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Better than Shoes June 21, 2008
My best friend Gwyn and I hired a babysitter and stole away late tonight. We went to see a great film about four girls in New York looking for love. For me, who spent a good deal of my 20’s watching and wishing I could strut around NYC in Manolo’s and Dior (going to flamboyant careers and fabulous events) like they, it was a closing note on that decade of my life.
It was fun to dress up in my most “designerly” dress and heels, and feel as fabulous as one can amid popcorn strewn floors and sticky arm rests. We shared laughter and tears… ooohed and awwed over which dresses and shoes we would “so” wear.
For the night, I lived glam vicariously…
and I got to thinking. I spent a lot of time wishing that I could experience the trappings of those character’s lives, when those characters were focused on finding what I have in REAL life… deep, meaningful love… unconditional acceptance… abiding joy… happiness and laughter ever day… a great, wonderful man… children who love you just as you are…time tested friendships…. relationship with an amazing, forgiving God.
As I was driving home… and moonlight illuminated the car interior… it’s blue light cast over the peaceful faces of my children sleeping in the backseat. Through the rearview mirror I saw my jewels, more valuable than anything. I realized my dreams were still there, they had just expanded, mellowed and rearranged themselves in even more beautiful and organic ways. Gone the desperation and need to put myself out there… gone the need to prove my worth to gain love… gone the frantic searching and unfulfillment…
I still have ambitions, dreams and desires…but the stuff that really matters…the stuff that really seeps in and glues up the cracks….
I have in spades.
I have love…I have acceptance… I have friendship… laughter, hugs and kisses…I have happiness and joy everyday in my life…
From the little corner of the world I live in… I realize that I am blessed. I am not searching anymore… I have come home… I am home.
(now, if someone offered me Manolo’s I wouldn’t turn them down:)
See you on the flip side…Amie
STOP RANDOM acts of kindness April 26, 2008
Random Acts of Kindness, the “movement” started a few years ago.
It is time for it to end.
Instead, let’s start doing them on purpose!
You say, this is only semantics Amie….well look at what the “semantics” say about it…
Def of random: without definite aim, direction, rule, or method. synonyms haphazard, casual mean determined by accident rather than design. Random stresses lack of definite aim, fixed goal, or regular procedure.
Let’s start looking… actively looking… for ways to lend a hand, meet a need, support and encourage our communities.
Let’s be purposeful…intentional…meaningful.
If we looked at our fellow humans intent on meeting their needs, not only would we start to change humanity, but ourselves. It doesn’t have to be large gestures… so often, all people need are simple things to make their day easier and brighter.
I recently was on Camp Pendelton, a large Marine base out here in So-Cal. Ahead of me was a young women, a marine, juggling an arm full of packages. Everytime she got one settled, another would drop. I wasn’t in a particular hurry, so I asked her if I could carry some of them. To be honest… (I am ashamed to say) if I had been in a real time crunch, I probably would not have stopped to help her…
At first, she said no. Then another package dropped. I picked it up, and took a couple more in my arms.
She teared up.
“You really don’t mind?”
I teared up.
“The post office run is always the errand I hate the most.” I reassure. “I know what it’s like to have to juggle a ton of packages, a baby car carrier…with another in tow.”
She said that the care packages were for her husband in Iraq. All Copenhagen 🙂 He didn’t want anything else. It was his third time over there, and he would be getting home about a month before she was leaving for her second tour.
As I walked with her to the post office, I could tell she was a little shocked that someone would go the distance with her…which I thought was sad. She thanked me profusely.
We parted ways with a brief hug between strangers, and I left truly honored that I could lend a hand. I felt light and giddy….and on the hunt to find someone else to help. It had taken less than five minutes, but it changed my outlook forever.
We are the only Jesus that people may ever see. What we do reflects Him. We are His hands extended in charity, in sympathy, in love…
I challenge you to step out of your house every day and look forward to doing a Purposeful Act of Kindness…and not just one here or there… lets start a revolution of people acting out the simplest and most profound truth of all……Do unto others, as you would like to have done to you…
So what am I doing? Slowing down and letting people get by me (a feat on So-Cal freeways), I am smiling and saying hello to the people I pass, giving more hugs, looking for people who need an extra hand …and actually extending it, I am setting aside a little pin money each week to treat someone to a meal, to gas in their tank, to mailing a care package for them. I am actively looking for someone, every day, to be kind to.You might say, that you aren’t aware of anyone in need…or that it’s to big an issue to tackle.
I have your first mission… please accept it.
Being a military wife about to face deployment, I can tell you the families back home can always use an act of kindness. Every little bit helps. I would encourage you to not only display your solidarity with a ribbon, but to display it with actions. If you know a family affected by this; write a note, offer a lawn mow, a game of catch with their children, a laundry folding party, a home-cooked meal that they don’t have to make, rake up fallen leaves or change light bulbs in places they can’t reach… a hug. Simple actions say more than 10,000 words sometimes.
…and these ideas are just a start… we need to take the blinders off and take a long look at the world around us… noticing need is the first step… now meet it.
…be purposeful in the way we treat one another, I guarantee you will get back in happiness 10x’s more than the effort it took to do it.
Care to join me? Comment about what your plan is today…
The Marines have called again.
My husband has answered, again.
He is off to serve our country in Iraq, again (Tour #4).
We affectionately call this tour, “The Sandbox”. Out of our 9 years of marriage, this will be our 6th deployment… 5th combat tour.
This one will be the longest he has ever gone. He will miss: my son’s preschool graduation, end of school parties, his brother’s ordination, our summer vacation, my daughters birthday, his birthday, the first day of third grade and kindergarten, my son’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. When my husband leaves, my daughter will be 7 and son 5. When he returns my daughter will be 8 and son 6. Those are just the big events. He will miss field trips, loose teeth, new teeth, skinned knees, 2 wheel bike victories….. The downside of deployment.
But you see…attitude is everything. After my little pity party here, we will pick up and keep going.
In fact, let’s try to find a silver lining now…
Top 10 upsides to deployment: (Amie’s guide to Delightful Deployments)
1. We have a rule, no TV’s in bedrooms… I however, love to watch tv and fall asleep… so, the day he leaves, the extra TV packed away in the garage comes out and onto the dresser. My kids and I look forward to movie night, snuggled together under the blankets.
2. get to change your hairstyle (I cut it off the day after he leaves), change colors… whatever…it’s hair… dye washes and hair grows a lot in 8 months.
3. Retail Therapy… the just opened a new pottery barn outlet! Spend that tax free money. (but I do recommend taking it easy… it’s a lot harder to pay it off in the back-end.)
4. Paint, wallpaper… re-tile, re-carpet, redecorate… re-whatever, the lamps are all yours….
5. ….so is the remote control. Also, ther is more room on the DVR for Men In Trees and chick shows, without having Battlestar Galactic, Future Weapons… well, generally any sci-fi, military or history channel shows taking up your valuable DVR space.
6. Travel… to wherever, go and see YOUR parents… Seattle, here I come… who cares if it rains on July 4th!
7. Shopping List… paper plates, paper towels, paper cups, plastic silverware… 8 months of no dishes, priceless!… oh, and I highly recommend Take-out chef’s.
8. stay up until 2 am writing, blogging, scrap-booking, painting…. any ing’s you want. Just crash in one of your kids beds when you run out of steam… because they are inevitably in yours.
9. Less laundry
and #10… put out as many candles, throw pillows, plants… chick movies, romance novels, flannel pj’s and bon-bons as you like 🙂
of course, I would gladly give them up for my husband to share the next 8 months with us.
I love you honey, and will miss you.
So, if you think of it, drop a prayer for us….and check back on this blog often to follow the adventure our next 8 months will be.
The Few…The Proud…and the comforters of Job April 12, 2008
If I hear another talking head say….”We support our troops…we love our military service men and women…they are our national treasure!”… followed by how wrong the missions they embark on are, how wrong it is that they are defending our country in another, how terrible it is that we are sacrificing “our boys” in a war that is simply no longer popular….. I WILL PUKE. Consider this blog that: Word Puke.
I am the proud wife of a Marine. My husband…my family…is serving our country now, and has for the past twelve years. Out of those twelve years he has deployed five times, four have been served in combat. He has flown over 2300 hours, and has 17 air medals (many with valor) amoung the other commendations to his credit. He has done so willingly, modestly, without complaint because he loves his family and his country. Our family…my children… have sacrificed milestones, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths …time…peace of mind…for this country; for you. We are not alone. There are thousands more who have, and are, defending our freedom with life, limb and time. They are patriots. A patriot is “one who loves their country and supports its authority and interests.” They go when called upon to defend life and liberty; you and me. Through their bootprints and our tears, we have earned the right to be called citizens of this country… not only because we were privileged and blessed by God to have been born here, but because when called, they answer and we support.
Unbelievably, there are those that feel the need to put a hand on my shoulder to commiserate and comfort me for our sacrifice…
“Tell your husband thank you for his service…but you know, I just don’t support anything he is being made to do right now.”
Like they expect me to support their position?
No. Hell no.
I tell them, isn’t nice that my husband is “over there”, that my family and many others are sacrificing peace of mind and time…so that you have the freedom…the right…. to think and speak that way. You see this nation has forgotten that WE send the military. We DO. They serve us. They defend us. Whether you voted for Bush or Gore… whether you will vote for McCain or Hill-bama…. we the people, send the military. The majority speaks, and though we may be divided… become one once they do.
So don’t try that post-Vietnam politically correct… we must at least appear to love the Marine on the front line even if we don’t support anything they do…crap. You see for all intents and purposes, they are the mission. Hard to seperate… near impossible. Those that wear the uniform, and the military families that support them, consciously put the interests of their nation above their own personal interests and comforts. My husband, those that serve our country, are models of what civic virtue should be. They recognize that with rights come responsibilities. With what generation have we lost this basic equation?
We have instead become a nation of pompous, entitled brats that don’t feel the need to serve the country we owe our freedom and liberty to. I think that if you desire to exert control over the fate of our country then you should be prepared to sacrifice for the life of it. Perhaps, this is the downfall of a volunteer only force… we don’t ask our young men and women to truly defend our liberty anymore. Instead, we have become a nation that feels free to spout unsupported, politically correct…yet often incorrect tripe without any forethought to the consquences that may follow… just to fill a 24 hour news addiction.
….at least, that is how it appears on the surface. You see, I fall into the camp which believes that the politicians, the media, those that think they control public opinion and polls…are sorely out of touch with who American’s really are and what they believe. I think if they would come from their high towers and talk to you, and me….for the most part, they would be shocked that we don’t think like they do…have never thought like they have…and never want to.
So why do we allow them to control the public forum and yell louder than any from a bully pulpit? When do we get to regain the sanity…and majesty that this country really is about?
a Proud Marine Wife