People Need People

(From The Girls From Ames, a note from Kelly to Angela)

As I finished reading Jeffrey Zaslow’s The Girls From Ames, I couldn’t help but keep thinking the same thing…

People need people.

It’s a simple concept really, but I don’t think that people rely on each other enough. I could be biased, though. I know that I am so unbelievably lucky to have all the people and support in my life that I do. My husband, my dog, my mom, my dad, my sister, all my girlfriends, guy friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, Mamaw…Lord knows that I’ve used each and every one of them to fall back on time and again. My hearts hurts for those people who may feel like they are alone. If you feel that way, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. I am here for you! It doesn’t matter if you have just one person or ten people like the Ames girls…we need each other.

Reading about Kelly and Angela’s journey and struggles with breast cancer was very eye opening for me. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a freshman in high school. I think I was a freshman. I remember when she told my sister and me that I felt sad, but I the thought never crossed my mind that I’d ever be without her. It’s strange how somehow I just knew she’d be okay. I feel bad though, now looking back, that I was so caught up in my own life that I wasn’t a big support for her. I mean, I can’t even really remember what grade I was in. I know by just being her daughter that gave her something to live for, but what I mean is that I wasn’t there for her to cry to or to vent to or just to be whatever she needed to be. I just didn’t know back then that she needed that or how to be it. Just like the Ames girls, as I’ve grown older I realize I may do things different now. Different situations throughout your life make you stronger, more ready.

My mom had many, many, many (and still does) people looking out for her and praying for her. See…people need people. And luckily, she kicked cancer’s booty and will be walking this weekend in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! Go momma!

As Kelly mentioned that her friends, sisters, are there to catch her if she stumbles, “catching” someone can have so many different meanings. Sometimes it means lending an ear to someone…sometimes it means giving advice…sometimes it means throwing a party for someone…sometimes it means providing the bottle of wine to share…but whatever the case, the same things rings true…

…people need people.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for me finding the Operation Beautiful note in the bathroom at my gym. I needed that person to put that there. I know I wouldn’t be so happy and in love if it weren’t for my husband. I needed him. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have the guts to say what I need to say sometimes if it weren’t for my little sister showing me it’s okay. I needed her…

…and I still do, and I always will.

It’s just so true. We just need each other.

Thank you to my dear friend Casey for giving me the idea of starting a book club through my blog, and thank you to all my friends and family for reading this book with me and commenting when you were able. Thank you for bearing with me as I skipped weeks, slacked on reading a little, and took three months to finish one book! Thank you Zaslow and the girls from Ames for sharing this story and helping me to open my eyes to so many different things. I needed you all!

And so we have it…we’ve shared our final book club blog post on The Girls From Ames…our final cup of coffee together.

ang

 

 

Talk About It

I’ve never in my whole life been the kind of person who openly talked my feelings or thoughts…all my feelings…with anyone. I haven’t had trouble sharing all my happy feelings and cheerful thoughts. That was never the problem. However, when I’ve felt anger, disappointment, guilt…when I’ve had thoughts about negative body image or feelings of “not good enough,” I just haven’t had it in me to share.

Well, until now.

Okay, so maybe I don’t actually speak about it all the much. I’ve done many eating disorder recovery speeches at my former treatment facility, but other than that my words have mostly been on paper or in my head…or now on this blog.

I use writing as a form of sharing my feelings. It’s not quite the same as talking, but it works just the same for me. I’ve never actually considered myself a writer, an actual writer…I just figured I was someone who likes to write short notes to people or little blog posts, sometimes just for fun or sometimes meaningful. Does that make me a writer, or just someone who writes? (This sounds much similar to the question of whether or not I could call myself a runner.) Then, while I was reading my book club book The Girls From Ames, I came across a line on how Kelly defines the word “writer”…

“…the word “writer” can be defined broadly. It’s about expressing emotion. It’s about helping people think. It’s about using words to understand herself. It’s about helping other people find their own words.”

So…I guess I am a writer.

I’ve said before that I feel like it’s part of my life’s mission to do whatever I can to help prevent future eating disorders. It is a problem that is too un-talked about and too widespread. I try to talk as openly and honestly about my experiences, although I haven’t shared the entire story on this blog yet. Many of the emotions and situations I went through can be stored in the “embarrassing” category. But that’s okay. When I have the opportunity to share these things I know that it may help that person who is feeling the same way but is too embarrassed or scared to share. And it not only can be helpful to others, but it helps me stay grounded in where I am today. It reminds me of how far I’ve come, but how important my experiences are.

It helps me to understand that God has a plan far greater than I’d ever imagined for myself.

So I challenge you to talk, or write, about it…whatever “it” is for you. Because more than likely there is someone else in the world feeling the same way, but she or he thinks they are alone.

We aren’t alone in our struggles or our strengths, and the greatest thing about people and community is that they are the best support systems.

Oh, and by the way, you are looking gorgeous today (even if you’re still in your pajamas that consists of a baggy t-shirt and shorts…like me! 🙂 )

ang

Kelly and Me. Me and Kelly.

Good afternoon pretties! It is funny how almost each week I can relate my book club posts from The Girls From Ames to something that is going on in my life. This week’s post is all about the chapter Through Kelly’s Eyes. However, you do not have to be reading the book for the content of this post to have meaning for you. Also, if you are not caught up on the reading, that is okay…here is what you may have missed so far:

Kelly and me. Me and Kelly. I’ve said from the beginning of reading this book that I don’t think I have very much in common with Kelly. I thought Kelly seemed a lot like my sister…more of a free spirit, not afraid to say what is on her mind. I don’t think those two descriptions necessarily describe me. I mean, if you say something that upsets me, I’m probably just going to keep it to myself. I have this nifty talent (sarcasm) for pushing down and burying my not-so-happy-go-lucky feelings.

Well, that was the case…until I started writing this little blog.

Anytime I’ve ever had a pressing issue on my mind, I have found it worlds easier to write about rather than talk about it. I remember in fifth grade when I got my first “boyfriend.” I was so excited and embarrassed at the same time, but I wanted my mom to know. So what did I do? I wrote her a note. Whenever I knew I needed real help with my eating disorder, what did I do? I wrote my mother a note. I’m pretty sure that my husband has a secret stash of all my old notes to him throughout the past nine years.

So, this blog is just a compilation of a bunch of little notes that I want to share with the world. It is a place where I actually can speak what is on my mind without feeling scared or embarrassed or judged.  It is a place where I can actually see myself relating to Kelly Zwagerman on so many levels.

Like Kelly, I have also given much thought to the question of who I am now and who I want to be as I continue through this life, and I find myself coming up with the exact same answers…

“I want to be a strong female role model.” I’ve always, always, always believed in leading by example. I feel like now it is my duty to live a life fulfilling a positive body image and healthy lifestyle.  

“I want to be an inspirational and motivational teacher,” or rather nurse in my case. I so desperately want to work as a nurse in an eating disorder unit so that I can give hope to patients and hopefully motivate them to take the right steps toward recovery.

“I want to be a parent (someday) who builds a network of love and support for my children.” Goodness I want to be a mom someday…..so, so much. I can’t even look at my husband without getting giddy imagining him and me being parents someday.

And of course, I too, “want to be a kind and caring friend.” 

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, support Kelly on her “health as opposed to glamour” focus. I’m not necessarily opposed to glamour…I’m definitely a girly-girl who likes to paint my nails on a daily basis and wear make-up to workout in. I enjoy getting all dolled up for things and feeling pretty. So, maybe I’d say something more along the lines of “healthy is glamorous.”

We definitely do need to “combat” this culture that has been created through the media that thin equals beautiful. We’ve been given countless images, literally unreal images, to compare ourselves to…to make ourselves feel unworthy. Less beautiful.

But, if we all can look deep within ourselves, we know that our beauty does not come from a size. It does not come from a weight. It does not come from a lack of cellulite. Or wrinkles. Or stretch marks. Beauty does not come from these things that we have been told over and over again in magazines.

Beauty truly comes from inside. From your heart.

And the fact is, we’ve been taught that too, from early on in life. We’ve all heard our mothers tell us that it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. However, I had a coach once tell me that for every negative thing you say to someone, it takes eleven positives to counter the one negative. So how can we fill ourselves with the thousands of positives we desperately need to counter everything that magazines and television are throwing at us?

Well, here are my eleven:

  1. You have a beautiful heart. You are so caring.
  2. Your smile lights up a room.
  3. You are so talented. Think of all the good you can do with your talent.
  4. You are so loving.
  5. You are so worthy of being loved. Someone is sure lucky to know you.
  6. You are a nice person. Your kindness is overwhelming.
  7. Your personality is so welcoming.
  8. You are thoughtful.
  9. You are radiant.
  10. Your kindness is contagious.
  11. You are gorgeous just the way God created you.
Thank you Kelly, for making me realize that my words can serve a purpose. Hopefully these eleven on this little blog took one negative away from someone reading it!
I guess we have more in common than I thought. 🙂
ang


A Life Too Blessed For One Girl

This week’s chapter, Coorporation and Appreciation, from The Girls From Ames was a lot about family, and family is so utterly important to me. I am so grateful to have grown up in such a loving home and to have such amazing relationship with my mom…

…like Jane, I can imagine her saying, “I want them (my kids) to become happy, fulfilled women who feel a sense of pride in themselves.” Her happiness and pride for Maggie and me was/is contagious, and she has always made us feel like the two smartest, most beautiful girls in the world. She has a humble smile and a spark in her eyes when she looks at us. I think she can look at us and know she’s done a wonderful job raising us. I hope she knows.

Because I’m not a mom yet, I cannot give myself a grade on motherhood like the girls from Ames did in this chapter. I’ve always been somewhat of a perfectionist, and I rarely accept anything less than an A. I know, though, that when the time comes and I have the opportunity to be a mom, if I put in just half the love, caring, determination, dedication, and hard work that my mom put in, an A will be a walk in the park. When I look back and think of everything she did for my sister and I, I almost can’t believe it. A+ for you mom.

I have a beautiful relationship with my dad…

…as mentioned in the book, studies show that most men would prefer to have sons. I know my husband has dreams of raising boys and coaching them to become  team of elite, professional athletes (which is why I’m pretty sure we’ll be having all girls!). However, I think for my dad it was different. I don’t actually know, because I never asked him if he ever wanted to have a son, but the way he interacts with Maggie and me made me believe that God meant for him to have girls. I think from the second I was born he fell completely head over heels.

Like the girls’ husbands and daughters, I think my dad and I also bonded a lot through activities. I can remember when I was younger (and had dreams of playing in the WNBA…true story) my dad and I would play game after game of one on one basketball in the driveway. He made me feel like I was really good by letting me beat him over and over. Thanks pops.

And then there’s my sister…

…she is my best friend.

When we were little, though, I kind of considered her a bully! I mean, she hit me with barbies, made my nose bleed, and threw spoons at my friends! She was always grounded for doing something bad, while I was a perfectly-behaving princess. 🙂

As we have grown a little bit older, we have also grown so much closer. I think Jane wishes are right on when she says, “…and most importantly, I want them (her daughters) to really love each other. I always say to them, ‘Friends come and go, but you always have your sister.'” As I’ve come and gone through different stages of my life, my group of friends have always come and gone, as well. I will admit that a lot of that is my own fault, just not staying in touch well enough. But through everything, my sister has been there. Everything.

We don’t talk or see each other quite enough for our liking, but when we do get that quality time, we can stay up for hours on end just talking. I think we “get” each other in a way that many people just don’t understand.

Now those were just the people who were put in my life without a choice! You all probably get tired of reading about it, but I still cannot truly put into words how lucky I am to have found the perfect person to spend the rest of my life with and someday start a family with.

Like the girls, I’ve thought a lot about what it takes to make a marriage last forever. I like all their line of questioning…”How does he make me feel about myself…how attentive he is…the quality of life he brings to my family.”

Well, he tells me how smart and pretty I am about a million times a day, he still gives me butterflies when I see him, and I am always ecstatic when he comes home…so I’d say I caught a good one! 😉

And as always with The Girls From Ames, this chapter placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of friendship.

I mentioned earlier how my friends have always come and gone throughout my life. I truly believe now that I am in a place where my friends now are friends for life. These beautiful girls are always there for me, waiting to lift me up, give me hope, make me laugh, or just make me feel awesome in general! I have also had the opportunity recently, living in a new town, to make new friends…something I’ve always been somewhat afraid of.

Also mentioned in the chapter is an organization called “Girlfriends For Life,” an organization that emphasizes how important women’s relationships are in times of depression or crisis. I think they put it just right when they say,

“Sometimes the only think keeping a woman from falling over is the girlfriend right beside her.”

Thanks Zaslow and the girls from Ames for another delightful week of reading, and reminding me how important everyone is in my life.

I live a life too blessed for one girl.

ang

You May Have Noticed

Hi pretties! I hope your week has started off great!

I just wanted to let you know that there will be no book club post tomorrow.

I am so sorry, but I will be out all day with a very handsome honey!

Do you know why?

It’s because tomorrow is our three year anniversary!!!

Also, you may have noticed that I have been blogging a little less, and been a little more absent on Facebook and twitter. That is because this handsome honey I mentioned is a teacher who is home for the summer, who likes to sleep in and cuddle, play tennis, workout, watch movies on the couch, and play cards on the deck with me, therefore consuming much of my time…

…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

ang

“Honey, Are You Crying?”

That’s what Matt asked me last night as I was reading this weeks chapters from The Girls From Ames.

“No,” I replied as a wiped the tears and snot on the sleeve of my oversized night shirt.

“Yes you are. Why are you crying?”

“It’s just so sad!”

This weeks reading made me think a lot about my beautiful Wish Kid Gabi. And it made me think about her gorgeous mom…and her dad and all three of her adorable sisters. I’ve only met them all a handful of times, but they all have an amazing, unmistakable presence about them. They all seem so positive, even with that evil cancer invading their lives. They all seem so grateful…grateful for Gabi’s good days, grateful for their good health, grateful for their blessings, but especially grateful for their families’, their friends’, and perfect strangers’ prayers for Gabi.

While I have had the opportunity to be a part of Gabi’s wish experience, I have thought  lot about what it would be like in her mother’s shoes. Then, reading the chapters Their First Child and Tears in the Ladies’ Room, I thought even more about being a mother. Maybe it’s because of my age, maybe it’s because many of my friends are having babies soon, or maybe I just have a bad case of baby fever, but I worry more now about something happening to my future children than something happening to me. I guess that’s just a mother’s instinct. If only I had a nickel for every time my mom said, “Just wait…when you have your own kids someday you’ll understand why I worry,” I’d be a rich girl right now.

So when I hear these stories of daughters being diagnosed with cancer, yes my prayers and thoughts go out to these girls, but my heart just breaks for these mothers. I’m sure the only thing they want to do is just take all the pain out of their child. Gosh, I want to take the pain out of their daughters so that they won’t have to feel that burden!

My heart goes out so much to Karla and to Gabi’s mother. I truly can only imagine their pain…and I’m sure that doesn’t even come close to the reality.

As for these two amazing girls, Gabi and Christie, their courage is outstanding and beyond admirable.

As Zaslow writes about Christie’s positive outlook, I can’t help but read in disbelief. How could she be going through so much, yet always find the silver lining. I was touched when I read one of her quotes from her Caring Bridge site, “Life is good, and you just need to take it day by day. Be thankful to see the sun rise and set each day.”

Honestly, there is probably not a better piece of advice in the world.

And then I think back to a quote from Gabi on her Caring Bridge site. Let me back up a bit and give you a small history on Gabi. She is a ten year old girl who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her leg earlier this year. After much consideration, Gabi and her family chose to have rotationplasty, a rare surgery to cut out the tumor and to give her the best chance to continue to do the things she loves (she’s a little dancer). This is not a small decision for a ten year old girl, and her mother was worried about her self esteem, how other children might take it, and how Gabi would feel about it in the future. Gabi’s reasoning (as quoted from her Caring Bridge site),

“That looks really weird, and it will probably take me a year to get used to it.  But at least I will be able to dance again.”

Courage.Out.Of.This.World.

So during times of my own trials and when I feel like I’m being tested, I will try to remind myself that life is good, and at least I can dance.

ang

Rest in peace Christie Rae Blackwood, and to all those who read this, please keep precious Gabi in your prayers during her recovery!

 

The Bonds of Pop Culture

This Book Club post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m not sure if I should admit it, but I am truly bummed that I cannot attend the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert next weekend. Yes, I am a twenty-five (almost six) year old who is sad about missing the chance to see the Backstreet Boys. It’s almost like fifteen years ago when I cried because I missed the chance to score great seats to the BSB concert by one person in line. Cried. We still got to go to the concert, but Brian Littrell might have pulled my sister up on stage if we were in front row seats.

I loved reading the chapter in The Girls From Ames about The Bonds of Pop Culture. The girls’ obsession with Rod Stewart, the Osmond Brothers, and the Jackson 5 reminded me so much of the time when I’d pop the Backstreet Boys or Boys to Men cassette tape into my walkman, put on my head phones, and walk up and down my street. I thought I was so cool. I remember walking back into my house so entwined with singing the song blaring in my ears that I didn’t notice my dad sitting in the living room observing my insanity. Needless to say…embarrassing.

(Not quite as embarrassing as the fact the my little sister was obsessed with Billy Ray Cyrus…no, not Miley…Billy Ray…and she had a jumbo poster of him and his mullet in a frame!)

I remember sitting up in my best friend’s bedroom…her, my sister, and me…writing letters to each of our favorite Backstreet Boy members. Actually they wrote letters, I, being the wonderful artist at the age of ten, decided that it would catch Howie’s attention better if I drew and sent him a portrait of himself. Weird and creepy.

(I guess I had a “thing” for curly haired boys back then, too!)

Fast forward now to present day as I am mourning the fact that I never got to give Howie that picture and that I won’t get the chance to do so next Saturday. The truth is, I haven’t been to a concert since back in those days when I was a preteen, and my best friends think that is just craziness.

So, for my twenty-seventh (Wait…didn’t I just say I was twenty-five? That’s right, I’m skipping twenty-six because I don’t like even numbers.) my best friends surprised me with concert tickets to see Katy Perry!So, while I may have dismissed pop culture for the past several years, I’m proud to say that I’m back in it, and that I cannot wait until August 17th!

Thank you so much Heather and Casey for a wonderful birthday present, and I can’t wait to sing along, or scream, or jump up and down, or whatever people do at concerts now-a-days with you girls! ‘Cause baby, we are ALL fireworks!

(Umm…wow…way too cheesy!)

ang

Marathon Training, W.O.W., Soaps By Di, and GOTR!

Good morning lovelies! I have missed you!

I missed my Book Club post this week…I am so sorry!Tip of the DayKeep your book in a handy location. For example, I have switched over to using a very big purse so that I can fit my book in it (and wallet, and four different lipglosses, and mascara, and bottle of water, and comb, and camera, and phone, and headphones…) and take it everywhere! Therefore, it will be too hard for me to forget book club again!

So girls who are following along with the reading, I will make this week’s book club post tomorrow (only two days late), and it will just be over chapter eleven, The Bonds of Pop Culture.

In other news…I received and e-mail yesterday informing me that my first marathon is eight weeks away!

Um…what?!?! Only eight weeks!?!? I’ll be honest…that number did scare me a little bit, but I got in a great thirteen mile run this morning, thanks to some lovely girls!

So…if you know me, you know that I typically run by myself. Yes, I beg and beg and beg my hubby to join me (and he has…twice now!), but I usually end up lacing up the shoes for a long, lonely date with my headphones.

But a couple months ago I was told about a womens running group in my town for all types of runners and walkers. I joined the group on Facebook, and saw all their postings for group runs several times a week, but I was always too scared to go meet up with them. Most of you just know me through my blog, but my family and friends that do know me know that I can be a little awkward in real-life…shy with a tiny, high-pitched (mistaken for a twelve year old) voice. Awkward. On top of my already awkward shyness and not knowing anybody in this town, I was always afraid to join in on a group run because I worried about not being fast enough or going too fast, or I worried about whether or not I am supposed to make conversation or if I should be be focused and quiet, or if I am breathing too hard and they think I’m in terrible shape or if I’m not breathing hard enough and they think I’m about to die. Nevertheless…I’ve always been afraid!Last week I saw that one of the W.O.W. girls was organizing an eight mile run on the exact same day that I was scheduled to do an eight mile run for my marathon training. I thought that’d be a good time to make an appearance, but I was still afraid for all of the above reasons. Then I saw someone else ask about the pace of the run…and lo and behold, the pace matched my pace exactly! I thought it must be meant to be, so I decided that I’d actually join the girls for my first group run!

Let me tell you…I LOVED it!

Running with a group made the time and miles just fly by, and it motivated me to pick up my pace a little bit and keep it up!

For this morning’s long run, I ran two and a half miles to W.O.W.’s meeting place, ran five with the group, then ran another three with one of the beautiful ladies, then finished the last two and a half miles running back home. It was a great run, but Missouri’s humidity is ridiculous! I have never been more sweaty in my life! It looked like I jumped in a pool with my clothes on!

So, thank you pretty W.O.W. girlies for a great run!

ang

P.S. Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di has donated $42 to Girls on the Run through my fundraising website! Girls on the RunYou have nine more days to take advantage of her special (for each soap sold she donates $1 to GOTR)!!! It ends on July 15th! I just used one of my favorite scents, cotton candy, for my post-run shower! YUMMY!

 

Book Club Post…Five Hundred and Thirteen Pages

Finally…book club is back (like, four years later)! And since nearly half a decade has passed since I have written about my girlies from Ames, I have four whole chapters to recap (yikes!) So, I’ve decided to do this post a little differently so that I don’t end up writing a nine-hundred and seventy-three page book report!

For each chapter, I will pick out my favorite quote, and then write about what that quote means to me…then you can do the same (if you want to)!

The Intervention

Studies suggest that the average girl today is likely to grow up to be a lifelong dieter, to have a distorted body image, and to be emotionally scarred by cliques.”

Poor Sally to have to go through that. It takes a very strong person to come out of such a devastating situation with so much forgiveness.

And, of course I’d pick this quote in this chapter. The most disturbing word here is “likely”…the average girl is likely. A couple paragraphs later this “likeliness” is referred to as a “national crisis”. A national crisis indeed!

When did we (girls, women, media, people) become so mean…so comparing…so judgmental?! I’m not saying I’m innocent either, although I like to think that I keep other peoples’ feelings in mind before I speak. But again, I’m not innocent. I catch myself making comments about people on television, about people I see in a store, about myself. Then I feel like a hypocrite for preaching about owning your beauty here on my blog.

However, I do think if we all (as in everyone in this world!) could make a conscious effort to change the way we talk about other people, change the way we talk to ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves to other people (easier said than done, I know), then we could change this “likeliness”.

I read a quote from Lolly on twitter today that read,

When you know who you are~you are more accepting of others.”

This sentence is so true. Live it…..and remember that you are deserving and beautiful and admirable…and you will see those traits in others, too!

FBB and Other Secrets

There were times when they felt humiliated or ashamed and kept it to themselves.”

I chose this quote because it is so me. I definitely find it hard to talk about the difficult things in life, and I’d rather people view me as a happy person! But I have learned to keeping up a happy face is not always possible…..and that’s okay! The funny thing about it is, whenever I actually have talked to someone about my problems, I always feel better afterward…then I can actually go back to being happy!

Defining Love

“‘I think we’re meant to truly love one person, to have a life partner.'” 

Okay…so I loved this chapter!!! (Of course this sappy, lovey-dovey chapter would be my favorite!) I feel like I can relate so much to Karla in this chapter. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my life partner…my soul mate…my one true love! I agree with Karla in that I believe God put two people in this world who are just meant for each other!

And I can partly agree with Kelly. I don’t necessarily agree that a person should have a new love with every stage of their life. But, witnessing my mother get married last year to a man that is not my dad has made me believe that it is possible to love more than once in a lifetime. I know that my parents loved each other, and without that love, my sister and I wouldn’t be here. But I also know that after so long, my parents were not right for each other. Now my mom is happy in love again (and I’m working on my dad…anyone know any lovely, single 40-50 year olds?! Hehe!)

And although I don’t have children yet, I admire Karla’s love for her daughter, too. I believe when I am a mother I will feel that same way. I also loved the quote in this chapter, “The girls watched her snuggle with her baby, partly envying her and partly wondering about the ways in which loving feelings would swell inside them when their time came to be mothers.” I feel the same way when I watch other people with their babies, and I just cannot wait to be a mother someday!

“If Not for You”

Women need other women.Dare I say…sometimes women just understand better than men. I adore my husband, and I will always tell him everything, but I will always need some lovely lady to rely on. I’ve always had my mom and sister there for me if I ever needed anything, and now I feel like I have a strong core of girlfriends that are always there for me, as well. I know that my mom feels a lot of the time that I am grown up and don’t need her anymore…but mom, I will always need you. (And you too, Maggie, and all my girlies!) Always.

Sorry…this did end up pretty close to a five hundred and thirteen page book report! What were your favorite quotes of these chapters? If you aren’t that far, or just aren’t reading the book, what do these quotes mean to you?

ang

Bloggie-Housekeeping

Oh my goodness! Life has been pretty hectic since Mexico!

(I borrowed this picture from my BFF Heather…thanks girl! I haven’t even had time to upload my own photos yet!)

The vacation was absolutely wonderful! I promise there will be more pictures to come!

However, I have been a bad, bad blogger! It’s just that everything has been a whirlwind since we returned…first Father’s Day (love you Pops, and Pops-in-law, and Rob), then being sick (they say don’t drink the water in Mexico…but what do you do when you’re thirsty?!), then the hubs and I immediately started moving into our new duplex because I could not stay one more night in the presence of a million spiders at the old place. I’m not exaggerating either…I’m sure there were a million spiders there (okay, okay…more like seventy-three…but close enough, right?!) Anyway…I’m still not completely moved, still not completely unpacked (or even close to being unpacked), and the laundry is still piled to the ceiling. But, I wanted to get a quickie post in for a little “bloggie-housekeeping”, and because I miss “talking” to YOU, hearing from you, and reading your blogs, too!

First on my bloggie-housekeeping to-do list…THANK YOU for everyone who has purchased soaps from Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di to support my fundraising as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run! So far Soap It Up has raised $20.00 for Girls on the Run! 

If you didn’t see my post earlier this month, Soap It Up is donating $1 for each bar of soap sold…and it has now been extended through July 15th! (My goal is to raise $100 from these delightful little soaps…I’m 20% there!) Please take advantage of this special because I PROMISE that you will ADORE these soaps. I recommend cherry, lemonade, red clover tea, cotton candy, or patchouli orange for that special muchacho in your life! You can smell delicious AND support preteen girls! Yes!!!

Number two on the bloggie-housekeeping chore list…I haven’t forgot about my book club!I’m sure you noticed that I missed the weekly book club post this Tuesday, but I will be making the next book club post next Tuesday. I brought my book the Mexico with me with hopes of reading on the plane or on the beach, but I became too engrossed with looking out the window at the clouds or playing (yes, playing…I’m like a child) in the sand. Also, half of the people reading the book with me were also in Mexico…and I didn’t notice any of you girls reading, either! So, anyway…book club next Tuesday…it’s a date!

Lastly on my housekeeping list…I just want to let everyone know how much I’ve missed you (and you and you and you!) Still, my posts and comments might be a little sporadic for a little while longer until I finish this moving business! Being on the beach for a week has given me so much inspiration on future blog posts, and I have several exciting things coming up in the future to write about!

…but for now, it’s late…(uh, I mean early?)…and my overuse of exclamation marks leads me to believe that I need to calm down and go to sleep!

xoxo, ang