Posts Tagged With: personal


Hubbs and I met up with another couple to watch Michigan vs. Michigan State play basketball Sunday night.  I can’t say I follow it, but he does and then some;  I’m good with tagging along and enjoying the outing.

Talking to our oldest earlier that day, I asked what his plans were.

Sighing,  he said, “Well this is when I wish I had cable because I’d rather stay home and watch it than go out and spend money I don’t have.”

So you know I invited him to join us.

“Really?”  he asked.

“Sure, we’d love to have you. Come and have a beer and a sandwich on us.”  I said.

“Thanks, Mom. I’ll see you later!”  The excitement in his voice was palpable.

You see, between his work schedule and ours, and him having the little ones regularly, he doesn’t get a lot of time on his own much less with Mom and Dad.

Time without interruption, without tying shoes, bed times or monitoring who got the last of the fruit snax.

Time to talk, time to be heard.  Time to cheer along; time to just be.

Our table brightened when he arrived, pulled up a seat, and settled in to enjoy the game.

In the big scheme of life, it wasn’t anything. But, in its own way, it was everything.

 “When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.  ~The Talmud

me & my  Boo

me & my Boo

Categories: Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Snapping Strings

Maybe it happened when you had good news to share: an opportunity to talk about or the scale moving in the direction you wanted it to.

Like me, when those moments happen, you want to share them with others – friends and family – and instead, well instead sometimes you found excitement squelched by * crickets *.

But how much time have you spent dwelling on the approval you never got? May never get?

How many times has the stark silence of someone’s resistance dampened the high fives that rolled in … from others?

For me, it’s happened more than I’d like to admit.

You see, as much as I have tried to grow it up and suck it up and push all that stuff aside, it still irks me when I catch myself doing it.  When I realize how much weight I’ve allowed their actions to have.

Is it a control thing?  Is it true that when we allow what someone says or does to upset us, we are really just allowing them to control us?



I don’t think that’s it.  I think it goes deeper.

I think it goes back to the little child living in each of us. The one who just wants to be heard.

The one who wants to be relevant, charming, witty and smart.  Who wants to be valued, admired, celebrated and loved. Who wants to be invited back to the big kids table.  Who wants never to be turned away.

I’ve come to realize I might never all the connections I long for but I’ll always have me and that’s a relationship worth cultivating.  It’s probably time to snap some strings while I’m at it.

emjayandthem in grade one

emjayandthem in grade one

Will you join me?

Whose approval are you waiting for?

* * *

“I know what it’s like. I’ve seen it played out a zillion times. You’re waiting for that magical day when someone makes the connection and recognizes who you really are. Maybe they’ll first catch the sparkle in your eye. Or perhaps they’ll marvel at your insights and the depth of your spirit. Someone who will help you connect the dots, believe in yourself, and make sense of it all. Someone who will understand you, approve of you, and unhesitatingly give you a leg up so that life can pluck your ready, ripened self from the branch of magnificence. Well, I’m here to tell you, your wait is over. That someone, is you.” –  Mike Dooley

Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Close, clear & release

Close your eyes.  Clear your heart. Let it go.

sleeping puppy

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ―Ann Landers

What are you hanging on to? Can you let it go?

* image from Pinterest

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Growth, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Giving it up

A lot of folks are talking about what they’re giving up right now. I’m surrounded by “resolution commentary:”  no more this and a lot more that.

I hear them and I’ve been there, too.

But something occurred to me last night that I hadn’t considered: how about I give it up to Him?

How about if, instead of trying to fix or do it all, I turn my worries over to Him?

How about if, instead of the same old resolutions, I make just one new one:  to go to Him?

How about it?

message from God

*image from

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

I am

I heard some powerful words last night that I just had to share with you:

“Whatever follows ‘I am’ is going to come looking for you.” – Joel Osteen

Think about that, think about the words you tell yourself:

I am … tired.

I am … lonely.

I am … frustrated.

I am … unhappy with my body.

Now change those words:

I am excited about my future.

I am worthy of love.

I am capable.

I am beautiful.


Remember … your life is how you see it.  What do you see?

I see confidence!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Opinion, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Reordering the order

I’ve been on a cleaning kick of late:

Cleaning out, sorting through, giving away and tidying up.

My cousin and I chat often and she’s well aware of the “stuff” that’s been taking up space in my head. She’s the one who picked up on my cleaning tendencies from 1,700 miles away.


In an email, she referenced the tasks she considering doing last weekend.  I wrote back … and prioritized her list for her.   Geez.

This mouse likes a clean house!

She commented, “Tidying up is one of your ‘tells’ you know” …. and she’s right.  When my world feels chaotic, there’s something in me that needs to organize what I can. It helps me make sense of the crazy.

As a girl, I remember “playing” office.  I’d straighten up papers and play with the typewriter, sit behind a desk and pretend to talk on the phone.  The desk was always clean.  The thing is, I didn’t know anyone who worked in an office so I don’t know who I was channeling. My siblings and played “School,” too, but this was different. “Office” wasn’t adventurous; “Office” could be played alone. The “Office” was also where I retreated to on wintry days when I couldn’t escape on my pony to sort out my thoughts.

To this day, my office is neat and clean.  Why?  Because job demands can change on a dime so being organized helps me deal with others … who are not. But that’s not all of it:  keeping my work space tidy …calms me.

At home, most of our space is organized and clean. There are areas that needed attention and lately, they’ve gotten it. They’re tidier, I’m feeling more at ease, and those other things picking at me? They’re still there.

* * *

What are your conscious (or not so conscious) ways of dealing with stress?

a room like this would stress me out; image from

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, fear, Home, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

The first step

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Average of Five

A quote shared by my friend Beth inspired this post today: (check out her blog here)

“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
― Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek

Doesn’t that quote make you step back and think?

Think about who you work near and interact with the most.  Think about who challenges you, inspires you, motivates or aggravates you.  Think about family members, neighbors and friends.  Think about it all and then ask yourself this: Who’s on your Board of Directors? Is it time for a re-org?

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Life, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Laughter & tears

I came across that first photo tonight and laughed so hard it hurt. I know I’m overtired and stressed, and that I’m probably punchy to boot.  But then the cat photo surfaced and all you-know-what broke loose; you see, I’ve made the acquaintance of quite a few gnarly-toothed barn cats who looked like him and sounded far worse. So when the bum-in-the air elephant appeared next …  well that was it for me. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed again.  And it was good.

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Got a funny story or joke to share?  Please do (and please keep it P.G., thank you!)

*all Google images

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Intuitive Mothering

We don’t have to be the same to be lovable;

I always knew I wanted to be a mother.

I never imagined my life without a family and I certainly had lots of practice nurturing baby animals and babysitting on the farm.

Having said that,  I felt fate gave me boys: two hilarious, ridiculous and busy boys.   Why? Because even though I knew it would be fun to have a girl, I knew that I was far from a girlie-girl.  I mean, as a kid,  I lived out my days like Billy Jack, riding ponies and shooting cap guns, staging shows and cooking up adventures. I felt confident to handle two rumbly-tumbly boys; I wasn’t sure that I could manage a Barbie-playing girl.

But, in time, life brought me a daughter-in-law and, a later, a grand-daughter. Cool, the scales have shifted, I thought.  Secretly,  I envisioned all kinds of girlie escapades for us. I took my time getting to know her and making sure I wasn’t one of those mother-in-laws, overpowering or with-holding. I accepted her and her cute little boy and tried to let her know that if you love my boy that’s enough for me.

But, here’s what I didn’t anticipate:  I never expected that I’d mother her, too.  I mean, I knew she had a Mom and I’d heard enough to know that they weren’t as close as could be, but still, I hesitated … better tread softly here.

So, as it does, life moved along and I began to notice certain things: Like when she was expecting, it was me who organized a baby shower and it was our huge, crazy family that welcomed her.  When they got engaged, it was me & hubbs who booked the hall and paid the caterer and organized the guest list.  It was our house where she dressed and and it was me who helped her into the wedding dress; it was our yard where their pictures were taken in and our patio where the gifts were opened.  Them? They were … guests.  And when she related her struggles just talking with her,  I was the one who encouraged her to keep on trying.   You see, as a daughter of a wonderful mother, not having that relationship was as incomprehensible as not having …  air.

We talked a few days ago and I made it a point to tell her that, no matter what happens,  we hope she stays in our lives.  I tried to convince her that, despite her past experiences with them, it’s not in our hearts to trash, bash or discard her. Punctuated by her sobs were the words I’d never expected to hear, “I wish I could talk to her like I do to you.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Have you ever parented someone who wasn’t “yours?”

Categories: Faith, Family, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Called to peace

It was with great sadness that we learned our boy and his wife are considering divorce.  I know there have been highs and lows and everything in-betweens, and that sometimes, sometimes relationships don’t work and the only solution is to step away.

As a woman and a mother who survived divorce, it is with the heaviest of hearts that I think about how things will move along.  I know about the stress, the uncertainty, and the loneliness.

There are children, two little ones, in the middle.  Yes, little guy is technically hers but still, it was our son who stepped in and fathered for the past four years.

He’s the one who taught him how to tie his shoes and build forts, to ride his bike without the training wheels and to not be afraid of thunder. And then there’s the wee one, baby MJ who came from this union. In her world, there has always been Mommy and Daddy and brother A.  I cannot tell you how much my heart breaks when I think about those two innocent bystanders watching wide-eyed as their world shifts.

These are the lessons I learned when I traversed the ugly world of divorce and these are the ones I hope to share with both him and her:

1. Kids always think that your divorce is their fault. If only they were tidier, went to bed on time, didn’t talk so much, you name it, kids will think they caused this.  What can you do?  Make sure they know how much they’re loved and that there’s nothing they could ever do to change how you feel about them.  You can’t do this by buying them stuff or just  showing up on occasion, you do this one way and one way only: spending T-I-M-E with them, listening, cuddling, laughing, playing, loving.

2. They will feel unsteady.  It’s important to keep their world small and constant – day care, friends, bed-time, snacks, routine, structure should stay the same as much as possible.  And they will need boundaries now more than ever. Why?  Because boundaries let them know someone cares enough to reel them in.

Hubbs was a child of divorce and one of the saddest stories he ever told me was the longing he felt as neighborhood kids were called in at suppertime .. because no one was home at his house, and no one called for him. The look on his face when he told that story, 30 some years later, haunts me.

Don’t fool yourself that you can just buy kids stuff they don’t need, cause they’ll see right through that:  they don’t want “quality time,” they want ALL of your time.

3. They will look to you for guidance.  Even when you’re scared, lonely or frustrated, (and you will be) you still must do what’s best for them.  Show them that you can get through this. When they see you getting through, they will, too. Let them know what to expect ahead of time and then do it: when you say you’re coming to get them at 6:00 be there early and not a minute later.   I missed one school party – one – as a single parent when my oldest boy was 5.   He doesn’t remember it but I’ve never forgotten it.

4.  Let them be kids.  They are not your counselors or your dates, they are kids and their shoulders are too little to carry your burdens. If you need support, and you will, join a support group and find other like-minded adults you can lean on.

5.  Never criticize or undermine the other parent.  Your children are half of you, but they are half of that other parent, too. Remember: when you attack the parent, you attack the child. Even though my ex gave me plenty to be frustrated over (no child support, frequently unemployed, never showed up for birthdays, holidays or most visitations), I had to bite my tongue and reassure my boy that he was loved and that we were going to have fun anyways.  When you call the other parent names, your children will take this to mean that part of them isn’t good, either.  What a terrible thing to do to a child!   As hard as someone makes it on you, you did love them enough once to create these little people: love the littlest ones enough to keep the snarkiness to yourself.

6. Two homes not a broken one.    Decide that your child is not coming from a broken home but instead, two homes.  Being sad and clingy when children leave for visitation does nothing but instill anxiety in them.  It is not their job to worry about you, it’s yours.  Grit your teeth, smile, hug them hard and let them go. And, on the flip side, make your new home as “homey” as you can. It doesn’t have to big, grand or luxurious. It just has to be home: familiar routine, toys and some space with you in it. Trust me on this.

7.  Both sides are right.  When I hear “You are wrong and I am right,” I know that somewhere in the middle lives the truth.

Maybe it’s better to separate; maybe then the bickering and the keeping-track will stop.

Maybe there will be peace.

“But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15

Have you lived through a child’s divorce?  How did you cope with the heartache?

Categories: Faith, Family, Grief, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 45 Comments

All wise & prehistoric

Grands on the 4th

The past few days have been hot as what,  breaking records right and left.   The only place to be is in the pool.  AB and MJ came to swim on Independence Day and we all enjoyed jumping, splashing, and bobbing around together.

The conversations were varied and went something like this:

  • Nana, how do lightening bugs have lights in ’em? Dad says you’ll know.
  • Neenaw, watch me!
  • Nana, I didn’t know the edge was shallow, will you walk with me?
  • Neenaw, I did it!
  • Nana, how come the water goes in that little box? Where does it go? Why do the frogs hang out there? Oh they like the bugs, like a Chinese buffet?  Cooool …..
  • Neenaw, catch me!
  • Nana, I’d take a juice box and a freezie-pop.
  • Neenaw, me too!

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful.  One moment you’re just a mother.  The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.  ~Pam Brown

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Holidays, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

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