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Maybe you should pray for me…

When I was a little girl I thought prayer necessitated folded hands and kneeling bedside. The problem is that I was smart enough to know that monsters live under the bed, so I knew that kneeling next to the bed was just asking for it; prayers or not! Not much later in life I imagined that prayer deserved gowns and candles and chanting. Actually that makes me wonder what ancient religion I was channeling. Plus, it seems wise to never mix fire with long gowns. Now I’m at a very different stage in my prayer life. I just sat here and wrote a beautiful account of how I’ve matured into a solemn and professional praying Christian. Then I laughed out loud and deleted that steaming pile of lies. The truth is that sometimes praying is emotional and powerful, but mostly it’s awkward and organic. I have proof.

The following is an (almost) unadulterated account of a recent prayer session of mine:

I was in the car stewing over a rough family situation and obsessing over how to handle this delicately festering relationship. I finally decided it was time to give it over to God and I began to pray out loud:

Dear God.

Sheesh, why’d I say that so stupidly formal. 

Yo, Big G.

Oh that’s just wrong. Sorry.

Okay, God, here it is,  I need to unload this…

** Suddenly a car cuts me off, causing me to spill my hot coffee on my lap**

OH FIRETRUCK! (except, I didn’t yell firetruck, because who says that when they scald their crotch during a near-death road rage incident?)

Oh great, I just said that during prayer. I’m sorry. Wow. Um, God? Did you hear that? Of course you did. Duh! Yeah, so, I’m a hot mess, obviously my problems are probably my fault.  Throw a poor dog a bone? I may not be the most lost sheep in your herd. I’m just the one walking in circles and butting my head into the fence over and over…

Beautiful prayer time. Just precious.

The only reason I share this ridiculousness is because sometimes prayer seems like it’s supposed to be beautiful like a Norman Rockwell painting.  It feels like it requires fancy clothes, gentle words, and pomp and circumstance. In reality, prayer can be as messy as life.  Prayer is a conversation with God. Sometimes those conversations are thoughtful and eloquent, but more often they are sloppy and barely coherent. And that is okay.  Better than okay: It’s important and necessary.  If you wait until you think you are all put together, or until you have the perfect words, to take your needs to God you will rarely, if ever, get there.

My prayers are more like a slop bucket filled with life’s messy leftovers.  That sometimes feels like a really unfortunate gift to offer God.  If prayers were given line numbers according to their eloquence, I’d be waiting outside, in the cold and around the corner. But thankfully (and thank God) prayer is not like that.  It is beautiful just to offer genuine prayers about genuine life, laid before our genuine God.  I like to think it’s okay to get real and get messy. Prayer isn’t about coming to God once you feel worthy of being listened to.  It’s about realizing that you have been listened to all along. And you have always been worthy.

And, don’t drink hot coffee and drive.  Or at least be smart and use a travel mug with a lid. Better yet, maybe you should pray for me.

~~Delaney Rhea

prayer-hands

 

 

 

The Unicorn Theory

Everyone loves unicorns.  At least, everyone with a soul.

Unicorns are magical. They poop rainbows. And they have a horn… to stab soulless people who don’t like them. Win win! I’ve been obsessed with unicorns since the days of Lisa Frank school supplies.  Unicorns are the unofficial mascot for awesomeness!

I’ve always wanted scientists to discover an actual unicorn on some remote island because I want a unicorn! Or, at least I want to see one.

But all I’ve ever seen are horses. It’s a let down and a disappointment. Horses are just so… plain. No horn. No magic. And their poop is definitely NOT rainbows.

There is one big thing that horses have that unicorns don’t have. Can you guess it?

REALITY!

How many times have you been disappointed by a horse because you were holding out for a unicorn? Or, worded differently, how many times have you been disappointed by reality because you were holding out for a fantasy?

I blame Disney and the media. Disney teaches young girls that they will fall in love with princes who are well dressed, can sing, will slay dragons, and love them without question (or personality) for eternity. Talk about a load of crap, and not even rainbow colored!

Commercials promise that everything from new cookware to a new toothbrush will change our lives for the better instantly. The diet industry has been working via the Unicorn Theory for decades! Eat more rainbow unicorn poop and you too will look like a supermodel!

We even look for unicorns with our friends and family. We aren’t happy with their time/attention/gifts/words/etc. because we were expecting a unicorn and all they gave us was a horse. Be honest, how many times have you placed unrealistic expectations on the people in your life and later got mad at them when they only gave you realistic actions?

Do you have hopes for outcomes of situations that are just too high and then you suffer when life hands you a big dose of reality?

Do you expect your friends to put your needs ahead of their own, or their family’s, on a regular basis and at your every whim? Even though that’s not exactly being a good friend on your part?

Are you so focused on your child getting all A’s that you are devastated by a C? Even though a C is an average grade?

Do you judge your own middle-aged, normal, body by the standards of Hollywood Stars? Even though you know that teams of professionals make a living by making the stars looks as good as they do?

Do you think your significant other should know your wants and needs without being told? And that it is his/her responsibility to make you feel happy, special and important? Even though feeling special and happy come from the inside and not even rainbow unicorn poop can change that if you can’t do it for yourself?

STOP!

There are no UNICORNS! There are also no pots of gold at the end of the poop rainbow, so stop searching for fantasy and start living in reality.

Horses are truly lovely. They are beautiful and majestic animals even though their poop is just brown and smelly.  You can live a happy and fulfilled life enjoying all of the many beautiful horses without pining away for an imaginary unicorn.

Sometimes all we need in life is to adjust our expectations to reality in order to stop the damaging cycle of constantly seeking something that doesn’t exist.

However, if you are expecting a horse and you are given a worn out half-dead ass, well then, pity party on my friend. Pity party on and make some changes, because that’s not good enough for you! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Namaste,

Delaney Rhea

unicorn2

Let’s take a trip to the mutilation station…

Sometimes people make mistakes and then do immediate damage control to regain power and strength.

Not me.

I like to take a problem and MULTIPLY it.  No, really.  Do you need proof?  Game on!

This week blessed us with a taste of really gloriously perfect spring weather.  I wanted nothing more than to hit the trails on my bike.  Unfortunately, my riding buddies were busy being responsible adults.  Against their recommendations and judgment, I decided that taking a nine mile trail ride alone would be perfectly fine as long as I sent the following text:

“FYI I’m starting my ride.  If I go missing it means there were clowns*.”

*Clowns are evil and therefore are our term for all things dangerous and scary.

I rode hard and fast 5 miles into my favorite trail.  My legs felt strong, my bike was smooth, the weather was great, and I was a bad ass.  I turned around before the trail became a scary forest of danger and headed back to my truck.  As I think about it now I see myself passing runners, walkers, an other cyclists.

I was in my groove.  That trail was my “bitch.”

That trail said, “Bitch, you are MY bitch!”

My tire got caught just so in a rut in the pavement and I not only went down hard, but slid through the gravel as though I was playing in the major leagues and going for home plate in the World Series.

Time stopped.

I did a quick glance around, nobody saw me.  I checked the bike; everything was intact.  WHEW!  Then… oh dear GOD… then, I checked my leg… HAMBURGER!  Blood and bodily fluids were starting to fill the jagged ruts carved into my leg by gravel.  My elbow was flayed open and my palms were turning crimson (the last week I had gifted my gloves to my son, who outgrew his, and had yet to replace mine.)

Before reality set in I jumped back on the bike and calculated that I had 3 1/2 miles left to reach my vehicle.  I can make it.  I can do it.  I am badass.  I’m am starting to lose consciousness… I can’t breathe….

Remember the text I sent?  I called my riding buddy and grunted, “I crashed, I’m about to pass out, talk to me.”

I’m pretty sure I was being lectured but I was too busy trying to focus on riding one-handed (slowly) while talking on the phone.  Then I had to go “no hands” when another cyclist called me out for riding while on the phone, so I had to talk on the phone with one hand, flip him off with the other hand and gush blood down my leg into my sock simultaneously.

Fast forward through my friend /bitch riding buddy meeting me and laughing while taking pictures of my road rash and I arrive at home to face the task of washing the dirt and gravel out of my raw flesh.  I can’t do it. I’m bad-ass, not suicidal.

So, I self medicated with a really stiff Gin and Tonic… or two.  AHHHH… that shower went so much better than expected.  I barely felt the water flushing out the inner layers of my body, so far unseen in my lifetime.

Was it the alcohol?  Was it peer pressure from hearing stories of professional “Brazilian Style” waxing?  I’ll never know why I decided that my drunk and injured state was the right time to do some female landscaping.  Blame it on blood loss.  Blame it on the booze. Regardless of the blame, the facts are that I took a razor to my bikini line and it ended as well as my bike ride.

Blood.

Oozing.

Pain.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?

Let’s recap:  I wiped out and got major road rash, used alcohol to numb the pain, then shaved my lady parts and drew more blood.

Funny right? The story should end here.

But it doesn’t.

What do you do with open wounds?  You apply Triple-antibiotic ointment to lesson the chances of infection.  Right?

What if it turns out that you suddenly have an allergic reaction to the ointment? Oh, I’ll tell you what happens.  Here it is: Blood, puss, ooze, and now RED ITCHY BUMPS EVERYWHERE!

True story.

I’m betting that your week seems all kinds of lovely now by comparison.  Right?

~~Delaney

 

 

 

What’s a little spittle between friends?

I’m now wearing my 11th tray out of 27 for my Invisalign treatment.  I can honestly say that things have improved immensely since I first wrote about my experience: here.  Then again, that may be a little like announcing that Velveeta is amazing cheese compared to Cheese Whiz. *Stop, unless you are 14 or a college stoner, do not try to tell me that Velveeta or Cheese Whiz are actually cheese, or edible.  Do not anger the Goddess of Brie*

I can definitively say that I no longer feel like I’m walking around with Tupperware in my mouth.  Now it only feels like my teeth are shrink wrapped.

I’m quite used to lisping and spitting when I talk at this point.  What I’m not used to is the constant cotton-mouth dryness.  My mouth has become an arid desert and my tongue dry and rough like sand.  And that, my friends, is why I drink wine water constantly.

Before starting treatment I kept hearing that wearers lost an average of 10 pounds in the first months of wear due to discomfort and having to take them out to eat.  I took that as a challenge.  I’ve proven that you can be in mouth pain and only give yourself less than two hours of collective time a day to eat and still shovel enough food down your throat to maintain a plush healthiness of your waistline.  WINNER!

There is nothing like reaching into your mouth and yanking out spit covered retainers at the dinner table to make conversation come to a halt.  Except maybe the one time I shoved them in my coat pocket and then accidentally pulled them out in front of the grocery store cashier while looking for my credit card.

At least I’m no longer in pain from the treatment. I think after about four weeks the roots of my teeth were so loosened in my head that I could probably rearrange my teeth like Stonehenge without pain.

To my surprise, for the most part, people don’t seem to be aware that I’m wearing them.  At first I thought the name Invisalign should be changed to Hellolookatmyplasticteethalign  because with the way they felt I seriously thought even Mr. Magoo could see them.  As I’ve been out and about socially *I’m really popular* I’ve had people ask, “Do you have them in right now?” more than a couple of times.   Maybe they really are invisible.  Maybe all of my friends need corrective eyewear.

I do find that I am unable to throw away each tray when I move on to the next.  I now have a horded stash of my previous 10 trays as a trophy of the progress I’ve made.  I thought that was totally normal until my husband stumbled upon them and in horror asked, ” Why? Are you going to save them all until the end and then wear them in reverse?”  I can promise I hadn’t thought of that.

The amazing part of this journey is that I no longer have ‘summer teeth.’  You know: Some are here, some are there.  I can now see that there have been real changes in my bite and the alignment of my teeth.  That’s all the encouragement I need to continue this journey.

~~Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to Ed Sheeran

Dear Ed Sheeran,

You don’t know me.  You should, but that’s not the point right now.  I ‘ve been enjoying your song, “Don’t” on the radio.  Here’s what I’ve learned: DON’T f*** with Ed Sheeran.  He will write a song about it that will make you writhe in agony over your sins.  Writhe.  Agony.  But, since its not about me, I enjoy the tune quite a bit.

It makes me think of another love-burnt song writer by the name of Taylor Swift.

After a short amount of internet detective work (everything on the internet is true)  I’ve surmised the following: You and Taylor are friends (the plutonic kind,) you and Taylor have similar taste in up-and-coming hottie musicians, and you and Taylor have both felt the magma of betrayal on your hearts that you’ve turned into money making musical hits.

I am ready to set you both straight.

You, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift should marry.  Yes.  Really.  Go for the friend.  Stop looking for the blazing fire romance and realize that your go-to confidant is the one you should be with.

Excitement, drama, lust, and maybe a little ‘pixie dust’ are all fabulous in your 20’s.  But seriously, those are also a recipe for emotional tragedy that makes the Titanic seem like a minor slip-up.

You and Taylor are talented, damaged, funny, and cute.  Just imagine your fair-skinned, ginger-haired, musically prodigious offspring.

On the flip-side, if your relationship goes south, and they all do in Hollywood, imagine the publicity fodder from your competing albums.  You could each write songs about the other in the form of a Lincoln- Douglas Debate, complete with rebuttals! It could be a reality series.  A cross between Survivor and The Voice.  You could face off with your angry, angst-ridden, break-up songs that will fuel a new generation of young dater-haters.  You might even top Alanis Morissette’s, “You Ought to Know.”

In the meantime, I will be enjoying the fruits of your misery.  Do me a favor, pick another flakey fling to burn your heart soon.  You write good stuff when you are mad.

Sincerely,

~~Delaney

ed and taylor

 

Excuse me while I remove this Tupperware from my mouth…

This is a very unofficial guide to Invisalign.  So, you think you’d like straight teeth?  You have crowding that makes it hard to floss and painful to eat foods that get caught?  You don’t want the unsightly look of train tracks across your smile?  There is another way!  Invisalign.

But, before you start, I’d like to give you some words of wisdom.  Seeing as how I’ve successfully completed my first two weeks of treatment, I’m a total expert.

  1. Ignorance is bliss! So you think that wearing Invisalign will be much easier and more comfortable than traditional braces?  It’s just a little piece of plastic and you can take it out?  Keep thinking that!  Or, I’ll let you in on a secret.  They are so tight that you will feel like you have vice grips on your teeth and sometimes you might check in the mirror to make sure you aren’t really ripping your teeth out by the roots when removing them- because that’s how they feel.  And thin plastic?  Sure.  It’s like wearing Tupperware sweaters on your teeth.  For the first week I felt like I had a Transformer parked in my mouth!
  2. Nail file!  Girl’s best friend is a nail file, especially if that girl wears Invisalign!  The edges of these suckers can be sharp!  Guess what your tongue automatically does with anything new, even sharp, in your mouth?  RUBS IT!  Shredded tongue = No fun!  As soon as you get a new set of trays be sure to file down and edges that look the least bit sharp or pointy.  Ahhhh, it’s bliss after a good file!
  3. Straws!  Buy some straws.  It’s the easiest way to drink while they are in.  Plus, you can fudge a little and drink something other than water by using a straw to bypass your teeth.  I still only would do it with clear things: vodka, white wine, gin & tonics… you get my point.
  4. Keep them in!  No brainer?  No, really, keep them in.  They only work if they are in.  The minute you take them out it’s like the cage doors open and your teeth take off running.  The longer they are out the more it hurts to put them back in.  Which leads me to…
  5. Eat fast!  Long leisurely meals followed by sipping on a couple glasses of wine?  Not anymore.  Hork that food down like a lion and drink like a sailor.  You’ve only got 20-30 minutes before you are setting yourself up for a painful reinsertion of your trays! It just might be a great incentive to lose that last 8-10 pounds since I don’t find it worth the trouble to nibble on snacks all day long anymore.
  6. Wine!  Speaking of that wine I mentioned, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Wine is the best medicine for numbing the initial pain of new trays.  Chug! Chug! Chug!

Maybe my opinions are a little skewed to the negative right now.  Everyone I’ve talked to says that after about a month it is all easy, routine, and that I’ll forget all about the trays.  I do have to say, I’m still glad I’m doing it.  Who am I to miss an opportunity to lose a few pounds and drink a lot more wine?

So far it’s too soon to comment on how they are working.  Stay tuned!

~~Delaney Rhea

 

The happiest place on earth… and maybe even outerspace too.

Over the week of Halloween we took a family vacation to Disney World for the first time.  I worried that maybe I’d waited too long since the kids are now 13 and 9.  Would they still love it or feel the magic?

Not only did the kids feel the magic; we all felt the magic, and there were no tears, tantrums, or meltdowns!  Score for our us!

We all decided that it really IS the happiest place on earth.  I wonder what they put in the water or sprinkle on the food.  We were all silly-happy the entire week.  Maybe the trick is not to stay too long, as we did see one bloke chucking Gatorade bottles at his family in an angry rage.  No really, we did.  He must have been drinking something not made with Mickey’s Magical Kingdom Juice.

It’s hard to say which theme park was our favorite since they are all so different.  I can tell you that the drinking (and subsequently the drunks) are at Epcot.  The majority of crying children are at Magic Kingdom.  The awesome shows are at Hollywood and, true to it’s name, the animals are all at Animal Kingdom.

Our kids are ride junkies.  They both love roller coasters and don’t shy away from the extremes.  At Six Flags it’s become a family game to see who can get the silliest picture taken on the scariest ride.  So, naturally, rides were a high priority for this trip.

Here is our Rhea Review for the rides at the “Happiest place on earth.”

It’s A Small World:  Or, according to my husband, “It’s not small enough.”  About 5 minutes into the 12 minute long slow boat ride through creepy doll land and my family had run out of tolerance for the repetitive little tune.  My son was hoping for a room that reenacted the melting doll scene from Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka  and my whole family wanted a post-apocalyptic dystopian room, or at least a Zombie Response Team area.  I personally loved it.  I could smile through that sweet little ride for hours…

Space Mountain: Imagine yourself hurling through darkness with strobe lights set to ‘induce seizure mode’ blasting in your face.  That is this ride.  So of course we loved it and rode it twice!

Expedition Everest: The lines can be so long for this that they provide an entire Everest museum for you to learn all about this amazing mountain while waiting for your turn.  Since we were fast-passing it we didn’t get much of a chance to read or learn.  So we are still rather ignorant about the real Everest, but the ride is so crack-a-lackin’ amazing that we rode it three times in a row!  At least, the kids did, I felt a little urpy after ride number two.  The unexpected theatrics of this ride are too good to give away if you haven’t already experienced it.

Captain EO:  Okay, this isn’t a ride.  It’s a 3D movie, but read on.  This is a precious gem of 1986 gloriousness complete with big hair, tiny waists, spandex, and MICHAEL JACKSON!  You will either be mesmerized by this cheesy blast from the past, or, like my dear husband, you will beg for those last 18 minutes of your life back.  Oh, I’m taking a glittery glove to wear next time!

Mission Space Orange:  This ride should be renamed to ‘Mission of your lunch back up from your stomach.’  Here’s a hint, anytime you enter a ride and they LITERALLY PROVIDE BARF BAGS ON THE RIDE… RUN!  We were strapped into a tiny little pod and spun on a centrifuge to upwards of 2.5 G’s, or in common terms, until my vision started to blur and I thought how awkward it would be for them to find my limp, unconscious body at the end.  I didn’t die.  But after reading about the deaths associated with this ride in the past I kind of feel badass that we all rode it.  Once!

Sourin’: Okay, really, this ride is worth the trip to Disney all in itself.  It was a gloriously tranquil and beautiful ride over famous landscapes in the U.S.A.  I could have ridden all day.  My kids were bored.  My husband may have napped a little.  I don’t care what those spoil-sport party-poopers say, it was heavenly.

Other favorites were The Haunted Mansion, which has changed very little in the 34 years since I’ve been there, and Tower of Terror.  We did ride the Tower of Terror several times.  Each time we witnessed children being scared and tormented, possibly for life, by their parents forcing them to ride when they clearly were not old enough to understand that plummeting to our deaths would significantly sour the title, “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Overall I declare our vacation a smashing success.  This says a lot since we are not a Disney infatuated family.  I’m surprised to say that I foresee a return visit in our future.  Just remind me to only ride the sissy “green” version of Mission to Space.  I’m still not sure my internal organs are back into their correct positioning.

Keep Calm and Mickey on!

Cinderella's castle family disney

 

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