entertainment, family, gratitude, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I am in love, (of the head over heels variety) with the blossoms on our trees. It is like Michigan woke up one morning and realized it had forgotten to dress in its spring apparel. I know, by now, that there is no “this time of year” sentiment rooted in fact, here in the mitten state. The weather is never the same. Even here, in the just-over-half-way point of May, a huge snow storm could fall on us at any point in time. I know the drill.

Sadly the blossoms are blowing off as quickly as they came. I feel the need to stomp my foot and ask God if the beauty  really has to be so fleeting… Then this might be when God smiles lovingly and points out the huge pimple on my jaw line and I sigh. (imaginary conversations are my specialty)

This week I’ve been lucky to love quite a few things. Some old, some new, and I am super excited to share those things with you…

  • This website is really time-consuming, but super moving. I am a big “fan” (the word seems almost inappropriate) of things which stretch the boundaries of my empathy and ability to relate to others. This is very much one of those things. (Another was this book… And if you happen to be pretty conservative and fear it will be like the Netflix series, I assure you, it is not.)
  • I think the husband & I feel like we watch a fair amount of shows on TV, but in comparison to the national average, we watch a lot less. That being said, I have to be honest and say that I am really glad the few shows I enjoy on regular TV are wrapping up for the season. For the most part, each time I watch a season finale, I find myself grateful.
  • Yellow Box Flip Flops are my life, in the summer. Truth be told, I dream of living somewhere where I can be in them all year long. Their soles just offer so much support. BEST. SHOES. EVER…
  • This sort of thing either annoys you, or your entire day will be made and you just might love me forever. Either way, this is my special weekend gift for you. You’re welcome…
  • I get it, it looks weird. I also get it, Wes Anderson movies are quirky… But seriously, if you like dogs AT ALL, you need to see this film. I knew I would love it, the issue was finding someone to see it with me. And finally, my husband reluctantly went, and really enjoyed it.

I have a really big week, coming up. There are a lot of stressful things, and some really exciting ones… I could use (and will take) all of the positive thoughts/energy/prayers you’re willing to share!

I’m not going to lie though, i am really excited for this… I wish I cared about the actual event, but I just don’t. I enjoyed the last one. My daughters and I made a big party out of it, and it was really fun/special. This time around though, I just have to admit: Will Ferrell makes everything better.

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friendship, home, journey, list, self care

Things I have learned this week…

This has been a serious week for learning and waking this morning really has me pondering many of those things. As I brewed coffee I thought I’d take a few minutes before a friend arrives to jot down the array of lessons… (I know, two lists in a row. My fellow list lovers might be cheering while the rest of you toss your hands up and question our very existence… It’s ok, together we will make it through.)

  • I am part of an AWESOME class/group and after meeting together yesterday, I have seriously had that wisdom flooding my every thought.
  • A coffee grinder will be much more affective when grinding beans, if it is plugged in.
  • Forgetting to give your neurologically needy dog her nighttime anxiety meds is a really bad thing, especially when a gigantic thunder-storm shows up to serenade the dark hours… (poor Emma)
  • Clinique eye cream for puffy eyes is wonderful, and totally my best friend today… (As will be a nap, despite the insane volume of coffee I seem to be consuming.)
  • speaking of dogs, healthy outside time is AMAZING after four weeks of unhealthy and terrible dog-sickness. It felt like a never ending form of hell, but it turns out to be that a probiotic recommended to us is not ideal for dogs and it was affecting their stomach lining. We’re on the mend and I am beside myself with relief. (I have PTSD when it comes to sick dogs, you guys. It’s a real thing.)
  • outdoor writing spaces are the best. Seriously.
  • open windows, (when the weather outside is open-window-weather) might be my new favorite thing.
  • It is possible to walk into the Pottery Barn/Williams Sonoma outlet and only spend $8.
  • Seeing things you love through your husband’s eyes/perspective can be so cool. (also, sometimes, annoying… But in this case, it’s cool.)
  • When people who love you keep urging you towards something because they see how badly it is affecting you, consider their words.
  • Video chat is fun. Video chat with several people is more fun.
  • When we listen and stick to our path, there is affirmation all around. I am more in awe of this every day, this past month.
  • Honor the people you have loved. Don’t slander them when you are angry. Don’t act beneath you to “get back at them”. We are all better than that, and you only hurt yourself really…
  • There is no too late. A really amazing story was shared with me, this week, about a woman whose husband passed away when she was sixty, in 2006. She stepped in, after having always been a housewife and mother, to take over his auto business. (that is 2006, you guys. Right before the economy tanked, right before the automotive industry took a plummet. Right before nearly the entire state of Michigan surged into a state of shock/trauma/ruin) This business has grown, blossomed, she now speaks and encourages others in their businesses… This whole story is beyond amazing to me!
  • Adult people can decide not to make dinner, and it’s ok. The world will keep spinning. This is a concept I don’t think I have ever really considered. If we are hungry, we will figure it out. (seriously, and super sadly- mind-blowing.)
  • We are surrounded by really amazing women because we women are amazing. Sometimes connecting with them, when they come to your mind, is something they desperately needed.
  • there are some really interesting jobs out there and sometimes they might call you, out of the blue. That doesn’t mean you have to take it, (i didn’t) but it is super cool to be wanted!
  • Just. In addition to my revelation about the negativity of the word too, a conversation with a friend yesterday turned me on to the negativity attached to the word just, especially for women. Wow.
  • When the weather calls for Sunshine and 82 out, it’s probably going to rain and have a high of 48- just sayin’…
  • And lastly… When getting dressed, on little to no sleep (thanks, Emma!) if you put on the first layer of a summer dress, and then after not really feeling the dress once the second layer is on- make sure to remove both layers before throwing a long tee over your leggings and taking the dog for a nice walk… (true story. As we were getting home, and my friend pulled up, I realized I had essentially walked around my subdivision in leggings, a black slip and a Lu La Roe perfect shirt. It was awesome… need more coffee.)
gratitude, journey, Misc., self care

Too Too…

 

On Sunday I sat aboard a riverboat, contemplating…

The projected forecast had turned grim and the riverboat had been an unplanned little adventure. It was cold and rainy while I was unfortunately dressed for the 70 degree sunshine which my weather app had predicted. There had been a whirlwind of days leading up to that slow-moving boat trip down the river. Family visits and dinners, physician visits and physical therapy appointments. New medications, a handful of work deadlines, and all of the other life bits of things that layer and weave about within the sometimes crazy.

The quiet moment was unsettlingly nice. Despite the monotonance recording of the boat announcer, I found my busy-speed senses taking in any (and every) thing in double time as the pace life literally slowed around me. I noticed the subtlety between the sweet children and the mischievous ones. I noticed the father and teen-daughter duo, each lost in their phones which confused me a bit. Why be there on that boat, in the rain and misery, at all? Why bother? With each captain’s urging to look left and we might see a deer, or look right for the rare sighting of a speed turtle, it reminded me more and more of those scenes in Jurrassic Park when the caravan look searching for a sighting, only to grow in disappointment. No deer. No speed turtles. About six ducks, the men… Apparently the women were home tending to the nests. Of course they were…

I felt heavy with sadness, really. Maybe it was due to the growing cloud coverage, but maybe it was just my increasing awareness of the disconnect that is everywhere. In the families lost in their own thing, and the couples who travel to do things together, in odd and uncomfortable silence. Every time I leave my home my attention is drawn by people doing life solo, and not in that independent way we claim as a goal. Also I am noticing when interaction happens, it is often unkind.

Several years ago we were in Phoenix for a long weekend. Sitting at a red light, with windows down, enjoying the winter warmth to which we weren’t accustomed, we heard a woman screaming at her husband across the intersection. The light seemed to last forever as she shoved her finger at his face, belittling him and growing so loud that she could have been in our car. It was so sad and I vowed to never be a Phoenix wife. That is how I remember her. I may get upset, but no matter how passionate (or valid) my anger may seem, I stop myself before Phoenix wife. In turn, when Chw is talking about particular friends or men he encounters, he will sometimes point out that their wife is a Phoenix wife. I think it is probably pretty easy to allow ourselves to decline (or escalate, depending on perspective) to that point and here is why…

I began to pick up on dialogue that others had around us, there in the lower level of that boat. Too hot. Too cold. Too crunchy. Too sweet. Too tight. Too slippery. (that one was me, we went up to the second deck and the rain made it a bit of a mess in my all-too-appropriate-flip flops.)

Too. 

Such a negative little word, that too. With it comes much weight, which is ironic considering it’s definition. It is ugly and it is critical. It is implicative. It is often divisive. It is so many, many things, but almost always it is negative. It is not kind. Nothing genuinely life giving is every summed up with the word too. At it’s very nature, when spoken, it can seem competitive. Of course, as with most things, there are exceptions. But while anything is negatively alligned with too, beyond the standard I love you too and I miss you too’s, not many positive things are. My car is too old never had a season of my car is too new. Too old. Too young. Too dark. Too light. Too abbrassive. There is never too kind, too funny, too peaceful, too loving unless it is spoken in false modesty or with a sense of complaining.

Too.

Phoenix wife’s husband was a lot of too’s, and with each mention of the next too, she grew crueler and louder. Too mentality alarms me, suddenly.

I’m breaking up with too for a while. The thing is, I have been mulling it over since the boat ride on Sunday, and growing stronger in my feeling. Maybe one day I’ll try to bring too back, but today we need a break. Whenever my mind or heart resort to too prefaced things, it is a mindset I need to correct. To be a light, we have to be willing to be a light. We have to choose to breathe on that flame and make it brighter, without that breath, it just goes right out. That is what too does, for me. Plus, let’s be honest, too is just plain lazy. Too replaces real words with real descriptions. Too takes the effort and thoughtfulness of intention away and replaces it with a generic and coined response.

I love you. 

I love you too. 

Why? Why not follow it with an embrace? Or with a thank you, I really love and appreciate you. I really love when you/your _________! Isn’t love, at its core, a gift? Who wouldn’t rather hear that, anyway? And maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you find value in simplicity so too works for you. Awesome. For me, I am seeing so much negativity. When I have worked hard and poured my heart into something and the response is that it is too ______, I whither. My broken bits shift a little, and that isn’t good. When my mind wanders to too, (Michigan is tooDoing that seems too hard… Your voice is too loud) I am choosing to ignore the multitude of good and beautiful around me to hone in on the negative. Really, that is too bad.

When someone shares with me, I do not want it to be too vulnerable. When someone shows me something they’ve made, I do not want my gut reaction be that it is too-something. I want to be honest, but I want my honesty to grow from something genuine and kind. Something that considers them more than it considers me and my opinion. For me, I am seeing that too comes solely from a place of self. It is about me.

When my mind instinctually goes to too, I will try to shift it to something nurturing.

 

chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Of all the sunshine goodness that began this month of May, there was a little balance struck with sore throat/chronic illness junk. I’m secretly wanting to lay in my bed and binge netflix with an abundance of throat lozenges and Coke Zero. With the husband away on business, and these two crazy dogs needing things like food, walks and playtime, this isn’t likely going to happen anytime soon…

With May upon us, there is a sense of hope around. Do you feel it too?

This week, I’m loving…

  • This mom t-shirt may be my very favorite thing EVER.
  • These sunnies are FABULOUS! My mother’s day will be shared with a red pair because, well, they are so fun! (and because, if Michigan cooperates, we will be spending the day in the sunshine!
  • My sister Jennie got me to watch this show when it first premiered, and I really liked it. But then, life happened and I stopped watching it 4 episodes in. I did dive back in last week, and wrapped it up last night. I really loved so much about it, and have developed some firm opinions about how I think the second season should unfold…
  • since I learned I can’t do Keto, I have also not been feeling the best. So, unfortunately I am apparently loving carbs. No links. I do not recommend loving things such as toast, Dave’s Killer Bagels and peanut butter sandwiches…
  • My husband put this on my dash last week. I am a pretty regular user of the Marco Polo app and this mount has made all the difference! (thanks, husband!)

Also, don’t forget The Collective has a new episode this week! It is my favorite, so far! Good stuff!

Go into your weekend with zest and a spirit of openness… Amazing things await!

chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, marriage, self care

Miraculous miracles abound, can you see them?

There is something absolutely remarkable happening outside…

I can’t even believe how soul-stirring it is to hear voices carrying in the breeze, from somewhere outside. Birds are singing, the sunshine feels amazing and each instant of warmth on my skin and fresh air in my hair feels like a mini- miracle.

Sun tea. Another miracle. I have a gigantic tumbler of sun tea to my right. I tap- tap- tap a few words, and then sip- sip- sip its divine deliciousness.

Also, ice cream. We have made ice cream once, and gone out to ice cream once. Miracles, I tell you. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream and have been known to partake in its bliss-filled offerings even when it is blustery cold out, but this wasn’t the case. No, the evenings stretched longer than yesterday and the sun’s golden love fell all around. Plus, there was ice cream. See? Miracle…

Our lawn has already been cut once, and it smelled like summer and kindness all knotted up, and real.

Bare feet, freshly painted (red) toes atop plush, emerald-green blades of new growth. Miracle.

This morning, outside, A cardinal landed on a branch and watched us, as Elenor thoughtfully pondered catching and eating all of the birds nearby, and I stood soaking every ounce of it in. (important, though silly sidenote- his feathers matched my toes. We were totally twinning, that bird and I.)

Miracles, miracles, miracles. Every second of it.

I’m sick. It is most likely some form of a virus thing combined with a fibromyalgia thing, coupled with a stress thing. Stress doesn’t look good on me, as I DO NOT carry it well. Whatever. Additionally, it was two weeks ago today that I really injured my hip/back and have been pretty miserable. Even so, with the odds stacked so hard against me, I stood there, in that grass, and exchanged silent conversation with that beautifully red bird. I walked down stairs and out doors to soak up the rays of sun. And maybe today I’ve cried, and pity-partied my heart out. Maybe I’ve been so rollercoastered emotionally, but the miracles are everywhere.

I woke up.

I made and drank coffee.

I talked with friends.

I did my job.

I video chatted with my handsome husband, who is on a business trip.

I got a video of my son and his daughter, after he returned home from a military trip and they reconnected. So many miracles, because the truth us, I take things for granted. Most of us do.

I’m here today though… #miracle