms whenever it decides to stay….
CatMan

 

Ode to the Man who can’t set Foot in my House!

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ode\ˈōd\
noun
: a poem in which a person expresses a strong feeling of love or respect for someone or something (thank you Merriam-Webster)

Oh dear boy who refuses to grow up,
Oh lovely boy who refuses to get out of his truck,
Oh why do you never come to the door,
No meet, no greet, no furthermore!?

Oh boy, oh boy what’s your deal?
No real interaction after our meal?
I paid for your love and for your time,
Yet I’m left with a bill as though it was no crime.

My house is not cursed! This I know!
So why you not want to come into show…
My family thinks you are all made up,
What they don’t know is you are a nut!

What are you afraid of? Goosebumps you say?
My father or my mother–they’d make you stay….
Yet…..
You are not good enough to step foot in my door,
So drop me off and say nothing more!

To the boy who refuses to walk me to my door,
To the boy who treats me as though my company’s a bore…

TO. THE. BOY.

I respect your decision. Drive off please now and go in peace!

Yep. Dated a boy who refused to grow up for 4 months. Never met the parents or stepped foot in my house. That just happened! As David at the Dentist might say, “is this real life?” Yes David, this IS real life! If he can’t find time to meet the family…not worth your time.

To ALL women out there who know you are worth waiting for–do not date boys. If you encounter one trying to make you swoon, take a sharp 90 degree turn and walk away to the nearest exit. Then don’t stop until you get to a beach, somewhere. Find a pool boy or a special cabana boy, a pool and an umbrella drink ASAP.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” Forrest Gump

Yours truly….good night darlings!

Love is Patient

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So it has been a while since I have been able to share my One Word Challenge.  I assure you that doesn’t go without many lessons in between.  I have been learning so much about myself and about others.  I have been learning about loving interactions as well as what love truly mean.  Love is not always a lovey-dovey feeling where you are constantly wanting to make-out with the person.  Love is not always liking the person either.  Love has its share of hardships and struggles, but love is always a choice.

There are many times to which I have felt I cannot truly love a person because they have hurt me so greatly.  Well the fact of the matter is, I too have hurt myself greatly.  It is a two way street and if I was truly going to hold myself accountable for something I did, not the other party, then I need to own up to it.  Honesty.  A big dose of honesty.  I have realized though in being honest with myself it makes everything clearer in a seemingly cloudy situation.  Relationships you see can be quite messy if you allow them to be.

Love is pretty limitless and straight forward you see.  It is our misconception to what WE think love is that makes it messy.  Can we actually conceptualize love?  I think we can start this journey by first and foremost choosing to love.  It is a paradox.  By choosing something we don’t fully understand–it seems a bit absurd.  We know what it takes to love by the examples set by those who have gone before us.  Take for an instant Jesus.  This man died for me.  If you look at the events surrounding His life, He set an example of complete and total love.  Look at who His best friends were.  They were sinners like you and I.  They were those who were cast aside, deemed unworthy of normal folks, and most of all looked down upon.  Sinners that didn’t deserve the attention of the others.  He surrounded those individuals with love.  You see, when it comes down to it, we are ALL sinners.  It is in our human nature.  We are always going to hurt ourselves and others.  Always.  So what do we do to start this journey of love?

1. Pray.  Pray fervently.  Learn who God is.  Learn who you are in God.  That is where you will really learn to grow in focus and in purpose.  Here too is where you will learn about your vocation (your duty and calling in this life).

2. Learn to integrate God into every decision you make.  If it is not out of love for God, rethink your decision.  This is where we give up our selfish ways.  We surrender our wants and desires for God’s Will for us.  Let go of anything holding us back.  Remember WWJD bracelets?  A constant reminder of our actions?  This is a really hard step.  It is extremely hard to fight against selfishness as it is written in our human DNA.

3. Talk to God about those who have hurt you.  Learn to love through forgiveness.  As you forgive others, God will forgive you.  That is an important part to this puzzle.  This becomes easier as you will grow in understanding toward others through forgiveness.  I have learned in this step a lot of times the person hurting is a misdirection their hurt on to you.  For right, wrong, or the other reason–we should try to see that and love them despite their hurtful actions.

4. Be honest with yourself.  If you know you are struggling with something….something embarrassing.  Something that you could never tell a soul about or you might just die.  Well guess what?  God already knows what you did.  It takes something of true humility to be completely honest with yourself and lay it all out there.  It takes true humility to own up and make up for what you have done.  It changes you.  It simplifies your decisions.  It makes things more clear.

It takes a lot of love.  I have chosen to love without placing limits on myself.  I have chosen to never hold back my love for anyone.  Love puts others needs before our own needs.  That one is a really hard one.  I will never stop witnessing to the love that God shows me each day….or trying to witness to that love.  I will never stop trying my hardest to demonstrate that same love to others.  I am not going to lie though and tell you I have mastered it because I am far from perfect.  It is hard being patient with my 14-year-old brother when he is being a 14-year-old annoying boy.  It is hard for me to love my sister when she is being dramatic about the rules my parents are placing when she can’t use my mom’s phone after 10pm.  It is hard to love friends who cannot tell you to your face they are moving and let you find out via Facebook.  It is so hard not yelling, screaming, keeping it all in perspective when it seems like hell has broken loose.  It is hard loving those who drive you bonkers!

It is hard to love your siblings all the time, but I am asked to love them regardless.  It is hard loving your coworkers when they purposely push your buttons just to see how far they can push until you break.  Love doesn’t break.  Love stays cool and keeps it in perspective.  Love overlooks all of the petty small things.  Love looks deep into the heart of the individual and connects continually.  Love makes all things possible.

Equally, love is patient seems to be a theme.  Love is patient, love is kind.  Love is being patient and kind with ourselves through the journey.  Love unites.  Love brings us out of our misery and what a beautiful blessing when we feel that love radiate from our soul.  What a beautiful notion to love all those who come in contact with whether that is an everyday occurrence, once a year thing or whatever it may be.  Love doesn’t mean you won’t get upset or angry.  Love doesn’t mean that you are going to like or agree with a person’s believes.  Love just means you are going to be available to help them at any given point if that is what you are asked to do.

When it comes down to it, love helps us get through a lot of bull-poo-poo.  It helps us work through our own problems and it helps us appreciate each and every creature or being there is.  It helps us more than we can realize.

Let us be brave enough to choose to love through our pains, sorrows, and hardships.  Let us love non-judgmentally.  Let us love without wavering.  Let us love as God loves us.

Hugs and blessings,
CatMan

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

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Last night, I was watching the movie “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” with my man friend and thought to myself, ‘there are some really good messages in this movie!’  Patrick Swayze played the lead role of Vida along side of Wesley Snipes who played Noxeema.  I must say both looked very convincing as women.  ANYways….

Vida has a bleeding heart.  She will insert herself if someone needs her to be there.  She is trying to look out for others, take them under her wing, and it seems just put other’s ultimately before herself.  What I realized last night was that sometimes it takes an adventure to figure out just what you are made of and what you can become.  It takes the support of friends and ultimately their love and acceptance.  It was a sentimental comedic approach to Vida’s example of support and love.  I think all women or “career girls” could take a lesson or two from her example.

She was calm in all the positions she landed herself in as well as carried herself with style and grace.  She did what she had to do for those she cared about EVEN if that meant having to step in the middle of a domestic violence situation to stand up for her new friend Carol Ann (Stockard Channing).  It was that relationship and that of another relationship with Chi-Chi which really demonstrated what supporting a friend can do.  Vida built others up.  She helped them feel fashionable and full of confidence.  She really did try to be a true friend to those who were around them.

Even though this was presented in a humorous fashion, it demonstrated strangers accepting outsiders and embracing them. They were loving to them and despite their very different upbringings were able to come together with a little kindness.  Goes to show you a little kindness goes a long way and it might just be enough to awaken your dormant spirit.  This little adventure changed their lives and brought them together.

Why not try to do as Vida does today!  Be kind to those around you and treat them as you desire to be treated.  Love them.  Be there for them.  Set the example for those who don’t get it.  You never know what impact that will have on them!

Hugs,
CatMan

Body Image: For the love of her husband and out of respect for herself

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I came across a great blog post I wanted to share!  It is regarding a former Victoria’s Secret model.  She explains why she left the Fashion Industry in a very integrity driven response.  I commend this woman greatly.  http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/29/former-victoria-secret-model-explains-why-she-suddenly-stopped-modeling/

I also appreciate that she recognizes that she wants to be sexy for her husband–not for all men.  That is beautiful.  That is love right there and being respectful to herself.  I wish more young women thought like that!

❤ CatMan

When one door opens…..

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Rejection.  GASP.  Yes, I have said it.  Rejection.  It seems like such a harsh word, right?  We have all experienced this from one time to another and maybe we see this as a negative.  I dare to challenge you to look at it in a positive light.

When we are rejected in a business proposition, a relationship, a meeting or a date, we might have feelings of insecurity.  We might feel offended, vulnerable…or otherwise hurt.  We shouldn’t be feeling any of the above really!  We should seek peace and solace that there is a GREATER reason that door has shut.  I struggled with this concept for a very long time.  I still struggle with it too.  It’s a human thing.

I think if you realized how many times in a day one could be rejected and how that rejection shapes the post actions of yourself you might just find that things are not as bad as they seem.  Rejection is apart of life after all.

In my experience, when I find a “love interest” that I am into, but their vibes scream otherwise it is hard to accept.  Why don’t they like me?  Why do I ALWAYS do this?  It must be me….why do I am I always doing this?  Well did you ever stop and think–It’s not you, it’s them…I have found this is usually the case.  They are the ones that are going through whatever it is they are and that is OK!  It is OK that they aren’t into you.  Would you really want someone who wasn’t 100% all about you anyways?  My answer is no.

It is our journey.  It is our path as much as it is theirs.  The person doing the rejecting may just not be there yet in his/her journey and it is better to learn to accept and love them regardless.  You don’t just stop being you because you have been rejected–you embrace yourself even more so.  Be you ever more!  Show others that rejection doesn’t own you!  Rejection sometimes provides the motivation to get from where you are to where you want to be!  Allow it to work positively and always keep looking up.  God will always provide something bigger and better if you allow it to happen.

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My Love story is boring….I think

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Today, I post a link to another individuals blog.  I want to encourage you to listen to what she is saying as it is so profound.  http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/when-you-think-your-love-story-is-boring/

What is love?

What is love?

It amazes me at our perception of what love is when we are young verse what it REALLY means when we are older.  We have to be such drama queens/kings when we are young. We desire everything to be BIG moments.  Love is reflected in the little acts.  Like being there to hold our hand, giving us hugs, and providing us with support in hard times.  It is also loving through the hard moments and not leaving our side.  It is loyalty.  Support.  It is all seemingly undramatic and ordinary tasks.  Love is found in the little actions.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

❤ CatMan

A Friend: Needs and Loves

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard

There are some friends that just hang around.  They might not be consistently there in your life and yet they enter in and out when you need them the most.  Like a woven ribbon, in and out during periods of your life to which they need you or you need them.   Visualize.

When you look at your life and the plethora of situations, persons to which have broken your heart, those who have supported you through all of it….those who have been there when a family member passes away and it is hard.  Those who are there to listen, provide advice, pray with you, and those who understand.  A friend might not be there for all of your life, but those who are there through enough of the worst times and the good times will see your character and growth.  When you aren’t at your best and when you are at your best–that friend could care less as all they want to do is be there for you to love on you.  They chose to love you anyways.

A friend accepts you as you are when you meet them.  A friend understands you are as much of a work in progress as they are.  A true friend will be honest with you and be there when you need them the most.  A friend is able to love on you when far away.  A friend finds a way to remind you (when you aren’t feeling special or particularly positive about yourself) that you matter to them and “…without YOU friend, WITHOUT YOU, my life would be out of sorts.”  A friend will keep you in check when you are being a fool.  A friend will call you out when you aren’t being the best you can be, yet they will lovingly help you get to where you CAN be the best version of yourself at that moment in time if you allow them to help.  Whether this friend physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally is connected with you (or all of the above)–whether you see them every day or not–a good friend is hard to come by.

Hang on to those friends when you find them; the ones who will love you no matter what you have become, continue to be, or desire to be.  They are our life line.  They are our sanctity, pleasure, grace.  Those relationships are the very glue that will help mold you and keep you growing.  Never take these friends for granted.

Reciprocation is also advised.  If you are given an opportunity where your friend needs you–be there for them as much as you are able to be.  It is in that rhythmic give and take of your friendship to which both parties will develop even more respect for one another…you will begin to have a relationship with this person which will mutually become even more meaningful.  So even though friends might not be there through it all, they might desire to be in the end.  That is the beauty of friendship.  It is the very foundation to which all things meaningful begin.

I challenge you today to evaluate your friendships.  Evaluate who is meaningful to you, who you haven’t been such a good friend to, and those who have the potential to be even more to you.  It will only enrich your life further.

❤ CatMan

Love is Silent Listening

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I have found that I am a heavy analyst and a processor.  I like to talk things out.  I like to play detective and try to determine what is the most probable fate for my situation at hand.  I think I probably watched too much CSI and NCIS as a child, but I continue to still analyze and thoughtfully ponder none the less.

Sometimes the most loving action someone can take toward someone who likes to “talk it out” is really take no verbal action at all.  Sometimes all I need to do is spit whatever it is in my mind out with a logical sound ear at my disposal and it is that silence of listening intently to make sense of the babble coming out that is the most loving action a person could give.  Once it is out in the open, much like a puzzle, pieces of the puzzle are able to be placed together one by one and solutions become clear.  There are other ways to draw clarity as well but this is my go-to usually.  If you desire to work on your listening skills, this was a good little article I found, http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/ht/howtolisten.htm.

Other ways to which I find helpful for processing would include journaling, coloring or painting, singing and randomly dancing around like a goose, going on a drive, spending time in silence, praying, or pondering whatever it is bothering me in my heart.  If I can talk it out with someone who is my most immediate relief in drawling clarity usually.  Another set of eyes on the matter is never really a bad idea I suppose as ultimately I am the one making the final decision on the matter at hand.

It is both a blessing and a burden to be an analytic type.  When it comes to situations though, I almost always have to have some sort of closure at hand before I can get them out of this mind of mine.  It is painful when I must hold something in my head and heart for too long before it finally goes.  Patience.  Prayer.  Life is so messy and intertwined sometimes.  I have grown in acceptance with knowing I cannot control or change certain situations and that actualization has helped in letting go and giving it back up in prayer.

I think why I like verbalizing what is going on is because then everything is out in the open. Free as a naked Jay bird!  Truth, honesty, lies, facts, love, hate, gossip, and emotions of all kinds come out and then once released–I can breathe.  The problem here is that by speaking what is in that dear little head of mine, it can be hurtful, overwhelming and more destructive than constructive.

To limit the amount of destruction, I have a few friends who have helped at one time or another just simply listening and giving me their heartfelt advice.  My parents have helped me significantly in this department too.  It can be hard as you want to be considerate of the time to which you ask a friend to help you process things.  They might be sleeping or working or doing something to which they aren’t able to listen right away.  God is always up and always there.  No curfew.  No sleep.  No limit to his time listening to you on account of something “popping up”.  I do my best to process and voice my concerns to God now-a-days.  That has seemingly been the one thing to which has helped me achieve peace.

When there is much overwhelming matters on my mind, I speak directly to God and tell Him all of my worries, stresses, situations, emotions–everything no matter what time it is.  That way nothing is said out of emotion and I can truly reflect.  No harm done to others and God can handle it.  Then, no one gets overwhelmed by my craziness and God already knows what is happening anyways.

Whether I talk it out with friends or God, I have come to the conclusion that love is silent listening.  Love is donating the time to helping a friend process and throw it all out there.  Love is giving support physical, mental, emotionally, spiritually and through prayers.

Just something to ponder….

❤ CatMan