This Time Next Year

I bought this cool little journal. It’s titled “This Time Next Year~365 Days of Exploration”  by Cynthia Scher. It’s this neat little set up that is full of prompts that move you through this look into yourself and different pieces of you each day.

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The funny thing about me grabbing this book is the only thing I think I ever constantly done for 365 days straight is breathe. I’m trying to think of another thing. Right now, I got nothing. Maybe we will come back to that.

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But I am in the middle of a divorce so I think I am going to give this a real shot. This next year is going to be a life changing one. I think I kind of owe it to myself to pay a little closer attention.

The first day is supposed to be kinda easy. I am always kinda suspect of any writing idea that appears on the surface to be easy. But who am I to borrow trouble…

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My name is ~ April Kekuewa Groves

The story behind my name is ~ See, not easy. My name is about as story filled as it gets. So I am going to make a long story short and make a note to myself to come back to this later if I run out of time this  morning (this is in honor of my commitment to write everyday, whether I can publish it or not, whether I complete it or not, whether I delete it or not). April just is as far as I know. Kekuewa was the name of my paternal great grandmother (story goes my name was decreed, not suggested). Groves is the last name of one of the best families I’ve ever known and given to me by a young man who rode in on a white horse (that looked a lot like a pickup truck) almost 20 years ago.

Your nickname is ~ Momma? People typically just call me “April.” I had a nickname once many moons ago. Honey. That’s a cute story all its own as well and the face of the sweet little toddler that gave it to me is still fresh in my brain.

The story behind your nickname is ~ Guess I got ahead of myself up there 😀

Your secret name that you you wish you had ~ Ummmmm? I dunno. Siri calls me Queen Bee. My oldest spawn has me saved as “Giver of Life” in her phone. Since this is my journal, I guess that counts.

The story behind that name is ~ My kid is super funny and creative. I heard the Lordes lyric “You can call me Queen Bee” and loved it.

You are a (quick what pops into your mind ~ whole person. Yet another thing I’m going to have to come back and expand on.

The most important thing anyone should know about you is ~ That I am a whole person. A sum greater than the parts. Some of them match, some of them contradict, some are static, others always changing. If you don’t know me today, all you really know about me is who I was yesterday.

You are passionate about ~ Words and food. Both matter.  Both convey emotion. Both provide connection, community, opportunity. Words and food. So many possibilities in those two little things.

#nobow

20 Questions and the Vacuum can Kiss my Thumb!

Ok, so we know I am not a prude and have no problem with the word “ass.” Just figured this was more family friendly in the Twitter feed 🙂 I figured you would get the point. They can both kiss my ass, my thumb, my big toe, the curb – whatever.

It all started out really cute. On the ride home from picking the kids up from school, a great game of 20 Questions breaks out. It is funny to say the least. The littler ones haven’t quite grasped the strategy of asking eliminating questions and narrowing the possibilities. And the older ones are enjoying very much choosing topics that are abstract at best, unguessable at worse.

A small pattern has begun to take shape. Emily will always choose an animal. You will do better with Savannah if your first question is, “Does it have to do with Quantum Leap?” With Madison, it is the same except the qualifier is Anime. Morgan is the easiest. Just ask three or four questions, she will declare victory and tell you the answer.

Once home, the dear husband joins in the fun. And isn’t that nice? So cute to watch the whole family interacting. No TV, no electronics, no internet. Just us and our conversation. So nice.

It is my turn to pick. The kids have gotten better and, with the parental influence, the questions are more focused. I make my choice and the questions begin. Typical plant, animal, mineral type stuff. Then this…

Emily: Is it alive?

Me: It is not alive.

My dear husband: Do we have one?

Me: We do have one.

Savannah: Is it made of plastic?

Me: Parts of it is made with plastic.

Savannah: Do you use it everyday?

Me: I do not use it everyday.

My dear husband: Is it a vacuum?

No, ass, it is Elmo. I am going to watch my DVR’d American Idol episodes…

 

Hello 2012!

Welcome, 2012.

I am really glad to see you. Thanks for giving me a bit of extra time to send off 2011. We really were great together. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn, grown, and experience. But, that was yesterday…rather yesterday yesterday. Call me fickle, but you, 2012, are now my true love.

You will understand if I decline to make “resolutions.” Seriously, I have enough stress and pressure in my life. You will allow me this one simple pass. I have shared with you things that I have learned and plans I aim to take. That really should be sufficient. Thanks.

And I will promise to attempt to respect you more than the ones before you. I appreciate that you are the holder of time. You dispense  at a constant rate, you do not allow additions or withdraws. I am understanding more all the time how valuable you are and how much I take you for granted. I will do better (so don’t let the stories 2011 told you matter in the least.)

And that is the deal you and I can strike, dear 2012. In lieu of ridiculous resolutions, I will instead not bring the ugly and unfortunate from 2011 into you if you promise…oh dear, I guess you can only be who you are and do what you do…

But yes, we will strike the deal anyway…because if I hold up my end of the bargain, you will naturally give me your best…and in turn, you will get mine

Yep, it’s good to see you…

Thank’s For Making Me A Fighter

Alrighty, so I already know I am going to regret using that title when I decide to post my Rocky Balboa “let me tell you something you already know” post or “The 10 ways I do and don’t want my kids to be like Christina Aguilera”. But, in my attempt to live more in the here and now, I am running with it – even if, while sincere, it is a bit overstated.

It has been an amazing week. It started with this little “damn I shouldn’t have eaten that pizza after midnight/Jerry Maguire” post {In My Own Skin}. It grew into a wonderfully supported and seemingly universally guided fireball of affirmation. I love it when you make decisions and it seems like the whole existence has been called down to confirm you choice. It doesn’t happen to me very often, so I enjoy it when I can.

I am going to the gym, working out, wearing sunscreen and getting serious about finances (for starters I quit buying smokes). This whole process, in the beginning is total love/hate. Also, it can be a bit overwhelming because there are tons of folks out there who are more than happy to tell you how they think you should handle your business. But I digress. Here are

Folks I Follow so I can be a Better Badass

@parentxperiment – One of my 2 favorite finds this week. So, I am getting ready for my first walk in forever. Really looking for a great time and I plan on being gone for awhile. I really don’t want any boom-shocka-locka music or learning the power of our inner beauty and connecting with our soul glow session. So, I peruse the podcast and come across The Parent Experiment. Hosted by Lynette Carolla (wife of Adam Carolla) and Stefanie Wilder Taylor (not the wife of James Taylor), these ladies and their guests talk about being mommies. No, seriously, they talk about BEING mommies. This isn’t fluff net, suitable for the whole family, I’ll bet my preschool resume is cooler than your preschool resume kind of show. I love it, it rocks and I am a fan. They made 11 1/2 miles in two days seem like a walk to the mailbox.

@100daysrealfood – The other of my 2 favorite finds this week (hat tip to Rocky). Lisa Leake  is a North Carolina wife and mommy of two of the prettiest little girls. She is waging war (and winning) against processed food. Yeah, so there are a bunch of folks like this, I know. But I like Lisa. She has the heart of a teacher – rarely do I find her waving a billy club to beat her readers in the head. She gets the kid thing. She gets the budget thing. She gets the balance thing. She gets a whole lotta crap. And she is only a little snarky, no matter what anyone else says about her.

@couponmom – OK, so I almost didn’t post this one because I don’t think it is an actual manned twitter account. GASP!! I know. But, when I thought about its usefulness in what it is, I figured, what the hell, it’s my blog and I will post it if I want to. This twitter stream is full of updates on some of the best deals and discounts.  Drug stores, groceries, clothing – you name it – if there is a deal, it flutters through, click, bang done. I could really get into this saving money business (did I mention I am in real estate :/)

@geekend2011 – one of the coolest things to ever happen to Savannah. Our Creative Coast has outdone themselves this time. While the actual Geekend isn’t until November (October if you are going in Boston), this twitter feed will give you plenty of geek to bridge the gap. Those freaking copper magnets kept my eyeballs glued to the screen – and I can’t figure out why. If you ever need a forward, cutting edge thought, or need some inspiration for your own blow out ideas, this twitter stream is rich with opportunity.

@SavCraftBrew – The whole reason Geekend is only one of the coolest things in Savannah. The Savannah Craft Brewfest makes me want to quit my day job, develop a master line of micro brews and force the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to let me be Coastal Brew Diva. I am really embracing this healthier, wholer life – but, you are gonna pry my beer from my cold dead hands. The smokes, you can have – you ain’t gettin’ my beer. Maybe I will save enough money on coupon mom to make the tickets to the BrewFest free…and I am pretty sure I will have worked out enough to afford a teeny weekend of calories. Pop a cold one, I’ve earned it!

@brandipearl – When this chick and I met, we didn’t know each other at all. It didn’t matter. Brandi is such an open, warm, sincere, person, making friends is easy – especially if you are in line for the bar at a kick ass ReTechSouth party.  Brandi is my kind of people. She is, well, Brandi. Oh and she is also the Brains in @MauraNeill’s zombie Apocalypse team. Which is good for Maura. Brandi will do well in the “make you laugh,” “hold down the fort,” and “the kick zombie ass” departments. I’d take her to the CraftBrew Fest.

The Verdict

It has been a great day. I felt pretty agitated when I wrote to you earlier. Well, maybe “agitated” is the wrong word. “Hyper” or “over stimulated” is probably better.

See, I want to be better. Ok, so I don’t like “better” either. It insinuates a substantard state. And frankly, I think I am an acceptable human being.  And I am tired of poor mouthing my sense of being to justify a journey to a different state. Damn, I feel the need to spare you this if you choose with another white rabbit.

Incidentally, my husband thinks the white rabbit should now be a mandatory writing style. He assured me that he didn’t mean he would skip MY thoughts to the white rabbit. Just when reading OTHER folks it would be helpful. Hmmm.

When I say there are things I want for me, I really don’t want those who share my current habits to feel like they are being judged – they are not. With very few exceptions (the over sexualization of children being THE BIG ONE) I am really okay with differences. We all have vices. You don’t want mine and I don’t want yours. Hell, most the time I don’t want mine and you don’t want yours. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want to be connected – vices and all.

But my brain is moving. My soul is tugging it so that it has little choice. Kinda dumb for me not to pay attention to that. Along the way, the nudges are supported by neat little events.

This morning I woke up to a request by Clint to engage and support TLW (The Loving Wife). She is kicking skin cancer’s ass. She isn’t afraid of showing you exactly what that looks like and her decisions that got her there. She is now educating folks on a different way. Notice I said educating – not belittling and negating. She emphasizes her healthy, active lifestyle. It is inspiring (“inspiring” is understanded, overused and contrite – it is soul stirring)

Awhile back I found Dinner: A Love Story. She is telling her story about getting her family to the table with great meals. Amazingly helpful.

Rocky likes vodka. We have that in common. She doesn’t ingest artificial anything – her mixes are all natural. Love this! I see a new way to be who I am, what I enjoy, while making different choices. Then she posts about 100 Days of Real Food. This chick is an all natural foodie…with kids…on a budget. Seriously? Is she in my brain?

So, my brain is working. I am feeling supported and affirmed. The day is good and I am thinking about the top 3. Think I have it worked out.

I get home and the kids wanna go for a walk to Grandma and Poppa’s house. Great idea. Hanging out at the their table I mention

Me: I think I am gonna quit smoking.
Pops: I saw that. I will quit with you.
Me: Really?
Pops: Yeah.
Me: Well, not today.
Pops: That’s good. I just bought a pack.
Me: Ok. Just let me know when you are finished.
Pops: That’ll be tomorrow.
Me: Ok. Tomorrow then.

At this point, Ma joins in (provided Pops doesn’t cheat like she insists he always does).

So, I am on the hook for tomorrow. Only thing is, I had already decided that the regular gym visits would be the top 3 victor. And I said only one thing at a time. But, seriously, how do you pass up an opportunity like that?

So, I promised a verdict and here it is. I am going against my better judgement because, quite frankly, sometimes my better judgement sucks. I am gonna tackle all three.

The original plan was start going to the gym, use sunscreen on whatever my next day in the sun was, and quit smoking when the effort at the gym was hindered by it. Well, that’s scraped.

So, my sneakers are ready, my plan is set. If it goes great – wonderful. If I hit some bumps in the road, meh, I won’t be the first.

Not starting on the foodie thing just yet – but it is on the radar.

Who knows. At least it will be interesting 🙂

 Awesome White Bunny courtesy of Matti Mattila

In My Own Skin

Sometimes I write just to know what I think. I put what I think in public places because I believe my friends are the coolest people on the planet and hearing what they think about what I think totally enhances the original think. Yeah – I know you got all that.

***Remember those books where you could make a choice and the next page you turned to depended on that choice? Well, I am giving you that option here. To follow my bananas train of thought, read straight through. To get straight to the end result, scroll down to the white rabbit.

I like video games, cigarettes, a great drink, jalapeno Cheetos, a stunning tan, my tattoos, cold beer, cable tv, hot showers, expensive makeup, hair dye, caffeine, red meat and a whole host of other indulgences that probably do not allow me to function at my peak.

I like the idea of growing a garden, more organic ingredients, being smoke free, a regular gym experience, sunscreen, meditation, a more natural existence, less technology, slower pace, fuller participation in the now and a whole host of other indulgences that would boost the general functioning of my being.

I hate talking about this kind of shit because it drives me crazy when the inevitable few see their one cause in my whole list of stuff, they decided to fashion a quick club and beat me over the head with it. Seriously? Like we don’t all know the amazing dangers of texting while driving and that jumping off a tall building can maim you pretty good or eating nothing but chocolate cake will probably create a waistline issue.

I love information. I detest information in a vacuum. I love interaction and support. I detest when one person’s armor chink serves as ammo for a full on assault by those who have fashioned this area up fairly well while ignoring the gaping the holes they have elsewhere.

I am a whole person. I have ideas in one area that are not practical due to other areas. I have needs in some areas that are exhaustive because of desires in others.

In my skin, I am not a checklist. I am a holistic being with more facets than I even know about. And light from one may create a shadow on the other. And just because our shadows are different doesn’t make us less than the other.

Am I thinking about quitting smoking? Sure I am. Would love to put that out there? Sure I would – most eyes that hit this page will be amazingly supportive. Do I need 12 comments about lung cancer, the health of my children, the cost of the dirty habit, the damn ice caps melting, the polar bears dying, the aliens who refuse to come to this planet and give us the secret to life because I lit up a Marlboro – um no. Does the fear of failure scare me to death? Sure it does. Does that make any attempt of self improvement harder? you bet.  Do I love hugs and loving ass kicks? I sure do. Am I looking forward to the OMG, SMH, tisk tisk, UGH responses that follow a failed attempt at working towards an idea that serves as another’s sacared moo cow? No.

I have it in my head that I want to live a certain way. I don’t know exactly what that way is, but I know how it feels.

Now that the kids are back in school, there is a bit more flexibility in my day. I can only tackle one thing right now. Emotionally, financially, mentally, physically – one thing is my limit.

I am giving myself 24 hours (well actually maybe only 12 or 18) to choose. Your thoughts would be beautiful (as long as you didn’t skip straight to the white rabbit).

  • YMCA Schedule
  • Give up the smokes
  • Sunscreen

And that America, is your top three. They have made it through the elimination process of, can’t, won’t, are you freaking kidding me.

This whole process was supposed to be centering and clarifying – maybe that comes later?

Awesome White Bunny courtesy of Matti Mattila

Still Crazy After All These…Months!

AH HA! Thought I was going to go a whole year without posting on this thing didn’t ya? I know you were just hanging around waiting to be able to say, “You know slacker, it has been a year.”

But I am smarter than that. And quicker too. BY THREE WHOLE DAYS!

Shut up. If you want a regularly updated blog – go build one.

Oh come now, I was only foolin’. Seriously, have you seen my family? Do you know my life? It is busy!

Yeah, that was an excuse, I know. But a girl has to try.

At any rate, there’s a new house, new address, new job, new hair color, new possibilities and, believe it or not – NO NEW BABIES. I know, I hear you gasp of utter shock.

Come back. hang out…I’ll tell you all about it.

What is Balance Anyway?

Started working through a journaling site by Lisa Gates. Thought I might publish some of them here…don’t know about all of them as I am not sure what all she will ask about.

Today she asked – What is Balance Anyway…

I get all jammed up with this idea of balance. It is my perception that most folks talk about balance in the context of time. For example, my life is balanced because I spent x amount of time at work, then x amount of time with my family and then x amount of time on myself.

However, if on this particular day, one of those things required more attention and you failed to adjust your schedule for the sake of balance, how does it feel in your core?

I prefer to discuss feeling centered. It may be the same thing, in fact it probably is. But I have this thing with words and the choice of word can make all the difference to me. “Balance” locks me up. “Centered” gets me excited.

And it looks like lounging in bed and not feeling guilty about it. It is working late and knowing that no one is being neglected because of it. It is pursuing a hobby that has no other productive quality other than it feeds your soul and feeling good about it.

The beds are made, the coffee is hot, the clothes are ironed, the presentation is wonderful, the schedule is working – and even if I walked outside to flattened tires, I would hit that challenge in stride.

Because for me, it’s not about balance – some things are heavier than others. It is about centered – ready for anything because I am completely comfortable in my own skin. And life looks lovely.

Happy Bloggy Birthday!

Blogging is an amazing thing. I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I started this a year ago. The thought when I started was pretty basic. I needed a way to promote my real estate website, market myself and I would get to write on a regular basis.

How limited those thoughts were and reflect just how much I didn’t know about blogging.

In the beginning, I thought I would join the impressive rank of real estate bloggers – or at least copy what they did in an attempt to remotely resemble the brilliance. I quickly realized that wasn’t my way. My approach is different and my way is different. The blog transformed into a place to discuss development, practices and general improvement. It is comfortable for me and it seems to work. After all, we have made it to the first birthday.

I am looking forward to year two here and over at My Beautiful Chaos. I am looking forward to talking with you more and meeting new folks that add to the discussion.

Big thanks to those walking with me while I follow those big dreams!

The Derailment of my College Education

Nope, I am not getting slack. My books actually were derailed and thus delayed my pursuit of higher learning.

So that you know that I am not making light of a deadly situation, I did look the accident up. Seems the accident occurred in California. Two tankers caught on fire and produced some hazardous fumes which resulted in an evacuation. But, I didn’t see where anybody was hurt.

According to the UPS website, my books should be here today and I can get on with getting smart.