The Adventures of Molly Chicklet–Elf On The Shelf

2012 was our first year participating in this fun Christmas adventure with our Elf On The Shelf Scout. It turned into a very serious look into the psychological warfare that can be done on an 8 year old that BELIEVES there is a Santa and NOTHING you can tell her will sway her for that belief.


Princess Cara is all bout Santa Clause. She knows we get her presents too, but Santa always brings her stuff too. This year, we introduced Elf on the Shelf and from the moment we read the book and named our scout (which gives her her magic to get back & forth from the North Pole to your house), Princess Cara was all about it and (obviously) I had BETTER be about my job too.


Our Scout Elf was named Molly Chicklet  and from that moment, just looking at that face and mischievous side eye, I knew I had best be a tad creative. Not “bad elf” creative – that is not how I wanted PC to see Molly Chicklet – just good ole fashioned fun. All was well until I had to go out of town for a training class and The EOTS Daddy-gate debacle, where Molly Chicklet appeared to get violated by one of our cats and was found laid out on the kitchen floor. HYSTERIA!!! Molly had lost her magic - SOB; Santa wasn’t going to come – WAIL; CALL MOMMIE – she’ll get Santa to understand. 911 call from the FireMarshall and I had to, on my feet, come up with a restoration of Molly Chicklets Magic plan. I had to make a “call” to Santa to get instructions and then Skype back with the plan of action…all before the school bus came.


Jesus be a fence.


I was able to convince PC that the plan (put Molly back in her box, sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over the box while saying her name 3x, put her back in the first place we set her – mantle place and all would be set right) would work and she got on the school bus satisfied that all was right in the world again.


WHEW CHILE! However, the FireMarshall was a BIG FAT FAIL and I had to supervise from New Orleans EVERY.SINGLE.DAY till my return. SIGH.


Christmas Eve was Molly’s last day with us. She fly’s back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve until next Christmas time. Princess Cara woke up to find a note from Molly Chicklet and Santa (who ate all the pizza we left out – Santa is sick of all those damn cookies and want some real food) and the absolute joy and excitement on her face was PRICELESS!


So, here are some of the Adventures of Molly Chicklet…

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Did y’all know about this Elf on the Shelf business? Did you get an Elf Scout for your family this year? I hope you had as much fun as we did.




A Living Doll Making Dolls–Overcoming Adversity w/Dignity

I saw Ariel’s story on the news Saturday morning – Teen Uses Talent to Try to Overcome Obstacles – and that young lady’s resilience in such a tough situation (she has an inoperable cancerous brain tumor, her dad has prostate & bladder cancer, her mom has lupus & diabetes, her brother has autism) struck a nerve.

iCANT not help some way. I can get me one of those dolls.


Ariel started making custom dolls to help support her family. I went to the Women’s Industrial Exchange to see her dolls Saturday afternoon and they are more than dolls, they are works of art, just like they said in the news report. I decided I had to have one to help support her.

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Ariel had sold out of the 50 dolls she had already made! She had made $3000 in a day and was now taking orders. Custom orders. Give her a theme and she will make something for you. I, of course, requested a TriGirl/Fitness Guru theme. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.


Just loved it…and The Women’s Industrial Exchange…what a wonderful place. Since the late 1800’s, the exchange has been helping women in need earn a living discretely. Today, The Exchange continues to serve its non-profit mission as an outlet of hand-crafted goods made by women and men intent on supporting themselves with dignity.


If you are looking for quality handcrafted gifts  - Shop Local – Shop Green – then you might just want to check out The Exchange. You will have to call the shop if you want to order a doll as Ariel’s website and links in the online store are not up yet. They were not prepared for the wonderful response, but are diligently working to get it up and running.  Don’t want a doll? She is also accepting material/fabric, old clothing, props- large doll furniture, buttons, hair (put that bad weave hair and raggedy wig to good use) to keep the cost of making the dolls down yet able to use most of the profit to help her family. Box it up and send it to the shop c/o Ariel – The Living Doll or drop it off.


My prayers are with Ariel and her entire family.


Not So Wordless Wednesday

Three days of training have led to this...death by sticky notes, highlighters and PowerPoint. The exam is tomorrow. I'm going out to Drago's for some Oysters...da hell with it.


Foto Friday

All we could do was cry & pray as we watched the horrific tragedy unfold in CT. All those babies killed ~random, senseless.

...and we hugged our baby oh so tight.


Living Our Marriage Like It’s Golden

                  RON STEPTOE 035IMG_2570-58

                                  June 6,1987                      June 9, 2012


A friend of mine recently wrote an interesting article entitled – The Death of the Golden Anniversary. He made some good points. People are getting married older and life expectancy – well – isn’t as long, especially for the black male (DO BETTER – LIVE LONGER). Most people of this generation and going forward just aren’t going to make it to 50 years of marriage.


The FireMarshall and I are the Last of the Married Forever Mohicans. We are an anomaly. We got married young. Ten days after graduation from West Point. I was 21, he was 22. We didn’t get married for the historical reasons mentioned in the article: “to secure economic stability and to procreate". Nope. We actually married each other for “Love and Happiness”. We loved each other and we figured out the money, career, procreation along the way or rather, as we grew up together.

RON STEPTOE 024firstieportrait

              1983                                    1987                             2007


Are we old souls? I don’t know. We often hear the trials & tribulations of our single, as well as married friends and raise an eyebrow ~ it just ain’t that serious. Pick your battles ~ win the war.


We made it to our Silver Anniversary this past June. Has it been tough? HELL TO THE YEAH! We have been to the mountain top, cast down into the valley, walked our 40 years in the wilderness, climbed back up and so on and so forth. Just like an ECG. Riding that QRS wave like the rollercoaster of life. Anything else is a flat line…and DEAD.


I firmly believe we will make it to our Golden Anniversary, God willing. {FM better start moving dat ass} You see, after all that we have been through, I can’t imagine ANYTHING/ANYONE that would separate us.


Besides, it’s cheaper to love me at this point.


I hope that our lives, our marriage is an example of what love & commitment look like and can be. For my author friend is correct – “After all, it’s not about reaching 50 years of marriage just to say you did. It’s about living the life one has with one’s spouse like it’s golden.”


Foto Friday: Twas the Night Before Army-Navy

…and all through this Long Gray Line house is nuttin but SPIRIT!!! This is our year. For the LOVE OF SWEET BABY JESUS and the Commander In Chief Trophy…For all that is Holy…WE HAVE TO WIN THIS!


Spirit Week was in full force here at True Blessings Estate…

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I even got The FireMarshall to get into the spirit…kinda/sorta. SIGH.


And then I went the extra mile to light the way for our guests who will be celebrating our VICTORY at the EPIC GO ARMY-BEAT NAVY PARTY. As a side note…while I was out in the yard putting these signs up, a SUV does a U-Turn and pulls into my driveway. Driver gets out and starts walking towards me. WHO DAT! I immediately stand up, assume the fighting position (didn’t put my hands up yet), but I’m on my toes, knees bent – fight or flight ready – and this man says “So, who graduated from West Point?” I tell him that both Ron & I did and he introduces himself adding that he is a ‘89 NAVY (cough, cough) Grad and lives across the street. “Awesome!” I say and invite him to the party. Hey Randall! We will be gentle, promise.

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I’m making the INFAMOUS RUM PUNCH, Go ARMY GOAT CHILI and GO ARMY CAKE! (Well, The QueenMum has got the cake). And with this being the 30th Anniversary of Class of 87 Army-Navy Football Games, this portends to be


You know you’re invited, right?



Foto Friday: It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas


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The light display at “Symphony of Lights”


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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

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Beautiful decorations and floral arrangements at Homestead Gardens! A “must do” every Christmas season. Go check it out.


RANDOM: No Regrets, Unforgiving, Fit & Phabulous


I recently read an article about the Top 5 regrets of the dying and 2 of them stood out to me based on some recent things that have happened and/or been said to me:


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. ~~ Well, that won’t be one of my regrets. I won’t wish I had lived true to myself. I am who I am and I am doing all most of the things I want to do with my life. I live this life out loud; large and bodacious and I try to drag as many friends/family along with me on this most awesome journey called life. the only people who I have bent/adjusted to/for are my children & husband, but even still – I CHOSE – and The TravelDiva has managed to stay True North.


Are you living life true to you?


2. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Ummm, DUH! I’ve always had “the courage” to say how I feel and to express myself. Maybe it’s more of a lacking a filter instead of courage, but I have managed to navigate the military, corporate career & entrepreneurship with enough of a common sense/decency filter to be pretty damn successful. What I have found; however, is that there will always be people who believe it is okay for them to say any damn thing they want any which way they want to you without so much as a by your leave and then get their panties in a bunch when you check them or you don’t allow them a pass. You mad…oh well.


Do you hold all of your feelings & thoughts inside? What’s that feel like, because I would suffocate.


No regrets.


I tried to extend an olive branch to a FB friend who ~ 2 YEARS AGO!! ~ internalized and made all about him something I wrote about on my blog regarding elite athlete snobbery. He promptly unfriended me and I hadn’t heard from him since until he commented on a mutual friends page. I sent a message holding my olive branch and flag of truce, hoping that time had soothed over this complete misunderstanding. NOPE. The door got slammed in my face. I was told that the way I hurt his feelings was “unforgivable” ~ PERIOD and that he was not going to reconcile ever…Like EVER.  WOW. Good thing I’m not dependent on man’s forgiveness to be absolved of my alleged sins. Glory to God. Funny thing though…since he hasn’t mastered privacy settings yet, I was able to see some one of his recent posts on forgiveness where he said he had learned a lot form being able to forgive.


Really, boo? I think you need to go over that lesson again.


Are you hanging on to a slight, a hurt, a hate? Are you unforgiving as if you NEVER EVER do/say anything that hurts or is wrong? You know the only person you are hurting is YOU right?


A complete stranger saw a picture of me running in a race. Her comment about someone she doesn’t know anything about was “Hmmm, I bet she comes in last a lot.” Wow! A friend of mine who heard the comment handled it superbly and the stranger didn’t speak to her for the rest of the day. My friend was so crushed – NOT! My thoughts…No dear, I have NEVER come in last in anything I have done, but I bet her narrow ass would or be laid out in the back of a rescue vehicle. SMDH. People need to stop it with projecting their issues, hang ups, insecurities and all those subjective notions of what beauty & fitness should looks like for evey one. STOP IT. STOP TSK TSK’ING EVERYBODY AROUND YOU AND WORRY ABOUT/FOCUS ON YOU! Seriously. Here’s what I know – I know who and what I am ~ made in God’s image. My issues are mine and yours are YOURS. Don’t mistake this Athena physique, red lipstick and a smile for weak & lazy. This Athena Goddess will rip your scrawny arm off with her bare hands, throw you out on the lawn to feed the zombies (or simply to feed those turkey vultures on my neighbors widow walk) and keep it moving. Thin does not necessarily equal fit/fast/beautiful. That ugliness that come of your mouth ~ all that snark & demeaning comments ~ make you look like the big fat pig you roll around with when you do that mess. TRUST ME. It’s ugly & you smell.


I hope you are not one of those people. Don’t be THAT person, mkay? Grow up.


Foto Friday: Columbia Turkey Trot 10K

Last Sunday, Princess Erin and I ran the Columbia Turkey Trot 10K and Princess Cara ran the Turkey Trot 1/2 mile Fun Run. Princess Cara even got her BGR Pink Pom Pom.


Fitness is the Family!


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Princess Cara came in 2nd overall and 1st Female. I’m telling ya’ll ~ watch out for her on the podium. I hadn’t run since the Army 10 miler ~ yep, tree sloth after season syndrome had taken hold ~ so, I decided to do a 3:1 run:walk for this race AND I knocked off 2 min from my previous 10K with a 15 sec faster pace. WHO KNEW!?

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Are you in the “off season”? Yeah, I got about I more week of total whatevzz before I have to get back on the job of keeping it tight and training for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon.


Who runs a half marathon for their birthday? *raises hand* Crazy Cakes.


A Blessed Thanksgiving

We are all lying about in various states of coma, watching football, drinking, sleeping, eating, drinking, stupor, wait~what happened? And so on...An awesome Thanksgiving!

There is so much to be thankful for. I pray that today was just as awesome and filled with good times and great friends.


The Death of the Target Christmas Champ

There have been lots of chatter about when the Target lady was going to show up ~ it IS Black Friday this week ~ and we should have at least seen her getting in shape.

Where is she? Inquiring minds and hard core fans wanted to know. I posted up on the Book of the Face, liked the Target Fan Page and asked THE question ~ WHERE IS THE TARGET LADY!?

The response I got left me saddened and feeling some kinda way about shopping this Holiday Season and Target was at the top of my hit list of for getting the first BiterGram. Yeah, let my walker gnaw on your ass for a bit. HUMPH!

RETIRED!!!! Da Hell!??? Best advertising campaign ever (next to Allstate's Mayhem, IMHO) and you retire her??? Has Target lost their minds? Guess so! And their current ad campaign ~ Blah, Yawn.

See the picture for the FB conversation.

Mad about it. How about you? Do you miss The Target Christmas Champ?


Foto Friday: Twilight Team Edward


Princess Erin, Princess Charlee and I went to see the “midnight” (it was actually at 10pm) showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2


It was AWESOMMMMEEEE!!! If you’re not a fan, cool. Do you! I had a great time and this was the first time I have ever gone to an midnight opening of a movie. The audience was FUN!! The ladies in front of us brought the Edward cutout and people lined up to take a picture with him.


The battle sequence ~ BEST PART…and with the audience gasping, screaming and cheering just made it that more exciting. Without giving anything away, one of the best moments was when the entire theater, in unison, screamed “YEAH!!!! FEED HER TO THE WOLF!!”


Bella was straight up GANGSTER.


Some of my favorite lines:

Bella: “You knicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?!!!!!”

Jacob: “C’MON!! Dracula 1&2…Creepy.”


I’ll leave you with this: It's all fun and games until Alice shows ya that your future is not so bright, huh?