Time for a Gut Check

WFHWorking from home, at a time when we are relegated to staying home, almost makes me feel like a snotty teen who got what she wanted and is still in temper tantrum mode.    I’ve been dreaming of working from home for years, and now that I get to it’s been more challenging than I expected.  Before I let this take over my world and the blahs set in, it’s time to focus on the blessings.

In some ways there are many comforts to being at home.  I mean I literally have all the comforts of home, right?  It’s a little slice of heaven being able to add sweats as my go to work pants, although I’m pretty sure my waistline is going to pay BIG time.  It’s wonderful saving on gas money and the commute time is a total dream!  There’s the bonus of being able to make my lunches and being able to throw in a load of laundry, between conference calls.  I mean, that’s the kind of multi-tasking I can get behind.

Then there’s the bigger benefit of being home while my kids are for the first time navigating online school.  This is bonus time I wouldn’t normally have shared with them and with one kid about to graduate and head off to college this time definitely makes my heart happy.  Plus, I am thoroughly enjoying watching them manage unstructured schedules and find ways to meet these new expectations.  The fact that they have acknowledged how challenging this is and have actually said they miss school tells you it must be rough!  If you know my kids, you know, like most they hate the early morning schedule of getting to school.  Now they are basically begging for it to start up again.  I’m sure this has nothing to do with too much quality time with mom;)

I also get to be home to greet my fiance when he wraps his day up.  I feel like I’m a part of the rhythm of the house.  I’m here when he gets the dogs up and moving and I’m here when he walks in ready to wrap up his day.  I feel more connected to him and everyone in the house.  Many household chores would be taken on by one of us to get it off the to-do list, now we can do them together and it’s comforting.  Like everyone we are making more meals at home and WFH lets me be a part of the cooking.  Regular work weeks, my hours combined with my commute really didn’t allow for me to contribute to meal time and I missed it.

The Social Distancing Challenge

There may also be a little more TV watching , eating and drinking than prior to the social distancing era, but we have certainly found our fun there too.  We were adventurous this weekend and enjoyed a couple new margarita mixes.  While I miss sports, oh how I miss sports, we have managed to find some entertainment.  I think finding the entertainment is just as much fun sometimes as what we end up watching.  We certainly haven’t focused on personal growth, purely anything that brings some levity and entertainment; we’ve watched everything from RedBull challenges to a marble race to Ridiculousness and Tiger King.  It has all helped us laugh, relax and occasionally shake our heads in disbelief.  

Social distancing is a huge challenge and feels horrible at its core for so many reasons, from missing friends to worrying about the economy and so much more, its a long list.  But, there are some ups to this unusual time we are in, from slowing down the day and getting better time with the people I love most to finding joy in old games, sharing recipes with friends and family, and learning new ways to virtually stay connected.  It’s easy to let the change of pace we are all so accustomed to make it seem like we are bored or struggling to get through the day.  Maybe we are just dropping down a gear and letting the daily race slow down a bit, allowing us to take in some of the beauty that is around us while we are “stuck” at home.

There are hundreds of challenges everyone is facing right now and uncertainty brings fear and stress into each day.  We don’t have a lot of answers, we are facing a global pandemic and none of that brings calm or feels warm and fuzzy.   Today, I wanted to reflect on the small moments I am blessed with.  There are so many that make me smile each day.  From puppy kisses to yummy dishes, and everything in between, I hope that each one of you have many small moments bringing an up to your day.


How I’m Calming My Inner Storm a.k.a Crazy Days

A few months ago, my sister shared an article that she contributed to and it has had my mind going ever since. It’s a fast and easy read, basically about how when a person is emotional, sometimes they have a secondary response to how they are feeling. According to the article the most common emotional response is negative emotion can bring a second negative emotion.

I can relate to this. In a way it was somewhat liberating to read. You might be wondering why I felt liberated. The topic isn’t exactly fun or sassy, but it was something I immediately related to.

The link below will take you to the full article.


Have you ever been so frustrated that you took that frustration and lectured yourself about how you knew better, and you can’t believe how stupid you were to expect anything but the worst? Or have you had a hard day, tears are flowing and feelings are hurt, maybe it’s heart break or maybe fear has you overwhelmed, or maybe you’re just having one of those days where you’re sad for some unknown reason you can’t even pin point (those are the worst, I blame hormones regardless of age!). If I’m having a day like this, I’m likely crying in the shower, I’ll manage to make myself pull it together and then as soon as I look in the mirror, BAM, I burst into tears all over again!  What is it about a mirror that can keep the tears flowing?!?! Maybe I’m the only one this happens to, I kind of hope so, because it’s not a pretty sight.

Or has your heart ever been broken and besides crying and yelling at yourself in the mirror the next thing on the list to keep the tears flowing is turning on the sappiest, most heart wrenching music that will keep the sobs going?  Music can be a very emotional trigger for me. If I’m angry, I’m probably going to play some Demi Lovato, that woman knows how to put emotion into her music! Depending on what might be influencing my emotions depends on what I play.

This is true for my happy moods too, I love anything that makes me want to dance! My absolute favorite music choice is anything that makes me feel close to the people I love. There are a hundred different reasons I may have a strong response to a song, maybe it’s a shared memory, maybe it was a milestone moment, maybe it’s the emotions of the lyrics and what they mean, but music can bring me down or be wonderfully therapeutic. From Bishop Briggs, to Meghan Trainor, to Foo Fighters, to Incubus, to Ludacris there is meaning and emotion to it all. When I think about it, the music I choose evokes far more positive influences and uplifting emotions than negative.

This article made me realize that not only am I not alone in the chain reaction of emotions, but that the negative ones really stand out and can shake my foundation. When I started thinking about not just the feelings I have every day, but the way I react so strongly to negative feelings, I realized I’m treating my emotions like I tend to treat compliments. You know what I mean, one person says something critical like, why did you color your hair? Immediately I feel awkward and dowdy. Ten others can ask where I got my hair done and compliment me but the one I stay hung up on is the one that was critical. This is something I’m trying to work on. It’s so easy to accept negative feedback, but positive comments are easily brushed aside. This is so wrong, and yet I must actively remind myself to enjoy the compliment. Basically when it comes to feelings, in my opinion, anger, frustration, hurt, and fear do not deserve a louder voice than pride, happiness, hope, and love.

I’ve been quiet for the last few months, a little was the holidays, a little was life and honestly some was me taking in how I handle and appreciate my own world. I’m very fortunate, I spend far more days happy than I do sad, scared, frustrated or angry. Yet the hard days can seem to overtake the ease of everyday life even though there are fewer of those moments. So, I’m trying something different. Why not take my downer days and whatever takes me there and combat it not by crying in the mirror, but by playing some music that reminds me of a better day, or some music that makes me want to dance, or by turning on Hallmark channel. Don’t laugh, Hallmark is my go-to sanctuary, no thinking required, only warm and fuzzy moments, heck the commercials are even easy going, zero horror movie commercials on Hallmark network😉 Yes, I’m a big wuss, but what works, works!

What I am finding is, life is emotional, and I can’t control my immediate response to what is thrown at me on the daily, but I can try to make my long-term response easier to handle. Part of me has always known my own perspective is the difference between a good day and a bad day. I think until I started taking in my emotions, I didn’t realize how much I allowed my feelings to wildly control my day. I feel like I finally realized I’d been doing it wrong. Why would I hold onto the negative??? Why wouldn’t I cherish all the happiness that surrounds me each day?!? I’m shutting out the negative white noise that inevitably enters each day and focusing on the parts of my day that matter: family, friends, home, and joy. By making small changes, and honestly by not being hard on myself, I’m learning to let the negative go, and hold on a little tighter to the happy moments.

If you see someone dancing and passionately singing completely off key in the car next to you in traffic, it might be me getting my happy on😊 Sending BIG hugs and hoping everyone has something that helps keep a little extra happiness in their day!


It’s Official…

I closed on my house yesterday, woohoo😊 Everything has either been moved into storage or moved in! Notice I said moved in, not actually unpacked. I’m seriously wishing I had a fairy Godmother. You know one simple bippity boppity boo and everything would dance right into place.

There’s so much stuff! It has officially taken over the house which is starting to produce some serious anxiety for my BF and I. Clutter has a way of making me feel scattered, probably because I can’t find what I need. Or, maybe it’s because it brings out the procrastinator in me. I’m not much for avoidance, I mean that never solves any problems, but when the clutter and chaos get to a certain point, it’s tough to get motivated. Who wants to dive into the mound of randomness that has built up over the last several weeks?

On the upside it’s not because of my once very sloppy nature; in my 20’s my closet was a waist high pile of clothes mounded on the floor, I would spend tons of time digging until I found what I wanted. My high school locker was even worse, I couldn’t even close it, I think at one point I was keeping things in my friend’s lockers. I was such a mess, it’s amazing I got through a day back then! At least at this point in my life I can blame the mess on moving.

This mess is rapidly becoming a serious problem, it looks like it could threaten my ability to start decorating for Christmas! That is so not happening. Hallmark Christmas movies are in full swing, the leaves are falling, Thanksgiving is early this year, and all the decorations are under one roof. I even know where we put them. My BF dedicated an entire storage area for Christmas decorations. Basically, that means this mess has got to go by the end of this weekend! The kitchen will be completely cleaned and organized, the kids are going to wrap up putting their remaining items away and I will take advantage of the organizing Jon did yesterday and wrap up the garage.

I’m ready to tap into my inner Clark Griswold and bust out the blow ups for the yard, oh yeah… that’s plural!!! I’m pretty sure my mom was on the verge of disowning me because of my love of holiday blow ups. Last year for my birthday I was given a 12’ Santa’s sleigh for the front, I’m not sure if he noticed when we moved, but I brought an 8’ snowman, a cute blow up Christmas tree and a happy penguin. I might be the only person who admits to loving these fine decorations, but it’s all good. What they lack in class they make up for in making people smile. Last year Carter proved my theory that they make people happy. As soon as he saw Santa’s sleigh he ran yup and gave Santa a big ol’ hug. (I should probably mention Carter was 4 at the time😊). That’s really the goal, we want to make people feel welcome, have some fun, create new memories and make the house twinkle inside and out!

It’s time to start thinking about gathering with family, baking some goodies, listening to holiday music, watching our favorite movies, and playing some games. It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Pet Peeves, Just Everyday Annoyances or Something More?

There are such a variety of Pet Peeves. Here are a few things that get my blood simmering.

I hate when I am blow drying my hair and it gets sucked in the end and knots up causing me to rip the hair out of the blow dryer, leaving a mangled mess, GRRR!

Another one that gets me, when cabinet doors are left open after someone grabs a cup. I’ve done this and yes it was like a double whammy I’m annoyed and then annoyed at myself… You know, I rolled my eyes at my own laziness, and I totally deserved it!

There’s nothing worse, especially on a Monday, than getting in my car with my morning RedBull, hands full, and all the cupholders are filled from the day before.

How about when you go through a drive through and you are looking forward to the fries and they forget the sauce, I mean seriously how hard is it to throw sauce in the bag?!?

Does it bother you when you hold the door open for someone and they don’t say thank you? I mean I know its not going to change their life, but come on how hard is it to smile and nod?!?

Then there are the daily offenders, socks are at the top of this list. How could socks possibly be a pet peeve? I mean they are cozy, they can be comforting, they keep the stink out of our shoes, and they have all kinds of cute, fun prints, so really what could possibly be my issue with socks?  Maybe the issue is with my daughter and socks just get a bad rap. She is notorious for arriving home and immediately taking her shoes and socks off and leaving them wherever she was at that moment. She might leave them in the foyer, family room, kitchen, even the bathroom. Where she never leaves them, her bedroom or the laundry basket. No, no, she’d much prefer to get the daily eye roll and lecture asking why is it so hard to put them in the laundry?? Every day, I see them and still somehow, I’m surprised each time.

My BF hates when laundry doesn’t get completely done. I like this one because there are levels to this pet peeve. If the clothes are left in the dryer, but dry that’s just annoying to him, insert eye roll and sigh of annoyance. I get it, you either have wrinkles or a repeat dryer cycle which wastes time and energy. The bigger offense is if the load gets left in the wash over night. Imagine the discovery of clean clothes sitting in moisture slowly turning to a funky, wet mess, now that’s not how anyone wants to start the day and definitely qualifies as a serious offense. He’s right too, that smell is hard to make go away! Thank goodness for the timers on our phones, cell phone technology that can save the day😉

Why do Pet Peeves get to us? The reactions are varied; it could be anything from an annoyed sigh, an eye roll, a muttered lecture given under my breath seething with annoyance and possibly some creative language. If it’s a serious annoyance and I’m alone in the car and having a bad day it could even be full blown yelling at the poor unsuspecting person. Thankfully, they can’t hear me.

I find people are passionate about what annoys them. We can seriously commit to being appalled by things others do, like heavy breathers or people who drag their teeth down their fork when they eat. Overall when I think about my own pet peeves I am amused. In general, none of my pet peeves will change my day or impact me long term. Most of them either can’t be controlled (heavy breathers, traffic) or the annoyance can easily be remedied.   I mean how hard is it to throw out a couple of old soda cans to clear space in the car, or pick up a pair of socks, or close the cabinet that was left open???

There are so many challenges that creep into each day, I wonder if the reason we let the steam out on pet peeves is because we are expected to keep it together at work, at home, for the kids, at practices, with friends, during family gatherings etc. I think pet peeves might be our safe place. The few moments we get where it is safe to temporarily lose our minds and let out a little crazy! Think about it, friends and family, even strangers are typically understanding of losing your cool over something otherwise considered most likely a petty inconvenience.  Maybe pet peeves are the key to staying sane in this wonderful yet frustrating, sometimes exciting and scary, fast paced world we all live in.

What’s your biggest pet peeve and how do you let out your frustrations? Go ahead and let the crazy out, you’ll feel better later!

Change Can Happen Overnight

barbecue-bonfire-burn-1251796I know I’ve been a bit MIA over the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if you operate the same way I do, but when I’m overwhelmed I tend to get quiet. It doesn’t really matter if things are going really well, or if life is getting challenging. In general, any extremes tend to occupy my brain leaving me quiet. Lately, life has been keeping me busy!

There is always the normal everyday activities; work, kids school schedules, sports etc. These don’t tend to keep my mind busy, they are a part of my life that hums along with the seasons. The changes in these activities are generally expected and help keep life interesting. Speaking of seasons, it’s Fall, my favorite season! I love the crisp sky, hoody and jeans weather, bon fires, smores, spiked cider and cuddling up under a blanket. Just thinking about Fall makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I’ve had a lot of excitement in the last few weeks. My BF and I decided it’s time to get our Brady Bunch on. We are officially blending. This required periodically having conversations with our kids, testing their comfort levels and prepping everyone for the change. It was important to both of us to start to find ways to make his home a comfy home for everyone. I bring a girl into the mix, so you know what that means, make up, lots of shoes and OMG tampons!! I’m surprised that didn’t send him running for the hills! It’s been fun starting the move and catching a little tv with the whole family on the couch, even the two dogs joined in. I spent a lot of time overthinking, I do this occasionally😉 I was so worried about all the kids and what might overwhelm them. Well, it turns out my daughter’s biggest concern was if she could add some snack foods to the pantry! I was like um yeah, add it to the grocery list!!!! You know I was getting my 80’s Cabbage Patch Dance on after that, talk about relief!

Blending also meant listing my house for sale. Getting a house ready to go on the market at the end of September seemed like rolling the dice. Is the market good? Am I too late in the season? Did I price it right? Is it clean enough and most importantly how do I keep it clean while its listed?!? Two teens does not equal neat and tidy😉 Like all things in my life, I decided if it’s meant to be it will be. I did a little painting, cleaned and officially listed September 29th.  It sold in 6 hours!!! All that worrying was so unnecessary. Now things just got real, looks like it’s time to get packing.

While all those things seem like enough to keep my mind occupied, there’s more. I’ve shared with you I have a history of cancer. Fortunately, I am here experiencing a wonderful life, unfortunately I am constantly going in for tests and scans when something seems off. Over the last couple of months, I have had a pain in my side on and off, over the last three weeks it has become constant. Pain is a warning, I can’t ignore, actually no one should ignore pain. (Here’s the official PSA; if you are in pain go see your dr, no excuses!!!). I went in for a CT and some ultra sounds. They found a 9cm cyst on my liver and polyps in my gall bladder. That was last week, you know right before my house hit the market…. ahh timing! This week I went in for an MRI, they confirmed the size of the cyst but were also able to confirm it is not cancerous!!!! WoOoOooHOooOoOo!!!!

Monday I will go to a GI specialist and get an official game plan to move forward. I’m sure surgery of some sort will be needed but I don’t have those details just yet. I am so stopped up from the pain meds, my eyes are really REALLY brown. You might remember I’m participating in a Biggest Loser challenge, let me tell ya, pain meds while I’m trying to lose weight is so not helping the number on the scale shrink. In fact, this week it went up! That’s ok though, I’m secretly hoping this cyst weighs like 5 lbs., I mean if I’m gonna have surgery, it may as well help me bring home a Biggest Loser win😉

Overall, I am very fortunate and certainly counting my blessings. I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds. I get to look forward to new traditions and more people to love, life is feeling pretty wonderful!  Hugs and Loveautumn-autumn-colours-autumn-leaves-355302

It’s None of My Business

Yesterday I had a long conversation with my kids. The topic was drama and why people seem so judgmental. My daughter had said even her friends who say they don’t want to be a part of drama, will in the next breath start criticizing people.  She’s knows that usually they don’t know the person, it only takes a second and people are bonding over criticizing. Talk about intimidating!

I told her I wished that I could say that changes but to a certain extent it’s human nature.  Not the uplifting sentiment either of them were hoping to hear.  I reminded them, all you can do is be kind, even when others aren’t at their best. No one knows why someone is short tempered, or harsh. They could be in the midst of a problem they have no idea how to face. It’s possible they could be a ginormous jerk, but for my own sanity, I prefer to think most of the time people are having a bad day and need someone to be kind.

My kids both get this, they’ve had days where they were short tempered, or they’ve watched me come home and be feisty as all get out. It usually starts with me nagging them about whatever they’ve left on the kitchen counter. They know this means, watch out, Mom is in a mood. In general, they don’t see me as a big crab ass, thank goodness. So, we chalk those moments up to being human.

The thing they were both stuck on is what people think of them, either based on how they look, or what they are involved in, or where they live etc. They worry about what people think of how they dress.  they worry about people judging their friends.  My son worried about what people will think because he made JV soccer instead of Varsity. The list of things popping into their mind is long. No wonder teenagers are so stressed out!

My advice was simple.  What people think of me is none of my business. I wish you could have seen their faces.  The look basically said, ok Mom has lost her marbles.  So I explained, I truly believe I don’t need to know. You can’t control what people say, especially people who don’t know you well. Knowing deep down that we all have bad days, but we approach our days with kindness and work hard each day needs to be enough to hush the chatter of others. If you spend all your time worrying about it, you’ll only feel bad about yourself and “ain’t nobody got time for that!”


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