The Art of the Compromise

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A healthy marriage is all about sacrifice and compromise.

Compromise is when two or more people come to a mutual decision so that ultimately each party receives some satisfaction. In marriage compromising could mean you really want to go to the Lobster House for dinner and he really wants to go to the Steak House so you find a really great surf and turf restaurant or you want to watch that new movie on Lifetime and he really wants to watch the game so you let him watch the game and you set the DVR to tape your movie. That’s compromise!

Sacrifice is a whole other thing. Sacrifice is totally giving up something considered important to you for something considered to be more important to someone else. So let’s say your husband's company is treating all their employees to a Yankees game for the same night that you were supposed to have a very much needed girl’s night out. Since he was supposed to watch the kids and you are unable to get a reliable babysitter you sadly call your girlfriends and tell them to have a great time without you. That, my friends is called sacrifice!

In marriage there are daily compromises and sacrifices that we all make to keep the peace, some big and some small. I believe that both are necessary in a successful marriage. However, too much sacrifice can lead to a feeling of loss of self and in some cases resentment. In order to avoid that we should make sure that both partners are sacrificing equally because that’s when sacrifice turns into compromise.

Here are some ways to compromise with your spouse:

1. Listen to their point of view. (r.e.a.l.l.y listen)

2. Recognize and respect each others value. (so important)

3. Admit you were wrong and give in graciously. (sometimes it's okay to give in out of love for your spouse)

4. Agree to disagree. (sometimes a compromise can't be reached)

5. Have a real discussion and negotiate a compromise. (note: a real discussion does not mean a heated argument)

A successful marriage is a constant work in progress. Even after many years of marriage I am still learning how to make necessary compromises and sacrifices without totally abandoning what is important to me. It helps that I have a husband who understands that our marriage is a give and take.

To tat or not to tat, that is the question!

Friday, March 25, 2011

When my daughter Shay turned 18 she got a tattoo mainly because since she was 16 she wanted one and I wouldn’t let her! I didn’t understand why in the world she would want to write all over her body. So of course as soon as she was 18 and could pay for it on her own she got her first tattoo and a year later she got 2 more. Oh, my sweet rebellious daughter.

But now just a few years later I too… dare I say… want a tattoo. It all began the summer of 2008 while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. My family and I stumbled upon a booth where I spotted a local man designing a henna tattoo on a tourist. I was intrigued and found myself drawn to the booth and within a half an hour my youngest daughter Cookie and I both had henna tattoos on our ankles. Hers displaying a butterfly and mine had my hubby's name in an adorable heart. I remember lying on the lounge chair by the pool admiring my little henna tat and thinking this is so freakin’ cute! Fast-forward to every vacation since then where I find myself searching for the local on every beach who could hook me up with a temporary tat on my ankle.

However, recently I have been thinking a lot about replacing the henna with, ink thus making this vacation ritual a more permanent souvenir. There is just something about that little design on my ankle that makes my little summer outfits just a little cuter. I am sure that Shay will get a big laugh out of this one if I really decide to go through with it. I could just hear her in a sarcastic voice asking me why would I want to write on my body.

Anyway, I am not sure if I will really do it but it is definitely on my bucket list. What do you think ladies… should I go for it or just stick to my annual henna fix?

Cookie getting her first henna in Mexico

Wordless Wednesday-Longing for Summer Vacation

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hawaii Summer 2010

Inhale, Exhale

Monday, March 21, 2011

When we bought our house one of the big selling points was the Jacuzzi bathtub in the master bath. I remember declaring that Jacuzzi would be my home sanctuary, the place where I escaped to recharge my mind, body and spirit. I am embarrassed to say that in seven years I can count the amount of times I have enjoyed a relaxing bath in that tub!

So on Sunday I decided enough is enough! So I got up off the couch, poured myself a glass of wine, got my latest Essence magazine and had a relaxing bubble bath! When I was done (an hour and a half later) I asked my hubby why I don’t do this more often and he just shrugged his shoulders. I really don’t know why either! Why do I have to keep reminding myself to make time for ME?

Well, as of today I promise myself that I will go on a little retreat to my home sanctuary (master bathroom) at least 3 times a month. Even if I have to schedule it on my calendar like I do everything else for everybody else!

Here are the rules that I made for myself so that I can fully enjoy my pampering time:

1. light some aromatherapy candles
2. read a brand new magazine
3. enjoy a glass of wine or two
4. think only happy thoughts
5. inhale and exhale slowly

Excuse me while I vent...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why is it that the people in your life who are suppose to be the most supportive sometimes are the ones who are the most critical and judgmental? Believe me, I could write a book about these kinds of people. The ones who have never been in the situations you have been in yet are the first to tell you how you handled it all wrong. The ones who have no children but continue to question the choices you make for yours. The ones who although you were willing to forgive the hurtful comments they made in the past continue to spew more negativity. The ones who have the audacity to criticize you behind your back BUT in front of your children. The ones who never thought you would amount to anything and are amazed at how God just keeps on blessing you and your family! The ones who do ALL of those things and then say they LOVE YOU!

I am so over trying to mend these obvious dysfunctional relationships. I can no longer ignore the the blatant disrespect for me and this unfortunate situation has become a small but constant nuisance in my life and I can really do without it.

For those people I say, love me or leave me alone. I don’t need reminders from YOU that I have made mistakes in my life and that I am far from perfect, but one thing I can honestly say is that I am not is a hater!

So please live your life and let me live mine! Whew!! That felt good to get off my chest. Ok,I am done venting! Thanks for listening.

Have a great weekend!

The Celebration

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday my bff and I planned a girls’ getaway in Atlantic City! We had a blast! We shopped, ate, gambled, had lots of laughs, even went clubbing!!! Yup! I went to a club with my daughter and we had so much fun!

It is very hard for me to put into words how special this weekend was for us. So I will just leave you with a picture!

Sweating the Small Stuff

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Every year for lent my family gives up something that would be hard for us to live without or something that is difficult for us to stop doing. Usually, I give up some type of food but this year I am giving up STRESS! Yes, you heard me………S.T.R.E.S.S. You see, I have a little problem; I tend to let the smallest things stress me out beyond belief! I really try not to allow stress into my life but it has a way of creeping into my self-consciousness and before I know it 4:40AM and I am laying in bed staring at the ceiling wondering and worrying about things that I usually have no control over! It’s insane!

So for 40 days I will not sweat the small stuff and eliminate unhealthy stress from my life! How will I do this you ask? Well, first I had to identify some of the sources of my stress. I tend to worry about:
1. work
2. family
3. household responsibilities
4. inability to accept uncertainty
5. Unrealistic expectations
6. Perfectionism

Then I came up with a plan to deal with stress when it does rear its ugly head.
1. take a long hot bubble bath
2. call my bff for some fun "girl talk"
3. schedule a massage
4. get a pedicure
5. play "Just Dance" and break out in my best "uh oh" Beyonce booty shake dance!
6. Give myself a reality check because I have no real reason to be stressed because really my life is pretty darn good!

I would love to hear some ways you deal with stress! I could use all the help I can get!

Today she's 21!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

21 years ago today at exactly 10:11PM I became a mother for the very first time. At 20 years young I brought my oldest daughter into the world with no meds and a whole lot of awkward and uncontrolled pushing. She came into this world kicking and screaming! Now that I think about it since birth she has wanted to be the center of attention!

As a young mother she and I had to grow up together. Although she learned from me, having her taught me so much. For example, as I was potty training her she was teaching me how to be patient and when I had to pass on those after work parties she taught me about responsibility. When I had to make difficult decisions on her behalf she taught me to be an advocate. Oh yeah and the time she took a whole jar of Vaseline and covered herself in it from head to toe then rolled around on the brand new light blue sofa and then proceeded to watch TV like nothing...yeah that time she taught me about tolerance!
It is so true that motherhood does not come with a manual and I am a perfect example because honestly, at some points through those teenage years I felt like a complete failure as a mother. But I am thankful for each and every one of those 21 years, the happy times and the not so happy times that have made us both grow into the women we are today. You see she and I have a special connection, we have a type of unconditional love that only a mother and daughter can share!
So today my little girl is 21! I know for her this probably means that now she could have her first drink (yeah, who I am kidding) and go to a 21 and over club. But to me it’s bittersweet…it means that my baby is no longer a baby but I know that we will continue to learn from each other for many years to come!

Happy Birthday Beautiful!

Stay tuned next week for......The Celebration!

And the winner is......................

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drum roll please!
Check your email for information on how to claim your prize!

Thank you for all for participating in my first giveaway!

Phenomenal Woman, Karitsa!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My name is Karitsa, my nickname is Kary (pronounced in Spanish, Kah-dee).
I am one of three children and a middle child. My family is my world. I am a Jersey girl, born and raised by the shore, now living in South Jersey. I have been teaching for ten years. I decided to become an educator because I love children and I love learning! I am a wife and a stepmom to a six year old little boy. I am many things, but my proudest role has been a recent one, I am a new mommy.

My daughter is three months young and my greatest love. She came during the most difficult time in my life. When I was seven months pregnant, I lost my father. It was and still is the most painful experience of my life. I was a daddy’s girl. My mother always accused me of loving him more than I love her. That is not true, there’s just something really special between a father and his daughter/s. I thought I wouldn’t be able to withstand the pain of losing him. It was almost unbearable.

My father had been sick for many years. I was blessed to have him walk me down the aisle. I cried our whole father daughter dance because I was so thankful that God had answered my prayer of him being there on my big day. When I found out that I was pregnant, I knelt down and asked God to please let my father see my baby, his first grandchild. All I needed was two more months for that second prayer to come true.

My daughter has helped me cope with my loss. She has brought me happiness in the midst of my pain. When she smiles at me, my whole world feels right. I love just walking past her and seeing how excited she gets to see me. I love her so much. I realize that’s how my dad must’ve felt about me.

I was scheduled to go back to work at the end of this month. However, I have decided to stay home with my daughter until the following school year. It is something I debated since I brought her home because I knew that it will require us to make adjustments to our lifestyle. However, if anything is worth the sacrifice, it is this. I will never get this time back with my daughter. She will only be this little for a short time. If I have learned anything from losing my father, it is that the time you have with your loved ones is precious and truly a gift. Once that time is gone, it’s gone forever. So I stepped out in faith, and wrote a letter to my school district that I will see them… in September! Every time my baby does something new or I see how she’s growing, I know this was the best decision that I have ever made.

One reason that I decided to start this blog was for women to celebrate how fabulous we are and for us to inspire one other. Karitsa continues to inspire me in many ways! From her unconditional love for her family and amazing faith to her recent decision to be a (temporary) SAHM! It is my hope that her story is an inspiration to others too!