Tag Archives | life

Loving others

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I can let something build up in me and make it tens times worse than it needs to be, or I can meditate and let the universe take it.  This past weekend my husband and I had a conversation about some family members and why they choose to do the things they do.  We were talking about how we were hurt by certain actions.  After a long discussion, we both looked at each other and said, “really, it’s none of our business”.  It’s true, it’s not.  Yes, we feel affected, but at the same time we have to accept these people, who we do love, for who they are.  It’s hard! I’m not going to lie.  My husband is more calm about such things. I want to call the person and have an out right discussion of the behavior taking place. ha!

My point of this post,  is that we don’t have to like peoples actions, but we should try to love everyone.  It will only make us better people.  If you are honest in your own every day life, things will proceed the RIGHT way.  I’m a firm believer in karma.  You get what you choose.  I’ll end with this… Always be a giver, not just a taker.  It’s better for the soul.

Cheers to Monday!

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Filed under: Family, Life, Uncategorized

an honest post about pre-motherhood

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I’m not the type of woman who has always wanted children.  I had a business for years, and that was my child.  I was happy, and plenty busy with that.  I’ve never been the type of person that felt like a child would complete my life, I was happy with me and what I already had.  I’ve never been the type to dwell about motherhood or have the feeling that “I was put on this earth to be a mom”, I was happy just living.

I had watched other moms dote on their children, and completely forget about their husband.  I had watched other moms try to form their small child into what “they” wanted, instead of letting the child develop into themselves.  I had watched other moms stress out about what their child ate, drank, wore, and on and on and on… Quite frankly, it turned me off from motherhood.  It was everything I DIDN’T want to do!

Then…then I met my husband who happened to be a bit older than me, 9 years to be exact.  I was reaching 32, and still wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I had sold my business, and felt like I needed to get to know myself again, like truly get to know myself.  But, I liked this guy, he seemed solid, mature, and stable.  So I went for it, slowly.  Taking things slow was something new for me, by the way.

Fast forward, I’m 36, he is 45 and we are having our first baby.  Scared? Sure.  Excited? Yes! Doubtful? No.  Ready? Ready as we will ever be.

I’m currently 4 months away from having our first child.  Some days it seems not real.  It wasn’t easy for us to conceive our baby, it took time, work and energy. But, damn it, we did it, and I couldn’t be more proud of both of us.

I’m excited to become a mom, something I never thought I would say.  I’m also nervous, but I know deep down I will be the best mom I can possibly be.  I also know that I want my child to be the person “they” want to be, even though I’m sure it’s just instinctual to want to show them, teach them, and even boss them.  I also know my husband will come first, and our child we will raise together.

I never knew you could feel so much love for something that is not even here yet, but it’s true, you can!  I also never knew that some people have to work harder than others to get something they never even knew they wanted, but I know now.

I also know that all of my selfish tactics, and endless babble about nothing, will need to disappear, and my focus will be on my husband and our small child.  I couldn’t be happier that I waited 36 years to find the right partner to conceive this child with.

Dave, I know that we will be the best parents we can possibly be, and that no one or nothing will take that joy from us. We made a pac 3 years ago of our goals in life and we have already accomplished so many in such a short amount of time. When baby J gets here, there will be 3 of us, to continue on the journey we have ahead of us.

Baby J, mommy and daddy love you unconditionally, and we are waiting patiently to meet you.

xo

 

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Filed under: Family, Life

monday

monday photo

I love this! This to me says you can’t just sit around, you have to hustle, if you want to be successful.  My husband and I are both hustlers.  We never sit still, which is why one of my words for 2014 (meditation), is so challenging for me. Although, I did it this weekend and it felt wonderful.  Now, back to Monday and time to hustle!

Cheers to a fab week!

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Filed under: Life

word(s) for 2014

new year

I love the ending of a year, and the beginning of a new one.  It really makes me pause and reflect on what happened the previous year, and my goals for the coming year.  This year I’m picking a word, or in this case words…  Gratitude and meditation.  Two things that I easily let slip away when life starts to get busy.  If I stay in gratitude, I don’t have any expectations for anything or anyone.  I’m more kind, appreciative, and balanced.  I live one day at a time, and appreciate just breathing.  Meditation, this is something that has taken me years to learn.  Some days it’s guided, others it’s silent. It has never been easy for me, but when I do it, I feel at peace.  It slows me down, and lets me appreciate just being. It keeps my airways fresh, and allows my heart to love more and to be a kinder person.

I’m going to become a mommy this year, and I couldn’t be more excited. Although, I have been warned(not really warned, but talked to), by some very good, honest friends, who are mamma’s, that preparing myself is the most important thing I can do.  I don’t mean by buying all of the necessities, or whatever else, I mean meditating and preparing myself for a life change.  No more me, no more sleep, and no more schedule.  Making sure I’m in a good spot when our little angel arrives.  I’m not sure you can ever be too ready, but having such honest talks, have helped me be prepared.

This past year was a doozy, to say the least.  we went through some major life situations, lost a good friend, and felt a bit of sadness, but overall, God brought us out on top, and we couldn’t be better.  Funny how that works!

So, here is to 2014 and knowing it will bring lots of great changes!

Peace~

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Filed under: Beauty, Life

a year in review

2013

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I know I’m getting old when I decided against having a party tonight, because I honestly don’t think I can stay up late enough.  I know, lame.

I hope everyone had a wonderful year.  We sure did.  Lots of ups and downs, and turnarounds.   Overall, it was a great year!

Most of our year was trying to get pregnant.  As some of you may know we went through mounds of fertility treatments, that ended in us (me) finally getting pregnant.  Wow, I commend any woman that has gone through that.  Hardest thing I’ve ever been through, and you are all my true heroes.  The support I received from friends and even strangers, was the biggest gift I could have received this year.  Unless you’ve been there, you’ll never know the angst, worry, fear, pain, and then relief, if it even works.  Love to all of my mamas.

We did a bit of traveling, which we intend to do more of in 2014. We are starting the year off with a trip to Big Bear with some friends.

I opened my online shop, Love Threads.  I’ve been in the business for over 10 years, it’s pretty much all I know.

My mom and dad made their appearance quite a few times, which we always love.  We tend to get out and travel to different areas along the coast when they are here.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton more things, but overall can’t complain, can only be thankful.

I thank every one of my readers who have supported our blog and shop throughout the year.   I am truly thankful for all of you.

2014, is going to be the best year yet!

Peace~

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Filed under: Life

Anniversary

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Two years ago, I married my best friend.

Dave, you are the most amazing husband a girl could ask for.  You are loyal, kind, sincere, and as generous as one could be.  The years keep getting better and better with you.  I can’t believe I got so lucky!

Happy Anniversary, my love. xo

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Filed under: Life, Photography

wise words

maxwanger2^^^photo by Max Wanger^^^

— British writer Caitlin Moran in her hilarious, wonderful letter to her daughter

  1. Nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit’My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to get out – I’ve thought about writing her one of those “Now I’m Dead, Here’s My Letter Of Advice For You To Consult As You Continue Your Now Motherless Life” letters. Here’s the first draft. Might tweak it a bit later. When I’ve had another fag.“Dear Lizzie. Hello, it’s Mummy. I’m dead. Sorry about that. I hope the funeral was good – did Daddy play Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen when my coffin went into the cremator? I hope everyone sang along and did air guitar, as I stipulated. And wore the stick-on Freddie Mercury moustaches, as I ordered in the ‘My Funeral Plan’ document that’s been pinned on the fridge since 2008, when I had that extremely self-pitying cold.“Look – here are a couple of things I’ve learnt on the way that you might find useful in the coming years. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. Also, I’ve left you loads of life-insurance money – so go hog wild on eBay on those second-hand vintage dresses you like. You have always looked beautiful in them. You have always looked beautiful.

    “The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux, and this will save you the anxiety of other, ultimately less satisfying things like ‘being cool’, ‘being more successful than everyone else’ and ‘being very thin’.

    “Second, always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.

    “Three – always pick up worms off the pavement and put them on the grass. They’re having a bad day, and they’re good for… the earth or something (ask Daddy more about this; am a bit sketchy).

    “Four: choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you’re in your best outfit when you’re with them, even though you’re just in a T-shirt. Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.

    “Stay at peace with your body. While it’s healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure. Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run. Put your hands on your belly and enjoy how soft and warm you are – marvel over the world turning over within, the brilliant meat clockwork, as I did when you were inside me and I dreamt of you every night.

    “Whenever you can’t think of something to say in a conversation, ask people questions instead. Even if you’re next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts, and you never know when it will be useful.

    “This segues into the next tip: life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES. However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, ‘NO! NO!’ Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, ‘When I rise in three days, the disciples aren’t going to believe this when I tell them about it.’

    “Babyiest, see as many sunrises and sunsets as you can. Run across roads to smell fat roses. Always believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit, because every tiny bit needed someone who changed it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and co-ordinates for how to get there. Host extravagantly, love constantly, dance in comfortable shoes, talk to Daddy and Nancy about me every day and never, ever start smoking. It’s like buying a fun baby dragon that will grow and eventually burn down your f***ing house.

    “love, Mummy”

 

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Filed under: Life

kindness

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I came across something the other day on one of my favorite blogs, and wanted to share…

The following is George Saunders graduation speech at Syracuse University this year, which was recently published in the New York Times.

Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?”  And they’ll tell you.  Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked.  Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.

So: What do I regret?  Being poor from time to time?  Not really.  Working terrible jobs, like “knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?”  (And don’t even ASK what that entails.)  No.  I don’t regret that.  Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra, a little buzzed, and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked?  And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months?  Not so much.  Do I regret the occasional humiliation?  Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl?  No.  I don’t even regret that.

But here’s something I do regret:

In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class.  In the interest of confidentiality, her Convocation Speech name will be “ELLEN.”  ELLEN was small, shy.  She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore.  When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.

So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” – that sort of thing).  I could see this hurt her.  I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear.  After awhile she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth.  At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.”  And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”

Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.

And then – they moved.  That was it.  No tragedy, no big final hazing.

One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.

End of story.

Now, why do I regret that?  Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it?  Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her.  I never said an unkind word to her.  In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.

But still.  It bothers me.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Now, the million-dollar question:  What’s our problem?  Why aren’t we kinder?

Here’s what I think:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian.  These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).

Now, we don’t really believe these things – intellectually we know better – but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others, even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish, more aware of what’s actually happening in the present moment, more open, and more loving.

So, the second million-dollar question:  How might we DO this?  How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?

Well, yes, good question.

Unfortunately, I only have three minutes left.

So let me just say this.  There are ways.  You already know that because, in your life, there have been High Kindness periods and Low Kindness periods, and you know what inclined you toward the former and away from the latter.  Education is good; immersing ourselves in a work of art: good; prayer is good; meditation’s good; a frank talk with a dear friend;  establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition – recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us.

Because kindness, it turns out, is hard – it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include…well,everything.

One thing in our favor:  some of this “becoming kinder” happens naturally, with age.  It might be a simple matter of attrition:  as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish – how illogical, really.  We come to love other people and are thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality.  We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we’re not separate, and don’t want to be.  We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away (someday, a long time from now).  Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving.  I think this is true.  The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was “mostly Love, now.”

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love.  YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE.   If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment.  You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit.  That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today.  One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.

Congratulations, by the way.

When young, we’re anxious – understandably – to find out if we’ve got what it takes.  Can we succeed?  Can we build a viable life for ourselves?  But you – in particular you, of this generation – may have noticed a certain cyclical quality to ambition.  You do well in high-school, in hopes of getting into a good college, so you can do well in the good college, in the hopes of getting a good job, so you can do well in the good job so you can….

And this is actually O.K.  If we’re going to become kinder, that process has to include taking ourselves seriously – as doers, as accomplishers, as dreamers.  We have to do that, to be our best selves.

Still, accomplishment is unreliable.  “Succeeding,” whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there’s the very real danger that “succeeding” will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended.

So, quick, end-of-speech advice: Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up.  Speed it along.  Start right now.  There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness.  But there’s also a cure.  So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf – seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.  I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.

 

You can see the full speech here, in the New York Times.

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Filed under: Inspiring, Life

Florida

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I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I hopped on a plane down to Florida, for one day. You heard me, one day. I had a little business to take care, which went overwhelmingly well.
I enjoyed my one whole day there, the weather seemed tolerable, I thought it was going to be unbearably humid. It wasn’t that humid, to me, but remember I’m originally from Omaha, Nebraska. I think the whole trip was made mainly because of the hosts that had me into their home. They are originally from Omaha, which is our connection. I have to be honest, in hopes that I don’t offend anyone, but Midwesterners have to be the most down to earth, kind, sincere, loving people around. I miss the Midwest everyday, but I am grateful to live where I do because I sure do love the ocean.
Anyway here are a few snapshots of Florida…

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Filed under: Friends, Life

remaining grateful

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Sometimes in life you have to take a step back, and pause…

I often get so caught up in life, that I forget to take time to remember the small things that I should remain/be grateful for.  It’s so easy to go about your day by day activities, and get completely absorbed in miniscule distractions.

Today, I have to change my thinking so my mind stays focused and my head doesn’t spin.  Today, I have to self-care and get healthy.  Today, I have to live life to the fullest.

I’m grateful for the beautiful ocean I live by.

I’m grateful for the roof over my head.

I’m grateful for my loving and supporting husband.

I’m grateful for my loving family and friends.

I’m grateful for red lipstick.

I’m grateful for records, and how happy music makes me.

I’m grateful to be alive and breathing.

Remember, don’t take each day for granted, take it as a gift.

Be grateful!

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“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
―  Maya Angelou

I love these pictures of such an inspiring soul.  Chloe has a very similar past as mine, and has found a life full of happiness and spirituality.  She is such an inspiration.

On another note these guys make me smile…

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Filed under: Inspiring, Life, Serenity