February 2013: Fun Times, Creating Memories

As usual, I’m recapping my highs and lows from last month.

Good Stuff

Valentine Anniversary – I celebrated the first anniversary of my first published release, What’s Wrong With Me? (the book and the journal).

Credit: Quizzle

Taxes Done – Following my usual tradition, I used TurboTax as I have for the past 13 years, and filed in February. I’ve already received my state refund and am awaiting my federal refund. I would rather have my money during the year than at tax time, but it’s hard because I already claim a high number of exemptions on my W-4 for my employer, AND I itemize annually as a business owner. I think there’s only been one year that I’ve owed money, and it was about $500. I’d love to get to a happy medium.

Missing My Mojo – Usually, I take TurboKick class on Tuesdays (I’m not teaching it yet). But this month I had to sacrifice because on most Tuesdays this month, I was with my daughter taking advantage of outings (field trips) with other homeschool families. When I returned to my TK class last week, another class member who is an acquaintance told me that I had been missed. I missed being there, too! Now I know that I can’t miss 3 weeks of TK in a row anymore. Since I became a certified  instructor, I have access to the workouts on DVD, but working out at home is not the same as working out with a room full of other TurboChicks. I doesn’t even matter if I have a conversation with someone while I’m there or not. There’s just something about being around people, with all of us in sync with the choreography, that brings me great joy. What can I say–it’s the dancer in me.

Creating Memories

My daughter K had one week in particular this month that was pretty awesome. She attended a live show with Nickelodeon characters, she went to a birthday party/sleepover with a friend who has a barn, and she met not one, but three stars from the Disney channel and Nickelodeon (the latter was a complete surprise).

The Yo Gabba Gabba Live: Get the Sillies Out! show was a long-awaited event. I purchased my tickets 3 months ago, and for a child, waiting 3 months for something they want is an eternity. Although Yo Gabba Gabba! is a show geared to very young children (K is 9), the show debuted when she was in the target audience and since she was interested, we went. (Thanks LivingSocial!) I’ll admit that I like it too; my favorite song of theirs is Hold Still. I appreciate that the show is unique and encourages values I co-sign. DJ Lance (the only human on the show) also happens to me my friend’s cousin.

K instantly made a lot of friends when started attending a set of “home study” STEM classes in January. One of them invited her to her sleepover party, and her parents happen to have a dog, two horses, several hens and a rooster. They gave me a carton of fresh eggs from their hens–gives another whole meaning to “cage-free eggs.” Because they live 30 miles away, the girl’s mother recommended that I go on Craigslist to find people who have fresh eggs to sell a little closer to my area.

DisneyKids-flyerOnce I picked K up the next morning (a Saturday), I decided to take her to a mall nearby. The malls in that area are a little pricier than in my town, but she likes being in the mall and it would give us something to do until the next time she complained of being bored. We arrived a little before 11 am. Unbeknownst to us, 3 actors from kid shows were scheduled to make an appearance in an open area of the mall at noon: Noah Munck (he played Gibby on iCarly), Peyton List (she plays Emma on Jessie), and Calum Worthy (he plays Dez on Austin & Ally).  I didn’t plan on hanging around that long (I don’t like crowds), but since I didn’t have somewhere else in particular to be and K was so excited, I stuck around. I didn’t think killing an hour of time there would be a big deal.

We got in line around 11:40, and we were about 10th in line. At noon, the DJ announced that the actors would be there at 1:00, but the kids were welcome to get their faces painted and other activities. At 1:22, the actors finally appeared, and as soon as they came out, K began crying in excitement. It was so sweet! We’ve met other celebrities before, but not “her people.”  It didn’t take long before her turn came, and she got autographed pictures and pictures I took of her with all them. Once we started walking down the corridor to leave the mall, she became overcome with emotion and cried some more. Happy tears!

Even though there were several days when I would have rather stayed home or done other things, in the end I’m pleased that I could be there to facilitate fun memories that K will have as she gets older. I have a feeling that when she’s older, she’ll remember if we did fun things together (or not).

Where I Missed It

Those were my hits, but I had a few missed targets.

I remain about 5 pounds away from my goal weight on Weight Watchers, although I had hoped to achieve that goal weight in February. I think the shift from working out 4-5 days a week before February to working out 1 day a week has something to do with it.

I should have completed my entire first draft of the “single dads” book by now (I have 5 more expert interviews to conduct before I finish it).

Looking Forward To…

Book production – I’m going to be working with a company called Booklogix for my book cover and editing services. This is going to reduce a lot of stress for me this time around because I will work with one company for multiple book services, and based on the proposal I received, will pay about 1/2 to 1/3 of what I paid for my first two books.iStock_000018451224Small-PAID

Hip Hop Hustle certificationThe creator of TurboKick also created Hip Hop Hustle (and PiYo, which I may do in April). I love to dance, so this is a no-brainer. She also recently announced Insanity, P90X, and TurboFire courses coming soon… 🙂

Getting my own fitness gig – Once I get my AFAA group exercise test results, which should come in March, I’ll actively apply for jobs and substitute gigs for group exercise.

Performing in Easter play – I’ve always wanted to participate in a dance ministry at church. I feel like if I can dance to Beyonce and do line dances, I can dance for God. I’ve been able to get in on an opportunity to dance for the Lord with a great group for my church’s Easter production, and I’m excited to do it.

Hiring a marketing coach/consultant to help me get more speaking business.

Buying a new couch – Never bought one of my own before, and I always put it off.

Tragedy–You Just Never Know

I hate to end on a bad note, but I can’t stop thinking about it, and maybe this will help someone else:

A few days ago, early in the morning, my former stepson’s mother, T, was stabbed to death on a city bus by her estranged husband. I don’t know many details because I learned it through my ex-husband, who immediately called me to check on me. Sure enough, upon checking their local paper, their family picture was on the front page. Apparently they had been fighting a lot and the guy decided to get on the bus a couple of stops ahead of the woman to take her out.

My ex- spoke with her in a pleasant conversation very recently, and she claimed that everything was ok, but obviously it wasn’t.  It was a tragic domestic violence situation that is easy to hide long-distance.

I never knew T, but I knew of her ever since my ex- and I started dating in the late 90’s. T was someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother, someone’s sister, someone’s daughter, and someone’s friend. It should not have happened, it’s sad, and it’s senseless. My heart aches for their family.

In youth church a couple of weeks ago, I told a group of teenagers that they always needed to make sure that if they have offended anyone, or they felt that something wasn’t right in their life, to get it right as soon as possible. We cannot take it for granted that we have another day to make things right, make a change, or ask for help. And if you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, and you see the light coming down the track, don’t just watch the train wreck. Do something.