My favorite quote (or reminder as I like to think of them)...

“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 most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 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 other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Perspective Gals

Annie, Caroline and I have written our intro articles, our first official topic articles, and have submitted them to CityGal Magazine. It was really, really fun doing it!

For our intros, we were asked to come up with a name (something Gals - we went with Perspective Gals) and introduce ourselves, list our favorite quote, and then discuss our goals for writing. So, I thought I would copy and paste our intro articles here for you. I do not know what the final, edited version will be, but will post the link here as soon as we get word. Our first article is on FASHION, and as soon as those are edited, I will also link here for you.

I think the girls did a fantastic job! And I even learned something (more) about each of them in reading their intros! And that's what this is all about after all....

Perspective Gals, Mom

Favorite Quote: “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 most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 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 other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” (Marianne Williamson - A Return to Love)

My name is Tracey, but you can call me Sally ~ as in Sally Sunshine. I have had that nickname for more than 15 or 20 years now and I earned it!

Since before I was a teenager, though I didn’t know it, I was a stand for making an impact in children’s lives. Back then, I was the world’s best and busiest babysitter. When I was 19, I became a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of WI. When I was in my lower 20’s, I became a Big Sister (and still am in love with my “little” – she is now in her mid-twenties). Ten years ago, I became a step mom to two of the most beautiful children you’d ever want to meet. Annie (Gracey as I call her) is 14 and has just started High School. Caroline (I call her Mary) is 12 and just entered Middle School. They’re not your typical teenagers by any stretch of the imagination. They are love and joy-filled, confident, aspiring, respectful, and fun. Eight years ago, I became a Girl Scout leader and even though our girls are in High School and Middle School now, we still have a troop of 13 amazing young woman determined to make a difference in their communities. Fast forward to 2009…we decided to become a Foreign Exchange student Host Family. Our daughter, “Stefi” stole our hearts within the first hour and when she left to go back to Mexico, a little piece of me left with her and the other parts are still weeping from the loss.

I love to acknowledge children – smile at them, talk to them as equals, compliment them, High-Five ‘em – simply acknowledge their greatness in the course of any given day. You see, what I hold so important in my heart (to make an impact on children) has been what has had the greatest impact on me.

And that is really what these articles that my daughters and I will be writing about – the impact of everyday issues on each of us from our very own perspectives. We are going to broach a topic from three different, yet equally respectable positions --everyday topics that have different, not right or wrong, viewpoints. We’ll take these topics and tell you what we each, separately, think about them in the hopes of opening your eyes, your children’s eyes or your parent’s eyes to another consideration ~ to make an impact on your thinking.

Our goal will be to open up discussions within our community that expand possibility, that inspire change, that move you, and that touch your heart.

Annie Burdick
Perspective Gals, Daughter, 14

Favorite Quote: “In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons.”

I am not going to start this article by saying, “Hi, my name is Annie and I like swimming, reading and laughing” because that is beyond generic. But, other than that, I really don’t know how I want to start this. Well, I guess I can sum myself up like this…my sister Stefi always said I was quite charming and I loved it. But it’s not entirely true; I am totally quiet around people I don’t know. Most people who know me would say I’m funny-which I like to think is true. And I’m smart and pretty awesome (I hope). I do love swimming, reading and laughing and I adore pizza and French fries. I think the best things we are given in life are family and friends. But enough about me.

I hope our articles will make you smile, but mostly I hope it will make you think and understand a different perspective.

Caroline Burdick
Perspective Gals, Daughter, 12

Favorite Quote: “Well, we can’t all come and go by bubble!” –Elphaba (Wicked the Musical)

Let’s start this off with a question. Have you ever looked at life differently? I have. In fact, I try to do it often. Because, when you look at the blue sky through purple colored eyes, your life can change. My step-mom (Ma) always says that my “sky is purple” and that I’m “her butterfly”. I know that, theoretically, she’s right. I see a sunset as God’s painting, and a daisy sticking up through the concrete as a lonely friend, and everything is a good idea for a story because I’m a writer.

I like to make people laugh, or smile, or see things in a way they never would have seen them before. I am full of ideas, laughs, smiles, songs, dances and love. My friends say I’m awesome, smart, crazy, funny, and sweet. Bottom line - I am a creative, joyful, 12 year old girl.

In this article, and my section, I will share my opinion or perspective on the topic. The topic will be a situation that you would find in a lot of everyday households. We will give our opinion on the topic (agree, don’t agree, like, dislike, and why) and you can read our opinions and create one of your own. I hope you can use our perspectives and reasoning to think about the topic and your opinion and maybe change it. I hope kids and teens will learn (from someone other than their parents) why the topic is a rule, and that parents will discover (from someone other than their kids) why their kids don’t agree with some rules.

Because, when you look at something through different eyes, your perspective can change.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love vs Fear

"If fear is only in our heads, than what are we so afraid of?" ~ Natasha Bedingfield

I've spent a great deal of time in the last 15 years working on my authentic self and one of my greatest lessons has been that all actions, thoughts, words, etc. come from one of two places -- Love or Fear. Note the use of the word "or". While sure one can coincide with the other, it really is one OR the other that wins out.

One of my all-time, EVER, favorite songs is called "Happy" by Natasha Bedingfield (click on Happy to hear it and see the words). Never has a song resonated so loudly in my heart. I simply love it. There are quite a few songs that move me and my heart is tied to it because it reminds me of my daughters, my nieces/nephews, sisters, mom, hubby, friends, etc. but this song is mine! And what is ironic about it is that it tells a story about my "old" life. I don't have these troubles or woes anymore, but without fail being happy is a lifelong quest I have. And I do have SO many reasons to be happy!

My favorite line from the song is the quote above. I think of it often and wonder if that is right, and I believe that it is, why do we fear so many of the things we do if fear is all in our heads? Now, I really don't care what you say here, cuz I am NOT going in the water. Fear may be in my head, but the sharks/fish are still in the water. Even so, I get that it is still in my head.

I think about that often. I think about what makes people tick and do what they do and I identify their fear or love. If you've not read The Mastery of Love (a VERY quick read), you must do this for yourself. For you too will discover your own fears and loves and in doing so, you'll discover why others do what they do, and in the knowing, you can be happy because you don't own their fear.

Having said that, you could be part of their love.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just the facts, Ma'am...

"Life is short and it's up to you to make it sweet." ~ Sarah Delaney

Ma'an, I gotta use that quote for my bakery! :o)

My sister in law, Julianne, turned 50 this week. My baby sister, Doli, flew home today (and I stinkin' miss her so much already!!). My 25th class reunion is tonight (and guess who runs it?!). And that's just since yesterday! :o)

The bakery has been doing better than I could have ever imagined. In a zillion years I don't think that I could have imagined that people would have been THIS supportive and in love with having a little bakery in their town. This was the start of our third week in business and I have already made 10 specialty cakes for customers! I find that to be simply amazing! Maybe Genesee Depot will rise to be a mini-Cedarburg or Lake Geneva kind of place for folks to gather! I can say this, the restaurants are awfully busy from what I can see. I'm just so happy about it all! I started (today actually) being featured in some of the local restaurants too. Pal's Ice Cream and Grille will be featuring our dill/cottage cheese rolls with their salads and soups and The Cornerstone Restaurant will be featuring our (completely decadent) Dark Chocolate Truffle filled Cupcakes. I'm so excited to see what their customers thought!

My sister was here for a whirlwind visit - came Wednesday and flew out this morning. I cried myself to sleep when I left her. I just stinkin' love and miss her so much (and her family and my Momma). It always feels like it's going to be 5 years before I see her/them again.

My daughters and I have written our first articles for CityGal and now I need to submit them for editorial review, etc. I will be sure to show you all what we have written, but I just loved doing that with them. We wrote about "fashion". That's it. We pick a topic and simplify it so we can't sway each other's thinking and then we write our individual takes on the subject. I loved what I learned about my girls and their age group on this topic.

And my reunion is tonight. 25 years. That kinda weirds me out. And while I never did drugs in school, I have an absolutely terrible memory of high school, yet it still feels like I was just walking down those halls -- and not for my daughter Stefi's open houses or my nephew's games either!

Having one of those "just the facts" kind of posts today. Not too inspired, yet I had some facts to report, or so it seems. Hope everyone is having a fun fall preview weekend! :o)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Lately, I've noticed that my blog circle of friends is filled with the written words of their prayers. And what I have noticed above all else, is that these beautifully vocal women who choose their words so very carefully and intentionally do not pray FOR anything. Rather, they give thanks in their prayers for so very much.

I have come to believe very strongly in not asking God for anything but rather to thank him for what I have been given even when I can not see or understand it. I have believed this for a very long time. I practice it in my mothering too. When we pray before meals, my family does not pray for anything from God, but rather we speak what we are thankful for that day. It's our end of the day gratitude reflection, if you will.

Amy Grant has a song out right now that so touches my heart called "Better Than a Hallelujah" and I just love the "permission" she sings about to cry out to God...that even though we pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody". While I think it's not wrong to cry out to God, I have come to believe that I have so much to be thankful for in my life that I just want God to know I hear him too.

When I open my blog every day, I read over and over again the thanks all these deeply thoughtful women pour out and it seems that of late, it has been resoundingly loud. I'm touched when I read their words of gratitude for their experiences (no matter how grave), their new beginnings and discoveries, their past reflections and growth, their compassion and their undying love for others and belief in raising others up, and for their playing BIG despite all those that would try to crumple their greatness.

I'm thankful tonight for the all the prayers I have read lately that seem to once again want to lift up the world and I'm thankful again for being able to feel their love for others...since I consider myself to be one of the "others" in the world any ol' way.

Dear God,
Thank you for your many voices in the world that remind us of the beauty and love you created in us and around us. Thank you for my voice to say thank you and thank you for all the changes you have created in me. ~ Amen

I think my blog is an opportunity for my own growth even more than it has been. I used to keep a gratitude journal, but I KEPT it to myself. I've been looking for a new purpose for my blog (since I found a "job" and all) :o) and since what really moves me is noticing the greatness around me, I think that is the direction I will take my blog. I will still want to chat about what crappy gardener I am or how I've noticed things and people in my world, but I feel strongly pulled to be more grateful.

And I have a lot to be grateful for.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Miss My Blog

Haven't had enough time lately. Not enough time for much of anything but, well, you know. I miss my blog and I miss spending 20 minutes a day with all my "blog friends". It's now 8:26 and I am actually gonna go to bed. Yup, bed.

I know right? Even before my daughters (or most children for that matter). But I'm pooped.

My (step) Mom helped me in the bakery today almost the entire day. It was so nice to have her there to help me. She ran the cash register and kept up my dishes while I baked. We both got to delight in our customers and it was nice to have her to help carry some of the conversations.

I'm blessed. But I'm still tired and going to bed. Even though a part of me wants to write down all that has happened in the past week including Caroline running in her first Cross Country meet tonight. I'm soooo stinkin' proud of her, but that story will have to wait cuz (again), I'm going to bed!

Sweet dreams! :o)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Friend, Bill

"One day we were brought into the world knowing love only as being what we had for our toys, family, and friends. Then you meet someone who alters your conception of love, and you never know how you loved anything before because of this kind of love."

About 5 years or more ago, my close friend, Pedro, who I have vacationed with many times, bought a week vacation at house in Jamaica that had six bedrooms. So of course John and I were in. But so were four other rooms of people which meant that I was going to go on vacation with strangers and also have to share Pedro and Karen's company. Pedro said, "Sally, you are going to love these people".

"Pedro, I don't need to 'love these people' -- I can barely keep up with the lovin' of my friends I do have. Really, I just wanna go on vacation and love and have fun with you and Karen and my husband and that's all."

I fell madly in love with most of them and have told you about this before in brief when talking of my "twin" friend, Keith (Solly). Well I haven't talked about my friend, Billy. And yesterday, my friend Bill came up and spent the entire day with me at the bakery. THE ENTIRE DAY! Now let's be clear; Bill is an emergency room nurse who works long, long hours and went to bed early on Tuesday and had the day off yesterday to spend working in the bakery with me on my first day!

I'm trying to express what I feel about this gesture but words escape me. The tears however, do not. I am welled up with tears as I write this (thank God I know where "home-row" is on my computer so I can type w/o looking). My heart has swollen from his graciousness and it is truly hard for me to imagine being able to ever "pay him back" for such generosity and support. I love, love, deeply love, that he did this for me. He just opened up his heart and said "THIS is how I am going to support Sally"!

And truly, I could not have made it through the day without him. I'm also so glad he was there not just to make such lovely treats that he did for the bakery (see my Facebook page), but also because he made the day seem real for me. He held me up yesterday and believed more in my success and me than words can express. As I said, words escape me (Merry Me or Dani or Pam or Carolyn, can you help a girl out here!) :o)

So, Billy, my friend, today I salute you. I salute the stand you are for people's greatness. I salute your energy and generosity and graciousness. Mostly, I just love you. Deeply. Thank you for all of this, for seeing the beauty of how much my Daddy and Papa adore me and how the little girl in me wants to be adored. And thank you for loving me back.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Prayer

Dear Lord ~ Thank you for the plan you had for me when I didn't know. Thank you for the past year of discovering and of crossing things off my forever list. Thank you for reminding me each day that it was in your hands and that when I was ready, another great adventure would begin. Thank you for teaching me that my story is true, that I'm not punched in to money and that what I have has always been enough. Amen

PS Here's to Sa-Weet Success! Now let's go get this bakery open!! ;o)