SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

Alright, since we all know how random I can be anyway, I figured I will keep true to form and deviate for a bit.  Spring is in the air and I must say I am loving it!  I’ve been on so many walks recently I think I’ve even seen hints of pink/red in my skin. This is good and bad.  Needless to say, the weather is so nice and I love spending time enjoying it.  So, in honor of that I will keep it short and sweet tonight and just post some of my favorite spring photos.  Oh yeah, also did I mention there is a contest that I feel like doing too? (added bonus!) A blog I follow is doing a contest and the winner gets an amazon gift card so, here is “My entry into Sugar Bee Craft’s Celebrating Spring competition, sponsored by Appliances Online and Beko Fridge Freezers”  There I said it!  I really am so fortunate to live in such beautiful country! 🙂

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A pilot’s life…

In today’s society I often find myself disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong here because I understand there are a lot of really great people out there, but it seems like the ones you see the most that stand out aren’t the good.  It’s the misbehaved movie stars and singers that make the news.  The ones doing drugs, getting arrested, fighting with others.  It’s the criminals, the perverts, drunkards.  Some days I really feel like the old country song, “I sure could use a little good news today!”  So when I see good or hear about it, it makes me happy to think about those who are still out there plugging along despite todays society.  When I see good (and on a continual basis) that makes me even happier!  Let me explain 🙂  We have had pilots and stewardesses staying with us at the hotel for several months now.  Part of the agreement that we have with them is that, with our shuttle service, we have agreed to pick them up at the airport and then return them in the mornings.  Have you ever really spent time around people in this industry?  Enough time that you have had the opportunity to talk to them and really get to know their lives?  I’ve had a few of my preconceived ideas blown out of the water for sure!

For starters, these pilots have been the most gentlemen-like group of men I’ve met in a long time!!!  It’s really refreshing to see.  When they all come down early morning I have coffee and a light breakfast prepared for them and ever single one of them is always so good at thanking me for doing this.  They strike up a conversation for the few minutes they eat and it’s interesting to think about the life they lead.  First of all, I always thought what a dream job!  For a pilot, you get to spend all this time flying planes (every little boys fantasy!) traveling the world, seeing new places, meeting new people, and all the while you are making some great money!  I feel like I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I also thought as a stewardess you have the same travel benefits, seeing the world, meeting wonderful people….how could you go wrong?!  The reality of the job is that, because most of the planes are flying during the day the life these people lead isn’t that glamorous.  Their day starts early in the morning (usually they are up somewhere between 4:30-5:00) while it is still dark outside.  They have a strict code of appearance in their contract, so they must always be well put together.  For the women, this means high heels, makeup, hair done, etc.  For the men, clean-cut appearance, nice shoes, etc.  They quickly get ready, eat the light breakfast I’ve prepared for them and then we head to the airport.  It’s still dark outside when I drop them off and they spend the rest of their day flying.  These particular puddle-jumper type planes run until around 9:00 p.m. at which point we pick them up from the airport, bring them back to the hotel and they try to sleep for the night.  I’ve asked them if they are able to explore during the layover times, but usually that time is filled with cleaning the plane, planning the routes needed, business stuff.  So basically the reality is they spend all day in a plane traveling a world they never get to see.  They start early, end late, live in hotels and have to be away from their families.  The times when the rest of the world is scrambling to be with our loved one (holidays and such) these people are working twice as hard and missing out on their time so that we can enjoy ours.  One group of pilots I talked to during the Christmas season said they haven’t spent a Christmas with their family in almost 10 years.  You would think the compensation for this would be great but the reality is that they struggle to pay their bills just the same as we do.  Cell phones being shut off, on the verge of loosing homes, worrying about their family that is back home without them and trying to work so hard to make a life for them.  I couldn’t do it.  However, they are always so nice to me.  The pilots are holding the doors for the stewardesses and I, loading and unloading bags themselves and just being true gentlemen all around.  Technically they are doing my job for me.  But the kinder side of them just can’t seem to let a woman load bags when they are standing watching.  Then in the end, they still each usually give ME a tip!

I guess I write this post just to point out that things aren’t always what they seem.  I had a grandiose idea of what this life would be like, and the reality is that on the inside, it’s not quite as glamorous.  And yet, even though it’s a life that would wear on me and I’m not sure I could handle, they but a smile on a still think of others.  I know each job has its ups and downs, but I think it’s good as a customer to look from the other perspective.  So the next time you are on a flight over the holiday season, or even regular season for that matter be sure and be gracious to your airplane staff.  Yes, they are getting paid to be there and do their job, but they are also paying a price for it too.  And if you can in some way put a smile on someone’s face and make their day a little brighter, why wouldn’t you?!

Back in the groove

Tonight’s post might be short and sweet, but I want to get back into this!  I’ve been very poor at blogging since I started (as you know!) and as a new resoultion maybe would like to try and blog at least once a week.  I don’t think this is too much to ask of myself since I have 5 nights a week to choose from.  So for now, I’ll tell a story.  The other night I was at work and there was a basketball team staying with us.  One of the players was up late on the phone with his girlfriend, and when he got off couldn’t sleep since they had a fight.  He hung out in the lobby for a while and we ended up talking for over an hour through the course of the night.  He was 20 years old and lost.  It’s so sad for me to see this.  He was a really nice guy, but like so many, graduated, moved out of the house and found himself falling under peer pressure harder than ever.  He was having a hard time because he felt like he had truly lost sight of himself and what was most important.  He found himself conforming and at the end of the day didn’t like what he saw.  It’s a sad reality and one that I personally can relate to.  I feel like when I got married and had kids, I let that so encompass me that I lost sight of who I truly was.  My attitude has struggled, my faith has failed and my family has suffered.  I have come to the realization that no matter how busy in life you are, you MUST take time to be you.  Whatever that is for you, it’s important.  Read a book, go for a late night walk, find a hobby, make some crafts, go have coffee with a friend, go to the movies, pray.  Whatever it is that defines you and helps you keep your sanity…..do it!  Because in the end you are left with your soul and if that person inside you isn’t strong, then the outer person won’t truly be strong either.  I watched a youtube video today and in it the guy says that so often we mask the outer person to look perfect while the inside is withering away.  He uses the analogy of a mummy.  How they used to wrap the outside to preserve and look good, all the while the inside was rotting and wasting away.  Don’t let that be you.  Build your strength from the inside out because at the end of the day, that inner strength and inner beauty will shine out so brightly that it’s glory will radiate to all those around you.  So my prayer for you today would be to find what makes you happy, what defines you, what strengthens you and run with it!  Because if you don’t know who you are you need to find yourself.  You are worth the effort!

P.S.- Two things.  The first is that I’ve decided I want this blog to be more of an encouragement, self revelation and hopefully uplifting to others.  That being said, I’m going to try and stay off the negative personal soap boxes.  If you can’t find a previous post, that’s why 😉  Second- if you want to watch the video, go to http://youtu.be/1IAhDGYlpqY  I think he definately has some good points when talking about “organized religion” but there are definately some statements I disagree with.  Makes you think though!

Me….unedited! Warning!

Well it’s Monday again, which means that weight and health are on my mind!  I went to a Weight Watchers meeting again tonight and it helped to give me that boost I need to keep going.  So, that being said let me share something with you.  I have an app on my phone that my sister in law referred me to.  It’s called MyFitnessPal.  I’m sure most of you have heard of it before because it’s a pretty big deal, but tonight, after being at the meeting I decided to fill out my profile info.  In an attempt to gain friends, inspiration and encouragement through the site I decided to fill out my profile info and put up a post.  So rather than blogging twice tonight (because I’m tired and want to lay down for a bit!)  I’m just going to share with you what I wrote.  Here is an insight to my soul….

Hi everyone! I am a mother of 4 girls, and we are done having kids now so it’s my time! 🙂 I’ve got to get this baby weight off and set a good example of health and fitness for my little girls. Not skinny-ness mind you, HEALTH! That is my goal. I don’t feel that means a generic number, I feel everyone is different. Another goal of mine would simply be to feel good in my own skin. Not to be self conscious about how I look so often, enjoy time with my husband and kids fully. To be able to go out shopping and not have it be a miserable experience because nothing fits right. To feel like I’m something that my family can be proud of. To be in the maintenance stage and not have to obsess as much about this 🙂

A little history/bio quickly- I am one of 7 kids and 5 of us were girls 🙂 As any girl out there knows, we are mean as adolescents. With that competetion with sisters came obsession and struggles with size and beauty, and with that came eating disorders. I tried anorexia for a week, but that was hard to hide. So instead, I resulted to bulemia. I did that for a few months until it took control one night and scared me out of it. From that point on, I still struggled with my weight. Shopping has always been miserable. I hated swimsuits. I felt like I was the fat, ugly duckling more often than not. Now- this being said, looking back on pictures now it makes me sick to think that I was so miserable with who I was. I would love to have that body again! But at the time, I had a “cookie cutter” image in my head of what beauty was, and I didn’t fit that mold. I played sports, ate well, would exercise for a total of 2-3 hrs a day with all the activities I was in and yet was unhappy. Oh if only I could have that now! But……flash forward, years later after still continuing to struggle with all these things, I am now the mom of 4 BEAUTIFUL baby girls and self worth and confidence is way more important now than any cookie mold! I want to set that example for them so they don’t go through the same struggles I did. I want them to feel beautiful (which they hear all the time from Daddy!) and to compliment each other on beauty (which they’ve done) They do know that I am working on “getting smaller” but I’ve told them it is for health reasons and I hope they get that. We talk about what foods are healthy and what’s not and they really actually ENJOY water, fruits and veggies, milk, etc. They love their sugar and candy too, but keep it in moderation. If anything they are a great motivator and example for me. So….here I am! After years of this journey and struggle, yo-yo weight and fad diets I’ve GOT to do this. I’m done and this weight needs to go! 🙂

So there you have it……my struggle in a nutshell.  I’m discovering that once you open up about your struggles, they become a little easier each time to talk about, therefore making them easier to overcome.  This is good!  I didn’t talk about this issue much out loud…maybe at all….for years.  It was one of those deep dark secrets I kept bottled inside.  I felt like it defined me so much and only recently have I been able to work on letting that go.  I hope that in sharing my struggle and innermost secrets it will not only help me to deal with them, but maybe encourage and inspire someone else also.  Maybe to make the change you’ve been needing, to talk about your struggles more openly, or to change your own outlook.  I’ve come to the realization that this is me.  I am human, I struggle, I sin, I mess up, I have problem, I have issues.  Sometimes I can be mean for no reason, sometimes malicious.  I am quite messed up!  But….that being said….if all my dirty, deep, dark secrets are just swept under the rug then that is where they will stay until they are stirred up again because of a shift in my life.  If I put them out in the open, sweep them up and throw them away, then I can become a better person in the end.  Ultimately, that is what I want.  There are women in my life that I admire SO much and aspire to be like, but they are far from who I am now and maybe that is what I love so much about them.  It’s only been in recent years that I feel like I can lay ALL of me on the table and if you don’t like it, then you don’t have to take what is being offered.  BUT, if you are willing to love me for who I TRULY am, then I can promise you that I will love you back so freely.  Until I face my demons, they will never go away!  So here’s to the getting rid of the nasty and welcoming a wonderful change 🙂

So it’s been a few days since I’ve blogged, but I am still new to this!  Things have just been really busy lately and I’ve not had much time to do this.  Well….that’s not completely true.  Let me clarify.  I’ve had time while I work over my night shift, but if I’m being completely honest, when I do finally have free time I either want to sleep or play on the internet mindlessly.  I have had a business plan looming over my head for the past week now and can’t seem to finish it.  I keep telling myself that on my shift during the night I will get it done, but then when night comes all I want to do is browse facebook, catch up on t.v. shows through Hulu, and browse Pinterest.  That’s it….no desire to do anything I “should.”  Speaking of Pinterest, have you guys seen that yet?!  The best time killer EVER!!!  If you haven’t, it is basically a “virtual pinboard” in their words.  It is where people post all kinds of neat pictures and ideas, then you repost them to your page.  It’s basically a “virtual dreamboard” in my opinion!  Which is what is so great about the site.  You can spend HOURS, literally, on this site dreaming.  For me it’s all about craft ideas, dreaming about setting up my future home when I become rich and famous, all the cute styles that I wish I could wear and would if and when I manage to finally loose these extra 60 lbs I’ve been hanging onto after having the kids, places that I would LOVE to travel to with my husband once the kids are all grown, etc.  It’s all about keeping the dreams alive 🙂 

Sorry this post isn’t deep tonight, just sort of full of rambling.  Don’t worry though, the next time I have a soap box I’m standing on you’ll be sure to hear about it.  In the meantime, go explore www.pinterest.com and dream on!!

The Fixer

The other day I was with my sisters-in-law and we were discussing our struggles with weight.  I feel like this is an issue that most women deal with at some point in their lives, and we were talking about how we have yo-yo dieted, what has worked, when we’ve failed what went wrong and how to fix it.  I went first and I shared with them my weight journey and struggles through my life, and could pinpoint some of the reasons I had failed but then that was it.  As I sat there listening to them talk, they did the same, and for some reason my mind instantly went to how can I help them overcome this challenge and be successful.  I got so excited and passionate about creating this neat things to help them out, encourage them and planned out buying everything I needed to accomplish this and then surprising them with this gift.  Then it occurred to me……I’m a fixer.  I can hear other people’s problems and come up with some pretty clever ways to help them out and try to fix what is going on in their life.  This is a good quality, I feel, but the flaw is in the fact that I can’t seem to do this for myself.  I feel like I should know myself better than anyone else, and that I should be able to take charge of my life and fix what needs mended but that’s not the case.  Instead, I find myself talking about my problems, and then sweeping them under the rug and moving on with life as if nothing ever happened.  When I do that, I continue on the same lethal path I was on before and nothing will ever change until I choose to take charge and make my situation better.  I have seen this in other areas of my life too, and I feel like maybe it’s because if I am focusing on the problems that other people have and trying to help them overcome that, then it also allows me to, behind the scenes, ignore my problems so I don’t have to deal with them.  So, I have resolved to try to overcome this challenge.  The idea is that every time I am talking about a struggle that I have or problem I am dealing with, I am going to write it down.  Maybe if I see it in front of me in print, then it will be more real.  Then at that point I can look at that issue and come up with a solution on how I need to handle that.

So, first things first, the weight.  It is a challenge that I’ve dealt with so, starting tomorrow, I am going to keep a diet and fitness log on a DAILY basis….no matter WHAT!  No matter how embarrassing what I ate was if I don’t admit to it, I can’t fix it, right?!  So hopefully this will help me work on problem number one 🙂  Here’s to new beginnings and trying to truly find and better myself….

What’s in a name…

Okay, so I started this blog as a way to vent and get some thoughts out.  People have told me for years that I should write a book, so I guess a blog is the next  best thing, right?! 😉  The name of the blog, teaching a lady, was fun to come up with!  I sat here at my computer trying out different things, wanting to come up with something clever.  When I came up with “teaching a lady” I was thinking in reference to my children.  I am the mother of 4 girls and it seems like so much of my life revolves around that, probably most posts will be dealing with the girls and parenting issues so I felt a name like that would be fitting.  But, as any parent can tell you, one of the beautiful things about raising children is that you learn so much about yourself when you see those qualities of yourself coming out in your children.  There are no more skeletons once you have kids.  Your best traits and your worst traits that you wish   knew all seem to come out in these little mini-versions of yourself.  So, all of this just goes to say that I guess that by raising my 4 girls and “teaching a lady” in them, I am also teaching the lady in myself.  This is just as much about me and my experiences, trials, failures, successes and growth as it is theirs.  This lady needs to be taught a thing or too as well!  I hope you enjoy going on this journey with me and learning and growing as much as I do.