Monday, July 9, 2012

Tough Chick Adventures Take One

A few blogs back I decided, on a whim, to start an all-chick adventure club to inspire women to bond in a positive way while stepping out and trying something new, facing challenges and living life. Enter Tough Chick Adventures and our seven totally hot (no, really, it was super hot on Saturday) adventure chicks: Me, Jackie, Karen, Stephanie, Trish, Calsin and Shawna.

Our first adventure finally arrived Saturday after months of waiting (and possibly panting with fear...). You see, I have a sort-of reputation among friends for being slightly...well...unpredictable...possibly insane...definitely fearless. So, I would imagine there was a little worry circulating about what I would plan for our club's inaugural adventure.

(The truth is...I DID have a different adventure planned, but it fell through last minute, and I had to find something to replace it. I think, in the end, I did alright by the girls!)

One week before the big day, the girls received our expected travel time (1.5 hours) and a list of supplies (On the list: bikinis encouraged...yes, I am still crusading the Bikini Revolution, and I am stoked to report 5 of our 7 adventurers donned bikinis. Stephanie even rolled her tankini up to join the Revolution, so really we were at 6 out of 7. Next time we'll reach 100%. Whoop! Whoop! See my June 2011 blog about that if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

I also sent a set of clues for them to mull over: A, Aegis, Bert, Quaint, John Candy. Have you figured it out yet? Well, probably not, as the clues were meant to be totally vague. I didn't really want someone knowing what we were doing before the trip...that would just be lame. I wanted them to stew over the clues, then get excited and nervous and pumped for whatever was coming their way.

I think it worked.

Though Karen (damn her investigative skills!) managed to figure it out less than five minutes after we started our drive. Apparently, she's a John Candy fan...or just agrees with me that Summer Rental was his only decent movie. However, her first guess was bear chasing. I didn't even think about that one, but hey, if we want to stick with a John Candy theme, then The Great Outdoors would definitely be my second favorite Candy movie. Bear wrastlin', huh?!? Maybe the next adventure...

Any guesses? Nope. Not it. No. No. No.

Ok...give up?

Our first adventure was in Annapolis, Maryland where we spent a full day sailing on the Chesapeake with the sharks and jellyfish and drunk speedboat drivers. I tried to have something for everyone, and Jackie is completely obsessed with sharks, so I researched it. Yes, despite what our trusty Captain claims, there ARE sharks in the Chesapeake. Little sharks, but they do exist. Google it.

The funny thing is Jackie was more preoccupied with jellyfish stings than shark bites and insisted she would be the first to get stung. I, being her trusty best friend, promised to be there for her in her time of pain, so I vowed to pee on her if she got stung. No, this is not an episode of Mythbusters, and yes, human pee is a natural remedy for jellyfish stings. Seriously. Google it.

We didn't see any sharks during our trip, but we did see a ton of jellyfish and managed a few close encounters, but more on that hot mess later.

To be honest, as awesome as sailing and jellyfish encounters sound, I think everyone would agree the real adventure of the day was driving to Annapolis with me at the wheel. I am not the best driver in the world, and the girls quickly figured out several things: 1) I distract easily and seven girls in my Pilot was definitely enough distraction to warrant Stephanie's remark (insert NY accent): "It doesn't really seem like you're paying attention." No, Stephanie, I'm not. I suffer from a specific form of attention deficit disorder that only strikes when I'm in the car and driving through DC and have no idea where I'm going and the stupid GPS is not talking to me like it should be. Well, and it didn't help that I insisted on telling stories about getting lost when I go hiking or dancing or to the men's bathroom in some Cuban restaurant in Florida...wait, I didn't tell that particular story, but it's a good one to save for another long car ride. 2) If my gut instinct is telling me to turn left because I missed the exit, then I should do the opposite because I have no womanly sense of direction whatsoever. Thanks, Jackie, for bringing that to my attention. 3) I always thought it was Jackie and I that got lost together. The truth is it's all my fault. Sad. But true. 4) I curse an awful lot, particularly at other drivers who drive too slow or don't use blinkers or who just generally piss me off. It's my Irish temperament and a specific form of tourettes that only flares up when I'm behind the wheel. 5) When I do get lost, I always end up in the ghetto. Insert abandoned shopping carts, drug dealer cars and seedy alley streets. You're welcome, girls, for that brief tour through a less privileged part of Maryland.

Despite a few unexpected hiccups and more than three illegal u-turns, we finally made it to our first stop in Annapolis...Subway. Sailing is hard work, and we needed to wrangle up some lunch for the coolers...and for our Captain and his first mate. I have to say, if you ever have an inkling to visit the smallest and slowest sandwich-making Subway in the entire world, then visit the one in Annapolis.

I felt so bad for the two 20-somethings behind the counter, I decided I needed to bring some life back into their otherwise dull and claustrophobic work day. So, I started rambling...and rambling...and rambling...but I couldn't stop, and before I knew it, half the girls had escaped outside and only Jackie and Karen remained faithfully at my side, though they both attempted to hide their faces behind their sunglasses in an effort to avoid the Subway cameras.

Regardless of my rambling, those two Subway workers had an experience that morning, and they learned a lot about females. They learned that just because a woman doesn't know what type of sandwiches men like to eat, it doesn't mean she's a lesbian. They learned that when a woman says "I'm easy," she's not referring to her sexual nature; she's referring to how she likes her sandwiches. They learned that although a woman may combine pickles, olives and avocado all on one sandwich, it does not mean she's pregnant.

And, I walked away from Subway with a wealth of knowledge about what men like to eat...they like meaty foot longs. Oh yes.

With food in hand, the girls started discussing what type of bathroom accommodations the sailboat might offer, and we agreed that hanging our bare bottoms over the side of the boat was probably not the best way to introduce ourselves to the Annapolis community. So, we invaded the McDonalds next door to use the restroom. For me, this was the most harrowing part of our adventure, and I spent the rest of our ride obsessing over cockroaches and leaking toilets. Notice how I refuse to use a stall with pee all over the floor and a bug the size of a small turd floating in said pee, but I have no qualms about urinating on my best friend. Whatevs.

We arrived at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard way early and found our Captain getting the boat ready to sail. I should note that our Captain was my Uncle James, who is by far, one of the coolest guys on the planet, and I owe him big time for taking us out and teaching us about sailing, especially when it was over 100 degrees and hot as sticky balls that day.

The picture below is Captain Jim with his WTF! expression after learning that he had not only taken on seven nonsailors, but our group also had two nonswimmers and two girls doped up on Dramamine and Sea Bands because they get seriously motion sick and could possibly hurl all over his beautiful boat. He's a Kershaw though...he recovered quickly and just went with it.

Captain Jim also brought along a first mate named Mike who knows a ton about sailing, had way too much fun making us work and likes to have suntan lotion rubbed into his back throughout the day...even though we had tons of spray lotion on board. But, seriously, can you blame him? Shawna and Jackie are pretty hot, after all : ) Even I would ask them to rub suntan lotion on my back...

This is First Mate Mike right after getting a rub down by Shawna. Notice her expression in the background...she's wondering how she got tasked with that job while the rest of us were sunbathing. 

A few hours later Jackie got cornered in the cabin for another rub down. First Mate Mike is clearly enjoying his time down below. Jackie looks like she's enjoying it too, but that's really her 'this is kinda awkward, but I'm going with it' smile.

And, notice First Mate Mike's face after I snapped this picture for Jackie's husband, Mike (who I might add is twice the size of First Mate Mike). This is First Mate Mike's 'uh-oh...I'm in for an ass-kicking face.' Notice how Jackie is completely adaptable and still just going with it. That's why we love her : )

Here's Mike's very lotioned back a few hours later as he hunts for the next pair of hands to apply some more sunscreen. Stephanie wasn't having any of it and briefly toyed with the idea of dumping him overboard with the jellyfish. She's from New York, after all, and they don't rub suntan lotion on strangers in the North. However, she refrained. She knew we needed him to get back to the docks.

For the record, Captain Jim and First Mate Mike kept us busy with more than just suntan lotion applications. Trish, it turns out, is quite the Captain. What's so amazing is her ability to steer the boat and look pretty all at the same time.

Karen, apparently, is such a natural sailor she is allowed to man the wheel while sitting. Now, that's impressive.

Jackie hoisted the mainsail. It's amazing how squat jumps have such a practical use on the water. Even First Mate Mike was impressed.

And, yes, I know it seems like I spent the day taking pictures. Not true at all. I also spent a lot of time in this position...playing bartender. I am extremely gifted at doling out drinks. Like any good sailor, we came prepared with a full cooler and fridge.

And, when I wasn't taking pictures and ensuring everyone was properly inebriated, I skirted the sails. I am particularly proud of my big ass in this picture as I skirt the sail. In fact, I feel like I needed to be in a skirt for the full effect. Next time...

I also managed to perfect the drunk college know, the pictures you start snapping with one hand, hoping you get a decent shot with two faces in it. By the end of the day, I was a pro. I also realized early on that if you sit at the rear of the boat you aren't close enough to the ropes to get called to do actual work. So, you get in a lot of sunbathing time. A few hours later, all the girls had discovered my secret, and the entire rear was filled.

We anchored in the Severn River for a few hours, ate lunch and braved the water to cool off. Even Calsin and Trish, who don't swim, ventured out into the water. It was a nice respite from the heat until Jackie started swimming toward the boat like Michael Phelps going for gold. Apparently, a jellyfish had wrapped its tentacle around her thigh and stung her, which caused quite the riot as everyone on the boat started pointing out jellyfish in the water. Not so comforting for those of us still swimming and unable to see them. Karen and I were the last to get back on the boat, and I have to say, I was impressed that no matter how many times she felt a jellyfish head bump against her foot, she remained calm. Must be the lifeguard training.

We spent the next few hours cruising around Annapolis. By this time, the heat was getting to a few of the girls and seasickness was definitely in full effect. We finally decided to dock at Cantlers restaurant and claim our landlegs. Apparently, Cantlers is one of the best seafood restaurants in Annapolis, and the 1-hour wait and insane crowds were evidence of that. While the other girls recovered in the air conditioned bar, Jackie and I slipped away to the boat for a few minutes to take care of some business. Karen arrived just in time to help document what I like to call...well...the sacrifice of real friendship.

With the sting gone, Jackie felt like new just in time for dinner. Love ya', girl!

Sailing really is thirsty work, and although beer buckets were probably not the best choice on a day with 100+ temperatures, we ordered two along with hefty servings of fried seafood and hush puppies. Captain Jim said Annapolis is called a quaint little drinking town with a sailing problem and that his crew would mutiny if he didn't have beer on board, so when in Rome...

For the record, I hate beer, so I was quickly voted designated driver, though I doubt anyone had any real intention of letting me pilot the sailboat after driving with me that morning. As you can see from Trish and Stephanie's expressions, it was getting late, and their sailing legs were dead tired. Stephanie was probably texting someone in New York: "WTF is a hush puppy anyway, and why does it take so goddamn long to make?"

 Just as the sun was beginning to dip, we boarded the boat again, Jackie took the wheel and we headed back to the docks. And, just when I thought I had learned everything I need to know about sailing, Jackie gave me two more lessons: 1) Boats do not have emergency brakes, so a sudden and violent stop means the person steering the wheel either has no clue what they are doing and has hit bottom OR they are purposely trying to send you overboard. 2) There was a reason why Captain Jim cautioned us to always hold onto something when standing on the boat.

I didn't go overboard, but Karen and I came pretty damn close. Perhaps Jackie had one too many Blue Moons at dinner. Guess my driving isn't so bad after all...

It was dark by the time we made it back to the docks, and we were all dead tired but stoked about finishing our first adventure. These chicks rocked it!

As with every good adventure there is always an air of mystery at the end. In this case, we are left with three burning questions:

1) Did anyone hurl? Yes.

2) Did First Mate Mike get a sunburn on his back? No. In fact, I don't think he got any sun on his back at all due to the excessive amount of sunscreen rubbed into it.

3) Did I really pee on Jackie's jellyfish burn? Now where's the fun in answering that question?

Until the next adventure in October...and this one will be EPIC! Tough Chick Adventures Take Two...GO!

**A huge thanks to James and Mike for taking us out all day and teaching us to sail.  And, Mike, thanks for letting me give you a hard time...there's more of that to come if you sign up to take us rafting in the spring : )

The Tough Chick Adventures Chicks



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Shadows Can Teach Us

For those readers who haven't already figured it out, I am passionate about many things...

Family because in the end they are the very rock that keeps you grounded. Earth because I am in awe of it and too often we forget we are the tenants and not the other way around. Female empowerment because I am woman hear me roar, and there are too many of us who spend our whole life caught up in the sticky spiderweb of unhealthy and unrealistic ideals that just plain suck. Art, in any form, because it can breathe life into shadows and whisper words of encouragement and hope when we most need them. Books because though I get older every year, they are my temporary Never-Neverland. And, life because it's nearly always a race to live it before the finish line is in your sights.

I found myself thinking about that last statement just this afternoon. My kids and I are all home recovering from strep, and I decided to spend the day catching up on e-mails as I prepare to reenter the world of the productive tomorrow. I came across this post on Petite Peanut, a business that makes kid clothing:

"I am DEEPLY moved by the hundreds of messages I have received in support of my baby boy. I don't know if I have any tears left. He is a superhero, my superhero, and is a FIGHTER. We continue to enjoy every moment we have with him, as we all should with our loved ones. My minutes and hours are still full of prayer hoping for a miracle. But, we know he has a great work to do in Heaven and have found peace in our Savior's plan for him and our family."

Nestled among the recent posts was a blurred picture of the dad holding his sick baby boy...the frame resonated with a mixture of sorrow for what might not be tomorrow, unparalleled love that only a parent could truly understand and strength...that if you hold on just tight enough, all will be well in the end. It is an image I will not soon forget.

I found myself needing my kids at that very moment. Emma had curled herself under the living room table in an effort to avoid her brothers' afternoon antics and had fallen asleep. I laid down next to her, tracing my finger around one rosy cheek as she cradled her other one in the tiny hammock of her chubby palm and my heart felt so suddenly full I couldn't imagine giving up this moment or any of the other millions of moments to come for anything...anything. And, the very thought of having those moments taken from me and my full heart becoming a mere echo of what it is today would be unbearable.

This blog is about empowerment. About taking a challenge and turning it on its head. It's about standing up for yourself and living the life we have, not hoping for something we don't need. It's about being you and loving yours. It's about authenticity.

I have a tendency to take on the world not one challenge at a time but 20 challenges all at once. Which is great...for a mythical superheroine...but totally and impossibly retarded for a real person who really should be focusing on what really the here and now, that is.

The past three weeks I've been so caught up in getting this done and fixing that and the world will end if everything doesn't work out perfectly and what if I make the wrong decision and completely screw it all up, I literally forgot to stop and breathe for a moment. I stressed myself and my family out so badly, we all ended up sick and exhausted and unbalanced. Life passes by quickly...true. BUT it's the small moments that make it worth living. Sometimes I get so caught up in the big picture and my self-inflicted role of superwoman, I forget to slow down and breathe life in.

It's not that serious, right? Just BREATHE.

Life is stressful most days. The errand list is too often longer than Santa's delivery list. The laundry pile is always toppling over. The house is never clean enough. Your race pace is never fast enough. Your workout always seems rushed. Your kids are always fighting or sick or tired or hungry or talking incessantly about things you can't even begin to understand or answer intelligently. Your husband has those days where you are totally convinced he was abducted by aliens and replaced with a new prototype that completely doesn't get you. You feel fat or old or tired or all of the above. And, sometimes you just want to run away to a deserted island for five minutes and breathe...but you don't because you tell yourself you can't.

Not true.


Yes, it's a novel concept, but it can be done. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.

Because, you see, though you have days or even weeks where nothing seems to go quite your way, you have to realize none of it really matters in the end. What matters is what makes you happy. And, I'm not talking about margarita-night happy but filled-to-the-brim, pain-in-my-heart happy.

For me, that happiness comes from my family.

Early last week, Emma swallowed a penny she found under the couch cushions, and it got so perfectly stuck in her throat, she turned blue, then purple. I had that out of body moment where I thought, 'this is it...I may lose her.' It was by far the worst moment of my life yet. I managed to Heimlich the penny out before the ambulance arrived, but those few seconds were only a glimpse into what I would feel without all of my kids here with me. That moment was a mere shadow of the darkness other parents have found themselves thrown into.

So, I send out my deepest and dearest L.O.V.E to the parents of little Clayton at Petite Peanut Boutique during what may undoubtedly become the darkest hour of their lives. I don't know them personally, but their story has touched me deeply, and I owe them for reminding me of what's most important when life gets stressful. Your courage and strength inspire me to be strong in the face of adversity and your sorrow reminds me to slow down and breathe deep in a world that never seems to stop spinning.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Dirty Little Freaks Run Again

There is nothing that inspires me more in life than seeing women work as a team, overcome fears and find victory in a challenge they never thought they could complete...until they did.

Our redesigned team shirts. Thanks Jill,
Kristen and Gerson!

And, man, did they complete this challenge in such a fist-pumping, arm-raising, whoop and holler kind of way, it brings tears of pride to my eyes. These. Chicks. Rock. And, the Warrior Dash 2012 in Maryland will never be the same after the second generation of Dirty Little Freaks tramped through its course with such ferocity and determination and laughter, we showed the world what it means to be a strong team of kick-ass chicks.

I started the tradition of motivating women through mud races several years ago, but I lead my first big group last year when I took the inaugural group of Dirty Little Freaks through the Warrior Dash, a 5K mud/obstacle race that just happens to be the best introductory mud race around. The 2011 Freaks was a class of eight---eight women who blindly joined me for their very first mud race on a simple leap of faith that I would stick to my promise and pull them through something that was totally out of their element and therefore, freakin' daunting.
The 2011 Dirty Little Freaks at the Warrior Dash

I had the pleasure of running with them every sloshy step of the way and in the end, every single one crossed that finish line last year with their fists in the air and smiles crinkling the mud on their cheeks as the DJ fittingly blared Pink's "Raise Your Glass." That was certainly a moment to remember, and the whole experience inspired me to continue encouraging and motivating new recruits to step out of the norm and jump in the muddy pond with me for some hair-raising, muscle-melting adventures.

The 2012 Dirty Little Freaks BEFORE hitting the mud
This year's Dirty Little Freaks was a team of 21, though five of our girls had to drop out when life suddenly with broken arms, injuries, family. (No worries! These girls have a standing raincheck for our next race...can't let their shirts stay pristine for too long!) In the end, we ran as a team of 16, probably one of the largest teams at the race and definitely the team with the most spunk and the hottest hot pink shirts around!

And, we finish strong!
The race this year was more challenging than last year but still designed for the novice mud runner, and every obstacle could be completed without a team. But, seriously, where is the fun in that? Mud racing is about teamwork. It's about finding your inner warrior and releasing it for a few hours. It's about stepping out of the proverbial box and doing something so freakin' awesome you'll still be telling your muddy tall tales when you're 90. Mud racing is about adventure, camaraderie, cool bruises and the age-old military adage of 'leave no (woman) behind.'

AFTER getting muddy! Go DLFs!
Our four pace groups rose to the challenge and completed their mission. They scaled five walls, climbed ropes, waded through mud, crawled through tunnels, leaped over barriers of wood and fire, crushed the nets, killed the killer hills and took on the slip 'n slide with such gusto even the gravity-defying, butt-blasting bump at the bottom couldn't derail their enthusiasm.

AW! Such support! Feelin' the L.O.V.E.!
They crossed the finish amid the cheers of the crowd, bathed from hair to toe in the stickiest, smelliest, shittiest mud on the planet and they did so with the biggest shit-eating smiles plastered across their faces. If that's not the epitome of warrior spirit, I don't know what is.

Yep! We like to play in mud...
I was in awe of that very spirit as I witnessed it on the course...the way each woman encouraged and whooped-whooped their teammates forward when the hills got longer and the walls taller...the way my girls overcame fears of small spaces, high places and even dirty faces...the way some pushed through the pain of their very first 5K, never once gave up and maintained such a positive attitude throughout the course they inspired the very runners around them to push on and push harder.

Eat it! Eat it!
Finish as ONE!

These are the very moments that define who we are as women.

These are the moments that make us stronger and happier and more confident in who we are and what type of ass-kicking we can give the world when things get tough.

These are the moments that challenge us to challenge ourselves to be the best version of who we are.

These are the moments that inspire me.

Warrior Spirit!
There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than seeing teammates wipe tears of victory from their mud-stained cheeks, hearing the excited chatter as they plan their next race within minutes of crossing the finish and watching the Dirty Little Freaks raise their arms and their glasses in victory.

So, my friend, raise YOUR glass in honor of the Dirty Little Freaks! Whoop! Whoop!

Raise your glass!

 And, take one ginormous Warrior-like swig before you do the impossibly possible and sign up for our next muddy adventure in September. The Dirty Little Freaks will run again...the question is: will YOU take the muddy plunge and join us in a toast to new challenges and victorious beginnings?

Here's to you and you and especially, you. See y'all at the fire-breathing, heart-stopping starting gates!


Just call me M.U.D.


 To the 2012 Dirty Little Freaks! You rocked this race and rocked it hardcore. L.O.V.E. you all...Carrie, Allyson, Jen, Dorothy, Kristen, Jill, Pam, Heather, Kelly, Christie, Danielle, Candy, Karen, Sheila and Jackie!! get the IS a mud
run, after all!

Special thanks to my dad, Chuck, for taking awesome shots and capturing our day; my mom for watching the girl while I got muddy; and to Jackie, my BFF (as Dad likes to call us), for helping me keep our enormous team together from start to finish and for driving 2+ hours with me, a feat in itself, but even more so when I'm on the worst day of the monthly curse. Love you lots! You all rock, and I couldn't have done it without your support!

And, yes, it DOES wash off!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You're Sexy & You Know It

Thank you LMFAO for the anthem song every woman needs to be singing at the top of her lungs...because seriously, we all have that sexy beast wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggling it around inside there somewhere, right? Sometimes we just need the confidence to release it.

And, I have just the thing to do just that...

A few months ago, I decided...on a whim...I wanted to do something spi-caaay for Rick. I came across a local photographer who was offering boudoir photo sessions at a nearby hotel. The photos were artsy and beautiful and the models were ordinary, everyday women of all different ages, shapes and sizes. I was enthralled by these photos and how every single picture I clicked on showed a confident, sexy woman having fun with the camera. It was magic. And, I knew I had to do this.

Now, granted, I am not shy about sex or nudity or...well...anything. But, I have never been a huge fan of getting my picture taken. For the most part, I don't consider myself photogenic (I happen to be one of those people who makes very strange facial expressions when I talk....a handy affliction I monopolized on during the years I did community theater but not so cute when I'm modeling for pictures). So, it was a bit daunting to have a photographer do a photo shoot with me and just me for a full, uninterrupted hour.

The day of the photo shoot, I found myself at a hotel, which appeared to be hosting the monthly meeting for the Seedy Truck-driving, Beer-drinking, Ass-grabbing  Men of Warrenton Club, as a sizable group of douche bags were tailgating across the street from the entrance waiting for the next model to arrive. I can only imagine what type of fantasies they were having watching women walk in and out of this building all day...going in wearing sweats and coming out all sexified. Clearly, parades of hot lesbians had been frog jumping through their fantasies all day....covered in bubbles and champagne as this particular hotel offered some rooms with party-sized Jacuzzis right next to the bed. (And, no, we did not do any bubble bath pictures, though that was my first question upon entering the hair and makeup room. Hells to the yes, I was game for that! What? What!)

Honestly, the hardest part of the whole shoot was the makeup. I don't usually wear makeup, and the very patient makeup artist had to deal with my cringing and flinching and watering eyes as she painstakingly worked on my bedroom look. I have to say she did an a-MAZ-ing job making me look seductive and sexy without turning me into a completely different person. And, though I'm sure she was ready to smack the shit out of me because I was not the easiest person to apply makeup to, she remained ridiculously sweet.

Jessica Tapscott, the photographer, was exactly how I had envisioned her. She was cute and bubbly with an infectious smile and a full head of thick, wild hair. She was so chill and passionate about her camera, she made me want to take gorgeous pics just so I could see her smile light up the room one more time. Her crew was equally chill, and within seconds of them entering the room and throwing themselves across the bed, I felt like an honorary member of their girls' club. It was like being in your best friend's bedroom putting on makeup, playing dressup and talking about boys...or in this case...our kids who just happened to be around the same ages.

After makeup and small talk, we headed across the hall to the photoshoot room and the fun began! And, yes, it was serious fun! I may not be a fan of taking normal, everyday pictures, but apparently I L.O.V.E taking boudoir pictures. Jessica had transformed an ordinary hotel room into a romantic bed and breakfast getaway. I felt sexy. I looked sexy. And, despite my earlier reservations about weird facial twitches, I had no problem talking to Jessica's camera with my brand new bedroom eyes. Talk about liberation, ladies! You seriously have not been liberated until you've done a lingerie photo shoot with a group of fun-loving, strong and confident women at the helm steering your pictures into gorgeousness. Thank YOU, Jessica!

I personally could have done another hour of pictures and was kinda disappointed when Jess called it a wrap. Seriously? You don't want just one more? How about this pose? Or this one? Or I could stand here or crawl over there....or....or.....or....

You get the point.

A few weeks later, my pics arrived in the mail on a handy CD. The plan was to save them for our anniversary in May. Rick, though, figures everything out. And, he spent my girls' night out scouring the house for the pictures and upon finding them, promptly uploaded them all to his IPOD.

I wanted to be mad at him when he told me the next morning, but I just couldn't muster it...he was so excited about the pictures and touched I had done them for him that all I could do was kiss him...for hour. My way of saying you're welcome. (Suprisingly, Rick has decided I simply HAVE to do another photo shoot...I think he's addicted. Gotta love a man addicted to his wife. Doesn't get much better than that, right?)

It's always a good idea to remind your husband that despite being a mom to three young kids and wearing lounge pants so often it should be made illegal and choosing the go-to style of ponytail or baseball cap rather than actually doing my hair...I am STILL one hot, sexy, sizzling and spicy bitch. And, he better remember that.

Of course, if he happens to forget one day, he now has a constant reminder on his IPOD.

LMFAO is singing in my head right now, and I'm thinking YOU should Facebook Jessica and see when her next boudoir session is taking place...

Seriously, every woman should do a boudoir photo shoot. You will walk away from the adventure feeling like a new woman...a sexier, stronger, happier, more confident woman ready to rock the world and rock it hard. It's just pure, uninhibited fun!

After all, you ARE sexy and you KNOW just have to take the plunge and show it. Holla!


Curious? Check out Jessica Tapscott's Boudoir Facebook page and don't forget to LIKE it to receive updates.!/shhboudoirphotography

Just a few of the gorgeous pics Jessica took...I can't give them all away, but I wanted to give you a taste of what I'm asking y'all to try...(thanks, Rick, for letting me share a few of your pics with my girls!) And, yes, y'all better get out there and try this...because I'm not posting these money shots for nothing ; ) !!!!