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)

Friday, September 30, 2011

My Last Blog Post

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift of life is yours; it is an amazing journey; and you alone are responsible for the quality of it." ~ Dan Zadra

I now understand what Oprah meant and kept saying for the last year of her show. She spoke that she was not sad of it's ending, but rather that she released that energy for what will be next (I paraphrase, of course). Granted, I didn't have a world, life, and history changing "thing" going on here with my little blog, but I did have something that forged a difference for me.

This will be last (personal) blog post. I started this blog a few years ago with the intention of exposing my true self to great people that I wanted to work with and/or for, align myself with, and potentially open mySELF up to new possibilities and opportunities. I blog from my heart with my own sense of humor and lack of drama that I take on every day with. I spoke to an audience I didn't know was listening, but hoped cared. I didn't want to be a writer "when I grew up"...or I did. I didn't want to be an open book...or I did. I didn't want to be exposed, but I did.

I wanted to have an authentic side of me exposed without fast talking, interruptions, distractions, judgements, or the weight of anything else on my heart except keeping true to my commitment to show an authentic side of myself. I wasn't trying to help anyone else, just trying to grow my soul. I wasn't trying to change the world, just what my little part of the world was made up of. I was trying to explore new avenues, new comfort levels and new dedications to myself to BE.

In doing so, I have been blessed with new friends, I have learned much about myself, I have received a part of the hearts of my husband, my friends (& family friends), and I have learned much. In my blogging community, I have learned from the other strong, creative women I have come to call friends. I have learned new ways to look at things, new words, new opportunities and new strengths.

What I have struggled with the past year is the intention of this blog, trying on several occasions to realign myself with that. I have also struggled with the time it takes to "do" this blog. These two factors have proven to me that now is not the right time to force myself to continue. For in doing so, I have become counterproductive to what I have learned and experienced in this journey so far and have gone back to one who is always "Doing" vs someone who is "Being" - this being one of the biggest struggles of my life and one of the biggest rewards in having my blog (to date).
I am still going to keep Sally's blog as I am aligned with the intention of that blog/arena. It serves a purpose (to me) and I think of it as part of my job actually. I'm also going to continue to enjoy reading about the lives and spirits of the ladies I enjoy so much being a part of. I will continue to learn from them and interact in this avenue for as long as they will have me. I will also try to continue to let my heart come from an authentic place of speaking.

This leg of my journey has in fact shown me some of what I was hoping it would, albeit not the way I was expecting it to turn out. Nonetheless, I am forever changed by the journey. I won't make any more apologies or excuses for this blog and my responsibility to it. I am releasing this energy, and forgiving myself for not being able to "keep my commitment". And even that I am releasing. There were no rules to this, just my insane pressure cooker of a mind that says I have to do it because I started it. What I fail at seeing, so often, is that I am also responsible for ending it/something, and that is completion too.

As one of my best friends always tells me, "release any energy you no longer need, back into the earth". So I shall.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks for Taking My Call

My mom called me the other day, during the work day, and I answered. She thanked me for taking her call. Uggh. What has life come to when my own Momma has to thank me for taking her call "since I'm so busy". Uggh. I used to call her EVERY Tuesday on the way home from work. Now she's lucky she "got in".

Well that is unacceptable and I need to shape up! Your momma should feel first...not convenient. Just talking to her for the five minutes I did made me giggle out loud and of course made me miss her more (she lives in Georgia). I'mma gonna change my naughty behavior and I post this for you (all) to hold me accountable and also to serve as a reminder to love your momma, or those that are like Mommas to you, right now. Now.


Don't make me come up there!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My post from Monday that I was too busy to finish! :o)

MONDAY: Another Monday and the running has begun. I'm sitting here getting my oil changed at 10:00 in the morning and my brain won't relax at all. Maybe that's ok, but I feel like I'm gonna run out of ink in my pen and certainly gonna run out of paper to write the barrage of sh-tuff in my little brain.

I find it kinda funny that I work so stinkin' hard to have fun. So today I will spend the entire day literally haulin' as#* (even faster than normal) so that on Wednesday I can enjoy a little pizza party with my Girl Scout troop, on Thursday I can be fully present and prepared (as well as possible) for the bakery's one year anniversary celebration (IKR!!!), and on Friday, leave right after school/work to go have our yearly weekend of fun with John's family. And somehow manage to not break out into hives!! I do it all the time! Kinda cracks me up but ma'an when it's time to play, I can definitely say "I'm all in!"!

FRIDAY: So it's now Friday afternoon and we are sitting in traffic on our way up north. Don't you find that ironic. HA! Sitting in traffic. Idol. Doing nothing but being being delayed from the weekend o' fun. The ironic-ness of that is so "in yo' face". Someday I'm gonna ask God why he thinks this kind of stuff is comical. Cuz you so know he is laughin' his fanny off...almost like he saw a 5' medal chicken at the pearly gates!! (had to do it Mar')!!! :o)

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Move and Breathe

"In God, I move and breathe and have my being." ~ Oprah

It goes without saying that I adore Oprah. I adore her heart, her intentions, her abilities, and on and on and on. Last week, while watching "Behind Season 25", Oprah was speaking of her last elevator ride (which she did by herself before every show) to do her last show. She uses that quick time to do a little prayer and center herself and her intentions for the show to come.

Needless to say, a lot was riding on the "last show". How would she go out? What was the intention of the show/finale? Did it line up with the intention of the last 25 years?

On that elevator ride, she said (in a meditative way) the quote above ~ "In God, I move and breathe and have my being." In this lifetime, I am certain that those words would never have come across my lips of my own doing, but now, it seems all I want to say to myself.

This has been a hard (almost one) year for me. Physically, emotionally, physically... :o) and I feel as though parts of my Being are coming back. I read a book! I had dinner last Saturday with two of my favorite people on the whole Earth! I sat, yes SAT, down one afternoon and simply read!

My husband said to me a few weeks ago (when I was whining about not having time to read anymore), to just "pick up the book and start...who cares when you finish, but you'll NEVER finish if you don't start". Huh, who knew? He's like a Monk or a Prophet or something, hey?

So it's like that for me now. At least for this stage. I shall just start "it", whatever "it" is. And I am certain that I shall be surprised at what happens. Maybe surprised isn't the right word. I shall be, what....pleased? Fulfilled? Dunno...but I do know that this feels like my being is getting back on track, so I shall move (forward) and breathe...In God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And They're Off

Well, my girls are just hours away from taking a wonderful two week vacation to Europe! They are so blessed and I'm happy to report, they know it. They are thankful, appreciative, and realize how lucky they are. I have amazing teenage daughters and i am gonna miss the crap out of them!! So tonight, I am grateful for opportunities, for safe travel, and for love that makes my heart long for being together again!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Article on Our Silver Award Project

My friend Mary reminded me that I didn't really share this with everyone yet. Our Girl Scout troop wrapped up their three years of working on our Silver Award project by remodeling, cleaning, organizing, etc. the home of a single mom, her three daughters (ages 18-24), her son who has Down Syndrome and his best friend who also has Downs.

They have been through a VERY rough past few years and I couldn't be more proud of what our troop and their families have done for this family. Truly amazing! Here is the link to the article written in the local paper. PLEASE make sure to click on and view the videos as Rudy and Ryan's reactions are so fantastic!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm not gone, really!

Having one of those "Holy Crap" times in my life. Had to cut off the cake orders for the week (can't take another order!) and it was only Wednesday morning and today, had to cut off the bread orders for the rest of the week. Like I said - Holy Crap!

This week (two actually) is just overwhelming at the bakery and at home. But it's exciting too. Our Girl Scout troop is wrapping up three years of working on our extreme Mini-Home Makeover (all day on Saturday) and I am so excited to be helping this family!

I am also excited to see the permanent mark that will be imprinted on my (13) girls' hearts for having done this project. We are helping to fix up and improve a home that is owned by a single mom whose (3) adult daughters live at home (18-24) with her adult son who has Down Syndrome and his good friend who also has Downs. The girls were sexually abused by their stepfather (who is now in jail) and then there's the taking care of two disabled men. Good times! Well, we just know this weekend is gonna make all the difference to their lives and I for one am excited to "Move that Bus"!! :o)

That's all I have in me for tonight. Just wanted to check in, get in touch, be moved by all the fantastic women in my blog world, and feel the power of all the wonderful women I am inspired by reading from and writing to!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shame on Me

I should have grounded myself. Shame on me. My Momma called to chat a few days ago, and I took her call, but here's the thing....we were 1/3 of the way into a movie when she called. So I kinda "blew her off".

How dare I? How is a movie more important than talkin' with your Momma? How many of you don't even have your Mommas and I just dismissed mine. Uggh.

It made me cry that I did that. It's MORE proof that I am still busy DOING instead of BEING. F. I'm still ticked that I behaved in such a manner and I pray that I never do again.

What has our life come to when we don't have, or rather, don't TAKE the time to be in relation with the people that mean the most to us. I'm sorry Ma (although, ironically, she doesn't ever read my blog!) :o). I'm sorry I found something more important than you because, truth be told, there isn't. Anything.

And I accept my punishment...I'm SO in a time-out! 'Cept on this sentence, I get to have as many phone calls as I want!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking Time to Play

Today I am thankful for fun new games played with family! We played a new game with my sister's family called "Sign". What an absolute blast! Whoever is "it" has to try to figure out who has the sign and is trying to pass it to someone else. Get caught, and you're in the middle!

I love games! So today, I am thankful for fun, family, love, and taking time to play!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Gift of Living Free of Fear!

My friend, Merry Me, got this email from her daughter this past week and I thought it was SOOO profound, so wonderful, so spot-on that I just had to share it.

The past 15 years of my life, I have be working on clarifying Love vs Fear -- in EVERYTHING, every action, every thought, EVERYTHING -- both mine and others'. It's a profound journey and one that I find that I am actually reaching some level of deep understanding of.

I get this to my core and I simply love, love, love these words that Ms. Wendell used to coach her mother!

Mom, I wish I could give you the gift of living free of fear.
There's just no need for this much fear unless you're being chased by a bear.
You're going to be wonderful, as you always are.
Just breathe into the anxiety, and trust that you're going to be okay.
Better than okay.
Don't empower the negative voice;
start hearing the voice you reserve for those you love.
The voice that peps me up and believes in me.
Turn it on yourself and feel the love and shine on.
Pardon my French, but f$*& the fear.
:) Love you.
You're awesome and are going to be great today.

Try to enjoy it rather than endure it.
~ wendell p. peptalk

Ma'an...she's good! Goosebumps good! "I wish I could give you the gift of living free of fear"!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday My Friend

Today I am thankful for my SIL and friend, Anastasia (or Lisa as the rest of the world knows her as)! It is her birthday today and I am hoping her day is filled with glitter and sparkles and smiles and sunshine all stinkin' day!

She is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever known and I am often the benefactor of her thoughtfulness, articulate planning, and moments of joy. I am also blessed to be one of the very few people in her life that she trusts and her heart only comes from love (NEVER, EVER fear) with me. I am forever blessed to have that gift in my life.

So, Sissy, cuz I know you are reading this...Happy 38th Birthday (again) :o). I hope your day is as wonderful as you are!! xxoo

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Woman on this Path

My good friend is about to start the same journey that I started on nearly two years ago and what was the precipice to starting my blog. She has held a high ranking corporate job for the last few years that, in my opinion, has become what has defined her.

Quite literally, I felt like my friend died. In fact, for this past year, I thought to myself "huh, I never lost a friend a before". And I was learning to be OK with it. Not good, just ok.

I woke up a few weeks ago and thought that my decision to be OK w/ it didn't come from love but rather fear. So I sent her a card. A simple, say what friendship means to me and that I was thinking of her, card. Nothing beyond that mattered nor was anything else "true". Just that in my heart and for the past 15+ years, I have loved her. She was lost, and that didn't change my love.

I didn't like who she had become very much, but at her core, she was still funny, joy filled, and adorable. And I didn't have to like her in the moment -- much like y/our kids. You may not always like them in a moment here and there, but at your core, you are still love. And they are still love.

She is at a crossroads now. Her job is dissolving before she made the choice for it to (though she was on that path) and she is the bread winner of the family. The pressure will certainly become overwhelming very shortly. I hope, skip that...I pray that she will find a job that will use all of her skills, keep her home a little more with her babies, and will bring the joy back to her life at work. She's really so good at "work". And here's the thing, in all my life (w/ her) she has held two truths closely. One, she wanted to be a mom of twin boys. That almost happened, but God had a different plan for "them". The other is that she has always said that she wanted to be a business owner because she didn't want to just keep making someone else successful. She has never waivered from those two truths, so I hope that now is her time.

Either way, she is certainly on a path of discovery -- of self, of worth, of greatness. And I for one will be her to support her as I know all too well what this road looks like. I hope that she discovers, as Marianne Williamson says, that she is “powerful beyond measure” and to let her light shine and be brilliant!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Move

My heart is sad today. Some people very close to me really let me down and in the simplest way possible "let me down". I wasn't in want or wishing for anything - no presents/gifts or material things. Simply words from their hearts.

Seems so simple to have your heart show up and speak.

I won't accept excuses for this either for there are none. No story, no reason will be acceptable. Having said that, how do I move from this to forgiveness? That is my struggle today.

How to move from this to forgiveness...............

Monday, April 25, 2011

Their Friends

Ever since Mexico, I've been thinking about what great kids my girls are. On that trip, we did not have one, not one, disagreement, tiff, disciplinary "talk" -- nuthin'. A whole week completely surrounded by each other and never once did anyone ever change their tone. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not delusional, I get that we didn't have the pressures of everyday life to cope with, but that's still a long time to be in each others' constant company and get along so wonderfully. They really are turning into such great teenagers and young women. Fun, gracious, curious, kind and loving.

When we came home, Annie had a friend (Carmel) over. And I couldn't help but find a smile across my heart at what a lovely young lady this, and her other friends (especially Anita, Christina & Emily) are. The same is true for Caroline. Her friends too, especially Kayla & Emily, are kind, outgoing, loving and gracious. I'm so happy for them. I'm so happy for us. I'm so happy that my girls will spend their teenage years with such "good girls" and the rest of their lives knowing they chose their friends wisely and will forever be changed for doing so.

I always tell them that it's about choices and we have the chance to make the right choice -- usually that is when I am angry and disciplining them for something, but in this case, I couldn't have made better choices for them. I'm so happy for the choices they made and continue to make in the friend department.

They are both also best friends with their cousin, Carolyn. The three of them together are truly an example of Love in Action. Carolyn (Boojie) pushes them to do new things, Caroline makes them laugh and be crazy and Annie keeps them on the right path. I love their dynamics and I love that they will forever spend the rest of their lives in love with each other -- challenging each other, helping each other, and enjoying each others lives together.

My children have definitely chosen from love, not fear, when it comes to those that fill that lives with joy. And I, for one, am SO enjoying how bright their lives are shining.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the Mend...

I can't wink, but that' ok. I'm not 26 anymore - who the hell do I have to wink at? But it is getting old. Mostly cuz I have to say "Blueberry" about 20 times per day. You try doing that when your lips and tongue don't move! :o)

I am getting better though. I was told to expect this for 3-6 months. I'm giving myself about another week or so, but no matter, I'm wearing my contacts tomorrow even if only for a few hours! I still can't taste much besides salt (and EVERYTHING is salty except coffee...small blessings I guess, after all, I AM back on coffee!), my right side is still paralyzed though some movement is coming back, and folks CAN understand me better on the phone, and the overall "sick" feeling (chills, sweats, nausea) isn't fun at all yet definitely a HUGE improvement over a week ago. The pain isn't fun, but it's nothing an Advil a day can't help. Ironic that one could be paralyzed and yet feel pain??

So, almost over it. Enough already. Gonna do my very best to face the coming year with some social time scheduled in. Figured the best way to BE in BEING is to DO something about it. I'm having my very first social engagement on my day off since opening the bakery. YEAH! I'm going to go have lunch with my friend Dani and I'm so excited to say that! I'm going to have lunch with my friend. Well, I mean we're gonna have lunch and frozen Sangrias, but anyway you look at, I have scheduled some social fun time for ME on MY DAY OFF! I'm almost giddy (and you're all clear that it was Dani's idea and request, right? I would have just been stuck running errands or doing more crap that day had she not, baby steps). It will be the start of something good, and new, and hell - the Doctor even practically prescribed it (less stress)! I should see if our Sangrias are covered under our insurance!

In all seriousness, it has been the hardest 8 months of my life but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I see glimpses of "life" again. Hell, I even told my husband I know where I'm gonna pick to go when it's "my turn" for our fun, long weekend trips with James and Anastasia. Now THAT'S glimpses of hope people!

I'm on the mend. Thank God cuz I don't do sick very well! :o)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Busy People Never Get Sick

Busy people never, I repeat NEVER, get sick. Except of course when they're not busy, then look the hell out!

Uggh. So there we were minding our very own business, having a fun, uber-relaxing time under the Mexican sunshine, drinking as many different kinds of festive blue beveages as I could create, and then WHAM! "Um honey...I can't actually wink at you...or blink or move my lip or raise my eyebrow or smile or make kissy lips."

And now there's that.

Twelve hours later, two IV's in a Mexicana hospitale, and $18,000 Pesos later (don't do the math or you may puke!), I am taking a taxi back to the resort to let my poor family (who knew NOTHING!) that Ma was gonna be ok.

Well that was fun. And if only I were makin' any, ANY, of it up. Now don't get me wrong, the vacation, up until this point was literally Heavenly. Being diagosed with Bells Palsey (by the way, I don't even know how to spell it) on the other hand, not so much.

I've been told that "stress overload" is one of the main causes of said "sickness". Stress overload? Oh for god! I've been saying this for months now. As my friend Buttercup used to say - "Acknowledge and move on"! I get it, I'm stressed, but C'Mon! Like I need this sh*&! I soooo don't!

Truth be told, even through my humor about all of this, I am actually really sad about it. I'm sad that "I" scared my family. I'm sad that this is such an important story of our heavenly vacation. I'm sad that I'm not well and operating at 100%. And I'm sad that I'm sad and scared.

And puh-lease, it's just a little facial paralysis and some deafening numbing in my ear drum. Let's not get dramatic. But it still stinks and I still wish I didn't have it.

Oh, and by the way, having it SURELY isn't helping my stress levels out...not one little bit! :o)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MY Vacation Math

I don't know what's wrong with the rest of the world.

We leave for vacation on Monday, and by my calculations, that is just 4 days away. My family says that's "Tracey Math". What? Are you kiddin' me?! Thursday -1. Friday - 2. Saturday - 3. Sunday - 4. How hard is this people. It's surely not FIVE days! You most certainly DON'T count the day we are currently living and you sure as hell don't count the day you leave.

I rest my case.

I doubt that I have ever been more excited for a vacation - ever. I soooo want to pour my body over a lounge chair, grab BOTH of my books that I started THIS PAST SUMMER, and several festive beverages of my choice (all with long straws so as to not have to strain my neck to reach the frosty delight after delight), and my spray-on sunblock and assume the position! Ahhh....

I simply can't wait. I'm jumping out of my skin with anticipation. Heck, I bet with my way of doing math, it will be just 3 short days any minute now! :o)

Dear I thank you for vacations, the ability to BE on vacation, and the ability to let everything else go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Make Time for Quiet

"Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud."

For the past few years, I have truly believed that if you listen, you will "hear" God. While I was in between jobs this past year, I tried so hard to keep my house/world quiet. I wanted to be able to hear whenever he may be trying to say something. At times, you would have thought I was running a home for the deaf because it was so quiet here.

When I saw this quote today, it took me back to that level of peace...and unrest. I still think it's true, but now, I just find the quiet at different moments and places. Now, it usually comes at about 10:30 in the morning when the bakery is peaceful and quiet and I listen. It's not a long time before it changes, but in the quiet, I think it's true -- I think you can hear God. Sometimes he just reminds me not to forget the salt, but other times, I can actually hear him tell the "others" "she's doing well, she's gonna make this work, she's gonna fill this little corner with joy".

But that's usually only on the REALLY quiet days! :o)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Head and Heart Connection

I can't seem to connect my heart to my head anymore. At times, I see glimpses of the connection. I read some one's blog and it touches me or requires me think deeper. A child walks into the bakery and I get on their level and feel their un-fearing love and for moments, I can BE with them, in their love. I can cry at the sight of a card from my best friend or a quick little note or email from one of them or my sisters. But those moments are fleeting.

I know I have said this a lot lately and I'm not whining, just wishing (or rather wanting) to have that connection to me again. I know, I know -- stop wanting and it will be. Grrr. My mind just can't seem to stop "doing" and it is doing SO much that it feels like beauty has crept out of my self. Like my whole self is filled with To-Do lists and stuff that needs to go on them and get crossed off of them.

It feels like I have been UN-connected from so many people that I miss being with -- Lisa, Keith/Randy, Pedro/family, Billy, Ross, and on and on and on. I think about them daily and wonder if they are having fun today, or when we could possibly find time to be together again, or what monumental thing is happening for them (and by monumental, I mean ANY little ol' thing!). Then it starts to feel like making time to see them must be added to the To-Do list and the cycle continues.

I'm calling this my "Not a lot of space for grace" period. I can't wait for it to be over. I miss being quiet, still, beautiful, in love.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Want but Don't Need...Need but Don't Want

I've always believed, well at least since the age of 21, that when you stop wanting something God will provide "it". I mean truly, deep seeded, all the way to my core belief.

This weekend, we watched "Nanny McPhee Returns" and in that you learn that Nanny will stay when you need but don't want her and leave when you want but don't need her. Exactly!

Lately, the past year and a half of trying to figure out what's next for me which turned into me opening a bakery has been coming full circle and it's really making me want to punch someone. And I'm grateful -- not for the punching, for the full circle. I've received two emails this past week. One from "the guy who had to 'noodle'" over my coming on board and the other from the President and Owner of the last company I worked for. Both asking if I'd be interested in doing "something". Grrrr.

I'm flattered, and yes I want to do BOTH things, but did you (they) hear the part about the girl who runs this sassy little bakery? And you know why? Cuz I stopped wanting. All the way, deep seeded, to my core, stopped.

Maybe they thought I was kiddin' about the bakery thing. Huh. I wasn't. I've always been a woman of my word and a woman of action. But then again, that's probably why they contacted me.

She's here when you need but don't want her and leaves when you want but don't need her.....Fun ride. I'd like to get off now. Thanks.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grateful Children

Today I am grateful for gracious children. My daughters are 14 and 12 and I simply love, love, love the fact that they don't ask for "things" or have some delusions that their parents "owe" them anything. I love that I can buy my girls something and they are purely delighted and grateful. I love that when we go shopping together, they are gitty with excitement, expect nothing from us, have so much fun, and say thank you when we are done. I love that. Love, love, love.

And I love how exciting getting ready for a vacation is! :o)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Room Full of Love

Today I am so grateful for afternoon delights! Not the kind you are thinking of, but rather one filled with more love than a room can hold!

After we closed the bakery on Sunday, I met Jeanne, Rhonda, and Chelley at the Woodhouse Day Spa (my fav'!) for an afternoon of luvin' and rubbin'. We sat in the tea room and drank a little tea (and wine, and champagne, and water, and...) and noshed a bit and then had a little pampering and back to the tea room. Just four best friends celebrating the life of Jeanne's Daddy and our love for each other over the span of 30 plus years.

We ALL got to hold her (and each other) and surround her with the white light of our unconditional love and no afternoon has been that important to me in a long, long time. I couldn't be there as much as I wanted to last Saturday, but we got to all be there for Jeanne for an uninterrupted afternoon, and that is more than I could have ever asked for. I highly recommend to anyone who is at a loss for how to hold some one's heart to do nothing more than surround them with your love. Well, the white chocolate scones didn't hurt either!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Dozen Young Women, on a Mission...

Today I am grateful for Girl Scouts!

We had our Girl Scout meeting this afternoon. We are wrapping up years of work on their Silver Award culminating with helping a family that has a tough life story. My girls are all so excited, motivated, and energized to help this family, to make a difference and to write this story in their books of life. I couldn't be more touched by this room filled with hearts filled with and coming only from love.

I remember the exact moment, the time of day, the weather, where I was...when I asked Kelly to be a Girl Scout Leader with me for our daughter. I remember because I spoke only from love and knew that someday I would forever be changed for having done so. I remember because my heart wanted to mother more young, beautiful, giving girls as they became pillars in our society. I remember because I wanted to stand tall amongst them and watch them grow.

Mostly I just love basking in their love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thank God the Weekend is Over!

Today I am thankful that the weekend is over. I know - that's not right. But it was one of my toughest weekends ever! The amount of stuff that needed to happen, places we all needed to be, orders that needed to be produced (including an order for 33 dozen donuts for a local church!!), events that needed to be attended and then throw in my best friend's dad's funeral. UGGH! I thought I was gonna break out in hives. The stress level from the weekend actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (literally!) from time to time!

I felt a bit like a prisoner too. I missed most of Dad's funeral -- only made it to the "burial" (entombment). Made me (still makes me) extremely sad that I couldn't be there for my best friend to smile at, to chat with, to cry with. Made me extremely sad that I couldn't hold her heart for very long.

I rushed back from the burial to finish the donut order, the four cakes, prepping for Sunday's Hot Ham and Rolls as well as just having bakery ready for the next day. And the entire time, I kept hoping that my Cupcake knew that if I could have spent the day with her instead, that I would have.

The weekend is over and everything in my bakery went successfully.

I'm so glad the weekend is over.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Tribute to Dad

Jeanne's dad, Ashley's Grandpa, died this morning. I'm so sad for my best friend and her daughter. Both of her parents died of cancer about 10 years apart. Mom's battle was long and graceful. Dad's was fast and painful. Blucky.

No words can help me take away my Cupcake's pain (or my God-daughter's) and that is a helpless feeling. Nothing I can say or do will ease her pain. Nothing I say or do will bring a smile to her heart. I'm just hoping that in knowing that I love her, her heart will feel lifted, if even for just a few moments.

So, today I am grateful that I got to know "Dad" for the past 30 years. I'm grateful for that because knowing such a peaceful and graceful man has taught me more about my best friend. I am grateful that God gave my best friend such a wonderful man for a father. And I am grateful that, in my mind, Dad is having fun with Mom tonight for the first time in many, many years!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Holding the Hearts of Women

Today I am grateful for the ability to hold the hearts of women I love.

My best friend's dad is dying (rapidly) and across a (VERY) crowded hospital room, I could feel her little 14 year-old-little-girl heart say to me "thank you for holding my heart when my life sucks the most". I felt it and I gave "Dad" a kiss. Then today, I stopped in to see a dear friend, Dani, and I actually TOOK the time to GO to BE with her and "rest my wings" in her sanctuary. I felt her heart and I held it and it felt great. It may only be a one year friendship, but the heart only knows love. We had Yoga (Joga as we say in honor of my Mexican "daughter") last night and I was fighting off a migraine from the day that tried to break into my Joga practice. My other best friend changed up the whole routine so that we could all, especially me, get blood flowing to the head and then I could feel her heart and her energy trying to "heal" me. And I slept peacefully.

I am so grateful for so many women in my life that show up strong and weak and powerful and full of love. And I am so grateful to love them.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inspire Your Mind

Inspire your mind....I've been thinking about inspiration a lot lately. Where it comes from, why it hits when it does, how to channel it, what to do with it, how to use it, why it fails you when you seem to "need" it most, how to foster it, how to recognize it, how to sift through it all.

It seems that this time of year, at least in the Midwest, inspiration is at a low point. Folks are deprived of Vitamin D, their senses are in hibernation, white and gray seem to be the only shades of color we see and thought processes seem to be afraid to pop out for fear of the coldness.

I think it's important for us all to find ways to inspire our minds this time of year -- to look to others and other sources for inspiration. To find ways to remind our senses that "this too shall pass" and we'll come out of it on the other side with a bright, playful, colorFULL bunch of ideas and motivations to create.

For me, I look to the south and the west for inspiration. I look to homes that are full of color and chefs that can still snip some fresh rosemary and I even turn my little portable heater to full blast when I am showering so the flush of warmth will permeate my entire body. I seek out colorful purses and scarves, fragrant herbs, and pictures of bright houses around the world. I fill my days with island music and pineapple soda. I watch tons of shows on the Travel Channel and I try to dance a little more during my day.

We always get through it, but it seems like every year I come to loathe it even more. I know I only have five years, three months and three weeks left here in this ice jail, but that doesn't always make it seem OK. So, in the meantime, I shall try not to look at my pool which has six foot drifts of snow piled on top of it and instead, I shall go light a "Moonlight Path" candle and snuggle with my hubby. Snugglin' seems to be the only thing good about being in this prison.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go purse shopping.........and paint my toenails pink --even if no-one will see them!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Today I am thankful for vision. Not phyical vision, but the other kind. Ever since I (we) decided to open this bakery, I have been making very sound decisions. I spent very little money to start our bakery and yet it looks like a million bucks. I don't cater to everyone's whims or desires for me spend on this, buy that, advertise this way. My $30 flag has drummed up a heck of a lot of business for me. Yes, $30.

And now I am started to "see" what could have been sold/made. I am starting to come out from under the overwhelming start we have had and see what more could be done and how. Megan is now working 2 mornings each week and it is already paying off. She stocked my cookie shelves today and cookies sold! For the first time since Christmas, they sold. Because in order to make this bakery thing work, you have to see what people want before they even know they do.

That's vision. And I am starting to get focus!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Birthday....

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm already excited! I love my birthday! All of my birthdays really! And I know it's cuz my mom and dad always made my birthday a very special day. I remember like yesterday that my mom would ask me EVERY year what I wanted to have for my birthday dinner. Just that she was gonna allow me to have MY favorite dish no matter what anyone else wanted made me feel like I was 10' high. Then my dad would tease her after I would give her my answer and say "we're not having that" or "I'm not eating that" which of course made me feel even more special that I even got to trump my Big Daddy! WOWSA!

All for me! Whatever I want!

Then, on my 12th birthday, I started making my own birthday cakes (hey! I can hear you, you know...) and I made my first character cake (Bugs Bunny) and had to pipe little stars ALL over this cake which, may I say, was not the easiest thing in the world to do. But I did it and we ate it and I loved it.

All for me! Whatever I want!

Then I got presents and I didn't even have to share them with my three sisters! All for me!!

But THE BEST birthday I ever, ever, ever had was when I turned 10. My Nana & Papa had 7 children and from them we have 19 grandchildren. I am the oldest of those 19 grandchildren. And when I turned 10, Nana and Papa picked me up from my house and took me to Brookfield Square Mall to get my ears pierced. While there, they bought me a blue jean wallet w/ two white daisies on the front and my Pa put $2 and 2 cents in my wallet and told me not to ever spend the 2 cents "because then I can never say I didn't have money". They also started to buy me a $50 savings bond every year from that year until I turned 18. Someone pinch me. No don't! It's like the best dream ever! JUST ME and my Nana and Papa -- the other 18 kids weren't even invited.

All for me!!

How can I not love birthdays? My family cherished me so deeply that they made my birthdays filled with memories that have lasted a lifetime...literally!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mule vs Fairy

"Rest your wings" ~ Dani

So much of my life, and for sure ALL of my adult life, I have been a mule. And oh so proud of it. But I'm not sure why that is -- the pride part. I love to work hard and I love the confidence I have in knowing that I AM that kind of worker bee.

But I am just not sure why that is so important to me. And it didn't dawn on me until this past week when I was thankful for the quiet meditation of my steamin' hot showers. In that post, my friend, Dani, was also thankful (for me) because of my hot, meditative showers for "when else would I find time to rest my wings?". That simple statement has been resonating with me for days now.

Mule or Fairy.

Why is it so important to be a mule? How glorious would my life be if I flitted a little? I could use a little glitter, a nice boa, and maybe a sparkley little trail left behind me. Instead, I just plow through my day making sure that I cross at least 694 things off my To Do list and reminding myself of all the things I didn't finish.

Who wants to be an ass their whole life?

Mule or Fairy...I need to grow a pair (of wings, that is) and pay attention to this sparkley, shiney side of my life (or rather, create it). I don't want to be any less hard working, but I sure would like to feel a little more effervescent at moments when I don't NEED to be "working" like a mule. Goodness sakes, I'm almost 44 and I just NOW discovered that I have "wings to rest".

"Just living is not enough", said the Butterfly Fairy, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hot Showers

Today I am grateful for showers.

My days are so structured doing this and that and then this again, that to actually STOP and meditate or simply pause in my day to breathe deeply isn't gonna happen, and quite frankly, I'm a little too high strung for it not to happen. So what I have been doing for the past year now is to use the calming, hot-ness of my showers to be the time that I pause and reflect and listen to my breath. In. Out.

While water dances all over my body and both warms and calms me. Yup, I do love a hot shower.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Daughter's Journey

"Flowing thru her, it pressed against her heart. mixing with pieces of her insides, it flowed out of her, back to the world, and into her work. and that was her offering." ~ Teri, Bone Sigh Arts

She taught us so much in her experience. She felt each moment, did her "job", and shared it with all of us.

My friend Mary lost her dad last night. I lost another piece of my "old self" learning of his passing. I found another way to find peace in all the mistakes our parents made (to us) and all of the mistakes I make as a parent. I found peace, through her journey, as my friend Mary will struggle to find in the coming days.

Mary knew of her daddy's eminent passing as she became the gentle caregiver and best friend to her dad for the past years. And through this journey, Mary found grace through words and her words scattered grace over all of us that she touched with them. I didn't even know her father, but when she wrote of the time that she fell down an icy hill and looked up to find his stoic figure reaching down to help her little body up, I felt as if I could walk with my arm locked in his down the street or sit on a park bench and skip stones into the water with him. When I read her story of the attic to my husband, even he, who doesn't know Mary or her father, felt the pull on his own fatherly heart. Mary has walked us through her daughterly life and made us all better daughters because of her journey.

My sweet Mary. May you find peace in the last chapter. May you find time to skip through sunny fields of flowers with no worries of time or regrets for having spent any. And may you always feel the love of the daughters you have forever changed.

There is a part of a BoneSigh that I think is so perfect for this time and (I swear) written JUST FOR our sweet Mary at just this given time -- "...she set down the past and gently, with great care, she held the present. She held him and she held love."

Thank you for teaching us all that, Mary, and may God continue to hold your heart!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Young and Authentic

Today I am thankful for authentic friends. Annie is at a formal winter dance tonight. Her friend, Carmel, is sitting on the couch w/ John (he makes their friends call him "Your Highness") and I watching a movie. She didn't want to go to the dance. She doesn't understand them. She wonders why anyone would want to spend all that time and money getting purdy just to go to some place where the lights are barely on and then get all sticky and sweaty within minutes of arriving. And don't get her started on the shoes.

She's 15. She's brilliant. She's beautiful. She's authentic.

She's waiting w/ His Highness and I until Annie and her friends come back from the dance so she can have some fun w/ them at the sleepover happening here after the dance. Now that fun she is up for.

In the meantime, she's sittin' here on the couch, watching a movie, teaching me about "Being".

Monday, January 17, 2011

The King of Faith

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the entire staircase." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today I am grateful for the courage Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to live his truth. Today I am grateful that I have lived in a world where HE made a difference. Today I am grateful for his faith.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dose of Sunshine

I've been dreaming of vacations again lately. I shouldn't be, what with me opening a new business and all (just 5 short months ago), but I am, we are, and we decided that we're going. That's weird.

I'm gonna to have to close the bakery, but each day brings a little more peace about that decision. I realize that I may loose some customers, but then again, I might just gain some more. You know, the kind that get that my family and my sense of peace come before all else and those that too feel the pull of the short amount of time left to spend with our/your children as children with adulthood looming in the all too near "future".

So we're going on vacation. And just dreaming of the warmth of the sun baking on my skin is enough to fill me with happy. I do love a good dose of sunshine. Then again, you probably knew that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I've been having this overwhelming sense of happiness INSIDE of my body lately. It's weird, but I absolutely know what it is. And it's surging out of my skin -- like truly. I FEEL it pulsing through my being. And for no particular reason in the world.

In fact, it seems that I should be feeling quite the opposite -- after all, it's the dead middle of this f'ing thing we call Winter in Wisconsin (which I hate more than any, ANY, thing in the whole wide world), my best friend's father was just told he will be lucky to make it to Christmas (which goes along w/ the fact that her sister-in-law was given the SAME "news") and there are no words to describe her sister in law (& friend) :o) just got some yucky health news about her sister which piles on to her struggles she is having w/ my God-daughter (her youngest daughter) and her husband's "health" arm is still killing me....and then there's the fact that it's hard to keep my brain in the game right now because we are so slow in our little town of Genesee Depot...AND the added burden of never having enough time (or days off) anymore, I should REALLY be feeling quite the opposite.

But I'm not. My body is a surge of moving goooo and my energy levels are extremely high. Maybe it's cuz I'm back on coffee. Nah...I only have 1-2 cups a day, so c'mon, really? Maybe this is that "coming into your own" thing that folks always say happens in your 40's?? I dunno.

I do know this, I'm not pregnant, I don't do drugs (never have), and it doesn't matter. Maybe it's simply the fact that even though Jeanne and Lisa and others know that I love them and love them and love them and maybe having delivered that communication is enough to create a moment of peace inside of me.

Or it's the coffee.

Monday, January 10, 2011

One more to go!

Today I am thankful for bustin' a hump! I'm thankful for the health, strength and organizational skills God gave me to work on my to-do list! I got SOOOO much done today that I feel like a million dollars! No time to write, but I'm not gonna beat myself up for that. There was no less than 15 things on my to-do list for today and I only have ONE LEFT to complete! Laundry basket of clothes to put away, here I come!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today I am thankful for my daughters who usually make me laugh until I cry! I should tell you that, and I am saying this truthfully, we have the smartest dumb kids ever! If there was a grade better than an A, that is how smart they are -- really -- straight A, off the chart students. Now, having said youngest ran to the mailbox to get our mail today. She sent us a postcard from her other house. AND, it was the postcard that she forgot to send when she was on her vacation on the East coast w/ her other family. SO, she was so excited to have found it and then she walked it to the mailbox herself and put up the flag.

"Ma, it didn't come yet!"

"Honey, did YOU PUT it IN the mailbox, yourself?"

"Yes, Ma, and I put the flag up and everything."

In a quick and smart ass fashion I say, "Honey, did you put a stamp on it?" (after all, you do have a whole section on mail in Kindergarten!)

"WHAT? It needs a stamp!"

I know, right?! :o) BTW, she was dead pan serious!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Today I am thankful for Yoga (or Joga as my "Mexican Daughter" pronounces it). I feel stronger and for the past three years I have (for the first time EVER) been able to touch my toes. That has to count for something!?!

I'm also thankful for massages for today I took one hour out of my day to give myself that treat at my favoritest salon here in little ol' Muk-Town USA. I think I actually stopped wearing my shoulders as earrings for about an hour today! Love that! And my headache finally went away...I'm just saying -- massage, good!