Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's That You Say?

You know, I have a ton of pictures loaded on my camera that I need to upload and proof...from early August....I do have great intentions, and I promise to get the blog updated soon but tonight I'd like to talk about something that many of you don't know. Now, I hate to be the one to tell you this but...I can't keep it to myself anymore. Are you ready? Here goes...... Exercise is the DEVIL!!! OK, well maybe it's not the spawn of Satan but I'm trying my damndest to to ruin it's reputation...I'm trying rather hard to drag it's good name through the mud so that it can skulk off in shame to live it's life in solitude.

I bet you're asking yourself why I think Exercise is evil. Really? Really?? You have to ask that? I've always been a pretty active person but I have quickly lose interest in what I'm doing. I've tried running with my iPod, getting an Elliptical, walking on the treadmill, going to classes, messing with weights...and well....I hate it all. After about 15 minutes I lose all interest and begin to think of other things that I could be doing. Am I doing it now? Well, kinda...and I'm making myself do it, but I'm doing it under protest.

It does not give me more energy. It does not invigorate me. It does not get me excited to work out the next day. Actually, it gives me hives. But I've decided to embrace the darkness again, suck it up....and since this is my blog...and I'm my own boss on my blog...I have absolutely no shame in admitting that I while I am doing it, I secretly wish it would go play in traffic. Really, really busy traffic.

Can't I just get healthy through osmosis?

OK, I'll quit babbling now....I blame this on lack of sleep.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Did I get Here?

The last several months have been rather uneventful outside of Ethan. My life has been as follows: work, family time, school, sleep...repeat. And while it's easy to get sucked into life and let the little things get by, there are 5 things that keep me grounded....and he's all boy.

Of course, I constantly worry that he's going to bite his tongue off one day. Ethan? Please put your tongue back in your mouth before you give me a heart attack, OK? Thank you.

I never thought of myself as a soccer mom...I moms drive mini vans. Why is that I wonder? Before I had E, I had a fantabulous Mustang. Mustangs have magical powers by the way....they make you feel young. Oh wait...I was young. Sorry. That doesn't count. Right before I had him we took the plunge and decided to get a mini van. I must have known that I was going to be a soccer mom. Of course, looking back, I clearly remember bawling when I was turning my keys over. I've decided that moment must have been my rite of passage....crossing over from the young carefree Mikki to the responsible Mikki that has a child.

I love both versions of me for different reasons. The young Mikki moved across the country by herself to experience something new. Well...I say by myself but what I really meant to say is that Mikki and her cat moved across the country. Can we have a side bar for a moment please? Driving 1200 miles with a cat that that has never traveled is enough to put you in a shell shocked fetal position in the corner. I'm not kidding. No, I mean's enough to give you chest pain.

Sorry, I digress. Anyway....the young carefree Mikki was raised by the strongest person I know. The young carefree Mikki was a very self confident girl that had to hit some road blocks and detours before she found her way.

But the moment I traded in my Mustang for a mini van, I knew it was time to adjust my priorities. Don't get me wrong....I wasn't mourning that change, I was more or less preparing myself for the new path I was about to a mini van.

And just between me and you.....part of my sobbing hysteria was quasi because of our salesman. Have you ever been around someone that got on your nerves so bad that you would rather listen to nails on a chalk board? Barney Fife was trying to sell us a vehicle. So I admit....Barney Fife and my hormones made it just a little harder to give up my Mustang.

But when I started to get to know the responsible Mikki, I came to realize that I really liked her. I mean....she does have a shining smile and charismatic personality. What? You mean it's not OK to toot your own horn? No? Sorry...I do that sometimes. Seriously though...I always secretly wondered if I was ever going to be able to put someone else first. Was I ready? My mom always told me that I could never understand unconditional love until I had a child. She told me that I would gladly lay down my life for my child. Young carefree Mikki was never able to wrap her head around that. I always thought that there must be some kind of special club for people like that.

But she was right. The very first time that I set eyes on E, I knew I was admitted to the secret club. The responsible Mikki came forward in such an effortless transition that I never even realized it was happening. I like her though. I don't think that responsible Mikki would be half the person she is today if she hadn't first been young carefree Mikki. I don't feel like I missed out on things because I became a mom before I had the chance to live. I did that. I will never have to wonder what it would have been like to stay out all night dancing with my friends.....I will never have to wonder what it was like to sneak into a club with a fake ID. For the record....knowing what I know about that.....I'm not sure how I'm going to adapt and stay sane when E gets that age. I'll never have to wonder what it would be like to go straight to work with no sleep because me and my friends were out all night...being young.

Yes, I can say with certainty that the phases in my life transitioned with such good timing that I got to know myself and I like who I am. I look back on my life have no regrets. I've been the fun loving teenager that thought of nothing but the next football game....I've been the 20 something young woman that maybe drank a little too much sometimes....and didn't always make the best choices. I've been the 25 year old woman that knew it was time to say goodbye to her Mustang in order to start down the path to that of being a mom.

Are there memories that I look back on and cringe? Sure. Are there memories that I look back on and giggle? Absolutely. Are there memories that I wish I could go back and live again? Of course. But I am who I am today because of who I was yesterday...and the day before. Wow...that started out almost sounding like a wise Mikki. It's been an interesting journey but I had a blast getting here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

**Hot Topic Alert** Manners

Disclaimer: This post is a very hot topic and expresses the opinion and outlook If you are easily offended, excitable, or down right ornery...please quit reading now.

Would you like to know the great thing about having your own blog? Your opinion is the only opinion. While I'm always open to discussing a hot topic, the "awesomeness" about having your own blog, is that words like awesomeness exist. Also, I can say what I want and not have to respond. It's kind of like a passive aggressive way getting your opinion out there. heh...

So, today's topic is manners. It's really rather interesting what the definition of good manners is around the country. My maternal grandmother was the epitome of the southern lady. A lady did not cuss in front of other people. Boys did not wear hats in the house. And people always always addressed their elders as ma'am or sir. It didn't matter if you were 5 or 50, that was just the way that it was done. It was the way that people showed respect to someone that had lived and seen more in their life than you had in yours. Things that only the passing of time as people lived their lives and gained experience could get you. Native Americans naturally treated their elders with grand respect. They had lived.

It was only natural that my mother raised me and Barry that way. By the time we were two years old, ma'am and sir was part of our vocabulary. We didn't know any different. I remember growing up and having some adults say "Honey, you don't have to call me ma'am". My response? "Yes ma'am I do. My mama would have a fit if I didn't".

I can not tell you how many times growing up I would hear my dad say "Take your hat off in the house, boy" to our friends when they came in to our house. My parents told it like it was but hands down were the most popular parents in town. Kids would come over even when we were not home. To this day, many of our childhood friends are still very close to my parents.

Once, when I was in high school, my brother's friend Hugo pulled the chair out from my mom as a joke. My mom fell (and wasn't in great health). Pop blasted Hugo for five minutes....I mean...he cussed Hugo like there was no tomorrow. Barry's friend Brad went in to Barry's room and snuck out of his bedroom window (we still laugh about that today). Hugo, however, went into the bathroom for about 10 minutes....came out and asked "Can I spend the night?"

My point is, manners in my family were always non-negotiable. Even kids that came to our house were expected to mind those same manners. And yet, kids still came around. Ma'am and sir are still part of my vocabulary. It's ingrained in my being. But, I see it dying a slow death. Would you like to know one of the only places that it's still consistent? The military. Isn't that interesting? I can always tell when someone served. It's still ingrained in them too.

I can't change the way that I see this. It makes me absolutely cringe when I hear a child say "what"? or "huh?" or "yeah". It makes me ill. And to be honest, it makes me look at the parent just a little different too. I see how children are behaving in schools. I see how children are acting out in public. Do I look down on people that let their children act like heathens in public? Honestly? OK- warning...if you don't want to be irritated, you might want to quit reading now.

Yes. I do.

I look at ma'am and sir as necessary words just like please and thank you. By God, if Ethan is going to disagree with me (which he is absolutely allowed to do), he's going to say it with respect.

I think that manners start at home.

It's now becoming second nature to Ethan too. We still have to correct him sometimes but we won't come right out and correct him by saying "ma'am or sir" at the end of his answers, but I will say "excuse me?". He knows. I do think it's a little harder in today's society to be consistent since teachers are so limited in their ability to even verbally correct a child. Ma'am and sir are not part of the every day vocabulary in school like it was when I was in the only consistency is at home.

I'm not going to apologize for the way that I feel. I'm not going to make excuses or even try and justify why I feel this way. I just do. It's the only thing I've ever known.

Wanna know another word that is not allowed in our household? Aint.

No, we don't speak redneck in the O'Neal household.

I love my blog.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oh. My. God. What WERE You Thinking??

Over the last couple of days I have been looking through old pictures. Many of them were so outlandish that I had to scan them and share them with the world...because, that's what people do when they have a passion for any type of photography...right? It led me to a 2-day project of scanning in various pictures from back in the day. Some of the pictures deserve to have their stories told...I'll see.....

Back in the late 80's I discovered the most awesome band ever. I thought nothing of the fact that they wore more makeup and hairspray than I did. Who is the band you ask? As if you have to ask, right? Poison.

Poison was my first ever concert. My cousin Chris took me and my cousin Missy to see them in South Carolina when they were touring with David Lee Roth....and so began my obsession with everything Poison...I will proudly admit that I have seen them in concert 5 times. Although, I'm sure you couldn't just have guessed that by the sheer volume of Poison posters behind me.

My dad (Pop) is an amazing wood worker (is that what they call people that like making things with wood? Wood worker? Wood artist? Wood maker?). He would make me random Poison things. See, dads do that kind of thing. Even though he thought the music was like listening to wounded cats screeching....he humored me.

The picture above makes me giggle now. Back when it was taken, I thought I was the coolest teen in the small town of Hitchcock. It's funny now looking different as I was from the rest of my cowboy boot, MC Hammer Dookie pants wearing didn't matter. And yes....I did succumb to the Dookie Pant craze...but hey....please don't tell anyone, OK? I mean it.....I really don't want that to get out. People would think I was weird or something.

Around my freshman year of high school I started to morph into more of a girly girl. Well, as much of a girly girl as I could be. I still don't understand the art form called shoes. I moved from a head of "frost" (of which turned florescent green by sheer accident one day by making the intelligent decision to go swimming right after I had it done) to what can only be described as tidal wave hair. Hold that thought...I'd like to discuss my green hair for a bit if you don't mind.

Even as much as I loved Poison (and yes, that was the color of my new hair), I didn't love that I had bright green hair. I'm about to disappoint you for a moment by telling you a little known fact. If you don't like to be disappointed....please skip this next part...OK? No? Well don't say I didn't warn you!! Did you know that vinegar does NOT work on everything as you may have thought? I'm here to tell you that I was extremely let down when, after 5 bottles of vinegar, (and smelling like a horrid pickle) that I still had green hair. My green hair slowly faded. That was also about the time that my sister Angie and I had the bright idea that a frosted hair-do would look fantabulous with a "bowl" cut. No, please don't shake your head at me.....I'm serious. I proceeded to let her stick a bowl on my head and make 4 perfectly shaped bowl layers in my head (sorry, I just love making up words...that should be a from this day forward....fantabulous is a least on this blog it is).

We proudly went to display her artistry to my parents and bless their hearts.....they held it together. Of course, the "I'm so sick to my stomach that I'm about to throw up; how COULD you do that to your hair??" look totally gave them away. I have to give them props though...they only did things like make us walk ahead of them at the mall....We laugh about it then but a bowl layer with frosted florescent green hair wasn't exactly the thing back then.

OK back to the tidal wave hair. That was a true art from in and of itself. I had to get it to perfectly flip back while remaining smooth in the front despite the can of hairspray that you had to use to keep it from moving. I still giggle when I see the one above. Don't you just love how it drops off to the right? It's like a wall or something.

It was so stiff and high that while I was on the dance drill team called the Swingerettes, I had to wear my hat toward the back of my skull. The tidal wave wouldn't give an inch. I'm ashamed to admit (not really, I think it's pretty funny...but work with me here) that I was convinced that my hair style was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Really. I mean it.

Lets move on, shall we? I'd like to discuss the next picture. The helmet head picture. Correction, the tidal wave helmet head picture. Pardon me while I say something to myself....

Self, what WERE you thinking? I mean, really? really?? Come ON. And what's with that inch thick makeup that you allowed to be caked on by a country bumpkin of a hair dresser (the same one that did the helmet tidal wave hair)?

Did you know that the entire day of my Senior hair didn't move once. Not once. This is one of the times that I think...of all of the pictures taken throughout school...this one is going to live in my year book forever. People (myself included) will look at this picture, shake their heads and giggle.

Would you like to know something? After that hairtastrophy (get it??) I never went back to a country bumpkin stylist. Ever. Again.

And lets not even get me started on my caterpillar eyebrows.

But you know what? All of these pictures are great memories because they tell a story of a happy teenager. A teenager who's parents let me express myself freely. They didn't understand my obsession with everything Poison, or my weird taste in jackets....but they let me get through that phase on my own. They let each of us express our individual personalities with our clothes, music, and lets not forget....our interior design talents.

Mom and Pop,
I'm not sure how I ended up with such great parents, but thank you. Thank you for letting me be weird. Thank you for letting me figure out on my own that green hair wasn't "the thing". Thank you for making me into the person I am today. A person that doesn't look back on these pictures and hide them in shame....but one that is confident enough in herself that she can laugh at them with fondness as she shares them with the world.


I Really am Normal Now. Really. Well, Mostly...

See what happens when you visit my blog??? You get random tidbits into my life....things you may or may not have even wanted to know. But now you do.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Internal strength is something I've always prided myself in having but one of the things that I do struggle with is the need to control every aspect of my life. I need to know that I'm in the drivers seat to my future and I need to be in control of situations that I find myself in.

I've always been the type of person that needs an outlined path for my life. I need structure, consistency and to overall be in control of my life....and I can't say that I like change. I've never handled it well when my life gets off track or takes a detour. It throws the balance of my life off.

As I've gotten older I've gotten better control of it but when life throws me curve balls I still struggle with staying on my path. I have learned to repeat to myself "it is what it is" and for the most part it works. But I'm not entirely sure that I will ever fully know how to stay on my course when life throws those curve balls at me. Some people thrive on curve balls and even like them. I don't. If I could have a map of my entire life, that would suit me just fine. I don't like surprises or feeling like I have no control of a situation that I'm involved in. Now I'd like to make it clear that when I talk about control, I'm not talking about controlling people. It's not that kind of control. It's about being in control of my life, what happens to me and the situations that may involve me.

So, I guess the question for the day is....How do I stay on path when life decides to change my plans? I don't know that I'll ever find the answer but just acknowledging that I don't love it when I'm not in control of my life helps some.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strike a Pose!

This past weekend I went to see my BFF Erin. She is seriously one of the closest friends I've ever had and I wish we lived closer together. But....while I was there we did a photo shoot starring...ME! I'm always the one behind the camera so this was a blast.

I think I look like my mom here. Every once in a while I will see one of my facial expressions and think....I can totally see my mom! Dontcha think?

I do believe that this one is probably one of my favorite pictures. Although, I'm not sure I look very curious...I think I might look like I'm pondering something....

Wanna know a secret? This one was all about the shoes. What better way to show off sassy red shoes than to stick yourself in front of a cool wall???

Most people that know me, know that I'm not one that loves 'scenery" pictures. I'm more of an urban type...(note my cool backgrounds and wall color)...however....there's something to be said about sitting on a tree trunk that is bigger than you are.

We found this abandoned old gas station that was right up my alley. Do I look like I could be part of Charlie's Angels? I think I armed that gas pump pretty darned well if I say so myself!

Doesn't this just scream danger?

Erin threw this one in there because she loved the candidness of the entire thing. I'm sure she said something very witty that made me lose my concentration and crack up. She had this thing about not stopping the shoot even though I decided to break pose. Hmmpphhhh Erin....please quit shooting me when I'm not in character. Thank you.

I think she is a wonderful photographer and even more....she's a wonderful friend. We had so much fun together...catching up....and getting lost. Yes...just so everyone knows....she's as bad as I am with directions. But....she gets lost even with a navigator...I do believe that means that she takes the cake for the directionally challenged. Erin, sweetie, you know I love you! :D


She Who Hasn't Updated this Blog in Like....Forever

PS- New pictures of Ethan coming soon!

Click here to see more of Erin's photography

Monday, January 18, 2010

Life....It's a Circle

Ya know, one of the few memories I have of my young childhood was when I was 7 years old. We were living in Smithville, Texas (yes...the same place where they made "Hope Floats"). I was going through this phase in my life where I was freaked out about death. I would lay in bed at night and freak out at the thought of my mom dying. One day I decided to write a letter to God. Honestly, I don't even remember what it said. Would you like to know how a 7 year old thought that God would get his letter? If I buried it. What? Really? Yes...I know....and I have no idea where I came up with that. But that's what I did. I buried my letter in my front yard in Smithville, Texas.

About a week later, I decided to see if God read my letter....because surely if he read it then it would be gone, right? I dug up my little spot to find that my letter was still there. I think I cried for an hour. I remember feeling very lost, thinking that God was ignoring me.

Now that Ethan is getting a little bit older, he is focusing a lot on death. He wonders when he will die, if Jerry and I will die before he does, if ninja's can kill him, if Butterball is going to get sick and die like Petre did, if NeeNee and Pop are going to die before he is (because they are already so I know this is a serious topic but he asked me this weekend how they got to be so OLD).

Anywho...watching him question life like that brings me back to when I was younger. I remember feeling like he did. Feeling like there were more questions than answers. And we can try our best to answer him in a manner that he understands but at the same time puts him at ease instead of scaring him..but I'm wondering if that's just a right of passage for a young child. To question life. I hope that we are doing a good job making him feel at ease and letting him know to live life to the fullest.

OK, I know this is short but it just had me thinking...oh, and I'm going to try really hard to get back in blogging on a quasi regular basis. Promise....mmmm'kay?