Today’s Youth & Lifestyles

Be warned. This is something I’ve been adding to for the past month, and will be jumping all over the place. But….🙃

 

 

~Today’s Youth & Lifestyles~

 

 

Why do today’s youth frown at having a service job? Aka’ flipping burgers; sort of speak.

Didn’t all the us that grew up in the 80’s want to work so damn bad, that whether it was in a fast food joint, or cleaning up animal messes, if we got a pay check, we were all in!

Could it be because we were use to doing without?

 

People always question why? Why don’t kids want to start at the bottom?

I fall into this category too.

Why?

Most fast food places that I go to are basically run by the 40+. I always am confused by this.

Oftentimes I think it’s because more kids are in college full time until they reach thirty. Many remain at home and don’t work at all. I think I have found a couple puzzle pieces to this. Of course I could be wrong.

But….back in the days when we started removing both parents from the home, more often then not, out of necessity. I realize this.

By having both parents working, and hourly wage improving, parents had more money then their grandparents. More money coming into the home,eventually meant more vacations, toys, etc.There came a point, and I think it really took off in the early 90’s… where parents started providing more for their kids. Whether this was out of guilt, for not being around after school for them, or tucking them in at night…

Regardless, the more kids received, set the stage for MORE! MORE! MORE!

Always wanting more.

They saw their parents not saving for anything anymore, simply charging it.

Long gone are the days where people do without, use cash, save for all major purchases, and go on only a few vacations each decade.I will be the first to raise my hand here.

My mother was a single mom, but had several credit cards. When I wanted something, like new red Reebok High-Tops, because all my friends had the latest and greatest, she would get them for me. I can’t recall a time that I really wanted something that I did not get. Of course at the time, I didn’t realize how much damage it was doing to me. Or, that it would be thrown in my face for the next forty years.

But that’s besides the point.

My kids started off getting an allowance, but the more money that came into my household, did not mean a larger allowance. No, it meant no allowance, and I would just buy it.

Or charge it.

Before my family made a major move, more then a decade ago, we were swimming in maxed out charge cards.

We both became a part of the problem, which is why I don’t mind talking bluntly about this now. We have never been upper middle class, but I do consider us middle class.

However, there was a time when we were living paycheck to paycheck. I think this is the major reason people decide to get credit cards. After we sold our first house, we paid off all our credit cards and cut them up.

It was liberating!

We lived within our means for around five years. Then we started feeling bad for not being able to give to our kids what their peers had. So.. the cycle began again.

But by this time, along with a couple credit cards, I started working full time. Let’s be honest, even adults enjoy new things and instant gratification every so often.And while I have always been perfectly happy with ‘new to me’ things, I do like my lattes and avocado toasts as much as today’s youth.

I also like having a new cell phone every couple years. Keeping in mind- that all my work is through my phone.

And if I didn’t have a phone, I would not be working. That says something about myself. Something rather ugly, but we won’t get into that today.

In a nutshell, I’m all about convenience. I spent many years doing things the hard way. Now I want to do everything in half the time.

Much like today’s youth.😐

I don’t like gardening, yet enjoy organic foods. I have medical issues like everyone else, so during times of not feeling my best, I like to treat myself.

Again, ‘new to me’ but none the less.

We use to take yearly vacations, now that has increased to about 2-3 a year. Nothing fancy, but again, none the less.. a weekend trip here and there still counts. I think all these little things turn into bigger things over time. And while I have never felt that I had a ‘lifestyle’ to uphold, when comparing my families life to my neighbors, I’d be lying to think otherwise.

I’m thinking of how all the little things that I’ve grown accustomed to having, are the beginning of a lifestyle. We use to bring thermos of coffees and ice waters. Then I switched to buying a case of bottled water, and having it in the trunk for the kids to have whenever they get thirsty. Then my husband and I would treat ourselves to convenient store coffees.

After All, what’s a .89 coffee. 7-11 was our favorite because they were the first to offer free coffee syrups.That transitioned into Sheetz coffees for $2ea, and then to Dunkin Donuts coffees for $3ea, and now to $5 Starbucks lattes. Which I secretly hate, but my husband still adores. I use to pack lunch bags and coolers for trips to the city, zoo, hike, etc. But now we just go out to eat if we are out and get hungry. It started off with three Little Ceasers pizzas for only $5 each. To feed a family of seven for $15, is almost unheard of.

So why not?!  But then we switched over to stuffed crust ones at $8 each. Feeding a family of seven for $24. Doable!

When we first started going out to eat more regularly, we would all order things to share and only order water to drink. For the seven of us, this kept the bill at around $40-$50 before tip. But now it’s almost double! With tip, it is!

Everyone gets a drink, and most of the time we all have our own platters. And yes, leftovers.

I remember a few years ago being out with my mother at the grocery store and reaching for a Diet Coke at the check out. She commented to me, asking me why I was going to spend $1.39 for a drink, when we were ten minutes away from her house.I told her because I was thirsty now, and why not?! What’s $1.39. She rolled her eyes and told me that I could buy a two liter Diet Coke for that price, and she could not justify it, and couldn’t believe I was. I then asked her if she was thirsty, and told her that I’d buy one for her too. She said that she was fine to wait ten minutes. And then got angry with me.

Last year I was out with my mother again and my teen daughter wanted a fancy frozen coffee. I asked my mother if she could pull through a Starbucks to get some coffees. She responded the same way as before, asking me why she couldn’t wait ten or fifteen minutes and make coffee at home.

My reply again…Why? We are out already.

So you see, I get it! And I realize that I’m part to blame. While I don’t fall into the mind frame of needing everything to be brand spanking new, I do enjoy the little things in life.

This reminds me of a family that we use to know years ago. They were considered upper middle class. Which I’m told, means six figures.

I guess in today’s world, Rich, means you are bringing in a seven figure income.

Six figures means upper middle class.

Anyhoo, I was over this families house one day, and she told me that her husband just got laid off. Her main state of sadness, was that she was going to have to cut back, and not be able to buy her fancy coffee beans.

At that time in my life I was secretly rolling my eyes thinking… Ohhh poor you!

I was making Maxwell House and Folgers coffee at the time.

Later, I started buying those same coffee beans! 😐

But tying this story into ‘lifestyle’ and having the simple things in life..

She was really stressed out by the thought of not being able to buy the type of coffee she was accustomed to having.

THIS was something that mattered to her.

Later she opened a Go Fund me type of page and got enough funds donated, to buy their coffee beans. And she later mentioned that some neighbors blessed her family with a case of, said coffee beans.

And again, at that time… I thought this all sounded absurd to me.

Probably a lot like how my mother saw me buying a drink and coffee out, and not wanting to wait ten minutes until I got home.

This was years ago, but it has taken this long for me to realize that we all have little things that we find important. Things that we would miss if our ‘lifestyles’ changed.

This brings me to the conclusion that we ALL have lifestyles. Whether it’s buying a cheaper wine when times are tough..

Making your coffees at home with cheaper ground coffee..

Using milk instead of cream..(my husband would rather go without coffee if we have no cream in the house. This is his simple luxury)

Not having bottled water on hand and having to drink tap..

Having to get regular, instead of premium gas..

Having to paint your own nails and do your own hair, instead of salon visits..

The list is endless.

We all have little things that we will continue to roll our eyes on, when hearing…

But these little things are our lifestyles.

They mean something to us..

And today’s Youth have a lot more in common with us then we think.

That is very hard to think about. But maybe our grandparents went through the same. I don’t know.

That shared..

Back in my day, I was making $5.25 a hour and was able to afford a $325 a month rent, buy my food, and afford public transportation. So I really don’t get how minimum wage is double here, and kids feel as though they can’t afford a $600 rent and remain at home.Then again… that would mean cutting out Fancy Lattes, Drinking strictly Almond Milk, having new phones, and yes, daily Avocado toast.

And I would not even omit any of that myself. 😁

 

So tell me about your lifestyle.

What is something that you would rather not do without.

Would you open a Go Fund Me page for it? 🤔

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Fun times on Vacation…

It’s just the little things when it comes to our family. Which is a super relaxed one.

So far we have lounged by the pool.

Hooked up with another homeschool family.

Ate out way too much.

Went to the mall.

Went to Royal Nails, which is said to be the best nail salon five years running. And yes they were!

Tomorrow we are taking the kids to Hannah’s Mirrored Maze. (Will post pictures then.)

We have been doing ubur again on vacation. It really is nice.

Per usual, the resort beds do not compare to our temperpedic back home, so I had to buy tiger balm for the back pain.

I also went to target and found this cute photo prob for eBay. 😉

I have noticed a huge difference between people in SC, verses people in NC. I’ve never noticed it before. I won’t say which is which, but one state has friendly people then the other.

2018 New Years Resolutions

Diet, Fast, Circuit train

No dairy, sugar month on January

Gallon of water a day in January

Learn one new thing EVERY DAY.

Ex: Are people who live in the desert climates more healthier then the rest of us? 🤔

Spend less time on YouTube

More time playing board games with the kids.

More time outside

Cook more at home

Double my profit on eBay by December 2018

Travel more

I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list. 😉< strong>Anyone else jumping on the New Years Resolutions train this time around? 😁

Oh! I am also living on the edge on this very last day of 2017.

Christmas Gifts 2017

A box from Omaha Steak House:

A snow globe style LED COLOR CHANGING candle:

New Make-Up Palettes:

Jordon Almonds. 😋

Coffee soap, coffee mug, vintage Avon locket. ❤️

New manicure.

A millennial pink Franco Sarto Handbag:

And Christmas Hawaiian Rolls filled with peanut butter-stuffed toast.

And Christmas is never complete without Brie cheese smothered with brown sugar and almonds.

With the new year right around the corner, I’m looking forward to starting my annual new year green smoothie fast with my oldest daughter.

Happy New Years everyone! ❤️

Christmas 2017

It was a very special Christmas Day this year. Not to say that others were not, but there was a different feeling this year that previous years didn’t quite have. I never though that I’d enjoy my kids any more then I could possibly enjoy them, yet, with each year.. my heart grows and more love over flows.

Praising God for his wonder and Love. ❤️

Random pictures in no particular order from this past week.

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/xlPUrIER/img_1885.mov

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/qz2aOd1L/img_1900.mov

Reflection over Mother

This has been the first Christmas that I have had no contact with my mother and I thought that I would have felt a sense of loss.

I was assuming that it would have sparked an emotion of Love or loss, but it has not.

My family had an awesome Christmas morning, and then went see Star-wars in 3–D. It was a very chilled day. We had our celebration feast on Christmas Eve.

We ended our Christmas last night watching old home videos from year 2000. Mainly of the kids.

That said, my mother was in a couple of them, so I was expecting it to hit me. Emotionally.

But the only thing I saw was the way I always had to walk on eggshells and the way she talked to me. I felt nothing.

There was absolutely zero love, hence, no sense of loss.

In one segment we were celebrating my birthday where gave me a jornal and asked me if it was the one I wanted from Barnes & Noble.

I told her that it wasn’t the one that I had previously mentioned to her, but I loved it anyways. And thanked her.

That should have been the end of the conversation, but it was not.

She got defensive and told me that I’d just have to take it back if I didn’t like it.

I then repeated to her again that I liked it.

She then asked me what it was that was different then the one that I asked for.

So I went through a big song and dance explaining that it was a mother’s jornal that you wrote about your kids in. And the one she gave me was one that I wrote about myself in.

I suppose I should have lied, and just thanked her and said yes, that it was the one I wanted.

Maybe that’s what most daughters would have done..

The next thing I opened was a dress she bought me.

It was gray. Quite lovely.

Yet again, after I opened it, she asked me if it was the one I wanted. I told her, yes, but in black.

She then went on saying that gray would look much better on me, and that they didn’t have black anyways, and if I didn’t like it, to take it back.

You see, it’s the getting upset whatever I say and telling me to just take it back if I don’t like it that irks me. Especially in the manner that she did..

Her voice to me was always angry, even seventeen years ago. The same anger she had when I was trying t order myself the tomatoes with breakfast on my last day with her, is the same anger she has always shown to me.

And after watching the home movies last night I realized that she has always talked to me that way.

The only difference is, I’m not putting up with it anymore because it has always made me feel awful. I am all about putting “family first” but if you have family that I’d never uplifting, encouragingly you, and basically makes you feel like you are five years old when you are a full blown adult, that’s where the line should be drawn. Just because they are family? Does not give them a free pass to treat you like crap. No one deserves physical OR mental abuse at any time in their lives.now if you can pray for patience with someone and have what they say to you NOT effect you in way, shape, or form.. then that is different. My husband is the type of person that can just let stuff go in one ear and out the other. He takes nothing personal. Even if it is.

But I’m not like that. Maybe I will have that gift some day, but presently, I do not.

I remember on three different occasions trying to be assertive and stand up for myself, by telling my mother that I don’t want communication between us to always be harsh.

This was also always the advice from other family members, friends, and my husband.

They have always told me to just be assertive and tell my mother, like an adult, that I will not have her talk to me in a degrading, condescending way.

Each time I have tried, it never went well, and always left me in tears. Not to mention, regret.

The first time was back in 2005.

She was in my living room yelling at me, for what, I don’t even recall. I think it probably had to do with me letting my kids run through the house. Or, my kids trying to talk to her while she was reading. You see, my kids were always such a bother to her. And I’m coming to realize that my brother and me were also a bother. An inconvenience.

I remember asking her why she was so upset.

She thought that was terribly disrespectful, and so I told her outright that she was being selfish.

The result from that, was her moving out two months later. You see, everything was always her way or the highway.

The next time was when I was down in Florida visiting her,back in 2013.

We were at a national park, in the parking lot, in her car. She started asking me why my kids don’t write to her.

I told her that they don’t know her, and that her coming to visit once a year, yet never really spending any quality time with them… haven’t really established a relationship with them.

That made her very angry, and she started in on herself.. because every conversation always ended up with the whole… “My life has been so hard, and poor me.”

I ended up in tears, and feeling so bad that I stood up for myself and my kids.

Then the last time was this past year in the middle of a thrift store, again, while down in Florida visiting her with my daughter.

She pulled me aside and told me that she has a lot of issues with my daughter and that maybe I should have come visit her by myself, like usual.

We ended up having a huge argument in the middle of the thrift store. It then continued at a restaurant. It was probably the worst feeling I have ever felt in my adult life. It has only been six months, so thinking back on that day, I still feel that “feeling”

THAT day was the final straw, when I realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my adult life being afraid to be myself or talk to her.

A few days leading up to this, my daughter had noticed that I was agreeing with everything she said, each time she talked to me. If she said she didn’t like something, I agreed that I didn’t either. If something made her mad, I acted like it made me mad, if she complained about someone. I sympathized, and agreed that it would have bothered me too. If she asked me how I liked something, I told her I loved it.

I wasn’t even realizing that I was doing this until it was brought to my attention. It made me sad at the time; that I had stooped to that level of communication with her.

But I guess I learned that in order to keep the peace, just agree with everything.

That night I decided in my mind that things need to change, and that if I couldn’t handle being talked down to, and I have already tried to have an adult conversation, to address the issue, then the only other option would be to take a break, and cut off all ties with her.

I thought it would have been a hard thing to do, but if you never had love in the mix, then there really wouldn’t be any empty place in the heart.

And this has been my experience these past six months of having no communication with her.

I don’t feel the sense of loss that I thought I would have. Mainly, because I never received any genuine love from her, well, ever. Even as a child growing up. I guess I assumed she loved me, and she occasionally voiced it to me.. but as an adult, I have felt nothing. Granted, I feel sad that I have had two very absentee parents growing up. And more so, that my children have been robbed of active grandparents.

But I’m not going to whine sad cry the rest of my life over it. I’m capable of showing each one of my kids their potential and worth in life.

Never, will I ever, whine to them that I didn’t have this or that as a kid. And they should feel lucky. Or try to manipulate them to feel sorry for me, etc.

Because it’s not about me.

Raising children needs to be a selfless act.

One out of pure love.

Kids need unconditional love. When they feel your love, everything else will fall into place…

Charlotte, North Carolina

Here are some pictures from our trip.

It was a whole lot of fun.

Much different from where we currently live.

We dined at Ruth & Chris’s steak house. Very good food, but a bit pricey And I don’t like the stuffy atmosphere of upper class type of places. But other then that, it was nice. 😆

Amelia’s Bakery & Coffee House.< strong>Wells Fargo Plaza.Where we stayed-Christmas Concert- We were Center stage in row O. 😃

My favorite treat in the whole world is dipping dots! I live for them..despite their absurd price tag, I just can’t resist. Cheers to Microbiologist, Curt Jones! He’s brilliant! ❤️

We also visited the aviation museum. It was so tranquil, I would have loved to have spent more time there. We used ubur and Lyft the whole week, because city traffic was crazy.More views from Where we stayed-And that was our Final 2017 vacation. ❤️

Love, Lust, Marriage, Honeymoon Phase

Love, Lust,Marriage, Puppy Love, Honeymoon Phase

How was that all on the same line?!

Part 1

I have been thinking about relationships lately.

Mainly, because I was made aware that a former pastor and his wife had divorced and the pastor is already remarried. While the wife is playing the field. Sort of speak.

They were asked to step down from their positions, naturally.

I met the two of them over a decade ago, and from that very first day I couldn’t help but be enamored with them both.

They were about the same age as my husband and I, yet they had these unique playful qualities that I always called, the honeymoon phase. Or puppy love. Something that I’ve never had before. It really sparked my attention at the time.

I remember watching them across the room one day…playfully flirting with each other; as if they were teenagers.

Another lady noticed me watching them, while casually smiling.

She leaned over and said, it’s hard to believe that they have four kids and have been married since their teens…

So they were far from being newlyweds.

Yet, while looking at them.. it seemed like a Hallmark movie come to life.

I only knew them for four years, in which nothing changed. (We moved away after that.)

They seemed like the most perfect couple.

In every way!

And despite everyone telling me that THAT simply doesn’t exist. (The perfect marriage.)

Being a hopeless romantic, I’d like to continue thinking differently..

This couple had a reputation of admiration among all of us married folks…for having it all together. They seemed to have the perfect balance of, well, everything.

So even though they both have moved on and are now happy apart, I’m still somewhat saddened at recalling the memory I still have…

Which is why I’ve decided to write about it.

It feels good remembering them together. So perfect!

And while I didn’t know them all that well, I did see them at church several times a week, and at monthly dinner parties at the monthly, couples dinners.

And yes, I know it is not right to place anyone, or any couple, on a pedestal. I’m just sharing my memories here. ☺️

Part 2<<<
member a good friends husband once telling me, or perhaps warning me… to not think so highly about his wife, because she will let me down eventually. And that we are all imperfect humans, constantly letting one another down. I remember how depressing that sounded tone at the time. As I've grown up, I realize how true that statement really is.

As stated, I was never all that close to the pastor and his doe eyed wife, but I had always wondered what their magic antidote was for sustaining a marriage that clearly remained in the honeymoon stage.

Was it because they both worked a lot and so that the time that they did spend together was valued.

That's what I've always thought, up until now.

Part 3<<<
etimes I think about arranged marriages and how they choose to love someone.

Naturally, they do not marry for love. Like most of the population.

I once knew someone who had an arranged marriage. It really fascinated me because that would have never been something I myself, could have ever partook in.

I always enjoyed lengthy conversations with her on the phone telling me how love should be a choice, not a feeling. That the feeling part was called lust.<<<
the choosing to love your spouse, was much like our love for Christ.

It was a beautiful thought..

I remember asking her about sexual relations. Yes, We had a very open conversation one evening. *blush*

Does this mean that love and sex are two separate things, I recall asking her opinions on.

Is this why so many couples cheat, yet still claim to love their spouse, because sex has nothing to do with love. And vise Versa.

And the answer was, from the religious stand point, No.

But for the rest of the population, Yes, that is precisely what it means.

People have sex all the time that are not in love. We all know this.

Then there are people that love each other, but don't have sex. She shared.

It’s an interesting topic, non the less. < em>Conclusion:o even though this former couple are both very happy with their new lives I will always remember the fire in their eyes when they looked at one another.

Because In my personal opinion, it was, and is the definition of a very special kind on love.

December part 1

Fall, in general, is always the busiest time of year for me. It starts off with three birthdays in October, and then carries onto another three in November. Throw in Halloween and Thanksgiving, Black Friday ….and then December is here.

My wedding anniversary is this month.

99% of my shopping has been done.

Children’s activities are in full swing, and the little down time at home that we have is spent on baking, decorating, and Christmas movies.

I’m not complaining, in fact, I love it. So much!

I can’t imagine a life without family things.

My kids are a huge part of my life.

I thought as they got older, it would start to feel somewhat empty. But I’m quickly realizing that it’s even more fulfilling.

I love being a mother so much!

I have never been able to relate to other mothers who complain about their kids, or look forward to having them in school, and not at home.

Of course this is the only life I’ve ever known. And my kids are extremely well behaved, and genuinely enjoy spending time with each other.

I suppose if there was arguing and fighting all day, I’d feel very different about family life.

I think we want to give our children the life we never had. And for me, it was two very absentee parents. So for my family life, stability and focus, has always been my number one priority. It’s important to me, for my kids to have the stability and unconditional love that I never had growing up.

And that’s all I’m going to share on that.

I need to get up out of bed and get motivated. I see that my daughter has left me a cup of tea next to my bed before she left for class this morning. ❤️

I’ve been laying here since 6am thinking about this coming week.

We leave in a few days for a mini vacation.

My husband surprised me with K-Love Christmas concert tickets, and I’m very excited. He’s very introverted and doesn’t like crowds, so this really was a true act of LOVE. ❤️

Moving on to some activities in pictures.

Our first snow! It’s been in the 30’s. ❄️🌨

Stunning picture of our American flag that I took in Greensboro, NC the other day.

2017 Holiday Bucket List

This was our Holiday Bucket List this year.

1. Buy new tree & decorate as a family.***

2. Buy everyone a new ornament.***

3. Christmas Caroling

4. Watch seven Christmas movies.***

5. Go to Tanglewood light festival.

6. Go to Christmas concert.(Have tickets for next week)

7. Spend weekend at a nice hotel and relax.(happening next weekend)

8. Bake Christmas cookies & surprise friends.

9. Christmas Cards out by the 10th. ***

10. Black Friday Christmas Shopping.***

11. Read a couple Holiday themed books.**

12. Buy Christmas dress.

13. Build Gingerbread House***

14. Make a Holiday themed coffee,cocoa, cider bar.***

15. Decorate whole house in Christmas decor.***

16. Buy Christmas bed sheets.

17. Visit a Holiday craft show. ***

18. Treat myself to a Holiday eye shadow palette.***

19. Christmas craft Day

20. Ugly sweater Christmas party