Friday, April 5, 2013

Chi Omega

Twenty years ago I was initiated into Chi Omega. When I made my plans to attend college joining a sorority was not a part of that plan. Actually, deciding to go through rush was a last minute decision based on a high school friend asking me to because she wanted someone to go through it with her.

I had a lot of fun during rush and I remember really liking my rho chi and wondering what was her sorority because she was so down to earth that any group she belonged to I would like as well. As fate would have it Allyson was a Chi Omega.

What an amazing time I had being a part of this wonderful organization of women. Tonight I was looking through a journal and found a poem about Chi Omega.


Tribute

Love Chi Omega not only for what she represents, but for how you represent her.

Love Chi Omega for the happiness she brings out in you and those around you.

Love Chi Omega by putting your heart into Chi Lambda and coming away with wonderful possibilities that few are fortunate to find.

Love Chi Omega by overlooking any disharmony and adding to the music of her Symphony.

Love Chi Omega because she expects good things of you and rejoices in your successes.

Love Chi Omega because you make her the best by just being yourself.

After all this is what Chi Omega means...

Monday, February 11, 2013

40 !?!? Where Did Time Go?

Ok...I recently turned 39 ( a month and a half ago), but I am already thinking about my 40th birthday. I mentioned in a Facebook post that in my head I still feel like I am twenty five and that is totally true.

So it got me thinking though, when did I become a grown up?

I remember when I first started teaching I was considered one of the young ones. I was single, living in an apartment with two college friends, meeting all sorts of new people, and having a whole lot of twenty-something fun.

Now fast-forward fifteen years and in ten months I will be the big 4-0! Where did the time go?

Yes, I have a wedding ring on my finger, three kids, two dogs, a mortgage, car payments, and a laundry list of other responsibilities BBBBUUUUTTTT I am still that young girl who could take off at a moments notice but still needed her dad when she had a flat tire. Right???

Well yes and no. It is a lot harder for me to take off on a moment's notice now, but I still need my parents for lots of things (even if it is just moral support). This is how I think I have grown into becoming a grown up...my expectations have softened. Life does not need to be perfect (or even have the appearance to be perfect). I am more aware of all of my blessing and am grateful for each and every one. I still try to be a super woman and take care of others over myself (I'm still working on that one).

Birthdays have never been a big deal for me. This birthday I think will be a little different and in a good way. I look at 40 as not being over the hill, but maybe as a chance to not pass on new opportunities as they present themselves.

One way I will commemorate this milestone is by possibly getting a tattoo...maybe not a typical Denise thing, but fitting for the occasion.

Wondering what else could I do? What are some new resolutions for the next 40 years of my lie I could carry out?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

12 Hugs a Day

A US family therapist, Virgina Satir, would often make the startling claim: "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

When I was in elementary school this was posted in my school's weekly newsletter. My mom read it and we instituted our twelve hug a day ritual. Everyday up until I entered middle school we set aside time each day (just a minute or two) to exchange 12 hugs.

As I watch my kids grow (way too fast for me personally) I have decided this will be our new family ritual. My way to connect in our over connected world.

What I have found is that the twelve hugs bring lots of laughter and often turns into group hugs. Also each child is a different type of hugger. Jake is a tackler. Be prepared to be knocked over when he gives you a hug. Katie is a bear hugger . She wants to wrap her arms around you and holds on tight for each and every hug. Maddie who is entering "tween"hood has become a side hugger who is almost embarrassed by it, but by the twelfth hug she is enjoying it as much as the rest of us.

So maybe twelve hugs a day can keep the doctor away and keep us connected a little more.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Now Understand Why My Mom...

Now that I am a mom there are several things I understand...

-Now I understand why she got up at 5 am willingly each day.  I always wondered why my mom got up so early each day (even holidays and weekends).  Now that I am a mom that seems to be the only quiet time I have.  I do not get up super early, but if I can be up before the kids even just 30 minutes I truly cherish the quiet time.

-Now I understand why she did used the tell me "dirt cleans my stomach."  Whenever a food item fell on the floor she would tell me "It's ok - dirt cleans your stomach."  There are times I find myself repeating the same words to my own children.  Not when we are out in public places eating, but at home, if something falls on the floor, I do not make a big deal out of it.

-Now I understand why she did not always make a big deal out of falls, scrapes, and my brothers bothering me.  By mom not coming to my rescue every time I had a minor scrape or argument with my brothers taught me that every mis-event in life need not include drama and that I could get out of many situations on my own.

-Now I understand why my mom told me not to get married until I was at least 25.  Turning 25 was a big deal for me.  When I look back on it I see it as the point when I truly became an adult.  I think not marrying before 25 was a very smart on my part because I would not have the life I have now and I truly love my life.

What do you now understand about your mom, now that you are a parent?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks for Many Blessings

I originally wrote this in 1997, and it was published by The State newspaper on September 12, 1997.  I was thinking of my new blessings since then and thought I would give this an update.

This is a thank you letter to all of the special people in my life - past and present - who have played a part in making me the person I am today.

You see, I was born two months premature with a congenital birth defect that affecteldd;lf;lfsdl;dd both my hands and feet.  The many doctors I have seen over the years went back and  forth with names for it, and it was not until I became an adult that doctors settled on distal arthrogryposis.  I spent lots of time in hospitaThamls with doctors poking and prodding me.  Now I am 37 years old, a mother and wife, and a full time special education teacher.

My first thank you is to my parents and my brothers.  I need to thank them for everything they have done for me - big and small - but especially for giving em the gift of a normal childhood.

I want to thank my parents for the nights spent at the hospital,countless doctors appointments, for calling me "Nena", and singing me songs about my life.

Thank you to my parents for being proud of my accomplishments, for guiding me through my failures, for wiping away my tears, for sharing my laughter, and for loving me.  Thank you for making me who I am - your daughter who loves you very much.

Thank you to my brothers for letting me tag along with you and your friends and not complaining (at least not too much).  Thank you for fighting with me  and playing with me  and bringing me pizza when I refused to eat hospital food.  Thank you also to my sister-in-law, nephews, and nieces for their love, smiles, and hugs.

Thank you to my husband for his unconditional love and unfailing support.  You have been my my best friend as well as the love of my life.  Thank you for being a wonderful husband and amazing father to our three kids.  Thank you for the memories we have made and for the many more we will make with our wonderful family.

Thank you to my children.  You teach me something new everyday.  Your grace, strength, and intelligence amaze me.  I look forward to being your mom in the years to come and to be there for all of the laughter and tears we will share.

I would next like to thank my numerous doctors.  My dad was in the Army so I spent lots of time in military hospitals and had a plethora of doctors.  I was lucky to have always had such wonderful caring doctors who took the time to talk to me and to give me those nasty sugar free suckers.  Thank you to my doctors who through the surgeries and leg braces did their best to walk better and use my hands in a more useful way.

Thank you for treating me as a person and not as a patient.

I have a very special thank you for a doctor in Fort Gordon, Georgia - Dr. Baja.  He was my doctor for many years.  He called me "princess" and made me look forward to going to the hospital.  I know when I went I would see his smile and hear him ask, "How is my little princess today?"  Thank you for caring for my life outside of the hospital.

Thank you to the therapists and doctors that have treated my daughter who also have distal arthrogryposis.  They have helped my girls grow to be confident in themselves and with their knowledge have lessened the need for them to have had as many surgeries as I did.

Thank you to all of my teachers at Conder, Dent, and Richland Northeast.  Thank you for giving me one of the most precious gives of all - an education.  Also, thank you for giving me the desire to bestow this same gift on others by becoming a teacher.  I was very lucky to have had such wonderful teachers.

Thank you to all my friends from childhood to adulthood.  Thank you for the fun and special memories we have created.  Thank you for consoling me when I felt inconsolable and for laughing with me until we could laugh no more.

Thank you to the Lord, our God, for giving me my family and friends, and for giving me the strength that has enabled me to have the wonderful life I have had.

I remember growing up, wishing not to have been born with distal arthrogryposis.  I used to think how much easier life would have been.  But now I know that I would not be the same strong, intelligent, confident person I am today.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My List: What I Look Forward to in the Fall

In the car today one of my girls asked me what I was looking forward to about the fall and we started coming up with a lis of 10 things we like about fallt:

1.  Cooler temperatures
2.  College football
3.  Have a routine again when school starts
4.  Being able to play / be outside without wearing mosquito repellent
5. The leaves changing colors
6.  Feeling like life is settling down some
7.Pumpkin patches
8.  The crackle of leafs on the side walk
9.  The State Fair
10. Halloween

Fall has always been my favorite season.  I can't wait for it to come soon.

What is your favorite season?

Things This Mom Does Not Do


I came across this blog the other day from The Happiest Mom and on it the writer listed 5 things she does not do as a mom and 5 things she wishes she did do as a mom.  

I thought I would try my own list.

Things This Mom Does Not Do
Purposefully Lose at Games.  I am too competitive to lose at games when I play with my children.  If they win, it is an honest win, and if they lose well then they have to deal with it...

Watch Cartoons.  Many of the cartoons now a days really grate on my nerves.  It is rare I will sit down and watch a cartoon with my kids and not have something else to do (read a book, grade papers, etc.).  Now I do enjoy watching many of kid movies with them, but when it come to the 30 minutes shows on Disney, Nick Jr., or Sprout...I could do without.

Iron.  I think one of the best products out there is Downy Wrinkle Release spray.  It has saved me many mornings from having to iron clothes.  I will iron on rare occasions, but for the most part I just leave it to my husband to take care of.

Things this Mom Does Not Do  BUT Wants To
Do More Craft Activities.  I would love to do more craft activities with my kids.  I find that sometimes my patience and / or energy level is zapped by the time I get home or the weekend comes to do these type of activities.  I know my kids would love it and I hope I can make this a reality soon.

Finish / Start My Children's Scrapbooks.  I am so far behind and there are times I want to give up.  Katie's is 3/4 of the way done and Jake only has photos organized into a folder for when I do start his.    I hope to make his a bound book instead of a scrap book.

Take More Home Movies of the Kids.  We took a ton of footage when Maddie was little and then there has been a sharp decline of the video footage taken with each child.  I was reminded tonight when I took snippets of Jake's dancing of how much I may be missing...



What are your mom don'ts?