Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Survived Warrior Dash!


I was so nervous leading up to the event. In my initial post, I mentioned that I am not a runner. I jog and not for very far. I use the motor cross machine, bike and do incline walking at the gym. I do not run. When I jog around the complex while trying to wear out my pup, I sometimes get a sharp pain in my foot and my knee and then I stop. I also thought I was going to fail in fundraising $300 for 'The Princess Package' as one of my clerks calls it.  When you raised $300 for the St. Jude Children Hospital, you have access to private restrooms, showers and are provided food. They also check your belongings for you so you can enjoy the festival post-Dash.

I baked those amazing Cookies and Cream cookies well over a month ago. I brought in donuts to work. I used social media. I tried to get jewelry lovers to help out as well. What really worked was giving folks a sense of urgency to help me raise the money the day before. And I did! Well, mostly thanks to my Papa Bear. Since I was a kid, he hated me being dirty. It's a rule to always take a shower before you crawl into bed so you always go to bed clean. He made a generous tax-deductible donation to put me right at the $300. I called him and thanked him. His main reason: "I want you to have your own bathroom." Daddy to the rescue. The last few times I've seen him, he asked me how I was doing and if I needed anything. I just shook my head and assured him that I wasn't doing great. My head and heart were in the right place and I don't need any financial assistance whatsoever. Help with getting clean was the only thing I've asked him for and he came thru without hesitation as always. I got the news that my father turned my fundraising efforts into a success while at work. It was just so funny to sit at my desk, surrounded by my young staff, and think, "Wow, even at 33-years-old, my father still can make everything better." I'm a lucky girl. I actually ended up raising $390 total. Thank you to everyone that has donated. It means so much to me.

The event was on a Saturday morning and my family, We R Pamily Team, were already up in Woodland, CA having a great time. I had to stay home with Bevo because he can only be in his crate for a certain number of hours for the following day and financially, it was best that I didn't pay for a room plus a pet fee. I stayed home with him and tried to carb up. I got a Safeway fresh baked loaf of bread and slathered on the butter while watching the tube. I could live off of bread and butter. Soo good. I tried to go to bed early per my father's recommendation  Eventually, I went to bed. I had to get up at 4:45 AM. I was planning on hitting the road at 6 AM because we had a wave time at 9 AM.

The drive up to Woodland to meet up with my family was a nice one. I was definitely tired but it was nice to watch the sunrise as I headed West. I arrived at the hotel and it was cold. Everyone was up but not ready. We even had time to get some breakfast in the lobby of the hotel.


They had pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, toast, eggs. Even as a non-guest, I partook a little. But I didn't want to feel full before the event. So even though we had a wave time of 9 AM, you really can go at any time. We eventually hit the road and TMM was en route to the event. We didn't have any plans to do the event together, just to meet up a little bit. We had to drive thru downtown Woodland, my nephew, RJ, brought up random topics out of left field and ended up at the event space, thanks to Hank, my Cugino's girlfriend's navigation system. We had to park on the dirt and then take school busses to the event. I can't remember the last time I was on a school bus except times I have had to hide behind our garbage cans at the bottom of our hill to catch the school bus while living in Fairfield, CA, because our dog, Scorpio, a half German Shepherd and Chow, would chase us down and want to play. He was much bigger than us at that point, but I sure do miss him.

When we parked, we had to bring everything we needed for the day with us. Some people dress up for the event and I just had my devil horns, a long devil tail pinned and carried around a small pitchfork. My cousin Tiffany was Polamalu with her fro-y hair and Steelers jersey. We're a fun group. Here she is attempting to pin my tail on.


We got in line and TMM texted me to wait for them and we'll do the event together. Oh, boy. He's meeting my family. I gave them a heads up that he was coming and they knew who I was talking about. He arrived with his brother and you just have to expect it from your family that they're going to put you in an awkward spot so Polamalu said, "So you're The Mystery Man?"Ah, jeez.

We make it onto the bus and I feel ginormous trying to get down the aisle with my bag, while I'm talking to our Cousin Jenny because she and her kids are going to meet up with us later.  I sit next to TMM and give him the download on who's who in my family. He hears me talk about my Cugino all the time so it's nice that he finally gets to meet my favorite cousin. 'Favorite' just because he's one of my closest male cousin. Shanti, would be my closest female cousin. I have always been able to talk openly with her about everything. It's no holds barred with both of them.

The bus made a stop at the top of the hill and we disembarked towards sign in and check in stations. I took photos while TMM carried my San Jose Sharks bag that I got last season on Appreciation Night and I have to say, I love our Team We R Pamily. So glad we got new recruits too! You checked in by your sex then last name. I was given a shirt and a warrior hat. You're given your number, pins to pin this number to your clothes and a tracker to tie onto your shoes to keep track of your location. At the end, turn in the tracking device for a free beer. That ended up in Doug's hands as I don't drink beer and TMM doesn't really drink. You then can check in all your gear for free. It was cold that morning but the sun was doing its job and warmed us all up. My Adidas jacket came off and I checked it in with the rest of my gear. No sunglasses either. I can't risk my Pradas getting messed up.





We regrouped and made our way to the starting line. Roars came from people, trying to get hyped up to start this journey. I looked ahead and the trail started uphill. Oh boy. I'm going to die. But I could do this. Right?

High flames spewed above us and We R Pamily was off. Angela, Cugino, RJ, and TMM are runners. The rest of us? Not so much. I tried to keep up and was doing A-alright. It was congested at first and my long devil tail kept finding it's way to the front of my body. I now have compassion for you men that have this same problem during your run. The first hill was steep and I had to stop and walk, among other people so I definitely wasn't the only one. I was already so damn hot and I had to keep going.  Even if I jogged tiny steps I was still making progress and not giving up. It was tough but there was no way I was going to stop here. My cousin Laurie was such a trooper. She has asthma and had to walk up the hill. We waited for her at the top and cheered her on when she made it. It was so nice of TMM and Doug to stay and wait for us. They definitely could have gone ahead and tackled the course. But we were definitely a team.

Many more hills were next and I could see that I was already getting darker. Thirst was building too. I wanted shade. We were wondering where our first obstacle was. So far, all we were doing was running. Need water. From one of the hills, we can see an obstacle, which didn't look very challenging. Going down this particular hill we were overtaken by two bananas. Yes, bananas. Grown men in banana costumes. And then we found our first obstacle which wasn't challenging whatsoever. It was just bending down under barbed wire.Then our first photo opp. Then there was water!!! Yes! Then there was an obstacle to climb over some elevated low, walls and slide or run down some slopes. My shoes didn't have much traction left and I knew they were going to be trashed, so I didn't use a better pair. The next one was a wall to climb with rope. That was fun. Angela and TMM ended up doing that twice. I didn't want to over exert myself with not know what was ahead. We found another water station and a water fight broke out between RJ and myself, and TMM and myself. They got me pretty good. But I welcomed being wet. It was so hot!


More obstacles but no mud or water. We saw a man dressed in a Teletubby costume. God, he must've been super hot. People were Minions from Despicable Me and grown men had bubble wands leaving a trail of bubbles of all sizes. Another water station and I missed splashing RJ. Damnit! I think I kept up pretty well with the joggers. They definitely had the speed and stamina but I wasn't too far behind. When I had to walk, I did. Many conversations were had and some people loved the devil costume. Two girls said I was 'one fabulous devil' so I pranced around in front of them as I ran for a little bit. Some guys urged their team members to hurry up or the devil will beat them. I tried to playfully stab my team with my pitchfork but it was not so stiff. So sad.

No bathrooms were to be found on this route. Angela thought she saw port-a-potties in the distance and ran towards it but found nothing. There was three large cement sections to the right, maybe 30 feet from the trail. I told her I'd go with her if she wanted to go together. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go. But we didn't and remained ladies.

Another photo op was available after the rope obstacle. TMM and Doug wanted shots as a brothers but Polamalu majorly photo bombed it. Cugino got many heel click opps, even over the fire strips. There were monkey bars that I went thru without a problem, though I thought I was going to slip off the last one. They were were pretty far apart. My wingspan isn't that big. I am definitely the year of the monkey. Mono, mono, mono. That was Cousin Laurie's best obstacle too.

The final obstacle was the mud pit. We waited for everyone before we all jumped in. And ohmigod it was super thick! It was definitely not like the mud bath in Calistoga. TMM took me down and thank goodness he didn't dunk me but my hair was definitely going to be full of mud. Payback was just riding his back as long as I could. I eventually was left to fend for myself and it was sooo tough to get across. You're tired, you want to put your feed down but all you're doing is digging your feet deeper into the mud. There is no bottom. You just have to swim towards the end. And there, near the end, RJ and I get in a nasty mud fight. He takes me down, I pull him down, he gets a handful of mud in my face and I try to do the same but it ends up on the side of his and in his ear. My bad, Nephew!! And eventually we make it out of the mud. My white Skechers are covered in mud and I feel like a Munster with mud platforms. My pants are weighed down with mud and I could be flashing people my bottom but it's hard to keep it up. I cross the finish line and a medal is placed around my neck. I later see that it's a "I Survived Warrior Dash" bottle opener. I have mud in my eye and Doug helps me wash it out. TMM goes to get his phone for a photo and we regroup to go towards the Warrior Dash sign for a group photo. I jump on Cugino and wrap my legs around him. Muddy Cuginos! We take our photo and I have to show that my horns and tail were still in tact. My pitchfork didn't survive.


TMM helped me find my way to redeem 'The Princess Package.' And it was sooo worth it. You first get in line to get hosed off a bit with not-so-warm water. I had some pretty good conversations with people while in line. Then I was able to go into the private restrooms which were still filthy with mud but it was nice to take as long of a shower as I wanted. I was able to wash majority of the mud out of my hair and all over my body. The clump of mud that fell from the attempt of taking off my sports bar was definitely the sexiest. The bra, shoes and socks were tossed. How nice that the shower was stocked with soap and shampoo. It felt good to put on clean clothes and flip flops. I was in there for quite some time and when I was ready with my Niners shirt, put lotion on my face, placed my Niners hat on, then put my devil horns on top and then went off to look for my team. Cell service wasn't so good and I did two loops around the quad until TMM spotted me. As long as I made contact with someone, I went back and had a hot dog and chugged down a Gatorade. I was famished.


I met up with the rest of the team and there were turkey legs and beer in hand. The turkey legs were piping hot from my bite of TMM's and it was kind of hard to swallow. There was beer, cocktails, fries, pretzels and other items. The DJ on the stage was pretty was good and kept the crowd entertained. There were contests and the kids were mostly the winners. They did a line dance and Cugino and I got out there and danced. They played country and hip hop and we all had a good time dancing, hanging out and laughing. TMM and Doug took off shortly after getting something to eat but it was great to do this event with them. We eventually made it back to the hotel after a ride on the muddy bus. It was a good day and I survived! Unfortunately I couldn't spend much more time with the family. I had a long drive back to The Beeves who was sitting patiently in his crate at home. And I was exhausted. I wanted to shower again. I had to wring out my sports bra and my pants at least 5 times before I threw it in the washer.





The event was super fun and I completed my first run. I was proud of myself. It looks like Cousin Lynn, Laurie and Polamalu aren't going to do it next year. But Melyssa and I have already signed up. She's been wanting to do it but her training with the National Guard has interfered. Next year, Sister!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Praying for the Philippines


10,000

They expected the death toll to reach that number. The Red Cross has ordered that many body bags. It's the same number of the population of the city of Emeryville, where I work. The Philippines have numerous typhoons a year and they predicted this to be worse than the US' Katrina. Hopefully that number is inaccurate. It is currently at 2, 275 according to Katie Couric, as of November 13, 2013 at 6 AM.
Update 11/21/13 at 1:15 PM - 
National: 3,976 confirmed deaths, 1,598 missing and 18,175 injured, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.



The video and images are heart breaking. People are left without food, water and shelter. Some even stormed a rice plant in desperation, and some just want to leave the country as nothing is left of their home now. Look around you. Imagine your home left unrecognizable. Where would you go? What would you do? This is a reminder to everyone to prepare for the unexpected. 

Manny Pacquiao, a professional Filipino boxer and Congressman, dedicates his next fight against Brandon Rios to the typhoon victims. The event will take place on Sunday, November 24th in China, but aired live in the US via PPV on Saturday, November 23rd. He has decided not to visit the area but concentrate on the upcoming fight. 

''I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go.''
''I will send help to those who need it the most,'' he added, ''and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.''
I am unaware whether or not any of my family members were directly affected. I am planning on going to the Philippines early next year with family and hope they can bounce back.  Though it's a small donation, I have donated to the World Food Program USA. There are so many organizations to help make a difference. Please consider visiting any of the below sites and make a tax-deductible contribution.

 

Architecture for Humanity
Doctors Without Borders
Save the Children
UNICEF

My nephew works at this Walgreens in Pinole, Ca. Starting tomorrow, November 14, they will be accepting non-perishable food items. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

FOR SALE: Wedding Items

The below items were used for one wedding and available for purchase. Pick up may be arranged in Hayward or Emeryville, CA. Or mailed at your expense. Cash upon pick-up or Paypal. For purchase or ask questions, email me

Card Box - $15
This box is in great condition and in the same plastic container when it was originally purchased. Use it to have guests place their greeting cards or as a box to receive marital advice.





Eight 9"-Tall Cylinder Vases - $20
Vases were used once as center pieces for a wedding. In great condition. No chips or cracks. In original box. Width a 8.73 cm. Height - 22.86 cm. Buyer must take all 8.


Twelve 6"-Tall Cylinder Vases - $20
Vases were used once as center pieces for a wedding. In great condition. No chips or cracks. In original box. Diameter a 8.7 cm. Buyer must take all 12.

Twelve 7.5"-Tall Cylinder Vases - $20
Vases were used once as center pieces for a wedding. In great condition. No chips or cracks. In original box. Buyer must take all 12.

72 Clear Votive Holders and used candles - $15
Vases were used once as center pieces for a wedding. In great condition. No chips or cracks. In original box. Diameter a 8.7 cm. Buyer must take all 72 with candles as is.

Wedding Veil 3.5' in Length - $50. Originally purchased for $125.
A cascading wedding veil that frames the face very well. Comb top, beaded trim.. In perfect condition.



White Garter from Frederick's of Hollywood - $10
Lace garter with a gold heart.


Lace Ring Bearer Pillow - $10
7.75" x 7.75"


Two Flower Girl Baskets - $10
9" tall with calla lillies on each side
4.75" diameter


 
 
NEW "And they lived happily ever after" sign - $10
Still in original packaging, unopened. Makes for a great gift or for the big day.
 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Buy One Bag, Gift One

As a sister of a woman in the military, I would love to have this promotion of giving back to the women, wives and daughters of our military be a success. Buy any of our handbags by Nov. 12th and Stella & Dot will gift one to these wonderful women!  Consider picking up one of our great handbags for yourself or as a holiday gift. I use my two How Does She Do It bags ($89) all the time. I love it!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Not to Fight - By Tina Tessina

Article: How Not to Fight: Myths about Fighting In Relationships (And What to Do about Them)
By Tina Tessina
------------------------------------------------------------
In my counseling practice, couples are often surprised to learn they can communicate and solve problems effectively without fighting; but sometimes you may find it's not so easy to give up your struggles. You may have trouble letting go of the fighting habit because of two factors: social expectations (expectations the people around you have about marriage) and myths (common beliefs not based on fact.)

Myths and Expectations about Fighting
There are many myths and expectations about fighting in marriage. Couples come into my office frequently believing that fighting is a necessary part of being a couple; that all married couples fight; and it's a normal part of marriage. But the fact is that fighting accomplishes nothing, and it isn't necessary for couples to argue, to yell, or to have heated discussions to get problems solved. Hanging on to these ideas makes it difficult to let go of fighting.

Some of the most prevalent myths about fighting are:

Myth #1: Fighting clears the air, and brings out the truth.
Fighting is not necessary to "clear the air." Getting heated up does not make you tell truths you wouldn't tell otherwise. What happens when couples fight and get emotional is that both parties say things they don't mean, or say them in much nastier ways than is really true. It is possible to discuss anything that is or is not happening between you in a calm and logical manner that will lead to more truth telling and air clearing than fighting and arguing will ever accomplish.

Myth #2: Within your family, it's OK to "let it all hang out" -- to be as emotional as you want, and say things you'd never say to a friend or a boss.
Whether you're fighting or not, (or drunk, or upset) you're still responsible for everything you say and do. The hurtful or mean or outrageous things you say will be remembered by your spouse or the other family members who hear them.

Myth #3: Fighting just happens, you can't control it.
You always have a choice about your behavior and how you express yourself. If you've developed a fighting habit, or never learned to control your temper, you may need to do some work, but you can learn to behave differently.

Myth #4: My wife (or husband) makes me do it. He (she) yells first.
No one else is responsible for your behavior. You are not responsible for anyone else's words or actions. You can always choose not to yell back, to speak calmly, or to leave the room. Your partner cannot fight alone.

Myth #5: Any time we get angry, it's natural to argue and yell.
Arguing, and shouting is not the only way to express your anger. It's just the most dramatic way. As a matter of fact, it's the least effective way to reach a solution for whatever is making you angry.

Myth #6: It's a family trait -- everyone in my family argues.
Fighting, temper tantrums and arguing may be common in your original family, but it's not genetic, inherited, or inevitable. It's still learned behavior, and it's a dysfunctional family trait. It's a habit, and you can overcome it for the benefit of your spouse and children.

Myth #7: It's OK to yell, shout, curse , throw things and hit walls as long as I don't hit a person.
These raging behaviors are classified as emotional abuse, which is just as damaging to families as physical abuse. Evidence of emotional abuse is enough to have your children detained by Child Protective Services in many states, and can even cause a raging spouse to be hauled off in handcuffs, if a problem is reported and the police arrive to witness the behavior. I tell clients who are behaving this way to separate until they get their anger under control, which requires anger management classes or therapy. If this is happening in your house, it must be stopped now -- get counseling right away.

Fighting = Bad Communication
No matter what you're fighting about: money, sex, kids or something else, the fighting is an indication that your communication isn't working. If this happens only occasionally, such as when one or both of you are tired or stressed; it's not too big a problem. However, if you argue or bicker on a daily or weekly basis, or you keep fighting about the same thing over and over, then your communication is not functioning as it should, and you don't know how to move from a problem to the solution. When this happens, problems are recurrent, endless, and they can be exaggerated into relationship disasters.

Use these guidelines to make your discussions more productive:

Guidelines for Not Fighting
1. Don't participate: Disagreements always require two people. If you don't participate, your partner can't argue without you. If the issue arises at an inopportune time, you can just find a temporary resolution (temporarily give in, go home, leave the restaurant) and wait until things calm down to discuss what happened (the squabble may just have been a case of too much alcohol, or being tired and irritable.) Then talk about what you can do instead if it ever happens again.
2. Discuss Recurring Problems: To resolve recurring problems, discuss related decisions with your spouse and find out what each of you does and does not want before making important decisions. You have a lot of options; so don't let confusion add to the stress.
3. Seek to Understand: Make sure you and your partner understand each other's point of view before beginning to solve the problem. You should be able to put your mate's position in your own words, and vice versa. This does not mean that you agree with each other, just that you understand each other.
4. Solve it for the Two of You: Come up with a solution that works for just the two of you, ignoring anyone else's needs. It's much easier to solve a problem for the two of you than for others, such as children, co-workers, friends and family. After you are clear with each other, discuss the issues with others who may be involved.
5. Talk to Others: After you've solved it for the two of you, if extended family members or friends might have problems with your decision, talk about what objections they might have, so you can diffuse them beforehand. Discuss possible ways to handle their objections.
Squabbles often occur because you're following automatic habit patterns that lead to a problem before you know it. Using these guidelines will help you overcome negative habit patterns you may have built that lead to arguments or bickering.
(Adapted from Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage.)
** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.

About the Author:
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., "Dr. Romance," is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Long Beach, Calif. since 1978 and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again and Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She publishes the Happiness Tips from Tina email newsletter, and the Dr. Romance Blog. She has written for and been interviewed in many national publications, and she has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live and many other TV and radio shows.


I like boxing. I like the sport, not purely for the entertainment value of two grown men attempting to beat the hell out of each other. I like the fact that someone can be repeatedly punched, remain on their feet, counter punch, fall and keep getting back up. The determination and resilience of these fighters is motivating. I can do without the cocky attitude and smack talk though.

I asked a few of my best friends if they think I like to argue or fight, including an ex. Another ex said that I fight just to fight and that I like to argue. Here are a couple of responses:

"No, Babe.. You're feisty but not a fight picker." While her boyfriend jokingly says 'YES.'
"Honestly. I think you have a strong personality & you like to have your opinion heard... but I wouldn't say you like to argue."
"I think sometimes you have a tendency to argue, but I still like you (see how I softened the blow there?)"
"No, not at all."

There are some good points in the above article and my initial response is a defensive one: I'm just emotional. I care too much sometimes, and/or care more for someone than they actually care for me, therefore resulting in disappointment and being hurt. When I can't let go of the hurt, I get mad and I fight. I may like boxing but I do not like to fight. How my friends describe me is accurate. I have had to learn to pick my battles, not stress over the small stuff and understand that I have no control over what other people do, say or feel. I need to communicate without getting over emotional but it's so hard when you wear your heart on your sleeve. Acting out of anger never reflects well on you. I'm no angel. I have definitely had my share of tantrums and physically or verbally releasing some frustration. But people are a constant work in progress and I hope you found this article helpful. Good luck.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Say Something I'm Giving Up On You

Thanks to a YouTube email sending me a link of the story behind Christina Aguilera connecting to A Great Big World's song, 'Say Something.'

I have been a fan of Christina Aguilera's since her very first single, Genie in a Bottle. I remember playing it for my high school sweetheart and he wasn't too impressed. What did he know? We clearly aren't together anymore. :) Since then and especially after her Stripped album, I have connected with her being a strong, bold, independent woman with a guarded soft and vulnerable side. With every album, there have been tracks that feel like she knows exactly what I can't express or her songs remind me of who I am or want to be. The bonus is her incredible talent that give me chills. When she sings, I don't hear anything else.




My all-time favorite song of hers is The Voice Within.  Being as independent as I am can be lonely at times but I am a strong believer that you have the power to make yourself happy and you are the only one you can truly rely on. If you are not happy or cannot accept you for who you are, how can you make someone else happy? You can't rely on someone to always make you happy. Trust can be broken. Disappointment happens. When bad things happen, it's natural to put the blame on someone or something because you're hurt. "Blaming others emerges as the result of an inability to manage anger and hurt." (Forgive For Good by Frederic Luskin.)"When there's no one else, look inside yourself." This song tells me to look at myself, rely on myself, allow myself to fall apart but know I can be strong, can get thru this, can make it better, can learn from the experience. This song keeps me going every single time I am at my weakest. There are a very small few that I can open up completely to. I am thankful for them. 

Her Bionic album is my second favorite album. There, 'You Lost Me' is about the pain of betrayal. "I feel like a worlds been infected." Not all lyrics are applicable to my story, in particular "we had magic" because it was far from a fairy tale  but the jist is there and true. When I first heard it, I had no idea that it would soon have a deeper meaning to me. 

Her latest album, Lotus, brought me 'Empty Words.'  "The thing about hurting people is they tend to hurt people. The only thing about lies is they're only lies." I am still on a forgiveness path but am not quite on track. It is really difficult to forgive and move on when attempts fail time and time again. I wonder if they're trying to be better human beings too after such ruthless events. Then you move on to just accepting the fact that they are who they are and forgiveness, even though it has never been requested, will be granted when it's all said and done. Maybe it's bitterness or experiencing being single, but words also are nothing without action behind it. 

Then sometimes there are no words, no explanation, no expectation of future communication, just silence. It's like you're lost in a blizzard. It's cold, lonely, you can't see what's going on around you or which direction to move towards when you finally are able to or decide to move. You try to wait, be patient and hope it won't last forever. H.O.P.E. - Healing Our Past Experiences (Forgive For Good.)  The first time I heard 'Say Something' was on a random night while eating dinner while my roommate was watching So You Think You Can Dance. The piano, my favorite instrument drew me in. The first line, "Say something I'm giving up on you" made me so sad. It's exactly what I wanted to say.

Now to hear Xtina connecting to the track, it hit home even more. And it is so appropriate for her to appear on a track that I don't think I would ever have discovered.

Time flies, things happen for a reason, people change and people stay the same. In the end, thru the pain and good times, I'll still be singing "Best of Me."