Friday, July 4, 2014

Newsfeed Mash-Up

My Facebook newsfeed is this odd mash-up of so many random people who have crossed my path.

I'm very particular about who I let into my Facebook world. You can't search for me, you can't email me, you can't even send me a friend request unless we have a mutual friend. My world is mine and I don't allow people into it very often.

But on my newsfeed, I get updates from all these people who have touched me in one way or another. Brytin's kindergarten teacher, the classy dame who found me all my jobs in California, a girl I met playing Farmville, people I consider family, people from all across the country, my husband's BFFs from high school, a fellow cemetery volunteer, people I met at different jobs and different churches, people I know because my son decided to play football, people I know because I enjoy Zumba. And of course, friends from elementary school, middle school and high school. (And unlike most Minnesotans, my friends from elementary, middle, and high school are NOT the same people.)

Thank you all so much for allowing me the opportunity to keep up with your daily lives. I hope you know that I genuinely care about you and yours.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Virtually" is not a Synonym for "Literally"

In the past week, I have noticed on three occasions, people using "virtually" incorrectly.

I try not to be a grammar snob, because I know I am not perfect with the English language.

However, I do not ever try to sound smarter than I am.



There has been a lot of flack recently about people misusing "literally." I can only assume that this sudden rise in the use of "virtually" is an attempt to continue using adverb.
Literally and virtually do NOT mean the same thing. "Virtually" is like a measurement – it means “almost.”

Unless, you have the goggles on and you are virtually doing something like petting a dog. Then it’s the OPPOSITE of literally, but it isn’t quite figuratively either. It’s an alternate reality - it's virtual.

vir·tu·al·ly
ˈvərCHə(wə)lē/
adverb

    1. nearly; almost.
    "virtually all those arrested were accused"

    synonyms: effectively, in effect, all but, more or less, practically, almost, nearly, close to, verging on, just about, as good as, essentially, to all intents and purposes, roughly, approximately, pretty much, pretty well;
"the building is virtually empty"

    2. by means of virtual reality techniques.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I am Not Broken Like I Used to Be

I read this book recently about the tales of a crack addict. The tales of well-educated, successful young gent who chose crack over all else for a long time. There was a point in the book when he had copious amounts of crack in his hotel room and he had jugs of vodka and he had a bottle of pills he intended to consume. And when reading this sordid account of a well-educated, successful young gent's untimely demise, I had an epiphany.

I'm not broken like I used to be.
I'm not broken at all, actually.
I used to be, though.
A terrible mess, really.
I'm not broken like I once was.
I'm light and free and punch drunk love.
I still get tweaky and squeaky and scared,
But He calms me and I know I'm spared.
I'm not broken.
I'm repaired.

By the grace of God, I'm not broken like I used to be.

And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my grace comes in the form of Christopher David Broussard. A line from the same book put it all together for me.


“...he loved me…knowing what he knew, seeing what he’d seen, putting up with what he chose to put up with, he was the only one who ever could. The question I never asked was why.”

God gave me the gift of Christopher's love, because I needed real-life unconditional love in order to truly understand that I am forgiven. And I guess, I picked up that random crack addict story while perusing the bargain bin, because God wanted me to see that I am not broken like I used to be.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls An Open Letter to Senator Rand Paul

I am not an activist by any stretch of the definition. I don't typically take up to fighting for anything. In my own world, I try to make healthy choices (down with Monsanto!), and I try to raise my kids with integrity and responsibility (down with helicopter parents!). I try to have a healthy, happy marriage (down with divorce!), and I try to do my work as thought I am working for the Lord (down with entitlement!). I do all of these things, because I think they are choices that are best for me. I can't save the world, but I can impact the world around me.

That said, today I wrote a letter to my senator. I deplore you, please write one to your senator too. Or to POTUS or to your newspaper editor. Anybody who could potentially be a catalyst to save these girls.


Mr. Paul,

Good morning. First, let me I apologize if my letter is abrupt or inappropriate.  I do not know if there is actually anything you are able to do or even anything you want to, but I deplore you to please do something.

There are innocent girls in Nigeria who have been taken from their homes, their lives, and are in danger of being forever lost to their families, their parents, and their country.

According to Time’s website, I see that we have sent support. I ask you, as my Senator, to please encourage our government to fight for more than oil and money. Fight for lives, for children, for women, for freedom.

The greatest military in the world is certainly capable of saving these girls.

I know that there are politics involved that I surely do not have a firm grasp on, but I don’t care. I was once a young girl, and I can only imagine the fear those girls are experiencing right now. I am a mother, and I can truly understand the fear their parents are feeling right now.

Please. Senator, please. Show the world that you know how to love and encourage the world to do whatever it takes to beat the terrorists that are terrorizing these innocent girls.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts.

May the Lord bless you and keep your children safe.

Sincerely,
Leslie Broussard

Twitter Feed:#BringBackOurGirls 




Friday, May 9, 2014

Leslie Broussard Can Tweet @Write_to_Think

I finally finally finally found a handle for Twitter that I absolutely adore.
If you have ever spent any time reading my writing, you know that I write to think. I write to process. I write about insight and enlightenment and conflict, but it all centers on my emotion about an event or idea. And emotion is what drives me.
When I got pregnant and the subsequent carpal tunnel inhibited my ability to write, I was one big mess of emotion. I didn’t have my journaling to corral that emotion into a profitable exercise. I didn’t have my written words to help me figure out what I was doing, thinking, feeling. The written word is my outlet, my avenue, my therapist and my center. I write so that you can learn how to not make the same mistakes. I write so that you can think about something in potentially a new light. I write so that I can learn from my choices.
It has taken me a long time to get back into writing after the carpal tunnel subsided, but I think I am finally at a point where I am excited to write again. And with the introduction of @WritetoThink, I am ecstatic to join the Twitter-sphere.
Big big thanks to EmiAnnie for the continual brainstorming for the most perfect name.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Two Years in Kentucky

This week marks two years since our arrival here in the great state of KY.

Whenever I mark time, my first inclination is to always lament how much I haven't yet accomplished.

Today, however, I couldn't help but see the amazing feats we HAVE accomplished in a very short time.

Brytin has played two seasons of very successful football.
We have spent many hours in nature at various parkland in and around Louisville, looking at foliage, watching wildlife and throwing rocks into ponds.
Daelen and Brytin have learned to swim well and very much enjoy all waterplay.
We have completely changed our diet.
I have finally started losing some of that lingering baby weight.
Chris made First Class, solidifying our financial security for the next six years.
We have had a total paradigm shift regarding material things - what we want and what we need.
Our children have experienced a life entirely different from what they had previously encountered in SoCal.
We both have cars we absolutely love.
We have developed a fantastic plan for the next six years, that Lord-willing, will help us transition into Chris's retirement from the US Navy.
We have spent countless hours together, just the four of us, hanging out together, exploring our world, and strengthening our family unit.
I enrolled in college, and am about halfway to obtaining an Associate's Degree in Accounting.
For the first time in my life, I am donating money to causes I care about greatly.
We were able to support my sister-in-law at her bootcamp graduation in South Carolina.
I returned to work full-time with a job that is a perfect fit for me.
We've seen great cities like St Louis, Missouri and Cincinnati, Ohio and Santa Claus, Indiana. We even saw Leslie County, Kentucky :)

Our last two years have been a time of phenomenal skyrocketing growth - physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.

One more year in Kentucky gives us just enough time to finish up a few things. I will finish my degree. We will pay off all our debts. Chris will ride in a racecar on a NASCAR track. Brytin will finish elementary school. Daelen will prepare himself for kindergarten. We will take a family vacation to relax and enjoy nature.

Our time in Kentucky has truly been some of the greatest years of my life.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter is just no big deal to me. I think it's the confusion between the bunny and Jesus. I think it is all the people who go to church this Sunday morning out of duty. I think it's the focus placed on candy and stuff. I think it's the human error in the celebrations of Lent and Passover and churches having Easter egg hunts. I think it's the culmination of all these things that makes Easter a non-issue on the holiday scale for me. My kids don't color eggs, they don't participate in egg hunts, they don't get buckets of candy, and we also don't go to church on Easter.

Make no mistake, I am a Christian. I love Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, breath and strength.

But I do not go to church on Easter Sunday. No. I refuse.

Today, I think, I will make my family a healthy, energizing breakfast, and then we will go hiking...

Romans 1:20 "For since the Creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inside vs. Outside

I recently read a very timely blog posting about "These Hard Economic Times."  I was actually scheduled to visit the dentist for the first time in many moons, and there was a sentence in said blog posting that opened my eyes.

Americans spend 500 million dollars a year to have their teeth whitened -- not cleaned, just whitened to look nice.

500 million dollars a year on WHITENING?!! How many teeth are rotting inside and gleaming on the outside?!

Like many Americans, I haven't been diligent with maintenance - on my teeth, my skin, my car. Our disposable economy has paved a very nasty road that allows simple maintenance to be overlooked and replacement to happen whenever something shows signs of wear. But yet, we try to keep up an APPEARANCE of new.

Watching Rehab Addict with Nicole Curtis has reminded me of the value in maintaining and restoring rather than replacing. If each of us could think to spend the money on a little prevention, we could improve our culture, society, environment and even our bank accounts.

And what about the bigger picture? Not just our teeth, but our lives?

Money – how many are living the high life, but drowning in debt? Faith – how many souls are gleaming on the outside and rotting on the inside? Parenting, Working, Relationships -- all have very real implications when you think of the truth inside versus what we display outside.

#ForYourConsideration #MusingsofaBroussard #InsideversusOutside #Ruminating #LesliesLeftBrain

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#ProudMilSpouse

A month or so ago, I shared a blog posting from SpouseBuzz that infuriated me. The posting listed things that insensitive people had said to spouses of military personnel. I found one in particular exceptionally appalling and described the physical harm I would perform on anyone who dared to utter such disrespect in my presence.

Today, I had the pleasure of reading about something that military spouses are apparently saying to other military spouses and my heart is broken.

I, like the blog poster, have a military husband who has not been deployed in our almost eight years together. THIS ONE FACT DOES NOT MAKE ME ANY LESS OF A MILITARY WIFE THAN ANY OTHER MILITARY WIFE.

If anyone EVER tried to downgrade my accomplishments, my service, my sacrifice OR my joy as the wife of LS1 (AW) Broussard, you can bet your bottom dollar they would get a salty piece of my mind!

Women, whether military spouses or mothers or fashionistas, need to QUIT competing with each other. QUIT comparing yourselves. QUIT relying so much on others' opinions. QUIT tearing each other down and start building each other up.

When you meet a MilSpouse or a mom or woman or even a man, and can't find something encouraging to say, shut your damn mouth.

On a much happier note, I'd like to share with you something special that happened to #TeamBroussard.

Recently, my husband re-enlisted in the greatest Navy in the world. And for the first time, I had the pleasure of being present for the ceremony. It was a wonderful, beautiful occasion. And his command awarded me with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Even without the piece of paper, I KNOW my husband appreciates all I have done, continue to do and WILL do for him, our family and our country throughout his military career.

Go Navy!

Chris's re-enlistment ceremony 28Feb2014


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grace.

2011 was a year full of grace.

I didn't write about it as much as I wanted to, but that is sort of inherent in the whole "grace" mantra.

I gave myself grace as a first-time mom of an infant with a stepson who had never before had to share my attention. I extended grace to people who needed it, and I asked for it when I needed it.

Last night, I was reminded of my year of grace when I heard this quote by St. Augustine:

"God gives where He finds empty hands..."

I have a 10-page journal entry I wrote about a lyric that I heard in church recently: "Your love is deeper than my view of grace."

It starts out, "I love grace. It is one of my most favorite attributes of God. Grace, favor and mercy." And then I spent a week trying to define grace. However, before I could form my ramblings into something post-worthy, I realized that defining grace was the opposite of the point.

One of the first ever Christian songs I loved went, "I've exhausted every possible solution. I've tried every game there is play...your grace is sufficient for me."

I must come to Him with empty hands, because nothing I can bring is worth a damn. No fancy combination of words can define His gift to me. His grace is sufficient.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snap Out of It, America! Learn How to C-O-P-E!

I rarely look at Drudge anymore. It’s too depressing. Similar to WND, it always makes me feel like America is going to hell in a handbasket – quickly.

Unfortunately, I indeed checked out Drudge recently, and it brought me to a sobering headline (pun intended):

“70 million Americans Take Mind-Altering Drugs

Wait. What? 70 MILLION?! New York has about 10 million people – 7 times the population of New York City is under the influence of something?!! What?!

So I click on it. It takes me to WND. Of course. The two websites I try to avoid, because they get me very riled up. And guess what? I’m VERY riled up.

The statistics are STAGGERING. Here is a rundown:

22 million Americans use illegal (aka "recreational") drugs.

Approximately every 19 minutes someone dies from an overdose.

58 million Americans have an alcohol issue. (Which I interpret to mean they choose to have more than one drink per day, every day.)

In addition to the obvious problems I have already listed, 50 MILLION people are using legal, mind-altering drugs - 50 MILLION Americans are PRESCRIBED psychedelic drugs (think Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, Morphine, etc).

Total that up, and 130 million people are in a state of altered-reality.

I have not double-checked the statistics this guy is throwing out. I have no reason to doubt their validity. But just for argument’s sake, let’s say his error rate is +/- 5% - heck I’ll even decrease the numbers 10 percent. That still leaves just under 120 million in a state of altered-reality.

The “Northeast Megalopolis-” Boston to DC is only 50 million people.

To understand 120 million people, you need to comprehend adding the entire population of the five most highly populated states – CA, TX, NY, FL and Illinois. Adding the ENTIRE population of those five states totals approximately 121 million. (Good for you, one million sober people!)

If the original statistic of 130 million is in fact correct, you have to add in the sixth state, Pennsylvania.

The numbers of Americans on some sort of mind-altering substance is OVER 100 MILLION. At least 100 million of us cannot handle life enough to take it straight.

That is a very sad state of affairs in the United States of America. I understand there are benefits that people receive from their prescribed stupor, but it also alters your mind. It puts you in a situation where you are incapable of dealing with reality.

Straight up reality.

Sober reality.

It is so sad to see that over 100 million Americans are willing to take the risk of dying of an overdose or dying in a car accident or even killing in a car accident - just to avoid their reality.

Even if the numbers are off. Even if the numbers grossly overstated - isn't even a million people too many to be continually high?!

If we want to make this country a better place, we need to start with teaching COPING skills.

As for me, I'm sticking to NPR.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Never Say This to Me. Never. Ever.

Top 10 Dumbfounding Things NOT to Say to a Military Wife

I read this blog post yesterday and immediately felt like punching someone. Hard.

We all know Leslie thinks people suck, but this is beyond suckiness. This is ignorance and stupidity and emotional retardation.

If anyone EVER said to me, " My husband loves me so much, he would never walk away from me like that," while my husband was deployed, I would absolutely lose my mind.

There would be a black out. And I would wake up and that person would be near dead on the floor from getting choked and punched and eyes gouged and kicked and punched again.

Consider this your warning.

Here's the full list:

Most people are nice. They already know not to idly wish their husband would deploy when yours has already been gone eight months.

They know equating a boyfriend’s business trip or high school reunion trip or film shoot to a deployment ain’t cool either.

But when we went to Camp LeJeune for our most recent Spouse Experience event, a group of Marine spouses told us about the things they heard that left them dumbfounded and groping for the kind of response that you only think of later (yet probably shouldn’t say out loud.)

We’ve listed a few ideas here, but we are still kind of flummoxed. What would you secretly say in your head if you were told:

1. You chose this life. Yes, we each chose one particular servicemember to spend our lives with. We continue to choose him or her every single day. That doesn’t mean we knew what we were getting into or that this gets any easier with experience. The thing we focus on is that our servicemembers continue to choose the kind of work that ensures your freedom—and we should be glad they do.

2. What happens overseas stays overseas. Not only is this a hateful thing to say, but it is untrue. It is hateful to assume infidelity among those deployed (or those at home, thanks). And, as many people have discovered, what happens overseas doesn’t stay really stay there anymore. Ever heard of this funny little thing called Facebook?

3. How do you do it? This is meant to be a nice compliment, but there is often a note of lingering pity in the statement. The best response I ever heard to this one was, “You would be so surprised what love can do.”

4. How long until he gets out? The military is not prison. Unless you are at Leavenworth and then it is, in fact, prison. Well, it is prison if you are talking about the military facility that is a little north of the federal prison. Oh, never mind.

5. How can you do this to your children? Oh, I have no problem inflicting the kind of father on my children who loves them and provides for them and reads to them and watches their soccer games and teaches them algebra and folds their laundry and takes their mother out to dinner once in a while. And if the guy has to deploy or move them during their childhood? Then they will learn how a family copes, won’t they? Life isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be.

6. When is he coming home? The first five or six times a friend asks when your Marine or soldier will return from deployment, it is a nice caring statement. But after the tenth time or so it still isn’t appropriate to offer to carve the date into her dining room table.

7. My husband loves me so much, he would never walk away from me like that. Most of the replies we came up with were so snarky that we figured they would end in an incarceration. We nixed those. My friend Raleigh says the reply ought to be: That’s awesome for you. I’m glad your husband loves you so much he’d never leave. My husband also loves you and the rest of America so much he’s willing to make this sacrifice.

8. The deployment will go by so fast. No, in fact, deployment does not go by ‘so fast.’ It doesn’t go by any faster than morning sickness or adolescence or, say, traction.

9. Oh, just come visit us while he is gone. Mothers (God love ‘em!) tend to think that they can fix everything, including deployment. But visiting mom and dad takes exactly three days according to Benjamin Franklin. Deployment takes 180 days. Or 280 days. Or 365 days. That’s a lot of visiting. And an awful lot of mom.

10. Has your husband ever killed anyone? Servicemembers have answered this question in their inimitable way. I like the guy who says with menace: Why do you need to know? Or the joker who says: You mean today? Or even the individual who says: Yes, followed by a stare so hard and cold the questioner fumbles for their car keys. Which is fine for the servicemember. But what is a spouse supposed to say when rude questions or statements like these come up?

Miss Manners says that you don’t have to say anything. She doesn’t require you to cooperate with rude people.

The etiquette lady in Real Simple magazine would say that you answer this kind of question with a breezy, “Who knows?” and move on to another topic.

You can also try, laughing: I can’t believe you asked me that! Or, pointedly: I try never to discuss that with anyone it doesn’t concern. Or even, gently, You must not be aware that is a rude question.

Most people are nice. They mean well. They can’t always understand a life they haven’t lived. Which is why it is so important to get together with people who understand where you are coming from and all the many things that require a response in our military lives.

Read more: http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2014/01/top-10-dumbfounding-things-say-military-wife.html#ixzz2rtbHBjpx SpouseBUZZ.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mature Love Redeux

As I was preparing to write my husband a letter commemorating my love this sixth anniversary, I was reminded of a blog I posted many moons ago.

Mature Love was inspired by a book written by Robin L. Smith regarding the lies we believe about marriage.

I was new to the idea of true, real, healthy, responsible and respectful love. (And honestly, so was Chris.) But we wanted it.

It took many, many looooooooooooooong discussions, a lot of heartache, some knock-down, drag-out fights, some aging, and some experience, but I think, we've got it.

"[Mature Love is] day-to-day love. It's going to work everyday, cleaning the house every weekend and paying bills every month love. It's real love - with frustrations and conflict and real experiences."

This year, as I look to celebrate (tomorrow) the day I agreed to join TeamBroussard, I know that I have found true love. The kind of love that brings joy to the depths of your soul. The kind of love that lasts for a lifetime.

"Hey, Sailor!"

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm From...

I’m from Fall colors and Spring tulips and 10,000 lakes.

I'm from the outskirts, never a neighborhood, rarely a sidewalk.

I’m from bright yellow dandelions turned into wishes.

I’m from Christmas decorating on Black Friday, flocked Christmas trees and nutcrackers.

I'm from MGD and Home Interiors and Tupperware and Harley Davidson.

I’m from Barbies and “The Babysitters’ Club” books.

I’m from Cub Foods and White Castle.

I’m from tuna salad.

I’m from Kemps’ Tin Roof Sundae in a gallon bucket.

I'm from Gedney pickles, Pronto Pups, tater tots and Old Dutch potato chips.

I’m from roller rinks and week-long vacations at rented cabins.

I’m from a purple paddleboat on Lake Magda.

I’m from over-the-top motorcycle rallies in Sturgis, South Dakota.

I'm from Lutherans and hotdishes and bitter cold.

I'm from sledding and ice skating.

I’m from camping and fishing and RVs and canoeing and road trips.

I’m from visits to the one-Hardee’s town in Iowa called Waukon.

I'm from Nintendo and VHS and cassette tapes and IBM.

I'm from snow days and three months of summer vacation.

I'm from Valleyfair and the Great Minnesota Get-Together, and the Mall of America.

I’m from “Duck, Duck, Grey Duck” and tubing down the river.

I’m from “Red” and "The Boat Killer."

I’m from mechanics, bartenders, bikers and secretaries.

I'm from mutt dogs and stray cats.

I’m from broken families and shattered dreams and unrealized potential.

I’m from family without blood relation.

I’m from Minneapolis, and wasn’t proud of that until I moved away.

I'm from a place I chose not to dwell.

I'm from the place that made me the beautiful creature I am.



Stolen so lovingly from Stacy May.



Awhile back I read an I'm From blog post and decided to take a crack at it myself. If you're interested in writing your own I'm From, you can use the following template to get started (if you write your own, please leave a comment and link so I can read it!): Adapted by Levi Romero Inspired by “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon I am from ________________________ (an everyday item in your home) from ________________ and _______________ (products or everyday items in your home) I am from the ___________________________ (description of your home) _________________________________ (a detail about your home – a smell, taste, or feel) I am from the____________________ (plant, flower, natural item) The __________________________ (plant or tree near your home) whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own. I’m from _______________ and ________________ (a family tradition and family trait) from ______________and ______________________ (family members) I’m from _________________and _________________ (family habits) and from_____________________. (family habit) I’m from _______________ and _______________ (things you were told as a child) and ____________________________________ (a song or saying you learned as a child) I’m from_________________________ (a family tradition) I’m from ____________ (place of birth) and ___________ (family ancestry, nationality or place) _______________and _________________ (family foods) From ___________________________________ (a story about a family member) ___________________________ (detail about the story or person) _____________________________ (description of family momentos, pictures or treasures.) _________________________ (location of momentos – under my bed, on the wall, in my heart) ______________________________________________ (more description if needed) _______________________________________________ By