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, 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