Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Last week I was at discovery time at the library. I had just met a new mom and we were chatting when I noticed my daughter wasn't in the room. I excused myself and peeked out the doors because she had gotten just outside the doors before.

I didn't see her in a quick glance, so I scoured the room again, but didn't see any dark blue shirts, so I walked farther out of the room and looked down a couple rows of books, then looked towards the door that was twenty feet away, nothing.

I looked back into the room, every corner, under tables, no dark blue shirt. I ran out of the room with the other mom following asking me where my daughter was.

I couldn't answer because I felt such panic welling up inside me. I was tearing up, and if I'd tried to talk to her through my sobs, it would have been precious time spent in not finding my daughter.

Every child abduction story I'd heard flashed through my head. I hurried across the library to the children's section, it looked deserted. Finally I saw her in the back corner playing contentedly with the Legos.

I was so relieved to see her there. I scooped her up and a couple tears still leaked out. I knew the other moms were looking for her, but I took a moment to try and compose myself before I went back out. It takes a little while for such intense emotions to fade.

I know almost every parent will lose their child in a public place at sometime or another, but when it happened to me, it was the scariest thing to think that I had lost one of the most precious things I have. It helped me better understand the parents who put their children on leashes.

Hopefully she never gets lost again, but if she does, at least I'll have some experience under my belt already and be more prepared for the overwhelming emotions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Out and Working

I stay at home with my cute daughter, and I wouldn't give it up for any other job. But I also am the web master for a group, and I do their newsletter too. It doesn't take a lot of time, so I can do it on the side while she naps. I do go to the board meetings several times a year, yesterday being one of the days.

My husband was able to work from home to stay with our daughter so I could go. It was nice to be back in a professional work setting again for a day. I enjoy the thinking and working with other adults, it helps keep my mind sharp. I enjoyed the day working with other adults, but it was also fun to come home and get big hugs from my daughter and husband.

Having a full time job away from my daughter every day isn't an opportunity I would jump at because my favorite is staying home with her. Money is tighter this way, but we are able to still live a good life on my husband's income and my little work contribution.

I know a lot of woman who can't or don't want to stay home with their children, they have to or would prefer to work, and I think that's fine too. Everybody's lives are so different, you just have to figure out what works for you and your family.

We've figured out what works for us, and we love it. My husband works full time, I stay home with my daughter and work during her naps, and go to some board meetings throughout the year. It works for us and so we are happy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

10 by 10 to 100

This is my 100th post, and in commemoration I've written ten lists of ten things- one hundred things about me.

~Ten of my favorite authors and books: Madeleine L'Engle, Tamora Pierce, Garth Nix, Brandon Sanderson, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Douglas Adams, Jane Austen, The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen Randle, Empire by Orson Scott Card, Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Hart Lovelace.

~Ten of my favorite foods: pizza, potato casserole and ham, raspberries, tomatoes, Arby's roast beef sandwiches, my husband's smoothies and orange julius, mint Oreo shakes, Cheerios, alfredo potatoes*, french fries.

~Ten things I want to accomplish in my life: write a book, write a musical, raise a happy family, live healthily till an old age with my husband, own our dream home, travel to at least my top three destinations, travel to all fifty United States, have a successful side business, create a game, be a motivational speaker.

~Ten places I want to travel to: Australia, France, Vietnam, England, Germany, Spain (again- with my husband this time), Hawaii, Dubai, New York (outside of JFK airport), a rainforest.

~Ten things I enjoy doing: cooking, playing the piano, reading, writing, playing games, talking walks and hikes, crafting, people watching, listening to music, being with my family and friends.

~Ten people I would like to meet: Nikola Tesla, Madeleine L'Engle, Abraham Lincoln, CS Lewis, John Nash, Harry Connick Jr, Kenneth Branagh, Joan of Arc, Jane Austen, and Michelle Obama.

~Ten words I like: serendipity, serenity, seraphim, insuperable, asinine, juxtaposition, lovely, sapphire, September (my birth month), Elisabeth (my name).

~Ten of my pet peeves and dislikes: people who won't answer a phone call but will only text, people across the intersection who make a left turn in front of you as soon as the light turns green for you to go straight, bad smelling people or places, people who don't wash their hands, dogs that bark and jump on you, mushrooms, coconut, mean people, creepy crawlies, noisy eaters (excluding babies).

~Ten of my favorite movies and tv shows: Psych, Big Bang Theory, The Lord of the Rings series, Johnny English, What About Bob, Beauty and the Beast, Hitch, Newsies, Pride and Prejudice, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

~Ten random things: I've eaten a squid eyeball lens, I always point out the moon to my husband, my face gets very red when I'm embarrassed or exercise, I lived in Spain for a month with a study abroad program, I've been snorkeling, I've rolled a wave runner and had to pull my young niece out from under it, I played trombone in school, when I was little I didn't mind shots and would watch the doctor do it, I've never broken a bone, I've never had a speeding ticket.

*Alfredo potatoes is a recipe I created: Wash and poke 4-5 potatoes and microwave till baked, then peel and cube potatoes. In a baking dish, layer all the potatoes, followed by cooked crumbled breakfast sausage (I use Jimmy Dean), then a layer of alfredo sauce (squish it down into the potatoes and sausage a little), a layer of spinach (if it's fresh put a lot more than you would think because it shrinks a lot), then more alfredo sauce, then shredded cheddar cheese (or I use colbyjack, a mix of orange and white) over the whole pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yumm!

Friday, July 26, 2013


I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry,
It was drawing near.
Behind his house a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon
He could never face.

He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns to keep it tame
Then standing back he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain.

We all have things in our past that are huge and angry, shadows of demons. We build walls of steel and flame to protect our fears. We hide them, saying we are okay now, but we live in fear of the past, of the skeletons in our closets, of our personal demons, our nightmares, our weakness. We've moved passed but are afraid they might appear and haunt us again, so we imprison them.

It doesn't matter now it's over anyhow
He tells the world that it's sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn't warring, it was weeping
It wasn't warring, it was weeping.

We let people know we're okay during the day, but in the night when our minds are our own, we weep in remembrance. When we feel it's okay to feel vulnerable we experience the emotions again in privacy, the pain and the sadness.

And then one day the neighbours came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
"My friends," he said, "We've reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I'll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain."

People come poking at your past, they come begging to hear of your problems, your weak spots, your demons. They wonder why you are still prickly about certain topics, why you don't want to talk about certain things, why you still get sad or mad. Tell them, "I'll be damned if I can see a reason to explain" myself to you, it's my life, butt out.

It doesn't matter now it's over anyhow
It doesn't matter now it's over anyhow

Let the past stay in the past, let bygones be bygones, don't dig and prod and poke people's sore spots. Let them protect their demons, their vulnerability. Live and let live.

Lyrics written by Dan Heymann, sung by Josh Groban,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pulling Your Own Weight

"Socially unacceptable": You're so fat! Getting a spare tire around the middle, aren't you! I see a double chin and almost a triple chin there! Talk about flabby arms, just look at yours! You need to lose some weight! Time to start shedding the pounds!

"Socially acceptable": You're so skinny! Why don't you eat something! You need to gain some weight! You need some meat on those bones! I need to feed you some candy bars! If you turned sideways I wouldn't see you!

To me these are all socially unacceptable.

Every body is different, even at the same weight as the above picture shows.

My husband and daughter are thin, and they have gotten comments about it their whole lives. When my daughter gained a little more weight, someone said she was finally looking more healthy, unintentionally inferring that she previously looked unhealthy and was not fully healthy looking. Guess what, she's thin like her Dad, and that's healthy for her. She's adorable and just the right size for her. My husband is healthy, strong, and thin, just the right size for him.

I knew a runner who had a bit of a belly. He ran marathons and was extremely healthy but had a little extra fat in front, just the right size for him.

Bodies are all different, just because someone is different from you, doesn't give you the right to comment on their body. Give people true compliments: That shirt looks really good on you! You look great in red! I love you just the way you are!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Different Point of View

My friend wrote the following, "These is something truly joyful in watching a dog bounding through long grass and wildflowers while he chases birds. He never catches them, but perhaps that isn't really his end goal. Sometimes it's just fun to scatter the birds."

 Sometimes I've looked at people and wondered what they were doing because nothing seemed to be happening in their life. Maybe they were just chasing birds for the fun of it. There's nothing wrong with it, and actually quite a bit right in just having fun. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Children Around Us

I co-teach a class of 7-8 year old kids once a week, and we have a particularly difficult child in the class, I'll call him Michael. Michael comes from a broken family, and he lets you know it. He lives with his grandparents who are really nice and teach him a lot. He can spout off almost anything, more than the other kids. I'm not sure if he's high functioning autistic, or has ADHD or what, but he's a handful. It's difficult to teach the class and get him to stay in his seat and not interrupt.

I've also worked in a junior high with the resource kids, and I've worked in a high school library. I've also done tutoring in elementary schools. I've learned that kids are hard to control. They want to do what they want to do, or what their peers want them to do when they want to do it, which is usually when you're trying to tell them something.

Most adults I know want perfectly behaved kids. Kids that don't talk back, that do what you tell them when you tell them to do it, that don't interrupt, that don't talk incessantly. But that's not possible, it probably isn't near as fun too.

Some main characters from popular children's books have main characters that aren't ideally behaved children: Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Tom Sawyer, Ramona Quimby, and many more. They are beloved characters but not models of perfect behavior. It's the very trying and quirky characteristics that endear them to us.

Children need a bit of freedom to be creative, to experiment, to learn about the world, to learn about themselves, to make mistakes, to be themselves- within limits of course. There are some behaviors that should never be condoned or permitted, but besides those, kids should be able to have an innocent adventurous life.

In schools, classes, churches, concerts, movies, restaurants, when they should be napping, we want perfectly obedient, silent unless called upon children, but I don't think we'd love them as much. It's a child's innocent chatter and questioning that makes them so lovable. Their excitement in finding a worm in the dirt that makes you want to scream. Their love of everyone and everything.

I know many parents who keep their children on such tight leashes or on the other hand ignore them so much that the child feels unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated.

Within reason, we try to let our daughter have a well rounded life. She gets dirty, we find rocks in her mouth, she gets food on her clothes and in her hair, she falls down and gets holes in her pants, she loves animals, she tries different foods, she plays with other kids, she licks rocks, and she gets lots of love and attention from her parents.

Trying to conform children to an insuperable standard quenches their spirits. My co-teacher and I need to be able to teach the class, but we are understanding with Michael's questions, his interruptions, his getting out of his seat, his stories. Some people would try to crush his spirit, but love works best. Love always wins. It will always be trying but worth it to work with him instead of against him.

The class clowns are the ones who grow up to be the Shawn Spencers in Psych. The super smart kids who don't pay attention grow up to be the Tony Starks in Iron Man. The ones who don't quite fit in grow up to be the Gracie Harts in Miss Congeniality. If we could see their future, we would treat them with more respect. Imagining and helping to fulfill each child's potential will bring about a better world.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kids or No Kids

My sister-in-law, who doesn't have any kids, shared this article: 5 Things Parents Need to Stop Saying to Non-Parents. We all get so wrapped up in our season of life, we can sometimes forget that others are in different seasons or just have completely different lives and goals. It's always nice to take someone else's feelings into consideration.

"First, I should say that I am 100 percent guilty of all of these. I know this reads as an advice list, but really it's advice I'm giving myself. The "you" I am addressing in this piece is me... unless it applies to you; then it is you.

I ran headfirst into this parenting thing, and have gladly and gratefully let it redefine me as a person. One unforeseen side-effect has been that I view everything through the lens of parenting. Sometimes that is a good thing. For instance, I don't leave steak knives lying around as much as I used to. Sometimes -- and this is what I've recently learned -- it can alienate my non-kid-having friends. Here are some things that are better left unsaid.
1. "Dogs are not kids."
It usually goes like this. "Ugh. You know what really bugs me? When so-and-so compares her dog to my kid. Or when so-and-so refers to his or her dog as his or her kid. Dogs are not kids! She has NO IDEA!"

You know what? Unless "so-and-so" needs professional help, I guarantee "so-and-so" knows that her dog is not a human child. She also knows that having a dog is nothing like having a kid. What she's really saying is "Oh! Yes. I also have something in my life that poops AND brings me joy."
She is trying to relate to you and be a part of your life -- the life where all you do is talk about your kids. I know that it's hard to relate when you have kids and your friends don't. What were once close relationships can become sporadic meet-ups where you do your best to try and catch up with someone with whom you have very little in common anymore. Sure, you two were best buds in college, but now you have very different lives. So, when "so-and-so" offhandedly, and perhaps awkwardly, tries to relate to your story about picking poo out of your bangs by comparing it to scraping dog shit out of the carpet, cut her some slack. She's just trying to be nice. And she misses you.
2. "You think you're [insert anything here]? Try having kids!"
Tired, stressed, in pain, covered in urine, it doesn't matter. They all apply. Too often, we parents downplay non-parents' concerns by pulling ours out and tossing them on the table. "Oh man! You worked 50 hours this week? Try doing that with kids!" "Oh man, you think your feet hurt from working outside all day! I've been chasing my toddler blah blah blah punch me in the face, please."
It's not a competition. If, on a scale of 1 to Passing Out Awkwardly in the Shower and Waking Up When the Hot Water Runs Out, your friend is at a 7, and three weeks into your first newborn you were at a 9, that DOESN'T MAKE YOUR FRIEND ANY LESS TIRED.

It isn't that your experiences can't be a valid contribution to the conversation, but instead of a "my pain is more painful than your pain" approach, instead, try sympathizing. Why not try using your experience as a new parent to help instead of compete? Say something like, "Whoa! I bet you're tired. When I was tired after my daughter was born, I found that pouring coffee directly into my eyeballs was incredibly useful."
3. "Don't worry, when you have kids you'll..."
... not be grossed out by boogers, know who Dora the Explorer is, be happy... UGH. We've got to quit assuming that everyone is going to have kids. Some people don't want kids and choose not to have them. Some people really want kids and are trying incredibly hard to have them. Indicating to these people that having kids is the only way they will reach some higher level of understanding is both inconsiderate and rude. I don't know what the alternatives to these statements are. Maybe just cut anything that starts with "When you have kids..." out of your repertoire all together. It makes you sound like someone's mom, anyway.
4. "Is the party kid-friendly?"
Unless you and your friend have some previous communication on this topic about how your little one is always welcome, assume the party is not kid-friendly. Don't ask. If it were "kid-friendly" they would have invited you AND your kids, and mentioned the awesome playroom that they will have set up in the basement. By asking your non-kid-having friends if their party is kid friendly you are putting them in the really awkward position of either MAKING their party kid-friendly on the fly, or telling you that the party is NOT kid-friendly which, then, no matter how low-key the party was intended to be in the first place, pretty much requires that they now provide a steady supply of hookers and blow. Don't make your friends set up a kids' room, and definitely don't make them buy hookers and blow.
5. "My life didn't have meaning before I had kids!"
Another way to say this: My life was meaningless before I had kids. Another way: Life without kids is meaningless.

Look, I know this feeling. Sometimes it feels like all the worries I had before my kids were trivial. I understand the urge to convey that feeling into words. Don't do it. Your life may have a different purpose now, but your pre-kid life was an important part of your story, and your non-kid-having friends are a part of that. Don't dismiss that part of your life the way most people skip the foreword to a novel they really want to read. By dismissing the "before" as just a buildup to your kids, you are not only dismissing your friends, but you're also implying that their story has not started yet.

Lastly, if you have done or said any of these things, you don't need to apologize. Just stop saying them. Apologizing will make it worse. I apologized for one of these things, and it came out poorly. It basically sounded like "Oh, you poor, delicate, non-kid-having flower. I am sorry that I was so consumed in my awesome parenting that I was neglectful and dismissive of our friendship. Please forgive me."

There was no forgiveness needed. I hadn't harmed anyone, I'd just annoyed them. Forgiving me would have been like forgiving a fly for landing on you. So, I promise to try and be more aware of how I say things, a better friend and less of a fly. And by less of a fly, I mean that I will not land on you, vomit on you and then try to eat you. College is over. I don't do that stuff anymore."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Poems

I'm taking a creative writing class and our first homework assignment was to make a newspaper poem and a black out poem. Here are mine:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This is a picture of my daughter at an outdoor concert we went to on Monday. The music was great- Peter Breinholt. Hearing his band play brought up old feelings of wanting to be a performer.

Playing the piano is one hobby I really enjoy, and I've played for a long time. I've played solos, and accompanied many singers from small groups to big choirs. I've sang in choirs occasionally and been a choir conductor. In Jr. high and high school I played the trombone in band, pep band, jazz band, and helped out the orchestra occasionally. After high school I borrowed guitars over the years from different people and was learning to play until I had to return the guitars.

I've had many song ideas, full songs, parts of songs. Mostly words and music with no accompaniment yet. There are lots of songs in my head that are just waiting for the world, but it's hard to get those songs out to the world. Going to concerts like this helps though; it inspires me to keep trying.

A life long goal I've had is to write a musical. Musicals can be so memorable and inspirational. Someday you'll hear about the next big musical on Broadway, and it will have my name attached to it!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Believing in yourself will help you achieve your dreams, whether they be big or small. Of course it helps to be as rich as Tony Stark too. ;)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Silence Is Golden

It can be so satisfying to actually have the witty sarcastic comeback at just the right moment. The cringe on the face of the enemy, the flattened ego of the proud, the triumph of winning an argument.

But is it an actual win? Depends on how you look at it. Yes, you came out victorious with the last word in the moment, but what lasting impression did you leave?

There is a proverb, "A soft answer turneth away wrath." Does it always happen immediately? No, but eventually the meek will inherit the earth, the proud will be knocked to their knees. Love will always conquer in the end. Anger, guilt, terror, abuse, intimidation, and the intentional infliction of pain will bring immediate results, but also lasting negative consequences.

Those who lead out of love will always be remembered with a happy thought. Those who have a kind word will be remembered with love. In the dark times, the good words and deeds done to a person are the saving graces, the redeeming moments.

As tempting as it is to have the last word, to get in a good jab, to always put in your unwanted two cents, or to think your opinion is what they need to hear, it is usually best to put forth a humble attitude instead.

Let the memories of what you said be positive, not words that will act as cankers on the soul. Practice restraint and keep your mouth shut when you know you should. You will be a better person and have better relationships.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Reason Why

I have some very special blessing people in my life, and I am thankful for them every day. It's hard to be thankful for the lesson people though. I know several lesson people, and I guess looking at them as a lesson is finding the silver lining on a dark storm cloud.

What lesson people have taught me:
-Don't nag and badger people. Nobody wants to do something they feel they're forced to do, especially when you won't do it yourself.
-Don't be a hypocrite. Getting mad at someone for something that you do constantly is just stupid.
-Don't think the world revolves around you and your life. Everyone has their own lives and worlds and can't be involved in every small aspect of yours.
-Don't be negative all the time. If the only time you post on your blog, facebook, or twitter is something negative, then just stop.
-Be grateful for what you have because there are others who desperately want it and don't have it.
-If something is bothering you, have a quiet and private conversation with the person to help clear things up. Don't keep the hurt inside poisoning you.
-Don't blame others for your anger or sadness.

What blessing people have taught me:
-You don't always know when you are a blessing in someone's life.
-Be compassionate and understanding towards others, they're probably having a bad day themselves.
-Being yourself is the best person you can be.
-If you love yourself, it's easy to love others because there's no reason to compare your lives.
-Admit you have faults and work to improve them.
-Love is better than hate, happy is better than sad, forgiveness is better than anger.
-Change yourself because it's the only person you can change.
-Find the special people in your life and let them know they are special so they will stay in your life.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quiet Strength

I know people who are drama queens, who crave attention, who feel a need to be loud, brash and in your face, they have to put in their two cents, they need to control the situation. These people can drive me crazy sometimes, probably because I'm not like that.

I've always been on the quiet side, not shy, but quiet. I was the good kid in class, not the show-off. I was the one the teacher said, 'I'm so glad she's in the class to balance out some of the others.' I was good old reliable Lis. Sadly, the one the loud kids thought was shy and had no back bone.

Just because a person is quiet, doesn't mean they are shy, doesn't mean they can't assert themselves, doesn't mean they aren't fun. Quiet people, also known as introverts, are people who can think rationally, can keep calm in a situation, are at peace with themselves, don't need to attract attention to feel good about themselves. There's a strength that comes from within, a knowledge of self that isn't loud, it's a quiet comfort to quiet people.

I know people have thought I'm shy, can't make decisions on my own, don't have a backbone, let others make my choices for me, that I give in, am no fun, kind of boring. But it's not true. I know what I want, and I get what I want. I don't need others to validate my worth. I am assertive, fun, happy, a talker, a decision maker, and I'm also a listener, a peacemaker, a peace giver, a compromiser, a friend, a safe place.

Sometimes loud people, extroverts, have trouble seeing past themselves to others. They don't have the patience to get to know someone who isn't loud like themselves. Their friendships and lives are a series of explosive good and bad times. They need but dislike predictability, quiet alone time, calmness and peace, attention to others. It's a hard world they live in, but they thrive on arguments, drama, and loudness. Their sense of self worth is based outside themselves.

Introverts base their sense of self worth inside themselves. They know themselves and love themselves which helps them to know and love others. If you need a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, a good word of advice, a safe haven, a good clean fun time, draw on the quiet person qualities within yourself or find a quiet person to help.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Three Bones

Wishbone- We all need dreams, aspirations, and hopes to inspire us to be better and to get us through rough times.

Backbone- We need to stand up for ourselves and our beliefs and not let others push us around or make our decisions.

Funnybone- We need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our lives at appropriate times to diffuse the stress and tension, to be able to see the hilarity of being human.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Star Spangled Banner

'On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President's house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.

A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key's tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

"It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone," Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of "the dawn's early light" on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key's work and had it distributed under the name "Defence of Fort M'Henry." The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key's poem, now called "The Star-Spangled Banner," appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated.'

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Path Less Travelled

The more people I meet, the more different I realize everyone is. The more I'm grateful for how good of friends my husband and I are. We are best friends, husband and wife, we have a great relationship and get along really well. I was told that the things you have in common with your spouse is like money in the bank. We're rich! Of course we have different hobbies, likes and dislikes, but we agree on most everything, and all the important things. We know how to compromise and put each other first. We also can enjoy the differences we have, enjoy each other's hobbies and interests.

But, our marriage and our goals and lifestyle is different from others, whether happily married or otherwise. Our friends are all different, our families are all different, but we are all doing the best we can for ourselves, and that is the only thing that will make us happy.

It amazes me how two people will meet and have kids, and then there are two people's genes mixing together to produce vastly different siblings. Many siblings would never be friends if they weren't family first.

I have several friends that are very different from each other, but I'm friends with all of them. What happens when you have different friends is that each relationship fulfills a slightly different area. The friend who is just pure fun, the friend who just listens, the friend who you've known forever, the friend from bookclub, the friend who is serious, the friend who doesn't care what people look like, the friend who loves to dress up and do makeovers, and the friend who always has good advice.

People are so different in looks, politics, religion, knowledge, interests, personality, and tastes, but the combination of differences offers an abundance of colorful options. If differences were celebrated and enjoyed instead of division causing, the world would be a much happier place.

The most important thing to remember is that deep down we are all the same- we all need food and water, we all need love and companionship, we all need recognition, we all need to be treated as human beings.