A Big Thank You To All Who Serve

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  To ALL of my Friends Family & Loved Ones who have Ever or are Now Serving in our Armed Forces, Active, Retired, Reserved, Past Present & Future! Thank You!

For those of us that have had or have family member that have been Deployed, we know 1st hand the sacrifices you have made, the Unselfishness you possess, the Unconditional Loyalty Deep within your Soul that you were born with and the Dedication to Never Give Up, Never Stop Fighting the Good Fight, Never Leaving a Man/Woman/Child Behind.

We will never understand completely, the things that you have seen, been thru or endured. The reasons you have nightmares that you never want to talk about. The reasons you have days where you are just Angry for No reason. The emotion you feel when you see a fallen soldier you never met. And we will never feel the amount of Pride that you feel every time you hear the National Anthem sung.

The understanding that the day you signed up for this life, that you wrote a #BlankCheck to the United States of America and every citizen that lives here, to Serve and Protect no matter the cost, up to and including the last breath you take with your life to save a Nation of People whom you will Never Know or probably never meet! So on this #VeteransDay I personally want to Say #ThankYou from the Bottom of my Heart and with All the Love I have Within Me for Sacrificing & being the Unconditionally Unselfish people to do what you do Every Single Day! Today is Your Day as is Every day in my book! And I pray for your safety and that Everyone that you come in contact Solutes you and tells you #ThankYou for your Never Ending Service!

It’s Your Life So Live It Your Way

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When I saw this picture, it Inspired this post.  It may be a little wordy but it will definitely be worth it 🙂

See, Nobody on this earth makes it out Alive! We ALL are going to Die someday.  We do not know when that someday is for any of us.  Someone, you, me, your neighbor, friend, classmate etc could go any minute today, tomorrow or next year.  I know that sounds scary, but the truth is the truth. That part, quite honestly, shouldn’t even really be a concern to you because the time and place is 100% out of your control.  God has the final say and it is already written as to when your time is up.

So, what is the point of all this Tammy? Yes I know it is a gloomy way to start of a blog, but there really is an Awesome point to be made.  No we may not have control over when we die, But….. What we do have absolutely 100% control over is what We DO and who we Become from NOW until the day we die!  Now, Seriously… How Freaking Awesome is That! (Imagine Me doing my Happy Dance right now! Ha!)

You have a choice to make.  Are you gonna put your head down and just shuffle your feet one day at a time, complaining how miserable you are and how life ahs dealt you a “RAW DEAL“? Is that what you’re doing Right Now?  Well you know what…. SHUT UP!!! Yes, you can go back and read that again in ALL Caps, Bold & Underlined and Imagine Me Yelling at you!!! SHUT UP!!!!  See, the only person responsible for your Situation is YOU! Not your mom, your dad, your cousin, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, pastor, teacher, etc.  Those are people who are “Influences” in your life! Those influences may be positive or negative! You are in total control of what you listen to and accept in your life, NOT Them.

Here’s the deal, you have a God Given, Divine Right to “CHOOSE” how your life goes. How you React or Respond to the Good or Bad situations that happen in your life is up to YOU and You Only!  Yes, sometimes bad things happen to good people and we have Zero control over that!  What we do have control over is to properly “Respond” and say “This was not anything that I could control and I am okay with that!!  It does not Define who I am but it does make me stronger because I Survived it for a Reason“!!!

How do I know this to be true?  Because I have personally lived thru just that.  See, my 1st childhood memories, are of me being sexually abused from about ages 3 or 4ish on and off until it finally ended when I was 13.  I do not have too many happy memories as a young child that I can remember at the moment.  But, what I do know, is that God Protected me from all that pain, physical & mental, by making me black it out until I was an adult and he knew I was able to hand the reality of it all.  I made a conscious CHOICE to NOT let my past, that I had ZERO control over, determine who I am or could Become! Nor would I let it hold me captive as a victim in my own mental prison.  Now there is a lot more to that part of the story of my life that I will reveal in another post, which will Greatly Shock you as to how I am still Standing here Loving and Embracing life to the fullest Every Single Day!

As I said, I am living, breathing proof that Bad things can sometimes happen to Good People and you can make an Amazing life for yourself.  What is it that you need to Let Go of in order to move forward into your Destiny of Awesomeness?  If this post has helped or inspired you in some way, please hit the “LIKE” button and then “Share” on Facebook, Google+ or any other of your favorite Social Media Hangouts, so that we can Help and Inspire as many people around the world to take back their life and Live it to the Fullest!  Remember, the Epilogue to your Life, has Not yet been written!  So Make It Awesome!

Where is Your Journey Leading You?

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  We are all on a Journey! Its called LIFE!  Now, the best part of that this journey is that ALL of us get to Choose our own path!  Think about that for just a minute…. tick … tick … tick…okay times up! I’m gonna repeat that just in case you missed it the first time, “We ALL get to Choose our Path!”  Don’t get me wrong, we all have a past and some of them were better than others.  Trust me I get that better than anyone, because my childhood Sucked!  I don’t mean in any little way either, It royally is right up there the probably the Top 10 of ALL Childhoods that Sucked.  (But that is not what this blog is about, that will be for a much later post… Yes that is meant to keep you coming back for more so you don’t miss it lol)

  So, Now, back to the whole “Choose your Path” thing I was talking about! The fun thing about our Journey in this life is that whatever path we choose is OUR Journey!  My journey is not your journey, your journey is not my journey, Tom’s journey is not Michael’s journey, Linda’s journey is not Cindy’s journey and so on.  Not everyone is going to understand what path it is that your are on, Hell, You may Not understand the path that you are on.  You just had this Burning desire, deep within you, to go this way, but you really haven’t figured out your “WHY” yet.  But when you do… Oh Good Lawd! You better hold on because its gonna be an Awesome Ride!

  See, by choosing the path that you want to travel, you are in Complete Control of How Awesome it can be or How Bad it can Suck!  Me personally, I Chose to make Mine Awesome lol.  Oh, you want to know what I mean by that? Okay, well here is how I understand it.  We ALL have been given this thing called “FREE WILL” to Choose to do whatever we want.  Now you can define that however you see fit. That means “YOU” are the only one Responsible for YOUR Path!  So, you have the option to Choose to make your life as Exciting, Fun, Interesting, Challenging and Awesome as you want.  Or…. on the flip side of that, your choices can make it as boring, sad, hurtful and as full of struggle as YOU Choose it to be at any given time.  That is what I mean by, you have the Option to Choose your Path on this Journey of Life! It’s just like a math problem.  You add Positive things to your life to make it Awesome and Exciting.  Or you can add Negative things to your life to subtract from your happiness and awesomeness?  No one on the planet has the Power to make you miserable or to make your life full of negativity but YOU!  Do bad things happen to Good people? Yes! But the key is how you respond or react to those bad things.

  Some things that happen we have Absolutely ZERO control over.  There is Nothing we can do but say, Okay, it is what it is and I am gonna move forward from here.  When you “Respond” with acceptance and not worry, things just seem to fall into place and correct themselves a lot sooner and Usually better than what you had ever planned in the first place. (That’s called your Blessing) Now, on the flip side, you can get all pissed off, mad, worry and keep harping on how you didn’t do anything to deserve this and yada yada yada!  Day in and Day out, you harp on how bad this sux!  You know that does? It keeps you right there in that world that Sux!  It’s a Choice! Think about it like this, you’re reading this Awesome novel that’s a thriller.  You are at the climax at the end of a chapter, it’s a cliff hanger, and the only way you find out who did what to who is to “Turn The Page” and go on to the next chapter in the book, right?  So, Now….. here in lies your “CHOICE”, Are  you gonna “A” keep reading that same page trying to figure out what the hell is happening? Or…. option “B” Turn the Page to the Next Chapter and find out that your favorite character made it through and is the Hero after all?  Let me guess….. You Choose Option “B”!

  Woot Woot! So now apply that Option to all the Crazy stuff that happens in your Journey!  Yes it really is that Simple!  I get asked all the time… Tammy, do you Ever have a bad day?  I can honestly say, I rarely have a bad day any more. (Thank the Good Lord! lol) I may have bad moments in a day, where something happened that made that part of my day Suck!  But, hey, that is life!  If I let that person make me miserable, they win! (And if you know me at all, you already know how I absolutely HATE to Lose at anything lol) So Needless to say, I might be mad for a hot second, might even yell, scream, vent or go throw some weights around. (Yes, I really mean throw weights around lol)  But within the hour, usually, I am back laughing, cutting up and making Everyone that comes in contact with me, Enjoy their time in my Sunshine!

  I said ALL of that for this 1 Reason… Do Not Let anyone Dull Your Shine! Choose the Path that Makes you Laugh til you can’t breathe, Dance like nobody is watching and Sing like Nobody can Hear You!  Life is Short! It’s about making your Journey AWESOME! And, quite honestly, Nobody makes it out Alive! So, quit being so Damn Serious all the time and Make Your Life as Awesome As You Are!

I would love to hear how you take a bad situation and turn it into something Awesome! Leave me a comment below and lets spread some Positive ways to help other people do the same!  If this post helped you in some way, please share and lets touch as many people as we can!  Thanks for stepping into my world for just a moment & I hope I made you smile from the inside out!

Lessons of Life From Your Food

My Mahi Master Piece

My Mahi Master Piece

I am sure you are wondering, What could my food teach me about life?  Well other than the old adage “You are what you eat” for starters lol.  See I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I Love, Love, Love to Cook and Eat.  I also live in the south where we love anything Fried and covered in gravy!  Needless to say that is a Nightmare for anyone who wants that perfect waistline.

Now I haven’t been a trainer my whole life and have had my share of ups and downs with my weight because of my love of food and my love of cooking (which I happen to be Really good at doing so that just makes it worse lol).  To add to that, I am emotional eater.  I go from one extreme to the other.  I will either Eat Everything in the House or Not Eat for Days!  Either way you look at it I was always in serious trouble with my weight.

The picture above is probably one of my Best Food Masterpieces! “Blackened Mahi Mahi, with garlic herb Hericot Verts”!  I love Mahi Mahi.  I was at the farmers market and they had the Mahi steaks on sale, so I picked up 2 for me and my housemate.  Now, you must know, I have NEVER in my life cooked Mahi Mahi before in my life!  But any time its been available to eat on a menu, I have ordered it and when I worked at McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant in Birmingham, AL they had the Best Blackened Mahi I have ever put in my mouth.  So I was determined that I was gonna make that for dinner.  And I Did It!! It was AWESOME!! Even made the fresh mango/pineapple salsa to go with it and the Hericot Verts was a first time for me too.  Add a glass of good Red Wine and you have a Dinner made for a Queen!!

So, I know you’re wondering, “Okay, Tammy, we get it you love food, but What does this have to do with “Life Lessons“? 

Have you ever went out to eat, tried a new restaurant and found out you didn’t like Anything At ALL on their menu?  Or somebody recommended a particular dish, gave you the recipe and when you cooked it yourself it was Horrid?  I am quite sure there is not anybody that has had one or both of those experiences.  Or what about, your cooking one of your favorite dishes that you cook all the time, you get distracted, the telephone rings or your child gets hurt & you BURN your Favorite Dish!  Or worse yet, one of your little munchkins runs into you as you’re trying to set dinner on the table and you drop the Main dish in the middle of the floor!!  Yep, been there done that, to ALL of the above at some point in my many years of cooking.

Now, when any one of those things happened, did you world come crushing down around you?  Did it alter your Destiny Path in your life? (Well, other than what was for dinner that night lol) I would venture to guess the answer to Both of those Questions is a resounding NO!  Yes, I know, it was heart breaking to have to change your dinner plans, but your life went on as scheduled, you went to work the next day, the kids went to school and the normalcy (Whatever “Normal” is these days) of your life continued as if the night before had Never happened.

So, lets just alter the scenario just a bit.  Lets apply the bad restaurant to, lets say, a Bad Choice in a Boyfriend/Girlfriend.  Yes, the relationship may have ended, and that person Sucked the life out of you for the time that you were together, but the good thing is that you learned something about yourself during that time.  Just like the Horrible place you went to eat, where you learned Never to go there to eat again.  You learned that whatever the personality traits of your “Ex” are, that you don’t like or hate for that matter, are Red Flags for your Next Relationship.  Your life didn’t end because the relationship did or you wouldn’t be reading my blog at this very moment.

You can apply this lesson to Everything you do in life!  Whether its, a wrong job, bad dinner choice, a person you should have never called “Friend“, or whatever it was that upset your world for a moment in time.  That is the point, it is Only a Moment In Time!  That “Moment” will pass and life will go on, just as it always has before.  The only thing you can do is “Choose” how those moments affect you.  You can either learn the lesson that is right in front of you, make the adjustments that need to be made, and move forward on your journey to your Destiny.  Or, you can Choose, to play the Victim! If you play the victim, focusing on what went wrong, who hurt you, this, that, the other, (Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah… yes …Quit Crying Already,) You Will Never reach your God Given Destiny! I’m sorry but in my book…That is Not an Option!

Whatever happened, happened for a reason!  To Teach You A Lesson!  Yes, it Sucked! Yes, It Hurt!  But no matter who you are, We ALL have Lessons to Learn and we ALL go thru some heartache and pain in our life.  It’s all in how you Choose to let it affect you!  It’s already happened and you can’t go back and change any of it.  It’s just like a book that an author has written, once it goes to print and that ink is dry, there is nothing else you can do but say, “Okay, I really jacked that up, so I know not to do it that way next time!

Just like my Blackened Mahi Mahi in the picture, as Awesome as it was, I know what I am gonna do different next time to make it even better.  Just like, my past relationships, I know what I like and don’t like in my man, what I am willing to accept or not accept which ultimately determines if I will continue to be in a relationship with them.  My past jobs, yep, I know what I like and don’t like, what jobs I would do again and which ones I hated and will Never do again.

My wish for you is this, That you learn Everything you can in every moment, good or bad, that you go thru.  That you are able to cherish the good, learn from the bad, make the necessary adjustments and Rock the Next Opportunity that comes along in your life path.  That when you reach your Destiny, you have taken the time to Stop, smell the roses, dance like nobody is watching, sing, as if, nobody can hear you and Most of All…. That you Enjoyed Every Moment in Your Journey and that there were a lot of Moments that Took Your Breath Away!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog tonight and I would love to hear what your Food Life Lesson Is!

What If….?

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Remember that Everything you do Matters! It matters to you, your loved ones, to God and people who are not even here yet…Be Thankful for the little things…Be Thankful for Everything and Everyone that comes into your life.  The good, bad, happy, sad or whatever.  They all happen for a reason.

What If you woke up with “Only” what you thanked God for Tonight? What would your life be like tomorrow? How would it change? Who would still be in your life come day break? What will you Change Tonight…? Just in case I’m right?

Are You Moving Forward or Sitting Still?

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Here is an even better question…..are you still moving while you are sitting still?  That all depends, are you looking behind you at your past? Or, are you looking “Forward” toward your Goals, Dreams and Destiny?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with “Remembering” your past.  It is apart of who you are and how you arrived at this place and time in your life.  There are lessons to be learned from your past mistakes to insure that you do not repeat them in the future.  There are also the Happy memories that will always be there to make you smile and warm your heart.  Where we get caught up in the past is usually in those past relationships that we thought he/she was the “One”.  They were the one we were gonna spend the rest of our life with and have the “Fairytale Ending“.  Or when bad things happen to good people that we had no control over.  We get stuck in that “Victim” mentality.  We also, have the “Glory Days”, you know when you can’t get out of that “Winning catch in the Big Game”.  Then you have the “STUPID” stuff you did that you knew when you did it that it was a Bad Idea.  We all have those, Trust Me, I am the Queen of Stupid Mistakes!  That is Life! That is how you Learn.

Yes, all of those things may be true.  But the truth of the matter is that none of those things “Killed” you, Right?  Your still alive or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post now, lol.  Did some of them Hurt? I am quite sure they did.  Did it totally Suck to have to go thru any of that?  Of course it did!  But the fact remains that You Are Very Much Alive!  Or, well, at least I think you are.  Do the pulse check for me, you know, put your fingers on the artery on your neck, and if you can feel that “thump, thump” under your fingers, that means your heart is beating and you have a pulse! YaY!!!! Take a Deep Breath….let it out nice and slow.  Did you feel that?  Did you hear the breath come out of your lungs?  Great!  If you said “YES” to those questions then you are Definitely Alive!

So, why are you still looking behind you?  ALL of that “STUFF“, it can’t be changed.  There is nothing you can do about it now.  Here is something for you to think about…. The truth of the matter is that the future is where your going to live.  So, if you don’t start looking in front of you to your future and start creating the life “You Want”, then you will be spending “Your Future” built by somebody else’s dream that you don’t want to be in.  How is that for a reality check on Monday?

Look at your future as a Blank Canvas.  Now, the way I see it, you have Two Options.  Option Number One, You can let your peers, co-workers, boss, family, society or worse yet, the Government, decide how you should live your life and your future. (How bad is that gonna Suck in 5 years?)  Or, Option Number Two, and my personal favorite, You can design Your Own Life!  Whatever that Means to You!  If money was no object, and the people around you refused to let you fail, What Would You Do?  (NOTE: If the people around you want you to fail or don’t support you, then You Need To Change Your Zip Code, I’m just saying)  The only person stopping you from doing what “YOU” want to do is You!

I am 46 years old.  I didn’t reach my 1st life goal of being a personal trainer until I was 44.  You know what I have been doing all day?  Studying! Why? Because now it is time to pass a National Certification Exam so that when I move to San Juan, PR, I can get a job in Any Gym I want to and I will Still be doing what I Love to do, Just on a Tropical Island!!! (Yes its okay to be Jealous now lol)  I am not bragging about my accomplishment (well maybe just a little, lol) but I am Very Proud of Myself for Overcoming an Abusive Childhood and past to make this happen!  Which means, if I can do it, Anybody Can.  (You can see part of my story Here)

Don’t stand still and let life pass you by because your comfortable hiding in the shadows of the past.  Come out into the Sunshine and Enjoy ALL that life has to offer! Take that Canvas and Paint the Life You Want To Live!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to hear a piece of my heart tonight! I would love to hear what you are painting on your Canvas!

Fabulous Friday!!

This is Fabulous Friday!! Why is it Fabulous you ask?  Simply because I am Grateful to Be Alive!  Because I have a roof over my head on this very cold night, when there are many that will be looking for shelter to get out of the cold.  Because I have clean clothes to wear, when there are many that have none.  Because I have food on the table, when many go days without a Hot Meal.  Because I have a car to drive after riding public transportation for a year.  Because I have cable, internet, a laptop, smart phone and other electronics that some may never know the convenience of these luxuries.  Because I have 2 wonderful Children and 3 Beautiful Grandchildren, when many will never be blessed with a child, much less a grandchild.  Because I have the unconditional love of a man who I only dreamed of for over 44 years, when many may not Ever know what Love is much less unconditional, non-judgmental, true love is really like.  Because I have an Awesome relationship with God, when some will never know he even exists and know the love, peace, joy, forgiveness and happiness he brings into your heart.  Because I have Awesome Friends, when many will never allow themselves to be open to friendship out of fear of rejection and hurt.

I am Blessed Beyond Measure and Grateful for each and every one of my blessings!  What are you Grateful for today?