My first reading.

This is a story that is told multiple times a week. Details are omitted to scrunch it into the allotted time. It is the story I tell before each reading; the story of how I got started doing readings for other people. I want to share it here in its entirety because I think just once it needs to be written down with all the details in place.

It was a regular day like any other. I was in grad school and had made a great friend. The kind that you meet and you already feel like you have known each other a hundred years. We had most of our classes together. We talked about lots of things; I had my first child in grad school and she had been teaching longer than I; married longer than I. She always had the best advice; but one day our conversation turned to one of her students. A student that had leukemia. An eight-year-old little boy whom she tutored. I had no idea when we started talking about Matthew the impact he would have on my life.

As my friend shared her worries and experience with Matthew and his family, I shared more about my gift with her. Opening something inside of myself I had held so close. Trying to share what little wisdom I had to bring comfort to the unthinkable situation that was facing this family, facing Matthew.

Matthew gained his angel wings in July of 2007.

A few months later my friend told me that I should share my gift with this family. That they needed my help.

Crazy town; I told her. Crazy people do things like that. I didn’t think I could help and I was sure that if I did everyone would think I was crazy. No one can talk to spirits for real. The things that happened to me were just random and I wasn’t about to do them out loud in front of the world. I played small and it suited me just fine. I had a sweet little life at this point. Two kids and a new job; I was moving forward into my sweet, quiet life comfortably.

So, I told her no. I thought that would be the end of it.

Sometimes you don’t hear when God is laughing at you. Chuckling at the notion that you think you have some control over what you are meant to do.

God and Matthew had different plans for me. Matthew was helping Him put those plans into motion.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear

Matthew began to show up everywhere. He was in my car; my kitchen, woke me up at night because I kept having the same dream. I would reach out for a tombstone that wasn’t there and carved into the rock were symbols I didn’t recognize. Each night I would trace them with my finger drawing symbols into a phantom tombstone.

Finally, I asked Matthew what he wanted. He had a family that loved him, why in the world was he spending all this time around me?

He asked me to talk to his mom. He asked me to help his family. Said he had something for his sister and turned into a butterfly and fluttered away.

Well, crap.

God knew if He sent me a child I would listen. God knew if He sent me a small boy that I would say yes. That with shaky legs, sweaty hands and my stomach in knots I would drive 40 miles into unknown territory and try to help this boy reunite with his family.

Arriving made everything worse. Encountering the eyes of this mother and father who had lost half their hearts and a whole child to Heaven was almost unbearable. What if this didn’t work? What if I was crazy? What if I just heard and saw things that didn’t really exist? I started praying in my head like a crazy woman. Dear God, please let me help this family. God please let this bring them some comfort. God please let this be real. God please don’t let this family down.

It took a good twenty minutes to get comfortable. Twenty minutes of small talk and looking at a few pictures. Matthew showed up right away, but I had never seen energy move so fast. I couldn’t slow him down enough to hear what he was saying. And then something shifted.

I started to hear him clear as day. I started to see him in his blue striped shirt and the wide grin expand across his face. He told his family about things he did in the house to let them know he was around. He described the item that he was buried with since I would have no idea what it was or how to pronounce what it was called. Matthew relayed to me the item he wanted his sister to have. He shared things he hoped for his family and wanted for the future.

We drove to his grave because of my dream. I had chills over my whole body as I stepped into the reality of that dream. Stepped into a solid, tangible reality I had only seen in dreams. I explained to them about the symbols Matthew wanted on his tombstone. His dad drew multiple samples on a napkin; skeptical trying to prove this was really happening; only one set of symbols represented what I had verbalized to them. Without hesitation, I pointed to the second set of symbols. The ones I had traced into stone night after night in my dream. Those were the ones. The ones Matthew wanted on his stone.

Heaven isn't some far off place. Heaven is all around us. You are a part of your loved ones heaven. Spirit is constantly sending signs to us to let us know they are there.

Then a little dog showed up and of course it had been theirs. Of course, that dog was with their son playing chase and being a constant companion.

That day changed my life. That day put me on a course with God’s plan for me. It unfurled my path; a path I had refused to step onto for 15 years.

When I was fifteen a line of spirits formed around me. A line. They would reach out one by one; tell me I was going to help them and I would shake it off. It couldn’t be. How could I tell people out loud this is me? I talk to dead people, seriously? I couldn’t handle the criticism. I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready that day either and it would be about five years after this first reading for strangers that I would help other people out loud. Matthew never gave up. He would visit from time to time and nudge me down this path. Encourage me to keep the channels open; to pay attention to spirit.

When I first started giving readings he would be there with me. Cheering me on. Letting me know I was right where I was supposed to be. Eventually he handed those reigns off to my loved ones, but from time to time he still peeks in; still says hello with that wide grin across his face and his head tilted slightly to the right. Always dressed in the latest trends and his jet-black hair just a bit spiky in front. It always makes me smile.

Spirit speaks to us through a variety of ways. If you believe a sign came from a loved one; than it did.

Matthew helped me get to where I am today. Matthew taught me how to listen. He helped me understand how this gift would work. Reaffirmed that as much as I am here to help the living that I work for spirit. That I am here to translate the messages of spirit to their families. When I give a reading I always let spirit lead. Spirit starts with their agenda, their messages; and those messages may not always be what their loved one may want to hear, but without fail they are always what their loved one needs to hear. Without fail loved ones end up finding a way to make sense out of the words and pictures that spirit gives to me. Spirit finds a way to make me feel both physically and emotionally what they want me to translate. God always leading the way; allowing this miracle.

I hope that what I do; that each reading pays Matthew back somehow. That he knows that this is how I say thank you. That I am forever grateful for his determination and patience. That it is not lost on me that a boy, not yet nine, changed my life in such a profound and wonderful way. Thank you, Matthew and thank you sweet family who welcomed me into their lives unsure of what that day would hold. Thank you all for changing my life and being the first step on my journey. Thank you for sharing your son with me and with the world.

Thank you,

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To good days and full hearts

I should have walked today. The past few months I have been working up my stamina; getting back into shape, counting calories. I think it’s working. Sunday I ran a 10K. Okay, I jogged 5+ miles of a 10K and walked the rest. The next day I ran another 5K and the day after that I walked/jogged another 3 miles. Yesterday my body needed a rest and so I walked a bit, but didn’t run. Okay jog. Semantics; shemantics. Well the day after that ended with a note sent home regarding my youngest that sent me into fiery mama bear mode and the day’s mode didn’t change much so while I stepped well there wasn’t much walking and peaceful calm in my attitude.

Today the universe seemed to know I needed to balance out yesterday and responded with a calm, stillness. I settled into that stillness in full gear; Uggs, sweatpants, and my favorite cozy sweatshirt. I hunkered down into work, reading, laundry, writing, and the small, even goodness of my life.

Plus I don’t do “shoulds” any more. There isn’t a place for them in my life any more.

My life fills me up and I thank God for that daily.

All the little moments…the smiles of my children, the way their hair smells after a shower, the unique ways they greet me at the end of a school day. My heart fills with the stories they tell, surprising my husband with 14 gifts for our 14 married years together. The coziness of my home, my clothes. The simple pleasures of a good cup of coffee, the way cold ice water quenches a thirst so completely. Or the smell of fresh-cut grass, a sunny day, a breeze that carries a hint of jasmine. Sweet, encouraging text messages from friends. You know all the little things that make you feel whole, complete.

There is a stability, a solidness that I feel in my soul on days like today. I wasn’t spinning in different directions, reeling from an act of unkindness, or torn in a thousand directions by a barrage of requests. Regardless if my day is still like today or chaotic like other days, my life fills me up. This life is greater than I ever imagined. I am so grateful for each second and so grateful for all the little things that make my cup run over.

To good days and full hearts. Until next time,

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Hidden in plain sight

Ready…set…run.

Ready…set…hide.

Ready…set…blend.

Ready…set…invisible.

These are my default.

If you were to meet me or see me out and about after just knowing me from my blog I think you would be surprised. I am the girl who stands away from the crowd. I am the one who doesn’t speak up. The first to arrive and the first to leave a party. And if you do get close enough; if you do get in I find myself making sure there is distance…sliding just a little out of reach.

-Solitude matters, and for some people it's the air they breathe.-

It’s not that I am afraid of anyone seeing me; really seeing me. I don’t ever hide anything about myself anymore and what people think doesn’t keep me awake at night either; I barely give it a second thought, but I think it is knowing that if I do let you in that there is the possibility of hurt. The hurt that comes when someone I would like as a friend may decide I am not worth keeping. I don’t know; maybe it’s just the introvert in me. Needing distance. Needing space.

“I_m very picky with whom I give my energy to. I prefer to reserve my time, intensity and spirit exclusively to those who reflect sincerity.”

There are people who I trust. People who are my safe landing-place. I have lost friends like these in the past; the relationship falling out from under my feet. No ledge to cling to, just dropping and flailing after being on stable ground. Maybe that’s the feeling I am trying to avoid.

Or maybe it is that lately, I wonder if some people want to know the real me or the medium me. Knowing a medium is interesting; knowing a small town girl who stands in the corner; not so much.

I don’t know why I keep the distance or add it to a relationship. I don’t know why my default is run, but it is. If something goes wrong I shut down. I hide away and avoid confrontation; unless it is about my kids then I will speak up. That mama bear instinct triggers my temper and I can say things I normally wouldn’t. Other than that I am the girl who likes to hide in plain sight. I am most comfortable there. In view, but not attracting attention.

As we have settled in this small town over the last six years there are people who I have grown to love. I love them something fierce. Maybe that’s what makes me keep my distance, being afraid how much I love them will scare them away. So instead I try to act lukewarm so they don’t think I am too overboard with affection.

I know I have written here about letting that love shine and just scooping people up, and I do try to do that, but my default kicks back in and I create a distance. Distance becomes my security blanket.

Writing my thoughts out here I thought might untangle them and make them clear. Maybe it will, maybe this is just the beginning to unravelling them. Maybe I am just supposed to accept this about myself and the people who accept it become my tribe; make up my safe landing-place. But part of me wants to be not so far in the corner, just a little more out in front. A part of me wants to embrace those I love with full force. Maybe I will and my default will change. Maybe I thought I had already changed my default.

I don’t know.

I'm not ditching my running shoes just yet.

Not ditching my running shoes just yet,

The words that shook me awake

So I had one of those Oprah “Ah-ha” moments today. I think it took a bunch of little things running together to help this “ah-ha” moment smack me in the brain and reach my stream of consciousness, but that is how these things work.

The beginning is always the best place to start. It all started in late December. Probably a bit in part to the hangover the holidays create. That is when I started to feel bogged down. There was a cough and wheezing that just hung on to my lungs with a white knuckled grip and just trying to take a walk up the stairs with a laundry basket had become tedious by late January. I went to the doctor, but after five days of antibiotics things weren’t kicking back into gear energy wise.

I could not for the life of me figure out what the heck was so draining. It was as if my gas tank was always on empty.  I literally wanted to Netflix all day. Yes, Netflix is now a verb. A beautifully wonderful verb. It baffled me how this could be, but even sitting I wasn’t at rest. I was constantly berating myself for just sitting. I didn’t ever fully rest and relax.

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The good news was that for the first time in as far as I could remember I was the most comfortable in my own skin. Best. Feeling. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, we all have days, but I feel like I am pretty darn awesome. It was a little boggling to me how I could feel so good and comfortable yet so tired and deflated at the same time.

This past Saturday, I finally had to be hit over the head with what I should have known all along, but that is what happens sometimes we have to be smacked upside the head to realize what is right in front of us.

Saturday morning has become one of my favorite mornings. My youngest son is playing in a basketball league that was created by several faith communities in our town. It is the single best league that I have ever been a part of in my life.  They pray with the kids before the games and have a half time devotional.

On this particular Saturday, my favorite referee read the devotional. Listening intently as always, since these Saturday morning devotionals had become such a source of light in my life, he reads, “One cannot burn out if they weren’t on fire in the first place.”

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Can I get an AMEN?

Enter “ah-ha” moment. These words stirred in me just the slightest mental shift. They shook me awake.

Holy, holy. I am on fire! We all are. We burn with divine light. Of course we feel burned out from time to time. Wouldn’t any fire feel that way? Wouldn’t any light get so hot that it would need to be dark just for a short while?

God doesn’t need me to rush and rush and rush without stopping ever. Life is meant to be enjoyed number one and number two God rested! On the seventh day he rested. The end. He didn’t go on and on about how he should add a little something extra to the world or show off by creating another Universe. Nope. He just rested. So why can’t I just rest? Do nothing all day and feel productive. Yes! If I am feeling the need to rest then I need it. Rest is being productive. Rest is the self-care we need to keep our flame burning.

we-burn-with-divine-light

I started to examine these periods of rest in my life. The times I always just thought there was something off about me because I would just want to crawl in bed for days and do nothing.

The first time this happened I came out of it and started my blog. I started writing again and choosing vulnerability and connection over perfection.

The second time this happened I came out of the rest ready to share my gift and start a business.

The last time this happened I came out of rest with a strong sense of self-worth and a peace my soul hadn’t known for years.

So what is this “ah-ha”moment that hit me – when we rest we rise. When we rest we can burn again. Our fire is ignited brighter and wiser than before.

I finally truly understand the saying when she wakes she will move mountains. Each time I wake from rest my life is stronger and richer. This time will be no different.

let-her-sleep

Rest my friends because when you rise you will move mountains.

Until next time,

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 Validation

“You are so needy.”

It’s those words that almost ended one of my most important friendships. Those words split my soul. I didn’t think I was needy. I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. Low self-confidence – yes. I have that. I get that. But I never saw myself as draining or needy. And I never expected to hear that from someone I thought cared about me.

Funny, I haven’t been able to escape those words for over a decade. They hit a chord, deep in my soul.

It is probably true that I seek external validation of my worth. But I am human. And I like to hear that I am good at what I do or that I am loved and appreciated. I guess some people don’t need that to thrive, but it sure helps me be the best me. Those words don’t bother me so much anymore. It is just a part of my human-ness and it is okay to want to hear how other people feel about you. To know that what you are doing makes an impact or that you are an important person in someone’s life. To know you are wanted. That is okay and it doesn’t make you needy; it makes you human.

I also find it a bit ironic that I would get into a career as a medium where people seek validation. A career where you cannot validate its authenticity with tangible proof.

Being released from those words just recently happened. This past weekend I attended the James Van Praagh workshop. At this workshop, he asked us to do a mediumship exercise where we did a reading for ourselves and ask for messages from spirit that we need to hear.

I don’t often ask for messages for myself. I ask to see glimpses of my own loved ones to know they are okay. To feel them around me. Same things everyone else asks, but I don’t ever sit down and try to do an actual reading for myself like I would for a client and this is exactly what James asked us to do.

After lunch I headed outside and said guide me to the spot where I need to be. I kid you not I walked directly to this tree that had a statue of St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of animals. This is my papa’s saint. It is also the prayer that I have been repeating most often. In fact, I had read it three times that morning before attending the retreat and had read it each morning prior to that.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Landing at this spot was no accident. I sat down and found a quiet centered place in my mind and heart and asked for a message from spirit.

The first thing that I saw was an elephant. She was beautiful. She walked toward me and extended her trunk. Her rich brown eyes were deep. I could see each wrinkle in her trunk and could feel her warm breath. Immediately I heard a voice that echoed my own heartbeat. “You are exactly where you need to be.”

A peaceful calm washed over my whole soul.

Partial image of a black and white elephant

Then she evaporated and behind her were all four of my grandparents. Each in pairs holding hands, smiling and waving. My papa stepped forward and said, “We all love you and we are all with you.”

My heart nearly exploded. Often I wonder if they are proud of me. I wonder what they think of me sharing my mediumship with others. What they think of me as a parent, friend, daughter, wife, human. In that moment, when I heard his words, my heart nearly exploded because their love washed over me. Completely unconditional. They were so happy and so glad to see me.

I share this experience because I think we all need love and validation. I think each of us needs these things to grow and become the best versions of ourselves. You don’t need to be ashamed of wanting these things or asking for them. You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you to do something nice for yourself; you should just be doing it because you deserve time, attention, and affection as well.

There are many people who do this naturally, but one thing I have learned about parenting and motherhood is often we as parents have to put ourselves last to insure that the needs of those we love are met and accounted for. It is important for us to remember to take a day or an hour or ten minutes and do something that helps remind us that we are loved and nourish ourselves so that we can move forward.

the-universe-is-conspiring-in-every-moment-to-bring-me-happiness-and-peace

You are not needy if you do this. You are human. You are worth it.

Until next time,

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End of the year lessons

 

Good gosh that Miss Poehler is dynamite. I really think we would be great friends. She is funny and profound and God love her those are my two favorite things in a human. But unfortunately this post isn’t about Amy Poehler, it’s just about what her words inspired me to write. Just warning you so you aren’t disappointed.

I figured it was high time I share what I am learning about over here in afourytale land. Maybe what I am learning is something you can relate to as well.

Get creative…

We have a great place in my town that let’s you paint pottery and they glaze it for you; Green Glaze Pottery. If you haven’t been it is well worth a visit to check out for an hour or two and the family that runs it is wonderfully kind and helpful. I am sure if you are in a different town that you have a place like it. We have been a couple of times and even had Dana’s birthday party there. It is one of my favorite places. Everyone of us has fun there. Well four of the six of us do and that is a pretty good success rate. Creativity is the expression of your soul. Plus the cup I made wasn’t too shabby. Being creative just makes you feel better. Period.

 

Go camping in December…

It may seem odd, but if you live in California I don’t see why you can’t go camping in December. And I am sure you can in other places, too. We sure had a great time. We found an oasis of forest right outside of the city and as Zach said, “we hit an animal jackpot.” We saw deer, cranes, ducks, geese, wild turkeys and woodpeckers.

We also bundled up and grabbed our umbrellas and went for a hike in the rain. It was my most favorite camping trip ever! But more importantly what the heck are we waiting for?! If there is something you want to do, go do it; time is short. Don’t wait for the perfect time, just go do it. As Miss Amy Poehler says, “Great people do things before they are ready.” I am pretty sure she is some kind of genius I tell you that. And if any of you all out there know her can you let her know that for me. I am sure she already knows it, but it’s nice to hear things like that, you know?


Be silly and let your kids take pictures…

This is a lesson I often forget and have to be reminded of from time to time. I take myself too seriously…I know shocking. But this year there were lots of moments for me to look back on where I was silly with the kids. I hope they remember these times.

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If you have an Amazon Alexa pretty please ask her to tell you a joke. My kids figured this out the other day and she is pretty hilarious. For example: What do you call a small fortune-teller that is hiding from the police?

Wait for it…

A small medium at large! Come on that’s clever and funny.

Plus Alexa tells funny short bed time stories with your name in it. Check them out. So much silly fun.

And to top that off let your kids take pictures. We now have 57 pictures of the boldest turkey I have ever met. Colby could not stop taking pictures of this turkey that stopped by our trailer any time we were cooking something. But he is so proud of those photos.

Stop apologizing…

Son of a nutcracker I wanted to make sure I did more Christmas-y stuff with my kiddos this year. Stuff like…

OR

OR even as simple as this…

But I have only wrapped a third of the gifts, stuff was still arriving from Amazon yesterday and we don’t even have a Christmas cookie in this house.

Heck, I wanted to lose 25 pounds this year and keep the house clean and tidy. Shoot, I started aiming lower and just hoped to keep up with the laundry. But it’s today and none of those things are done.

And I have this hideous habit of apologizing for everything even the stuff I didn’t do. Like being sorry I didn’t make the Christmas crafts or get my Christmas cards out.

We can’t keep apologizing because it focuses on the shoulds. I am not sorry I have rested this past six weeks. I am not sorry, I am not sorry, I am not sorry.

Instead of saying I am sorry – say I am kind, silly, smart, rested, creative, growing, learning, playing. Whatever else that positively fills in the blank after I am, say that instead. “I am sorry” is defeating. It is shame-filled. Only apologize when it’s necessary; don’t let it be your default phrase when something happens or you don’t get to a task on your to do list. And never ever apologize for something you feel.

it-takes-years-as-a-woman-to-unlearn-what-you-have-been-taught-to-be-sorry-for-1

Miss Amy, I am learning not to be sorry, but to be comfortable. This 38-year-old, flabby skin is starting to feel just right these days. Okay, okay not the flabby part, but I am working on it. Any way, get creative, don’t wait to do fun stuff and stop apologizing. And that my friends is a great bunch of things to get yourself for the holidays. No need for Amazon Prime, wrapping paper or paper mache. You are welcome.

Happy Holidays,


P.S. I know some of you are wondering where the holiday cheer posts are. I decided this year to do one big post and it is coming. We have two more gifts to deliver. Once those are done I will write it. Everything else has been delivered and well received I assure you. Thank you to all who contributed.

 

 

I still suck at small talk and other things I probably shouldn’t write out loud!

So I am back on the kinder party circuit. You know the parties where parents stay and mingle while the kids party. Yep; that kind of party. As I watched my kiddos bowl yesterday I struggled with small talk. I did better mind you; I actually sought a couple of people out and chatted, but each conversation lasted two minutes at most because after “Hi, how are you?” I have nothing left in the tank. Instead I have to hold my tongue. My mouth and heart want to discuss Aleppo, the epidemic of parents who have forgotten to teach their children respect for authority, and how do we find a way to quell a nation of entitled youth.

See, I suck at small talk.

So my kids had a blast at the party and that is why I was there anyway. Sometimes, I just feel bad that they are learning social skills from an awkward introvert.

We leave that party and head to a Christmas gathering with our friends. We have all been friends since college, husbands and wives, but the other three couples had children six years behind us; live in the same city; and their kids attend the same prestigious private school. I on the other hand, have a child taller than me with a deep, rich voice and my youngest kids are older than most of their oldest kids.

They can socialize about what is going on at the school and have common interests and I still don’t fit in among people I should. While they talk about picky eaters and where they buy their kids clothes – I can’t even relate. I hear myself say, “I buy clothes at Children’s Place and Target because the kids grow too fast and are too hard on their clothes for me to spend a lot of money on them.” And the looks on the faces when I say that are like I am some kind of whackadoodle and maybe I am, but it makes me feel old. I remember caring about that stuff when my oldest was four and my youngest was almost two. I remember buying GAP clothes and worrying about them not eating their dinner. Now with four kids aged six and over I know they have to eat some of their dinner or they don’t get anything else that night; that they will live and most of the time don’t even remember that the struggle over dinner ever happened. I have learned that we care way more about brand when that is of so little importance. What really matters are that our children are clothed, fed and loved.

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See I let my kids dress themselves. This is how we roll to school.
And now I can’t really complain about private education anymore either. I used to think when people paid for private school they were paying for status. On top of that, I truly believed public education was just as good as private. In some places I still believe that is true. But alas, after my daughter was choked by a boy at school to the point where she couldn’t breathe; enough was enough. What was so sad to me was the teacher was so desensitized to the actions of this young boy she just asked my daughter to document the incident and nothing else came of it. Her teacher was so used to that boy’s behavior she didn’t even think it worth mentioning to me. This was the last straw in a sting of incidents spanning a year and a half. We knew she needed a safer place to learn.

We toured a private school and decided to send her there. She starts after the break and I feel like a weight has been lifted. She is finally going to be in a classroom where the students respect the teacher and are excited to learn. That I have to pay an arm and a leg for that still makes my stomach churn, but she needs a safe place to thrive.

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This girl deserves her best chance. All kids do.
Hmmm…what else is running around in my head these days that you don’t want to hear about…well you may not get a Christmas card from us this year. Yep; I have been late in the past, but I am not even close to getting started this year and Christmas is Sunday. You might get a Happy New Year card instead. It isn’t that I am feeling Bah Humbug toward Christmas; even though this post probably sounds that way; it is more that I am feeling like I just wanted to slow things down this year and savor Christmas. To really hunker down and feel the Spirit of the Season and it got away from me again. I am not finished with the shopping or the wrapping and it is a week away. None of the Spirit of the Season stuff happened. And I guess I am struggling with traditions a bit and what I would like Christmas to look like and what actually happens.

Maybe it is just that my oldest son only has six more years in this house with us before he goes off to college and while that seems like a good while the first twelve of his life have happened in a blink and even though I have tried to savor it; it is flying by faster than I can catch it.

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This is as close as we get to a family picture these days

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Yep nose picking shenanigans
I know I am writing about first world problems here when much bigger world problems take precedent, but when these nonsense, first world problem words started to flow through my brain I just had to write them down. I just had to think about something else for a brief second. I think that is really why I feel like Oscar the Grouch. When innocent women, men, and children are being killed and no one is stopping it you just feel helpless and when you feel helpless and sad sometimes I think it manifests itself into anger and I am just angry that we live in a world where yet another holocaust can happen and the people with the ability to stop it can’t or won’t. So I thought maybe my first world, nonsense spewing would relieve some of that distress and Oscar-ness. Maybe that is the real reason I can’t whip up the Christmas card; I can’t send out a smiling happy picture of my children when in their faces I see the safety, love and security that all children should feel in the world and yet so many don’t have access to it. It breaks my heart into so many pieces I can’t complete the task.

And that my dear readers is a whole lot of junk I probably should not write out loud, but did any way because that is what I do. I do things any way.

Love your people tight and if you can love other people’s people tight, too. And teach your little people to love other people’s people. I know that is a whole lot of people, but that is what there is…a whole lot of people and all of them need love.

Until next time,

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The messenger

Vague

Amazing

Insightful

Wise

Funny

Wordy

Transparent

Authentic

Relatable

Lunatic

Bully

Hate

Hypocrite

Liar

Monster

Sinner

Fraud

Stupid

Ignorant

Racist

Words are so powerful. Each of us has either been lifted or defeated by a few simple words.

Since an early age I have had a love of words. I love the shape and sounds of them. I have been in awe of their power both spoken and written. Words can stir people into action and bring people to their knees.

What I find amazing is the contrast of what we crave as human – positive affirmation and what we consume and download in mass quantity by choice – negativity.

Reality TV – Real Housewives, Real Crime Dramas, 24 hour Media Coverage of anything awful. These are highly watched, highly rated programs.

Ever read comments on social media posts? I know you do. One thing that always strikes me is those comments can get negative really quickly. People who are “friends” can exchange words through a screen that can alter their relationship. Words can create emotional wounds that are never forgotten.

It is interesting to me that while we want so much to be loved, accepted, and understood we purchase and buy into so much visual and auditory negativity. That we can quickly and angrily type messages to one another that are full of rage and hurt.

Many struggle with self-love. That has always been a struggle for me. Always. I need the Chip Gaines voice of self-confidence! Regardless of how we feel inside, it is how we treat others that matters when our time is up. I have that information on pretty good authority.

It is okay to disagree with one another, of course. We have to be open to critique. We can learn a great deal through the sharing of different opinions. It can change us for the better. Plus the world would be boring if we were all exactly the same. But it is paramount that we are respectful in our dissent. It isn’t open season for a personal attack because your opinion differs from another; especially in a world where tearing others down is becoming the norm; we must restrain from attacking one another and stick to thoughtfully and respectfully stating our difference of opinion.

Positivity starts and ends with us. If we focus together to be positive in our rhetoric and our actions that will change the world. Great leaders, local and worldly, are remembered by their actions, of course, but also by the words they chose to speak. And so are we. Maya Angelou was right when she said that people will be remembered by how they make others feel. Our words carry our emotions into the world. 

If we are going to change the tide of a nation it must begin by how we choose our words and actions. The frequency of the energy we radiate is the frequency of the energy that comes back to us. It is important to choose our words and tone carefully. There are people who I admire who have defined themselves as warriors and neighbors when it comes to their delivery of love and good news.

I think some of us are messengers. I am a messenger. Those of us that feel compelled to write and speak. Those of us that are filled with a knowing that we must share; we are the messengers. With the choice to share our words and have them read and then spread like fire we must remember that those words have power to build and to break. My choice is to deliver messages of hope, faith, peace, love and vulnerability. I choose to be a messenger that connects and builds. Some messengers are making the choice to breathe negativity and fuel a fire that continues to divide and separate. They think the power of potent and open hostility is what is going to spur change. It just breeds contempt and mistrust.

I know that when the warriors, neighbors, and messengers all move in a direction of positivity and love it will turn the tides of that flame. The good that flows through their actions will extinguish the pain and division. There is more good in this world than bad. I feel it in my bones; I know it in my heart, I see it in the quiet day to day actions of the people in my community. We have to stop paying attention to the negativity. Stop allowing its voice to roar.

So my friends, neighbors, warriors and messengers choose carefully and wisely and with a compassionate heart to listen as you work. To spread and share compassion and positivity so that we can build bridges to one another and continue to make this world a better place for each and every soul in it. It starts and ends with us.

With hope,


 

The time when acupuncture broke me

So I have been going to acupuncture for the past few months. It has really helped me. I know some people think it is whack and that I should probably see a real doctor, but after years of seeing doctors with no avail; I followed my soul and it led me to Anna. Plus, I am beyond what people think. I know this is working and I am all over people thinking I am crazy. Crazy is my jam.

crazy-is-my-jam

Ahnna is amazing. She is sweet and smart and best of all she listens to every word I say and she believes me.

Each time, I have gone something miraculous has happened. A little piece of me keeps getting put back together. The first time she truly set my energy right; I felt lighter and more centered than ever.

A few appointments later we talked about healing and how to make sure that I am also taking care of myself. Anna shared with me the work of Florence Scovel Shinn. Florence lived in the early nineteen hundreds and was a teacher and healer of sorts who prescribed words to people. You heard me right; she prescribed words. See crazy is my jam. Prescribing words is so simple and so right on the money.

Florence felt that what you put into the world came back to you – if you ask you shall receive. Sound familiar? There have been many before and after her that shared that same philosophy. Regardless, I think it is pure genius. Getting back to Anna, she incorporates Florence’s thought into her practice and has a blessing bowl filled with words that patients/clients can take on their way out.

Like I said we had been working on me taking better care of me during my session and on my way out, Anna said, “Don’t forget take a word.”

So, I reached in my hand and pulled out a word. Turned out it was just the word I needed – ‘beautiful’. That was the beginning of a transformation in me.

At the next appointment we did some serious energy cleansing. I know this will sound crazy, but she truly cleaned out all of this heavy weight I had been carrying in regards to being a medium.

Even though I believed in my gift at each of the reading appointments I went to I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop for the jig to be up; I guess maybe I didn’t feel deserving of the gift and that at some point it would be taken away. On top of that, I always felt the need to prove to people what I did was real and well there just isn’t an exact science to mediumship.

While she worked, Anna talked about the history behind mediums, healers, and empaths and how those people, especially women, were persecuted throughout history and even killed for using their gifts. She felt that I needed to let go of all that history and weight. She kept saying it was okay for me to do what I did and that I needed to be comfortable with it. I didn’t need to carry the past burdens of other women like me with me to each reading any more. Something inside me snapped. I wouldn’t fully understand until later what exactly, but I left that day and pulled the word ‘faith’ from the blessing bowl. I clutched it tight in my grip because my intuition sensed I would be needing it.

That was one rough week, none of my readings went well. My sales job had some huge surprises I hadn’t expected. I was trying to navigate those hurdles and feeling overwhelmed. I was emotional and more exhausted than I had been in some time. Something had to give. By the end of that week I was closing down my medium business and choosing to focus on my family to rein it in an attempt to slow my life down.

What also happened in the time between then and my next appointment seemed ordinary, but I think it was another message whispering, yep you are on the right path.

I became obsessed with Fixer Upper on HGTV. We were able to watch the show as a whole family and it was just so wholesome and authentic. Two things that soothe my soul. During those few weeks, I received an email about The Chip and Joanna Gaines Story being on audible and I bought the book. It was great because we all listened in the car and Chip and Joanna read the book. I was moved to tears more than once. Not that anything that was happening to them was happening to me, but so much of what they were reading aloud hit home.

One of the main chords of the book is Joanna listening to her intuition and always choosing to put her family first. Another way the universe is letting me know I made the right choice. And I kid you not, I finally got to the dentist after skipping several appointments and what was on TV in the room they took me to, Fixxer Upper.


I know I seem to be talking about two different things, but I am not. We are given little messages each and every day and my messages keep intersecting. So the other day when I went to my acupuncture appointment I explained to Anna how I thought my last appointment broke me, but in a good way. She obviously didn’t like that at all. But it had. It broke my misconceptions about myself. The last remaining threads that were holding me back from true joy and happiness were severed and I ended up making choices that helped me choose me and to see my life for its successes and strengths. To help me see myself as beautiful and full of faith. To really center myself and get back to being who I was and focus on that.

That in itself is a miracle.

But, Anna still didn’t like my analogy. So we decided that she had found my reset button and put me back on the path to finding my true joy in life. The small, simple every day things that matter most. Taking care of me will help me take better care of everyone else.

Anna sent me away with homework like she always does; she printed a page of quotes from Marianne Williamson. The below really hit home with me, so I share it with you, too.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves,’Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually , who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson.

Sheesh, another crazy tidbit I have always felt that I was a part of something bigger that I mattered on a great scale, but tried to shove that feeling deep down. I would always give myself a hard time – “Michelle,” I would say, “be humble you are no more important than anyone else.”

But that is just it. We are all that important. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. We all matter on a great scale and how we interconnect with one another is that bigger piece. We all have to shine brightly. Can you imagine what that would look like? All of us doing the best to be our best selves for ourselves and each other? Holy, holy. I want that, but in order to have that I have to start with myself and guess what so do you.

So back to Joanna and her story… Joanna ends the book by talking about how she decided to stop surviving her life and start thriving in her life. Oh my gosh! This is something I say all the time – you have to find your joy. You have to find it and choose it every day. Sometimes you have to choose joy minute by minute. That is just how life is. It can be your darkest day, your darkest hour, your darkest minute and you have a choice to make do you let the dark swallow you up whole or do you choose joy and cling to it with all you have left? I chose joy.

I am choosing to let my light shine.

shine-bright-like-a-diamond

What does that mean exactly? I am still choosing my family and putting that first, but I am not going to hide who I am or shrink down in size to heal myself. I am going to continue to shine bright like a diamond (I can’t help it Rhianna has damaged me forever, any time I hear shine bright it now has to be followed by like a diamond) and be my awesome self. Helping others is also my jam. I am going to make sure Holiday Cheer gets off without a hitch and I am going to be more present for my family and friends.

I do think that my path is a forever winding. Last night, I just picked up Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted and she talks about flipping the way we think and truly being a child of God. I know that I am being spoken to by the Universe. I am listening and praying and somehow all these messages that are flooding in are going to sort themselves out. There are big epiphanies coming I can feel it. Good ones; ones that are going to help fill my life with even more joy and faith.

But for right now the main message I want to share with you is this – choose joy; whatever that is and stop just surviving your life. Do the things you love. I know you have to pay the mortgage, but you don’t have to run yourself ragged doing all the things, making all the beds, scrubbing all the floors, mending all the fences, mowing the lawn every week, whatever it might be that is keeping you from digging into your life and relishing the good parts.

I am also not naive; I know people face real pain every day. People are fighting an up hill battle against disease, loss, pain, grief, or finances. And that can tear you apart and leave you as a shell of your former self. But I have witnessed first hand people in their darkest hour choosing joy, so I know I can too. My advice, you can take time to grab your kids and run out to the front yard to watch the beautiful sunset. You can choose to not lose your cool when the house is mess and instead get everyone involved in cleaning up together – make it a game. You can take your loss and turn it into something worth fighting for. You can take your pain and flip it into helping others. Life can be fun and full of joy. It is all in how you look at it.

crazy-is-my-jam-1

A cup half full kind of girl,

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Permission to say no thank you

It’s Friday afternoon and I am beyond looking forward to the weekend and a little relaxation. As I sit in this safe, cozy chair I want to bare my soul to you. See you my dear readers are family and friends who support me. You have come to mean a great deal to me as I journey to find my most authentic self.

Lately my life has felt like a ball of yarn that someone grabbed the free end of and let unravel all over a hard wooden floor. As I have tried to scoop it back up and wind into back into a neat, little ball I have done a great deal of praying and introspection.

Is this where I am supposed to be?

Was not teaching this year the right thing?

Should I have shut down my side business?

Am I making the right choices?

I waited for God or the Universe to answer me back, but there was only SILENCE. But I have deep faith, and I knew God would answer back. So I just kept patiently listening…show me which step is next. I thought of all the ways God could answer me. That is when I remembered my very first prayer on this journey of authenticity; I prayed for friends. God had answered with abundance as he usually does. So I started to think about what I was hearing from them.

20-ideas

Strung together they may still seem random to you, but to me it was all the answers I had been looking for.

I am going to back up a minute because I think the whole picture is important. For the last decade and a half, which is most of my adult life, I have been preparing for WHAT I was going to be; not ever really focusing in on the WHO I was. See I only lived on my own for two years out of college and the majority of that time I was dating my future husband and just starting my career as a teacher. We were married and in that first year of marriage I was pregnant and preparing for motherhood. We went on to have four kids in the next seven years. I was always preparing to be…

a teacher

a wife

a mother

The twins were two before the haze of my life was starting to wear off. Don’t get me wrong I loved all the moments, but they moved by at warp speed and I was so busy being WHAT I was that I never did stop to define the WHO. Maybe this didn’t happen to you, maybe you had it all figured out. But I sure didn’t.

So when I started to try and find my authentic self to see who I was, I figured out a couple of things quickly. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to have deep relationships and have a life with purpose. I thought that meant career, home, and self all at once. So I set out to do all the things.

And I did. I performed well at my full-time job, now in sales, but none the less I rose to the challenge of a new career and was executing it well. I was raising healthy, well-mannered, kind children. I had a solid partnership and loving marriage with my best friend. I started a side business that was beginning to flourish. And last, but certainly not least, I was writing. A dream I have had from a very young age and to my surprise people were reading my little blog. Slowly at first, but more and more with each passing year.

I really was doing it all and doing it well. But with so many balls in the air at once things were slipping and falling. Unfortunately, my focus was on the things that dropped, not the things that rose to the surface. I was just noticing the things that went wrong or didn’t get accomplished.

I was running on empty.

It was too fast. I was on a hamster wheel and I needed to get off.

Fear gripped me though. Wasn’t I supposed to fill up my life with the things I wanted? And I was successful, so why pull back? Outside looking in; I had it all. But…

I was in the worst physical shape of my life and nearing an emotional low. How was this happening?I had listened to my intuition and by some blessing or luck I was achieving all of my dreams. But the problem was in the whirlwind of doing it all I wasn’t actually enjoying them. So I have started stripping things down. If something didn’t feel right no matter the public humiliation or sense of failure at the time I stopped doing it.

I needed to put my oxygen mask on first.

Maybe saying no to soccer so we weren’t gone all afternoon was saying yes to the precious down time we needed to re-energize. 

So I stripped it all away – learning the things I didn’t want to do.

I’m still a work in progress, but I knew being a mom was what I really wanted. So I chose to put my family first. I am home afterschool and at bedtime. If my kids need me, I drop what I am doing and make sure they get what they need.

I am also putting me first. I am trying to find my way back to running. I am writing again. I have made overdue dentist and doctor appointments and am trying acupuncture to put myself back together again.

I am also taking stock in my success. My mediumship gift is just that a gift. It belongs to me and God will continue to show me when and where to use it. If it is meant to be a business again when my kids are older it will be. Just because others are demanding it of me doesn’t mean I have to share or answer their demands. My family and myself need to come first. Each of us is a gift. We must nourish ourselves, too.

I was “fucking crazy” not to like myself. I may be an introvert and run and hide. But I am kind, hard-working, bright, determined, compassionate and contrary to what I said on an Internet questionnaire 10 years ago – I would LOVE to be my friend.

So the last of what I heard hit home, too. I know that what I am doing is the right thing. When I got to hold my friend’s infant son for the first time, I was “glowing” holding that baby. I felt a sense of peace wash over me. God was answering me. Yes, taking the time for my friends and family – this is right.

I can say no thank you or maybe later. I do not have to do all the things all at once.

you-can-do-one-thing-really-well-two-things-okay-and-three-things-not-at-all-1

 

So I guess what I am hoping to share with you all is…

have faith…

If you can’t find or see your answers, don’t stop looking for them. Handle yourself with kindness. You have permission to NOT do all the things all at once or ever if you don’t want to.

A wise person always tells me, “You can do one thing really well, two things okay and three things not all.” It is okay to slow things down and focus on the one to two things you really want to do well; the rest will fall into place.

you-can-do-one-thing-really-well-two-things-okay-and-three-things-not-at-all

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More musings from around here…

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted lessons for the summer so far, but my mind is a bit filled with jumbles of ideas I have finally decided to write them down all at once.  I am writing these things I am thinking about down to keep my own sanity, feel less alone and maybe just maybe these are things you think, too and then we can think them together.

1. I don’t like to freak people out.

I don't like to freak people out contrary to what this photo shows.
I don’t like to freak people out contrary to what this photo shows.
Recently I was told that I freak people out. Here is what is important to know; I am incredibly skeptical of my gift. I treat it as a gift and I do not abuse it. The only time I ever communicate with the deceased in reference to other people is during a scheduled reading.

I CANNOT read minds. I DO NOT do readings on the spot. I DO NOT pay attention to spirit during a run of the mill get together. They respect the awkwardness I feel about seeing them and usually keep their distance. This is important to me to keep these things separate. As Peter Parker says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Don’t think I am getting high and mighty – the point is that I treat the ability to speak with the dead as a gift and there is a responsibility that comes with that. It isn’t a parlor trick for fun; it is something that is possible and needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

2. There are tons of people who do the same thing as you and there will always be someone better than you.

Stay in your lane
Stay in your lane
To this I say – STAY IN YOUR LANE. Comparison seems to be a naturally occurring phenomenon for most humans. It can be a destructive habit. You need to stay in your own lane. I believe life is about achieving your own personal best; not your neighbor’s, mentor’s or even a societal ideal “personal best”. You just need to pay attention to what you want to achieve, stick to that and do the best you possibly can; that is good enough.

3. The Facebook Showcase

Sometimes I get wrapped up in looking at everyone else’s best self and how spectacularly shiny other people seem and I forget that I am usually seeing the best parts of them. People don’t always post a snapshot of when the kids have gone BAT SHIT CRAZY and the HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A TORNADO hit it and the DOG THREW UP and the PHONE IS RINGING and you have a DEADLINE TO MEET and PEOPLE ARE WAITING TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT with you and you still haven’t got the 10 minutes you need to look at your schedule to answer them – no people don’t post that REAL LIFE stuff. They post the best moments; the smiling shiny moments. We all have them and that is the stuff we want to remember, but really there are moments of all kinds every day and I need to remember that everybody has both kinds of moments.

4. Put your load down

Just set it down – it doesn’t have to be folded and pretty. Just drop it and pick it back up when you can.
My therapist missed me…not really I just decided to start back up again. Basically because well; I have a breakdown about every 4-6 weeks where everything makes me sad and I feel so OVERWHELMED I think I am going to just explode from the amount of crap I am trying to get accomplished in a day. Which I know is silly, I should not be sad and I should not feel overwhelmed, but then I do and then I feel bad about feeling that way. Any way you get it the same vicious cycle. I know some of you are thinking it is a hormonal thing, but it isn’t – I checked – okay there may be some of that there. Any way, when I was talking with her last week we realized I feel OVERWHELMED, I finally set my load of THINGS – HAVE TOS, SHOULD HAVES, WANT TOS, DIDN’TS – down. But these feelings sort of force me to set them down. Of course, my wise therapist says, “Have you ever thought maybe you should set those down more often?”

Well the clouds parted and light shone down from above and there were birds singing – maybe not, but it felt like that. I had written before about another wise friend who said I needed to remember to put my gas mask on first (you know when you are on a plane and the attendant tells you if you are flying with small children put your mask on first before you help them – that her is analogy to me – I know I have really smart friends). I need to at least once a day put my gas mask on first. For me this is exercise and reading. I need to find ways to fit this into my day first and the rest of the stuff can follow.

I am working on this – I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS and that my friends is a beautiful thing. I don’t ever want to be a polished piece of art; I want to be a messy, bunch of paint thrown against a wall in many different colors on different days so when I get to the end of my life and look back I can see all the wacky pieces and see that in all that chaos and uncertainty there was a beautiful work of art.

5. There is no introvert-ing today.

Yesterday, I put all my stuff down (actually took the day off and left my phone in the glove compartment of my car) and spent the day with friends and our kids at the pool. Can I just say it was like breathing in pure oxygen? The mommy guilt that I had felt melted away in the sunlight. Sitting with those moms who talked about their days, which mirrored my own, was refreshing.

At one point as I was off on my own, one of the moms said, “The mommies are over here, Michelle.” And another said, “There is not introvert-ing today, Michelle.” It was just so nice to be with people who knew me, understood where I was at and lovingly reigned me back in. There are no words to express the gratitude I feel for yesterday, for those friends, for the sunshine, and those precious moments of sharing that reminded me we really are all in this together.

6. What the hell is up with media?

I just have to add this because – really – they are the problem. News reporting has become a complete circus – it is overdone, way too dramatic, and way to slanted. What happened to an impartial recording of events that included both good, bad, and just plain old stories?! Sometimes you can find that still on your local news, but I am at a loss with the news. Years ago I stopped watching it because I couldn’t have it on with kids around. So I would read it, but now even that has become difficult. I am just saying…

7. Junior High

Holy Freaking Fruit Loops

HOLY FREAKING FRUIT LOOPS – my oldest is going to be starting Junior High in under four weeks – WHAT THE WHAT?! That is all. My mind is still reeling with thought and yes, I will be throwing up after I drop him off the first day.

Promotion

That is mostly it…hopefully you gained something from my jumble and maybe you feel a little less alone. I am hoping now that some of these things sit with me better and make some peace with my own mind.

Until next time,

signature

P.S. Yes, I used a lot of CAPITALS. YES THEY WERE NECESSARY. No that does not mean I am yelling – it means I am saying it with emphasis.

Goodnight 36…

As I lay down my head on the last day of my 36th year I wanted to think back on this wonderous year…

In a great green life there was a book and a big, blue monster truck…

And a picture of four little kiddos jumping to the moon…

And there were two little nieces loved just to pieces…

And a pair of pooches and a little flocked tree…

And dishes and laundry and a bowl full of rush…

And a quiet wise owl whispering hush.

Goodnight book…

Read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight blue monster truck.

Big Blue Monster Truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight four little kiddos jumping to the moon.

Four little kiddos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight fun road trips and all the beaches…

Roadtrips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight two little nieces loved just to pieces.

niece 1Niece 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And goodnight pooches.

pooches

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight little flocked tree.

Little Flocked Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight laundry.

laundry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight Pink-eye and good riddance.

pink eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight 2nd Annual Holiday Cheer.

2nd Annual Holiday Cheer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And goodnight laundry. Why oh why are you always here?

more laundry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight twins’ first soccer season and She is Beautiful 10K Run.

soccer

She is Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight Disneyland.

Disneyland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and goodnight dear cousins and friends, I love you each and every one.

wine stroll

friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight laundry there you are again.

laundry again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight cabin.

cabin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And goodnight to the quiet wise owl whispering hush because I love you this much.

wise owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight 11 years as I know many more will come.

11 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnight first preschool performance.

preschool

 

 

 

 

 

 

and goodnight to my 36th year it was a blessed one.

Goodnight sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing all of you another year full of love,

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Be – you – tiful

My most recent homework from my therapist was to say 3 nice things about myself daily and then finally to say 1 of those things out loud to a family member.

I know, seems easy right? Not easy for me.

In fact it has been the most difficult homework assignment ever! I have spent most of my life being who people thought I was.

“Whether true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and particularly on their destinies, as what they do.” 
― Victor HugoLes Misérables

“Perfect child”

“Responsible”

“Confident”

“Leader”

“Hard-working”

“Smart”

I know that these are great things to be, but I spent so much time being those things that I didn’t really know what was me and what was just my reputation.

So, homework assignment in hand; I had to really think about me and who I actually am.

What do I like? What do I do well? What makes me, me?

This all got me thinking about how I like being some of the things other people think about me. Like, responsible and hard-working. Those are two things that I think are deeply ingrained in my soul.

But just thinking about the word “perfect” makes me SHUDDER.

I am IMPERFECT, just one great big beautiful oops.

In fact, Beautiful Oops is also one of my favorite books. If you haven’t read it. Buy it. Read it. Read it to your children. Buy one for a friend.

Beautiful Oops

This short children’s book wonderfully illustrates how making mistakes is natural and that so much learning and grace can come from mistakes.

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Now I am not saying that we should strive to make mistakes; I am just saying we should be comfortable in making them as long as we learn from them and see them as opportunities for growth. But I digress, point is I like being imperfect. There is a great deal of beauty in the imperfect.

I also am a good mom. I am the kind of mom that let’s her little girl plant kisses in the garden and makes sure that it grows into something tangible…

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I am the kind of mom that helps her kids make forts, masks, 6 foot long drawings, and make their very own salsa.

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And always makes sure we have birthday cake pancakes for special occasions.

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But I am also the mom that always explains why, that has never-ending hugs and kisses, is incredibly patient and apologizes for mistakes. I am the kind of mom that always puts her family first and loves unconditionally.

I also realized recently, that despite spending the past 10 years as a hermit and afraid of making connections, that I am a FRIEND JUNKIE.

When I decided to do this whole vulnerable and live out loud business I never thought that I would end up making such great friends or needing them around so much. And I have made GREAT friends.

This last little while, I have spent a lot of time with them, too and when I don’t see them I am lonely and I miss them. This is weird for me because I have spent a good deal of time convincing myself I didn’t need friends. Well, I totally need them and kind of adore them and wish I could see all of them everyday. I know I don’t have pictures of some of you (Debbie, Dorothy, Janet, Nadien, Alyssa, everyone…but you are loved none-the-less). I love my friends!

Me and the bestie
Me and the bestie
Cheese!
Cheese!
Crafty Rebecca
Crafty Rebecca

And my family – I adore my family. I am still head over heels in love with my husband and feel so blessed to have 4 great, funny, AMAZING children.

Love my husband
Love my husband

My dad, mom and two sisters are the best and I love them dearly.

mom & dad
mom & dad
Me and My sista
Me and My sista
sister
sister

And my niece is pretty amazing, too. I love her to pieces!

fairy princess
fairy princess

I have also come to realize that I am kind. I LOVE helping others and making other people happy. That is really important to me.

Today while I was running, I also realized that there is an athlete that lives inside of me. She is kind of awesome and I have to do a better job of helping her thrive.

Even though most of the time I am terribly afraid to do new things; I love to do and learn new things. I love to bake and am pretty good at it, too. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass, going on walks, and curling up with a good book.

Silly

Most of the time though I am just a silly girl doing her best to find her way to the best version of herself. I want to be the kind of adult I hope my kids become.

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So here is to believing I can be the best version of myself and to completing my homework assignment…

I am imperfect.

I am kind.

I am a good mom.

I am a helpful person.

It’s a start.

Shine on my friends…

M