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Showing posts from September, 2016

Life Lesson # 71~ The Memories We Make

Life is a funny thing. Nothing is guaranteed and nothing is completely safe. We can try and predict all we want but we cannot fully anticipate life’s twists and turns. Life is beautiful this way. Everything can fall apart only to be revealed as stained glass once broken and restored. Memories they too can be tricky. Just like our emotions they can become fuzzy, blurred, vague, unclear and distorted. I’ve heard it said before a picture says a thousand words. Memories are in many ways like a photograph. When we invision a moment in our thoughts sometimes those memories aren’t as beautiful or as horrible as we imagine. It’s when we actually look at a memory captured on film we can see the truth revealed. Our faces and our eyes they don’t lie. Happiness, love and joy or even hurt, sadness and anger speak for us. In those photographs our unsaid words are captured. 
I know for my family, we’ve had many more happy memories than sad. The problem is sometimes those sad, hurtful memories can f…

Life Lesson #70 Stay a Child at Heart

Have you ever wondered what the child you were once would think of the adult you are now? With wide eyes and innocence how would that little girl or boy see you today? Would they still find you to be kind and brave? Would they be disappointed in your lack of childlike faith? Would they ask you where your inner dare devil and adventurer is hiding?  Or would they instantly recognize you? Would you jump up and down, spin around in circles, dance like no one was watching? Or would you shake your head and complain you don’t have time for this silliness right now?
 We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t grow up. It’s a trap!” It’s a reference from one of my favorite movies and books, Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. Poor Peter, he never quite left Neverland did he? See there’s a balance to life, in becoming an adult without losing sight of our childlike spirit. Wendy had it right when she told Pan, “Don’t be afraid to grow up, Peter. It’s only a trap if you forget how to fly.” I think man…

Life Lesson #69 ~Finding Who You Are

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Life can get pretty complicated but so can people. We tend to get stuck in one chapter of our story and can’t turn the page. We simply get lost in this great big abyss of why and what if’s while the story of who we are is still being written. I think in our journey to find ourselves we tend to try and erase all our not so great moments as if they never happened. But is this really the way we want to have our story told? I like what Andrea Dykstra has to say about it. She puts it like this, “In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” Our experiences are profound, and we need each one of them not only to understand who we are but to find ourselves. We can’t change where we’ve been, the pain, the hurt or the rejection we’ve faced. These things shape us, they make us  who we are.  We can't pretend our past hasn't happened but can use each experience to push us forward. We're all lost and insecure at times but that doesn’t mean we can’t fin…

Life Lesson # 68 ~ What I’ve Learned (About Life)

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What I’ve learned about life? That’s a loaded question. There are so many things I could say and just might before I’m finished. I mean where do I begin?  Life has taught me a million and one lessons. But if I’m truly going to be forthright, I’ll start with this one as it sums things up quite nicely. “I tried to be normal once; they were the worst two minutes of my life” (Unknown). True story but now that we’ve gotten that out of the way maybe you’ll understand my thought process just a little better. Let’s just say I’ve never been nor will I ever be “normal”.  As Joshua has always said,  "Normal is overrated."  I'm awkward and shy, loud and sassy all put together in one package. I’m a seeker, a dreamer, a thinker, an “imagineer”, a nerd, a geek, a realist and yes an optimist stitched together into one very unique tapestry. When I look back, I don’t regret how I was raised and brought up at all. I found my voice early on growing up to becoming the woman I am today. What…

Life Lesson #67 ~ Riding an Emotional Train Wreck ( Part Three)

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Part 3

Finishing up our chat on emotions there's no doubt life is difficult. Let's be honest. Maybe your day or even your year has been anything but serine or relaxed.  Maybe you want to shout and scream and throw yourself on the ground. But let me encourage you; Joy can still keep you balanced. Even Fear from Inside Out blurts out after a bad day, “"All right! We did not die today, I call that an unqualified success!" We’ve all been there right?  In fact I can say with confidence our family has been all over the emotional chart. I think this is why Inside Out became a quick favorite, as it struck an emotional cord. Listening into Riley’s emotions I can almost hear what must go on inside my kiddo’s heads at times.
“Joy: Oh c'mon, it could be worse... Joy: Oh c'mon, it could be worse... Disgust: Yeah, Joy. We could be lying on the dirty floor. In a bag. Joy: Okay, I admit it, we had a rough start. But think of all the good things that... Anger: No, Joy. There&…

Life Lesson #66 ~ Riding an Emotional Train Wreck ( Part two)

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Part 2
Taking a look at Inside Out and our emotions once again, I wonder how many times we end up feeling just like Riley, "But everything looks different now." After a traumatic event, life just isn't the same anymore is it? We're all mixed up inside trying to figure out up from down. Not as easy as 1,2,3 anymore huh? We just need a good cry right? Sometimes we need to feel the sadness, to express our Fear, to let Disgust have her “ew” moment. Maybe ‘Anger’ just needs to blow off some steam.  As Sadness often says, “I'm too sad to walk. Just give me a few...hours.” It happens and it’s necessary to be honest. We just need to keep everything in balance, to be careful with our emotions so they don't over run headquarters. I guess what I’m trying to say in my awkward way ; maybe it’s time to slow down and think about who’s running things upstairs.  When we’re up against an emotional wall there's probably a few questions we need to be asking  ourselves. Like…

Life Lesson #65 ~ Riding an Emotional Train Wreck ( Part One)

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Part 1
Have you seen Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out? I know it’s a kids film right? Or is it? Truthfully, it’s actually an incredible film taking it’s viewer through our emotions and how they work. It’s one of my family’s favorite movies. My boys at 19 and 17 will pop the Blue Ray in and ask us to watch it with them on any given weekend.  Maybe that’s because they can relate to the film. Of course the hockey helps but given their experiences the last couple years they’ve had their own emotional journey, there and back again. Joshua and Micah not only understand but feel the truth of Riley’s journey. They’ve felt it all from hurt, sadness, anger and yes happiness and joy. Within the movie Inside Out there are five Islands. These 'Islands of Personality' consist of Family, Friendship, Hockey and Imagination but Goofball Island is probably my favorite. These are honestly the closest to our family’s personal “Islands” of personality as you can get. Just like in the movie, Joy, Sadness,…

Life lesson # 64: Mama isn’t just a title.

“If you live to a hundred I want to live to a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” ~ Winnie the Pooh. That’s exactly how I feel about my mama. My mom, she’s a creature of  grace and vast character and qualities, not perfect but beautifully humble. Her natural, unfiltered beauty is breathtaking. Her soul is gentle, full of unconditional love. My mama’s smile, literally lights up a room. She’s pure joy, speaking her mind but never in meanness. She’s sensitive and yet so much stronger than she knows herself. My mom, well she’s not just a special lady, she’s absolutely one of a kind. Loved and adored, she’s one of those people who simply knows no stranger. I couldn’t imagine not being her daughter, not being part of her life in the ways I have been blessed in. I love my mama. I couldn't see my life without her nor would I ever want to. I’ve been told through the years how strong I am, but the reality is I am only a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.…

Life Lesson #63: Good times

Weekends are made for fun, laughter and a little bit of ruckus. Friends on the other hand are handpicked, born to spend the weekend with. I love weekends. They just simply lend themselves to freedom and fun.  Late nights, even later mornings, Tex-mex, margaritas, Mexican train, Phase 10, dancing, karaoke and anything else we can think of is up for grabs. Weekends are definitely made for me and my familia. 
When I say this week Saturday couldn’t have gotten here fast enough I am not kidding. The week itself started off with a bang for my best girlfriends and me.  Seriously, they say things come in threes? Well who am I to say otherwise?  Looking at month of September so far, not to mention this last week Lord have mercy is all I can say. It has been a riot of a mess for the three of us and that’s not saying nearly enough. Let me see if I can explain any of this without causing your heads to go up in smoke. Nat broke her hand; Shawna has had a difficult if not a downright are you kidd…

Life Lesson # 62 Raising Strong-Willed Daughters

Life Lesson # 62: Raising strong –willed daughters to fly.

There’s no doubt “I am my mother’s daughter. I am her only novel” so beautifully said by Marge Piercy.  Thinking about my mom’s birthday this coming week, it’s like a rush of beautiful memories flowing out from a volt that’s been locked away. I am my mother’s reflection, her mini me. Growing up, looking up to my mom as little girls do I wasn’t aware of how much I mirrored her. My mother’s beauty and grace always took my breath away. She was and still is my inspiration and I her baby girl.
If you asked her today what I was like as a little girl, she’d tell you without a second thought, I was strong-willed. I kept her busy running around singing, jumping off the couch, building forts and dragging her off into faraway lands inside my imagination. I remember sitting in awe when the hope chest was opened. Standing there dancing in front of the mirror like a fairy princess. I’d brush my hair, place her old prom tiara on top of my he…

Life Lesson #61 ~Love What You Do

If you had asked me a couple of years back what I do for a living, I’d have looked you straight in the eyes and told you straight up, I’m a mom, need I say more? My resume would have included the following description and then some. Nonstop cleaning lady, 24 hour a day short order cook, personal assistant, finance adviser, loan officer, troop grocer, personal organizer, stylist, motivational coach, trainer, storyteller, fixer upper, triage nurse, detective, school volunteer, advocate, and yes teacher. I won’t mince words I loved being a stay at home mom. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade easier days for any of the difficult ones.  They say, “Love what you do and do it well.” Guess that pretty much sums me up then.
Lately Johnny and I have been reminiscing, taking a stroll down memory lane, evaluating our lives. You could say we’ve really stopped to smell the roses. We’ve talked a lot about how we met, retelling stories, pulling old pictures out of our boys, ourselves, my parents and hi…

Life Lesson # 60~ Living like Renegades

I have this cousin. Her name is Julie. She’s our family historian, the keeper of our genealogy on my mom's mother's  side. Now, that's a mouthful isn't it? Try saying that 3 times fast. Julie and I are opposite in many ways but we come from the same line of strong, independent women. Together you could say we’re a couple of nuts off the same family tree.  She’s my partner in crime, my co-conspirator, and collaborator in all things mischievous and roughish. We’re cousins by blood, sisters by heart and absolutely friends by choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our grandmothers, the Bergman sisters, Marie, (she’s my middle name’s namesake) and Betty, were sisters. So in reality, we’re distant cousins. In fact we grew up as far apart as possible; she in Pennsylvania and myself in Texas.  Truthfully we never knew who the other was until 2012. When we met just four short years ago; we made up for lost time. Looking back, I don’t see how we haven’t known each other our …

Life Lesson #59 ~ Finding Purpose

What is your why? Do you know why you're here? How have you figured out or come close to clarifying  your purpose? Or have you ever just stopped and looked around at your life and had an “ah ha” moment? You know the, I get it now; “bing, bing, bing”, light goes off reality check moment?  Ever realized it wasn’t about you, but who your life is meant to impact? Over the years I’ve found myself considering my real, true purpose in life. I mean what do I contribute, what do I have to offer? Honestly, if we’re going to really get into it, why was I created in the first place, what can I bring to this great big world? Truthfully, I don’t think I ever really knew the answer until I heard the beating of my children’s heart right under my own.
See when Johnny and I married we knew we wanted to be parents, to start our family early. We talked for hours about the importance of family, of sharing our youth with our children and never being too busy to play with them. So from the moment Joshu…

Life Lesson #58 ~ Teacups and Superheroes

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As little girls we look up to our daddy’s. They are our first love, our heroes and navigators. They set the example, and if they are good men they set the bar high. As children we watch everything they do with eyes wide open, how they love our mothers, how hard they work, sacrifice and how much they believe in us, their children. My dad is an incredible man, selfless in every way, always giving, with a true servant’s heart. Thanks to my daddy, I was given two of the greatest gifts a little girl could ever have. One, my dad loved my mother and it was evident in everything he did, and two, he believed in me.
My mom and dad married in the late 60’s. My dad came into my mom’s life when she needed him the most. He has loved her since the day he met her. Now my dad is a southern gentleman from Alabama and my mom called Philly home. To say they were the least likely pair to meet and marry is not a stretch of the imagination. Four years later I came along. I was an unexpected miracle as my p…