Unofficial Discover Me Challenge: 20 Questions

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 / Leave a Comment
My amazing bff over at 99shadows did an Unofficial Discover Me Challenge and thought I should also partake. She's always usually sometimes right. 
oh... and sorry it has taken me forever to do. I'm busy girl...

1. What’s your life motto, or philosophy you live by?
My father always taught me to take one day at a time. When things get tough, we remind each other, "one day at a time." It is so incredibly simple but we both tend to worry greatly and try to project into the future of how things are going to be. When we remind ourselves, it really helps us center and focus.


2. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
I love that I am very passionate. Whether it is trying a new craft or tending to a relationship, I am all in. I give absolutely everything that I have.

3. Do you follow a religion or spiritual practice?
I am Catholic, newly converted just in 2013. I love my faith and though I don't attend church as much as I would like - or should - I do believe it is a vital part in who I am and how I view the world. There are parts of my that are absolutely fascinated by other faiths and spiritual practices. I love, love the ways that Buddhists practice. Religion and spirituality are beautifully complex and so personal. 

4. What was the best time of your life?
Right now is the best time of my life. I am married to the most incredible man I have ever known. I have a beautiful, sweet little girl. I've got a few friends that are true. Right now is exactly the way it should be. I am blessed beyond words.

5. What was the worst thing that ever happened to you?
There are some things that are just too ugly to share. I don't mind putting myself out there but this one is best left behind. Sorry.

6. What’s your biggest dream?
I want to find my own version of success. I love to create and if I have it my way, I would love to turn that into something bigger. Currently that is my biggest dream. 2 years ago, I would have said that my biggest dream was to have a child. Dreams evolve, as we evolve. I like to catch as many dreams as I can. 

7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be lots of things but the one that stands out the most is a journalist. I liked to write and thought that it would be a great way to continue that hobby. As I got older, I realized that I hated writing on assignment and preferred to  only write when the moment struck me and not a word more. Hence my long breaks in-between posts. ;)

8. What was/is your biggest accomplishment?
I want to say that having my daughter is my biggest accomplishment. It may sound cliche but you have to understand that we went through a lot to have her. She is nothing short of a miracle.

9. Why do you think we’re all here?
We are here to grow. This is not a test... this is a part of a great journey. 

10. What was your best relationship?
My best relationship IS the one that I have with my husband. Very few people understand me. Even fewer people can put up with me and my crazy. He not only loves me, he loves my crazy too. He reads me, he knows me and he gets me. We support each other and drive each other to do better and do more. We are a great team.

11. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
People would have more compassion for each other. Why is kindness such a foreign idea?


12. Do you like your job? If not, what would you like to do instead?
I am a SAHM and I love it. Before this, I worked in various roles in IT - the last being Disaster Recovery. It was a fine job but this one takes the cake!

13. What are you favorite hobbies?
I love to sew, embroider, crochet, read, cook, listen to music and sleep. I really love to sleep.

14. If money was no object, what would you do in life? 
I would buy all the beautiful fabric that I see. I would have an incredible sewing room. I would just create all day long...

15. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I believe so but I never intended to.

16. What are you thankful for?
My life. I am thankful for every moment that I get to be here and love my family. Life is so friggin precious, people just don't even get it.

17. What do you wish people understood more about you?
I have so much going on in my head and I am often distracted and overwhelmed by it. If I go quiet for a bit, it's because I need a moment to center myself. I am not ignoring you. I just need a minute to bring it all in.

18. If you could turn back time and do anything differently, would you?
Yes. I hate the word regret but it is one I am familiar with. I would have been a better daughter to my mother. I would have told her that I loved her more often. I would have visited more. I would have thanked her endlessly. She deserved more than what I gave her.

19. What’s the craziest, or most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
I am so square. I can't think of a whole lot of crazy in my life. I was a stupid teen and did stupid teen things but I wasn't crazy or dangerous. The most exciting thing I did and the most exciting time in my life was when I lived on my own in 2012/2013. It doesn't sound like much but after never living on my own for 34+ years, it was a monumental and very exciting period in my life. It was so necessary.

20. What do you think about most often?
My family.... but other than that, the obvious, I do think a lot about starting my own business. I have ideas... lots and lots of ideas...

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VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 / Leave a Comment

I know that this election has been rough... a bit of a circus... to some, a joke. That said, your vote is still extremely important. Even if you don't like either of the two major candidates, there are other options or write ins or you can just go with what you feel is right. I know a few of us may even leave some spaces blank. That works, too. Go with your gut instinct, if you will. 

Also, there are tons of other very important issues on the ballots this year. Your voice is important. Today is the day to make your voice heard! Go out there and get your vote on.
YOU can make a difference!

Not sure where your polling place is? Easy... Just Google "My Polling Place" and the search engine will give you a field to enter your address. Just like magic, you know where to cast your vote! Aren't the interwebs great!?

Now get out there and make a difference!!
Vote!


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Happy Boo Day!!

Monday, October 31, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I am so looking forward to dressing up the little one (and the pup) for her first Halloween, not to mention seeing all the adorable costumes that visit our house tonight!! 
Be safe and eat lots of candy! Your dentist will thank you!
...and if you must, you can send your extra 3 Musketeers this way!! 

xoxo
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Wordless Wednesday 10/26

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 / 1 comment
crafts, party planning, puppies who don't feel so great and an amazing little girl...

I found a new hobby... maybe I am on to something?

ouchies... spider bites are the worst

taking good care of her puppy

this is love

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Discover Me Challenge: 4 - Words To Live By

Friday, October 14, 2016 / 1 comment


I know, I know... DMC prompts are supposed to be posted on Thursdays, not late in the day on a Friday. I am a day behind on pretty much everything right now!! You know, this reminds me of a famous saying... How does it go? A day late and a dollar short? What can I say? Life happens.

Speaking of sayings and the sort - this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren't looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?


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Join the fun and discover more about yourself!! Be sure to add your links in the comments section so we can read your awesome responses, too!
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DMC 3 - If I could travel through time...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 / 1 comment


If I could travel through time... Boy, this one was actually pretty tough!! I thought that I had an easy response at first but the more I thought on it, I second guessed myself. Should I travel to the future to help prepare my daughter for the world to come? Should I go back and spend more time with my mother when she was happy and healthy? I ended up taking a rather selfish and much different approach to the challenge... I am o'kay with that. I think...!!!

Let me first begin by saying that I have always had a strong connection to the years between the 1920's and the 1940's. I am incredibly fascinated by this time. Everything from the radio shows, theatre, music and to the fashion - the entertainment and stylings have always pulled at me in. Even the family unit seems to be so much stronger and important. I have often said that I was born in the wrong era because I would much rather listen to Glenn Miller or Billie Holiday than what's out there now. ...um what IS out there now?? Those who know me will also say that I am a bit old fashioned in some of my thinking. Just a bit...

Of course, it also goes without saying that these were also very difficult times, which is why I would not want to stay. A quick visit to soak up the much romanticized pieces of these times and I'll gladly slip back to now. With issues around around the political climate (because, we have none of that today!), the Great Depression, prohibition, women's rights (still kinda a thing...), wars (ummm... yeah, that too)... Ok. So, some things have improved and other things are newer versions of the same problems. But still... I like my wine and I'm not cut out to be a bootlegger, so here we are.

Now, onto the things that draw me to this time...


Radio shows, entertainment, vaudeville comedy, silent movies and George!!!! I would LOVE to visit the late 20's and experience George Burns and Gracie Allen starting off in vaudeville theatres. I have adored George Burns for as long as I can remember (thanks to 18 Again!) and I have listed to the radio shows with him and Gracie. They had an unmistakeable love and chemistry.

The music of the 1920's -1940's just makes me smile and think and feel. Now, I am not usually a fan of jazz and especially modern jazz but the jazz of this time is pure perfection. The Big Band, Swing, those crooning voices, that bluesy style... music has been and will always be an experience and an emotion. The music of the 30's, especially the 30's, is where my listening heart belongs.

The clothes. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the cloche hat from the 1920's!? I happen to have one and I lurve it!! I would wear it every day, except it just doesn't work with my yoga pants and sweatshirts that mom-life has designated as my new uniform. But really... the clothing of the 1920's all the way through the 40's is so much more "me". Clothing, at that time, was going through a big transformation to more comfortable and "modern" styles. Yet, there was something very feminine, modest (in comparison to today's standards), and fun about the clothing. After 1925, you see the shift dresses becoming a thing. Can I wear those, please? Just allow me to summon the gorgeous Doris Hill and steal her style!

I suppose I could always just wear these things today. It's not like styles of various kinds are not accepted all over. Fashion is a strange celebration of so many things, so why not!? The mood. The mood is what is essential and the mood of those times was different. The mood was part of the makeup.

Ahh, this all sounds just too good! Maybe, this weekend I will put on The Great Gatsby, sip a French 75 and get cozy with my fella... Let's see if I can capture the mood for just a moment.

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How I Met My BFF

Monday, October 10, 2016 / 1 comment

I am one of those people who believes that some people come in and out of your life for very specific reasons. While some things are left to chance, there are some things that are just meant to be. I feel that way about my husband and I feel that way about some of my very good friends.

The story of how my husband and I came to be is something that can be made into a romantic comedy and is completely worth a tell... but that's for later. What I want to share today is how I met my bff. I think it's a story that is worth sharing.

Next month marks 6 years that I have known "Skaty". I met her in the most unconventional way and our friendship has remained just that - unconventional. Beautifully unconventional and incredibly real.

There was a time in my life where I was heavily addicted to an online game called Second Life. It's important to understand that I was in a place in my life where I was unhappy, bored, frustrated and disconnected. I am sure some of it had to do with my relationships at the time and the sadness of losing my mother two years prior. Whatever the case, I was lost and I was reaching for something, someone, anything to fill the void in my life.

On Valentine's Day in 2008, I created my first "avi". I played SL off and on and even made some friends. It certainly gave me something to do and the voids became smaller and smaller, though everything was very artificial. However, there was a creative element in game that I was extremely fascinated with and before long, I was consumed by this virtual world. I would spend ridiculous stretches in game. Hours and days and months and years.... I was truly "living" online when I wasn't working.

Now, I won't say that all my time in game was completely wasted because I did have the opportunity to meet many people from different cultures all around the globe. It was an interesting period in my life - but that is also another story from another time.

In November of 2010 I met Skaty through a mutual acquaintance online. We met in game and our friendship in game seemed to bloom at record speed. An important thing to understand is that when you meet people online - all you have is conversation. You can learn about that other person pretty quickly. Because of this, relationships move at a seemingly unnatural speed - for the good and for the bad. I've experienced both. My friendship with Skaty moved quickly and for the good (obviously!).

Our avitars: "Skaty" & "Kel"

Rather than typing convos all the time, we Skyped often while our avitars explored the worlds in game. We spent many late nights talking and laughing to the point of tears. Our friendship outlived that of the mutual acquaintance that we once shared. People came in and out of our very exclusive circle. Some lasted and others did not. We talked nearly every single day and appointed each other "BFF" status in world and in real life (IRL), even though we had yet to meet IRL.

A year and some months into our very close friendship I went through a very personal and very real event. I needed to talk to someone. I needed my BFF. One of the first things I did was go to Skype to tell Skaty what was happening in my life. I cried to her, I shared my fears, I showed my weaknesses - I left myself completely vulnerable to this person that I learned to love as a sister without ever meeting in person.

It was through this that Skaty and I decided it was time to meet. She knew I needed someone and so Skaty was going to drive across states to come visit me at my house and give me the company that I so needed because this is what a true friend does.

I can still recall hearing her car pull up into my driveway and "meeting" her for the first time. I remember crying as I hugged her for the first time. This was my soul sister! There was nothing virtual about our friendship. I felt it in my bones.

Our friendship has supported plenty of highs and lows in each other's personal lives. We definitely do not agree on everything and we couldn't be any more opposite than we are. But... that is what makes our friendship so perfect. We balance each other. She gets me and I get her. Skaty goes along with my crazy ideas and I try to convince her to run after her dreams. do it...write your Harry Potter!

After we met in person, I started going online less and less. I think I felt that I had outgrown that virtual space or maybe I realized that I found what I was looking for from that world. Whatever the case, I didn't need to be there anymore and haven't looked back.

Life moves quickly still. Though we don't get to Skype every day, we are still very connected. I'll text her if I need a laugh or to vent or just because... We visit each other and she is very much a part of my family now. She was the matron of honor in my wedding and is "auntie" to my daughter. All the big things in life include her in some way - as they should. And I still cry when I get to see her or have to hug her "goodbye".

I am not a gaming type and never really was. I truly do believe that there are some things that just happen because they are supposed to. There is no other way that I would have had the chance opportunity to connect with my bff, my soul sister otherwise.

...and that is how I met my BFF. xo
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Discover Me Challenge: 3 - If I Could Travel Through Time...

Thursday, September 29, 2016 / 1 comment

Imagine, if you will, that you have a time machine. This time machine can take you to any period in time - past or future. You can only use your time machine once, to get to your destination and to return (if you so choose to return!).

What period in time would you visit? What would you do there? Why does this period in time call to you?

Would you return?

“Shh! Listen! Someone’s coming! I think — I think it might be us!” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

next prompt will be posted Oct. 13th


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To participate, just write a post on your personal blog/site and linkup below!!

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Wordless Wednesday 9/28

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 / 1 comment


Wordless Wednesday... the sweet things...

Vegan, GF, Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Toys, toys everywhere but the box is just so much more fun!

It's all about these two ladies (bff's in the making!)

Moral Support


p.s. The recipe for those AMAZING pumpkin spice waffles above can be found over at: Delightful Adventures. Enjoy!! xo
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DMC 2 - When I Grow Up

Sunday, September 25, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Once upon a time, I was a relentless dreamer. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to be a famous journalist, a children's book writer, a poet, and I was going to marry Christian Slater. Yup, I did say that I was a dreamer.

Though some of my plans fell through, I am not yet done with my dreams. They have changed slightly but I do still have a love for creative writing. Christian Slater, however, will have to understand that I've moved on. Sorry, Chris...

Today, I still do a lot of exploring and learning. You'd think at 39, I would already have the big question figured out but the truth is, I don't. I know that being a SAHM and wife are incredible blessings and I can't imagine putting anything else before being at home, teaching and eventually homeschooling my child. So, I guess you could just say that I want to be a teacher when I grow up. But I also want to be a few other things.

I have long considered studying massage and holistic medicine. This is something I bring up to my husband at least a few times a month. I've thought of going to classes, getting certifications, and possibly opening my own practice so I would still be able to "mom" full time. This is a huge dream but so darn interesting and exciting.

Anything is possible.

Then there are days where I want to study nutrition. Now, this is something very personal to me, as I've adopted a mostly plant based diet and have seen incredible improvements in my overall health. Because of my personal struggles with food (and there were very many), I want to learn more and share with others. Food doesn't have to be complicated. I am finally getting this. So many people have yet to. That's where I want to help.

Anything is possible.

I am pretty sure that I've made my final dream pretty obvious... I'd love to be a creative writer when I grow up. I want to write those children's books. My love for writing poetry remains. I enjoy creating the scene, the characters, the story and especially the mood. I love books and I would love to see my name on the cover of one, one day.

Anything is possible.

I guess you could say that I am still a bit of a relentless dreamer...

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Road Trippin' - Rhode Island

Thursday, September 22, 2016 / 1 comment
We FINALLY had our first little family vacation just last weekend and it was so lovely. Short, sweet and absolutely wonderful!

We all piled in the car and drove north to visit my bestie, whom I hadn't seen since my baby shower last September! Needless to say, this was her first time meeting mini me, so it was a pretty special time.

As far as car trips go, the little one really seemed to enjoy herself. Very little fussing and a whole lotta singing! We were (mostly) all smiles from the time we left, to the time we came back home. My only advice to mommas traveling with little ones is this - coffee. And music. But, mostly just coffee. Car rides are long for everyone but as long as you have the energy to sing The Wheels On The Bus several hundred times, you should be just fine! ;)

Seriously, though... It's incredible how quickly a weekend can go by on an average weekend but when you are spending time with the ones you love - it zooms by. Take tons of pictures and give/get lots of hugs. I wouldn't mind going back to snag a few extra from S. I miss those hugs already.

Here are some pics from our trip and visit to beautiful Newport, RI where we got to do a tour of the Breakers Mansion and town. Exquisite.










Thank you for more wonderful memories. I miss you. I love you.

p.s. I am making a vow that we don't wait a full year in between visits. A girl needs time with her bestie. <3
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Discover Me Challenge: 2 - When I grow up...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Remember how your younger self had big dreams? You knew in your heart of hearts that you would be an astronaut or famous writer or detective or you would stop crime, wearing your favorite blanket cape... Your younger self was free to dream big, without any limitations. Rules didn't apply to our dreams back then.

For this challenge, let's go back to those days where we weren't afraid to dream big, without the limitations. Anything is possible. There are no rules. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 29th


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I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. 


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DMC 1 - Teachers Who Inspire

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 / Leave a Comment

For this Discover Me Challenge, I had to really think long and hard about the one teacher who left me the most inspired. At first, I thought it would be pretty simple. I had some great teachers but one stood out almost right away. Then I really started to mull it over and I realized that I had a couple teachers that more than stood out - they gave me something lasting. All in all, I wasn't quite sure where this journey would lead me.

I ended up going back to the teacher that I originally selected. It was 6th grade and Mrs. M taught Science.

What you really need to understand is that Science really didn't awe me like it did for other kids. I was much more interested in Reading. Honestly, Science kinda bored me. It seemed too rigid. But, Mrs. M... she anything but rigid. She really was special.

I remember Mrs. M would talk to us kids as if we were her own. Some classmates called her "mom" in jest just because she was that kinda person (I may be guilty of that). She was so incredibly kind and full of affection. 

In Mrs. M's class, we had field trips to the recycle yard, which was a huge deal in the 1980's. Not everyone recycled back then. Some of my favorite "trips" were when we just went outside to inspect the fallen leaves and try to identify the trees that they came from.

Perhaps the biggest and most influential moment that I had in my sixth grade year, or of my entire early education, came from a very unexpected class lesson.

I remember walking in to Mrs. M's class and finding my seat. I noticed that at the front of the room was a record player. Immediately, I tried to guess what the lesson would be. We all did. The whole class was buzzing. Why would we need a record player in Science class?

Mrs. M waited for us to all pile in and take our seats. She then went on to explain that we would be listening to music today in class. We would hear all types of music. Some would be happy fast songs while some would be slower and a bit more moody. 

Then Mrs. M passed out blank pages and some drawing or coloring instruments (honestly, I can't remember which). 

Our lesson was simple. As each song played, we were to allow ourselves to draw with the music. Whatever we created, we created. We could have our eyes opened or closed. The music was meant to inspire the hand and our minds would were to let go. 

I had never heard of anything so fascinating. My love for music was already very deep, as I grew up in a home where music was a key part of communication. To introduce a visual component to the music, more importantly, a component that was a mirror of my mind - well, that was new territory. This was an all new experience.

I suppose to some, this may sound a bit silly but I believe it was that moment that my love for art truly took form. I started to see a deeper meaning in what people created. I began to question the artist's intention and mood. What music did he or she listen to as they drew, painted, sculpted, photographed, created? Everything around me had to have a soundtrack. 

27 years later and I am still inspired by Mrs. M and that unexpected lesson from a sixth grade Science class. 

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Mom-Life Moves Fast

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 / 4 comments
You know how everyone tells you that your children will grow up too quickly and you should hold tight because you might miss something? It's true.

My little one is only 10 months old but that doesn't mean that the last ten months didn't fly by too quickly. Seriously, she was still struggling to hold her head up on her own just two days ago!? Or so it seems... 

Even with the warnings, I haven't been at all prepared to hear my daughter call out to "mama" or give me kisses or learn peek-a-boo or stand on her own or eat solids or any of this! It is happening and it's scary. I can't keep up! Where is that pause button? I need to hold my baby and make time stop.

I say this as here we are now planning for her first birthday and discussing her education. Yet, I am still pinching myself and reminding myself that I have a baby! I have a daughter. Yes, she's mine! Unreal. Wonderfully, unreal.

I know that I can't stop time and I know that the days, weeks, months and years are going to continue to barrel down at me. Really, all I can do is document, take a zillion pictures and videos and do my best to make each moment count. If I can't pause time, the least I can do is capture as much of it as possible and create special memories for the both of us. I'd like to think that one day, she and I will look back on these recorded moments and giggle together.

Mom-life is amazing but boy does it move fast!

What are some of the things you are doing or have done to hold tight to memories of your little one(s)? I'd love some ideas!




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Research

Sunday, September 4, 2016 / 2 comments
There is something beautiful about getting older. Not everyone gets to do it. My mother's motto regarding age was, "As long as the years keep coming." She was only 49 when she passed away suddenly, not to sound depressing or morbid or anything of that nature. Actually, my mother handled aging gracefully. She embraced each birthday and celebrated like she was a kid. Birthdays are special. 

On Friday I turned 39. The last of my 30's! It's odd because writing the number makes the age look so much older than it feels. Saying 39 doesn't phase me but typing it out here - wow, it just looks weird. Honestly, I don't feel older but I do feel more grounded with each year. I suppose that is getting older.

When I look back on 29 going on 30, I was very confused in life everything. Still reeling from the loss of my mother (I was 28 when she passed), I struggled with happiness. I had some guilt, a lot of pain and no real plan for my future. My relationships were suffering, my confidence was empty and I was a stranger to myself. It was more than the loss of my mother. I simply had no direction or clue.

Now that I am getting ready to exit my 30's, life makes a whole lot more sense. I like myself quite a lot. I have a family that I am so in love with. I don't carry the burden of guilt and while the pain of my mother's death is always something that will be there - I have more control of that. The future is something I get excited for because now I am a mother. I get to be a part of something so much bigger than I ever imagined! 

My 30's have been an exceptional learning period. All the ups, all the downs, and all of the exciting in-betweens have prepared me for the next phase of my life. 

Carl G. Jung said, "Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research." Makes a whole lot of sense, if you were to ask me. 

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Discover Me Challenge: 1 - Teachers Who Inspire

Thursday, September 1, 2016 / Leave a Comment


Welcome to the very first Discover Me Challenge!

In the spirit of Back to School, I thought it would be fitting to kick off the DMC with something school related - Teachers Who Inspire!

No matter what our experiences may have been in school, I am willing to bet that every single person has had at least one teacher who has inspired them. These special teachers may have pushed us to work harder, believe ourselves more, gave us the nod that allowed us to just be us, or gave us someone to look up to when there was no one else. Whatever the reason, I am sure we all have an teacher who inspired us. 

In this first challenge, lets call out those inspiring teachers. Who are they, what did they mean to you and how have they inspired you as an adult?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 15

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I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. 



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Discover Me Challenge

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 / Leave a Comment


Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges "Discover Me Challenges". I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff. 

As if you didn't already know where this is going... I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I've been wanting to do this for so long!!

Every two weeks, starting this Thursday, I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. In the past, these topics ranged from: Childhood Memories, Letters to Your 13 Year Old Self, Charitable Organizations / Causes You Believe In, etc. There are no hard rules - just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!

I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun!! Linkup and discover more about yourself!!
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Just Breathe

Monday, August 29, 2016 / 7 comments
A girlfriend of mine is just 8 short weeks away from her due date of her son. This is her first child and even though I am a new mother myself, she has come to me with many questions and asking for loads of advice. I recall that while I was pregnant, I looked to Google and mom forums with most of my questions. It's not that I didn't have anyone to ask questions - I just liked having a multitude of responses, ranging from one extreme to the next. It was enough to make you crazy! That said, I love that she comes to me with questions. I feel that in the nearly ten months that I've had my child, I've learned a great deal. That and I don't want her to make herself crazy by poking around Dr. Google. There's a lot of scary stuff out there!

I've done my best to always be honest, while trying to not scare her at the same time. I have advised her to take breastfeeding and parenting classes because I found them to be helpful. I coached her on her glucose testing. I've warned her about some of the more uncomfortable things that we experience before and after delivery. I've told her how her heart will grow a million times over. I've told her that she will fall even deeper in love with her husband.

I would like to think that my advice has been helpful.

Today, however, something struck me. There is one piece of advice that I wish someone had given me and something that so many new mommies need to hear. I had not given her that advice yet but to me, this is the most essential thing to remember. So, during a messaging conversation where we were discussing visitors after having the baby and feeling a bit territorial, I thought this would be a good opportunity share my most important advice.

My message and my advice to her went like this:
"OK, truth… You are going to have moments where you are so frustrated with yourself and with the baby and with (husband)... Being a mom is a crazy transition that is emotionally pulling. When things get to be too much, take time to breathe. Seriously. Just take some time to collect yourself and take some deep breaths. I never knew how important it was to just breathe."

This advice is as real as it gets, mommas. It's no wonder we forget to take some deep breaths when we are overwhelmed by a crying child, lack of sleep, messy everything and the need to find a moment to pee. But when things get overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating... and they will, take a moment and just breathe. Breathe. I promise, it helps.


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AVP to SAHM

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 / 4 comments
I think it is very important to start off saying that the choice of being a SAHM vs. a working mommy is something I consider to be very personal. Not every mother wants to or is able to stay home with their babies. Just the same, not every mother wants to or is able to work after their babies are born. One decision is not necessarily better than the other. 


Each family and their needs are unique. The decision is personal.

No matter what your work status is - as long as you do your best by your child - you rock.



Life before motherhood revolved around my not-so-9-to-5. My career was incredibly important and many sacrifices were made to get to my position. With no college education early on (that would come later), I had to work exceptionally hard to prove myself and position myself for advancements. Before baby, I was an AVP for a financial group. My expertise was in Information Security/COBIT/ITSM/ITIL. For the most part, I developed Disaster Recovery Plans/Scenarios. I also wrote policy and ensured that my organization was working in compliance to meet regulations at a Federal level. At least on the surface, my job was pretty darn important.

The idea of being a stay at home mommy was one that appealed to me from the beginning. I could not stomach someone else watching over my angel while I worked - especially when my hours could be unpredictable. Perhaps, it is because I am too controlling (have I mentioned that I am a control freak?!) or maybe too paranoid - whatever the reason, the mere idea sent me into panic mode. Thankfully, my husband was prepared for me to leave the workforce and never discounted the importance of the work and benefit that went along with being a SAHM. He even preferred that I stay home. For this, I feel incredibly blessed because I know that this option is not available to so many parents who want it.

Never could I imagine what this new life would be like. As a new SAHM, I find my days to be even more demanding than before and much more stressful than before.  However, I realize the importance of what I do in a day is not diminished, rather is so much more meaningful. It is so rewarding. I do not miss the corporate world (most of the time) and my views of SAHMs has changed so dramatically. Honestly, I never knew how much was involved. How could I? This is my first rodeo! I have even more respect for all mommies now and especially those with multiple children or special needs children.

I am loving this new journey that I am on and even though my little one is just nine months old, I feel like we've already accomplished so much together. Yet, we've got so much to learn and I am excited for that, too!

Of all the promotions that have I received, motherhood has been by far the most rewarding.
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Life & Music

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 / Leave a Comment

I’ve always had a love for  music… music in all forms. I listen to music when I am happy, I listen to music when I am sad and I have always found that no matter how I feel in life – there is always something out there that sings to my emotions in the purest and most raw way possible. Music is life.

People turn to all sorts of things when they need to speak but cannot find words. I turn to music. 

Along with my love of music and the messages that have enriched my life over the years, I have also relied heavily on lyrics to learn and grow. There have been songs where lyrics tell me exactly what I need to hear. The advice buried in the melody stays with me as little reminders throughout life. For instance… “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…” a quote from The Beatles Strawberry Fields has been my constant reminder to truly live, grow… and feel life. Maybe it goes a little deeper than that, but that’s not for now.

At just nine months, my daughter already has a fondness for music. Even though the songs she enjoys are mostly nursery rhymes and hold no real deep message, she is learning to be expressive in dance and the simple lyrics are helping her grow. With the alphabet song, she can learn her ABC's, thus learn to communicate. And yes, even "The Wheels On The Bus" is significant to her.

I thought of some of the songs that connect me to others, even if they don't realize it. The words, the melodies and the emotions that go along with these songs belong to those individuals - in my mind, anyway. Each of these songs are significant beyond words, beyond their lyrics and they always make me pause and think of that person. Then I smile, or laugh, or cry, or simply hold them in my heart for a brief moment.


For the love of my daughter


For the love of my husband


For the love my my best friend/soul sister


For the love of my mother


For the love of my father

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Dear Best Friend... I Haven't Forgotten

Sunday, August 21, 2016 / 1 comment
Dear Best Friend, 

I originally wrote this open letter to you on May 17th, 2012. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same. I love you. You are my soul sister. I think of you always, even when I can't reach out to say so. 

p.s. I can't wait to see you in just a few weeks!!!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Dear Best Friend,

Today you sent me a cute little web article called  Twelve Vows to Make with Your BFF. It made me smile and I agree with you… I love #9 the most.

The article got me thinking… thinking about our friendship and what you mean to me. I know I tell you that I love you each day. Do you know how much? You are a sister to me. You are family. You are my soulmate in a way that no lover can compare. How did I ever manage without you?

We have had our fair share of friendship tests. We have argued, cried, got mad and got happy with each other more times than I can count. Never once during the hard times did we stop supporting each other.

It’s funny how we “met” online in a very virtual world but became close so quickly. 

You transcended from a virtual friend to my real-life best friend so quickly. I feel like I have known you my whole life and maybe even in other lifetimes. We have always been so “real” and honest with each other. Sometimes we are brutal with our honesty – but always when it is needed most.

I’ve gone thru some very hard times in these last couple of years. You held my hand so tightly… how could have I done any of it without your strength? You listened as I sobbed in your ear about heartache, pains and life and when I couldn’t see the light at the end of a very bleak tunnel, you became my light. You gave me more of yourself than any one person can. You are my north-star. You really are.

When things got better and I found my happiness, you laughed and smiled along with me. And even though we have had limited time together… you have given me a lifetime of precious memories that I will never take for granted. I will need you for this again and again… and I will be there for you as you hit your highs and lows. Lord knows, we will both have more because that is what life is about. Highs and Lows.

I know I can be judgmental and frustrating at times. I know that I am protective of you. That is because you are special and you deserve nothing but the very best from everyone. Any person that doesn’t treat you like the beautiful woman you are will get the side-eye from me… and probably some heavy words. But that doesn’t mean that in the end I won’t support you in anything you do – I will just be that sometimes overbearing, protective sister friend that I am. Like you are to me. Well, maybe not overbearing… Just really there.

I want you to know that above all things… and people, you are one of the most amazing souls I have ever known. You are so generous with your heart, kind with your words and unconditional in the way that you love all people and things. I’ve never seen you hold on too long to a grudge. And even in moments where you may be critical, you never chastise… you are always fair. I could use some of those strengths. I wouldn’t mind being more like you.

I guess what I am meaning to tell you in all of this garble… I love you. I am so grateful for you. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my BFF. Thank you.

I look forward to all the amazing memories we will have as we grow into silly old ladies… sharing songs, pointing out cute guys and watching our television shows together (even via Skype or phone). As we learned… distance does not get in the way of a true friendship… even though we are many miles away, I’d still call you if I were arrested for something stupid.


Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my BFF.
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2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

Thursday, May 26, 2016 / Leave a Comment


My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to love 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas but it fell a bit short for me. I liked it enough to keep reading, however I didn't feel especially moved. The writing was good enough to keep me engaged but the very, very end just lost me.

What I did enjoy was how Bertino was able to connect the many characters together. Not that they were particularly like-able, the three major characters were unconventional and had their own personal stories happening within the pages. You've got a sad but sassy nine year old girl who smokes, sings and curses; a too-nice teacher who has a vulnerable heart and a disheveled bar owner who is on the brink of losing it all. How these characters weave in out out of each other's lives and the interactions with the minor characters on a Christmas Eve, Eve makes for a promising story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy and quick read. The author's style is fun and quirky, definitely worth experiencing.

For more info
About the Author

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.


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TBT - I am a Dog Person

Thursday, May 19, 2016 / Leave a Comment
I originally wrote this post in February of 2013... It has always been one of my favorites, as it was one of the most "real" posts I have ever written. It was what was on my heart at that time. 

My dogs have always been a part of my family. I treat them the same as I treat any family member. They are not less than or lower than. They are special and so very loved. 

Sadly, the beautiful pup in this post passed away on Mother's Day in 2014. It was a painful loss and something I know many other's can identify with. I still miss this sweet girl and think of her often. Because that is what you do when you lose a member of your family. 


I am a Dog Person

A dog is never just a dog… they are companions, best friends, travel buddies. They offer wet kisses when you least expect them. They know when you are sad or sick… or just feel empty and alone. And when you need them, they respond because no matter what, they love you unconditionally. 

I never understood what it took to be a dog person. I always had a dog in the house growing up but it was never “my” pet – they belonged to my parents. I was a cat person. Cat’s don’t require a lot of work and like chin scratches… they were hardly needy or fussy like dogs. At least that was my experience… 

Then I got my own dog. 

Rain was my first “MY” dog. She was cutest Weimaraner puppy with the biggest blue eyes and shiny beige/blue fur. She was tiny and fragile as a pup… I remember when I first brought her home, her health was not very good and we weren’t sure if she would make it. At only 10lbs, I would hold her and stay up with her all night just to make sure she was OK. We bonded fast. This was my puppy… my needy, sweet, loving puppy. 

Rain was always very aloof growing up. She would walk into tables and trip over herself. Greg graced her with the name of The Brown Swan. At a whopping 80+ lbs, she grew into the largest lapdog I have ever known. But still… she is my puppy. Still needy, still sweet and every bit as much loving. She loves to love so, so much! 

Rain is not a young girl anymore. She is nearly 12 and in Weimaraner ages, that’s an old lady. It makes me sad because I know what this means… and the signs are so apparent. Her arthritis is bad. She prefers naps to playtime. She can no longer manage the stairs. 

We have been taking countless trips to the vet and have undergone countless tests to try to determine if there was anything we could do to help Rain’s health. These trips are stressful for Rain. She pants, gets nervous, and usually has an accident in the waiting room. It’s no fun for me but it is terrifying for her. 

Yesterday I witnessed my “puppy” struggling to stand and walk. Negotiating right, left, right… forward… It was too much for her. I took her to the vet where I sobbed into her fur, trying to make sense of what would  be the right thing. I had the option of letting her sleep and find peace – but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t convinced it was the right time. 

Rain came home with me yesterday where I gave her some pain medicine and made a comfortable place for her to rest. Her sisters comforted her with their snuggles and warmth. I continued to stroke her fur, whispering to her that I loved her more than I ever thought possible. Because I do. She managed to eat her dinner and go outside with her sisters in the evening – on her own. I don’t think she is ready to leave me just yet. 

Right now she is sleeping beside me. Her snores are soft and she appears to be comfortable. I have witnessed several wags from her. Several more than yesterday. 

I have decided there will be no more tests, no more stressful car rides to the vet, no more poking and prodding and no more painful examinations. I am going to keep her happy, content, warm and loved for as long as I can… and when the bad days outweigh the good days… I will have to make some hard decisions. 

This is my puppy… and now I understand what it is to be a “dog person”. It takes heart, patience, understanding and the ability love so much that it can sometimes hurt.

always loved. always in our hearts. we miss you.
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Paradox Manor

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 / Leave a Comment
A super short, quickie review for a fabulous super short, quickie read!!

Paradox Manor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating and most enjoyable read. I really enjoyed the author's storytelling style. I felt like I entered that world and the author was sharing directly with me.
The premise of the story itself is fascinating and you find yourself immediately drawn to the characters, even if you only get to know them for a short time.
As far as short stories go, this one packs a lot in and left me feeling satisfied. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

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p.s. Please make this into a movie!
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Book Review - Love Like Crazy

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 / Leave a Comment

Love Like Crazy by Megan Squires
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I really did. I gave it 4.5 stars and the only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is that the ending left me wanting to ask a zillion questions. It felt like there were too many huge revelations all at once and then it ended. That may sound silly but as I said before - I just wanted to ask questions. I wanted a little more closure. Just a bit more!

That said... this book was sweet, touching and far more moving than I thought it would be. I fell in love with Lincoln, Eppie and even Phil. I loved Lincoln and Eppie's pure hearts and I loved how they connected so naturally. They are perfection.

If you are looking for a book that will make your heart smile, this is for you. If you want to see what hope and love looks like, this is for you. If you want to fall in love with beautifully flawed characters, this is for you. This is so much more than a typical love story - this book has real depth.

Somebody, please... please make this into a movie. I want my non-reader friends to enjoy this lovely story!!

4.5*

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