Guest Post: Naked Truth: Things I can't post on facebook

Things I can't post on facebook: Why do men have to spread there legs this far apart? I realize they need room for something between the legs, but do they have to open them this wide? I was at the hair salon today and while waiting in the dryer chair for my color to set, a man came in. They had him come over the sinks opposite me for a rinse. and as you can see, he didn't just sit with his legs slightly apart, he really spread them and slapped his feet down like he was trying to draw attention to it...and yes, this really is him and I really took this picture. I turned my phone on silent and made it look like I was taking a picture of my nails....

Just Write: MRI

The medications they've given me have caused restless legs.  And knocked me out.
I hear the MRI tech over the loudspeaker deep inside this metal tube I'm stuck in.
"You have to hold still.  You're moving your legs."
I'm roused from my sound sleep.  "Mmmmmm?"
"You need to hold still."
I have no words beyond that single letter.
Pleasing.  That's normally me.  Today, I'm sick.  And medicated.
I immediately drift off to wherever medicated minds drift.
I return back to the tube occasionally.
I feel the cold walls of the machine tightly holding my arms in place like a mummy.
I hope no one steals my necklace I hid on my bed.

The machine loudly whirs and clicks.  I don't care. Thank God for medication because this would normally freak me out.
Today, I dream through the entire thing.  Dreams that escape me now, but I know I dreamed.
Test over, I have to wake up and stand to get into the bed.
Is my hair a mess? 
Even completely stoned by this medication, the nurse in me never sleeps.
I stumble to the bed and I think, "Why has no one made me a risk for falls?  Why do I not have a yellow bracelet on?  Shame on them."
If I were more awake I'd question it.
If it were my staff, I'd teach them.
But I'm not and they're not.  So I carefully climb back into my bed and sleep all the way back to my room.

This was written to connect with the Just Write project from The Extraordinary Ordinary

Why is this still an issue 47 years later???

Boy, the things you will miss when you are out of commission for a few days!  I come out of the hospital only to see that the debate over birth control has heated up and I have to pick my jaw up off of the floor after some of the things I have read.

First of all, let me start by saying... WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS?  WHY IS THIS STILL AN ISSUE? In June we will be celebrating the 47th anniversary of the legalization of birth control!  47 years!  And yet I still have to turn on my computer and see Rush Limbaugh running his fat fu**ing mouth calling those women who need birth control "sluts" or "prostitutes!"  And then we have Foster Friess, the billionaire that's throwing his money at the GOP side saying this....
"Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed. We have jihadist camps being set up in central – in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so — such inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Well, okay.  I guess this makes sense.  IF YOU'RE A COMPLETE MORON!

Are you kidding me?

THIS.  This is why I struggle to identify myself with the right wing and with republicans lately.  I am a republican in so many ways, but to be identified with these short-sighted, misogynistic cavemen embarrasses me and infuriates me.  You know why this isn't a "real" issue to him?  Because he has a penis and not a vagina.  Maybe if they took five minutes to pull their own heads out of their asses to identify with the women in their lives to see what the "real issues" were, they would know that birth control is not only necessary to prevent pregnancy, but for a myriad of other issues that women face... and YES, it is terribly expensive when your health insurance won't cover it.

For years, I worked for a Catholic health care system that would not cover contraception on it's insurance plans.  It was a big, expensive inconvenience, but I made do because I had to.  I was already the single mother of four children.  Can you imagine how much squawking these right-winged idiots would have done had I had more babies and then had to go on welfare or something?  Oh, I know.  I just should have abstained, right?  Just hold that Bayer aspirin between my knees and if my legs opened far enough for it to fall to the ground, then get myself out of there, right?  Because I'm a female, right?  I'm sure the guys get a different pass than the women do.  I'm sure they'd get a big old pat on the back because boys are just being boys, right?  Meanwhile probably NONE of these men that like to run their mouths would know anything about abstaining.  They're probably the biggest pigs out there!  They're probably the ones who have the concierge deliver "dates" to their rooms in every city they're in!

Then last year, when I was hemorrhaging for months at a time, causing anemia and other problems?  Hmmm, maybe it's just me but I think that had NOTHING to do with preventing pregnancy or me being a SLUT.  But you know what the treatment that may have saved me from bleeding to death was? You got it!  Birth control.  And a lot of it.  I had to take a months worth every few days... AT FIFTY FIVE BUCKS PER PACK! And only one pack per month was covered by my health insurance.  That means that the rest of it came out of my single-mother pocket.

What if we started claiming that no health issue was a "real" issue because there are jihadist camps to worry about?  What if all of a sudden blood pressure medications or anti-seizure medications weren't important?  What if it was a medication or issue that actually affected MEN?  What if medication to treat enlarged prostates or even VIAGRA were not covered by insurance?  I bet it would be different then.  Maybe then it wouldn't just be us "gals" that are all in a tizzy over issues of health care and this little thing called "equal rights."  Or maybe, the reason these chauvinistic pigs want us to keep holding that Bayer aspirin between our knees is so that we will be in a better position for them to keep trying to fu** us in the a**.

Is anyone else as pissed off about this as I am?

lurve you, xoxo v.

This nurse goes to the hospital....

(at least my bp was getting back to normal here.
when I first got there and was in so much distress,
my bp was 140/98, which is HUGE for me!
I'm usually on the low side.)

And the hospital admits her.

Scary, huh.  It was to me.  I still don't feel good, so this will be short and sweet.

The short of it is.... I began having stroke type symptoms.  At first I thought it was vertigo... room tipping, nausea, etc.  But then with the headache and everything else, my left arm became very weak and tingly.  Like I said, they admitted me to a private room.  My symptoms were real and my left arm was objectively weak.  Plus, my (real) dad died from a stroke and he was young.  So this was scary.

The first CT scan was negative.  My labs were out of control as usual, which was a bit discouraging because after the last Benlysta infusion, at least one of them had come down drastically.  But to no avail, it's up again now.  The next day they did a spiral CT to check the blood flow through my neck to my brain and then did an MRI of the brain and all three of these looked good.  So that was GREAT news!

They narrowed it down to a TIA (mini stroke) which gives you symptoms but doesn't show up on tests and goes away quickly.... or a migraine.  A particularly nasty kind of migraine that some people (especially lupies) can have where you have an aura and it's usually neurologic symptoms.  Mine seems to be vertigo symptoms, L arm weakness, ringing in the ear, nausea, etc. They treated me a bit for the migraine and it seemed to help.  So, they let me come home with a promise to return to the neurologist for further study and to take the migraine meds as needed.

Well, I needed them today.  I made the mistake of eating some chips that were "Queso" flavored.  Something in those things triggered it and here came all the same symptoms back!  I took the meds and it took three hours for the left arm weakness to begin to subside.  I'm woozy right now because I think I still have a bit of medicine head, but It's not the nauseating, room tilting bit from before, so that's good.

The main thing is rest.  So, I'm going to go do just that.

lurve you, xoxo v.

 E.R. feet


Makes me happy....

Pretty flowers are EVERYWHERE here now!
These were so stark white and beautiful,
I just couldn't resist!
lurve you, xoxo v.


Why knot?

The thought of marriage scares me so much.  Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with the idea of marriage and how romantic it can be.  I whole-heartedly believe in marriage.  I know that I know that I know that it's one of the things I believe most in.  When it's done right.  There are few things more powerful than the force of two people on the same team, heading the same direction, fighting for the same cause, without a doubt that their partner has their back because loyalty is number one.  That's my vision of marriage.  The problem is that I keep yoking up with people who don't share my vision.  Or they do at first, but then they get lazy or they decide they don't want to do this right after all.  That's my fear.  Finding someone who might give up the good fight after a few years and decide they don't want to do things right anymore.  Because, really, it's easier to be a dick than it is to stay in the room and figure out how to be gentle and compassionate and figure out how to respect the other person even though you'd really just like to punch them in the throat sometimes.

So how do you get to that place?  That place where you're willing to take the risk?  When you're no longer young and naive, when you no longer have a fairy tale vision of love, marriage and weddings, when you know that love does not always conquer all... how do you get to the place where you're able to do the Nestea Plunge into the marriage pool and say, "Okay, I'm going in!"  It's so much easier to sit in a lawn chair by the side of the pool and say, "Nah brah, I don't want to get my hair wet, I just straightened it."  Just because I like someone now, how do I know I will still like him in two years, ten years, twenty years.  I don't want to get divorced again.  Not necessarily because I will be ashamed or afraid (because let's face it.... I'm already competing with Liz Taylor.  I ain't scared of no divorce.  If you're an ass, you're out of here.), but really because divorce is a pain in the ass.  And also, I'm getting older and I just don't feel like messing around with this crap anymore (I'm so romantic, I know).  I want to find someone and settle down.  I want to be peaceful and happy.  I'm not adamantly looking for some huge fireworks explosion every time he kisses me or to have my soul mate.  Frankly, I've had that and really how many times do you think that can come along in one lifetime?  I don't have unusually high expectations.  What I want is someone that I'm compatible with, that is kind to me, that respects me, that is affectionate with me and that doesn't walk away when there are issues to deal with.  As simple as that sounds, that can actually be a pretty tall order.  And just because you both are that way with each other now, what happens in 15 years when one of you says, "Screw this...." and walks away, or quits being nice.  Or decided to start drinking.  Or decides to have an affair.  There are so many variables that you make yourself vulnerable to when you slip into those vows! 

Paul and I are staring down our two-year dating anniversary (anniversaries?  a whole other issue I talked about here), so it's only natural that I start thinking about these things.  These are the things that I think about it.... I don't mind being in my little domestic cage.  I rather enjoy it.  I just want the door left open.  Shutting the door of the cage and sealing me in freaks me out.  And I love Paul to death and think he's pretty great.  Any issues of the past have all but been worked out and 99% of the time, I'm blissful and peaceful.  But that other 1% of the time?  Yeah, that has me looking for a fire escape because if he can be a tool 1% of the time, does that mean he's going to be the "screw this" guy in the future? 

The most dysfunctional part?  I don't know that I want anything to do with marriage, but I'm kind of pissed and resentful that HE doesn't seem to want anything to do with it.  It hurts my feelings and I feel rejected.  I know, right?  I don't know that I want it, but I want him to.  Actually, I know he kind of does, just like I kind of do... I think he's simply afraid of the same things that I am.  If he asked, I'd say yes.  But I never want it to be my idea or put myself out there first because that could mean rejection.  Do you like being inside of my head?  It can be scary, huh?  Also, what if it's a bad ring?  I want a pretty ring!  I hope he asks for ring advice (just direct him to my pinterest board... it has lots of great ideas!). 

Also, it can feel so insulting being called his "girlfriend" or saying "my boyfriend" when I'm so much more than that.  We share a home and are helping raise each others children.  That's not a girlfriend.  A girlfriend by it's very definition is an impermanent thing and I don't want impermanent.  Instability is what scares me into my hole & is what makes me afraid of shutting the cage door.  The big thing is that living together is unpleasing to God and I know this.  This is why the pressure is really on for me.  I don't want to live like this forever, although it can be really tempting, simply because I want God's best for my life.

So frustrating.  I don't know what I want.  But I want him to know what he wants.  To be continued....

lurve you, xoxo v.


Guest Post: Interview with DJ

I’m Megan and I have known Veronica since she and Alli were younger and hung out.  I am Alli’s younger sister and they used to pick on me (like typical older sisters).  Now I’m proud and glad to say that we are friends and can talk to each other about things and be there for one another. 

I have a little boy who is truly the light in my life.  He is so full of spirit and spunk that sometimes we just want to bottle it in and have him slow down some.  But that is not his personality and I would not want to change him either.  Daddy recently got him into Harry Potter and now DJ LOVES it.  He reacts some of the parts and tries to do spells.  Currently, he is working on a “skinny” spell for me.  YES, I can’t wait for it to happen. 

I interviewed him this morning and this is what came about from it.  I hope you enjoy it like my husband and I did while listening to him answer the questions.

Interview on April 22, 2012
  1. What is your name?  DJ
  2. What is your full name?  Dominic John Harber DJ
  3. How old are you? 
  4. DJ: 5
  5. Mommy:  No, your real age
DJ: 3
Mommy:  No
DJ: 4
       4.  When is your birthday?   After Halloween
       5.  What is your favorite movie?  Harry Potter
6.  Favorite part?  EVERYONE
 Harry is great and smart.  Hermoine is smart.  Ron has a mouse.
  1. What don’t you like?  He says that to me in a whisper “guy in white face”
  2. What part of HP lego game do you like?  Where I have to save Hermoine in the bathroom from the troll.  

Ok, mom we are done now, I’m HUNGRY… Really, dude, we just ate.  He says I know but I’m hungry and gets out some yogurt.  I said let’s talk about the kitty.  He jumps up and down and gets all excited.

  1. What do you love about kitty?  Hugging her and getting her off the ground and carrying her.
He then was talking about how she got medicine since she was bad.  I said no she wasn’t bad, she was in pain and we needed to fix her.  He said ya, that is right. J

He says he needs to eat now.. I said do you want to tell me about your girlfriend. And he goes no maybe later, the interview is done. J

Yep, that is my boy.  I can only get him sitting down for just a few minutes.  He is a very active child that I love deeply. 




lurve you, xoxo v.

Guest Post: Empathy....

Yesterday I went to see "The Lucky One" with Zac Efron which I loved!  I thought it was a beautiful movie with wonderful acting!  But prior to the show starting one of the previews was for "Sparkle" with Whitney Houston.  I can't explain the wave of sadness that came over me when I saw her.

I was shocked to hear the news of her death a few weeks ago and deeply saddened by the comments people made about her character.  What we know about her is that she was beautiful and had the voice of an angel.  We know she was married to Bobby Brown and had a daughter Bobbi Kristina and we know she had a problem with substance abuse.  What we don't know is the battles she had in her heart that contributed to her struggles with substance abuse.

I wish our world was nicer to each other.  I wish we were less judging and more compassionate.  Everyone struggles with things for different reasons.  She wasn't worthless or no good because she struggled with drugs.  My thoery is that anyone who puts themselves through so much pain must be trying to find a way to numb an even deeper pain and that deserves empathy not judgement.

My biological mother also abused drugs and alcohol and even though I haven't shown much empathy for her, I know she must have also had a lot of deep rooted pain she was trying to escape from to put herself through all of that agony.
Whitney Houston was loved.  She had friends and a family- people who truly knew her and I can only imagine the sadness they feel when they see her being attacked or put down by people who only know the face and the voice....and what they read in tabloids.

Why must our world (myself included) be so quick to judge?  Why must we tear each other down?  I just find it to be so sad.  My heart aches for her family and for those of us who loved her music.   I personally praise God for her life and for how she blessed millions of people with that incredible voice. 
I'm sorry for your pain Whitney.  I'm sorry on behalf of those who ignorantly attack you as if they truly knew you.  I hope you're at peace now.  You will truly be missed.


Insomnia vol. 5,785,209,023....

So what do you do when it's 1:31 am and you still can't sleep?  I guess you sit on the couch and make dumb videos of your newly curly hair.  Sounds rational to me.

I worked 14 hours today and didn't get done until around 10pm and I still can't shut my mind off.  I'm hungry but don't want to eat because I think that will make my sleep worse, yadayadayada.  And I have to get up in five hours to do it all again.  Ugh.  I'm not really complaining... okay, yes I am.  
So, last week, the doctor wanted me to start on Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia/Lupus pain.  I'm literally down to like NO meds that I can take because I either don't respond or can't tolerate the side effects.  So, she thought of Cymbalta as a last-ditched effort to try and get me some relief.  See, she knows that I'm not going to take actual pain medications (ever) and that I will probably just keep on keeping on like I have been even though I'm quite uncomfortable (understatement) every day.
WELL.... within one hour of taking this stuff, I knew it.  SEROTONIN SYNDROME.  If you remember this,  you'll remember that I had the worst time with Wellbutrin.  TWICE (because some fancy-pants doctor was convinced the first time was a fluke).  I don't think I ever did go into all of the details, but suffice it to say that besides the physical stuff, it was making me go crazy.  Like really nuts.  
So with this Cymbalta, I recognized it immediately.  It says that it can happen instantly after you take the med, but mine took about an hour.  At that point I got the same taste in my mouth, same smell in my nose, had this weird trouble swallowing like my muscles wouldn't cooperate and would want to freeze, my tongue was twitching and tremoring, my legs and arms twitched (so bad that the next day they ached), my heart raced and I developed this unthinkable nausea and diarrhea.  This lasted about 36 hours.  
And my mind raced and raced and raced.  It made me so manic (and I'm not bipolar).  I can remember trying to sleep and my mind was racing so fast that I literally couldn't keep up with the flood of thoughts and ideas coming to me.  My mind actually started seeing it in the dream as if I were looking from above down into some rain falling.  It was falling kind of fast too.  And each single rain drop had a picture in it of a thought or idea and my eyes were quickly darting to each and every one trying to take in each single quickly falling raindrop idea and it was impossible, but my mind was trying and racing.  Thought, thought, thought, thought, thought, thought, thought..... racing, racing, racing. 
 All it took was that one pill and I knew I would never take another one.  Guess I'll just keep living in discomfort.
I need to go to sleep.  Maybe I'll try again now.  Nite y'all.

lurve you, xoxo v.


In progress....

I'm going to be changing some things around the blog in the coming days,
so if you pop in and it looks a little wonky
that's because it's under construction.

But it will be new and improved before you know it!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Benlysta no. 4....

I had my fourth Benlysta infusion yesterday.  I think the immediate side effects that I normally experienced the first evening (nausea, headache, itching) are getting better.  Still there, but better.  However, the extreme fatigue and heaviness that lasts a few days are not subsiding. 

Today, I slept in then went back for a two and a half hour nap and feel like I could go to bed right now.  The problem is that my mind is wide awake so sleeping is not an option.  I even had trouble holding my dinner plate (while watching tv, I know).  My left arm feels like it needs supporting because it's so weak.  I need to lay my head down often. 

The good thing is that I know this only lasts a few days and is well worth it because my overall energy level has greatly improved since starting this medication.  I'm grateful for it and hope it continues to get better and better.

lurve you, xoxo v.


lurve you, xoxo v.


Happy 90th Birthday to my Grandma Linden....

Today is my Grandma's 90th birthday!

I remember when one of my uncles turned 50 and I said to her, "Does it seem like just yesterday that he was born?"  She flatly replied, "No."  Then started laughing.

Ninety is a long time and a lot of life to celebrate!  I know she's over it most of the time though. I remember when I was pregnant with Emma, the plan was for her middle name(s) to be "Laura Jeanne" after my Grandma.  Well, on my way to meet her for lunch, I heard someone talking about a Chinese proverb that said you should never name a baby after a living relative because it sucks the life out of them and they would die quicker (GAH!).  Well, being the emotional pregnant woman, I told my Grandma there was no way I could name the baby after her now and told her why.  She responded with, "Oh honey, for goodness sakes do it!  I'm tired!"  But I couldn't.  So her middle name(s) is now Sarah Jeanne instead.

I often feel bad that I live so far away now and don't get to spend much time with her.  Growing up I saw her several times every week, if not every day.  And even though she has nineteen grandchildren (I think that's right?) and a ton of great-grandchildren, all I have to say over the phone is, "Hi Grandma!" and she recognizes my voice right away.  I love her and I miss her and it makes me happy to hear her voice when I call.  At some point in the conversation, the same words always get spoken...

V:  "Anything new?"
Gma:  "No."
V:  "Well, I guess no news is good news."
Gma:  "I like to think so."

She still watches game shows all day long, still reads books constantly, still does her puzzle books.  I love to hear her tell me stories about when she was younger or when she and my Grandpa were dating.  My heart is afraid that the novel I've been working on for a few years now won't be done before she's gone because so much of it was written with her in mind.  I don't think she really has any idea how much love there is for her in this world.  She just thinks she's lived life and that's that.  But it's so much more.

Here is the letter I wrote her for her birthday....

Dear Grandma,

I hardly have a childhood memory without you in it.  Going to "Grandma's house" was an almost daily part of my life.  You were there for birthdays, holidays and school concerts.  I got to spend the night with you up in your room and talk to you in the dark before we went to sleep.  I can remember more than once you either bundling me in blankets or putting a cool rag on my forehead to try and break a fever.  The sight of snow blanketing the big back yard of your house, the smell of lilacs floating through your window, catching lightening bugs, seeing plastic easter eggs hanging from your trees.  Hearing you laugh at something funny, combing your hair and putting curlers in it, playing with your puzzle books or even seeing you cry because you were frustrated or overwhelmed.  All of these things are threads that have been woven into my makeup as a person and as a woman.

You may look back and think that  you were merely living life, but it was so much more than that.  You were investing in the lives of people who were learning from you and you helped create a line of women who are intelligent, loyal, strong, creative and who know how to persevere.

I love you so much and in case you don't already know, I am so grateful that you are my Grandma, and I'm proud to share your name "Jeanne" (and I'm glad you changed the spelling!).

I hope you have a beautiful and blessed birthday and I hope you feel just how much love there is for you and what a large legacy you have left in this world.  I wish I could be there to share it with you.



Guest Post.... Don't Worry Be Happy

Since I’ve become a stay at home mom in the past year, watching “The Today Show” has become a regular part of my daily routine.  I enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world, keeping up with traffic and weather reports and even getting a few recipe ideas along the way.  I especially like the fourth hour of “The Today Show” with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. They always have so much fun together. Makes me wish I had a crazy girlfriend like them to hang out with every day…  

Today they had an interesting segment on their show called “The Seven Day Mood Makeover.”  I thought I’d take a few minutes to write about it for anyone out there who just might benefit from it, like I did…

Hoda & Kathie Lee began their segment with this introduction…

Have you been feeling a little down?  Stressed out?  Do you have the blahs again?  Perhaps all you need is a joy inducing plan to bring happiness into your pathetic life.  The good news is, it can be done and it won’t cost you a dime.  That’s what Lucy Danzinger, the editor in chief of “Self” Magazine says. Today she talked about how to make over your mood in a week…

Seven Day Mood Makeover

1) Sunday -- "Be a Faker"
(Fake it ‘til you make it.  Smile anyway, even if you don’t feel it.)

2) Monday -- "Put a Cherry On Top"
(Plan something positive, happy or enjoyable to happen on this day on purpose.)

3) Tuesday -- "Quit Comparing Yourself"
(Think about your priorities and measure yourself on how you're doing, not against other people.)

4) Wednesday -- "Give Up The Grudge"
(Let it go and breathe it out. Give the other person a little mercy. You don't know what kind of day they are having.)

5) Thursday -- "Tap Into Your Innate Strengths"
(Use that stronger part of your brain to problem solve. Play your strengths.)

6.) Friday -- "Vary Your Thanks"
(Write down a variety of things you are positively feeling grateful for. Positive brings optimism.)

7.) "Grab Some Girlfriend Time"
( Laugh and have fun!  Laughter is nature's pain medication.)


Guest Post: Naked Truth: Things I can't post on facebook

Things I can't post on facebook: Saturday I was so tired when I woke up, I forgot to lift the lid on the toilet, and then on my way out the door, grabbed my thermos of yesterday's coffee and failing to dump and refill with fresh coffee I just brewed.
Yup, I was that tired and let me tell you, cold coffee from the day before is not the way to wake yourself up!



lurve you, xoxo v.

Guest Post.... Some Things Never Change

The year was 1985.  A gallon of gas cost $1.09, a movie ticket was $2.25 and a stamp was only 22 cents.  Ronald Reagan began his second term as president.  Many well known artists of the day joined together to record “We Are The World” to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.  Microsoft released Windows 1.0, its first version of Windows.  “Back to the Future” and “Rocky IV” were on the big screen while  “Growing Pains” and “The Golden Girls” made their debut on TV.  The “Tommy Hilfiger” brand was established.  And I met a girl named Veronica.


Fast forward 27 years.  The price of gas is over $4.00 a gallon, a movie ticket costs more than $10.00 and the US postal service is closing down post offices and threatening to stop Saturday deliveries due to lack of business.  The United States has an African American president for the first time in our history.  Many well known artists of today have just a few years ago recorded a new version of “We Are The World” to raise money for earthquake relief in Haiti.  Bill Gates, the co-founder, former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft is ranked one of the wealthiest people in the world.   Currently the top movie of the day is “Hunger Games.”  Kirk Cameron (who got his start on “Growing Pains”) is a Christian and is pretty bold about sharing his faith.  Betty White, who is 90 years old, is the only Golden Girl still alive.  The Tommy Hilfiger brand is still around.  And that girl named Veronica, well, she’s one of my oldest and dearest of friends.

It’s amazing to me how so many things in life change.  Cost of living, politics, technology, pop culture, styles, etc.  In the midst of all that change, it’s refreshing to find that some things never change.  The friendship that I share with Veronica is one of those “never changing” things in my life.  Back in 1985, we spent our time talking about her crush on Kirk Cameron and my crush on Ralph Macchio.  We had “friendship notebooks” that we would write in and trade back and forth each weekend when we would meet up at church.  We stayed up late laughing and talking whenever we would spend the night at each other’s houses.   And we always had each other’s back and everyone knew it.  Now in the year 2012, not much has changed.  We still talk to each other about the men in our lives.  We text all the time.  We still stay up late laughing and talking whenever we spend the night at each other’s houses.  And we still have each other’s back..and everyone knows it.   I’m more than glad to see that some of the things from 1985 have disappeared into the history books.  But I’m extremely  thankful to God that my friendship with Veronica is still here 27 years later…and still going strong.

Shameless plug....

So let me tell you about my new favorite thing!

This "Illegal Length" mascara by Maybelline is AMAZING!!!

As you all know, I don't have many lashes left because of the chemo,
and this stuff actually gives me long, lush eyelashes.
SERIOUSLY, it is the best mascara I think I've ever bought.
These "microfibers" that it has are no joke!

lurve you, xoxo v.


That's My King... I wonder if you know Him

How do you describe someone who is indescribable?  How do you convey the love and passion in your heart, the awe in your soul to someone who doesn't know Him?  I don't think you ever fully can.

There is a person that I know that believes in God, but not Jesus.  Well, they believe that Jesus was a person that existed, and that He was a good man, but not that He was the son of God.  He believes that Christ existed because He is acknowledged in the quran and other historical texts.

I have listened to all of these things quietly and peacefully because how do I convince someone who doesn't know my Lord of how wonderful and deserving He is?  When you love someone, how do you show the depths of that to someone who has never met them without becoming a blubbering idiot?  I haven't quite figured that out yet.  I can tell someone the facts, I can share my experiences with them, but how do you convey the feelings?  I wish that I had a plug, like a USB port that someone could plug into and tap into what I feel in my heart.  Then they would see that my Jesus is so much more than just a historical figure.  A man who walked in the sand and did good deeds.  No, my Jesus is holy.  He was a man, but he was God in the form of a man.  He chose to come from the throne of Heaven and suffer horrendous insult and pain.  Just because He thinks I'm beautiful and because He wants to spend the rest of eternity with me.  And with you.  If you were the only person on this Earth who needed saved from eternal consequences, He would have still come to die for you.  Did you know that?  He is a loving, merciful and gentle God.  And He is a personal God.  This is a personal relationship, as personal as any relationship you will ever experience in this earthly life.  He is the lover of your soul and a relationship with Him is intimate.

If you don't know Him, I hope you meet Him.  Try Him and you'll see.  You'll see what I'm talking about.  If you're unsure, make the decision to try.  You will never regret it and it will forever change you in beautiful ways.  Happy Easter. <3

lurve you, xoxo v.


Guest Post.... My friend, my best friend...but she will always be my baby girl

I was asked by my good friend Veronica to write a blog so she can put it on her page as a guest blog. Something different, to mix it up. Well, so that we are clear, I am a pretty boring person. Nothing exciting happens in my life and I did not win the big Mega Millions Lotto; call me an Eyore, but I was really hoping I would be a winner and have a reason to change myself in a richer way. Maybe I'm selfish, but dangit, I'd like to shop without boundaries. Travel the world. Have a huge house so that when I text my kids or husband, it takes them 3 flight of stairs or an entire wing for them to walk to fetch me an ice cold Coke Zero instead of the next room. It would've been nice to be able to afford a maid, a cook, a trainer and have a guest house for well, my poor friends. Broken dreams. Sigh. Life is rough. Lol. Not really, I'm generally a happy person, grateful for what I have and enjoy laughing whenever possible. So I pondered on what to blog about. I have nothing. I started thinking of my life, ehhh. Nothing I'd want to share for the million-th time. What about my current condition, ya know, my aching back, my MRI showing a herniated disc that has been killing me since November, leaving me crippled and in bed (couch) daily. Thank God I'm unemployed! But I have found out since I started complaining that, *gasp* EVERYONE has back problems, they just don't complain about it or share on facebook with all their 778 close friends. So much for being special, ha ha.

I started thinking about my daily life and one thing came to light. I have spent a lot of my unemployed days with my 20 year old daughter. I started thinking, is it because she's available,or because I don't take "no" lightly or is it because she feels sorry for me because I have no close friends that have time for me because they're all employed, busy with kids and husbands and the single ones are busy with their neices and nephews and work. Lol, I asked her and she said it was because she loves me and I was fun. sniff sniff. Really? *inner tears building up, trying to keep em' in*. I wanted to hug her, squeeze her and call her my Squishy! Lol. She works part time as a CNA, has a boyfriend and goes to community college getting her prereq's out of the way so she can apply for nursing school one day and become a pediatric nurse. Needless to say, I am so proud of her. She is motivated and tries hard. She's a happy girl and although she has friends, she don't spend a lot of time with them because they all are in the same boat (work/college/boyfriend). They try to make time for each other, but we all know in the real world, that can be hard. So her weekends are boyfriend and "others" time. "Others" being his twin brother who since they were 12 has been a permanent 3rd wheel in their relationship and is quite happy with it weather they like it or not. LOL. Different story, different time. 
My daughter has a name. It's Jessica. lol (in case you're wondering). She was born in FT Polk, LA back in Feb, 1992 where my high school sweetheart that I married straight out of high school was stationed in the US Army. He has a name too, Mike :) That is where I met Veronica. We became instant besties. Different story, different time, but just for the record, Veronica was God sent in my life! Jessica was born with bleeding in her brain and me at the young age of 20, away from family and so naive and scared, I was a mom to a baby who may or may not have permanent brain damage or physical damage (worse, could have died). I was so young, scared and did not know what I was doing. I was a new mom. I didn't have experience and I didn't think my mother's intuition would be valuable. Well, I did a good job getting by (to say the least) and I remember being emotional, yet it didn't break me and I was positive, yet didn't recognize the severity of it all. All I know is I loved this beautiful big brown eyed baby girl that God gave me and we were going to make it no matter what. Jessica's brain stopped bleeding and left her ventricles blocked from the bleeding so she needed a VP Shunt. It was a latex tube that went from her brain to her stomach to drain her cerebral water, otherwise it would keep accumulating in her brain with no where to go and it would crush her brain and kill her (remember back in the old days, water head babies)? So a VP Shunt is what she would need for the rest of her life. Neuro's and other specialists always told me as long as the shunt worked, and she developed normal, she'd be normal and didn't require special treatment or worry. So we listened and lived like normal and she developed perfectly mentally and physically. At age 17 Jessica's shunt from babyhood went bad and she had a 2-year bout of hospitalizations, re-installments, infections, adjustments, just all out HELL. She went through so much pain and her body just didn't want to accept her new shunts and was an ongoing issue. This time, it almost broke me. But we survived. I know for a fact it brought our close relationship even closer as I spent every waking moment with her in and out of the hospital, taking care of her, praying, just loving her and knowing my heart couldn't handle seeing her in pain and her pain was mine. I pray God lets this new shunt works for the next 100 years, I don't think it's fair she has to go through so much hell should this happen again. My nerves might just kill me from stress next time :( 
We've always been close as far as a normal mommy/daughter relationship could be. I had her baby brother when she was 8 and she wasn't happy it was a boy! Lol, but she got over it quickly and fell in love with her little brother Jeremiah and took good care of him. They have a very close bond, she protects him and he adores her. He's getting older and is catching up to her quickly (mentally and physically) lol, she's short so catching up to her wasn't hard at age 11, and he's a genius as far as smarts is concerned. Two beautiful good kids. Thank you, God!!! whew (he knew I couldn't handle bad kids, I have zero patience) ha ha.
Growing up with 3 brothers and poor, not dirt poor, but poor enough that when the ice cream truck came around our neighborhood, we knew better than to ask our parents for money. Once in a blue moon we'd scrape up a quarter each and would be able to get a 25 cent twin pop. That would be a good day :) As an adult and both Mike and I have worked, we don't consider ourselves poor, but not rich by all means! We're comfortable and able to buy an ice cream for each our kids if they want it. I tend to spoil them and buy them whatever they want (within reason) and it's probably because I  didn't have a lot growing up. I'm all about them and take them places like the movies, theme parks, zoos, museums, restaurants. Everything I never got to do as a kid. I also enjoy being a traditional mom, one that bakes gobs of cookies for Christmas, buys the kids and even Mike Easter baskets every year filled with treats, go all out for birthday parties, proms, sports events and just about anything and everything. I enjoy seeing them happy and I know how important it is to create these memories for them so they can carry it on into their adulthood. I want to be known as the mom that loved them, did things with them and always made time for them no matter what life threw at us. 
Now that Jeremiah is 11, and probably smarter than me, he's a busy boy with sports and video games. He's by no means a "mama's boy". He's all about Dad. He's with him all the time and is becoming more like him every day. Jessica is busy with mostly school, some work and her boyfriend. Me? I'm a pathetic unemployed mom who wishes I had a friend to go to movies with during the day. Maybe lunch. Shopping would be nice. Lol, I know, I know, I live a rough life! So when Jess isn't at work (which she only works every other weekend), or with her bf (every weekend) or at school (only twice a week all day), she's hanging around the house with me. We like all the same reality shows and I DVR everything! So we'll hang out all the time, watching Celebrity Apprentice, Survivor, American Idol, Ice loves CoCo, Khloe loves Lamar, X-Factor, Big Brother, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, Little House on the Prairie(LOL), just any and everything! We go shopping together, to lunch (mostly the Olive Garden), waiters and waitressess all know us by name there, movies once in a while and visit my mom or my aunt or whoever. She's always up for anything if I ask. She's a sweet girl and our conversations over the years have changed from me doing all the talking and the "you better not" or "I hope you don't" to us talking, actually talking about goals, life, funny stories. 
She has always been my daughter, and always will, but over the years became my friend. Someone I can count on. Someone I can talk to. Cry to, complain to (about me instead of her), and I've even asked for her advice instead of always being the other way around. My little 4'11'' baby girl has matured into a woman. She's my friend, my best friend...but she will always be my baby girl. And I am lucky to have her. Truly lucky <3 


Video update: Guest bloggers

lurve you, xoxo v.

Guest Post.... For This Child We Prayed

I Samuel 1:27

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD 
has granted me what I asked of him."
One of the questions children are most often asked is, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  and for as long as I can remember my answer was always, "I wanna be a mommy.  That's it.  Just a mommy"--I never thought it would take 33 years before it happened, but all is perfect in God's timing and this was no exception.  My husband and I welcomed our perfect little baby boy, Cameron Michael into the world on January 16, 2012.  I've only been on this journey of motherhood for 11 short weeks and though it hasn't been without difficulties it has proven to be even more amazing than I dreamed. 
I don't think anything can prepare you for the demands of caring for a newborn.  I'm always tired, and sometimes it's hard to find time to shower or eat a sandwich!  I struggle with the days that he fusses and it seems nothing can please him because it makes me feel like I'm just not good at this.  I miss the freedom of hopping into my car on a cool spring night and going for a drive and making it through the day without getting pee or spit up on me--But there isn't one thing I miss that compares to all the slobbery kisses, the big gummy grins, the coos or late night cuddles or at 2 am when I feed my son and he falls asleep peacefully in my arms.  I'm pretty sure I could hold him my arms, where I know he's safe, forever.  
I wanted to start a series of "love letters" to Cameron.  I actually had the idea before I was ever pregnant and so the morning I found out I was pregnant I began writing to him.  I wrote him throughout my pregnancy and plan to do so every year on his birthday.  My goal is to make the letters into a book and give it to him when he turns 21.   I want my son to have something he can open at any time and be reminded of my love for him. 
Here is the letter I wrote him the day I found out I was pregnant followed by the one I wrote the day he was born....:)
 Tuesday-May 10, 2011

At 4:45 am this morning your daddy and I found out we were pregnant with you. I saw the test turn positive and couldn't stop smiling- though I was in shock. We hadn't been trying very long and I had medical issues too so we thought it might be a while before you surprised us! But God had other plans...I'm a little scared though. I've wanted to be a mommy since I was a little girl. I've dreamed of this moment for so long that I'm scared it's not real. But it  IS real and in spite of my fear, I'm beyond happy and blessed and can't wait to be your mom. I can't wait to meet you!!
Wow....so crazy that I already love you.....!
January 17, 2012
I can't believe you're here!! Yesterday at 9:17 pm you came out to meet your daddy and me and a room full of family and friends who love you already!! The most important people in my life were all there! I can't explain the immeasurable joy I feel in my heart that God blessed me with being your mom. I'm gonna pray daily for His love and direction over me as I impact the man you're going to be. You come from great families. We love big and my hope is that you'll feel that love daily. I also pray that in time you'll come to know the Lord. You don't know it yet, but you need Him and your life won't be complete without a relationship with him. I pray I can be an example of that to you. Being a Christian doesn't mean you're perfect. In fact it's because we're so incredibly flawed that we need Jesus so know that I'll make lots of mistakes and sadly you'll get the fall out for some of them. But by God's grace I'll try everyday to be the mom you deserve and to be humble enough to admit when I need to do better. God is so good and so faithful....you're just one of the many fabulous things he's blessed me with that is proof of that.

You're even more perfect than I dreamed. And so desperately wanted! I love you already more than you know. Can't wait to take you home!!

I love you :)
 I still can't believe he's mine.  Lord, you are so good.......

Guest Post.... Naked Truth: Things I Can't Post on Facebook

When I first opened a facebook account I only had a few people as "friends" on there and it was just a fun cool sight to troll around on. As facebook became more popular, more people I knew joined and "added" me. At first it was fine. First friends, then siblings, all still good. I could write whatever as my status, post any song, confess any secret, etc... Then older friends joined, family, parents. Suddenly I couldn't just write anything. It's not that I have a problem with anything I would post, but some of these people can't handle it, or shouldn't know that about me.

Some judge too easily.

  Some just wouldn't understand. Some wouldn't get my humor. Some don't think certain things should go on facebook.

So my friends and I started a "Things I can't Post on Facebook" thing. We'd randomly text confessions or funnies that we know we can't put on facebook.

When I was asked to guest post on here, I instantly thought of this game we play.

So I'm staring a random series of "things I can't post on facebook". I'm going to share
the naked truth.

It'll be anything from "Things I can't post on facebook: there is a hair growing out of my nipple"
"Things I can't post on facebook: It's so hot, I would skinny dip in the city fountain," to "Things I can't post on facebook: People are f***in stupid."


lurve you, xoxo v.

Addicted Husband

Contributed by Vickie Tyson

I really don't know what I was thinking when I switched our really basic cable TV to TVByDirect. My husband spent the whole first day glued in front of the TV channel surfing all the hundreds of channels now available to us. He spent about a total of 12 hours just in that one day watching and loving all channels. Now he spends mostly all day Sunday in front of the TV as well, I must say though that I enjoy all the channels too but rarely get anytime to watch TV when fighting with my addicted husband over the remote. Right now his favorite channel is probably the Investigation Discovery channel, he even believes that he can be a detective, but I just think he has a crush on Aphrodite Jones. I am pretty sure I am not the first woman with a husband married to the TV as well and definitely won't be the last. But I must say that as long as my husband is happy, so am I, and maybe just maybe, he will become a little less addicted once the newness wares off and I will actually be able to gain access to the remote


lurve you, xoxo v.

Guest posts....

Just so you guys know, every once in a while there will be some guest posts around these parts.  Either by advertisers or friends.  Looking to mix it up a little bit and plus, I know SO MANY amazing, intelligent, funny, compassionate, wise women that I would love for you all to get to know them as well!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Today's blog is brought to you by the letter V....

Truths about me and things learned along the way....
  • I need to be creative.  When I'm not, I feel withdrawn and withered, like I'm merely wandering through life.
  • Crunchy is a necessary texture.
  • "I have a mind which is bigger than the rest of me, an inexorable conscience."~anais nin  
  • I write because I want to capture my life.  I want to literally capture the intricate details together in the same place at the same time for all eternity just as they were.  
  • A partial truth is still a lie
  • If you really love someone you will never let them go…especially to possibly go meet someone else.  You will hold onto them and fight for them…you don’t drive them to the airport and wish them well.
  • Think of my vagina as a vase.  If you’ve had sex with me, it’s time to send flowers. 
  • It’s good to feel necessary
  • Creativity is sexy.
  • I am destined to be paler than a nun's ass.
  • Sometimes I have the need to fall into a heap and cry, but when I’ve met that need I will stand back up and keep moving.
  • Something’s always happening and evolving with me.  If you are bored here it’s your own fault.
  • Let me have my freakouts once in a while.  That’s what I do.  That’s my process.  I freak out and panic.  I get talked off the ledge.  Then I regroup, focus and kick butt.
  • A bit of black in every room.
  • I need to tell my story because it is the only one that is mine to tell.
  • Nursing is a gift in that you have to be so consumed with meeting the needs of other people that you simply don’t have time or opportunity to collapse under the weight of self-pity.
  • Big scary whales freak me out.
  • I'm not a pet person.  And that doesn't make me a bad person.
  • The feel of paper grosses me out.
  • My favorite flowers are tulips and lilacs.
  • I hardly ever listen to the actual radio (only my ipod) or watch the news.
  • Fat happens.
  • In an effort to simplify and destress my life, this past fall I let my advanced cardiac life support certification expire.  It's the first time I haven't been certified in over a decade.  It's bitter sweet.
  • Time and truth always meet.
  • If you never meet the devil head-on, maybe you're going the same direction
  •  Humans are best during adversity because that’s when we forget about ourselves.
  •  I want my daughters to be proud to say “I am my mother’s daughter”
  • When I’m feeling rejected, it’s not necessarily the lack of love that hurts me, it’s that I’m not allowed to give love to that person when they’re rejecting me.
  • "The person you know will answer the phone at 2am, is the person that loves you. The person that calls you at 2am is the person that needs you." - Pastor Chris Hughes Sermon Preached 1998 Titled "Love Tested"
  • Do no harm.
  • Choose to be kind over being right and you'll be right everytime.
    Richard Carlson
  •  “Give people enough time and they will almost always surprise and impress you.” Randy Pausch
  •  A Bulldog can beat up a skunk anytime, but it's just not worth it.
  •  You are nothing but energy and you are responsible for the energy that you bring. ~Oprah
  • When people shut their ears, shut your mouth.
  • If your kids ever get lost, teach them to find a woman who looks like a mom.  I'm not saying men aren't compassionate or helpful, but a woman who is looking at a lost, scared child will protect and rescue to an even stronger level than a man.
  • Because I don’t always pay attention to God's whisper, I tend to stay too long in places I shouldn’t be.
  • Because of my root of rejection, I want everyone to feel loved & that they matter.  I need to learn that doesn’t mean they have to be loved by ME.  I need to stop bringing all the stray puppies with parvo home and trying to love them into normalcy.
  • It’s okay to be angry when I’ve been wronged.  I don’t have to be pleasing all the time.
  • You are supposed to give the child back to themselves by reflecting their beauty back to them through your eyes ~Jane Fonda
  • The work that you put into something is exactly what youll get out of it.
  • I’m not interested in growing your network.  If I’m just a number on your page and you’re not participating in my life at all, you’re outta here.
  • I’ve retained my faith in human nature, but am not as gullible as I once was.
  • The most interesting parts of your life are typically when you have failed at something.
  • Ask for what you want!  It is not an act of selfishness to ask for what you want or need.  It liberates not only you, but those around you.  It’s exhausting for others to guess what you want & it leaves you frustrated & angry when people don’t guess what you want & provide it.
  • When a couple is not regularly having sex, they will either fornicate or fight.
  • It is not enough to love and be loved.  I have learned that physical presence is one of the most important things for me.
  • I spend too much time in my own head.  I take the path of most resistance.  I’m too caught up in my own shit.
  • When people judge you it’s because they don’t know you.  Dogs don’t bark at people they know.
  • Approach determines response.
  • Put your label maker away and just live and let live!

lurve you, xoxo v.
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