White Horses and Cruising

Remember being little and dreaming of your “one true love”?

I do.

I watched a lot of Disney movies as a kid. Sue me.

I spent a lot of days imagining what that would be like; finding my one true love. He would probably ride a noble white horse and carry a sword. He would be tall. He would wear boots. He would be strong. He would slay a dragon and come wake me with true love’s kiss to save me from eternal sleep. (okay, maybe I watched Sleeping Beauty a lot more than I thought)

I still watch Disney movies but at some point, I grew up. And while I still love Disney movies, my idea about what my love is has changed–especially since I discovered that riding a horse everywhere in a city is wildly unrealistic. Also carrying a sword in public is generally frowned upon. Additionally, where the hell are you gonna find a dragon to slay? And why would I be stuck in an eternal sleep?? I mean, I have a lot of questions.

Either way, I hoped that he’d be funny–like laugh out loud, give me headaches funny. And smart. I hoped he’d be a nerd like me and know how to cook the things I don’t know how to. I hoped he’d be strong and handsome. I hoped he’d listen to country and rap. And metal. And 90’s pop radio. More than anything, I just hoped he’d be my best friend. I hoped that beyond being my “one true love”, we’d be friends. The kind of friends that take care of each other. That will hold my hair back if I’m sick and that would still kiss each other with morning breath.
Ultimately, I hoped he existed.

Somewhere along the way, I gave up looking. It was futile. And stupid. Prince Charming isn’t real. There are no white knights or dragons. I’m not a princess waiting to be saved.

But then, he was there. Not Prince Charming. My best friend. And he was always there.

Since we were 14, he’s been one that makes me laugh until I cry and will debate me on things that no one else will. Who knows how to make caldo de res and who nerds out to Star Wars. Who sings along to Breaking Benjamin and then to Intocable and then to Blake Shelton (don’t tell him I told you). He’s handsome and strong. He’s tall and wears boots. He isn’t so great with his words all the time and he isn’t perfect, but neither am I. He doesn’t slay dragons but he’s saved me from splinters in my feet, from having to get my hair wet in the rain, and from the most awkward, hurtful situations.

And while he isn’t a prince, and I’m not a princess, we are best friends.

Disney got it wrong, the whole Prince Charming thing (BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MARRY A GUY YOU JUST MET, ANNA). Because you don’t live happily ever after with some douche on a horse with a sword, dancing a waltz in a ballroom.

But if you’re lucky, you get a pretty legit life, rapping Dr. Dre and singing Evanescence, cruising around in a truck, holding hands with your best friend.

And that makes for a way better story.

 

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Left: 2004, Right: 2018

Mama Nancy and Daddy Carlos answer your questions

Y’all know how much I love my parents. Really love them. I don’t go a day without talking to one (most of the time, both) of them. They’re fantastic.

I am super lucky that my friends love them, too and value their advice. So when I came up with the idea of letting my mama take over my blog as an “Ask Mama Nancy” thing, my friends were totally into it.

Well, folks, y’all have blown my socks off. We got so many great questions and I am especially grateful that Mama Nancy AND Daddy Carlos have chosen to answer them for you.

Without further ado…

1. What is your skin care regimen?-Miss Carrie

Mama Nancy: Because I don’t have a specific routine that I follow involving morning creams, cleansing, nightly creams, cleansing, etc. with expensive anti-aging creams/lotions/etc. (although I probably should), I do use products containing moisturizer as much as possible. Most of my life I have used Ivory soap for baths and to remove makeup.  Within last five years have begun use moisturizing hand soap for baths and hand washing (buy the large “Soft Soap” bottles of Honey and Cream).  I use Suave body lotion (Baby Powder scent) after bath. Cetafil moisturizing cream on my face as my base before applying makeup, and do not wear makeup on the weekends (unless we are going out).   

 
Daddy Carlos: coffee, drink water, and take my vitamins.
 
2. What’s the worst thing Aislinn ever did as a kid?-Anonymous

MN: Sneaking out of the house at age 13. Aislinn snuck out of the house via her bedroom window late at night after we had all gone to bed to go joy riding with some friends.  Given the hour and her means of exiting guessing she believed I would never find out. WRONG!!!!  Momma’s can feel it when their kids are up to something.  I woke up during the night.  Checked in on her and found her not in bed and the window slightly raised and the screen removed.  I replaced the screen; locked the window; turn off the lights in her room, and waited.  At around 2:00 a.m.  I heard her at the window.  She knew she had been found out and was in trouble.   I opened the front door, stood on the porch and waited for her to come to me.  I told her I was extremely disappointed in her. Through this one thoughtless act she had endangered herself and lost my trust, which would take a considerable time to earn back. She was grounded for a month, and I mean grounded.  She never, ever did it again.

She failed to tell y’all how my daddy kept me up the entire night and the rest of the next day doing housework and mowing the lawn because he said “you wanna stay up all night? Okay. We’re gonna stay up alllll night.” Damn right I never did that again.
 

 DC: Kiss a boy in the computer room. Poor guy, I made him so uncomfortable that he had to leave. Well, that’s what daddies do.

 
3. Do you ever worry about Aislinn getting hurt at CrossFit?-John

MN: All the time.

DC: Yes, I worry all the time because she does not listen.

 
4. What is the most embnarrassing thing you witnessed Aislinn do during high school?-Chad “The Judge” Judy

MN: I can’t recall Aislinn ever doing anything to embarrass me. I do recall her “yearly fall” in the upperclassman halls while in junior high and high school and even the first year of college.  Had I fallen in a crowd as she did, I would have been supremely embarrassed.  So each time I learned about a fall, I felt embarrassed for her (but only after ensuring she had not hurt herself). But she wasn’t really embarrassed, either.  Her reaction upon falling flat on her face in a crowded school hallway (or in front of the LSU Student Union) was to laugh at herself.  (Good for her!)  Inevitably, the good looking guys would run to her rescue. (Maybe that is why she was never embarrassed?)

DC: Floor (knock out) one of the boys cause he would not stop bothering her and trying to kiss her.

5. What was the greatest unrealized fear you had while Aislinn was growing up?-Kristie
MN: The late night call to tell me she has been harmed/hurt in some way.  That fears stays with me, and I hope it stays unrealized always.
 
DC: That she grows up to be one of those who falls in the category of “Help! I have started talking and I can’t shut up”.  A car accident.
 

6. What was Aislinn like as a baby? Was she ever dropped on her head?-Jarrell
MN: Beautiful, inside and out, quick to laugh, inquisitive, bright, and absolutely the light of my life (I swear she has to say this, y’all. She’s my MOM).  We never dropped her on her head, but she did sustain a fall when she was about a year and a half hitting her head on a carpeted concrete floor. She opened her mouth to let out a scream that did not come. She could not breathe. I felt overwhelming fear and panic run the length of my body as I rushed to pick her up. Thankfully, my husband did not panic.  He told me to blow in her face.  I did.  She let out the loudest wail and I felt relief, but not for long.  I immediately called the pediatrician to ask about signs of a concussion.   Although she seemed fine and exhibited none of the signs of a concussion, I lay awake with her cuddled next to me throughout the night while she slept, just in case.  She’s had her falls and spills (see #4 above), but I learned fear and panic can wait, when it comes to your baby, it was more important to stay calm and do what is needed.

DC: Dude, anyone can see she has “Dain Bramage”.  Dude where have you been? (Thanks, Daddy)
 
7. What’s your favorite food?-Anonymous
MN: Beef fajitas and guacamole.

DC: Aaahhhhh anything that tastes good and if I am allergic to it…well I will just have to deal with that later.
 
8. Why isn’t Aislinn named “Nancy III”?-Anonymous
MN: Because she would not have been a III (Junior, maybe, but I didn’t like my name enough to saddle my daughter with a “junior”), and I really liked the name “Aislinn” which is Gaelic for “Beloved Dream”.  I was given both my mother’s legal name (Aurora) and her nickname (Nancy).  Nancy a nickname?  Let me tell you a story.  When my mother was born, my grandmother named her Nancy. My grandfather liked the name Aurora.  In those days, with home births, birth certificates were completed at the county courthouse.  My grandfather did the honors. Guess what name he put on the birth certificate?  Right!  Not Nancy. When my mom needed a copy of her birth certificate at age 18, the courthouse personnel were unable to find it under the name Nancy.  But they did find an Aurora with her date of birth and parents.  (My grandmother gave my grandfather an earful about this, according to my mother). Mom, nonetheless, was always and forever known as Nancy never using the name Aurora. 
I loved the name Aislinn.  First saw it in a book by Kathleen Woodiweiss called “The Wolf and the Dove”, a book I read after finals my senior year in college in 1974 (13 years before Aislinn was born.).  Loved the beauty and the strength of the character named Aislinn and the name itself.  Thought then about naming a daughter Aislinn, IF I ever had one.  In 1987, when my husband and I learned we were going to have a baby girl.  He readily agreed.  He selected her middle name Alysse. 

DC: I guess for the same reason girls don’t use their mother’s wedding dress.  From what I can see…naming the kid after you/wearing the mom’s dress seems to be the mother’s wish and the daughter tries to let her down gently by saying ” But Mom, the last time you saw this dress it was on yourself.  Why would you want to ruin that vision?” (Is that a left handed complement?) Way to reference my post, daddy. Haha.
 
9. What’s your favorite thing about the ranch?-Jarrell
MN: Sitting under a mesquite tree drinking ice cold beer. Eating the fajitas, mojellas, and pinto beans cooked over an open campfire. And leaving.

DC: No one to bother me and can “Crop dust” all I want or as more sophisticated people like to say “drop a Rose” Farting, guys. He’s talking about farting.
 
10. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to high school girls?-Anonymous
MN: Wow!  That’s a tough one.   Given all the pressures of high school (which unfortunately continue to some degree or another thereafter, too), I think the best advice is to know your values, live your values, and know you have value.  AND when and if you have any doubts or are in any way uncertain, talk to your parents.  We were young once, too.  The challenges of growing up don’t really change that much. 

DC: Support yourself women have the last word on sex.  You can always borrow a guy for the night cause it is less expensive.  And go on about your business and don’t hold your breath and girls should stop thinking that being married is the ultimate thing in life.
 
11. How do you make your hair so perfect?-Anonymous
MN: Trust me, it is far from perfect!  (Wavy with frizzies) But when it does look “perfect” it is because of the precision haircut by an excellent master haircutter named Helen at Visible Changes in Memorial City Mall who over the past 15 years has come to know my hair and what it can and cannot (or should not) do.  AND a Chi straightener.

DC: I don’t.  It’s too much work and if you’re ugly like me, what difference could it make? Perfect guys hair is like when I see people who dyed there hair and now they really look dead…sorry, that is not one of my aspirations.
 
12. What’s your best advice about dealing with boys?-Jill
MN: See answer to # 10 above.

DC: Just treat us like your dog (hope you’re a good owner).  Yes, we will tell you what you want to hear but you must understand that we do not really mean it ’cause…’cause well, we weren’t made that way!

13. What are your top 5 favorite southern sayings?-Lacey

MN: “If I tell you a rooster can plow, hitch him up.” (My favorite!)

“Love does not go begging.”

“One day, I hope you have a child just like you.” (Her mama “blessed” her with this curse and she did the same to me. Safe to say…I’m not planning kiddos) 
“If you want it done right, do it yourself.”
“Never get involved with anyone that has less to lose than you do.”
 

DC: “Wow, that chick is hot.” 
“Does it taste good?” 
“Does it come with fries?” 
“Have it your way”
“Thank you”
 

14. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given Aislinn that’s been passed down from a prior generation of your family?-Miss Dulcie
MN: Despite my having vehemently insisted I would never repeat it to my children because I hated hearing it, the best advice is, “Because I said so!”  Your parents are the ones who will always love you unconditionally, have only your best interest at heart, and are determined to protect you from all things including yourself and to help you learn to be the best you can be. When they say, “Because I said so,” it is after consideration of all of the above.  The hope is that once they are adults, they will have come to that realization and make decisions for themselves they have learned to love themselves unconditionally, act in their own best interest, and make decisions that makes them and their lives the best it can be.

DC: If you don’t stop kissing that boy in the computer room, I am going to beat you both with a chancla (sandal. In Spanish). Aislinn will say the same thing to her nieces ’cause she is not allowed to marry. Okay, she can adopt a dog.
 
15. What’s the best original advice you’ve ever given Aislinn?-Miss Dulcie
MN: Truthfully, I can’t think of any advice I have ever given that is not in some way derived from something I learned from my mother or my father.  Maybe that is the way it should be.

DC: I’m proud of you for decking that boy to the floor.  Oh, don’t listen to your mother she’s a girl.
 
16. As a mama, can you put into words the amount of accomplishment you feel for Aislinn?-Xavier
MN: I feel the same overwhelming sense of joy and wonder today for Aislinn as I did the first time the nurse put her in my arms 26 years ago.  She was a wonder then – my first and only child, with 10 perfect fingers and toes, my nose, her daddy’s eyes and chin, and my mom and dad’s first grandchild.  Throughout her life, I have seen wonderful traits and characteristics I can trace back to my mother and others within the family. To this day she continues to amaze me with all her talents, skills, her passions and compassion, and all she is capable of doing, has accomplished, and is likely to accomplish in the future.  She truly is a composite of all that is the best of both her daddy and I and all those who came before her.  We are blessed.

DC: My wife would say “Thank you Mija for not listening to your Dad”.  Sorry guys, girls don’t understand that things work better in reverse…she listened to me kind of a lot and she came out purtyyy good.
 
17. How high do you have to count before responding to sass from Aislinn?-Miss Dulcie (lol!)
MN: I don’t.  I immediately give her “the look” which she has come to know from an early age, means stop it NOW, or I say, “You don’t talk to me that way,” and walk away.  Either way, she knows she is in trouble and it will cost her something she values.

DC: First I will slap the biscuits out of you and conserve my energy for something more rewarding than counting.  Counting, really?  Who the hell started that?  Could not have been a guy.
 
18. How can you let your daughter join the Marines?  Is it because she’s an adult?-Anonymous
MN: You answered your own question, but I’d like to elaborate a bit.  Aislinn is an adult who is responsible for making her own decisions regarding her life and its direction.  Thankfully, she still asks our opinion and considers it . Aislinn comes from a family on both sides who have served their country.  Her grandfathers on both sides and ALL of her great uncles WWII veterans.  Several of her uncles and cousins, also on both sides of the family, have served and continue to in the military. (One even graduated from the Air Force Academy.) That she would consider the military is not a surprise given the value we place on service to country and community.  However, we are also very aware of the inherent risks of military service.  We trust she will consider all aspects of any commitment she may choose to make to serve in the military, and if in the end she decides to make the commitment, then I like my grandmothers, aunts, and my mother before me, will pray every day that she be kept out of harm’s way and sees her safely home.

DC: Sounds to me like someone does not think the Marines are a good organization.  This falls under one of many categories but the first and most pressing is “success or failure on your terms or mine”.  Only after the decision has been made and there is some history behind it will we know if it was the right decision or not.  Any one coming out of the forces and says it was good is saying they were successful.  If a person says the experience was negative then we’ll know it was not successful.  The idea is life is to line up what you will be involved in in a manor such that it is leading you toward your goals or accomplishments.  I remember when she was a kid and set up a lemonade stand.  She was disappointed to say the least.  So I asked, “what did you learn?”  She started with these people are this, that and the other.  So I told her “No. What you learned was: that Lemonade is not what sells around here, bone head!!!”  Oh don’t worry she did many other things and succeeded.
 
19. What is your exercise regimen?-Anonymous 
MN: Zumba!

DC: Work at the ranch and have a can of Bud Light in each hand.  You should see how well developed my…


…stomach is.
Did you really think I was going to say arms?
 
20. Does Aislinn get her determination from you or from Daddy Carlos, or both?
If its from both, how do you guys get along?-Anonymous

MN: Probably from both of us, but Aislinn is her own person and perhaps represents the best of both of us.  As for my husband and I, we have been happily married for almost 28 years. So far; so good. (At the time of our engagement, my husband jokingly set out the terms of a marriage contract as he envisioned it – a 50 year term of marriage with an option to renew every 10 years thereafter.  Even after 28 years, fully expect to fulfil the terms of the contact and then some!) 

DC: Mostly I am amazed at how smart Nancy and Aislinn are. Me, I don’t want to be smart. It’s too much responsibility. Of course, when we get pissy we say things like, “well, you’re just like your uncle so and so!” but that doesn’t last long ’cause then I get hungry and decide that eating is more important than being pissy. Hey, what do you want? I’m a guy, remember? The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Duh. Where have you been?
 
21. Are you a regular reader of Eat Pray WOD?  As I said before, the genius of Aislinn’s blog is that we can all see a little of ourselves in her experiences.-Anonymous
MN: If checking Aislinn’s blog every 2 or 3 weeks or so and reading all entries to catch up equates to regular, then yes, I am a regular reader.  I’m glad you think Aislinn’s blog is “genius”.  I think she is pretty awesome myself.  I love her sense of self and humor. She makes me laugh (most of the time.)

DC: Us guys don’t even read instructions when they are provided…what would ever make anyone think that I would read a blog? Hell, I was busy installing a “Solar powered water pump”.  Do you really believe I have time to read a blog? Goodness. HAHAHAHA He makes a valid point.
22. Will you adopt me?  I can always use some sage advice.  Its okay if Aislinn is your favorite.-Anonymous
MN:  You know, after we had Aislinn, my husband and I wanted more children.  We tried and sought medical help, but after a while we decided to leave it in God’s hands. God’s answer was, “No.” As is often the case, we sometimes do not know the “reason” behind God’s plan for us.  Now that we have seen Aislinn through elementary, junior high, high school, college, graduate school, and all of the attendant costs, challenges, etc. we now know the reason — ONE CHILD IS MORE THAN ENOUGH!!!!!   Please do not take offense.  We are just too far along in years to start over.   Nonetheless, will give you one piece of advice — you have only to look homeward for sage advice.

DC: When I see parents putting up with their “little tricycle motors” (babies), I am sooooo glad that I am older than dirt and past all the child raising. When you get old you get very selfish with your time. I guess if I had a lot of money, I would do it, but don’t hold your breath. I am not in the mood for putting up with more stuff.
 

23. What happened to flight 370?-Jill and Steve
MN: It never arrived at its destination and has disappeared.  Beyond that, it is anyone’s guess.
 
DC: Oh yea, the dam plane.  I’ll tell you what happened to the dam plane…it’s MISSING!
 
Thank you to all of you who wrote in questions. This is hands down the funniest post I never wrote. And thanks to my wonderful parents who indulge me in every crazy, harebrained idea I have. Even when it involves me calling them in the middle of the night begging for them to take over my blog for a day.

Dealing with The Askhole

We all know that person.
The Askhole.

The Askhole is that person that constantly asks you for your advice or opinions and then blantantly does the opposite of what you said to do.

The face you make when you waste your breath giving your honest and well thought out insight and advice and then The Askhole does the complete opposite:

It sucks, but we all know someone like that.

I am not a health specialist. I don’t specialize in nutrition. Like I’ve said a bazillion times before, I’m just some girl who gained an f*ckton (it’s a metric unit) of weight and then didn’t want to be fat anymore. So I got rid of it. And it worked. And that’s great news.

Naturally, I get a lot of questions about how I lost weight and what I do now. And I LOVE questions. I love to help anyone in anyway I can on their fitness journey (or through life or whatever).

Of course, there is no fitness plan that’s going to fit everyone. Some people can eat whatever and stay rail thin.
Other people (like me) think about a cookie and gain 40 lbs.
You just have to try stuff out and figure out what’s right for you.

But this is where the Askhole comes in.

They sit you down with whatever problem they’re having and beg for your help. They tell you that you’re the only one that can possibly help with what they’re going through and you just HAVE to. So you do.
You think up some awesome and well planned advice. You are considerate of their feelings and give it to them.

AND THEN THEY DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE.
Ugh.

This used to really disappoint me. I seriously used to get upset. I used to get really mad about it and just sit on being mad for a few days. Like, what a waste of time!

Until yesterday. I just gave up being mad. After her pleading with me to help her, I literally spent 45 minutes explaining to a woman about how her diet consisting completely of simple carbohydrates was probably not ideal for her body or health. And when I was finished she said, “well I just love bread and pasta so I’m not going to eat anything else. I just want a pill to make me lose this weight”

Annnnnd I’m done.

I give up. I think I’ve just taught myself that sometimes, the best thing you can do is tell someone. But you can’t force them to listen and you can’t force them to do the things that are good for them or that will benefit them if they don’t want to.

Just proof: you can lead a person to diet and exercise, but you can’t make them do it.