Candid Karina

This post started in my head as a thought for a Facebook status update.  But there was just so much more to say.  So, I’ll start by stating a disclaimer:  My friends are amazing.  I love my friends.  My friends are caring and thoughtful and I believe, honestly only want good things for me.  This post is written in good humor, no anger or hard feelings behind it.  Take it for what it is, an informative post to help you discern when maybe, just maybe, you’re forgetting what it was like when you were me…

  1. Just because I’m single it does not mean that every other single person out there is “perfect” for me.  Being “single” is not, in itself, the solitary quality to bring two people together.  PLEASE take into account our lifestyles, our interests, our personalities.  And then, take a step outside of your non-single status and ask yourself this question “Would I, if I were single, HONESTLY consider dating this person myself?”  Because odds are, if we are friends, we have these things (lifestyles, interests, personalities) in common…and if you wouldn’t date them…why should I?
  2. Please don’t introduce me to and/or try to set me up with and/or suggest to me as a potential, EVERY SINGLE PERSON you know.  Please refer back to number one.  Filter your choices, present me with the ones you can actually see potential in. If you honestly believe you’ve met someone I just must meet, then by all means, make it happen!  But come armed with the reasons why you feel I will want to meet or get to know this person.  If you’re not in the habit of introducing me to, or trying to set me up with EVERY single guy you meet, I’ll listen when you have a suggestion for me.
  3. If I want you to set me up with someone you know…I will tell you.  I promise.  If I want you to help me meet people, I will tell you.  If I want to know if you have any single friends, I will ask you.  If I have an interest in someone you might know a little better than I do, I will ask you to introduce us.  If I consider you my friend, I will trust you to do what is best for me, and to let me know if you feel this person could be a good match for me.  Once again, please refer back to number 1.  That person being single?  NOT SUFFICIENT information to determine our compatibility.   And trust me, the other person will feel the same way, just knowing I’m single won’t be sufficient, or, if he’s right for me, it shouldn’t be.  He should want to know something about me besides my relationship status.  But trust me to come to you.
  4. If I confide in you that I am feeling lonely, this does not mean that I feel this way all the time.  I am not asking you to feel sorry for me.  I am not asking you to fix me up. (Please refer to number three here).  I am not asking you to suggest ways to find a husband.  I don’t need you to refer me to an online dating site.  I am not asking you to figure out a way to cure me of my singleness.  Being single is not a disease.  I will have my days when I’d rather not be single.  I’m pretty sure you have your days when you’d rather not be married.  When you come to me, on those days when your husband is annoying the living daylights out of you, I don’t direct you to a divorce attorney’s website, do I?  Let me confide in you, be my friend, listen, and understand that whatever our relationship status is, we have good days and bad days, we have days we LOVE our status, and days we might come really close to hating it…
  5. I love that you want me to be happy and in love.  TRULY I do.  It means the world to me that you want that happiness for me.  I appreciate your thoughts on this.  I appreciate how much you care.  And I appreciate when you want to get involved to help me get there.  I hope that I tell you these things.  I hope that I let you know when I feel these thoughts and actions are welcome.  Because sometimes, they are.  But please try to remember that as my friend you should also want me to be happy now.  When I’m single.  Please don’t focus all your energy on what I don’t have.  Notice all that I do have.  Notice the life I’m living today.  Help me to enjoy this part as well.
  6. Yes, I have thought about online dating.  IF and when I decide I want to do that, I will.  I am WELL AWARE it exists.  Stop pushing me to do it.  If it ever feels right for me, I’ll go there.  I’m just going to say this one more time to make sure there’s no misunderstanding here: STOP TELLING ME TO TRY ONLINE DATING.  Thank you.
  7. You are right; I don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with a husband’s personality, demands, schedule, etc. I do not know what it’s like to have to deal with your child’s temper tantrums or insanely hyper active school activities.  Telling me I am “so lucky” to not have any of those obligations is both rude and hurtful.  There are days, when I’d give everything to have them.  Also, throwing those things in my face, telling me my life is so much easier and less stressful because I don’t have a family to care for, doesn’t just make it seem like you find my life less valuable than yours, it is completely inaccurate.  My commitments, my interests, my activities are just as valid.  My relationships, although they may not be maternal or romantic, are just as significant to my survival.  I treat my friendships as my family, I treat my plans with them as you would dinner with your husband.  THEY MATTER.
  8. On this same vein, making me feel guilty because I don’t have to provide financially for children, or am not supporting the habits and interests of a husband as well as my own is also a completely null argument.  I am supporting my household on a single income.  I pay ALL of the bills, not just some of the bills.  If I don’t want to spend most of my time alone, I am required to go out and spend money on activities and dinners and whatever social situation I can place myself in, so I’m not at home, alone on a Friday night.  And let’s not forget that it is with my solitary income that I am paying for all of my non-single friends’ events, childrens’ birthday party gifts, baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, Christmas presents, (where I’m usually buying individual gifts for all members of your family), etc. etc.  Please let me make this clear, I am not complaining.  I enjoy celebrating life events with all of my friends.  Don’t even feel guilty for inviting me to a gift giving occasion…shopping for presents is an honest joy to me.  Just remember that financially, we’re all in the same boat.  I may have less financial “obligations” according to your world.  But, you may have less according to mine.  Let’s call this one even and remember not to quibble about money.
  9. When you tell me that it should be easy to keep my house in order, since I’m the only one living there, remember two things: ONE: you have obviously not yet met my two cats.  And Two: Keep in mind, that I have to move that television all by myself, to have to figure out where the closest mechanic is, how to replace a broken light fixture alone, to do all the dishes, all the laundry, all the cleaning, all the cooking, and all the breadwinning.  There is no one at my house to open that stubborn pickle jar.  For every time your husband leaves his socks outside the hamper, there’s a pickle jar for me.  But when all is said and done, you love your husband, and you’ll take the socks!  I feel the same about my life.
  10. Here is the most important one: I want to be able to discuss my singledom with you, and I want you to be able to discuss your relationship with me.  I want us to not be afraid to share our trials and tribulations, as friends do.  But I don’t want to feel judged, pressured, or like you think I need to do something to change my situation.  I don’t want to make you feel any of those things about your relationship either.  Unless you are in an incredibly unhealthy relationship.  And even then, I might give advice…but only if you ask me for it.  If I ask you, or if you feel I am unhappy, well, then none of the above really apply, feel free to call me out on it.

And before anyone asks, no, this isn’t about you.  Not completely anyway.  I’ve taken bits and pieces of everything I’ve experienced in my long time as “the single friend” and pieced them all together.  If you take this entire post personally…maybe we should talk. But this isn’t about any ONE of you directly or indirectly…

And now, in closing, I challenge you to this:  What do you, my non-single friends, wish your single friends would remember?  After all, turnabout is fair play, right?

{November 10, 2011}   To New Adventures

I have a vague recollection of showing interest via a survey, poll, or email a few months ago in attending the Women of Faith Conference in Hartford, CT.


I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly how it was that I came across this opportunity…but I was asked if I’d be interested in attending, and if so, which location I preferred.  I picked Hartford, as it was the closest to me geographically.  Then I promptly forgot all about it, and moved on with my daily life.


Then, about a month ago, I received my registration and free tickets in the mail.  It took me but a few minutes to remember that I had, indeed, shown interest in this conference.  It took me even less time to get excited about the prospect of attending.


I immediately called a friend who I know would love the opportunity to attend with me.  Sadly, she couldn’t make it.  So, I moved onto the next friend who I KNEW would absolutely be down for going.  She, too, could not make it.  So, I had now reached out to the two most spiritual and religious “Women of Faith” that I know, who I knew I’d enjoy spending a weekend with, learning, growing, sharing.  I knew I had others I could reach out to, but I simply wasn’t sure where to go next on my list.


I know many Women of Faith, and many who I knew I could and would enjoy a weekend such as this one with.  But which one?  Where to turn?  So, I turned to God.  I said “God, I know you want me to go to this conference, so, alone or with a friend, rest assured, I am going…but who should I ask?”


God led me to my 3rd friend.  A new friend.  My running buddy, my gym partner.  I have known her less than a year, yet in this short time, we have become sisters.  We run together, we work out together, we share meals, and we share our doubts, our struggles and our joys.  The day I met her (introduced by friend #2 above, while the 3 of us went for a run), I knew instantly we’d be friends.  The next time we got together, it was just the two of us going for a run.  I happened to be frustrated about something personal, and vented during the run.  And she listened, counseled, and reacted as if we’d been friends a lifetime.  It was fate.  Our friendship I mean.  It is one of those I like to call God Friendships.  Because only through God can a friendship like this exist.  So effortless, so immediate, so real.


My friend believes in God.  But she has been distant for a while.  Recently, within the last year, she has been searching.  We’ve attended church together, we’ve discussed faith.  She is at the beginning of her journey back to God.


And it is she, that somehow, (and we all know how), ended up being my companion for this upcoming conference.


I am excited to go.  Excited to see, learn, experience, feel, pray, listen, share.  I have attended many conferences in the past, for work, for other “non-faith related” reasons.  I have attended many “faith retreats” in the past.  But I have never done something such as this.  A conference of this magnitude, for women only, to share in our faith.  I cannot wait to see what unfolds. I believe the timing for me personally couldn’t be more perfect.  I have been growing in my faith in the last few years, and this is just another stepping stone on my journey.


But more than my excitement, is hers.  She is as excited for this as any other person would be for a weekend getaway of sightseeing in Savannah.  This is retreat and a treat for her.  She is giddy.  And her excitement is such a blessing to see.  I am so grateful that I get to share this experience with her.


We leave tonight…I’ll give a full report next week.

{September 30, 2009}   Good Friends, Good Times

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you are probably aware that “Some of My Best Friends are…people I met on the internet”.

I have always been the type of person who can make friends in the most unusual of ways. I’m outgoing and talkative by nature, so I’ll strike up a conversation with just about anyone, just about anywhere, about just about anything. I have made (and met) friends over pen pal letters from as far away as Germany, when I was just a teenybopper. I have bonded with girls over musical tastes, a pair of shoes, and a laptop computer while on a flight to visit another long distance friend. And then, of course, there are my internet friends.

If you click on that link above, you can get a little more history on a particular group of friends I met online almost 9 years ago. These 6 girls and I have been through everything together. Break-ups, make-ups, marriages, babies, health issues, career changes, moves, successes, failures, drama and good times. I’ve been lucky to meet almost all of them in person at one point or another, and I count them among my very best friends in the world. Up until this weekend, I had yet to meet two of them in person.

But this past weekend “WEST Virginia” came to stay with me.

There was a little bit of apprehension on both of our parts about finally meeting face to face. We spend most of our days texting and/or instant messaging each other, and we get along fabulously over technology. But what if we didn’t “click” when actually face to face? What if it was awkward? As she kept saying “what if she thinks I’m a dork?” What if…would we ruin our great friendship by meeting?

Truth be told, I was more excited than anxious. I had faith that we would get along fabulously.

Thankfully, I was right. We clicked instantly, and it was as if we were simply old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while, reconnecting after a long absence. There was no awkwardness. And let us be honest, we’re both big dorks, and we’re both well aware of that already, so there was no issue there either.

I picked her up at the airport on Thursday afternoon, and we instantly launched into an easy conversation about her flight, and giggled like schoolgirls as we tried to locate my car in the parking garage.

Thursday night was made easier by a home cooked crock pot meal (made by yours truly and pretty darn good if I do say so myself) and the two hour season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, a show we watch together via instant messenger weekly.

Friday I dragged her to work with me (kicking and screaming for the early morning hour), where we were having an employee appreciation cook-out at midday. We left after lunch and headed out for some shopping. Friday evening we had dinner at my parents’ house, where she met my family, parents, grandfather and Bro and his girlfriend. Everyone got along fabulously and we had a great evening.

Saturday we spent the day at a flea market, and then went to the movies. Sunday I drove her back to the airport, and was sad to see her go, knowing that if she lived closer, we would certainly spend a lot of time together.

It was a laid back, fun, and casual weekend. It was an easy, comfortable, not at all forced time with a great friend.

I look forward to our next visit, but am glad to know that we can continue our daily texting and/or instant messaging chats in the meantime, without any awkwardness.

Isn’t the internet great?

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, why not?) then you know I’ve been Mrs. Cranky Pants all week.

I could get into a detailed discussion of all the reasons why Cranky Karina made her appearance known this week, but…well, it’s FRIDAY, and that means it’s Only The Good Friday, and we focus on the positives on OTGF.

SO, instead of giving Cranky Karina any more airtime, I’m going to focus on the good things.

What good things, you ask?

Oh, there’s plenty.

For starters, Fall has arrived in New England with a vengeance. And next to Summer, Fall just happens to be my favorite season of the year. It’s been a bit chillier than I would like it to be the last few days, but temps are said to be rising the next few days. Which means sleeping with windows open, waking up to that slight chill, but crisp scent in the air, and then enjoying sunny and warm afternoons before the sun sets and that crisp chill hits once again. I love fall weather, truly.

Fall also means a wardrobe change. Now, if you know me, you know these are the simple things that brighten my days. Yes, I’ll be sad to put away the summer dresses and shorts and flip-flops, but I get to exchange them for cardigans and long sleeved t-shirts and oh…boots. Did you hear me? BOOT weather is nearly here. Oh how I love my boots.

And really, when all else fails, focus on the shoes. The shoes make everything better.

Speaking of shoes, one of my twitter buddies (@ashleygreenere) introduced me to something yesterday that may just be the greatest internet invention of all time. “” is basically a “shoe-of-the-month” club. Yes, you read that right, and if you know me at all, then you know at the moment my head is SPINNING at the mere idea of this. Needless to say, yes, I signed up, and will be keeping you posted on my thoughts about the site and the program. I’m waiting until I receive my first shoe recommendations before I talk about it anymore, but I will post a review about it once I do.

BUT a shoe-of-the-month club? GENIUS.

And since I mentioned my twitter buddies, I should also mention that in the midst of the bad week I was having, those same twitter friends were a great source of support and encouragement for me. What an amazing group of people gathered together by that little blue bird, and how lucky am I to have stumbled across them. I don’t care what anybody says, as far as I’m concerned, Twitter is a GOOD thing.

I’ve met so many amazing people on this interweb, it’s such a great thing.

Speaking of my internet friends, another very good thing is happening next week. I shall have a houseguest next weekend, and she happens to be one of my very best friends. She also happens to be someone I met on the internet oh, over 8 years ago, and who I have yet to meet face to face. Yes, that’s right, we’ve never met face to face, and she’s coming to spend the weekend with me. But you have to understand that for a little under a decade, we’ve been in almost daily, and certainly weekly communication. With a small group of other ladies (some of whom we’ve both been able to meet in person), we’ve been through break-ups, marriages, childbirths, family drama, deaths and successes. These girls at times know me better than any of my “real life” friends could even dream to know me. And this particular friend and I have grown even closer in the last year or so, with daily text and instant messaging conversations. She’ll be here Thursday through Sunday and I am so excited to have her visit.

See, all good things.

So, there you have it, my Only The Good Friday post for this week. Ah, I feel better, don’t you?

Don’t forget to stop by Shelly’s, as she’s the brains (and heart) behind Only The Good Fridays.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I took a little blogging hiatus.

Needed some time to focus on some other things.

I was actually not going to come back from my hiatus until Monday, but it’s Friday, which means it’s Only The Good Friday, and as this week seems to have been particularly mired in the bad out there, I thought it was time for some good.

So, as the rest of the interwebs, and media outlets and such focus on the “BAD” today (there’s a really bad pun in there somewhere, but I’m leaving that one entirely alone), let’s take a look at what’s good this week:

For starters, personally for me, the sun is out today. After WEEKS of cloudy grey skies and rain…to wake up (after a loud and stormy night) and see

That’s a good thing folks. (disclaimer, that picture was actually NOT taken today, it was taken a few weeks ago, but you don’t care about that, do you?)

Also on the good? It is Fiesta Friday in Gloucester, Massachusetts tonight, which means a bunch of crazy folks will be out and about partying about town.

And I and my crazy friends will be among the bunch. As a group we tend to do a lot of praying and good deeds together, but not as much rowdy partying, or just casual “hanging out” as we’d like, so we’re all pretty excited about a night out on the town.

Always a good time when we get together. This picture is from last year’s Fiesta, and as much as I hate how I look in it, it’s proof positive of the wild and crazy bunch I run with…plus I’ve dropped 25 lbs. since it was taken, so this year’s pictures should be be
tter for all! 😉

As if that wasn’t enough goodness, last night I booked my flight to Cali, where I will be going to visit my cousin PM and her boys (husband and two sons) for a week in July.
I promised her oldest I’d come see “his house” this summer, and am so happy to be delivering on that promise. Can’t wait to see them all…

And finally, because um…I really need to go get ready for work, I leave you with this bit of good…

You woke up this morning. No matter the state of your life, the stresses, the aches, the sadness, or whatever else you might be dealing with…you woke up. You were blessed with another chance to turn it around. Say a prayer of thank you, and enjoy your Friday.

Have a GOOD Friday everyone, and don’t forget to pop on over to Shelly’s, the creater of Only The Good Friday, and see what else is good.

{May 4, 2009}   Sweet Charity

I’d like to take the opportunity today to say Thank YOU.

As you, my dear readers, already know, this past Saturday I did the March of Dimes – March for Babies. A 3 mile walk to raise money for the March of Dimes, which does wonderful things in the area of medicine and research to end premature births, and other medical issues for babies.

I set a fundraising goal for myself of $150, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t really think I’d reach it. I know how tough times are right now, and asking people to donate money, even when it is for a great cause, is tough. Lucky for me (and for the babies), I’m pretty good at being a pest, and at begging.

I’m also lucky in the sense that the internet and social media have afforded me the opportunity to be visible in a lot of different areas. As I said in my recent post about internet friendships, I have “friends” all over the place, people I would not otherwise know.

I figured why not take advantage of these “friendships” of these mediums to try and get some donations? I put my blog, my facebook account, my twitter account and of course my email address book to work. I reached out to everyone I know, and people I don’t even know.

“It’s not for me, it’s for the babies” I said. I asked, I pleaded, I almost (but not quite) begged. And you know what? YOU gave.

The most amazing little things happened. The generosity of folks has always been something that touches my heart. No matter how tough times are, people step up when it counts. And I was counting on that to reach my goal. I was, therefore, not surprised when I not only reached it, but surpassed it (I raised $160 total).

What surprised me, however, were some of the sources my appeal reached.

Some of my friends reached out and gave, and for that, I’m grateful. Some of my blog readers also stepped up and donated, and again, for that I am extremely grateful. But it was the others, the ones I wasn’t counting on, that completely blew me away.

There was the random donor, who I’m still not entirely sure who he is. A Twitter follower? A blog reader? Someone I’ve never had an actual interaction with, but who somewhere saw my appeal, and donated. I’d like to thank him, but I honestly don’t know where to find him, so I hope either this blog post, or the many “thank you” tweets I’ve sent have reached him.

There was my one friend who I happen to know is in a tough financial position, who gave a small sum nonetheless. Even the small amount she gave is probably something she can’t afford to part with, but that’s just the sort of person she is.

There was my youth group, who donated the proceeds of their “share jar”, a jar we keep in our meetings that everyone throws spare change (or sometimes dollar bills and such) into at every meeting.

There was a former high school colleague, who I’ve friended on Facebook, but haven’t really spoken to in nearly 20 years.

Each and every donation touched my heart. They didn’t do it for me, they did it for the cause, and it touched my heart.

So, I thank you, each of you, not just for your generosity, but for confirming for me the belief that people are inherently good, giving, and caring. That’s a sweet, sweet thing, isn’t it?

Of course, if you couldn’t donate, I completely understand, and don’t think any less of you, as I said, I know times are tough for everyone. If, however, you’re sitting there thinking “Oh, I wish I’d known, I would have helped”. Fret not, my friends, I’m giving you another opportunity.

I’m doing another walk in a few weeks (May 17th to be exact) and I could really use your help! I’ll be doing a local Walk for CancerCare, in honor of my late Grandma “O”. As I said for the March for Babies, I’ll say here again, every little bit counts, so if you can give 50 cents or $50, I’ll take it.

You can click here to donate.

I thank you in advance, and I thank those of you who sponsored me for the March for Babies, once again.

I’m writing today’s post with a bit of a heavy heart because my dear blog friend Shelly, the mastermind behind “Only The Good Friday” is grieving the loss of her niece this week. Therefore, I need to start this week’s OTGF post by taking a moment to send out my prayers to Shelly and her family.

Even in the midst of her pain and sorrow, Shelly has written what I think is a beautiful, inspired and eloquent post, and I urge you to stop on over there and give her a virtual hug. Of course, knowing Shelly, she’ll just be annoyed that we’re making all this fuss over her, but that’s okay, sometimes, you need to be hugged against your will. I’m just saying!

It is, however, Friday, and what Shelly wants us to do on Fridays is write a POSITIVE post, spread the virus of optimism throughout the blogosphere. So, that is what I’m going to do.

I had a whole other post planned for today, but as I started writing this, it took a turn, and I’m just going to go with it.

As I posted yesterday, I’ve decided to join NaBloPoMo this month in their theme of “SWEET”. And as I started writing this post (which was SO going to go in a different direction), I realized that there are few things as sweet as friendships. How blessed are those of us who have a few good, trusted friends?

How much more blessed then are those of us who through the power of the internet, the blogosphere, twitter, facebook, whatever other form of technology you use, have this WIDE circle of friends we’d never otherwise have met?

I’ve told you before (a while back) that some of my best friends “are people I met on the internet”. (Go on, click that link, it’s an oldie, but a goodie!). And it is true. The sweetest thing is that this continues to happen. I am continuously meeting wonderful, amazing, fantastic human beings through this thing called a computer.

Some say that social networking, email, texting, etc. is creating a disconnected culture. People who don’t relate with other human beings and instead hide behind their computer screens, or cell phone keyboards, to keep human interaction at a safe distance. They say that our youth are not developing interpersonal skills and are lacking on an emotional connection with others.

This might be true in some cases. But as with everything else, I think we need to stop blaming the “media”, and start looking at the whole picture. Because I think it is all about how we use it. And I personally have seen some amazing friendships blossom on the internet. Daily, on Twitter, I see women supporting one another through tough times, I see friends pray for each other, I see a mountain of emotional support when someone is having a bad day.

There are “strangers” out there in the universe that I have not met face to face, that I truly consider my friends. People who I know honestly wish only good things for me, and pray with and for me when I’m down. Folks who celebrate my victories and are GENUINELY happy and thrilled for me when something good happens. Individuals who I care for so deeply, and am so emotionally involved with that I had to change the entirety of this post today, because I was so moved.

I will tell you without feeling an ounce of embarrassment that I cried when I read Shelly’s post about her niece. It broke my heart that my friend, who I have not met in person, was hurting so badly.

And as sad as this post may seem, I want you to know that I think it is a GOOD thing. This connection we have with otherwise “strangers” can only be good. And it is oh so sweet.

Please go visit Shelly and say hello. And check out all the other Only The Good Friday participants as well. We’re a “GOOD” bunch.

It is Only The Good Friday once again, and once again I have to thank Shelly for starting this fantastic meme. If you don’t know what OTGF is all about, go here to find out the details, but in a nutshell, on Friday, EVERY Friday, there are a handful of us in the blogosphere who post ONLY GOOD THINGS. We are on a mission to spread the optimism virus. The world has enough negative in it; on Fridays we only focus on the positive.

So, that being said, today, on this Friday, I must tell you something. I live a charmed life.

No, really, I do.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time than you know I am not one to take my blessings for granted. I am often reminded of how truly blessed I am, and I cherish each moment for the gift that it is.

I am blessed with family, friends, a job, a home, faith, love, and a million other wonders in my life. I am not rich, I am not supermodel beautiful, I am not famous, a genius, a prodigy, extra talented at some specific thing, I am not extraordinary in any particular way.

I am just your average hard working, single thirty something woman. On the surface, there is nothing spectacular about my life.

And yet, daily, I realize just how truly fantastic my life is.

On their own, none of the events of my life are particularly momentous, but when you pile them all together, when you take note of each and every one of them? Damn, I really do live a charmed life.

I’ll give you this week, simply this week, as an example.

I started my Sunday simply enough, cleaning my house, windows open due to the gorgeous weather outside, listening to music, enjoying the Spring feeling in the air. I took a break to go have lunch with my parents, my grandfather, my brother and his new girlfriend. We had a lovely afternoon just sitting, eating and chatting. Blessings.

On Monday I took the day off work and spent it with a handful of my closest friends in Boston watching the Boston marathon. One of my very best friends “The Disciple” was running, and we were there to support her. Standing on the sidelines all day with my friends, watching all 20 something thousand of these amazing folks run by, with their inspirational messages and pictures on their t-shirts, struggling, but persevering at the bottom of HeartBreak hill, was amazing. Then being able to run out to our friend and run down the hill with her (for a mere 30 seconds) as she continued on to the finish line? BLESSING.

That’s me in the unibomber outfit (shut up, it was cold), The Disciple, our other friend Lil’ Sis, and The Disciple’s friend M who also ran the marathon.

Tuesday I went to work, and just when I was thinking a quiet Tuesday night at home was in order, my buddy “Chick Flick” called to ask if I was up for our weekly movie night, which I’d forgotten all about. A night out with a friend, watching a silly movie (17 Again, review to come), another small blessing.

On Wednesday I again headed to work, ready for a regular day on the job. My cell phone rang early that morning with a question from my friend “DD”. “Can you take the afternoon off work?” It appeared she had scored some killer seats to that afternoon’s Red Sox game. Because I have the best boss in the world, I knew I could, in fact, take off for the afternoon, so I said “YES”. My boss, of course, said “GO, have a great time”. So I worked only a few hours, but was at work long enough to receive a bouquet my boss had delivered for me for Administrative Professional’s Day. BLESSED.

But, back to the game for a moment. My friend Traveler and I joke that we only do things “VIP” status. That’s just how “we roll”, we kid. No second class status for us, we get the best because we expect and we deserve the best. We JOKE. But we also live it. Time and again, we find ourselves in these VIP situations (together or apart) and the joke continues, because folks, that’s how we do it. Go big, or go home, right?

At the game? VIP status all the way. Our tickets, which were handed over for free, mind you, were so ridiculously close to the field, we were practically on it. How close? This close.

Big Pappi himself!

The game was amazing, the Sox won 10-1, and “DD” and I got to spend some much needed quality friend time. BLESSED.

Even yesterday, as I spent the day at work, focusing on being extra productive to make up for the time away from the office, I could still count my blessings. In the afternoon I found myself inexplicably sad. I couldn’t pin point or explain where it came from, but a wave of melancholy filled me and stayed with me most of the day. I get hit with these moods from time to time, and I’ve learned to just let them ride out, they pass soon enough. And in the meantime, I take advantage, because it is in these moments of melancholy that my muse makes its appearance known. Yesterday? I wrote this blog post. (so, in a confusing way, I’m actually writing it right now, in the middle of that moroseness, but you’re reading it on Friday, when I’m sure to already have been past it and in a much better mood)…confused? Laugh with me, it’s okay.

But you see, this is my point…small events, little things that on their own just appear to be the average happenings in an average life. Nothing particularly earth shattering. And yet, what a charmed life I lead. How blessed am I?

These are GOOD things. Perfect to reflect on on this Only The Good Friday, don’t you think?

Count your blessings. Every day, count them, and hey, on Fridays? Why not join us and post about them. Go visit Shelly to see what’s good in her world, and to see who else is spreading the optimism.

PS: If I can quickly point you to my sidebar and ask that if you can, you donate and sponsor me in my March for Babies? Thank you if you can!

I am 34 years old today. Hold on, let me let that one sink in for a moment…

wait for it…

wait for it…


Well then.

And you know what? I’m good. I’m perfectly fine with turning 34. In fact, I’m feeling pretty damn good about 34 right now.

Truth be told, I don’t feel a day over 24. Okay, fine, maybe 25. But to be honest, I feel and look better right now then I have in at least 6 years, so why should I be bummed about 34? I’m having the time of my life.

At 34 I sit before you a single, professional, intelligent, and sexy woman. I have my own home, a great job, the most amazing friends, and an incredible family. I’m in the best shape of my life, and spiritually, in a better place than I have ever been. And I might even have a new love interest (oh, more on that tomorrow).

How could I not, therefore, be thrilled about starting my 34th year on this planet? Of course I am, life is good and full of blessings.

It is those blessings I want to address in this post, because there are many, and I feel there is no better time than my birthday to acknowledge them.

So, consider this my formal thank you letter to the universe for the first 34 years of my life, as I prepare to take on the next 34 and more.

Not to sound like a rap artist at an awards ceremony, but first, to God. For all he has given me, and for the gifts, the simple pleasures, the people, the places, the moments. As I have grown in my faith this past year, my life has transformed in ways that I don’t have words to express, and for that, I am grateful beyond words.

To my family. My mother, who is and has always been, my best friend. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but there are no words to express how much I love you and appreciate you. My dad, the hardest working man I know, the sweetest, kindest man I know. We went through a lot in my adolescence, but now, as an adult, I have only admiration, respect and love for you. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my daddy. Lil’ Bro, you were my favorite “toy” growing up. I loved to carry you around, and when you were older, take you places with me and show you off to my friends. In all your years on this planet, I can’t remember one single fight we ever had. We don’t always agree on everything, but we’ve always respected one another, and had this unbreakable bond. Now you are a man, and I’m proud to call you my brother.

My grandfather, who I love dearly and who has always been one of my strongest supporters, always proud of whatever I decided to take on in life, and always ALWAYS there when I really needed him.

My uncle, the Warrior, who took his time with me, but knew just when to bring me back to my faith. I’ll be eternally grateful to you for this.

My cousin M&M, girl, I love you and admire you, and appreciate you and am so glad that as adults we’ve become the best of friends, you are my rock at times, and I’m blessed to know you.

My cousin PM, not even distance could dull our friendship. We have the history, the fun times and the tough times and I love you and the rest of your crazy clan out there in Cali.

The rest of my family should not feel neglected if I didn’t mention them by name, I love them all CRAZILY.

My friends, my other family. As a single girl, with no husband, no kids, it is in my friends that I have found my family. There are so many of you I’d be here all day if I named you all individually, so I’m not going to. But I will say that collectively, and individually, you all make my life worth living. Each and every one of you (and you all know exactly who you are), bring elements to my life which help to make me a whole person. I’d be incomplete if I didn’t know you.

Which brings me to my on-line friends. Those I’ve met in person, those I have not, those I speak to daily, those I only speak to once or twice a month. The bloggers, the Twitterers, the ones on Facebook and Yahoo and who knows where else on the interwebs…I learn from you, I laugh with you, I pray with you, and sometimes I even cry with you. I carry you in my pocket (literally, in my handy dandy blackberry) each and every day, and I genuinely care about your lives, and know you care about mine. I’m glad I “know” you.

Those are the people. There are so many other blessings I am truly grateful for, but as I turn another year older, I am learning that it is definitely, without a doubt, about the people you surround yourself with. And I? I have the best in my corner.

So, this is for you, on my birthday, I want to thank you.

Happy Birthday to me…because of you.


Know what that means? It means its time to post only good things. I joined Shelly last week when she decided to spread a “GOOD” virus for a change, in the midst of all the negativity we are constantly bombarded with, and I’m ready to do it again.

So, what good do I have to share with you today? Well, today’s post is all about my girls. Or your girls, maybe…it’s about the girls anyway.

I could do something silly, and tell you that by “girls” I mean breasts, and the fact that a study has come out that if a woman drinks more than 3 cups of coffee a day, her breasts will shrink. See, this may not be a good thing for some women, but for someone like me? GOOD NEWS! I’ll tell you what else too…since I’ve been on Jenny, I’ve started drinking a whole lot more coffee, and the girls? Yes siree, they are a shrinkin’. And I’m lovin’ it. BRING ON THE COFFEE, I say!

But that’s not the girls I was thinking of when I started this post.

What girls then, you ask?

I want to talk about girlfriends.

I don’t mean the romantic buying flowers, falling in love, wanting to get married kind of girlfriends.

I mean girl friends.

The women in our lives who make each day just a little bit brighter by being a part of it.

The ones we have fun with, the ones we cry with, the ones we laugh with, the ones we might even fight with now and then.

Our shopping buddies, our travel buddies, our pseudo therapists and motivators.

The shoulders we cry on, the mirrors we use to reflect our own faults off of, the understanding smiles and the forgiving embraces.

The phone calls at 3 in the morning, the late night conversations over martinis, the crack of dawn trips to early bird sales.

The hand holding in a doctor’s office, the slight push toward the man we’re eyeing, the holding back from the punch we wanted to throw.

The perfect meal at the end of a long day, the “let’s go for a walk” when you need it most, the thoughtful email at just the right moment.

The prayers, even when they don’t know what they’re praying for, the inspiration they provide just by being, the lessons they’ve taught you without even trying.

The giggles, the unspoken language, the knowing looks, the mischievous grins.

The history you share, the present you enjoy, the future you’ll experience.

The incriminating photographs, the blackmail stories, the nostalgia, the songs that only you know the alternate words to.

The life lessons, the heartbreaks, the “first times”, the milestones.

The jealousies, the bitterness, the drifting apart.

The cheerleading, the support, the unbridled happiness at each other’s successes.

The ones who’ve come and gone, but left an imprint never to be forgotten.

The ones who’ve always been, will always be, no matter what.

The ones you’ve yet to meet, who’ll make their mark, do their part.

The young, the old, the in between.

The shy, the bold, the beauty queens.

The ones you loved, the ones you liked, the ones you merely tolerated.

The ones you led, those who walked by your side, and those you emulated.

Your sisters, your mothers, your cousins, your soulmates.

Your pen pals, your email buddies, your high school friends.

The ones who lived next door to you, the ones who live across the world.

The ones you’ve known all of your life, the ones you’ve never met face to face.

THOSE girls. Let’s talk about girlfriends. Because without them, there would be no you. There would be no me.

That’s my good for this Friday. Want to participate? Head on over to Shelly’s and join in. Or just share here in comments some good thoughts for this Friday!

et cetera