Just Poppin In on Your TV Screen!!

I have neglected this blog a little because its so easy to write about my furry friends, but I learned some awesome news about our blonde friends!! Mandy and Carly the creators of Just Pop In (http://www.justpopinonline.com/) located in Indianapolis (who I wrote about for one of my very first posts) informed us today that they were on Ellen live on Wednesday!

Holy crap!! That was my first reaction! If you haven’t read their story check it out because its pretty amazing.  To make it easy just click on Just Pop In to the right of this post under “Links”.  We are so proud of them and I thought it appropriate to tell their story once again with a little extras. 

After quitting their jobs weeks apart, Mandy and Carly started a small store front with the idea of poppin’ corn. Really? Popcorn? Who knew?  Since 2003 they have gone from a little store front in Broadripple to a location in the Indianapolis airport and yet another location in Indy sharing space with another spectacular idea that Mandy dreamed up.  Night Owl Baby. 

As they spread the love all over Indy  their locations have almost doubled, their charity to the AIDS foundations have been recognized, they have seen their faces and their stories in Indianapolis Monthly on multiple occasions and they are an official sponsor for Izod, which brings me to Ellen.  As a sponsor, in the last week they have traveled (apparently we can now officially call them international (well national) business women) to California for the Long Beach race.  In the process of their sponsorship and their promotion of Just Pop In, they Popped into a live taping of the Ellen show and actually made an appearance.  We don’t know the details but it was too cool not to talk about. 

Two local girls (who partied their way through college-don’t tell them I said that) taking a chance with a shared idea gives the rest of us hope for dreams to come true.  Congratulations Carly and Mandy-have fun in Cali and we WON’T 😉 think about you as it rains and is 40 degrees out here!!

(Pictures from “Just Pop In” and “Night Owl Baby”)

Faith Restored

About a month ago I inadvertently conducted a test of human compassion and good Samaritan tendencies.  I say inadvertently because it was not my intention or wish to be in this particular situation.  In fact, it was a frustrating scenario, but since I found myself in place where I was stuck anyway I thought I  mine as well observe the behavior of our fellow neighbors, and damn was I intrigued by the outcome.

My car had overheated, and when I say overheated I mean it was spewing liquid from the engine, and the dashboard was beeping incessantly at me trying to alarm me that something was wrong.  In an attempt to figure out where the annoying sound was coming from and why in the world the car was slowing down without my letting off the accelerator, I immediately pulled into the nearest gas station and called home for help (who was about 30 minutes away).  While I was waiting with my hood up, bored and finished with the Snickers bar I bought from inside, out of curiosity, I thought I see how long it would take for someone to offer assistance or even ask if I needed help.   The answer…35 minutes!  Now you may not think that was a long time, but let me give you a little insight–I was approximately half way home and had stalled at a very busy intersection in a very busy gas station.  I really tried to count the number of people who pulled up, pumped gas, looked at me with “feel sorry for me” eyes and drove away, but I lost count.  Finally, as soon as my home help pulled up to my rescue, a young man, who, I have to admit, at first sight I wasn’t quite sure of, but who was the ONLY person that stopped and asked if I was ok or if I needed help.  What a wonderful young man and shame on me for judging at first sight.  THANK YOU, you reassured me, even if you were the only one, that there are still good people in this world.

35 minutes??  I may not be a supermodel, but come on people!  After this incident, I lost faith in the notion that kindness still exists and I was going to rant through my entire post , until I had yet another encounter the other day.

I, again, was in a quandary and somehow got the same car stuck in soft sand put down by the diligent town that buried the pipes in front of my son’s father’s house.  It was so bad that the “quicksand” had swallowed up the front tires and almost the front end of the car.  In a small panic, we (myself and my ex’s new girlfriend) attempted to shovel out and place 2x4s behind the tires.  In an amazing change of events as compared to my last car adventure, about 1 minute after I became unable to secure solid ground, a good Samaritan stopped his truck to help.  Without hesitation, he attempted to figure a way out of my mess of a situation, while in the meantime, another car pulled up and didn’t even ask if he could help, he just did.   After a little planning and little conferencing, they were successful in pulling me out, and if that wasn’t enough, they both waited to see that I made it to the road, which I did NOT.  Getting myself stuck for the second time they immediately jumped from the vehicles and repeated the entire process, this time making sure they pulled me to SOLID ground. 

My faith was restored and the chip on my shoulder lifted after I realized that people can really give a crap and there are still good Samaritans out there.  Thank you to the thoughtful and PATIENT guys who stopped to help the helpless probably on your way home from a long day of work! 

Lets start paying it forward just like they did and begin to restore the faith in our fellow neighbors that has somewhere gotten lost along the way!!

Once Upon a Decade…

an Angel was born…                                 

How time flys – from the moment you entered my life, the world that I knew was rocked.  I had been blessed with the most beautiful rose, hands so small and eyes so big.  Never did I think I could love so much, never did I believe this tiny little person would change my ways, my heart and my path.  From first words to first grade, everything you have done and will do is extraordinarily out of this universe special. 

My life will forever be altered and I will be eternally grateful.  Although I knew from the beginning I would never be able to give you the world (as much as I want to) and I could never promise perfection, today I give you whats in my heart. 

As we celebrate your TENTH birthday, I make to you the same promises  that I made ten years ago…

I promise…

To always be there, no matter how trivial, nothing is too small;

To be your biggest cheerleader in all that you dream of, work toward and accomplish, and a shoulder for the times you may fall short only to tell you to shake it off and keep trying. 

To allow you space to make friends, lose friends and be a best friend;

To never lose faith in who you are or what you can do;

To listen, discuss, debate, agree and disagree (which I’m sure will happen A LOT) with you;

To be your mom (you may not like it sometimes, but one day you will understand – I promise);

To step back and watch you grow up;

To let go a little bit at a time  (with boundaries of course) no matter how difficult; and

To love you (THIS MUCH infinity) unconditionally forever and always…

I promise.

Happy 10th Birthday Sweet Pea, I love you!

JAM WITH US!

Yep that’s me…I’m the crazy-ass you see head banging or lip-synching obnoxiously in the driver’s seat.  Laugh if you will, but I have to entertain myself somehow.  Having to spend so much time in the car, its hard not to get bored.  When I’m by myself I hope for your sake that the windows are up, but it is quite entertaining when I get the kids to join me in my made-up car band.  After staring at a computer screen all day, “jamming out” in the car has become a daily outlet and one of the more fun times of the day, especially when my backup dancers/singers get involved.  Although, I am very aware that I am slowly being pushed out of the lead (as if I ever had that role). 

It has become routine, that on our way to school in the morning when my son feels like it is his duty to play DJ, in a not so polite way, he will request a specific song.  I will usually hear this, loudly and consistently….“Mommy the boy song, the boy song Mommy”…I have learned that if my four-year-old’s demands are not met immediately, he will be relentless until he finally gets his way.  (I know its not “good” parenting to give in, but whatever, you spend the next half hour listening to him yell over you and the music you turned up to drown him out while attempting to keep your eyes on the road).  So, in order not to end up with a screaming headache or a flip-flop to the back of the head, I turn to disc number three and I laugh to myself while I strain to listen to his attempt at singing along…

“Driving through town just my boy and me (pause, with a little bit of humming) a happy meal in his booster seat”, (some more head nodding with a little more humming) “he couldn’t have the toy, till his nuggets were gone….”

“MOM! TURN IT UP!—-LOUDER!!!!!!!!!”

“I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool, I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you,
And eat all my food and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.  We got cowboy boots and camo pants, yeah, yeah yeaaahh”

…lyrically entertaining me through the entire song. Then when the last word is sung and just as I think its ok to applaud, I am ordered… “Again, mom, do it again!”  I drop my head in defeat, hit repeat and pray that our destination is close. 

Even though the song choices can get beyond repetitious, almost to the point of complete annoyance, my kids are so fun to listen to, and because I don’t get to spend a lot time with them during the week, getting in the car and “jamming out” is one of my favorite parts of the day.  We laugh a lot and it makes the time fly by.

Sometimes, if I’m lucky ;), they are still really ramped up by the time we get home and the front room becomes their dance floor.  We turn up the radio and see what they come up with, which can be anything from cheer moves to break dancing.  Just watch out though because when “Life is a Highway” or “Put a Ring On It” comes on get out of their way, she is all of a sudden in the spotlight with a microphone and he unleashes his moves!!

So laugh all you want while driving along, you may think I’m a nut, but I’m a nut having fun in a place where I spend way too much of my time.

I say turn up the music and Jam With Us!!!

CLICK OFF!!

I am a true believer in fighting for what is important to you.  I would fight to the death for my children, my family and my life, but each one of these battles, would be fought out of love.  I believe any battle, including the fight for equal rights, should be fought for reasons that would bring hope, health and happiness.  Apparently, I’m naive because this is what I thought everyone was fighting for—love and peace.  Sadly, I am mistaken, and apparently other’s happiness and destroying it, is more important to more people than I would like to believe.

I can’t seem to understand this, because unless or until it directly affects your life in a negative way, is it any of your concern how fellow human beings around you live their lives?  It utterly amazes me how many people complain about insignificant, futile things that will never affect them unless they throw themselves into the mix by spewing lies and hatred, and then hiding behind their religious, or other, beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong, if I see an injustice made upon an innocent person or a child I would intervene.  If something affected my life or my family in a negative way, I would vehemently voice my opinion, but my whole intention would be for the greater good, not my own personal agenda and absolutely not for the fact that I don’t like it, just because, arguing my side with no basis for my reasoning whatsoever.

There are other ways to deal with people, things and events that you don’t like, for example…

I don’t like reality shows that pay money to rich famewhores and punk kids that do nothing but make fools out of themselves for our entertainment and their back pockets.  Do you know what I do about it? – I change the channel.  I simply DON’T WATCH THEM;  however, I have friends that are reality junkies, and just because they may disagree with me, they will always be my friends.

I don’t like spinach. How do I handle it when the disgusting dish ends up on my plate? Yep, that’s right, I DON’T EAT IT;  however, my son loves spinach, but do I tell him, he’s bad for it?  NO. My love for him is unconditional.

I don’t like hairy men in speedos (I don’t like any man in speedos).  Guess what? I DON’T LOOK;  however, Um, I don’t know if anybody likes this.

I don’t like minivans, I will never own one, but I’m not going to hate my neighbors or my friends for driving one. 

I’m not fond of swimming in a lake, but if I am faced with the murky water with freaky fish I can’t see, I will make friends with it, and I may not love it, but I will accept the unknown and DEAL WITH IT because I don’t want to live standing on the pier wishing I could just let go and jump in.

  I can go on and on about things I just don’t care for, because I have opinions about pretty much everything, but they’re MY opinions.  I have no right to tell other people to join my club of distaste and threaten them that if they don’t they will be alienated from the normal.  HAHA.  Sounds like a bully, popular kid on the playground teasing the outcast to de-pants another outcast to become part of the “cool” crowd.  I would laugh in my own face if I tried to do that. 

Tragedy, heartache and pain are not prejudice, and neither is Love, so basically, I have no right to tell someone else how to live, love, laugh or cry.  I have no right to define what it is that is important to someone else, and not important to others.  In turn, YOU or anyone else have absolutely no right to tell ME how to live my life.  So, I’ll make all the haters a deal, I won’t tell you that your house is ugly, your ugly, your beliefs are ridiculous and your kids are out of control (I won’t even waive when you pass by) if you keep you hatred and bigoted ideas to yourself.  Deal?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

 From what I understand, we are all born into this world at the least possessing a heart (although questionable at times) and we all have choices.  We can love with the heart we are blessed with, accept the things we don’t understand, change things for the good, and go about our own lives, happily. Or, we can hate, judge, criticize and strip other people of their happiness, all along missing out on the life we could’ve had, only to look back when we’re old, grey and nobody likes us, and wonder why.

 So, for those who seem to have all kinds of time on their hands that they spend it attempting to sabotage other people’s happiness either out of jealousy or some convoluted idea of what’s “right”, get your own life and make it “right”, because its quite obvious that its lacking in something. 

 My suggestion…find your own happiness, and if you don’t like my suggestion, my life, or this post…

 CLICK OFF!!

                                                                                                                        lmj©2010