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Posts Tagged With: love

The price we pay

I’ve been absent, that much I know:  1 post in August, another in September.

I used to write almost daily. What happened?

I’d like to say life happened but that’s just not true.

Yes we’re busy.  Busy-busy-busy.  I am so sick of the word busy.

The truth is harder to admit out loud:  I. Miss. Her.

It’s been a year+ since she left.  It was time and believe me when I say I don’t want her to come back for things to be how they were in the end.

Just last week a colleague’s mother passed away and the grief paid a visit. A Tsunami wave of it so strong and deep I nearly lost my footing.

So many of my stories, experiences and thoughts have her intertwined throughout.

But.  She wouldn’t want this. She would not want this for me at all.

She would set her mouth in a firm way, frown and tell me, “it’s time.  You have to carry on.”

And so I do. I try.

Some days  are better than others.

Some days I forget to think of her.

Other days I dial into conference calls and try not to shout out loud “OH FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!” like she would have been tempted to had  she been there.

Some days I move around as though nothing happened.  As though the void of her passing wasn’t there.

Other days I prep the coffee maker to wake up and find I never added … water or coffee.

Some days.

Some days I laugh and chat with my sister and a memory makes us both giggle then gasp back tears, all at once.

Other days I can engage with humanity as though nothing happened.   Like the wound isn’t still gaping.

There’s a lesson for me here:  Grief has no timeline.

It’s real and raw and it’s why I haven’t even thought about writing.

Because to write now is writing in a world without her in it.

All that she was and all that she shared and encouraged in me – a love of reading and writing, of good books, breaking news, meandering conversations, being still and quiet,  political nuances, singing along to songs worth singing to, Sunday supper on the stove, and a home tidied with things in their place  – all that I love to do and 5 million more – are because of her.

God, I miss her.

  * * *

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

 

This song was one of her favorites ~ and it echoed one of her favorite Bible verses.  Sing with me will you?

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Faith, Family, Grief, Growth, Love, Mom, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 – Sisters, Books and Summer’s arrival

It’s Sunday! Back to work tomorrow ~Cooking, Laundry and random 5 today. Here goes!

1 )  My sister and I vacationed together last week ~ she lives in Canada, where we grew up, I live in the USA so – instead of traveling to each other’s homes – we met in the middle – something new for both of us.  No cooking. No cleaning. No bed-making.  No organizing. No wrangling. No Scheduling.  We loosely followed the “no plan-plan.”   Meeting in Minneapolis then flying to Kansas City together we laughed and we cried and we laughed again.  Navigating the rental car through the city and down to the interstate to Branson, MO, we sang along and talked and talked.  We had purchased a few show tickets ahead of time but left the week open to the possibilities.  Lying by the pool. Shopping in cute little boutiques, artisan markets and outlet malls.  Dining out, being waited on and, in some cases, sung to (the Singing Diner was so fun!)  Our trip was glorious!  Sister time – talking in the morning, talking at night, talking by the pool, talking in the dark.   On our last night together, out of the dark a small voice whispered,”I’m sure going to miss you, you know.”  “I know,” I said, “as will I miss you.”    A knowing look – finishing each others sentences – laughing at our stupid jokes.  For as much as we talked – sisters don’t need words.  

Sisters! An Emjayandthem(C) photo

2 ) Heat – arriving back home I was surprised to find the weather much hotter here (northern) than where we’d been (southern).  How did that happen?  80s up to 90s with little rain. It’s hot and dry.  Birds flitter happily through the sprinkler.

3 )  Taking a (leave-your-house) vacation is an excellent reminder that all of the stuff stressing me out is just that … stuff.    I work hard and do my best to stay on top of everything but every once in a while I need to step away from it and breathe.  Live.  Laugh.  And re-connect.

and there it is

4)  Books — Read one and bought another — one of my favorite things to do on a plane is to dive into a new story.  This one was well worth the dive:

… great read .. right to the last page!

And I bought this on the recommendation of a fellow passenger – next up on my summer reading list.

5 ) Summer’s here and another favorite just arrived — the Farm Market is open again!  I have to pace myself and remember that, for the most part, I’m the only one eating all these yummies.   Ooh … deliciousness abounds!!

What’s on your summer reading list?  Have you had any adventures lately?   What are you grateful for?  Are you a fan of toasted ‘mater sammiches, too?  *(GF for me!)

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 – Mom looks, phone calls, traffic, forgetting and Pearls

We’re halfway through May ~ wow!  I’ve been traveling so much that I was halfway through April when I realized my desk calendar said … March.  And wouldn’t you know that, ever since my last post, I’ve been craving Penny Candy?  🙂

I’m not here as much anymore, sorry, but I do read your posts when I can, and I think about writing. I really do.  I just … well … 10 & 12 hour work days + night meetings + copious travel and … yeah, you get it.   Something’s gotta give … and this g-a-v-e.

But a few randoms caught my attention lately and I thought “those would be great for the blog” – so here we go.   Random 5 on a .. gulp .. Wednesday.

(1)  Mother’s Day was great – relaxing – joyful.  The boys came and went, chats were had, hugs and presents were given.  Didn’t need anything fancy – just them.

… and we laughed about the power that IS “the Mom look”

( 2 )  Is it just me or has there been an uptick in anonymous calls?  Home, office and cell phone.  Hey, pal, if you can’t even announce who you are, I’m not answering.  This isn’t 1974 when no calls were ignored …!

( 3 )  My face.  In traffic.  Every day.  Except I’m dressed.

( 4 )  Did this the other day — walked around looking for my glasses which were on my head.  Geez Louise.   Have you gone to the basement and walked around wondering why you were there?  Came back up only to remember?  Gah!

( 5 )   An Auntie shared this photo recently of Dad’s mother, Grandma Pearl.  I get my naturally curly hair from her.  She was a marvelous cook ~ her pan-fried burgers with sautéed onions were to die for ~ and her baking was out of this world.  Sometimes she let me help – such a privilege!  I had the good fortune (and prior planning – wink wink) to be over for a noontime visit she’d invite me to stay for lunch with her and Grandpa and, before lunch even started (translate feast) she’d hand me a plate and ask me to go pick out baking for dessert — in the basement she had a freezer full of baked treats – gingerbread cookies, short breads, “Aunt Mary’s cookies,” home-made donuts, tarts, bars and more.  Any lucky grandchild carrying the plate could simply tip-toe down the gleaming white stairs to the baking freezer, crack open the lid and take our pick from the plethora of homemade goodness that lived there.  Setting the selections aside as we enjoyed lunch together, the treats would quickly defrost.  After lunch, Grandpa would dip spoonfuls of sugar into his coffee/cream, they’d quietly nibble their selections in the midst of  the clatter my stories must have generated.    When I see her face, I’m transported to the summers of my girlhood — pigtails, my pony tucked in the barn or a 10 speed right at the front door.  I feel again what I’d always known to be true.  Something they didn’t speak of, you had to be there to feel it.  Loved.

This picture taken in 1923 ~ 94 years ago ❤️ Pearl was 19. Her only daughter passed away on Mother’s Day ~ hard for us but a gift to her.  An Emjayandthem (C) Photo

 

What’s new in your world?  Did your Mom have “the Mom look” down?  What picture or fragrance transports you back to your Grand parents?  Do tell!

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Strong Women, Grey Ties & Valentine’s Day

As a girl, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a school party, card boxes, ice skating and moms visiting our classrooms.

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google.images.com

As a teenager, Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a boyfriend if I had one and avoided if I didn’t.

google images

google images

As a young married woman, Valentine’s Day meant cards and flowers – for a while, anyways.  As our relationship evolved, romantic gestures were replaced by thoughtful ones.  Things you can’t buy in the store: taking out the trash; filling my car up with gas on a snowy day.  Running his vehicle through the car wash then detailing the inside myself. Folding the laundry left in the dryer; bringing in the groceries.   It’s the little things  ~ but they’re helpful and kind and nice.  And there’s a flow and a comfort to it that I love.

In my 50’s I don’t wait for someone else to make me happy ~ I make myself happy.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1You see I learned it from her:  My mother was a strong woman and my role model  – 100lbs of dynamite ~ she calved calves, trained horses, wrangled 5 kids, a husband, a 1/2 acre garden, 2 dogs and 14 cats.  She rode in trail rides, taught 4-H and Sunday School, balanced the books and Chaired the Board.  She always got out to vote, once taking the tractor to the highway to catch a ride to the polls. No muddy roads were going to stop her!  Not much ever did!

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 - mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Mom wrangling a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963 – mother of 5, do-er of anything she set her mind to. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Like she did, I go to bed when I’m tired,  take a nap if I need one and I stay up late when I choose to.  I make room for the things I love – books – and never apologize for the space they occupy.  I have learned how to say “no thanks” to stuff I don’t want (or want to do) and “YES please!” to the ones I do.

Years ago Mom bought my sister & I that novel about the guy with the grey ties  ~ She made it clear she had no intentions of reading it and quipped “you can handle it” with a snort.   The two of us traumatized our grown kids by leaving it out on end tables.  The comments of horror from my nieces and the looks our boys shot my way were so worth it.  That was her point, to stir the pot and to remind us we always have a choice.

I chuckle remembering how Mom and I joked that if a good looking, rich man came near us with a grey tie, he’d find himself in some deep do-do.

God, I miss her.

So this Valentine’s Day I wish you this:

  • I wish you the courage to make the leap you’ve been pondering,
  • I wish you dreams in technicolor,
  • I wish you the conviction to change what’s not working, to stop worrying about what others think and to do the things that make your soul sing.
  • Time’s a-wasting and, per the wisest woman I’ve ever known, the only hero we have is ourselves.

 

strong-women

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Fun, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Humor, Joy, Love, Mom, Personal, Romance, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Freedom, baby

15 years ago today, we experienced an inconceivable tragedy when terrorists attacked our nation simply because of who we are and what we stand for. We will never forget.

4 years ago, we experienced this evil once again when 4 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack while serving in Benghazi, Libya. We will never forget.

We remember the heroic law enforcement officers, fireman and medical units who rushed TOWARDS danger when everyone ran from it. And our men and women in uniform who fiercely protected our freedom then and now.

So to the cowards whose jealousy and warped ideologies motivate attacks on us – I remember what happened here post 9/11: I remember people coming together NOT apart, strangers rescuing strangers and neighbors helping neighbors, people donating blood,money and food, an outpouring of love & pride for our country and renewed appreciation for our service men and women. We united this great nation as ONE. I never saw so many American Flags flying so bright and so often.

We were one nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Sneaky terrorist creeps will never be able to take away what is intrinsic to our nature as citizens: our desire to live a full and FREE live. Honor. Faith. Hard work. Patriotism. And FREEDOM, BABY!

We remember the people we lost…and the heroes who rose.

Freedom LIVES.

Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ 2 weeks!

It’s Friday (finally!) – here are 5 random happenings in my world this week:

1 Stopped last night to buy Christmas crackers for our family gathering in 2 – count ’em – 2 weeks.  As a Canadian, this is a British tradition we enjoyed  loved as kids — one person held each end of the cracker and pulled them apart – a *POP* sound soon followed, and everyone ended up with a tissue paper hat to wear, a small toy and a joke or riddle to share.    Our boys and grands have grown up with these at the table and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

2  Tuesday at the State Capitol (which is wide open to everyone, by the way) my team and I were busy  setting up Legislative interviews when a young man wandered into the studio. At first I felt a bit annoyed, because you see I didn’t really have time to shoo him out of there. But as he stood and looked around – with wonder in his eyes – my eyes softened and we ended up talking for about 20 minutes. He’s my youngest boy’s age and he told me how he’s going to Community College, working part-time, and lives with his Grandmother. He told me more about himself in those 20 min than maybe I needed to know – but in that moment he let me know he needed to be heard. It was yet another lesson to STOP – SLOW DOWN- and LISTEN. Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes you just have to stop moving to hear it.

“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”

MI Capitol in fog

The Michigan State Capitol .. and State Christmas tree, blanketed in fog in December. An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

3  Still no snow.  Driving to meetings and running errands is easy-peasy; it was 59F yesterday.  People are out without coats. Shocking – in December.  I didn’t feel any Christmas spirit until youngest boy and I decorated the tree last night.    Leveraging his height, we laughed as he straightened the angel and tweaked the lights “just so.”  Standing back to admire his handiwork, we both agreed that their home-made ornaments are our favorites.  He put it best, “They tell our story, Mom.”

a shot of youngest boy in grade school ...

a shot of youngest boy in grade school … An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. I’m glad today is Friday and that the weekend is not yet another runaway train. At least not yet.  Hubbs is prepping for a business trip next week and he’s stressed about that, I have a full schedule, too, yet there’s so much to accomplish here at home.  I think a vacation day is in order – the house to myself?  Ooh ahh …. 🙂

and there it is

and there it is

5  Talking with friends about how hectic our days are – jobs – kids – grand kids – aging parents – and BAM here come the Holidays.  More and more we’re all talking about simplifying things.  This simple message resonates with me:

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And you?    What Holiday tradition from your childhood have you carried with you?   How are your  preparations coming along?  Are you taking any time outs just for you?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – 5 years

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday (yay!) so here are 5 randoms from my little corner of the universe.

1  Cooked yesterday and doubled everything. Why? I’m dropping off half to oldest boy and the grands later today.   The work/school/homework schedule is just nicer when you have “extras” around.  Homemade soup, sloppy Joe’s, Game day brownies  and more.   To quote Mom, “Love is Groceries.

food ina garten

2 It was Mom who taught me the significance of caring for others.  On Mothering is just one of many posts I’ve written about her. She taught me so many things but, most importantly, she taught me how to mother.  And, like her, I’m fierce — no apologies.  Because of that, I can’t wrap my head around that our grand children’s mother left them like she did.   But it was my wee Mom who reminded me He gave our boy big shoulders for a reason and sometimes Mom & Dad are the same person.

smell the color 9

3  Stopped the other day to take this picture – October will end soon and all of this will pass.  Don’t miss it.

Country Club trees

4  I write as means to formalize my thoughts, connect-the-dots and express myself.  Through this experience I’ve connected with many of you, and one I’ve even met in person (lucky me).   When I write what I know – posts about life, relationships, personal growth, faith and home – you chime in and I love that so much.

m151be-yourself-unknown-posters

5 Going back to Mom, she was moved to Nursing Home placement this week and, when asked how things were going, her response made me laugh.  “I’m doing the best I can and managing to stay out of trouble… so far!”  This center is small, 17 beds, and in a rural setting, which is much more her style.  Both my sisters are certain she’ll get more personalized care and that’s of comfort to us all.  Thinking of her it hit me that 5 years ago today I published my very first blog and, not surprisingly, I wrote about  another life lesson learned from Mom.      5 years, 824 posts,179,273 visitors, still writing.    Thank you for reading along.

yes i can

Happy Sunday to you!  When you look back over your blogging lifetime, what do you see?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Food, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Stew Leonard’s, gift cards, and happenstances

It’s Friday – whoop! I am off today and here are 5 randoms thoughts from my week.

1) Trader Joe’s opened a store here recently. Never been there but folks here are awfully hyped up about this grocery store. If you want to experience THE grocery store, visit Stew Leonard’s – the world’s largest Dairy store – in Norwalk, CT.  I remember taking oldest boy there when he was very little, and the prices were well worth the singing cows and dancing milk cartons … Now THAT’s a grocery store. 🙂

2) I won an award at work and picked Visa gift cards as my prize. I don’t need more stuff. Instead I stopped, after work, for a mani/pedi and became one with the massage chair. Felt like a genius.  I still have a little $ to spend but I’m one to make a list and a careful purchase.  Likely involving books … got any recommended reading for me?

cook clean or read

3) It’s Fall and I cook more when as weather cools.   Brought out my Wolfgang Puck electric pressure cooker for a yummy  dinner this weekend.  The best part?  Beef stew, braised chicken, or a succulent roast in under an hour.   (I was scared to death of the one Mom used as we grew up – it had a screaming sound and jangly top that threatened to blow at any minute. Whenever it came out – outside I went!) Get yours here

wolfgang-puck-automatic-8-quart-rapid-pressure-cooker-d-20130813151431583~269531_001

Here’s what mine looks like – no jangling bits to blow off in my face!

4) Tuesday morning, while waiting for the results of medical tests, I quietly sung one of my favorite Elvis Gospel songs.  The next morning I turned on my Mp3 for the drive to work.  The MP3 has nearly 1,000 songs on it and is always set to “shuffle” – meaning it shuffles songs randomly.   That song came on first.  Coincidence? Nope.

5 ) 22 days till Halloween!  I no longer decorate for it like I did when the boys were little but I do love shopping with the Grands for their costumes.  We touch and try on crazy hats, test drive the spooky sounds of store displays and thoroughly enjoy the outing.  I remember these kinds of costumes, and our faces sweating underneath them.  How about you?

google.images.com

google.images.com

 

How was your week?  Ever been to a Trader Joe’s or Stew Leonard’s?  If you had a $100 gift card to spend, what would you buy?  Do you have any page-turners to recommend?  Ever cooked with a Pressure cooker?  How do you feel when you experience random happenstances?  Are they random?  And what costume do you remember sweating under?

 

 

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growth, halloween, Holidays, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Release me

*this is an update on a post from January 7, 2012  

Picture yourself standing on a dock and everything you want to release from your life has been placed into a small boat; picture yourself untying the boat from its moors and giving it a gentle push.  Picture the boat floating away and, with it, all that you want to be rid of.

* * *

Update:

I’ve released relationships that drain my soul and pull me down; I’m responsible for me, not them.

I’ve released my need to say yes to everyone but myself and learned “no” is not a four letter word.

I’ve released old habits and opened the door to new. I’ve made room for wonder, splendor, excitement and creativity.

I’ve released fears about what’s to come and trust what Mom always said: I’m more than capable of handling whatever comes my way.

I’ve released my tendency to give it all away; I’ve learned not everyone deserves some of what I’ve got.

I’ve let it go.

Get back here boat, I want to get in, along with my three traveling companions: joy, hope, and happiness.

* * *

“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident. It all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on the top of it or underneath it.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

* * *

What will you place in your boat? Will you load it up and push it away?  Will you get in? 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The 3 sides of love

Dear You:

When his marriage ended he thought the world did, too.  We moved him and what remained into our basement.  We helped pay his bills and care for his children and tried to assure him that things would be all right.  We didn’t know how and we didn’t know when but we knew that, in time, it would.

It wasn’t long before the walls here at home closed in; he’d had enough of us and we of him.  And, as adults go, he was ready and that was fine.  He moved to a place he could hardly afford, sleeping on air mattresses and living on leftovers and cheap groceries. I worried and barely slept, because that’s just how I roll. He found a job working outside in the driving snow but he held on to the hope that one day – some day – things would be all right.

He dated a little, but there was always a part of him that he held back.  That part that didn’t trust any more. Still, we talked regularly, and with an armful of groceries, he’d hear us say again and again … that things would be all right.

Over time he and the kids settled into a routine and, when the next summer came ’round, he started to live again .. but at an inch at a time.  He grilled out and had friends over.   But it was those nights when the wee ones weren’t there with him that were the hardest.  He told me how he couldn’t sleep so he’d go for walks late at night.  He talked longingly of other families through living room windows.  He told me in a whisper how hard he prayed for one of his own.

Believing that if you dream it you can be it I asked him to tell me what he wanted.  Clearly he replied: “I want someone who gets me, who laughs, who listens, who is kind, who doesn’t yell at me when I forget something or mess up. I want someone who wants to be in a relationship not just talk about it. I want a partner. I want what you have.”

Years passed, time pressed on and he and the littles grew.  We could see what he couldn’t  –  progress.

But still, there was always something missing … and that’s where you come in.

Last Christmas, he mentioned how he’d met a girl by chance (no such thing!) and how different she was. Sweet, kind, giggly, adorable, smart, funny, and easy-going.  His list of adjectives to describe her  you went on and on.

Now that I know what I know, I know this: it might have been your brown eyes and beautiful smile that drew him in but it was your kind and accepting heart that held him there.

Did you know that he loves how you’re always cold?  I’ve never known him to buy anyone a blanket; he would have mocked anyone who did.  He bought you a red fuzzy one and talks about how cute you are under it.  Uh-huh.

He marvels that you think to pick up items he’s low on like toilet paper and milk and snacks that kids might enjoy on a field trip.

He was happiest that you were perfectly happy hopping into his truck and riding along with him on an evening work errand.

He’s different now. He smiles more. He’s also fiercely protective of you. He’s not come around as much, he doesn’t call as often, and growth is happening again.

Then there’s the littlest ones – they love you too, did you know that? The boy saved his money to bring you a present from the school carnival. The girl draws pictures … with you in them.  Even his ex-wife drops them off to you when needed.  That says so much right there.

Couple Love concept

So thank you. Thank you for seeing in my boy what I’d hoped you would:  a capable man with a goofy sense of humor, a strong work ethic, and a big heart still willing to love.   You see someone who’d help a neighbor but is just as likely to stop for a stranger, too.  A fellow who’s waited and prayed and hoped for a girl who understands, accepts and appreciates him – his strengths, his faults, his wins, his losses.  You do this – just this – and that man will swim through shark-infested waters to bring you the best glass of lemonade you’ve ever had.

My role is changing again.  He’ll always be my little boy but, more importantly, he’s your man now.  I’d like to share this quote I found some time ago ~ it’s helped me and maybe it will you, too.

“Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:

1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation

Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart.

Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions?

So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.”

-Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

*dedicated to oldest boy and his girl on their engagement this past weekend.

related:

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

On saying Yes

I’ve been thinking a lot about a workshop coming up this weekend — a women’s retreat, so-to-speak, and time away to be with like-minded individuals in a supportive, creative environment.

Thinking about the questions posed to us ahead of time (loosely translated): 1) what’s the greatest risk you ever took and how did it turn out? 2) How do you define passion? and 3) What’s your big “Super Hero” dream – i.e. what does “next” look like?

girl-with-arms-open-wide-to-the-sky

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The first two were easy to answer: 1) moving to another country with $178 and a guitar .. and here I am, a successful citizen.  2) It’s all that I am and what I can’t ever leave behind – it’s me doing the right thing regardless if anyone’s around to witness it – it’s music and love, family and relationships, hard work, silliness and stability. But #3.  3 has me thinking .. a lot.

On the treadmill last night, I had an epiphany (treadmill walking will do that to you … you can’t do much else, at least I can’t.) I can’t read or watch TV, pretty sure I’d fall off, but I digress.

I thought about how I gave oldest boy some of my sage advice last week on the power of saying “no.”  And, a direct quote was, “No. It’s a sentence.”  He used it and, by golly, it worked and here we are.

And I realized, at a 3.4 mph speed, that the past 5 years I’ve worked hard at saying no.  No without guilt. No without noise.  One word: “No.”

Saying no has opened up room for “Yes.”  And I’ve done a little of that … but last night I realized I already had my answer to #3 above.

I’m saying “Yes.”

Yes to adventures and events, to meeting new people who inspire and get me, yes to delight and wonder and learning and growth.  Yes to noise and yes to quiet.  Yes to order and yes to messy. Yes to love and comfort, joy and happiness.

I’m saying Yes.

“Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” -Tina Fey

What do you really want to say yes to? Have you made room for it in your life?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, music, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Mother’s Day

It’s Friday! Time for 5 Random thoughts this Mother’s Day weekend.

1. “A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review.” ~Robert Brault.  One year ago today I was on a plane to see her.  Oh what a grand time we had!   This year, I sent her a huge floral arrangement because we will see each other soon but still …  I miss her. ❤

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me... having a Killian's in Branson, MO

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

2.  Mom taught me a lot, but in spite of her efforts, there were some lessons that didn’t stick: I can’t sew, I hate gardening and I never mastered her bread recipe.   Here are the ones that did: sharing a meal lovingly prepared, the joy in make-believe play on stormy days, that books can take you anywhere and to laugh at myself. (Remember her story of “I’m Gay?”)

Mom loves music and always has the radio playing in her country kitchen, and I do the same.  She taught me the importance of date nights, of a dab of perfume and a swirly skirt and jewelry that makes you feel like a girl. Mom loved me enough to let me go yet never failed to rally and cheer, “You can do it, kid!”

3.   When I think about how much I love my boys, I understand how much she loves me.  And I think that when you’ve been loved .. you can love.

Me & my Hooligans at my U.S. Citizenship party.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Me & my Hooligans at my U.S. Citizenship party.
An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4.  Some of my best times with Mom have been when it’s just the two of us; we’re up late, and the house is quiet and the conversation flows.  She’s told me things about herself and her life’s adventures that none of the other kids know. Someday I might tell them, or, maybe not.  Maybe in those moments we were just two really good friends hanging out – laughing, crying, looking back, being grateful.   Those moments are sacred to me.

Nameless moments

5. Tomorrow, our boys are taking us out for supper.   We’ll go to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, take over a big table and enjoy someone else’s cooking.  We’re going on Saturday to skip the Sunday crowds; they’re logical like that.   There’s the promise of homemade cards and lots and lots of laughter.  I will love it and am looking forward to it.  Sunday I’ll be in my kitchen again – cooking, singing, and … on the phone with Mom.

motherhood

In everything I’ve ever accomplished and all that I’ve ever experienced, I’ve had one tiny but mighty powerhouse behind me: my Mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms! ❤

Question:  When you think of your Mom, what three words could describe her best?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Family, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Mom, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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