50 States of Pray – Texas

50 States of Pray Banner Dec 24

Our friend from Hawaii, Mark Koopmans created a bloghop that is perfect for this time of year. All that’s required is to take a moment and about 100 words. Share a prayer, a thought, a memory, a hope and even a regret about the past and/or a wish for the future. Click on the badge for more information and to check out some of the other states represented.

I have had an inspiring year since being back in the states. Even though I lived in an challenging, but exciting foreign country for five years, it pales in comparison to all that I have experiences in the last year being back home. I’ve reconnected with my family and friends and made some new one.  I have seen president’s sworn in and legendary leaders put to rest. I watched some of my favorite famous people having the most creative (Beyonce’s unannounced album release), record breaking (Peyton Manning) and genuine and sincere(Jay Z in concert) year of their lives. I’ve discovered the kind of books I want to write and what I hope to accomplish with my writing. I’ve read 50 books (The Great Gatsby was my favorite) and saw 43 movies (I can’t decide between Star Trek Into Darkness or Iron Man 3). Most important, I’ve started to live my life the way I want to live it. In one sentence, “I’m feeling blessed.”  I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me in 2014. 

I’ll be taking the rest of the year off, but wanted to wish everyone a blessed holiday and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!





Journey to Tattoo #6

Why in the world do I do this to myself?  Why do I have this urge? Why can’t I be satisfied with just one or two or even three?  Why can’t I just say no more? Why can’t I stop?

Why, oh why must I get another tattoo? 

I have 5 already.

#1 When I got my first one, I had thought and obsessed over it for over 3 years before taking the plunge.  I think the only reason I graduated from college is so I could get a tattoo to commemorate the occasion. Back then, it had to be about something special.

#2 And the second one, well, again it was necessary. I just graduated from law school.  That was a huge accomplishment. It needed to be celebrated.   It was a story that had to be immortalized in ink, permanently on my skin.

#3 Number three was inevitable. You can’t pick up your whole life and move to Asia and not mark that milestone in your life with just photos and memories.  No way, I had to cement that type of life altering occasion by permanently altering my skin.  And, chinese inspired tattoos are so cool.

#4 Then there was number four which doesn’t really count as a new tattoo because it was a re-do of number 2.  And, since he had the needles out anyway, he might as well add to it.  I had him add a flower or 4; a Lotus, a Cherry Blossoms, an Iris, and a Sunflower.

And, flowers are pretty and have meaning, not necessarily to me, but to someone.  No, wait, I have seen flowers in my life.  Let me think about this for a minute.  Ok. Um, well, I don’t know, but I will figure it out later.  And the stars, oh yeah, the stars?  When I told my tattoo artist to add stars, he said. “How many?”

“13.”  No hesitation, “13” Why 13?  I have no idea.  13 is a good number I guess. Well, not really, but regardless, I got 13 stars.

Ok, the flowers  represent places I have lived in my life.

Cherry blossoms remind me of the Cherry Blossoms that grew every April in DC where I lived for four years.

Never mind that I never once saw them or went to the Cherry Blossom Festival.  But, they also represents Tokyo, Japan, which is my absolute favorite place in the world.

But, I got that tattoo long before I even ever went to Tokyo, but hindsight still counts, right?

The iris represents my favorite artist Vincent Van Gogh and spending two summers in London.  I fell in love with Van Gogh in London.  I would stare at his paintings in the museums there all the time.  I read and studied about his life.  I saw a play about the time he spent in England and I went to the house where he lived in Brighton.

But the Irises in a Field painting which is my favorite, I didn’t actually see that painting in London.  I saw that painting in New York.  Well, that counts too, I spent a lot of time in New York and it was my favorite place on earth before I went to Tokyo, so that still works.

The lotus represents my time in China.  Oh, yeah, thats easy and that’s a g good one.

Ok, and finally the sunflower.  I had sunflowers on my wallpaper in my childhood bedroom.  Yeah, really big, pretty white sunflowers.

Or where those daisies? Well, anyway, the sunflowers were a painting by Van Gogh that I love as well, so it still fits the formula.

And the stars. What could the stars represent?  What have I done 13 times in my life?  Um, well I have kissed 13 boys (don’t really want to commemorate that); I have had sex with 13 . . . ish people.  Yeah, no, that won’t work.

Wait, I know.  How many countries have I been to?  Let’s see.

Mexico is one; London is two, Paris three, Norway, Sweden, Finland, four, five and six.  Russia seven.  Oh, that trip to Russia.  What a crazy trip that was.  That deserves a tattoo all on its own.  Wait. Stop. Focus.

Eight is Denmark.  That concludes that trip.  This might work out ok.  Let’s get to the Asian years.

China is nine, Vietnam is ten.  Singapore is eleven, Hong Kong twelve.

Great, this is going to work.  Just one more.  What is one more country I have been too?  Does the Amsterdam airport count?  No. Ok, there has got to be one more.

Oh wait, duh.  America.  I have been to America.  I am American so it stands to reason that I have been to America.  Whew!  Ok, great. Now 13 stars represent the countries I have been to in my lifetime.

*Can’t count Tokyo yet, because at that time I still hadn’t made it to Tokyo.  My favorite part of this rationalization.  I visit more countries; I can get more star tattoos.  Brilliant!

#5 & 5 1/2 Number 5 and 5 ½ began as an impulse buy that didn’t turn out so good, but was reworked into something new that I have learned to appreciate.

Stand to reason that the one time I do make a snap decision about getting a tattoo, it turns out bad.  What makes this even more of an issue is that it is the most visible of my tattoos.   It was the first tattoo that I got just for the sake of getting a tattoo.  An image struck. So, heck, why the hell not.  *Note to self and others, do not impulse buy a tattoo.  Lesson learned.

Number six. I am on my way to get number six right now.  I have the image and the meaning. I have researched the artist and I have a great reason to get it.

Because I love tattoos!

It is that simple I am a tattoo lover and I will always be getting tattoos.  I will get this on and while under the needle for this one I will be planning the next one. I will get them for this occasion or that occasion or no occasion at all.

For me, I have discovered that the best reason to get a tattoo is because I love the art of tattoos.  The creativity, skills, the knowledge, practice, dedication and hard work it takes for a tattoo artist to be good is something that I admire.   Tattoos are an art form created by real artist that express the desires of their clients in a collaborative artistic expression of permanence.

Wow, that’s beautiful, maybe I should get that tattooed on me.  Can you say number seven?

Why do you get tattoos?  I would love to hear your stories.