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Showing posts from 2015

Still . . . I love Life

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December 4 I sat down to write my blog this morning and wanted very much to keep it light and positive - with no mention of challenges or anxiety. Then I realized in doing that, I wouldn't be true to me. And if I want to do anything in writing daily, it is wanting to remain true to what I am feeling each and every day. And some days are harder than others. So while I am sitting here trying to find my words, I decided to click through some of my dear online friends blogs and see if  could find the inspiration I needed to pull the happy out of me. I stumbled upon a blog post of a dear art friend, Kelli May-Krenz, and it hit home. It's about anxiety . . . and her strong unending determination to love life, even when it is hard (you can read her post here ,  if you'd like.) OH, that genius Kelli! Today, she pinned the tail on the donkey for me. 110% Because I do love life - truly and deeply. But today, it is hard. For no reason other than what  I have done

He's Home! Wahoo!!

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                                My honey (PG, the husband, the one who makes my heart full) returned home last night from what I believe is his last trip of the year. I think. (😳 maybe I better confirm.) He travels for his job, a lot.  Some trips I welcome - I can tell when he is getting antsy and needs a change of scenery, and the space does us both some good. But this fall - his trips have been a bit challenging for me, seem to have fallen on the very weeks when I am SUPER busy with life, and I have missed him terribly.  I sleep better when he is home.  Ok, just confirmed . . . One more overnight mid month, then we are done.  I can handle that.  It's funny - I always say that when he is gone for a longer period of time, the adrenaline kicks in and I am super organized, get the housework and chores and work and kids stuff done, and go into some sort of autopilot mode. When he comes home, I usually crash the first day he is back. Crash, hard.  And tonight, I feel a crash coming on

Perfect Being Me

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  December 2 What a cathartic morning.  Truly.  I didn't wake planning on making such a move. But the universe called me to do it . . . and it felt so good. Going through a stack of books I intend to donate today, I came across one that was gifted to me by a couple of former bosses many years ago - at least 5, I am thinking. I worked for a healthcare consulting company at the time, and the more I think about - the funnier it is (that I was working for a healthcare consulting company, and this was what the bosses distributed to all of us. Not a book on business practices, or a book on job focus, organization, or skill building. No.) They gave a book by Iyanla Vanzant. A book about spiritual strength and personal growth.  Now, I am not here to slam Iyanla - I think she is brilliant. Truly. An inner peaceful and soulful person who has changed the lives of MANY - a woman who has even said things that have changed mine . I love her. Adore her. I think sh

BEing aLIVE

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December 1 I want so much to stop the clock this month. To look. To take it all in. To BE in the moment. To LIVE the now. And NOT think about the tomorrow. Because I don't know where the past 11 months have gone. This morning as Ella and I sat at the kitchen table before our day began, Ella watching a Minecraft Video on her iPad and me catching up on my Yahtzee game, it felt as if time stood still for a brief moment. I stopped. I took it in. It was her breath that did it. It caught my attention and caused me to pause. This beautiful little soul that I brought into the world. My daughter. The sound of her breathing in and out softly, as she did her thing, brought a calmness over myself that I haven't felt in what seems like years. I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo of her, and then just sat there watching her. Hugging her Teddy. Her very best friend. She's changed so much this Fall. Glasses. Braces. Growing like a weed. Each day I watch her blo

Keeping an Eye on the Good

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I am feeling better this week, my friends. Still having a few anxiety filled moments, but working very hard at keeping it all in control. I am trying to take more time, here and there, for my spirit. Even if only to close my eyes, take deep breaths in, and gain some quiet within my mind. It seems to be helping. Greatly.  I am also taking more photos and recognizing the "GOOD" each day. The GOOD . . . that seems to be what has kept me focused. I have so much good in my life (I hope that we all do). But in recent months, I allowed myself to get away from it. These past two weeks, I have  tried to reflect on it more often. To capture those moments and hold them a little closer before letting them go to the universe. The GOOD. Like . . . .  My dear friend, Scott    Scott and I have been friends for over 30 years (I think). He sent me a message after my last blog post (which means he must have actually read my blog post - that, alone, blew my mind), saying things only the truest o

Processing the World of Me

My friends . . . where have you been?       And where, you may ask, have I been? Processing. Just . . . processing.      Processing Life. The weeks. The days. The moments. All of them. It has been a particularly challenging year for me and my 44 year old self (whooaaaa - when did that happen? 44 years? I thought I was 30. 32 tops.) It has been a year of trying desperately to hold on to myself, while somehow letting myself go. A year of autopilot - trying to do what I needed to do when I needed to do it, but fighting with myself all the while. A year of quiet struggles within my own mind. Yes, a challenging year, for sure. I started to think of the areas in my life as separate neighborhoods within myself - little communities - each with their own needs and wants, and often requiring much at the most inopportune moments. Mommy hood.  Wife hood.  Laundry hood.  Sibling hood . Worker hood.  Daughter hood. Grocery hood.  Friend hood.  Artist hood.  Brownie Coleader hood. Ar

Sunday Night

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      Taking a few minutes tonight outside . . . a few quiet minutes before the work begins.  Trying to find some peace in the chaos that has been life this summer.  Between the children, the job, and the husbands travel schedule, I haven't spent a lot of time out here. And tonight is perfect. The perfect temperature. The perfect sunset. The perfect bird sounds. Perfect.  Last week was a rough one. Like, really rough. Like, I was ready to throw the towel in. All of them. Haven't felt that way in a long long time. But last week, I felt it. Every single day.  Tonight, I am taking deep breaths. I am reminding myself of my blessings (of which there are many). I am forgiving myself. I am loving myself. I am telling myself that hard times will always come, and will always pass . . . I am reminding myself of my dreams, of my passions, of my abilities. One of my biggest fears in going back to healthcare, is losing sight of who I am inside. Lately, I feel so overwhelmed - pulled into so

C.A.M.P. (our new 4 letter word)

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If you are a Facebook friend of mine, you may be aware of the emotional events regarding 'Girl Scout Camp' that took place in our lives this week. (Oh, how I think I aged 10 years in the past 24 hours! Lordy!) If we do not cross Facebook paths, allow me to share a little story with you . . . It has to do with my oldest daughter, Katie . . . and a word we now refer to as the new "4 letter word" in our house . . . CAMP. As I gather my thoughts to sit and write the story of our experience - only now do I feel the anxiety lowering, the blood pressure has returned to a manageable level, and I am actually taking full, deep breaths in and out. Sometimes being a parent is rough . . . My oldest daughter signed up for Girl Scout camp this summer. From the beginning, I didn't feel good about it. And why would I? I am certain that in some past life of mine, I was a princess (or perhaps even a Queen).  I am the girl who insists we only sleep in hotels with "insid

Hi. It's Me

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          I love when I find a little note from one of my girls, here or there in unassuming locations throughout the house.  Hi Mom.  A little message left secretly. This time, it was found on our family room coffee table, gently tucked under a coaster. I found it last week, while enjoying a few moments of quiet.  Hi Mom.  It made me smile. Because this little "Hi" was just what I needed.  I immediately thought about my blog, and realized that it has been way too long since I said Hi.  So, to those who may stop by for a visit from time to time . . . Hi.  How are you?  Me? Oh, I'm good. Really.  The past two months have been jam packed. Ella's Communion, a weekend art class at a studio in Milwaukee, the end of the school year for Ella & Kate (which included a variety of end of school events and activities), business trips for Phil, a family vacation to South Carolina, teaching art classes at Bedford for me, as well as continuing my job at the doctors office. Yes,

Random Thoughts on a Friday Evening

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  Phil is out of town. Has been all week. We have a few more days until he returns . . . and I can't wait. My brain is full. This happens from time to time. I sit in silence, but the thoughts keep coming at me full force. I can't work them all out. Usually, when he is in town, I can bounce them off him. He listens (or maybe sometimes doesn't), but he is physically there receiving them. Right now, not so much.  So I am sitting in my living room this very minute, windows open with a gentle breeze coming in and out, the sounds of cars driving by, birds singing, neighbors talking, and my own two girls playing Barbie's all taking place in the background.  And me . . . the mind is just going.  So I thought I would capture these thoughts . . . as many as I could . . . in no particular order. Thoughts like . . .  I am so grateful for that dishwasher. I wonder how many times other people run theirs? I wonder how often people have to get new machines. What is the going age of a

My Red Feathered Friend

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              A cardinal has been hanging around my house lately.  Last week he visited for three mornings in a row, usually around 7am. I heard him chirping away, calling out for his friends, as I sat at the kitchen table taking my first few sips of coffee.  Each day I tried to take a photo of him. The one above was the best I could take - because each time I pulled out the 'real' camera (with the awesome zoom lense), he'd fly away. Almost as if he was saying, "Nope, I am not here for that. I am here just for you ."   I got smart, and started to leave the camera on a little end table in my living room - with camera out of bag and lense already on, I was ready for his close-up.  He didn't come by the two days following. Darn Bird.   So me, my Cardinal, and my little iPhone camera meet up.  I love when he comes by. Because I feel like he is my Dad, checking on me. Just letting me know that he is around.  I still need my Dad from time to time.  It has probably

Achy heArt

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            There are not enough hours in the day.  No where near enough hours in the day.  And certainly not enough hours in my day . . . to make art .  Today, I felt it. This ache in the pit of my stomach. It happened around 6:10pm, after I arrived home from work and before I walked out the door to Ella's Brownie meeting. It was somewhere between stuffing Goldfish crackers in plastic sandwich baggies for their snack, or preparing for their Brownies art project by cutting plastic flowers off of stems. But somewhere around that time, I caught a glimpse of a mixed media piece hanging on my kitchen wall, and I felt this ache start inside of me.  I miss my art.  I've been in a creative black hole since the holidays. Once everything was done with the holiday fairs and vendor shows, I packed up one plastic bin of remaining art work and product, and closed the lid on the 2014 season. Since then, I have focused on the new job and home life - which I am discovering leaves very little

The Paper Bag of Me

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                         "And what do you do?" is a question that has bothered me for as long as I can remember.  It bothered me most often during the last three years - after leaving a lifetime (truly - about 25 years) working in healthcare and taking time off to be at home; raising my daughters, taking my mom to doctor visits here or there, doing laundry, making art and keeping our house afloat.   But long before that, it bothered. Because "what do you do?" it is often the question used to define someone. And the answers bother me as much as the question. I am not a person who likes to be defined by what I do.  Because for me . . . I am so much more than my job. So lately, I have been thinking about what defines me.  What is the true, authentic definition of me?  Am I the "insurance lady" in a doctors office? The wanna-be artist? Healthcare worker? A mother? Daughter? Wife? Am I the brownie leader who makes the little ones laugh? Or the woman who has s

Because of Them . . .

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      . . . I love life even more than I ever imagined.  Because of them . . .      I   smile wider and laugh longer.  Because of them . . .       I try to be the best person I can be, each and every day.    Because of them . . .       I live this life with more passion, more energy, more faith, more inspiration, more adventures, more focus, more spirit, more excitement, more tenderness, more peace, more love, more joy, more radiance, more abundance, more clarity, more generosity, more purpose, more magic.  Because of them . . .       I live this life with More.  Because of them . . .       I live.  And because of them . . . I thank God, each and every moment.  Wishing you peace, my friends.  xoxo   

When the Universe Calls, Twice

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                   I love when the Universe calls, you know? When you find yourself almost to the breaking point with thoughts of " life is rough and people can be pretty cruel and there is no way that I can make a difference"  - and then suddenly, a change. When the Universe reminds you of what matters. That yes, even in the simplest of ways, you can make a difference.  Yes, I love when that happens.  And this week, the Universe called me. Twice .  Most of you know that I went back into the work force two months ago - starting a new job at a pediatricians office on December 1st actually. Back in healthcare - the field that I have worked in for almost 25 years. It is a great fit for me (three days a week), and allows me enough flexibility that I can still have plenty of time to live out my creative dreams - and (most importantly) bring additional funds to our home on a regular basis.  Something is different about how I am approaching this job. Maybe it is because I have bee

On the Road Again

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I think one of my most favorite modern day inventions is the iPhone - or any phone, for that matter, with camera capability. I love being ' at the ready ' and able to capture a special photo almost immediately.  And, yes, I love taking them while on the road.  I love to catch quick glimpses here or there as the seasons unfold right before me.  I love looking back and recalling the exact moment I took the picture - remember where I was going, what my thoughts were on, and what was happening that day - when I stopped to take the photo. We are lucky to be surrounded by some gorgeous roads near my home - and I often find myself lost in the beauty of my surroundings as I travel them.  Trust me, I am always careful when taking a photo. I make sure there aren't other cars around, so I am not putting myself - or anyone else - in danger.  Today, I thought I would share just a few of the pictures I have taken the past few weeks, found while scrolling through my iPhone this morning. I

Sometimes I Forget

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                  I have an amazing husband.  Have I told you that before?   I don't want to gloat, or sound like I am bragging. I am not. I am just recognizing one of my biggest blessings, and sharing it with you today. My husband. He is pretty awesome.  In the past few months, he has been top notch.  And sometimes I forget to tell him that.  Because, I guess, the expectation is for him to be this ' Superman '. Not only for me, but for everyone else.  Sometimes, I forget that he is real. Just like you and me.  Sometimes, I forget that he has pressures and stresses - unlike those that I can relate to. He has that "manly" responsibility to care for all four of us - for our home, to pay our bills, provide . . . all those things. Even though he knows we are in this ' together ' - that we work ' together ' - I know he carries the load.  Yes, sometimes I forget that he really has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Sometimes, I forget that he fe

Sore . . . Again

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                  My throat is killing me tonight. Absolutely killing me.  I've been fighting this thing for a whole week. Last Saturday, I saw a doctor and was told I had an ear infection, upper respiratory infection, sinus infection, bronchitis, and a bad cold and cough (I think I told her those last two things.)  I left the visit with a bag full of medicines, and the advice to get as much rest as I could. Antibiotic, cough syrup with codeine, inhaler, nasal spray, and some other cough tablet. The whole kit and kaboodle. And for the past 7 days, I have taken - faithfully - everything prescribed. Followed doctors orders exactly as they were set out for me.  And I am not feeling much better. A little, yes. But not as much as I expected to be feeling, one week later.  In fact this evening, as we sat at the birthday party for a friends daughter, I told Phil that I felt like my throat was getting sore all over again. Again. The coughing has never really stopped - my nose has still bee

Doing It

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       I'm doing it.  I am.  I. AM. DOING. IT.  I came to this realization last night, as I was packing up for my next art class at Bedford Park District (takes place Monday night, by the way, and I am really excited about it - because it is different from anything I have offered before.) But . . . I digress . . . as I stood in front of my plastic bin filling it with supplies and counting brushes & canvases - I realized, I am doing it.  I am having my cake . . . and eating it, too.  Over a year ago, Phil and I had a discussion about the idea of me returning to work. At the time, the thought upset me so much - that I think I cried for a number of days and totally shut down. It broke me. I don't know why. No, I take that back. I know exactly why.  I was scared. I was afraid I was going to have to give up this creative life that I have worked so hard to get to in the past three years. I was afraid I couldn't do it all. I was afraid I would not have time, nor energy, nor th

This IS THE LIFE!

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Last week, I told my dear friend, Peggy, how much I missed blogging. " I don't even know where to begin, " I told her. " It's been so long, I don't even know what to say. "  " Just write," she said. " Write about what you're  doing. Just do it. "  Wise words from a wise friend.  So . . . Me? What am I doing . . . . I guess, I am just up to my eye balls in LIFE.   2014 - it went out with a bang (a new job, four weeks of a horrible cold and cough, non-stop holiday activities, lots of family fun with even some not-so-fun, and everything that goes with it.)  Then, 2015. A new year, new focus, the rebirth of old ideas in brand new ways. A friend making her dream come true, and me being allowed to enjoy the benefits of it. And life. It IS THE life.  To avoid boring you with all if the little day in and day out happenings of the past 56 days - I'll take a few days this week to share two or three moments of th