The Best Gift to Give and Receive on Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day appears to date back to ancient Rome and the feast of Lupercalia where there was lots of nudity and “hitting” on of women, (check out this super interesting article by NPR – The Dark Origins of Valentine’s Day).  February 14th has been renamed and celebrated in a variety of ways over the centuries and it has morphed into what it is now, a highly commercialized time to celebrate romance, love and friendships.  A time for Hallmark cards and children’s hand print cards, heart shaped candy, flowers and expensive jewelry.  It is celebrated between lovers, spouses, parents and children.  And, thanks to the television show Parks & Recreation, and the always adorable Leslie Knope, GALentine’s Day is celebrated by half of my Instagram followers, according to a very scientific poll I conducted on my IG story with the “polls” feature.

SunflowersWith Valentine’s Day upon us, and all this talk about love, it’s interesting to note, that not everyone receives love the same way.   I think on some level I always knew this, but it didn’t really hit home until I ran across a little treasure that can change your relationships with your spouse, your children, your parents and siblings, and even your friends and co-workers.  The 5 Love Languages developed by Gary Chapman has been around for 25 years, and I wish I had know about it for that long!  This is a theory that assumes everyone receives love and feels love in one of 5 Love Languages.  There is a simple online quiz you can take and it will determine your Love Language, or the way you best receive love from others.    Your Love Language will be one of the following:

  • Words of Affirmation – you feel love when someone affirms you with words
  • Acts of Service – you feel love when someone does something for you, actions over words
  • Receiving Gifts – you feel love when you receive a gift or token from someone
  • Quality Time – you feel love when someone gives you their undivided attention
  • Physical Touch – you feel love when someone physically touches you (mind out of the gutter peeps, this can be high fives, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, and yes, of course, sex!)

Click here to take the quiz.

Y’all, TAKE THE QUIZ!!  Once you know your love language, and the love language of your favorite people, it makes SO MUCH SENSE!  For example, my love language is Acts of Service, so while I love gifts and sweet words from from my husband, those don’t Continue reading “The Best Gift to Give and Receive on Valentine’s Day”

Self-Care Schmelf-Care – Tales of a Self-Care Martyr

I admittedly play the martyr when it comes to self-care.  It became a bad habit early in my life when I gave everything I had to my husband, children, work, house, volunteering, you name it.  I did it all, and excelled in it.  And poor, poor, pitiful me.  I never had time to take care of myself.  As I look back now, and become my own Monday morning therapist, I can see it was me trying to prove my love to my family and say “Look at me, look at all I do for YOU.  Aren’t I the best wife, mother, employee?  No one can be as good at this as me!”  That’s the #3 Enneagram in me…needing validation.  Can you tell I’m just a little obsessed with the Enneagram?

I digress.  So, in this new stage of my life, I am focusing a little more on self-care, and being less of a martyr.  It’s really not a good look on me anyway, so time to let it go.  But, here is my struggle with all of the typical self-care routines many women swear by:

  • Massages – Please don’t judge, but I just don’t like them! It could stem back to the first one I ever had at a spa in Munich, Germany.  It has to do with the German’s complete lack of inhibitions, my modesty and several people walking into my massage room when I was disrobed.  It was a lot for my Midwestern sensibilities.  My husband purchased 3 massage gift certificates almost 3 years ago for my birthday.  I still have 2 left.  I wonder if they are even valid anymore.
  • Facials – I have had two professional facials in my life, and honestly, not impressed. I am a consultant for a skin care and beauty company, and I have great products and do take care of my skin.  So…no thanks.  I’m self-critical enough of myself, I don’t need you telling me how big my pores are and how deep my wrinkles are, because they’re not.
  • Baths – Now, I do enjoy a nice bath, a good book, a glass of wine. But, does anyone else feel like they need to shower after a bath?  It’s nice while I’m in there soaking, but then if I start thinking about how I’m sitting in the water that is rinsing all the gunk off of me.  I need to stop thinking.
  • Take a run – Ok, this just cracks me up that some women consider this self-care. I WISH I was a runner.  I wish I loved it.  But, there isn’t a good enough sports bra out there for me to be a runner.  Enough said.

What I have realized over my 50-something years is that self-care is highly personal.  It’s not the same for everyone.  And that’s ok.  I am slowly figuring out what self-care means Continue reading “Self-Care Schmelf-Care – Tales of a Self-Care Martyr”

100 Days:  Little Wins That Turn into Something Bigger

My name is Susan, and I’m a recovering Diet Coke addict.  It’s been 100 days since my last sip of that delicious nectar of the Gods.  I started drinking Diet Coke right after it launched in 1982 and I never stopped.  At my worst, right before I quit, I was drinking 4-6 cans a day, and if I happened by a QuikTrip, I’d get a Big Q fountain DC as well.  I would easily go through two twelve-packs a week.  Y’all, I estimate I spent at least $400 a year in Diet Coke.

I’m not stupid, I know how bad DC is for you…chock full of nasty stuff.  But I couldn’t resist the feel of an ice cold fountain Diet Coke sliding down my throat.  Heaven.  I’ve quit Diet Coke too many times to count, never lasting more than two weeks, probably caved we went out for Mexican food.  I had to have a Diet Coke with Mexican food.  It would be un-American not to.  It’s refreshing deliciousness called me back time and Continue reading “100 Days:  Little Wins That Turn into Something Bigger”

Finding My Purpose in all Stages of Life

ALERT:  Stream of consciousness post, proceed at your own risk!

I know I keep acting like I am an empty nester, when I really do have one child still at home, and you may be thinking, ”she’s just a poser”.  Well, that is true.  My youngest son is still home.  But, he attends community college for both high school and college credits, and he works about 30 hours a week, mostly weekends.  So, in reality, I rarely ever see him.  And, let’s face it, he’s a boy.  Boys don’t need their mamas the way girls do.

And, I know when he really does leave, I want to be prepared.  I don’t want to be one of those moms who was totally unprepared for the empty house, the sadness and most specifically the lack of purpose.  Throughout most of my life, I knew my purpose; child, Continue reading “Finding My Purpose in all Stages of Life”

Five Things I Hope My Grown Up Kids Know

Seven months.  That’s how long I have until my youngest heads out to his first semester of college.  I’m getting prepped emotionally, but there are a few things I would like all four of my kids to know.  My children range in ages from 18-27, in a variety of “grown up” stages of life.  My first born and oldest son is 27, married, with an amazing wife and delightful baby girl.  They are both entrepreneurs and own several businesses. My second born, a daughter, 24, is in her third and last year of physical therapy school, engaged to be married to a fantastic man who is in his last year of medical school.  Third, we have my youngest daughter, 19, who is a sophomore at a private university on the Continue reading “Five Things I Hope My Grown Up Kids Know”

Happy Thank God it’s Monday Day!

Today is National Thank God it’s Monday Day, which is my kind of day, because I love Mondays!  I am unapologetically THAT girl!  So annoying, right?  I haven’t always been a Monday loving gal.  I used to roll my eyes at people like me.  Such a Pollyanna.  What is she part of a Disney movie? Ugh!  Stay away, I don’t want your sugar sweet syrupiness getting on me.  Just bring me a cup of coffee, for the love of God, it’s MONDAY!  When I worked for a large corporation and had to put on a navy, black or grey skirted suit with panty hose and sensible heels, not flats, not stilettos, no peep-toes….I was not a fan of Mondays.  When my husband travelled and I had to get the kids up, ready, drop them off at daycare all by myself, I was not a fan of Mondays.  At all.  I always liked my job and the people I worked with, and of course, I loved my kids, but Mondays were just part of Continue reading “Happy Thank God it’s Monday Day!”

A Weekend with No Kids: What I thought would happen vs what actually happened!

I don’t know about you, but I love the week between Christmas & New Year’s Day!  These are the best days; the preparation and work for Christmas and all the celebrations are complete; I don’t really care what the house looks like, cleaning is unimportant; there’s still plenty of food in the fridge (SO.MUCH.FOOD), therefore, cooking is optional; I’m not a post-Christmas sale shopper and avoid the crowds.  This is a perfect time for enjoying time together, sleeping in, playing family games and just hanging out!  When any of my kids are home, I just want to put all mundane things aside and spend time with them, because I know that time is fleeting and soon, they will be gone and I can get back to the task of day to day life.

And, that’s exactly what we did until the weekend when all 4 of my children had other plans!  What is this madness?  My two daughters went out of town for my oldest Continue reading “A Weekend with No Kids: What I thought would happen vs what actually happened!”