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Showing posts from November, 2016

Life Lesson # 102 ~ Swimming In the Deep End

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"Watch yourself little girl. You're swimming in the deep end now." ~ Anonymous

Learning to swim in the deep end of the ocean can be scary. The idea of not being able to touch the bottom while sharks are circling on all sides is simply terrifying. But sometimes life is just like this scenario. Life with all it's complicated lessons throws you in head first, no floaties and screams "SWIM!" My life so far, has been countless"SWIM" lessons. Not that I'm complaining or counting actually because I've definitely learned to swim without my floaties on more than once. As for the sharks, well they are another story all together. But this is the thing about those terrifying, jagged edged mouth full of teeth, ready to devour us whole sharks: if a difficult situation doesn't challenge you then it certainly won't change you. So the reality is those sharks circling us night and day, well they have a purpose. They teach us not only to tread water …

Life Lesson #101 ~ Give Thanks

"It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy."  ~ Anonymous

As we approach the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season, i want to reflect first on Thanksgiving. This year as most we gathered with family and friends. And like so many other years we have so much to be thankful for. This last year our family has seen so much growth spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially. There's not much we can honestly complain about. Johnny and I are on solid ground, happy and our foundation stronger than ever before. The boys are in school.Micah is a senior, looking forward to starting college and yes planning his graduation trip. Joshua, he's 20, in college, becoming his own man and finding his own way. I'm working my dream job and Johnny's working for a good complany. My parents are in the prime of their lives, preparing for my dad to retire, to travel and enjoy even more time with each other. And there's the puppies, …

Life Lesson # 100 ~ Live, Love and Rescue

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” ~ Thom Jones
Losing Oscar was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced in my life. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt loss in such a way as I did the in the days following his death. For some that may sound odd but for those of us who love our pets as our own children, when one of our babies passes it’s excruciating. Without notice, a part of me was gone, leaving a void. With Oscar’s loss, my heart broke in a thousand pieces. I was devastated living with a hole in my heart a mile wide. I had no idea if I could open my arms, my heart and our home again to another fur-baby honestly. I mean there’s no replacing your fur-babies, they have their own unique place in your heart, with their own personalities and charm. The idea of bringing another animal into our home, soon after Oscar left for Rainbow Bridge was comforting and yet a bit rattling too. We talked, we cried and we kept …

Life Lesson #99 ~ Give ‘Em Something to Talk About

“Marriage doesn’t make you happy --- you make your marriage happy.  ~ Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott
I’m amazed by the life I have, the one I’ve been given and entrusted with. I’m happy living this life of mine. It's full of love, laughter and adventure. I’m married to the love of my life. Together we have two amazing, smart and handsome boys.  We have a beautiful home, good jobs and a lifestyle we’re content with. Our life is a good one. Have we faced challenges, yes we have. Have we experienced ups and downs, absolutely we have.  Has life been a white picket fence, no way but it has been an incredibly happy life.
It's no secret Johnny is the love of my life. From the moment my eyes met his, I knew there would never be another. He was so young back then with a baby face. I was completely taken by his eyes; they just felt so intense and wild, free and full of fire. His grin was rather devilish causing my heart to skip a beat every time he looked at me.   Johnny was everything I wa…

Life Lesson #98 ~ Life’s Snapshots

“A photograph is the pause button of life.” ~Anonymous 

I’ve been reminiscing, looking back on all our photographs from the last 20 years lately. It always brings me such joy. It’s as if all those years all come together building a mosaic, a montage of memories, feelings and emotions right in front of me. I love holding old pictures in my hand, being able to remember a moment from years ago that may have slipped away from my memory. It’s almost as if you can actually reach out and touch the memory, feel the love, the joy or even the sadness of the moment as it unfolds in your hands. It’s one of the reasons I always have a camera ready. I learned early on to capture as many imprints life has to offer as possible, I guess I’ve always understood how important keeping a collection of life’s impressions close by was while also making sure celebrations on hand  were tucked away somewhere safe. Why, well because in the blink of an eye all those memories can fade and be taken away. The truth …

Life Lesson #97 ~Sticks and Stones

"Throw your sticks and stones. Throw your bombs and blows but you’re NOT going to break my soul.” ~ Katy Perry

Today I want to talk to you about something close to my heart. For those who know my family’s backstory, you know we’ve faced some fairly big hurdles. Now for those of you who've recently joined our journey the details would probably make your head spin like something out of the Exorcist.  Seriously, it’s been quite an ordeal, the whole head spinning, vomiting thing and all. I have to be honest there have been a few times I wasn’t sure we’d make it out of our own montage of classic 1970’s/80’s horror movies combined. But the truth is we did and we've not only grown since but thrived in the process. And yes hands to my heart, we have stayed as far away from anything remotely resembling a Regan moment since. But none of that changes the fact we had to live through any of it in the first place now does it? On a serious note, the truth is those scary movie scenes for…

Life Lesson # 96 ~ Little Boys

“Legends are born in November.” ~ Anonymous
I learned this very lesson during November of 1996. Yes, twenty years ago I became a mom… for the first time I might add. In the days before Joshua was born I was scared, excited and completely unaware how much my life was about to change. Sure I knew life was never going to be the same again but I never dreamed how infinitely it was about to. I knew what I’d been told by other moms. You know the old no sleeping, "don’t do that, but do this" speeches. I was ready for all that, but what I wasn’t fully prepared for was the ache I felt inside my heart. I had no clue the unbearable yet beautiful pain I’d feel loving my child more than myself.  How do you fully explain how a child changes you? I don’t know if anyone can really except to say your lives are turned upside down, changed and completely different within seconds. From the very moment we first heard Joshua’s newborn cries Johnny and I knew our lives would be forever altered. We…

Life Lesson #95 ~ The Daughter of a Soldier

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“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”  ~ Peter Marshall
I am the daughter of a soldier. I was born into a family of those who serve. My life from the very beginning was one of love for country. From the time I could sit up my heart was wrapped in the red, white and blue. On this day, November 11, 2016 I wanted to say thank you to my dad and acknowledge the great man that he is. My dad was born and raised into the military. His dad was a pilot in the Air Force and served in the Navy during WW2. My dad being the rebel he was decided it wasn’t enough to fly those birds, no; he had to jump out of them. And jump he did. At the age of 17 my dad enlisted in the Army and never fully looked back. He was a soldier, and his life as a GI was carved into his dog tags. He trained hard, sending all his money home to take care of his younger brothers and sister living as modestly as possible. By the time he met my mom in 1968, he ha…

Life Lesson #94 ~ Winging it

“To be honest, I’m just winging it. You know…life, motherhood, my eyeliner, pretty much everything.”
Yep that’s the truth of it isn’t it? And honestly it's pretty much life in a nut shell. I don’t know about you but I failed to get my hands on a how to book when I entered this world some 43 years ago. And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to find one anytime soon either. So yes, I’m winging it.  Seriously, have you ever had one of those days when you just walk in the door, drop your purse on the table, pull up a chair, sit down and just say, ‘huh’? Yep those days seem a little too familiar as of late. Not that anything is wrong exactly; nothing is bad or not going well. Everything is peachy keen so to speak, it’s just I have this ache I can’t squash.
I’ve literally been waking up, and winging life. Not that it’s a bad thing mind you. I’m pretty much a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl anyway. But sometimes you’ve got to ground yourself. Lately, that hasn’t been as easy for me…

Life Lesson #93 ~ I’ll Meet You at the Bridge

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“You were my favorite hello and my hardest goodbye. ~anonymous

Grief is a strange thing. It affects all of us very differently. Truthfully, we all process our losses in our own times and our own way. Some of us cry until we can’t breathe while others seem distant. Losing a pet is much the same. For many of us when our fur-babies cross over the Rainbow Bridge we experience the same grief as if losing a child.  Something I didn’t fully understand until recently. Our pets become part of us, members of our families.  We care for them, love them, nurture them and grieve for them in the same way we do our own children. So when the time comes to let them go, it’s excruciating.
Our sweet little fur-baby Oscar left us unexpectedly for the Rainbow Bridge on October 3, 2016. Even as I try and type this now, I can barely hold back my tears. I honestly find myself still falling apart out of nowhere. Sometimes I even think I hear him prancing into the room, his little ears flapping the way they us…

Life Lesson #92 ~ Feels Like Home

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“Home is where your story begins.” ~anonymous
Our home is the beginning of our story, but our life together is the story itself. We are a small, sometimes untidy, and a bit unruly but mostly a happy bunch of nuts from the same tree. Life in our home, inside the intimacy of our walls knows no limits.  Why, because our home has never been contained by four walls.
When I look at my husband I see the man who offered me his name, never insisting I take it. I see the man who became the father of our children, giving them his unconditional love. I fall in love with Johnny even more when I watch him engaging with our boys. I have watched him grow as a father, losing some battles only to find his footing again becoming stronger. As a mom, I sit back and watch a lot. You know what I see? I see a man who loves his boys more than himself. A man who is proud of the men they are becoming and I see a man who would sacrifice anything for their good. I also see the interactions, how our boys respond…

Life Lesson #91 ~Finding Myself (Piece by Piece)

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“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.” ~The Power of Positivity
For years I told myself I was going to lose weight. I had very good intentions, believe me, but intentions aren’t actions. Intentions don’t produce results, hard work does. I had avoided the weight issue for years, slowing gaining more and more weight telling myself I would...eventually take it off. I was a mom, dong mom things. I didn’t have time for lipstick or fashion, heck I didn’t even have time for a shower some days. I had somehow lost myself and the woman I was before becoming a mom in the process. Andie Mitchell’s quote “we put our lives on layaway until we lose weight…and lose years not just waiting but hating ourselves too” honestly hits home for me. I was giving myself every excuse possible from still carrying baby weight, breast cancer, early menopause or simply stress. By 2013 I was at my heaviest, wearing a size 16 at around 200 …

Life Lesson #90 ~ Beautifully You & You Alone

“You’ve got a beauty that’s all your own.”
Do you see it yourself? Do you accept you’re beautiful, handsome? Do you know how amazing you are? Be it an oddball, a nerd, a beauty queen, jock, bookworm, living with a learning disability or a genius. Doesn’t matter, you’re you and that’s all that matters. Colbie Caillat says it so well in her song ‘Try’, “Wait a second, why should you care what they think of you. When you're all alone, by yourself do you like you? Do you like you? You don't have to try so hard, you don't have to give it all away. You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up. You don't have to change a single thing.”
I often wonder why so many people compare themselves to others? Honestly it’s very bewildering as to why folks duplicate; mimic or even forge a copy of someone else’s life trying to pass it off as their own. It’s a bit perplexing isn’t it as to the reasons some feel the need to compete to the point of losing themselves? What’s happened to or…

Life lesson #89 ~ Simplify Your Life

“A simple life is a beautiful life.” ~Anonymous
Life in itself is pretty complicated. Why, well I'm not sure there’s one particular reason honestly. We hurry to work, hurry home and repeat. Life can get overwhelming and become under appreciated. Life, if we’re not careful can get completely out of control. Before we know it we’re working to live instead of actually living. If lived simply, life offers us continual moments of inspiration daily. We just have to be willing to stop worrying about the Jones’ next door and begin living as the Smith family we are. “Sometimes all we need is just a new perspective.” That’s part of the reason I love spending weekends at the country house. Being out in the woods, away from the noise with no real technology, being able to grill and eat  outside, just chilling with our family and friends, well it centers us.
Want a simple, uncomplicated life well then you have to, “ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage t…