Step up Ladies and Gents because I have the answer you need. The elixir of life in one bold package to heal all that ails you. There is nothing at all like it although many try to imitate. In a pale shadow that is a mere reflection of the remedy I’ll provide, I might add. My all purpose cure will help you in areas of Religion, Marriage, Parenting, Friendships, Workplace, Weight loss, Addictions and all your financial goals. Reesie’s Tried and True Elixir of Life Application is an all purpose cure. It’s an amazing restorative all in one application. All for the low, low price of $12 a year in your app store available on all electronic devices. I’m not kidding. I’ve got the answer. Or at least a method to help us organize the answer. Follow me down the rabbit hole for a second and I’ll provide an example. I talk a lot about my weight loss journey. I push my struggles, victories, insights on anyone who will listen and frequently people that have no interest in listening. I’m fun like that. Sometimes people fall into an unexpected, disastrous pit when they have been successful at weight loss. It’s a kick in the teeth when you’ve reached your goal and you think it’s going to be the magic key to happiness. A lot of people that have experienced a significant weight gain for an extended period of time spend their social lives in the background of others. The sidekick that supports the attractive friend, the person on the fringe of the group instead of the middle. The person that had a slow steady buildup to relationships instead of instant persual by an attractive person. changeHere is the kick in the teeth: When you have made a drastic change in appearance, you typically begin to feel more confidant. You are most likely putting more thought into your appearance, and you tend to be more engaged in life. Odds are that you have also made new friends as extreme weight loss typically includes lifestyle changes such as an entire host of friends made at the gym. People are going to start to notice you. They will pursue you. They will flirt, they will compliment you. Strangers will approach you when previously you had been invisible. You are no longer on the fringe, you are the center. It can be intoxicating. It will be intoxicating. It can be a dirty, ugly pit of temptation if you aren’t aware it’s coming. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen achieve their weight loss goal only to throw away their marriage. All of a sudden you feel sexy and attractive and your steady and true spouse that loves you regardless of your weight isn’t quite as exciting. If they aren’t on this journey with you, they might not even be interested or able to have a lively conversation about all the new things you are interested in. Maybe you feel your new partner at crossfit, or your running buddy understands you better than your spouse. They know your new hopes and dreams and they “get you” while your spouse is nagging about help with the kids. Losing weight and developing a healthy lifestyle is positive. I argue that if it is an extreme change, even a positive one, it still needs to be accompanied by counseling. At the very least a constant self monitoring, self evaluating, temperature check to make sure the change isn’t destroying something in another area of your life unintentionally. the devilThe problem is that change is hard. All change. Good and Bad. It changes the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Change in a major area can alter your life drastically. We need a way to stop and take a good hard look at ourselves at a regular basis. But not piecemeal. We need a wholelistic view. A time to stop and analyze. A temperature check because eventually, it all connects. We need a better way to connect it all. Thus we all need Reesie’s Tried and True Elixir of Life Application available in your app store for all electronic devices. (I don’t really have an app) Most of us are familiar with either a running app or a weight loss app. You plug in your goal, it tracks your progress and it will send you helpful hints to help you active your goal dependent on the things you are typing in. Reesie’s Tried and True Elixir of Life Application would be the mother of all apps. You would plug in your religion, both you and your spouse’s current weight status and goals, your financial status and goals, your location and an app that will survey restaurants and events going on in your area and the weather, your marriage status and 5 top main topics of concern, your ideal date night along with your spouse ideal date night, all anniversaries and birthdays, your love language and your spouse’s love language and your children’s love languages*, your color code*, your children’s ages and all activities they are involved in, your 5 closest friends hobbies and what your main activity for fun you do with them, your work goals, your 5 year plan, and then an area where you could provide any additional information that is critical like you or your spouse dealing with addictions or health concerns that need to be considered. self loveThen that puppy would be your life coach. The friend that gives solid advice. The harsh but true advice no one wants to give. If it sees that you are making strides in your work goals but you haven’t had a date with your spouse in 2 months it would send a reminder that their love language was X and you both had time between your kids sporting events and you should go biking or on a long romantic walk as you have both gained 5lbs in the past week and the local weather would be perfect those days. It would remind you to include your spouse in your activities if you had lost 30lbs but your spouse gained 10 by suggesting a host of activities or topics to share based on their color code and motivation*. Or it would ding and tell you that the last three dates were only items YOU liked to do and would suggest alternatives in your spouses category according to activities going on in your location. Then it would send you a lesson based on your selected religion about marriage to revisit or pray about. Or maybe it would tell you that according to your faith and financial goals you plugged into your app and your recent work successes you had an opportunity to go on a vacation AND up your tithe by a certain percentage. It could even get really harsh and tell you that your sudden loss of income means you should be saving money instead of going out on dates at all and provide all the Dave Ramsey courses being offered in the area to help you through this financial crisis. Then send you date options that are free and still within both your love languages. Handle your business. Don’t fall into the ugly pit because you didn’t manage your change. That’s a steal of a deal for $12 a year. *www.MotiveMatters.com (Color Code) *The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate is a 1995 book by Gary Chapman.
Some people like Vegas, some people love Vegas, and some people think it’s the cesspit of all that is evil and wrong with our society. Temptation is laid out to trap you like a fish on a hook and drag you down into Hell. The Devil’s Den. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. I’m not here to judge or guide so you need to take that up with your Momma and the Lord. As for me, I love Vegas. I always have. I love the fact that you can eat in Paris and dance in Egypt in a 4 hour timespan. You can relax by a beach under a cabana and then eat at a 5 star restaurant and watch a magnificent show before you fall asleep. As luck would have it, I was able to go to Vegas with a few couples over valentines weekend. The main thing I like to do in Vegas is dance. It’s just been a while since I’ve danced all night in spiked heels so I felt like I needed a refresher. Two stepping in a country bar wearing your boots is leagues away from Vegas in heels at 2am. I needed to know that if I went low, low, low my pants wouldn’t split and my back wouldn’t snap in two. Or that I could even get up off the floor should I get down that low. Frankly, I’d rather come home from Vegas having needed bail money than a neck brace from a horrible dance move throwing me into traction. Priorities. My first solution to this was to go into my bathroom and lock the door. I picked my bathroom because that’s the only place I could see myself in a mirror to try to gauge how stupid I looked. I would sneak in there after the kids were in bed and the husband was distracted. I’d click that lock as quiet as possible and turn the music down low. I’d wear my heels and my mommy spandex so the jiggling wouldn’t distract me (learned that gem in the first 5 minutes) and then I would play videos I had uploaded from Youtube. All I learned was that I did indeed look very stupid with all the moves, the moves had not changed in the last 10 years, and my heels made a loud enough banging noise on the tile that my husband would sometimes hear me over his loud action video games. Twice he ventured to knock on the door to ask if I was okay. All I could think to yell out was, “I need privacy, I’m trying to poop!” I’m not sure how he related that to an oddly loud banging noise, but he swiftly went away. Sprinted away. Stayed away. In retrospect that is probably why he kept asking me if I needed to go see a doctor for a check up. The Youtube videos didn’t work but my friend invited me to a burlesque class. This is where I found all the information that a woman needs to face any situation. It took two classes to discover an epic truth about life that all women need to be taught. Information that needs to be imprinted on our brains. magicAll you need to be sexy and sassy is the BELIEF that you are sexy and sassy. I’ve heard this before but I always thought the sentiment came from people that were in fact NOT sexy and sassy. Kind of like giving a trophy to everyone instead of just the winners. But it’s true. Belief. That’s it. That’s all you need. I’ll prove it. I had no idea what to expect from a burlesque class. I kept it quiet as I was thinking it would be along the lines of those ‘pajama parties’ people throw sometimes. Fun and innocent yet with a thrill that you are doing something oh so naughty that people would judge you for if you say it out loud. But that was not what this was. First of all it was held at a legitimate dance studio and was taught by a legitimate dance instructor that mostly teaches ballet. No one was dressed skimpy, we were all in our workout clothes. I walked into class and our instructor was short and middle aged. Frankly, she did not look athletic and she did not strike me as attractive. It was the end of the day so her makeup was gone except for the dark smudges you get under your eyes from your mascara running down your face and exhaustion. Her hair was in a messy bun on top of her head. It wasn’t a fashionable messy bun, it was a birds nest of hair perched on the top of her head and would flop about as she talked in an unflattering manner. Her sweats were old and baggy, her shirt was loose and then tight in all the wrong spaces on her body. I remember thinking that I had just wasted my money. Then the music started. The music started and just with her going through the motions of getting us warmed up I was convinced she was the sexiest woman on the planet. The sexiest woman on the planet doing moves that were innocent enough to break out in front of any audience. I have no idea how she married sexy and innocent and fun into one miracle but she did. Oh my sweet goodness she did. If I had been a man, I wouldn’t have left that night without her phone number and a date. By the end of class I was convinced she could teach us all exactly what we needed to know to achieve a semblance of sexy and sassy as well. I was going to rock these moves in Vegas as soon as I learned them. But I still didn’t have the entire picture. I thought it was the moves. The skills. The steps she had to teach. The next class rolled around and I was beyond excited. I stepped into class and we had a different instructor. Our original teacher had hurt herself so we had a replacement. Our replacement was a Ginger Goddess in bright blue spandex that molded to her perfect behind and toned legs. You could see every muscle on her leg defined. That was the first time I had seen muscles on a woman’s inner leg outlined. I didn’t even know that was possible. Her red hair shimmered in a perfect shiny sheet down her back, her makeup was done expertly and her lip gloss made her lips look bee stung. Her blue top molded to her upper torso and you could tell gravity had zero effect on her perky chest area and her arms were perhaps the best mix of slender, toned, lightly muscled beauty that I had seen on a person not on television. JustDanceI remember thinking this class was going to be even better than the last one. Then the music started. By the time warmup was over I knew that she had all the moves down to perfection, yet she didn’t have a drop of sexy or sassy in her perfectly sculpted body. The entire class I kept expecting her to bust out the sass, but all we got was perfection. Perfection is not sexy. Perfection is coldly beautiful. I don’t want coldly beautiful. I want a hot passion for life that explodes out of my eyes and fingers and soul. I wanted my frumpy middle aged instructor back. So then the truth that every woman should know finally hit me. It’s not the moves. It’s not a secret step we need to learn. It’s not the perfection. It’s not the perfect body, the perfect makeup, the perfect outfit. It’s just belief and passion. When I packed for Vegas, I made sure to bring along my belief and passion. I also brought along my stretchy pants and a total willingness to make a fool out of myself on a dance floor. Mission accomplished. It helps that the dance floors are dark in Vegas.
To say I’m bad in a crisis is an understatement. It’s not like I want to flip out in that critical moment, it’s just that my brain feels like it’s being squeezed like fruit at the supermarket. Yesterday was Lily’s 7th birthday. It was a great birthday. Her father went to school at her lunchtime and I delivered cupcakes to her class. For dinner, we went to her favorite restaurant and came home to open presents. It was a great day for my girl. My Lily Pie likes lip gloss. She will actually use them once in a while, but she likes the bright and shiny packages more than the actual lip gloss. She hoards them in her little purses and her backpack like a little magpie. So I made sure that one of her presents was a package of bright, shiny, sparkly lip glosses. I paid less than $4.00 for all 12 in that package and she clutched them to her chest like I gave her gold. I didn’t open the package because once we got done with presents, it was close to bedtime. I just set them on the table to put away the next day. Lily and her sisters continued to play with the presents she had opened. I’m in my room when I hear a hysterical cry. I start paying attention, but all I hear is the kids laughing again so I continue with what I’m doing. But then I hear the hysterical pain cry again. I rush to the kitchen to find Lily crying in pain, holding her hand up in the air with blood everywhere. She was clutching a package of band-aids in the other hand. She had a deep gash on her hand from a knife. In that second I didn’t stop to process why her first action wasn’t to come get me or her father. I was too busy trying not to pass out. Or vomit. I rush her over to the sink while I’m screaming to Blake that we have to go to the ER. The other two kids rush in a few steps before their father and they start running around and around the kitchen island while they scream bloody murder and cry. Blake gently and calmly takes Lily’s hand and begins to inspect the wound. So then I’m free to join the other two children crying and running around the kitchen island. Which I actually proceeded to do. Yes, I did. I didn’t scream, and I didn’t run but I was circling the island while tears streamed down my face. Not one coherent thought entered my brain. Not one. Blake snaps out, “Everyone get in the car!” The other two kids get into the car still crying and I get in the back seat with Lily so I can hold her. She just keeps crying and telling me she can’t get a shot, she can’t get a shot. Is it going to hurt? At this point, the wound has been covered and wrapped up by my husband so I am able to at least attempt to help with the situation. LiesI just kept telling her over and over they would put a numbing medicine on her hand so nothing would hurt. She keeps crying in terror and pain during the car ride so I’m not paying attention to the fact that her story of how her hand got cut didn’t make sense. I just kept her clutched to me while I told her over and over it was going to be okay. Blake drops us off at the ER entrance while he takes the other kids and goes to park the car. This is where I prove my brain isn’t functioning. I forgot how to spell Lily’s full name Lilianna and I couldn’t remember her birthday. Which is hysterical as it was her birthday. That check-in nurse was not amused. The nurses begin the check in process and ask her how her hand got cut. I’m still trying to calm myself down so I’m still not paying attention to the fact that Lily’s story doesn’t make any sense. But the nurses are paying attention. They keep asking her over and over. She keeps giving me guilty looks that are still not registering. But those guilty looks are registering with the nurses. So now we have a child that is telling an impossible story about a deep knife wound that is shooting guilty looks at her mother, a mother that is not correcting that story as her brain is in stasis, and a room full of suspicious nurses. They wouldn’t allow us all back to be with Lily so Blake stayed out in the ER waiting room with the other two kids. Which is awesome because now the family can finally all get hepatitis. Landry routinely licks random surfaces. An ER waiting room is exactly where you don’t want Landry to be. Blake would have been the logical parent to go back with Lily, but at that point you couldn’t have pried that child out of my hands with a crowbar. My brain might shut down in a crisis, but my mommy instincts kick in like an athlete on roid rage. I’m finally back in a room with Lily and I calm down enough to start paying attention to the endless amount of people coming in to ask Lily how she got hurt over and over. Nurses and people that don’t introduce themselves and are not wearing scrubs. I start noticing the looks they are giving me and the guilty looks Lily shoots my way every single time she tells her story. The story was that she tripped on the stool we have in the kitchen and fell on the knife. I have a decision to make. Now that I’m paying attention (better late than never), I know Lily is lying. Lily normally adds a lot of detail to her story. She is a talker. This had zero details past the vague story. I know she was using the knife for some reason. Lily knows that she is not allowed to use or touch a knife. Lily also does not like to be in trouble or for anyone to be mad at her. It clicked in my head that this is why she tried to get a band aid for herself and hide the wound instead of coming to me or her father. I can now let the lie stand so I don’t add to the stress of the situation or I can tell her I know she is lying and ask for the real story. I wasn’t overly concerned about the suspicious nurses, I was more concerned for my child that had been in hysterics for the better part of two hours. Every time we discipline Lily we have to keep assuring her that we still love her. She worries that being in trouble means we do not love her. I wasn’t sure I wanted to add that to the already stressful situation. But letting a lie stand just doesn’t sit right. I’m not her friend, I’m her mother. I tell her how much I love her but I know that she lied. What were you doing with the knife Lily? Lily had taken the package of lip glosses and tried to open them with one of our very sharp steak knives out of the butcher block. She wanted the shimmery one with the owl on the outside. redemptionThe moment she told the truth you could actually see her entire body relax. The stress of having to tell that lie over and over was just as stressful as the cut on her hand. She was finally able to take a deep breath, her shoulders stopped being hunched over, she could now make eye contact with me and her eyes stopped tearing up. The next time the hoard of people came in to ask Lily to tell them how she got cut, she did not shoot me any guilty looks. She did not mumble. She was not quiet. Her face was animated, the lip gloss owl was described in detail, they had to clutch her hand as she started waving it around as she spoke, and she had stopped crying. That lie that she had to tell over and over was harder on Lily than a deep slash from a knife that needed 5 stitches. It was harder than her fear of shots. I’m guessing that satisfied the suspicious hoard as they all started nodding, smiling and they immediately kicked us out. No more waiting on ‘paperwork.’ Guess I should have been more concerned about them being concerned. Lily Pie, nothing you confess will ever make us love you any less. But if you don’t confess, Mama may be in trouble with the Po-Po.