Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

An Enchanted Evening

I’ve been meeting a lot of angels lately!  Kindred spirits who come and sit next to me, we get to talking and before I know it we have an instant bond, we are in to the same thing, we have a similar purpose. And in a crowded room there is no reason we would ever talk or meet or even be introduced, but as fate would have it, I find myself seated next to an accomplished author, an aspiring poet, a fellow adventuress. It never happened to me as frequently or as obviously in the past as it has been happening lately.

Have you ever asked for a sign from God that you are doing the right thing?  Please Lord, show me the way!  This is how He answers me. It’s as though I am walking my path and the light posts along the way are turning on and everything is brightly lit ahead of me. I can walk on without worry because I know it is a safe route. I know I am being supported. I will not walk alone. Even though my friends and family may not understand what I am doing and even though I didn’t know anyone else personally who has done what I want to do, I do not walk alone.

It is not that I am lacking the confidence to do it. I am not afraid to turn the corner on a dimly lit path, but for some reason the lights are being turned on. It is as if I am being pulled in that direction, lead actually. It feels so right and I want it so much. I have never felt this level of confidence and self assuredness before. I can do this. I am doing it. My vision is coming true. I am making it happen.

This weekend I attended a Masquerade Ball.  I planned to write about it.  It was a 50th birthday celebration of a friend who I recently met through my son.  It was quite magical.  I enjoy a dress up party and having been an event designer, I looked forward to this for the mere joy of attending a well executed party and I hoped it would be.  It far exceeded my expectations!  It was completely enjoyable and lots of fun.  There was amazing food and drink.  The venue and service was exquisite.  The guests were lively and genuinely nice.  The entertainment was perfectly planned, in sync, modest, and served the purpose of highlighting the life of the guest of honor without going over the top.  It truly was magical.  

At the Masquerade Ball

It was magical for me in a very special way.  I had been working on writing my book this weekend.  I am turning the outline of my Life Balance Workshop into an ebook.  Even though I have multiple writing projects currently in the works, I thought I would give the Kindle ebook upload a try with this idea first.  That way, I can have it in time for the Spa Retreat that I am speaking at in October.  (That I am typing these words in reference to my own life is HUGE and very magical!  I can hardly believe it!) 

I am loving the experience of piecing my book together and cannot wait to get it finished so I can get it online, and I relished having a three day weekend to work on it.  Yet, I found myself spending the day at an auto dealership  and taking care of important family business and did not have a chance to get back to it before needing to get ready for the party.  I was trying not to have any really groundbreaking thoughts about the book so I could enjoy the party, hopefully you get what I mean by that!  I really wanted to enjoy myself and be mindful of the moment at hand.  I took lots of pictures and I spoke to everyone at the table.  I was trying hard not to talk about the writing.  I was just being a great mom and wife and enjoying the fantastic cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, when  I began talking to the lady seated next to me.  Guess what!  She is an author, who has around forty books published on Amazon for Kindle!  She was nice enough to tell me to contact her if I had any questions.  We really connected and it was over the top coincidence that we met because she is in my genre and we have similar interests!  When she began to tell me the topics that she has written about, it was as though she was reading the list of topics that I write about!  Spirituality, self development, life, love.

Author, Elizabeth Skoglund with her grand daughter and namesake.

I used to be the person at a table of strangers who did not speak unless spoken to.  How many amazing people did I miss connecting with all those years that I was so self absorbed, so worried about making the right impression, concerned about exposing myself as imperfect, less than, not accomplished, under-educated, and so on?  What was my problem?  I was insecure.  Immature.  Inadequate.  No more.  No way!

I love to hear people’s stories and I love that I can Google most people and find out more about them!!  Every outing is an adventure when I know that if I open the door and ask to enter, people will invite me in.  I have learned so many wonderful things when given that opportunity.  I am so grateful for

that gift.  I am so amazed that the angels will talk to me!

Here is a challenge for you, next time you are at a party and sit next to someone you have never met – really talk to them.  They could be there to guide you!  They could be the sign you asked for.

Miz Meliz on the way to the ball
On the way to the ball, I should have known it would be an enchanted evening!
Everything Miz Meliz

There is Significance in Everything

Quote “It started out as a Mardi Gras party!”

Partygras! 2008 Melissa’s 40th ‘Academy Awards’ Birthday Party

You might as well know how it all started, in case you weren’t there.  Many of you were there – but maybe I never told you why Lito and I had the first “PartyGras.”  There is significance in everything.

After I had my third child, I suffered from severe postpartum depression.  And unlike Brooke Shields – I didn’t have friends like Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey to tell me how to live my life.  But I did  have a great supportive family and amazing friends who gave me sound advice.  I was bored at home having not worked at a “real” job for six years.  I was doing the mommy and me thing for the third time around and I felt stuck.  Of course most of my feelings had more to do with the postpartum than reality – but it is extremely difficult to separate the two at the time.

I needed an outlet, something to look forward to, something creative and fun.  Lito and I had attended an event at Julian’s school that had a Mardi Gras theme some time back and we loved it.  We talked about having a theme party or going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans ourselves someday.  We recalled being at Disneyland when they had a New Orleans style parade and they called it “PartyGras!”  We love anything and everything Disney!

So, the goal became having a theme party.  Something we can repeat for years that would become our “signature” event.  We tried for many years to gather our friends together by having Christmas or New Year’s parties and open houses.   But people always had other obligations.  We wanted something that our friends would look forward to every year.  It was something that I looked forward to every year!  I loved thinking about it, planning it and attending it.  It wasn’t a kid’s party or a birthday party, or tied to any religious milestone.  It was a party just for fun, that anyone could enjoy.  Well, almost anyone!  PartyGras is for adults only!

Why only adults?  Well, that was a no brainer at first!  I was surrounded by little kids and babies and everything I did at that point in my life had to do with children and/or other parents.  Mommy & Me, tumbling class, Karate class, Indian Guides, preschool, kindergarten, Barney, Blues Clues, diapers, feedings, snack time, nap time . . . And I had been focussed on this stuff (and loving it most of the time) for six years!  I needed and wanted to go out and have fun – adult fun, dressing up, having a cocktail in a glass, listening to loud music, singing, dancing, hanging out with friends, staying up late – very late, and letting loose!  One liberating thing was being able to say anything without being guarded.  In other words – I didn’t have to spell out things I didn’t want my kids to hear me say and I could use some “colorful” expletives, if I wanted!

“If the mountain cannot come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain.”  Or in this case, vice-versa!  If I can’t go clubbing – I will bring the club to my house!  Luckily, with a little pleading, Lito agreed!  And so it happened.  It was a blast!  PartyGras!  The first one was a Mardi Gras theme.  Everyone came dressed in their best Mardi Gras costumes, there was a prize for the most creative.  It was a potluck – a Cajun Cooking Contest – with a prize for Lito’s favorites.  We knew he would try everything!  We had beads for the flashers, lots of drinks and karaoke.  That was the entertainment.  It was a blast!

I already planned on having one every year and the name of the annual event would always include “PartyGras” (pronounced pardy-graw.)  We crowned the couple who put their best foot forward with enthusiasm and zeal as “The King & Queen of  PartyGras!”  We started in 2001 which made it easy – something not planned – to remember the number of years we have been doing this!

1.  Partygras! Cajun Cookoff

2.  Partygras ’02: Flamenco/Spanish

3.  Partygras III:  I dream of Jeanie Pajama Party/60’s Convenience Foods

4. Partygras IV:  Club 10532 70’s Party/Fondue

5. PartyArgh V:  Pyrate Party/Potluck

6.  Partygras VI:  Vamp Night/Potluck

7.  Partygras ’07:  The Godfather/Italian

8.  Partygras! 2008:  Academy Awards/Hor d’oerves

And the winner is . . . everyone!  I hope you enjoyed it.  It was by far the best one ever.  I’ll remember always your acceptance speech, as you were given the Academy Award for what you are best at – friendship!  Everyone had their 45 seconds of fame!

I would like to thank you, my friends, for making these memories the highlights of my life!  No amount of medication, exercise, and counseling could bring me out of depression without your support and love!!!

Shannon and Sean The 1st King & Queen of PartyGras
Ole'
The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Lito Tuxedo!
Arrrgh!
Vamp Fright!
Ahh, my godson has arrived!
Kelly gets snapped by the Papparazi
Maggie & David on the Red Carpet
Mark Burford as "Oscar"
Jonathan & J-Lo with . . . Fabio!
Karen Marie - What a DIVA!
And the Oscar goes to . . .