The Moment I Realized I’m Disabled……

Before we get into our topic of the day, I need to offer a caveat: The following entry is based solely on my experience and does not reflect the entire disabled population as a whole. I offer these insights in hopes of helping others that are going through a tough time that can be jarring and very confusing.

I didn’t realize I was disabled until I was 16 years old. Seriously.

The fact that I was born with Spina-Bifida makes that last statement seem completely illogical.

But it’s true. Let me explain.

I grew up the youngest of 3 in the late ’70s in a small town in the Midwest. Being that my sisters were both completely able-bodied and our town was small, I was normally the only person in a wheelchair and braces around. When I was really little I was able to get around with just braces.

My parents worked hard to treat me just like my other siblings. I had chores around the house and would get in trouble if my assigned tasks weren’t done.

In school I was mainstreamed into a regular classroom, and taken out only for short times for physical and occupational therapy. Those were the only times I was treated different from my classmates. I was also the only disabled student in my kindergarten, elementary and middle school.

It’s a funny thing; being a kid. You don’t think much about the future. And when you do, sometimes elements of the life you have are different in the future imagined.

And so it wasn’t until I was 16 and in high school that I had the realization that I had a disability. And there was nothing I could do to ever change that.

Whoa. Heavy stuff.

There was definitely an exact moment this hit me. And it felt like a ton of bricks (I know this is a over-used colloquialism, but in this case it’s the truth). So how did I get through this and come out stronger on the other side? I’m glad you asked:

1. Know that verbally saying it aloud helps you to accept it. Writing it down in a journal can also be cathartic.

2. Seek professional help-This was the best thing that I was able to do with the help of my parents. It was also during this time that we discovered I had been living with a chemical imbalance, causing depression, for a long time prior to this experience.

There is no shame in seeking outside help.

3. To your parents-listen to your child. It may seem strange that they are just now coming to terms with reality, but hearing their words and validating their feelings will go a long way towards healing.

4. Take a day-Again, this realization can be quite jarring. Taking a day to reflect and get your head together might be a helpful technique. I know for myself that taking a day off school helped me to focus and get my head back together.

You can and will get through this. And come out stronger on the other side.

I’m pulling for you ❤



In Real Time: Where Lulabelle Watches a Movie and Records Her Thoughts in Real Time: My Best Friend’s Wedding…..

Today I’m so excited to present to you my second installment in my series In Real Time. This is how it works-if you were too lazy to read the title 😉 – I watch a hokey movie and record my thoughts in real time. And I had a special helper to write this one:

Photo on 2016-05-17 at 21.12

Today’s selection is a throwback from 1997. My Best Friend’s Wedding starred Julia Roberts as food critic Julianne Potter whose best friend, Michael played by Dermot Mulroney, is planning to marry a billionaire’s daughter, played by Cameron Diaz, whom he’s only known for a short period of time.

The catch?

Julianne is in love with Michael and when he calls to tell her of his engagement, she thinks he’s calling to tell her he loves her too (he calls within days of her 28th birthday, and years earlier they make a pact that if neither one of them was married by the time they turned 28, they’d marry each other–they were involved romantically for “one hot month”).

So as Julianne is on her way to see Michael, she devises a plan to break up the wedding. I won’t give away the ending, but here are my real time reactions.

The Opening Credits:

40 seconds in and the intro is Dusty Springfield’s song “Wishin’ and Hopin”with a dancing bride and bridesmaids.

Right away the hokeyness factor is set pretty high.

 2 Minute mark-Still on the intro. Ok, so full disclosure here, I did what this song told me to do to make me “his” and it didn’t work. Almost got a restraining order.

Thanks Hollywood! 😛

By the way, catching your own bouquet at your wedding is kinda a douchey move. I’d not recommend it.

 3:11-Ok lady, pick a veil length, short or long. You CAN’T have both.


The Movie:

4:36-WHOA! Is that an industrial sized walkie-talkie Julia Roberts just pulled out of her purse?

Oh, never mind. It’s just a flip phone. Phew!

9:18-don’t you just hate it when you are on the phone and go to sit down on the bed all graceful like and you miss and fall off the bed, almost cracking your head open?

10:11-No biggie, just a giant United Airlines plane taxiing down a highway overpass!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

12:10-I’m not saying this is why they don’t allow me to drive, but…… 😀

12:18-I know I’m not really very physics minded, but considering Cameron Diaz is driving with the top down at a high rate of speed, wouldn’t her sunglasses have flown off her head and hit oncoming traffic by now or a bird?

13:22-As far as fashion is concerned, that bridesmaid’s dress has actually cycled back into style.

17:25-I’m not sure why the director had Cameron Diaz’s character stop the elevator during the middle of her monologue. Doesn’t seem to fit and just makes her come off as a freakin’ psycho—oh, I see what he did there.

18:00-Totally would have punched her in the face to get the elevator open. Julia Roberts has more restraint that I. Er, me? #grammarishard!

18:31-Don’t you just hate when you step off an elevator into a tray of expensive luncheon meat and land on the floor as it cascades over you? Yep. Me too.

35:00-Ah yes, the rite of passage we all go through when we call our closest friend and leave a ranting, maniacal message on their machine when they are hosting a dinner party.

Good times.

42:21-Ah yes, the “make my gay best friend pretend he’s engaged to me to make my crush jealous” trope. So prevalent in ’90s movies. Cinematic gold, people.

49:29-Speaking of tropes, no ’90s rom-com would be complete without the “breaking into song for no apparent reason” shtick. Classic.

It kinda makes me wonder if at this point the writers were taking too many hits of acid (eh, probably weed. It was the ’90s afterall) and declared this scene “perfection”

50:52-now everyone in the restaurant where the action is taking place is singing. What in the actual crap is going on?? :-O

59:02- The moment Julia Roberts’ character falls completely off the rails and goes into “underhanded psycho” territory (AKA-sending a fake email supposedly from your best friend’s future father-in-law to your best friend’s boss).

And Paul Giamatti makes an early career performance as “random bell hop guy” Superb acting chops. Hope he goes far. 😉

1:09:28-I’ve watched this movie like a million times and this is the first time that i noticed a piece of ash in Julia Roberts’ hair after the cigarette is thrown out. #dontsmokekidsyourhairwillcatchfire #unlessyouareinamovie #hollywood #HDbaby

1:14:49-Let me just say this once; in no real-world scenario is someone gonna choose jello over creme brulee unless they are lactose intolerant.

And even so I’m sure a soy vegan version can be produced. It would undoubtedly suck, but whatever……

1:16:01-Huh. John Denver still sounds cool when helium-ized. Now THAT’S talent!

1:19:54-So Garry Marshall is by far my favorite director of rom-com’s and it just dawned on me that in most of his movies, there is always a chase scene whether by car or rental truck.

Think about it: The Other Sister, Runaway Bride (even made the title), Pretty Woman…….wait, I just realized My Best Friend’s Wedding wasn’t directed by Garry Marshall. Oops! 😛 #icanttellthedifference

1:34:50-In no universe is giving a song that defined your relationship with your ex- boyfriend an appropriate gift to give your ex-boyfriend at his wedding. Just. No.

1:34:51-Let’s talk about bubble skirts for a minute. A carry over from the ’80s that made it into this wedding. I wanna know who thought it a great fashionable idea to make a skirt that looks like the front half is tucked into your underwear. I mean, really? Your grandparents are coming to this wedding. They don’t need to see that! 😛





Monday Motivation: The Best is Yet to Come….

I totally had a different topic planned for today. Seriously, it was almost finished, I had to run an errand and when I came back, I heard from the Lord that I was to write this one. So….

Hey you! Yeah, you reading this blog post. I know you are going through an excruciatingly hard time right now. I know it freakin’ sucks balls. (I also know that your mom probably doesn’t approve of that term, but dang it, when you are down in the pit, sometimes you just gotta say it! 😛 ).

But what I also know, what Jesus wants you to know, is that it’s gonna get better.

When? I don’t know. But dear friend, you need to hang on just a little longer.

I was in your shoes two years ago.

I hated going to work. I dreaded seeing my co-workers. I despised how I was made to feel during the work day. I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I’d be in tears when Chad picked me up at the end of my shift.

I was IN the pit. And I didn’t know when I’d be getting out. And I felt myself losing something that I once loved.

And it sucked ba…well, you get the idea. 😉

When I was down in the pit, it was so dark that I couldn’t see the light of my future plans, but the Lord could. And he drew me up out of the pit at just the right time (Psalms 40:2).

Fast forward 2 years. You know what?

Today I have a somewhat successful blog that helps to encourage and inspire people from around the world every day. And I’m using that painful time in my life to strengthen and motivate others, including you, who are mucking in the pit. Hey, it only has 87 followers currently, but you can change that by clicking the follow button right up there (on the upper right hand side of your screen above my glorious face 😉 )

And today I had an impromptu meeting with my artist friend. About the cover of my book that she’ll be designing.

Yes, I’m writing a book to inspire and encourage others in the pit.

To let them know that they are never, ever alone.

That is the Song In My Soul.

PS: My upcoming book now has a title. Song In My Soul: Humor and Inspiration From An Anxious Housewife  will be available for purchase sometime in 2017 and feature blog content found here and original content currently in production.

Facebookin’Cookin’: Where Lulabelle Tries a Cooking Hack Found on Facebook……..

I’m pretty sure most of us have been there. Scrolling through your daily Facebook feed, you inevitably see a food hack. Normally these are quick recipes for decadent cakes microwaved in a coffee mug or quick and scrumptious caramel popcorn.

But last week I saw a recipe hack for dried strawberries. I had actually seen this before, but as fate would have it, Chad had bought several pints of fresh strawberries days before. So at 10:30 PM on a random Tuesday night, I looked over the Facebook hack and got started.

The whole process took several hours.

Now, the recipe looked straightforward enough, but because it’s Facebook, I wanted a little backup insurance that I wasn’t about to totally muck this up. So I went with this blogger’s recipe for more guidance:

So all I needed was strawberries, a flat baking pan and parchment paper. The frugalitygal link did use lemon juice, but since we didn’t have any, I had to leave that out.

So again, I began this process at 10:30 pm on a random Tuesday. Now in both recipes I consulted, one element that I had to deal with was left out….my strawberries were frozen straight from the freezer. So I gave them a bath in warm water for about 30 minutes while I watched the latest episode of “Castle” (Sidenote: Methinks next season will be it’s last. Seriously.).

So 30 minutes into “Castle” I went back to my strawberries to discover that their texture had changed from solid strawberry bumpiness to a soggier, more tender version. So it was now time to cut them in half. Which I was reluctant to do because the last time I used a sharp knife to cut something I cut my finger and almost passed out (Sidenote #2: Before using any sort of sharp object where there is any chance that you could cut yourself, avoid doing it first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or coffee’d, leaving your blood sugar at a dangerous low 😉 ).

I discovered two things when cutting into the strawberries. 1: I was able to do this with a plain butter knife, avoiding bloodshed and, 2: cutting in half strawberries that have been thawing but are still a bit frozen is akin in texture to raw chicken boobs.

Yummy! 😀

So after the strawberry chicken boobs were cut in two, I arranged them on a baking sheet that I had lined with parchment paper. Now put them in the oven that is set at 200 degrees. (Sidenote #3: I mentioned on Facebook that I was drying strawberries in the oven and someone jokingly told me not to burn the house down. But since the temperature of the oven was only 200 degrees, that would definitely be the lamest fire ever! Seriously. Just imagine:

Firefighter: “Ma’m, how did the fire start? Were you cooking Meth?” (Honestly this is a  logical conclusion, given the state where we live. #methcapital)

Me: (Traumatized and slightly embarrassed that I managed to start a fire at only 200 degrees. I’m also blubbering uncontrollably) “No! I was drying (sniffs) straaaawww(blows nose as snot starts making a run for it)berries!!”

Undaunted by a possible house fire, but wanting to be safe, I checked them every hour. Honestly it wasn’t all that hot. Like I was able to actually reach into the oven and pick up a strawberry to test it for dryness during hour 3 (Sidenote #4: So it’s probably time to point out that there was a one hour time difference between the Facebook recipe and the one on frugalitygal. I used the time frame on the latter so it took 4 hours). Probably not the best idea but I’m still alive so whatever. 😛

After 4 hours and numerous episodes of “Castle” and “Bones,” I went back into the kitchen and opened the oven. I pulled out the pan of freshly dried berries and set them down. This was the end result of 4 hours of my life.

They tasted pretty good. Not as dried as I had anticipated, but I’d probably do this again. But next time I think I’ll bring down the food dehydrator that we have and do it proper. 😉

Bon Appetit Y’all!



A Mother’s Day Blessing….In the Middle of The Greeting Card Aisle…..

I had a pretty great weekend including two dinners out with Chad, amazing sangria (thanks Olive Garden!), and the best one hour nap I’ve ever taken.

Seriously, it was amazing.

But perhaps the best part of the weekend came when we were out getting mother’s day gifts (yeah, we’re last minut-ers. Don’t judge 😛 ). I was perusing the greeting card aisle when I saw them. Among the categories of “Birthday,” “Get Well Soon,” and “Happy Graduation” was a category I had never seen before and my heart skipped a beat.

“Mothers Day: From Cat/Dog”

Oh how my heart sang!

In a culture that touts mothering tiny humans as the ultimate goal, it definitely blessed me to finally see pet-parenting acknowledged by a big national chain store. For the mothers who don’t have tiny humans, but love and care for their cats and dogs in the same way as if they were human.

Thanks CVS Pharmacy for including all mothers in the celebration this year.

♥♥♥ ♥♥♥


image appears courtesy of:

Blessed Are The Nurturers……

Blogger’s Note: To the woman who is sad on Mother’s Day because she has empty arms, you are loved, you have worth and you matter to the world. ♥

Blessed are the nurturers,
Those who teach our children,
Who drive the buses to and from school,
Who make sure our tiny humans cross the street safely.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who had the dream of human children,
But live with empty arms.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who stay up all night,
Tending to a sick dog or cat.
Who worry about their fur-babies crossing over to The Rainbow Bridge too soon.

Blessed are the nurturers,
The nannies, the after-school sitters, the kind souls that step in
When a parent has to work long hours or just needs a break.

Blessed are the nurturers, remembered and celebrated on this day.
May we always appreciate all the do.