Look out world!!!

It’s voting day!!!

I worked out AND blogged all before 7:15 am.

This has the makings of the best day ever!

I am going to stop exclaiming (!). It might be because I promised myself a cup of coffee if I got out of bed to go workout.

Do you ever think through a really great way to address a certain behavior that has been an issue…only to have it come right around and stare you in the face…like you might have something to work on too??? I hate that. I am introspective…and receptive…and I have to learn lessons along with my kids?? Man!

Here’s what I was thinking…there is someone I see regularly (everysingleday) that might (totally does) not have a filter and things just fly out of the eating hole before they are thought through. They are always sorry. We are working on thinking BEFORE we are sorry. I was thinking about how we just never know when our last conversation might be…how when we lose someone, no matter how long we have had them, we would really like just one more chance to listen, hug, speak, you know? Now, I have a worrier, so I can’t let anyone hear, “you should talk nice, because you never know when I might die.” That’s not it…it just made me think of my grandma. I had her love and care and so so many amazing talks and letters and hugs and she was well over 90 when my dad told me over the phone that they were going to make her comfortable and she probably wouldn’t wake up. My world split in two and my heart sort of spilled on the floor, you know? So here I was planning a lesson in care for my kid and it came right back around to me. Am I showing this? Well, I think so…most of the time.

Here was what I came to for a beginning (because mornings can be icky), “good morning sugar…it is going to be such a great day. Let’s choose all of our words with care right from the start, ok? I love you.”

So far, so good.

I’ll let you know what happens when he can’t find matching socks and I’m drying my hair and THEN I have the nerve to expect him to put butter on his own waffle (we KNOW he makes a mess with the butter, but ok, if we want to deal with the mess, he will go ahead and do it).

I’m grateful for each opportunity for connection today.

Have the most amazing voting day and let your voice be heard…you have a story to tell.


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I am here.

I love the way things are always just as I left them when I return to my blog…just like an old friend…we can pick up right where we left off.

I was glad to see a one blog post a day challenge for the month of November. The write my novel this month challenge isn’t quite the thing right now. Visiting my blog each day? I think I can manage that (please note, I do realize it is November 3…I like to think things through and I am careful not to be a perfectionist, so of course I must begin on the 3rd, right?).

I just left my favorite month of the year. A year ago, it changed my life…the power I found in October. This year my challenge was to love each day and welcome whatever lesson might come. This doesn’t feel joyful sometimes, you know? I did it. Some days were not awesome, but I still put the heart on the day as it passed and loved the lesson and sat with the truth it left behind.

Well, November? What do you have in store for me? I cannot accept mere thankful/grateful/gratitude as I already have that practice in place. I might get somewhere with my grateful books not yet printed. Perhaps in appreciation for my gifts, this is the month where I lean in to my talents and put them to use. One or two might have been allowed to sit idle for awhile.


What are you going to do with your November?
I’ve missed you.

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You are not invisible and other treasures

It has been awhile.

It seems my craving for routine has wandered, but not in a bad way I think.

I have been keeping track of my monthly goals.  I’ve looked back over each month with care.  I am still working on organization and it feels great.

I’ve not been journaling or creating daily.  That will return when it is supposed to I suppose.

I think I’ve been busy living and just trying to be present.  It is good.

Do you ever notice this thing about good?  How it spirals and ripples in a beautiful way?  It does.

It was this string of days that called me here to write…three days to be specific.

On Sunday CNN and I made dolls for Children’s Mercy at church and I made two new friends.  One just feels like my people and another was a 94 year old gift I felt so lucky to happen upon.  Making new friends is so exciting, don’t you think?

On Monday I began serious organizing.  While gathering organizing essentials at Goodwill, I happened upon a 4 year old named Diego at the counter.  He was curious about many things.  He rang the bell because he wanted to know if she really would walk over to him even though she was ringing me up.  He liked the breakable bowls I chose and told me so as he held one (which MAY have made his mama nervous – but not me).  We debated about the van keys and if indeed it really was my van or was I just pretending.  We lamented about how cool his curiosity is and how it sure is too bad sometimes people lose their curiosity.  After I paid for my things and was walking away, I heard him say to his mama, “but where did she go???”  In that moment, being missed by my new friend felt like this beautiful gift.

Today in Jazzercise, the instructor said, “You are not invisible.  I can see you!”  She was motivating us I think.  Yet, I knew I was going to quote her.  What a difference it would make if we tried to see how many times within a day we could share this message…you are NOT invisible…I can SEE you.  I’m going to work on that one.

My kids and I went to see Maleficent.  Go.  Do it.  I need to sit with it for awhile.  There are so many lovely layers of message wrapped about the story of true love’s kiss.

I am taking my grateful pictures and will probably post 30 in one day.  

There is so much love and joy and gratitude swimming about I am rather dizzy with it to tell you the truth.

May you have a most beautiful day.

All my love


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My Major Rockstar Hero Girl

I have a teenager now.
13 going on seriously awesome.
We have moments of course…
Mostly? Just so amazing.
Awhile back she was talking to me about a writing assignment. She was to write about one of her heroes. Her choices seemed a bit weak, frankly. I asked a few questions and she seemed a bit unsure. I said, “What about your brother?” She looked at me…and started thinking. She said, “oh my gosh! That is totally him!!! He IS a hero.”
Friends, I nearly cried. This bond my children have…it is not of me and special unto them and such a beautiful thing to witness. The love and connection makes me so happy for them. They will always have this.
Anyway, MC has come through so many struggles and life just feels pretty overwhelming for him on some days. She knows this. She walks with him through his storms…we all do. I forgot about the assignment. Until today…
CNN is the last one to get home. She went right to her bag and dug out a paper. She marched into MC’s room and this is what I heard:

What Makes A Person A Hero?
What makes a person a hero is when a person goes out of his or her way to meet others requests. A hero is a person who isn’t necessarily a brave person it is someone who is willing to give up their needs and wants for others. My hero is my brother MC. MC goes out of his way to make other people feel happy and included. He also goes out of his way to help me and my brother BB. MC is so helpful he helps me do chores and he also is very kind to my friends.
MC is 10 years old and I don’t think I have ever met anyone as nice as my brother. MC will have his moments of being grumpy just like anyone else would. MC is also very smart. He knows how to fix things like TVs, radios, and bikes. He also loves to clean when he is bored…he will clean. I think he is considered a hero because he is always looking for a way to cheer someone up or go above and beyond what he is expected to do to help others.
MC is also considered a hero because even if he is scared of something he doesn’t show it he just faces his fears. He also is very good with old people if they are having a really bad day he will put a smile on their face. He can make just about anybody’s day. He makes my day every day. MC powers through his tough days at school and comes home with a smile on his face.
If something gets lost, MC will keep looking for it until he finds it. One time I lost my earring and he found it. One time my dad trusted MC to help put in my earrings and he did and I didn’t feel a thing. MC never gives up. He goes out and helps my dad about every day on lawns and he earns money and then he gives the money he earns to me and my brother and we all split it. MC is so awesome. He loves to dance and sing. Sometimes when I am really angry he will just do something really funny or he will go out of his way to find a way to cheer me up.
MC always cheers me up. I love him so much. Anywhere MC is he is always helping someone or cheering someone up. One time my brother BB fell and hurt himself and MC who is 14 months older picked him up and carried him inside and gave him an ice pack. I walked in the door and MC was just sitting there with BB on the ground just waiting for him to get better. That is my definition of a hero. MC is a hard working kid. He is very strong and he is so friendly.
On Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my birthday, or BB’s birthday he goes above and beyond just to make it perfect or just wonderful. MC loves to help people and I love it when he helps me because he is just so nice about it. He is really good with little kids. He loves to draw really neat and beautiful pictures for our family. He has a funny sense of humor. He will make a joke sound so stupid and that’s why it’s so funny.
MC is very organized for a boy. He organizes his room every day. He will put his shoes in order of how long he has had them. MC sometimes even makes my brother BB’s bed or my mom’s bed. Sometimes he makes my bed too. He is very bright. MC is my hero because he is willing to sacrifice so much just to meet someone else’s expectations…so they can be happy. MC is is the one person I can trust with all my heart to do the right thing.

You guys…I can’t even…there are just not enough words.
She didn’t talk to me about this at all.
She knows him so well. Can you imagine? To be known like this?? She shared things I didn’t even realize.
I walked into his room to take a picture. The look on his face as he was hearing his favorite person in the entire world sing his praises I will never forget. She gave him the greatest gift…every word told him, “I see you. I know you. I honor you. and oh my goodness do I ever love you.” What more do any of us want than that?
wow, baby girl…wow

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Free to be you…kinda

I like to think I am a very open minded person.  I try to support the interests of my children.  I let them choose their clothes, etc.  I don’t even fuss when they proclaim to be a KU fan and a K State fan.  My daughter pledges no allegiance.  She’s a smart cookie.  I was even pretty cool last night when my Cyclones couldn’t grab a win in the octagon of doom.  Octagon of doom??  I much prefer the way Hilton magic rolls off the tongue, don’t you?  When I told him who one after he inquired from the other room, he was really quite ecstatic.  Ok. 
This morning, I thought nothing of it when he came over for a big morning hug.  He is my baby boy and probably a mama’s boy and one of the best snugglers in the history of ever.  He even whispers nice things sometimes too…which is what I was expecting when he leaned close to my ear.  After a pause, he whispers, “who won the game Mom?”  Ohhhh!  The grin burst out from ear to ear and he was sick with giggles as I chased him off my lap and across the room.  He was pretty proud of himself. 
It’s ok.
Funny how opportunities present themselves to you, isn’t it?
I found a gift for him while he was up the hill at his friend’s house.  I’m pretty sure he’s gonna love it! 
What do you think?
#scoreoneforthemama. #gocyclones


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Well Done Mr. Washington

You know those moments? The ones that cause you to stop and look around and remember how you got to here? Yep.
Just last night I was reading an old post from when MC was 5. We were having trouble locating his invisible boat. It made me laugh and it made me tired.
Each step of the way has been quite a lot of mountain climbing for us. Some days we hit a rough patch and slide back asswards on a slippery slope losing ground only to dust ourselves off and head back where we need to be the next day.
When you are a divorced mama with a child with challenges you (I) sort of reside in this perpetual cycle of adrenaline playing zone all by yourself being as proactive as you can while you dance and put out fires as they come. There is plenty of fun along the way too. It is just sort of an always on alert situation.
As you power through, you have less energy and space in your head for fun with friends. You are either resting from what just happened or preparing for what is up next. The way that I kept going was just not stopping much. Not connecting with friends. Not taking time for me. Not the best way to make it through.
This has improved. I have gotten better about breathing and connecting and just trying to slow down. No matter what the day brings, it is ok to stop and breathe.
Things have shifted. I don’t need to save the day as often as I used to. They are showing me again and again that we are slowly but surely getting there and I can stop with my mama warrior persona and let them do their thing…because they can.
What do I do with all my save the day energy???
I watch my MC deliver his George Washington presentation again and again to a really overstimulating room and just shine like crazy. Then I leave. I let he and his brother handle their homework all on their own…and I breathe. Their sister’s homework is already done because she is a rockstar. I get to watch basketball while they play because I can.
I make lunch plans because I know I won’t get an SOS call from a school. I knock out my work list because the snow days are over. I make art and remember everything that just brings me so much joy.
I look back and assure myself that while I can thrive and even dance in the middle of those damn storms…I’m actually just fine lounging in the serene waters too.
It’s ok to stand down. It seems Mr. Washington can take it from here.

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It’s a wrap.

At the end of this fine Saturday in cold ass February (come on, it’s true), I reflect on key attributes of good from today.
They are:
I signed up for a new painting workshop.
I returned yoga pants where the elastic was doing that rolling thing because that is so annoying.
I found a thumb hole shirt.  I love thumb holes almost as much as shirts with snaps.
My hyacinth is blooming and smells awesome.
I made art.
I played 2 chords on my guitar.
Iowa State won in their selfless lovefest.
My hair smells good.
I’m sure I forgot something.
What’s on your list?
How many things are required for it to feel like a good day?
I’m going to ponder that one.

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Snowmageddon 2014

This weather stuff cracks me up.  I grew up in Iowa.  There is a song about being stranded in Iowa.  There are letters about how awesome the snow is at first and progresses to insanity.  It is sort of like that.  So, if the cold doesn’t sting my face and the drifts aren’t up to my waist, I’m good to go. 
Snow days with my crew at the end of pneumonia recovery is interesting.  It mostly meant I didn’t get to go sledding (it is totally sledding and not at all sled riding…silly kc phrases) and I didn’t try to be very productive.  I picked a project!
My reading is all over the place.  Many genres, many books, pick up and put down a lot.  It is very haphazard but it serves me well.  I like it when authors craft their story around a token object and or a focus of information where within the narrative you actually learn quite a lot along the way.  With Secret Life of Bees it was about the beekeeping process as an aside and the black Madonna.  I was obsessed.  I did much searching and wasn’t satisfied with my findings.  In The Prayerbox by Lisa Wingate, she finds a lifetime of prayer boxes carefully decorated and filled for each year of prayers and tokens.  I knew I wanted to make a prayer box.  It seemed to coincide with my 2014 focus nicely and I hope it is the first of many.  There was stitching and painting.  It was a nice little brain break as I listened to the sledding party on the other side of the window.  I look forward to finishing it on snow day #2.


Wishing you snuggly blankets and toes warmed by the fire with good food surrounded by those who love you best.

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Dating ( Totally the D Word)

I have been happily divorced for over three years.  Three years ago, one of my adorable children (who shall remain nameless) told me ever so casually that if I dated someone they would kick them in the nuts.  First I just stared.  I wasn’t talking about dating.  Why were they talking about dating?  Then we talked about appropriate behavior.  That conversation was met with a convincing stare.  Some day I would have to choose someone really tall and have cat like reflexes to save their business and avoid mortification.  I mean, you can’t be at a point where you introduce someone to your kids and ask them to wear a cup…can you??  Jeez.
My thoughts at that time went something like this: “This is me…offering it up.  I didn’t choose well the first time.  Please just send him to my door with a neon sign above his head and Jesus on one side and Buddha on the other, okay?  Then I will know.”  Of course, that won’t work now because I’ve gone and told you.  In reality, there was so much required of me, I couldn’t see where anyone would fit anyway.
Time passed.  We settled in.  Things got better.  I would have periodic offering it up conversations.  “Why do you keep parading that fella in front of me?  I don’t like his hair and he didn’t pick up after his dog.  I can say no.  No.”
More time passes.  My daughter starts telling me when she thinks she sees someone checking me out.  I tell her thanks and come on…I don’t give my number out in stores.
So eventually someone waves a neon flag at me and I get to realize I didn’t forget how all this goes and it is quite nice actually.  I also realize I like face time…not screen communication.  Good to know. 
The kids, meanwhile, have told their dad I am engaged to Steve.  They think this is wildly funny.  Who is Steve I ask.  They fall out with the hilarity of it all.
I am sort of opposed to strangers.  Only one time I broke my only-Facebook-friends-if-I-know-you rule and that creeper was blocked in no time.  Wow.
I am working on getting out and about to places that bring me joy.  I’m not much of a museum girl, which is odd because I have been thinking about it a lot.  So I got a membership (and a cool pin) and went.  Here is what I figured out…I like to walk around and soak it up and listen to others, but not so much with the talking.  Antisocial, huh?  Maybe.
Some things haven’t changed.  I’m shy.  I saw two very handsome men when I went in to get my bangs trimmed.  One was in the chair and the other was behind it.  Since they captured my attention, what did I do?  I looked away of course.  Why didn’t I watch the cut?  I could have picked up a few tips for my work on the boys.  Then when I got up to head to my girl, they gave me the best good morning and a nice big smile.  I returned the favor of course.  I will speak to you, I just won’t let you catch me watching.
All in all, it’s not so bad or scary.
Good news.
I won’t tell you to stay tuned because I’m not much for play by plays with all this.

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Another Little Secret

If you were to see me in any of my professional capacities, your impression would be fairly consistent.  If you saw me in most social situations or with my kids (most of the time), it would remain consistent. 
There is this one thing though…Iowa State basketball.  I guess you might not be surprised if you were a trainer with me in high school.  I didn’t like athletic events in college because I hated being so far from the sidelines.  I even thought about this as a career path, but I heard I would have to work on cadavers in kinesiology, so that was a no go for sure.
When the kids were younger I didn’t even try to watch.  I knew I would get interrupted and that would be frustrating.  This season?  The time has come.  They know there is no fooling around when mama is watching basketball.  The first game freaked them out I think (ok, I know it did).  I might have yelled.  I was for sure clapping.  Pacing.  Lots of talking to the TV.  It is ridiculous…and I love it.  Invite me to watch the game and I will smile and poliely decline.  This is a solitary activity.  You may see my nonsense if you brush your teeth under the same roof.  Well shoot, now that I think about that…I hope the neighbors can’t hear me.  If they did they would never believe it was me.  They would think it was my kids. 
Ha ha
BTW…triple overtime win breaking a 25 year losing streak at OSU.  No wonder I can’t sleep!

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