Monday, March 16, 2015


Yep, it's been awhile.  A really long while.  Writing is an open window to my soul.  I feel my most vulnerable when I put things down to be viewed.

Voyeurs would have a blast with me.

My most difficult emotion is by far vulnerability.  I guard it with fierceness.  I very rarely put it out there.  If I do, I'm either in a state of complete defensiveness, hurt, shock or pain.  The funny thing is I completely know that I'm guarding it.  I know exactly when I put up the walls, how tall they are, how much armor I need and how I will secure it.  It's as if I have made a conscience decision to not allow it.

I used to feel that I held grudges against those that hurt me because I hadn't learned the skill of forgiveness.  I don't think that's it anymore.  I think I make the wall a little taller once I get hurt so that it won't happen again. but I'm much better at forgiving the older I get.   I've joked with a friend of mine about this very thing many times- we both laugh when someone hurts us in screaming out "You're dead to me!"  Something about articulating that statement puts finality in the discussion, even though we don't really mean it.

I find myself close to a crossroads.  I stopped writing last year because I didn't want to be judged working through some of my emotions in writing.  I picked up journals and filled them with ink that is never to be shared but I miss the creativity of this blog page  It's time for me to come back, hold my head up high and not be worried about what anyone else thinks.  I realized I never have to share this journal outside of those who want to read it.. a concept I have always known but somehow never implemented.

So I'm back.  Hopefully for good. If you are chosing to read, enjoy the ride and WELCOME  BACK!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moving On Up

Reflection:  a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.

I spend a lot of time planning.  The beginning and end of every day, every week, every month, every year.  Sometimes written on the inside of my hand, often times written on yellow legal note pads (thanks, Dennis Taylor).  In fact as I type today, I have a running list of all the things I need to accomplish to get little guy to middle school tomorrow.

Wait... middle school?!

Ah hell.  

I have a lot of friends just starting out.  Babies galore around me right now.  In fact, I have three coworkers preggers and due any minute.  I brag to anyone that will listen that I only have 6 years left.  SIX.  Out the door, for sale sign in the yard, laying on a beach eternally.

When time sits still I see it so differently.  It always amazes me how I can feel one way and then take a 180 the next.  Hubs would barb that is a "woman thing".  Personally, I think it is a human thing.  When the busyness subsides and we contemplate quietly it's amazing what comes into clarity.

Little guy hits his teens in a month.  He still can't always remember to wear deodorant but somehow still has friends.  I refer to him as an independent codependent most days.  He is silently strong just like his dad and incredibly passionate just like me.  Even so, I fear the next two years.  Kids change in middle school... immensely.  I can't even type what I was like in middle school.  I'm surprised my mom didn't leave me in a hot car all day on purpose.

So in the spirit of planning, I've made a list for my little guy.  Because really, how can anyone survive without a list?

1.  Just laugh.

When you drop your crap in the hallway in front of the cool kids in school, start laughing.  When you fling food off your fork in the lunchroom, laugh. When you have tried to get your locker open a hundred times and still can't get it, start laughing hysterically.  Self deprecation is not only humbling, it lightens everyone elses response to what has just happened.  And let's face it... everyone is a dork at 13.  Get them all to laugh with you.  It will make the event totally harmless.

2.  Don't over analyze.

Everything around you is happening in moments.  Each moment is just that... a snapshot of time that will most likely not even be remembered.  As an adult, I have a few memories of special events but the day to day stuff is completely wiped clean of memory.  It gets replaced with performance evaluations, grocery lists, Christmas planning.  Trust me on this one- there is no need to over analyze every single moment.  Roll with them, laugh and let them go.  Everyone else will too.

3.  Stay true.

You may not know what you want to do when you grow up, what college you want to attend or how many kids (if any) you want to have.  But you do know YOU.  You know what is right and what is wrong.  You know how you and everyone else should be treated.  You know that everyone deserves respect but must also illustrate they have earned respect.  

4.  Focus on the BIG picture.

School is just that - an education.  Sure, it's a giant cesspool of social anxiety.  Nonetheless, you actually go there for one specific purpose... to learn.  Remember that, when your friends are getting sucked into arguments about girls.  Remember what you have been given - the conduit to an amazing future.  If you can stay the course and keep that focus in mind, your future will be so bright.

5.  Just WAIT.

Since I brought it up... girls can WAIT.  Seriously.  The next few years can be the most fun times of your life, with parties, dances and football games.  Engage and have fun without commitment.  In simplest terms - if you can't remember to put on your deodorant then you certainly don't need to be "falling in love".  You will have SO much time for that after you finish your education and begin your life.  

6.  Be patient.

I know you want to go to college right now.  You have been a planner for as long as I can remember and your dreams are so lofty.  Keep those dreams in your sight.  They are completely attainable and you can do whatever you want in this life.  But try to slow down just a little bit.  Spend some time in the NOW.  The next will come when it's time.

7.  Make good choices.

In every moment, you will have a decision to make.  This way or that.  Up or down.  Eat this or not.  Go with them or stay.  Every moment.  It may feel overwhelming at times.  Refer back to #3... be true.  You know who you are.  You know what is right.  Don't get sucked into things you don't want.  You forge your path, no one else.  Friends can't "make" you do things you don't want to do, just like they can't make you "feel" a certain way without your consent.  

8.  Make mistakes.

Sometimes you will cross a path and turn the wrong way.  You will make mistakes, I promise you.  When you do, forgive yourself.  Be accountable and take the consequences.  But know this:  two people are standing on either side of you at all times.  We will support you, no matter what.  We will always be the first to forgive you and help you move forward.  Although sometimes it may be painful, mistakes are the very best way to learn just how you want to live your life.

9.  Ask for help.

This is a biggie.  I know as a boy you aren't supposed to ask for help.  Honestly son, it is the most important thing you can learn to do in life.  You won't always have the answers.  You won't always know what you should do.  When you come to that crossroads, ask for help.  Seek guidance from those you trust and respect.  They will guide you through the hard stuff and you will appreciate them even more.  Remember - even Pooh asks for help when he needs it.  It's not a weakness, it's a sign of strength.

10.  BE HAPPY!

Don't fall into the drama of girls, the politics of sports or the gossip train.  Rise above all of that nonsense and know in your heart that it just weighs people down into a world of negativity, removing their focus.  Get up every day being totally okay with the fact that you aren't in "the know".  Let everyone else hang out down there... you don't need it.  You are completely fulfilled and have a happy life without that junk.  It's actually really rewarding to be the fun one.  Try it, I think you will fit perfectly there. :)

As we embark on the next journey, I can't help but think that I only have six years left.  Six more school shopping excursions.  Six more first days of school (for me, anyway).  I'm so proud and sad all at the same time.

Maybe he really will let me go to college with him?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's About Time

All it takes is a word of encouragement.  One word.  Sometimes a spoken word is even unnecessary.  A glance, a gentle touch of the hand or a smile can achieve the same outcome.
When I was a little girl, I thought 40 was such an old age.  Being the baby of the family with two brothers and a disabled sister above me, my mom was tired.  REALLY tired.  I honestly don't remember that many days of her life when she wasn't tired.  She didn't really complain, but it was evident by the dark circles under her eyes and non-stop coffee consumption.
What I didn't know at the time was that she wasn't only tired, she was stressed.  Absolutely and completely.  The efforts of running a household, raising children, running a business and pleasing her spouse had worn down the energetic, spry and sassy woman she was just a short decade before I came along.  She never really recharged her batteries, didn't really talk to any friends or family about her feelings, concerns or challenges.  She endured it all... privately.  She was brilliantly strong in that way. 
Over the course of the last six months, I have a much greater appreciation for how she felt.  Exasperated may be the only word I can use to describe it.  Life experiences have weighed heavily on me and my family lately.  I am not one to complain.  I don't really even want to talk about my own challenges.  I take responsibility for my own and just don't feel it's necessary.  It's nothing we can't handle. We always overcome.  Nonetheless, it's been exhausting.  Stress plays an incredibly powerful role over a human being.  It can be absolutely debilitating, leaving us feeling hopeless.  And tired.
A great friend of mine recently shared she is getting married this summer and it was the perfect conduit to create happiness.  My girlfriends and I assembled quickly to plan a gathering for us to celebrate with her.  As we sat laughing and crying this past weekend over our long friendship with one another and life events recent and past, I realized something really important:  none of us are really alone if we don't want to be.  All it takes is the ability to share our vulnerability with one another, to find those individuals that will give you that one word you need at the precise moment that you need it.

I found that this weekend.  I was enveloped with love and support from my girlfriends whom I don't spend near enough time visiting.  By the end of the weekend, I felt at peace.  Even with few hours of sleep, I finally felt rested. 
Sometimes you just need a girlfriend to giggle with and lighten the load.
I haven't blogged for a long time, mostly because I refuse to use my writing as a dumping spot for all of my trials and tribulations.  That's held in a private journal.  This space is my place of comfort and joy, to share moments of joy and sometimes moments of sadness and be true to myself.  I'm excited to get back though.  It's truly healing for me to write and gives me a slight feeling of control in an uncontrollable world.
So thanks for coming back to visit.

Friday, February 07, 2014


That escalated quickly!

The snowpocolpyse this week was awesome.  And apparently we have more to follow. 

In case you live under a rock, Kansas City was slammed with substantial snow this week.  The road crews worked their tails off to make certain we didn't follow in other (embarrassing) cities quakes (ahem.. Atlanta).  The men and women that clear our streets did an amazing job!  Schools closed, government offices tapered to essential staff only and most employers did their best to give their employees leeway to get to work safely.

I'm so grateful to have that employer.  They closed our office down early the day it started and gave everyone a few extra hours to get in the next day.  It truly made all the difference in the world (plus helped us avoid the hectic "rush hour" traffic).

It's nice to know people care.

Amidst all the shoveling, cleaning and organizing I have done this week, I have somehow managed to pull together some faves to share.  Hope you enjoy!


Ah.... love!  Must have!!  Steve Madden, you are my hero. :)

Genius.  Absolutely genius.  Especially this time of year when I feel like my entire body skin is flaking off or itchy to death.  I don't mind our weather getting colder or even the snowy precip but I absolutely hate how dry it is.  This is perfect!

Our west coast kids have furniture similar to this and I love it.  So comfy! Our new family room space requires something like this.

To be honest, I'm actually considering just buying red wine by the barrel for the winter.  What a great use after it's empty!  I love this mirror - so creative.  Gotta have it.
We love chicken burgers in my house.  Well, any kind of burger really.  Hubs and I cannot get enough avocados of late - we are eating them practically every week.  So why not just marry the two?  Click here for these fab chicken avocado burgers ---- > Chicken Avocado Burgers
Yes!  MOO COW!  I love him (or her).  Don't judge.

In the season of sickness, sometimes I need reminders on this kind of information!  Here's a cool chart to help you know when to freak out on your kiddo's fever.
I often forget this mantra, but it is a nice reminder.  As a coincidence, most 1/2 and full marathon training is 12 weeks!

Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE built ins?  Of any type, really.  But these cute bunks just scream "build me!!"  Love.

Love the simplicity of these gems.  Absolutely love them.
Have a safe (and warm) weekend, friends!

Friday, January 24, 2014


Good morning, friends!  How are those NY resolutions coming along?  I am happy to say I am on track with two of them still, which is amazing for me.  I made a few super obtainable ones that will roll along slowly with just a few great big decisions that will roll in shortly.  I'm still super psyched and excited about all of them though, even though my 14 minute attention span challenges them every day.

For now, I'm optimistic.  We can check back in next month on it.

Meanwhile, basketball is gearing up for tournament seasons.  We have two out of town trips in February which no doubt will be the highlight of our winter, not to mention knock down two states for little guy's "Visit 50 states in 6 years" dream.  Maybe if we are creative and drive loopy we can slide through the corner of other states and call it good.

Hmmm.  Will need to Atlas that.  Yes, I still use an Atlas.  Bite me.... I'm old.

Below are my faves this week.  It's a miracle I even found them since I do love paper so much.  So much for the green movement in my house.



This caught my eye immediately.  I absolutely love taking pictures.  When I look back at my pictures as a child it's virtually the only way my memories stay intact after layering in years of useless information into my brain.  I think this is fantastic.


Love them.  My man jam.  Highly encouraged.


Amidst our ever changing polar vortex crap, I can't help but dream of the beach.  Or the pool.  Or with this beautiful concoction... both.  I see myself on the chaise on the left.  Bring it on.


Ah.... love.  German short haired pointer.  Perfection.


 I'm so lucky little guy loves to read.  He informed me last weekend that he needed quite a bit of time to chill because he was reading 7 books.  Yes, 7.  AT ONCE.  I have no idea how he does that.  I can barely stay focused enough to read ONE book at once!


These are awesome!  I am so tired of all of our electronics scattered around, cords everywhere.  Drives me absolutely NUTS.  I think I need a few of these!


This was defined as business casual.  Wait, what is that again?  So many employers define it differently.  This is my dream biz cas.  Nice jeans, nice jacket.  Looks good to me!


YUMMO!  I love pb after a run.  Almost crave it.  This looks fantastic and includes my fave - chocolate!


I love my bedroom.  I love my bed.  Really, truly love it.  We bought it (along with the bedding) five years ago when we finished our build.  I want something new.  This might work?


I have a thousand watches.  None of them have a battery.  Well, one that is working.  I tend to just buy a new watch every time my battery dies, mostly because I buy fun trendy watches that don't cost a fortune.

I love this one.  Maybe it's time I stepped it up a bit.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I resolve to.... grind?

Being that it is already the 21st of January, my resolutions are totally out the window.  Well, the majority of them, anyway.  I struggle a lot when it comes to making changes to myself sometimes but give me a house and I'll rearrange the furniture every month.

Hmmm.. not sure what that means.

In an effort to try to corral the 20 some odd pounds I slammed onto my body at the end of 2013, I am forcing myself (and my fam, by extension) to eat healthier.  Out of the house are the cupcakes, cookies, candies and chips accumulated over the holidays.  In are the bags of trail mix, fruit, veggies and greens.

I am fortunate that my little guy will give things a whirl.  I know what he absolutely won't eat, which luckily is a fairly short list.  If I mask everything properly, I am good to at least get him to take a bite.  The biggest key is to not make it too spicy.

I must admit he can be my biggest fan.  If he loves something, he tells me.  Over and over again.  If he doesn't like something, he will hem and haw for an hour trying to find the right words to politely tell me it sucks without hurting my feelings.

He's gonna make a great husband someday.

As I slid into my chair, he was already three bites into his dinner.  When he looked up to take a breath and chew, I started the convo.

Me:  So buddy, what do you think?  Do you like it?

LG:  Mom, this is amazing.  Ah MAZ ing!  I love it!

Me:  Oh good!  I was afraid you wouldn't like it.  Daddy and I had even planned to heat up some vegetable soup assuming you wouldn't like it.

LG:  It has black beans in it!  Why wouldn't I like it?

Me:  Well, I just wasn't sure.  We haven't eaten veggie burgers before.


LG:  What's in it, mom?

Me:  Black beans.  Corn.  Veggies.  I'm not completely sure but I know those three things.

LG:  But what kind of MEAT is in it?

Me:  Honey, there is no meat in it.  They are veggie burgers.

Silence again... coupled with a blank stare.

LG:  But what kind of MEAT is it?

Dad:  Coop - there is no meat in our dinner.  We are eating veggie burgers.

LG:  I get that Dad but what kind of meat is it?

Hubs and I stared at each other.  Clearly there was no way we were getting through.  After a full 10 minutes to attempting to explain, we stopped talking and watched him devour the first one to ask for another.

Ah, my little gullible monster.  Little does he know he just gave me some awesome ammunition.  Apparently if you smoosh something into a patty, slap some cheese and ketchup on it, it becomes a hamburger.  Rock on - I can grind anything up!

Maybe this resolution thing won't be so hard after all?


Friday, January 17, 2014


Ah, Friday.  How I love thee.  There is something about these little endings and the openness of a weekend.  I wonder if my friends that work different shifts feel this way about their Tuesday? 

Every Friday Facebook, twitter and instagram are flooded with posters, comments and general happiness.  Likewise, they are also flooded with a lot of negative comments come Sunday night / Monday morning.

Are people generally unhappy about the new beginning? Do their lives magically erase the prior weekend's happiness when they start anew?  Are they sad to be forced to complete the fun and relaxation they enjoyed over their mini-break?

I challenge you to reconsider.  Remove the negative thoughts you have about starting the new week.  Allow yourselves to live in the moment of the weekend and carry that renewal into your week on Monday. 

Embrace the new.... don't dread it.

Below are a few of my faves from around the interweb this week.  Enjoy!


Those that know me well know that I absolutely HATE home viewing stations.  In particular, there is no universal system.  My BFF can attest that I absolutely cringe when I house sit for her and want to watch her television.  I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing with her 16 remote controls.

I love this.  I need this.  Embarrassingly this is a suggestion for our grandparents.... good thing I am a grandparent.


I love the rustic feel of these shelves. I currently have all my wine and glasses in a glass cabinet and I wish I could actually see them better.  This is a great way to display the faves!  I wonder if Hubs could crank this out for me this weekend?


Who doesn't love a warm, soft pair of socks?  I absolutely covet them.  These slips are adorable, especially with our holiday of love right around the corner.

So cute!


Ah, Roosevelt.  So smart, so true.  LOVE this.


I absolutely love this style of sweatshirt.  Tall neck, long torso.  Perfection.


For those of you with babes, I love this idea.  No, I would never have thought of it when my little guy was born.  Of course that was 12 years ago, before the invent of social media.  Boo.  I will admit though that every time I crack open a box of baby wipes that alcohol smell is always the first thing to draft out.  That can't be good.


This is so true for many of my life connections and particularly funny right at this moment in my life!


My fam loves some homemade French toast.  We make it a lot on the weekends, typically with a hint of cinnamon and orange.  Check out this chai ft recipe!  Looks absolutely amazing to me.  Click here for the recipe ----->  Baked Chai Spiced French Toast


Okay - I love doors.  I really, really love doors.  I love using doors in decorating as well.  My only hiccup with this love is the knob.  How does that work?  Hmmmm.  Otherwise, it's one of my faves!


Love the sweater.  Love the hat.  Love the jeans.  Love the boots.

Yep, love the simplicity of it all.  Maybe THIS is why we love the weekends... we can be comfy!

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!