no more bellyaching

Forget complaining. Find joy in every moment.


NMB-Control What You Can Control

I don’t know if there is anything to “learn” from last week’s tragic events in Connecticut. People are using this devastation as a platform to advance their political agendas. Schools are seizing the opportunity to check their own disaster protocol. Parents are holding their children a little tighter and probably considering the advantages of homeschooling.

Unfortunately, terrible things can happen, and we have no control over it. Yesterday, I sobbed watching coverage of families burying their children a week before Christmas. I saw a little curly-haired six-year old girl, who had wanted a new pair of cowgirl boots for Christmas. She looked a lot like my own little curly-haired six-year-old girl, and my heart broke for her family.

In the wake of this sort of tragedy, it’s easy to feel depressed and out of control. I’m sure many parents feared sending their kids to school Monday. I was not reassured in the least when my children’s school called to tell me that their lockdown procedures ensured my children’s safety. I know what their protocol is, and it couldn’t stop a madman with a guy bent on murder just as Sandy Hook’s couldn’t.

So how do we move forward? I pray that these families have faith because I don’t know what besides faith in God can overcome such devastation and heartbreak. I have hugged my children much more than usual, carried my six-year-old around like a baby, read her a few more books, and snuggled her for a few more minutes at bedtime. Additionally, I have tried to refocus on the things about their lives that I can control, such as:

  • Show them unconditional love and acceptance.
  • Teach them compassion for people and animals.
  • Be the kind of person I want them to be.
  • Instill in them faith in God.
  • Surround them with people whose values they can model.
  • Feed them healthy food.
  • Answer their questions even if the answer is, “I don’t know, but we will find out.”

How did this tragedy change you as a person or as a parent? What will you do differently going forward?


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NMB-Glitz it Up

All that glitters is evidently in style this holiday season. I had to check my surroundings while shopping the other day to be sure I’d walked out of Justice and into a grown up store because everything was still sparkly. I am not even going to try to hide my enthusiasm about this trend.

Twinkle, Twinkle

I. Love. Sparkly. My daughters are girly-girls who love glitter and glitz—though the little one can usually be found glitzing up a mud puddle. A reformed tomboy, I now bedazzle baseball and football shirts and wear them to my son’s games. Embrace your inner princesses, ladies. Sparkly nails, shoes, dresses, and makeup are HOT this season: My Birchbox had an adorable little sample of a “lumanizer” to add shimmer to your cheeks, eyes, and lips.

I Like My Studs Human

What excites me a little less is the stud trend. Surely you’ve seen handbags, shoes, jeans, bras, you name it adorned with little studs. The combat boots with studs are cute in a reliving-the-horrific-punk-phase-from-the-late-80’s way. You won’t catch me sporting any studded footwear, I’m sticking with my rainboots. But if this is your thing, I am thrilled for you. Borrow my Bedazzler and stud away.

Wrap it Up

Scarves remain a timeless accessory as well as a way to keep the cold air at bay. And thanks to some cool tutorials, I am learning many exciting ways to tie them. Sort of. I am watching the video, but my husband is tapping his foot at the door, and then I’m flustered twisting, wrapping and suddenly I’m strangling myself so I revert to a slip knot and go. BUT I do aspire to try at least a few of these techniques soon.

Tip Your Hat

Also, the cute fedoras from summer that fashionistas were wearing from the beach to the club have transitioned into winter, made of wool instead of straw. Again, I’m excited about this trend, because not only does a fedora add a cute stylish element to any outfit, it hides hair that isn’t cooperating and wrinkles. If you have perfect hair and no wrinkles, congratulations; you can pass on the fedora.

I’m pretty excited about cold weather fashion. What do you want Santa to bring you?



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NMB About the Past and the Future

My dad used to deliver wisdom through clichés, “There are two days you should never worry about: yesterday and tomorrow.” My mom, a top-notch worrier used to respond with eye-rolling and her own cliché, “There’s no fool like an old fool.” I try to maintain some balance among my chromosomes but usually fall more on the worrying side.

If you’re reading this, then you made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and into the most wonderful time of the year. Course, I guess that depends on who you ask. I saw a card that said, “December 25: It’s amazing how one little day can undo a whole month of therapy.” For many people this humor rings uncomfortably true.

Unfortunately it seems that during the holidays our past and future worries manage to get the best of us. Additionally, it seems when we are with our families, our childhood self comes to the forefront. Then, despite the great person we may have become, our families tend to remember and remind us who we were.

Anticipating the worst, we often head into the holiday season with our guard way up perhaps inhibiting ourselves from enjoying time with family and friends. Plus, once you’ve started fretting about it, it’s often a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re expecting someone to insult you, you might put a negative spin on innocent comments: “You look great this year, Mary!” What does that mean? Did I look bad last year? Frowning face.

Not discounting our family’s real or imagined criticism, too often, we are our own worst critics. And with New Year’s coming, we have to face the ten pounds we didn’t lose or the five additional pounds we gained since Thanksgiving or the gym membership that ended up being a waste of money that we could have used for Christmas this year. Commence downward spiral.

This year alone, I’ve made enough mistakes that learning the right lessons from all of them could qualify me for Mensa. Discouragingly enough, I’m still plugging along and will be remaking some of the same New Year’s resolutions this year that I made last year, and the year before and maybe the year before that. Hey, we’re not worrying about yesterday so I’m certainly not dredging up two years ago!

The point of all this: We can’t change the past, but we can change the choices we make today. We don’t know what the future holds, but as many say, “We know who holds the future.” So plan and save and work toward the future; but remember that no amount of worry, fret, and beating yourself up will change it. That will only suck the joy from today. Ugh, I inherited the cliché chromosome. What are you NOT going to fret about today?