Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicken Wing "New Song Obsession"


...and it's a Christian song, to boot!  I was flipping through the radio channels in my car the other day, and the background music of this song came on.  I started bopping the head a little bit and thought to myself, "This is quite catchy."

Then, I listened to the lyrics and immediately the song resonated with me!  We all get caught up in the hassles and messes of life, and we sometimes forget to remember just how blessed we are.  This song came at the perfect time for me - if you read my last post, you already know why. If you haven't had a chance to read it, go check it out.

I hope you all enjoy "This Is The Stuff," by Francesca Battistelli.


Until next time,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Always Say A Prayer

Today's post is a very serious one, and it's written by an exhausted mind.  I experienced something last night that I never thought I would, and it's left me with many tired thoughts in my head that I wanted to put out to the world.

In a nutshell, one of my neighbors apparently got to a point where he felt he could no longer go on, and he took his own life in my backyard last night.  From the noise that I heard (I thought someone had broken my flower pot on my patio), to the phone call I received asking if anything was going on, to scanning the parking lot, and eventually discovering his lifeless body behind our townhouse building while trying to console his significant other, it's all a bit of a blur.

There were police officers rushing, and blue lights flashing.  There were people standing in the doorways of the twenty-five units of our little community.  There were questions, and note taking, and flashlights, and crime scene tape.

And there were the poor people who had to deal with the mess that this situation had left them in - someone they loved was gone.  Someone they loved was lying in the grass being documented by the authorities.  If it hadn't been for the fact that you could easily see the contents of his head, you would think he'd simply fainted. 

All in all, it was a horrific sight, and it leaves me feeling so saddened that this young man had reached a point in his short life where he felt he could not continue living.  I never knew his name, but he was always very friendly and kind to me.  We had to alternate the times that we took our dogs outside - his pit bull, while still a puppy, would certainly be able to eat my tiny babies alive, and with all of the animals outside at the same time, none of them could concentrate on the task at hand.

The entire ordeal lasted four hours, and I just keep going back to the fact that from the outside looking in, he seemed fine.  I'd seen him less than two hours before his death, and he seemed fine then too.  I'll probably never know what led him to this, but I can say this - I pray for him.  I pray for his family.  I pray for our little community - for the parents who had to explain to their children why there were so many officers in our neighborhood.  For the extended family and friends of this man, who will most likely have a very hard time coming to grips with the fact that they'll never see him again.

I also have used this time to reflect on the fact that this was another reminder of just how quickly life can be over, and it's important to do what you can to make this world a better place when you're living in it.  Part of me wishes I had gotten to know him - maybe I could have reached out and things could have been different.  The other part of me knows that it possibly wouldn't have been enough, and I'm satisfied with the fact that I could be there for the poor woman who is left alone in that house today.

If there's anything that has been renewed for me through this situation, it's that I have to rely on God when times get hard.  I know that I am not strong enough to handle the weight of the world on my own, and that He is always there for me.  He's protective of me, and He loves me, and He would never have given me life if He hadn't wanted me to be. Sometimes, being the control freak that I am, I have a hard time giving control over to anyone - even God - and that's silly because He ultimately has control of everything.  But, this has reminded me that sometimes, it's best to get on your face with God and ask Him for help.

I even thought back to one of the emails I received - you know the kind.  Sometimes, they are so annoying and usually, they bring the threat of bad things happening to you if you don't send them on.  This one, however, had a poem that made a lot of sense to me, and I thought of it again in light of the events of last night. 

There's work to do, deadlines to meet.
You have no time to spare.
But as you hurry and scurry...
ASAP - Always Say A Prayer.

In the midst of family chaos,
Quality time is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest.
ASAP - Always Say A Prayer.

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather...
ASAP - Always Say A Prayer.

God knows how stressful life can be,
And He wants to ease your cares.
He'll respond to all your needs...
ASAP - Always Say A Prayer.

Today I'm saying a little prayer
That God will send a smile to you
And send you special blessings
Through everything you do.
- Lisa Englehardt 

I wish this young man could have been able to see past his pain and remember to Always Say A Prayer.  Since he was not able to do so, I ask each and every one of you to lift his family up today - lift them up tomorrow, and the rest of this week. Lift them up as long as you can remember to do so.  Lord knows they probably need that comfort and peace right now.

And if you are in need yourself - if suicide has ever crossed your mind - please do not keep this to yourself.  Talk to someone.  Let them tell you how special and loved you are.  Let someone help you.  Life is so precious, and the world will not be the same without you in it.  Always Say A Prayer.

Until next time,

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Am Addicted

Top o' the morning to you, Peeps!  I hope you are all having a blessed and wonderful Monday morning (I know...I did just use the words 'wonderful' and 'Monday' in the same sentence intentionally - I do hope you are each having a great day). 

Let's jump right in.  Today's topic is addiction.  Now, this is not a laughing matter, so I don't want people to think that I'm making light of a serious situation.  Having an addiction to anything is really not the best case scenario, but I guess some addictions are better than others.

Comanche and I were taking some time to unwind yesterday after another exceptionally busy week/weekend. To be honest, it was a perfect evening - the two of us (and three dogs, if we're being honest) on the couch, chillaxing with Chinese takeout and conversation. He made the joke that I am addicted to funny things (well, they are funny to him).  Here was the list:  television, the computer, my dogs, and couponing.  LOL!  It does sounds humorous when said in list form.

But, I think he has a strong case.  Let's work through these one by one, because I'm completely fine with just "owning it."

1.  Television.

Okay, I'm guilty.  Throw the book at me.  I love TV.  Being as I work for a TV station, I feel as though it's my vital responsibility to partake in television shows regularly (and by regularly, I mean every.single.night.of.the.week).  I mean, who isn't excited for these shows this week?

Yes, please! Who will win?!?!
As far as this show goes, and as far as this season goes,

I give it a 10!

The suspense is killing me! SO glad Haley went home!

I DIE!!!!!   MAY 26TH!!!!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!  FAVE SHOW!!!!!

Cannot wait for this season finale on Wednesday!
Okay, so clearly my man has a point when it comes to being addicted to TV.  I'm not ashamed to admit it, and quiz me on any of these shows later.  You'll be impressed, I promise!

2.  The computer.

I'll go ahead and jump on this grenade, as well.  I have to use the computer every day at work, and obviously, when I get home, the computer provides me with a wealth of information.  I check my facebook, I blog (which is clearly the most important thing you have to read, so you're welcome), I pay bills online, I check movie times, I double and triple-check recipes and cooking instructions, and a multitude of other things.  I think those are more than justified reasons to be addicted to your computer/the internet.

3.  My dogs.

Duh.  There is no argument here.  Ask any mother, and she'll tell you that when she looks into the big eyes of her children, she feels compelled to make them happy.  Okay, maybe all mothers except for those of teenagers (or extremely fussy babies).  But, if you had fur-children that looked like this, you would totally understand:

Oh my gosh, why are you the cutest dogs that have ever lived?!?!?!?!?
4.  Couponing.

Okay, again, he's got me.  This is probably my newest addiction, and it's actually one I've been wanting to write about for some time now.  I just haven't had the time to do the kind of post I really want to be able to do.  So, I am going to make you wait for it.  I will be completely transparent here - my newest addiction does take quite a bit of time.  Quite a bit of time is something that I don't have (or maybe I would have if I could shift some of my other addictions around).  But, I will say this - I wouldn't allow myself to become addicted to couponing if I didn't see the value in it.  So you'll have to keep checking back for more - it might interest you more than you currently think it will.  ;)

In closing, "Hi.  My name is Chicken Wing, and I am an addict."

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why Wednesday Is My Favorite Weekday

Okay, for some reason, it occurred to me that I haven't really expressed my true feelings about something.  You know how (typically, many times) you get kicked in the butt and filled with regret when you realize that you never expressed love or appreciation for someone, somewhere, or something?

Well, I try to always love with my heart (and mouth) wide open - whoa...that sounded wayyyy dirtier than I ever anticipated.  By that, I mean I always try to TELL PEOPLE/THINGS that I love them.  We're talking about verbalizing here, peeps, not anything else.

Anywho, now that I've completely derailed this train, I am hoping to bring you all back by saying that there is one reason, and one reason only that Wednesday is my favorite weekday.

LOVE these characters so, so much!

Enter Modern Family, aka the funniest show on television.

Now, I've been an uber dedicated MF fan since the very beginning.  You see, one of the perks of working as the research girl for a TV station is that I get to watch the pilots of new shows WAY before you do.  Jealous?  In most cases, you should be, so it's completely understandable. Modern Family is one of the gems that I was able to preview early on, and I created estimates that showed this show swinging for the fences as far as ratings go.  In fact, multiple people in my office told me I was crazy based on the synopsis of the show....that is, until they watched the first episode.  The very next day, we were all hysterically laughing-until-you're-crying about the shenanigans that took place.  Well done, Chicken Wing, way to be a trailblazer.

I mean, you are CUCKOO with a capital Cocoa Puffs if you don't like this show.  Everyone can relate to at least one character, and it is literally one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.  It makes me belly laugh at least once an episode, and I currently have Season 1 on DVD.  Yeah, it's that good.

So, I just wanted to share this love of Modern Family with you, because tomorrow is Wednesday, which is my favorite weekday.  (Clearly, I can't place more excitement on Wednesday than on the weekend, because we just shouldn't kid ourselves).

In case you'd like a little taste of the good stuff, this is last week's episode, "Good Cop Bad Dog," which had me crying!


Hope you all start setting your TiVo's right away and make your own weeks that much better!  If you ever get the chance to meet anyone on Modern Family, tell em the Chicken Wing sent you!
Until next time,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Milestone Reached

Well, Peeps, a milestone occurred that I absolutely cannot believe is even humanly possible.  Little Brother Chicken Wing had a big birthday recently (and shame on me for taking so long to blog about it) - that's right, folks, my baby brother turned TWENTY-ONE.

I had a bit of a hard time accepting that for a number of reasons.  Primarily, the fact that he could physically be twenty-one years old means that I have to be a fair share older than that, and who really likes to think about that, anyways?

This also meant that he is continually growing up, and I don't actually know why I am surprised by that - he's kinda sorta been working on that one his entire life.  Either way, whenever there is a milestone for him like a twenty-first birthday, it's just a harsh reminder that he's not a little boy anymore.

What was pretty darn cool, however, was that my little bro wanted to live out his dream of being able to order a beverage in a restaurant...and he wanted to hang out with his big sisters while doing it.  I couldn't believe he actually wanted us to be a part of his big night, but he did.  We had a great time, and had some major laughs, and Little Brother Chicken Wing had a night of nights.

Actual photo of the Chicken Wing sibs on the big night!
So, here's to you, Little Brother Chicken Wing, on your twenty-first birthday.  Thanks for being the best little brother ever, and thanks for thinking of your big sisters at an age where hanging with your family isn't necessarily the "cool" thing to do.  We love you, and you're a grown up now!  :)

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

She Get It From Her Momma

Okay, so you'll have to excuse the incredibly lame title of this post.  For some reason, it was the only thing I kept coming back to.  Not to mention that I've been told at least once a week since I was born that I look exactly like my mother.  So, I felt it fit well enough.

I hope that all the mothers out there had an amazing Mother's Day this past weekend, and that you were able to be surrounded by the families you helped to create!  There are many things that should be celebrated about mothers:  the countless hours they spent giving birth to us, the endless amount of Band-Aids that they placed on our knees, the number of birthday candles they placed on our cakes each year, the amount of miles they put on their minivans in order to come to every.single.event we ever participated in, the amount of ibuprofen they popped during our overly mouthy teenaged years.

Moms are half of the parental good stuff, and they definitely should be celebrated.  I know that we had a great Mother's Day!  We started it off by heading to an amazing church service at our amazing church.  We got to see Comanche's Mom and Dad there, and were able to give her the card we'd picked out. 

From Left:  Momma CW, Comanche, Miss CW, Comanche's Momma
From there, we met up with the rest of the Chicken Wing siblings and made our way to the big city to celebrate with my family.  (Anyone reading this that actually knows me will laugh at my account of where I'm from).

Why did we go to the nest where I grew up?  Why, to celebrate these two lovely ladies, of course!

What did our day consist of?  Well, what didn't it consist of?  First, we had a delicious lunch prepared by Grandma Chicken Wing!  Then, we took the celebration outside.  The first order of business - the age old tradition of playing baseball in the back yard (with the hot pink plastic bat and what used to be white plastic ball - now, they are both completely covered in duct tape).  Ghetto?  Yes.  Super fun?  Also yes.

Then, we moved on to tossing the football and running routes, and I have to say that was short-lived.  The only two who were really interested in that were Comanche and Little Brother Chicken Wing, and so they lost the vote on what to do.  After that had been settled, we moved on to volleyball.  Our net may or may not have been my Grandma's clothesline.  (We Chicken Wings are nothing if not resourceful).

After several hours in the hot sun and buckets of sweat, we went back inside and played Mexican dominoes!  I know I talk about this game frequently, and I'm so serious - if you've not played it, you need to try!  It is so much fun!  The tournament was tight, and there was massive smack talking going down.  After getting fired up, Comanche ended up winning (and it was only his SECOND TIME playing).  Beginner's luck?

Then, we decided we hadn't killed our muscles enough, so we ventured back outside for more volleyball.  After all of our forearms were decidedly red and in pain, we went back inside the house for dinner.  Whew, what a day!  After gifts were opened by the ladies-of-the-day, we called it a night!  I could not have been happier or more worn out! 

I hope you all had a day as fabulous as ours!  Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there and THANK YOU SO MUCH for all you've ever done for us!  We appreciate it more than we articulate it!

Until next time,

Friday, May 6, 2011

10 Relationship Don't's

Okay, so where did we leave off last time?  Ahh, yes, with some things that you should "do" in relationships.  Now, on to the flipside of my non-professional opinion!

10 Relationship Don't's:

1.  Don't talk negatively about your partner to others.

This is a tough one.  Let's get serious - sometimes your partner is going to do something that drives you crazy, or makes you want to go postal on unsuspecting victims.  There are going to be times when you need to vent about it to someone.  Newsflash:  That's okay!  The trick here is to make sure that you're speaking about your partner in an objective way, and not a negative way.  There is no need to drag your significant other through the mud when he/she has done something that doesn't suit you.  You can discuss a situation without ranting about it.  Also, a sidenote here that I've learned from experience:  if you want to have a venting session, it's always better to do this with a friend and not your family.  God love them, but they will judge your partner FOREVER on everything and it doesn't matter if the judgment is made on good things or bad things.

2.  Don't stop planning together for the future.

We, as humans, were designed to move forward.  Stationary is not in our DNA.  When you stop creating dreams with your partner (especially dreams for your future together), you drift apart.  Think about it - it's good to set goals and have dreams for yourself.  I want to get this job.  I want to one day afford a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.  Whatever floats your boat.  The same is true of your relationship.  Set goals for the future.  One day, let's try to buy a house.  In three years, let's start having children.  Let's renew our vows at ten years.  Let's save our money and plan that amazing vacation we've always talked about.

3.  Don't be automatically defensive.

This is one that I constantly struggle with.  What can I say...I'm nothing if not scrappy.  Sometimes, I have a hard time distinguishing the difference between a calm, constructive conversation and a full-blown ambush-style attack.  I work really hard to practice listening over defending myself because sometimes, it's genuinely not necessary.  Sometimes, people tend to miss the point of the conversation because they're busy plotting their rebuttal to the first thing that was said.  This is not a good, nor effective practice, and therefore, it made my don't list.

4.  Don't be the end-all, be-all in your relationship.

Okay, say it with me, friends - "Smothering leads to death."  I have a hard time keeping my lunch down when I see a couple who is so imbalanced in regards to time spent apart from one another.  I have literally had to force myself to not react or say something I shouldn't when I see someone literally go off because their significant other is hanging out with his or her friends.  Oh, the horror.  It's good for you to have friends.  It's good for your partner to have friends.  It's good for each of you to see said friends on a semi-regular basis.  Everyone gets busy, but time should be made for friends.  If your man/woman wants to have time with their boys/girls, let them go - even if you don't have any plans for yourself.  (Cue horrified face.)  Use that time by yourself to read a book, take a bubble bath, watch a movie that your partner doesn't want to see, do laundry, exercise - take time for YOU.

5.  Don't lose yourself.

This one goes hand-in-hand with number four.  Oftentimes, I've witnessed people who completely change when they start dating someone new.  They're more concerned with being whomever their partner desires rather than being themselves and finding someone who wants who they are.  Here's a fun fact of the day - dating is usually hard.  The "right one" is not dangled in front of your face for a reason - you have to do the work!  That's why you date.  You don't decide that you like someone, then figure out what they like, and then turn yourself into that, all chameleon-like.  It's not healthy.  Don't drop your friends and family and become obsessed with the person you're dating.  The right person will fit into your life because they are a part of your life, not because they've become your entire life.

6.  Don't go to bed angry/don't leave angry.

There are different schools of thought on this one, but I'm on team "don't do it."  I can get behind the "take a few minutes to cool down" scenario, but I cannot accept someone rolling over and going on with life as though nothing happened.  Something happened.  Hash it out in the calmest and most constructive way you can.  The goal is that both parties can go to sleep satisfied about something.  Everything might not work out just the way you wanted it to, but it will be better in the morning, even if you are tired and cranky. I'm also big on not storming out on someone when you're angry.  Number One, you SHOULD NOT be driving when you're that emotional.  Number Two, how is the other person supposed to trust you to stick around if you are constantly showing them that you'll walk out?  No bueno and no me gusta.

7.  Don't allow fear to be the driving force in your relationship.

In life, crap happens. Someone most likely will treat you badly in some form and you will be forced to carry the baggage of that around (maybe even for the rest of your life). While it's unfortunate, you're not alone in this, and the trick is to not let the baggage weigh you down. You cannot punish your new partner for an old partner's mistakes. They are not the same people and should not be compared to one another. It's okay to use what you've learned and experienced in past relationships to make your current relationship better, but you have to really be attentive and know when you're allowing the fear of what happened before hinder what could happen in your future. Don't beat yourself before you even begin something beautiful.

*Sidenote: In all honesty, if you feel your baggage is too heavy to deal with, please seek out a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in that, and there is an entire profession that exists to help people with all kinds of situations! All you have to do is seek help.

8.  Don't value being right over being a loving partner.

If your relationship's dialogue consists more of, "Boom!  In your FACE!" than anything else, there's probably some big issues there.  We all love to feel the high of being right.  Even better?  The high of knowing that other people know you're right.  That's okay, but you have to keep it in check.  Don't put more into proving to your partner that you're right than you do into finding a solution.  Who cares if your partner swore up and down that Richard Gere starred in Dirty Dancing when the entire world knows it was Patrick Swayze?  I've witnessed folks get downright nasty about something as trivial as that, and it was sickening to see them revel in embarassing their partner in front of people.  Uh-uh.  Not cool. Need more info? Check out number one of this very post.

9.  Don't use what you have as a weapon.

Your love. Your intimacy. Your families. Your kids. Your secrets. Your dreams.  All of the things I just listed are the puzzle pieces that your relationship is made of.  These are things that are sacred and precious to you and to your partner.  How many times have you heard someone say, "Oh yeah? Well, you just cost yourself ____."  "You can consider the kitchen closed." "Well, if you're going to be that way, I guess you won't be needing ______."  Do not threaten your partner with any of these things.  That is a low blow to beat all low blows. 

10.  Don't define love as a noun.

Something I've come to understand is that love as a noun is ephemeral. (Ephemeral means 'lasting for a very short time.')  It's conditional.  "I'll love him as long as he never does this."  "If you ever cheat on me, I'll leave."  There are many conditions we've all heard before that "determine" whether or not someone will stay with their partner.  I've also seen so many times where love was spoken but not done.  I try to define love as a verb - it's something that we do.  Saying the words doesn't make them so.  It's the actions that make someone understand that you're in this for the long haul.  I am starting to understand unconditional love in relationships.  I've seen people go through things that I've seen ten other couples end a marriage over.  Guess what?  In about 90% of those cases, the couples who stayed together and worked through their issues are some of the happiest and most fulfilled people I know.  The ones who left?  They've bounced from relationship to relationship because they accept what is as status quo.  They don't stand and fight for their relationships.  I choose love as a verb.

*Sidenote:  There are some things that SHOULD NOT be accepted.  Abuse is one of those things.  Putting your partner in danger is one of those things.  There are always exceptions to any rule, and I would never encourage anyone to "stay and fight" if they're up against someone who takes that literally.  If you find yourself in a situation like that, please ask for help and get out.  The right person is out there waiting for you, and you don't have to take that anymore.

As I've said in the posts before, these are simply lists that I wanted to jot down primarily for myself.  I want to take my own advice and I want to put to action what I've learned over the years.  I'm not qualified, nor should I be used as the end-all, be-all for your relationships.  I don't want any, "Well, Miss Chicken Wing said it so it must be so" situations on my wings. (Get it, I could have said 'hands' but that would be silly.)

I hope we all can help one another out in making our relationships better than ever!  I want us all to be more than happy, and I started this series because I get asked for advice when people see that I've lived through certain situations.  I figured that there may be someone too shy to ask, and maybe these could help you out!

Until next time,
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