Friday, January 22, 2016

They got it.

At Daniel's Christmas party, as I watched parents feed their 2 1/2 year old children, give them a scholastic lesson during a craft, and hold their hands to make sure the markers landed in the right spot, several thoughts ran through my head:

This must be your first kid.

 Your healthy children are more than capable of feeding themselves.

 It's their art work, not yours.

 Stop making their Christmas craft a lesson. I don't know anyone that doesn't learn their colors eventually, or how to color in the lines. 

 Some people are never meant to color in the lines-let them be them.

Daniel colored his nails, wiped his hands on his shirt while his dirty little hands ate pizza, and quite frankly if a 2 year old craft is perfect, it wasn't done by a 2 year old.

Sister's Day

I saw somewhere that recently I missed "Sisters Day" I'm a few days late and a dollar short, but that's part of who I am in our trilogy of sisterhood. We all have some of the same qualities, but we all play a role in this very strong family.

Marie: if you need a leader, someone to point you in the right direction, someone to honor you like no other on all of your large milestones in your life with a celebration AND a kick ass speech, a rational opinion, tough love when you... mess up, go to bat for you with any administrator of any kind if you have been done wrong with elegance, throw gas in your car because your financially irresponsible, reliable, get it done, when your in panic mode and you need stability and direction, and all at the same time crack you up with her blunt personality yet still rock the whip in a back yard party, go to ReRe.

Patti: if you need strength, unconditional love, someone that you can tell your deepest secrets to, tell that you have murdered someone, she will make excuses for you that you did the right thing and help you hide the evidence. And if she has to, she'll take the blame. Don't let her see you cry, she dies a little every time someone she loves is sad, when you screw up she'll tell you it's not so bad, she cracks everyone up with the things that come out of her mouth, need inspiration to keep going when there's no hope in sight, and see a mother do everything under the sun for her kids whether she can afford it or not whether she's up all night on the computer or at a shoe store at midnight, go to Patti.

Colleen: you want love and affection, hugs and kisses, stop and smells the roses (literally) or play in a fountain with your clothes on, when you ask a question, and never get "no" for an answer, wanna play just dance or lip sync or see an old lady sing all of hip hops inappropriate lyrics, come on over. You want mcdonalds while you practice for the play? Okay. You need a mouth piece for football and your game starts in 7 minutes? I'm on my way. You want highlights tomorrow? Sure babe. Be at a place where kids can be kids, and adults can be kids, want someone to tell you your not weird, there's no conventional way to do anything, age is just a number, and it's 5 o'clock somewhere, come see Miss Happy. It is no secret I am the baby of the family.

One trait we all share whole heartedly-do not mess with anyone in this family because you can't handle this army. Trust and believe.
Happy Sister's Day. Whenever the heck it was.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

These Are My Confessions

If it were not considered impolite and disgraceful, I would never ever attend another funeral/memorial service for the rest of my life-regardless of who it is. I absolutely hate them, and it is not the last memory I would ever choose to have of anyone.

With that said, I have nailed it into everyone's brain that I know that if they have any type of funeral or memorial service for me, I will haunt them for the rest of their days. You may feel sad, and cry, but I will not have the people I love and care about congregate on a specific day and a specific time to cry over me.

I have anxiety and fear of my face growing old, but I think any type of cosmetic surgery/anti aging treatment that is done to the face is absolutely hideous and blatantly obvious.

When I see a body of water, especially an ocean, (even just a photo) I have this indescribable feeling of desire and joy. One day I will live as close to the water as possible. To me it's the most peaceful calming place on earth.

I have absolutely no desire to leave the United States of America. However I would love to visit each and every state in this lifetime.

I learned from attending church and reading the bible how to tame my tongue and think before I speak. This is by far the most beneficial thing I have ever learned in my life and is the key to my success (and maybe yours too!).

I have had a consistent pain in one area of my lower back for quite some time which I have received multiple lectures about from my husband about going to see a doctor. I have put off going because I am a firm believer that the day you find out that you are sick and begin to undergo treatment is the day you start to die.

As a young, insecure, and awkward teenager, I believed whole heartedly that if I could have just been beautiful everything else in my life would just fall into place. As an older, secure, and beautiful adult, I realize what a na├»ve and stupid belief that was.

It infuriates me when anyone I know says their "poor". Honey, none of us know what poor is.

When I see a baby I feel an overwhelming sensation from my head to my toes. If I were wealthy and younger I probably would have had up to 6 children or so.

The job of therapist/mentor has fallen into my lap over the past few years. People come to me and reach out to me for advice or just an ear to borrow for all types of circumstances in their life and current situations. I absolutely love this and take it as the highest compliment.

I have reinvented myself so much so over the past 6 or so years that the people that knew me when I was younger probably wouldn't believe who I am today, and the people I know now would never believe the person I once was. (I do pat myself on the back for this one)

I am scared to bits that I am going to fall flat on my face with my new career adventure. However, after doing my daughters hair, I have renewed feelings of confidence and determination.

These are my confessions.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some People

Some people are meant to work with kids and minister to them.

Some people are not.

Some people can be in the room with 14 loud 3 year olds, and it be music to their ears.

Some people want to go hide in the closet.

Some people are amazed by the fire in a child's eye when they talk about their dreams.

Some people tell them it will never happen.

Some people are at their happiest place when their house is full of children.

Some people are better suited for a more quiet and clean atmosphere.

Some people see a baby in the store and feel an overwhelming sensation to squeeze him/her.

Some people only feel that way about their own children.

I worked in the nursery at the church for several years with 1 year olds. I taught preschool for 5 years, toddlers, two's and threes. I have four children. Children make me happy. I always believed that being with children whether it be working, volunteering or raising my family, is my gift. When I made this life change and started school last month, I was trying to figure out why I abandoned the one thing in life that I feel is truly my specialty in life and if God had his hands in it or not. I said things like...."I have four of my own kids, and they deserve all of my attention and patience." "I need to do something that doesn't involve kids."

Then it hit me. I'm still ministering and giving my time to children. The average age of the students that I am going to school with is 18-22. God knows that I have raising little people down to an art. Now he has opened up the opportunity for me to get my feet wet with older children. Possibly to pave the way for me as my own children grow older. I am exactly where I need to be.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hair (Soul)

When we're born, our hair is new. It's shiny, and soft. In it's natural state. Untainted by the world and all of its harshness.

It's not broken, or weathered. It hasn't been changed by something that seemed like a great idea, but doesn't always turn out that way.

It's in its purest form. It is innocent. Untouched.

Sometimes as life goes on, our hair changes. It falls short. It can stay long and strong for a while, and then suddenly break. It's bright and vibrant. It gets dull, and tired.

Sometimes we need to cut off the dead parts, to make room for new growth.

There are times when we know we need a change, but we are scared to make that step.

Times that our hair has been the same way for way too long. It's weighing us down. It's tangled, and knotted. Lacks luster.

As we grow older, we learn what's best for our hair, and stop trying to find a temporary fix.

We find a happy place for it that we know works best, and is pretty easy to maintain. It's natural, it's shiny, but not screaming "Look at me!". It's out of harms way. We've learned how to protect it.

So we nurture it, feed it, and work on continuous maintenance so we are always at peace with it.

Our days of looking back at it and saying "What was I thinking?" have come to pass.

The road is long. It's wavy. It's curly. It's straight. It's bright. It's dull. For some, it's short.

It's in your hands. It's whatever you make it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

James Hasty

An elderly woman and an ever more elderly man sat down at the table.

They were hard to figure out.

The woman appeared to be around 70. The man had a hair piece on, and I was impressed with his real, yet worn and discolored teeth. He was wearing a sweater with a collared shirt underneath. He was handsome. Distinguished. Adorable.

It was a woman, and as she called him, her Daddy.

So I headed to the restroom, and I wept. I was jealous. Jealous of what will never be. I will never be sitting across from my father on his 94th birthday. Or any birthday. I had a rush of emotions....why? Why not? What if? I collected myself, and headed back out. The daughter was telling me how he lives alone, and he still took James Hasty a long time to eat his hamburger and French fries. In between bites he told me about when his wife died, and how long he was retired from the service. Each time I walked away I cried a little more.

 This man was seasoned. Historical. He was born in 1919. He was sweet and polite. I wanted to take him home. I wanted to replace what I had lost. I crept off into corners of the restaurant and cried throughout their visit. James Hasty and his daughter touched my soul that day.

How do I know his name? When I gathered people to sing to Mr. Hasty on his birthday, I asked him his name. His reply was "Hasty". I had a split second to think...."What a strange name?" and repeated it back to him. "Hasty?" He replied:

"Yes, Hasty. Mr. James Hasty." Just like they used to introduce themselves when he was a young man.

I feel privileged and honored to have met Mr. Hasty. An experience I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just Like Me

When you have a daughter, I think in the back of your mind, you assume she's going to grow up to be just like you. And then she grows up, and she's not just like you. She's just like her.
She is social, but she's not a butterfly.
She saves her tears, you rarely see them.
She prefers one on one friendships rather than large groups.
She has a closet full of jeans and t-shirts.
She would rather not fit in, than go along with the crowd.
She prefers to sleep in her own bed rather than anywhere else.
She never runs around looking for things because she's neat and orderly.
She's never going to have more friends than she can count like I did.
She's never going to borrow my peep toe leopard pumps.
She's never going to wear her heart on her sleeve like I do.  
She's never going to crash on someone's couch after a night out like I did.
She's never going to borrow my make-up bag or my curling iron.
She's not going to go crazy looking for something like I do.
She wore a dress last week for the first time since 8th grade, and she looked absolutely beautiful.
She's not just like me. She's just like her.
She's Amber. And she is perfect.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Truth and Lies

"A liar is not believed, even if he tells the truth."

How accurate is that statement? Think about it. We all know liars. Some of us have to deal with them on a daily basis. What baffles me the most is the people that lie for no reason. Just to say what they think you may want to hear. There must be more behind those lies. Something deeper. Liars often lie so much, they don't remember what they previously told you. But you do. And over time, that's how they claim their title.

Back to the quote. It's a sad statement. Sad but true. Once you are labeled a liar, there is no coming back. No matter what you do, even if you never tell another lie again, you will be doubted forever. I've done it. I've listened to someone that has lied to me many times, and as the words are leaving their lips, I'm like..."yeah-right." Even if their words were true, to me, "you just never know". The label will always hinder anyone from believing. Even small things.

Be real. Be you. No lies. No tales. What you see is what you get is SO much more attractive than the transparent liar that just makes it up as they go along. Don't take the chance of getting the label that has a "No Return Policy".

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Before it's too late

I dropped the ball on raising my children accustom to doing chores. No chore charts. No lists. No Saturday morning tasks.

In my culture, the Mommy does everything. My Mom did everything. So did my grandmother. That's what Mommy's do. Mom is always the 1st person in the kitchen, and the last one in the kitchen. Mom always stays up late and watches television while she folds and presses the laundry. Mom does the grocery shopping, and Mom loved to see vacuum marks in the carpet.

I have 4 kids. (not counting my husband). My house is busy, and often messy. It's something I try to no avail. Today I decided to ask the kids for help. The moaning and groaning and sudden pain in my sons legs.....I get that. He's 6 years old. He actually just wanted to do different chores than the ones I picked for him. My stepson was happy to help. I did not birth, or raise him.

My beautiful daughter Amber. It wasn't that she complained that she had to do the chores, she was just in some type of shock that I asked her to do them. She looked at me as if I just escaped from the insane asylum. She may have even looked over her shoulder to see if I was speaking to someone else.

I really want to raise my girls to be good stewarts of their home and great caregivers to their families. I told Amber that she is going to have to do all these things as an adult, and that they will be her responsibility. Right now she's not jumping to rise to the occassion. I was Amber once. When I was finally on my own, I had to start to do it all. But all those years of being with my mother...I watched. I knew. I made it. And she will too. However, chores need to be set in place, and should've been a long time ago.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Old and New

This tree is special to me.
We got it on our trip to the mountains.
We were looking at it the other night.
It's changing.
It's growing.
The old branches are deep in hue.
Tough and sturdy.
The new branches are bright.
Tender and fragile, yet vibrant and eager.
They are an extension of the old branches.
They wouldn't be who they are without them.
The Old and New rely on each other.
The Old need the new to grow and change.
The new need the old, as they hold the deep roots.
Old is amazing.
New is beautiful.
Together, they are the make-up of One. Beautiful. Thing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I am going back a few months, but these are too cute not to share. Bella is truly her father's baby. Robert, Taylor and Bella were picking up chickens, while Me, Amber, and Alex were running from them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am Colleen Corbett

I have been having some rough times. Not me personally, but what is going on around me is taking it's toll. I've been tired. I've been crying. I have even skipped work at night, which is not like me. On Saturday morning, my sister called me, and said one sentence to me. Four words. It packed such a punch. She said...."You are Colleen Corbett, and you are going to work."

That's all I needed. That one sentence to turn it all around. That one sentence to remind me.

I am Colleen Corbett.

Colleen Corbett watched the man that meant the world to her lose his battle with cancer when she should have been in her 1st year of college.

Colleen Corbett didn't "come into herself " until she was 25, and often felt unpretty.

Colleen Corbett was insecure and made some bad decisions because of it.

Colleen Corbett payed the price for those bad decisions.

Colleen Corbett masked sadness and insecurity with 12 packs of beer.

Colleen Corbett had to walk away from a 10 year relationship at 32 years old with 2 children and start her life over.

Colleen Corbett hit rock bottom.

Colleen Corbett finally found her way. Colleen Corbett is now Colleen Gebhardt. She has an amazing life. She's confident, and secure. She's at a place she never thought she would be, and she will always remember the journey she took to get there, and the strong woman she is because of it.

I am Colleen Corbett.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Defending All Dance Moms

I am a dance Mom. My daughter is on a competition dance team. I swear on all that is holy that our studio, and our owner is NOTHING like that disgraceful show! Pyramids? Go home and cry on your pillow? You were terrible? Scratching other studio owners eyes out? Moms cursing at each other. Moms cursing at the owner? The owner screaming at everyone? I saw the show for the 1st time, and I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I have never seen or experienced anything like it. Our studio is the total opposite. We are told that we represent the company, and we will do so with dignity and respect. Speaking badly about other studio's, dancers, or parents is strictly prohibited. One thing I always think of, is Amber's teacher says to never tell a child when they mess up. They know it, and they will beat themselves up plenty, so they do not need to hear it from you. It's just not that serious. Not to compromise someones feelings and self esteem. Do we work hard? Of course! Are the expectations high? Absolutely! Do we win? Heck yeah! But we do it all in a very positive atmosphere. I wouldn't let that woman to pay me to allow my daughter to dance for her. Her and I would've scrapped a long time ago. That's saying it nicely. Children should dance with confidence. Love what they are doing. Have a great time. Do these look like stressed out girls that are afraid of their dance teacher, or afraid of failing?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As I sit here listening to my baby cry herself to sleep, I wonder what the words "peace and quiet" mean, and when will I get some? Since I got off of work, I:

Went food shopping
Did crafts with my kids
Played in the yard in the sandbox
Made dinner
Gave baths
Folded 3 loads of laundry
Bella fell off the bed
She hit her back on the night table (2 different instances)
Prepared a 1st visit from the tooth fairy

And I am actually blowing off a few things I should still do. I'm not even complaining. I couldn't be happier with what I did today. Does that sound peaceful or relaxing? Not really. As the Mom, have you ever noticed that everyone else in the house gets "Their Time" to do whatever it is they choose to do, except for the Mom? Isn't the Mom always the last one to say...."I need some uninterrupted "me" time. You can think about it, wish for it, but how often do you actually do it? I hope to make a conscious effort to make this happen for me. Whether it's read a book, or blog, or go window shopping...and I don't want it to be after I did everything I had to do.Or after the kids have gone to bed. I think it's important for Mom's to put themselves 1st once in a while. Make it a priority.  You'll come back to your family refreshed. Relaxed. And ready to slip back into your Wonder Woman costume and hit the ground running.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1st Day of Preschool

I can't believe it. In September, Bella was 18 months old. The plan was for her to stay home with my mother, who retired partly to take care of Bella. It was not a question that 18 months was too young for her to go to school. She was going to spend a year with Nana, and go to 2 day 2's next year with me at Trinity. Which she will still do. Now it's January, and as the words "It's mine!", "let go!", and "Stop it!", started coming out of her mouth, I realized that she needed some "little people" time. She can clearly speak, and communicate her needs now. (1 of the reasons I didn't want to send her). She is going to 2 day toddlers at University City United Methodist Church. My mother was a teacher there before she retired. She knows the entire staff. My niece and nephew went through the program there. It's a great school. 

As you know if you follow my blog, I am a huge advocate of preschool.  4 hours geared totally around them, and their interests. Bella's very best friend is 68 years old. Her best friend gives her whatever she wants, and so does everybody else from siblings to cousins to daddy (Sorry Dad), and it is starting to show. We need to get that straight at home, and she will learn to share, interact, parallel play, and understand the word "No" at school as well. We are so excited for her. She went in with no worries. Never even said goodbye. Her teacher asked me if she is as feisty as her "best friend". 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Way With Words

I am pretty old fashioned. I believe whole hearted that a wife should take care of her family. Cook, Clean, do laundry, take care of her home. I believe how a home is kept and the food on the table and how her children look  is a direct reflection of the woman of the house, and it should be done with pride, rather than resistance.

With that said, I told my son not  long ago, that he should look for these qualities in a wife one day. He listened. However, when he repeated it back to me, it came out..well...awful.

"She needs to clean, cook dinner, and wash my clothes.". Oh my. My 5 year old son was suddenly a caveman. This needed to be refined. We worked on it. It's still funny (the end), but much, much better than the way it came across the 1st time.