Tuesday, January 29, 2013


make your mark.  have your say.
record your thoughts and feelings:
reflect on the important things in your life.
it will grow into a valued collection of your unique viewpoint.
when the time is right, give it to your children.
they will cherish it.

-from Now Is the Time...170 Ways to Seize the Moment

i think it's safe to say that i leave my mark...be it a blessing or a curse, but if i am anything i think i am memorable.  as for what, i'm not so sure...but, i like to think it's a good thing.

i reflect...i think...all. the. time.  i think that's part of why i have a hard time focusing sometimes...maybe it's my own version of ADD.  whatever.  it's exhausting and frustrating at times, but i seem to be wired that way so i try and work with it.

here's the thing...i'm actually pretty simple.  some of the things that are important in my life... people...relationships...memories and moments...books, journals, beautiful stationary, finding the perfect pen...the way the sun lights the edges of big huge clouds and makes them glow...watching my little girl figure out how to do something incredible on the ice or hearing her say "way to go mom!" when i've actually done something right...my dad's blue eyes...the way i feel whole when my sisters stand next to me...my mom teaching me how to make her potato soup after never knowing if we would do anything like that again...the way i feel when i pull off a really great event and see how happy everyone is when they are there...hearing jim brickman playing on the stereo in the other room...charlie's trusting brown eyes and soft ears...the way colin says my name...knowing charlotte was healthy...the first time i held joel...the way i feel a little stronger when i wear gran's silver ring...knowing i can take care of m and i...writing something and seeing it in print...sharing a simple moment with a stranger and knowing i will never forget it...knowing people are praying for me even without asking...the excitement of going someplace new and the comfort of returning home...climbing into a freshly made bed with nice, clean sheets...a great cup of coffee...having someone thoughtful enough to make breakfast for me...a hand to hold...a really good hug...my mismatched pieces of lu-ray dishes and my china with the daisies...pictures that remind me of moments i will always treasure...and the dream of what else my life may hold.  okay, i realize most of those aren't things but rather feelings or moments or events...but they have all left an impression, each a part of who i am and what makes me unique.

and...some of the randomness that is taking up residency in my brain at this moment:
this week is overwhelming to say the least.  i'm so afraid of what i'm forgetting, what i won't accomplish.  i have a huge event on saturday that needs to be perfect nevermind eight company meetings and a mess of other stuff.  
i see a surgeon tomorrow...honestly, i'm praying for the ability to trust whatever he says.  i know i can't change the outcome...i can't change what is going on in my body...but, i want to trust him and not continue to dwell on "what if?"  yes, i'm scared...i wish i wasn't, but i am.  there is no one to help me make a decision if he gives me options.  i believe i'm okay...but, something changed when i felt that lump...like a piece of my security was instantly ripped away...  i've always thought i was fairly mindful of time and the importance of making moments count...but, that is all amplified now...especially when it comes to m.
i still love my little bow on my wrist.  more now, actually.
third graders think being double jointed is hilarious.  i think m is hilarious when she tells me about her two friends who are.
sincerity and kindness.  we need more of both.  in the end, who gives a shit (sorry, but it fit) about who was right about almost anything?  but, we remember those who treated us with sincere kindness...who always made us a priority and put their needs aside to make sure we knew we mattered.
exercise.  just do it.  you will feel better.  right...i should do that.  but, it's cold and that makes me want to hibernate.  those muscles won't tighten themselves.  damn it.
i can't wait to see the girls friday night!  there is never enough time for everything we need to talk about, but at least it's something.

i actually said it the other day...i said "i'm a writer" to a photographer who shoots things for us at the hospital when we were talking about an article he had tried to write.  he said something about how he should run it by me if he ever does that again because he's not a writer and since i'm in marketing i could probably help...and then it just kind of spilled out..."i'm a writer.  i mean, it's only a blog.  but i write."  and i didn't take it back.

"fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
 - william wordsworth

Thursday, January 24, 2013


do you ever find yourself wondering what life has in store for you?  do you ever get so wrapped up in what lies ahead that you can't even see what might be going on right now?  i know i do it all the time.  i am always looking at least one step ahead, mostly trying to figure out how to control the outcome of some situation if i'm truly honest about it.  stuck somewhere inside my head, thinking about how to handle something or someone to get what i want or to somehow twist fate into giving me what it is i think is best for me.  so, there i am, stuck someplace other than right here...worrying about something i have next to no control over...and wasting moments that i will never get back. 

i was born a worrier.  that's no secret.  my gran was a textbook worrier and that trait skipped my father and landed squarely on me.  i can remember as a child not being able to sleep and making my stomach hurt because i was over-thinking something.  i would walk from my bedroom through the house to the family room so i could hear my mom say "you're just worrying.  you're fine.  just relax and go to sleep".  and those words were usually enough to calm my mind so that i could allow my body to sleep.  today i'm not much different.  if you know me, you know i am an anxious ball of nerves a lot of the time.  i don't relax well and have fought stomach issues my entire adult life - always worse when something is going on that stresses me out or upsets me.  the only real advantage to all of this is that rather than eat when i'm upset i do the exact opposite and lose weight rather than gain so i guess that's a plus.  i tend to think i have the worrying under control, until someone points it out to me.  okay, to be fair, it's typically a guy who does that because they don't see a reason to worry or because it's easier to not be afraid yourself if you're telling someone else everything is fine.  but, sometimes, it's just easier said than done. 

right now, i am worried.  i've tried not to be.  i've tried to keep it all in perspective.  i want to believe everything is okay, truly i do, but for some reason i'm having a hard time doing that.  see...i look at my life and the first thing i see is m...and i want the world for her.  i know, life isn't perfect, it is what you make of it...it is every experience, every person, every single breath all wrapped up into one and in the end you can't change what you did or didn't do...you can only accept it for what it is.  i feel like there is something in front of me that i can't touch...just out of reach, yet i know i want it.  i don't know...i'm feeling...antsy, restless.  maybe it's the cold...maybe it's because i've felt so overwhelmed at work...maybe it's because there are things i want in my life that do feel just out of reach and i have little control over whether i ever get them or not...maybe it's that i need a vacation, something to look forward to...maybe it's the underlying fear of the unknown right now...honestly, i don't know. 

tonight i went to the chamber banquet.  it was surreal to be there and not be a part of it, to only be watching.  i know the insider's perspective...i saw things the rest of the guests didn't see...and i felt a mix of pride and sadness.  it's funny how you become a part of something and how it becomes a part of you.  how your life becomes woven with other's and how big of an impact a stretch of time can have on who you become.  tonight i saw some things in my life a little bit more clearly and maybe even realized a few things i want to accomplish even more strongly than before.  do you ever just feel like you're being pulled in a certain direction and even if you wanted to stop it you couldn't?  yeah, kinda like that. 

this is kind of all over the place, and i'm sorry about that.  i haven't written much lately and i've felt words bouncing around inside my head (funny, i was thinking "head" but my fingers initially typed "heart"...).  i read these words last night and they really hit me..."you'll know when it's worth fighting for:  when it's lighting your life; when you never feel alone.  savor it, treasure it.  and fight as hard as you can to keep it."  while written about "holding onto love", i have no doubt they could be about many things.  what is worth fighting for?  what lights your life, keeps you from feeling alone?  what makes you want to hold on?  what do you treasure so much that you would fight as hard as you can to keep it?  i can't give you the answer to those questions because for each of us it's different.  but, aside from our children, who or what is that important in your life?  i'm not sure, but perhaps therein lies the key to much of our happiness...our self worth...our greatest desire...the middle puzzle piece...   

Sunday, January 13, 2013


It's funny the things that make a day perfect...Sunday dinner...roast, salad, bread, a bottle of wine....four games of UNO...pillow fights and an incredible amount of laughter. Maybe it was having others to cook for or someone to open the wine...maybe it was having someone to bump into in the kitchen or hearing praise for something so carefully prepared. Or, maybe it was hearing voices other than our own; simple conversation and four people to play a game rather than just two. I honestly don't know, but it was nice, whatever it was.
I miss Sunday dinner...of course, in our family those were usually held right after church around Gran's table. My sense of belonging, my view of family were shaped in those moments. Through stories shared over food prepared purposefully with loving hands we learned where we came from, what made us the family we were. We learned manners and the value of one more chair at the table because somehow there was always enough no matter who came.
I am missing her right now...I'm not sure that will ever fully go away, in fact, I'm fairly certain it won't. I am wishing she had kept diaries so I could somehow know her just a little better. I would like to think there are more similarities than differences between us, but as time passes, I fear that is just my way of hanging onto her.
But tonight, I think I got a small glimpse of what she maybe felt as we were there in her home, around her table...I remember her smile, her bright blue eyes...quietly taking it (us) all in not needing to say much but rather feeling all the love around her...and I now understand why she was so willing to do it week after week...what she gave in those moments was nothing compared to what she received...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A little ink...

I finally did it, finally found something that meant enough to me that I wanted to put it on my body...it is a simple, dainty red ribbon...my take on an old Asian belief (called the red ribbon of fate) that simply says we are all tied to specific people throughout our lives for specific reasons (for love, or friendship, or who knows what) and nothing can keep us apart, not obstacles nor fate because destiny has determined our connection.

I very much believe we all meet the people we are supposed to meet, when we're supposed to meet them for some specific reason. I also believe we all serve some very specific purpose in each other's lives. This helps me make sense of why things happen, especially painful things. Of course, the hard part is knowing when to let go because we aren't meant to hang onto everyone forever...not physically anyway.

So, when I saw this ribbon, and read more about it, I knew without a doubt it was what I wanted. It sits on the inside of my left wrist where I can be reminded always of something I hold very dear.

Friday, January 4, 2013


she turned nine yesterday.  nine.  it sounds so old, so...big.  as usual, i thought a lot about the day she was born, about the night before she came...remembered memories that sadly grow fuzzy with time yet feel somehow just like yesterday.  but, yesterday was different.  it was the first time i didn't see her on her birthday...the first time i only told her happy birthday over the phone...and i missed her. 

she had a hard time leaving this trip...was very clingy and called three times before she was even out of town.  strange for a girl who barely hugs me before boarding a plane for a typical weekend trip.  she is often concerned about what i will do while she is away, asking my plans and who i will be with to make sure i'm not lonely.  but, this time was different.  she didn't ask those things.  she simply said she was going to miss me and that she loved me.  don't get me wrong.  she's having a great trip and is loving the time with her dad and step-mom.  her birthday was great and i have no doubt she is staying busy and not thinking much about me.  but, in light of the strange start to my week...i can't help but wonder if what they say is true - that kids have some sort of a sixth sense, that while there is no way she knew what was going on with me, she still had some strange feeling that something was going to be "off" while she was away. 

this first week of 2013 has been...interesting i suppose.  i find myself not looking forward, not really looking backward, but trying really hard to just be right where i'm at.  if you don't know, that's very hard for me.  honestly, i have no idea what the next 12 months hold.  i'm not even sure what i want them to hold.  and, i don't say that to sound all negative because i'm not at all.  i just don't know what i want out of this year.  as i've said before, i don't make resolutions...i refuse to set myself up for failure right from the get-go.  but, i think if i'm completely honest with myself, i typically have some things in mind for what i would like to at least happen.  but, right now, as i think about it, i seem to be drawing a blank.  maybe that's okay.  honestly, the only thing i can think of that i truly want to make happen this year is a vacation.  i miss traveling...i miss the beach...i want to see someplace beautiful and be somewhere different for a few days.  the problem is, there are a bunch of places i would love to go:  out to virginia beach to see t and meet their new baby, to vegas for our college-girls reunion, back to disneyworld with m, to the beach in fl where i could see friends in tampa, to omaha to see c and meet the youngest two kiddos whom i feel terrible that i haven't met, to some all-inclusive resort where i could just disappear for a few days with nothing but the ocean and fruity beverages in front of me, to chicago to see em, to new york to see steph and all the things i didn't see the first time...really, the list is endless.  i guess we'll see.  but, i'm itching to get out of here for a few days and usually once i get something in my head it doesn't go away until i do something about it.  so, here's to making that happen...to packing my bags and seeing where the road takes me...  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


january first...a brand new year.  the one behind me passed quickly...looking back there are moments that became memories...some hurt worse than i could have imagined and some brought more joy than expected.  people continue to amaze and confuse me.  life is still an evolving adventure and i can't wait to see what this year holds. 

looking back there are definitely a few moments that will stand out in my mind, in my heart, forever...some too personal to share, best kept locked away for only me to cherish...yet many have been put on display for the world to see...my life an open book in the hopes that those who read my words will continue to inspire me to be better, to be more open and honest with myself and in turn everyone else. 

that said...2012 ended in a rather...(i'm not even sure what the right word is...scary, interesting, rough, insightful, overwhelming...all of those and others my mind can't fully put together right now) way.  i don't really know how to tell this story...it is so fresh and it is mine...not one i watched someone else live...but, there is no way to wrap up the past year without including it...

yesterday morning i found a lump in my breast (yes, this is likely the most personal story i could share right now and you're right in assuming this is very hard for me to put into words).  i was in the shower, nothing special, nothing unusual...but as i ran my hand across my chest it was there.  pea-size and hard, undeniably something that wasn't supposed to be there.  i pushed on it, certain i had imagined it...sure that if i kept touching it i would discover that what i thought i had felt wasn't really there.  my mind raced...panicked and scared, all i could think of was m.  yes, i went there...i jumped ahead and thought about everything awful that could happen - i'm a mom, and i'm human and i was terrified.  after a call to the doctor, i was sent straight to the breast center at the hospital for a mammogram...my first at 35.  but, first, i had to go through patient registration...i sat in the room i walk through numerous times each day...felt the fear i have imagined others feel as they wait for their name to be called.  one of the volunteers i talk to quite often was in there, but was kind enough to not ask why i was sitting rather than walking quickly through as i typically do.  i was given a patient wristband and sent for my tests.  the tech asked me to show her where i thought i had felt something and she had no trouble finding it then said that yes, we would go ahead and do a sonogram as well since she was able to tell that there was definitely a lump.  the mammogram was nothing to fear, but maybe it's because i was so anxious to know what was going on.  once i was on the table for the sonogram, she showed me the lump and explained what she was seeing - mostly black (which is good because that indicates fluid), kidney-shaped and the gray spot was most likely a lymph node - all good news from what she could tell.  the radiologist said he thought it was an irregular cyst on a lymph node and told me to come back and have it re-checked in six months.  i'm not okay with the six months of doing nothing about it...i've heard too many horror stories of women doing that and ultimately ending up with something terribly wrong.  so, after talking with a couple people who know way more than i do about this stuff, i am seeing my doctor and asking her opinion.  yes, i'm relieved...of course i am.  does that take away the fear i felt?  no.  nor does it erase the fact i am now a bit more aware of...well, several things...most of which sound way too morbid when typed so i will just leave it at that.

i don't tell you that story for pity or to scare anyone.  i'm not trying to make it out to be something more dramatic than it was because others have experienced way worse, and i have no trouble keeping this in perspective...more so because it made me value the past 12 months even more and made me look forward with a different kind of view than i guess i've had before.  i'm thankful...and i'm excited for this year!  i can't wait to see what this life will become in the days, weeks and months ahead...