A daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend
A believer that prayer changes everything
An educator, an advocate, a student, a leader
A NYC girl turned NJ suburban woman
Mature, accomplished, youthful, a work in progress
Loving, caring, thoughtful, sympathetic
Strong and powerful, weak and vulnerable
A dreamer, a hopeless romantic, passionate
Perfect, flawed, complicated, simple
Admiring what I see when I look in the mirror these days
Unconditionally loving the fabulous woman I have become
All this and much more……
Who are you?
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Sometimes I am just like my mother. Although I never thought I would ever hear myself say that. When I was a teenager I promised myself I would never be like my mother! I thought she was overprotective, unreasonable and just didn’t understand me! So in order to show her that I was grown I moved out at 19 to “live my own life”. And boy did I show her I was back home in 5 months!
Looking back now I often ask myself was my mother that unreasonable? I mean she let me come back home although I had hurt her so much by leaving. Was she too protective or was she just trying to protect me from the very thing that ended up happening? Did she really not understand me or did she understand me all too well, which is why she often knew my next move before I did?
Now that I have 2 daughters I find myself struggling with the same questions that my mother must have. How do I protect my daughters without being overprotective? How do I make difficult decisions that are in their best interest without seeming too unreasonable? How do I get them to realize that I do understand what they are feeling because I went through the same things not that long along? (I mean I am only 41 for goodness sake!)
This past November my mother turned the beautiful age of 70 and we surprised her with a tribute to her life presented by all 5 grandchildren. As she sat there with tears of happiness in her eyes I began to realize that I am just like my mother. I am doing the best that I can for my children and if that means that sometimes they think that I am overprotective, unreasonable and not understanding that’s okay because it is done out of love. I only hope that one day they too can say sometimes I am just like my mother.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I recently realized that I am in constant competition with myself. When I finished grad school I was so relieved not only to have my masters in education but also to finally have some free time. But then I had that feeling again…that feeling of what else should I be doing? So I joined a committee at work so that I can help create professional development goals for teachers. But was that enough? No! So I volunteered to be a member of my school’s PTA executive board because I wanted to plan more opportunities for parents to become involved in their child’s education. Then I started a blog, and now I am constantly thinking of ways I can use it to inspire more people. I couldn’t figure out why I always have this need to do more? Then it hit me, I am trying to make my life count. I am trying to live my life on purpose!
Many of us live such busy lives following the same routine not giving much thought about what our purpose is on this earth. For years I thought my only purpose was getting up every morning and getting my kids off to school, going to work, coming home, cooking dinner and starting it all over again the next day. While taking care of my family is a big part of who I am, I know now that I was made intentionally for a purpose.
My purpose in life is to educate, inspire and empower others. This is my passion, this reflects who I am inside. However, in order for me to realize this I had to:
1.Step out in faith and try new things that interested me.
2.Listen to that little voice that was pushing me to follow my dreams! (It was God!)
Each day I try to fulfill my purpose in some way. This has not only brought me a new kind of happiness but it has helped me to love the life that I am living even more!
What is your passion? How are you living your life on purpose?
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I LOVE make-overs and if you follow “Loving Me Unconditionally” you probably noticed that I did some redecorating recently! I decided to make myself at home here in the blogsphere and I thought I’d have my little space made over to reflect more of who I am and to make all of you feel more welcomed when you come to visit!
This new look could not have been possible without Christina, the incredible designer from Visual Luxe! I still don’t how she did it but she was able to create a design that gave me the look and feel that I had only envisioned. Christina’s patience and professionalism was amazing and she answered all questions that this relatively new blogger had (....and I had lots of them!!) Thank you so much Christina for this unconditionally amazing make-over!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
When I started this blog on New Year’s Day who would have known that I would fall in love with this connected community the way I have. I started "Loving Me, Unconditionally" as a personal journal. It was a way for me to reflect on the past year and to celebrate how I finally reached a point in my life where I love the woman that I have become. However, when I wrote my first post I decided to share it with my hubby who encouraged me to share it with a few close friends, who then shared it with a few of their friends and as they say the rest is history.
Being a part of this community of inspiring women has allowed me to express myself in ways that I never knew I could. I love that I have been able to inspire a few women in such a short amount of time and I have been equally inspired by many of the women that I have “met” through my daily travels through the blogsphere. It’s like getting together for coffee everyday just to chat about life! I LOVE it!
So, I think I will make myself at home here and stay for a while. Come back and visit often. I’ll put on a pot of coffee!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Today is Valentine’s Day and as I mentioned in a previous post I LOVE this holiday! I know that people say that everyday should be Valentine’s Day but let’s be realistic……it isn’t! Sometimes the everyday routines of life can get in the way of showing the ones you love just how much they mean to you. My hubby and I usually plan monthly date nights but during the months of January and February he works a lot of late nights and on some weekends. During this busy time we only catch quick kisses in the early morning as we rush off to work and update each other about our day through emails and quick conversations as we doze off at night. This has been the procedure every year around this time for almost as long as we have been together so we are used to it. Although this isn’t an easy time for either one of us we make it work because we understand that the responsibilities of life can sometimes get in the way of romance.
However, Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of this chaotic time and every year no matter how busy we are we make sure we plan a few hours just for ourselves. This year since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday we planned to celebrate on Sunday when we will both be home. Our 14-year old daughter decided to plan a romantic evening for us. (l.o.v.e that girl!) She decorated the house with rose petals and candles and cooked a delicious 5-course meal, which she served with a beautiful smile. Over dinner and wine my hubby and I talked, laughed and spent some much needed quality time. One thing that keeps our marriage unbreakable is that we both know that it is not about the amount of time we spend with each other, it’s about how we spend the time we have. We know that life can sometimes be hectic and chaotic but one thing that remains strong and steadfast is the foundation that we have built our marriage on! Isn’t it great that there is a day reserved just for celebrating that?
So today I want to tell my hubby that I love him unconditionally and thank him for always loving me unconditionally!
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
1. My special spot on the couch (it fits me perfectly!)
2. Banana Cheerios (This is my strange addiction!)
3. Watching Grease and singing “Hopelessly Devoted to You” loudly!
4. Hearing my hubby’s laugh
5. My Wii Fit scale (it hasn’t lied to me yet!)
6. My first cup of coffee in the morning (can’t start my day right without it)
7. My Mac Powerbook (may we NEVER part!!!!)
8. My mother’s peas and rice (NO ONE cooks peas and rice better than my mother!!)
9. When my oldest daughter texts her little sister just to say she loves her! (rare
10. Any Lifetime Movie (never watched one I didn’t like)
What are some of the random things you love?
Monday, February 7, 2011
This past summer I read the book The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman. This book discusses how each of us has our own way of expressing and interpreting love and how we are usually attracted to a person that speaks a different love language than us. According to the book there are five love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation
If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward.
2. Quality Time
Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved.
3. Receiving Gifts
If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you.
4. Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.”
5. Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.
After reading the book I was anxious to find out my love language so I took the assessment online www.5lovelanguages.com. It turns out that Words of Affirmation is my language of love. That sounds about right, since I love when my husband tells me he loves me even after all these years it still warms my heart and when he compliments me I still blush like a schoolgirl. I thought it was a good idea for my husband to take the assessment too and (reluctantly), he did. Surprise, surprise his language of love is Physical Touch! Well, I guess that explains a lot!
The important thing is that we both understand each other's love language so he keeps giving me those compliments and I welcomely except his spontaneous bear hugs!
What is your love language? How do you feel and express love?
Friday, February 4, 2011
How many of you have kissed some frogs before finding your prince? I know I did! Although I must admit that some of those frogs helped me to love and appreciate my prince, I only wish that I could save my daughters from some of the heartbreaks I experienced. When I read this quote I knew it was exactly the message I want to send to my daughters. I want them to know that they NEVER have to settle for less than what they deserve. They ARE princesses and they deserve a prince..... not a frog! So here is a message to my daughters.....
“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you.... The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'"
Loving you unconditionally,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
As I decorated my classroom for the month of February I was anxious to say good-bye to January and it’s paper snowflakes, cotton-ball snowmen and black and white penguins. I could hardly wait to pull out my February decorations because I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY! Something about the red, pink and purple decorations puts me in the mood for love! So in honor of Valentine’s Day all of my February posts will be dedicated to all the types of love that we experience in our lives. So check back often, share your thoughts and be inspired!