Let me first explain where the nickname "Gigi" comes from...don't laugh at me. Well, at least don't let me hear you.
I remember watching the television show, Gidget starring Sally Field when I was maybe 11 or 13, okay when I was about 15 years old and just really remembering thinking that I liked Gidget and wanted her lifestyle. Granted, her mother was deceased and she was raised by her dad, but her life just seemed so ideal and so different than mine. Don't get me wrong, I did not have a traumatic childhood (unless you count my brother nagging at me). I was blessed but our lives were just so different, me and Gidget.
It was probably one of the hallmark times in my growing, formative years when I realized that I wished that I was Gidget because I thought that her life could be mine if I were white. Mostly happy-go-lucky, eager to try new things and all of life's issues could be resolved in less than 30 minutes; what's not to like? Ultimately, she was journeying into adulthood and I so much wanted to do it with her and just like her too.
But alas (insert VERY dramatic sigh) this was not my life.
It was after college and some very challenging times in my twenties and thirties when I learned that I can live a life similar to Gidget or actually, that I am. While I do not live at the beach, surf and enjoy the warm weather of Cali, I do get myself "in and out of trouble" just like Gidget. And perhaps like her, I grow and learn from it - no two episodes/life lessons were exactly alike. I, like everyone else, am more complicated than I/and Gidget appear/ed on the surface. There are likely many things that I enjoy or am at my core that you can relate to but there are also differences that make me original, quirky, handcrafted by God and I am really beginning to like that.
So Gigi comes from sort of wanting to be like Gidget but realizing that Gigi sounds more close to my name and less far out (see me using my eyes to stare you down so that you don't tell me otherwise). So. My nickname is Gigi. Yes, I realize that it's odd that I gave myself this nickname, but at least I explained to you how it happened. Get on board please, you don't want to slow us down now do you?
The first picture shows confirmation of the seriousness of my relationship with Starbucks. Starbucks is a part of my DNA and with as much time as I've spent there and as many drinks as I've had, I think that part of my blood may pump out Caramel Macchiatos. So, I enjoy coffee. I like to drink the coffee, especially out of those red Christmas cups (who is with me?). Addicted? Maybe, but all of my friends accept this about me and know that it is an easy way "in". Get on board people!
The next photo shows me as a mom and a volunteer. This is Dylan. He will be 14 years old next month. I was widowed when his dad's humvee was hit by an IED in Iraq in 2004. This is a picture of us before the Memorial Day Parade last year. We decided not to walk in the parade with the group that focused on those they've lost but rather with the group promoting awareness for the Fisher House, Wisconsin. We stayed in two of the houses while the doctors attempted to rehab Dylan's dad - a traumatic experience. They are building one in Milwaukee (which would have been incredibly helpful for us in 2004/2005) and we want to help. As a mom to this very creative future screenwriter, I am quite busy and still learning a ton about myself. If you want to grow, the parenting gig is for YOU! I really appreciate that we have been able to volunteer TOGETHER at several events to raise awareness and funds for the Fisher House. Teaching and learning alongside my child, this is excellence to me.
In this photo, second from the right, you see that I am a friend and a disciple of Jesus Christ and this is the woman who helped me grow in both. This friend is a superstar. I won't say too much except that when someone tells her "no" or "you can not do that woman!" it is like an anthem or charge to tackle the project and make it cry that it ever considered that she would not be able to conquer it. Love her. This is a photo of us inside the top of the St. Louis Arch. I also like to travel and see new places. She and I have traveled with two other friends around Europe by way of a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise - once in a lifetime baby. This photo symbolizes a reunion that was long overdue and worth every minute of the time and effort put into getting there.
Finally, a picture of me "dropping the mic". This reminds me of a beautiful (that's the right word I think) experience with some of my sorority sisters at our Grand Convention last summer. In a conversation about Fraternity business we thought it might be best to respond by doing this. None of us did (we have got some home training), but I think we definitely felt it ought to have been attempted (before the escort out by security?). I am considered a fairly serious person but inside laugh and crack myself up at all kinds of things that I see. We are just a funny group of folks - society - ain't we? Well, if you don't agree, I can share with you why I think this is true. So, this is me in my home, with a mic that I'm about to drop. I ended up sending the photo to a few of the gurls and we still laugh about it to this day. Wishing that more days were filled with these kinds of moments. Or maybe that I only need to stop and look for them.
There are more faces of me, I hope you'll come back to visit and see them!