Reasons to love Rhode Island # 1


#1 It’s so pretty!!
Often times when I am with a group of native Rhode Islanders I am amazed by the lack of home state pride. They can usually come up with a list of negatives a mile long. My perception as an outsider allows me to see the gems that others maybe take for granted. So, in the spirit of my adopted home state pride I will share all of the things I love about Little Rhody.
A love letter of sorts.

You are truly a beauty to behold. Your nickname the Ocean State defines who you are and the people who live here. Life is lived along the water. It’s beauty is accessible to all. Thank you for inspiring me daily.

Boys to Men

ImageI am proud to say that I was a tomboy growing up. I played with He-Man action figures, messed with insects, and was the schoolyard champion in tetherball. Jeans and t-shirts were my uniform, although now I am trying to incorporate dresses. So, when I found out I was pregnant I knew that fate would provide me with a girl. After all, I was a tough woman, so I would end up raising another strong female. Had an ultrasound and found out I was having a boy. Hopefully, this doesn’t come off as disappointment. I was completely happy; I just figured that I would have a girl. You know the saying… something along the lines of how badly you tortured your parents would come back ten fold. I figured that sealed my deal.

As a mother to a young four-year-old boy, I am quickly realizing that he is soaking up the world like a sponge. My role as his mother is to expose him to the joys of life and guide him along his path. These four years have flown by and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t slow down. Soon it will be kindergarten, high school, college, then finally off into the world to make it on his own. I know that I am supposed to teach him the importance of sharing, telling the truth, and to look both ways before crossing the street.  Protecting him isn’t enough. I need to encourage him to think and to be a good participant in his environment. My goal is to shape him into the person he will become by being the best role model I can be. One of my roles as a mother is to take care of him, but my duty as a woman is to teach him to become a good man.

How I treat him is important, but how I allow others to treat me will also have a huge impact. Now that he is more capable, I no longer cater to his every need. If he is thirsty then he can go to the fridge and grab his own apple juice. Of course, I am always there to help him when necessary. Although the rule is in order to receive any help the request needs to be presented with a please…quickly followed by a thank you. Seeing a great partnership is also important. My boyfriend and I cook dinner together and split the chores based on who is home and available… not by gender. He encourages my education and any pursuit of my passions. Cleaning the house or having food on the table is not the priority of this relationship. This is imperative because I want my son to see the importance of teamwork.

Then, there is the whole issue of him learning the differences between boy things and girl things at school. Often my suggestions for a song or movie will be met with, “That’s a girl (insert item here)” followed by a stinky face. Clearly, he is differentiating what is appropriate for boys and/ or girls. That started to turn into a dislike for all things girly.  The whole idea of us versus them started to form in his little 4-year-old mind. My fear is that would fester into boys are better than girls; boys are smarter than girls, etc. During our daily commutes home, I have taken the opportunity to discuss this. I’ve had to explain that girls can play with trucks and boys can enjoy singing, dancing, and other “girl things”.

Then came the “beautiful” comments. Now don’t get me wrong…I welcome being called beautiful. But to be honest, I would prefer smart, cool, or my absolute favorite… totally bad ass. Those compliments have something to do with who I am …not just what I look like. So, according to my babes he is in love with every girl in his class. After listening to him gush about these girls I would ask, “What is it that you love about them?” They were “beautiful” and nothing more. I decided to ask him about their other traits. Maybe they knew lots of words to add to the letter board, or they knew how to write lots of numbers, or they were nice and shared. These were qualities to fall in love with, not just beauty.

Often I wonder if  a overreacting. After all he is so young, but I’ve decided to go with my gut. Realizing that my teachings are up against a culture that promotes these gender roles feels a little daunting. How I can truly influence him is probably one of the greatest challenges of being a parent. I can’t just instill these values in him he needs to live them. I am sure that I will have to remind him occasionally and help him apply these principles to his world…not just mine. Ultimately, I just want to raise a son who is respectful and kind to everyone. I have a feeling it is going to be a bumpy road getting there, but it’s another adventure I look forward to.

Breaking up is Hard to Do…but this will Help

Inspired by a wonderful woman in a not so wonderful situation…

Valentines day is over and the love drunk feeling has worn off. You now wake up with a massive hangover realizing that you have just gone through a break up. The ending of a relationship is never easy, but its something that everyone goes through. It is a painful, but necessary part of life. Can you imagine still being with your 5th grade boyfriend? Yes, it is rough, but here are some tips to help you get through the first few days and jumpstart your new life as a single girl.

Day 1:  Regardless of the reasons, this breakup has just occurred and you are upset, angry, and hurt. Spend the day getting rid of ALL pictures of the both of you. Toss any mementos from the relationship, change your Face book status to “Single”, and then log off so you don’t have to make a public explanation quite yet. Very important…delete his number. As painful as this is, the relationship is over. Keeping his number in your phone hoping that he will text you will only prolong the pain. Make it a clean break. Once that is done, call all of your girlfriends to tell them the news. Any good girlfriend will list all of the reasons why you are better off without him. Usually, one will confess that she never really liked him anyway.

Day 2: Take the day off from the world. Close the blinds, turn off your phone, and shut down your laptop. Today is your day of mourning. Day 2 is very important, regardless of how long you were together. Any separation hurts and you need to allow yourself to be sad.  Stock up on the saddest movies that you can find. You will cry, but it will get all of that bottled up emotion out and help you feel better. Plus you will realize that maybe things are not so bad. Also, today is the day of junk food. Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and cheese puffs always did the trick for me, but you must find the perfect combination of your favorite goodies. One final rule of the day, do not drink alcohol! Hurt feelings mixed with alcohol are like adding fuel to the fire. You don’t want to do something stupid like drunken text your ex (since we both know you didn’t delete his number on day 1) or anyone else for that matter.

Day 3: This morning you will stumble into the bathroom and not recognize the person looking back at you. It is time to get rid of those puffy eyes and rat’s nest that has formed on top of your head. Wash your face, brush your hair, and maybe even paint your nails. Do things that will help you feel better. Today is the first day where it is all about you. Listen and sing along to Joan Jett, Beyonce, or any other strong women artists. No sad songs…that ship has sailed.

Day 4: Now that you are looking and feeling a little bit better, today is the day you face the world. Go outside; get some exercise, head to the grocery store to stock up on all of your healthy food. Now that you are single you will need to lose those few relationship pounds you gained. Yes, you are going to pass by the place where you had your first date, but just know that eventually it will become the place with okay Mexican food. Eventually, it will no longer mean anything to you.

Day 5: Time to reveal your new single fabulous self to the world. You may not feel up to going out, but you need to step up, put those heels on, and head out the door. Get a group of girls together and hit the town. Go out dancing while looking absolutely gorgeous! Get back out there and maybe even flirt a little. Although you are not quite ready to jump into a relationship just yet, there is nothing wrong with having a little fun.

If you remember nothing else from this article just keep this in mind. The relationship is over, lessons have been learned, and now you are a better person for it. You are an absolutely amazing woman!!! Fate stepped in because it was not meant to be. Don’t go out there trying to find another date right away. Just spend that extra time with someone who deserves it. You!!!

Starting up

This is blog number one of hopefully many more to come. I often find inspiration from people I meet, places I go, or just from every day experiences. This is my place to share my excitement with the rest of the world.