Love and Loss

Love and Loss

Sharing Love Through Heartbreak When I came across this image, the love I saw through their loss, my heart stopped for a moment, and then I read the corresponding news article about the last day of a five year-old girl who died in the arms of her parents. The image was heartbreaking, yet beautiful. The healthy little girl, diagnosed with a quick-growing, rare form of brain cancer, left the family with limited time to share. The hospice nurse captured this moment as the little girl drew her last breaths.  She lay on her mother and father as they held her, gazing sweetly at her while her favorite Harry Potter movie played in the background. They were there for her first breath, and they remained there for her last. All Humans Love, and All Humans Experience Loss This picture evoked a human empathy that touched me personally.  I recognize through my relationships other parents who have faced love and loss.  I, myself, have lost...
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Routine in Life Stifles Your Fire

Routine in Life Stifles Your Fire

It’s hard to admit, but honestly, the only time I really clean my house well is when I’m expecting visitors. The rest of the time, it’s more of a clean as needed routine. I feel we experience life in this same manner - going through our days, on autopilot, just getting things done and settling into a groove.  (Or worse yet, the grind).  But consider the electricity in the atmosphere when a change blows into our routines. Feelings of excitement and anticipation create that unmistakable fire of feeling alive. It is staggering the ease positive energy puts into our activities when we break from our norm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing to clean my house more often, but the task sure is easier when I am looking forward to a visit from friends! Cheers to making each day special and different from the last!...
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Negative Perception Leads to Failure

Negative Perception Leads to Failure

“If you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”Henry Ford said that, and he left quite a mark on history.  Sometimes we justify a negative perception of ourselves, our capabilities as being “realistic”. But then, why waste your time even trying? The limit is in your mind only - eliminate negative perceptions. My son spent a week at Camp Woodward, an X Games type sports camp for his BMX trick riding, and my husband and I were speechless when we visited on the last day to see all that he had learned.  After a week with state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside professionals of the sport, he showed us the trick he mastered, No Hands. Yes, I wrote trick. A week.  At camp. Speechless. Dream it, you can achieve it.Reuniting with my son unearthed a lot of information, and insecurities.  It turns out that he put pressure on himself to appear successful, like the pros he was watching.  He told himself that if he couldn't do a trick...
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Take Charge of Life by Letting Go

Take Charge of Life by Letting Go

Wow. Just wow. Yesterday morning slapped me with a brazen reminder that as much as I want to be in charge, to make all of the decisions and determine the timetable based on my needs, it just isn’t up to me. Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. I worked my tail off in April, trying to attract a literary agent for my manuscript. I cried my eyes out in May feeling like I had failed. I woke up to an email yesterday, in June, from a literary agent requesting my full manuscript for publication consideration. It always works out in the end.  (If it hasn't, it's not the end...) No matter how many times I experience life working out exactly the way it is supposed to, I still get caught up trying to direct this journey around the sun.  Let's just let go and let life happen!!! Cheers to accepting abundance all in good time!...
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Failure is Really Success

Failure is Really Success

There is Only One Winner It's easy to classify yourself as a success or a failure, especially in the world of athletic tournaments.  But, does it have to be one or the other? This past hot, humid weekend, my husband and I attended a two-day lacrosse tournament for my child’s travel team.  Success did not come easily in this competitive field of teams, and with our team's failure to secure wins, we were recorded on the final tournament bracket as the losing team. Losing is Not Failure Underdogs, beaten by ten points almost every game, our team continued to show improvement in each match. Our players ran faster, blocked more defensively, and made more passes with increased confidence.  Still, these beatings were difficult to watch with the referees' bad calls and some rough play by other, more aggressive teams. Our hearts bled witnessing our children struggle match after match. Find the Success When You Fail My enthusiasm and general cheerfulness got the better of me...imagine this:...
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Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Summer, Sweet Summer with My Kids... Yes, like you, summertime has brought my kids back home to me.  The week school ended, I don't know who was more excited for summer break - my two children, their teachers, or me!  Visions of us sleeping in, making homemade pancakes to start our lazy days, and trips to museums, parks, etc. all dancing in our heads. But, two weeks later, fruit snack wrappers littered every end table and coffee table surface, wet towels laying near the towel racks, half-filled cups in bedrooms with none available in the kitchen cabinet for me to use, and both my daughter and son's bedroom carpeting was decorated with the myriad of clothing that somehow just couldn't make it into the dirty laundry basket. Yet my kids' requests kept coming - drop me off at my friend's house, pick me up some new shorts for practice, can we go to the waterpark? I am embarrassed to admit this, but even with...
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Happiness is Easy to Find and Yours to Give

Happiness is Easy to Find and Yours to Give

The Gift of Giving Unexpected gifts are the best. Last week, I received a beautiful memento from a friend. I had been looking for a special statue to rest at my brother's gravesite, but I was struggling to find just the right one. My friend knew of my desire and made it her quest to locate just what I was looking for.  Presenting me the beautiful fairy statue was a symbol of our friendship, but also a touching reminder that giving is the key to happiness. Suffolk Fairy Emily Statue by HomeStyles True Happiness is Giving it Away The fact is, the graciousness you reveal by the act of giving is even more valuable than the gift itself.  You can give a smile, give your time, give your compassion, all with no cost but great benefit to you.  As Maya Angelou so thoughtfully said, "When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed."  Remember, every time you give your happiness away, you are gaining happiness in...
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Multitasking and Focusing Mistakes

Multitasking and Focusing Mistakes

We, the human race, are not built for this... While skimming the news this week, I read that humans are terrible multitaskers.  It turns out that trying to accomplish more than one thing at a time actually reduces your focus and productivity. And all this time I've been praising myself and others for over-committing our to-do lists and schedules in order to "get it all done".  I guess we've been doing a lot, but not very well! A perfect example of the multitasking myth...You can't get very far sucking your thumb and snuggling a blanket while riding your trike!  Can you really do it all? Research doesn't shine a promising light on the multitasking myth.  In fact, researchers are finding that our focus is decreased, actually divided between each task we do. For example, let's say my husband greets me as I arrive home and begins a  conversation.  At the very same time, my phone chimes to indicate an incoming email. While listening to my husband,...
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Fearlessly Facing Change in Life

Fearlessly Facing Change in Life

Sometimes change keeps me from moving forward. When I first began to exercise, I chose running, but I made sure to run early in the morning.  Switching from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active life was intimidating, and I was fearful that my running form was terrible.  I ran under the cover of the wee hours of the morning so the least amount of people in my neighborhood were witness to my struggle.  I soon realized that getting up this early forever was not realistic.  To really make this lifestyle change stick, I needed help. If it's not working, change it! I wore a Fitbit to track my progress, and whenever I checked my stats, I kept seeing the Fitbit Coach app as an option. It's an accompanying app that coaches all types of exercise, but most important to me is that it coaches during a run - like having a running partner to keep me motivated and focused on my form.  It was...
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Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Last weekend I found myself in a Taco Bell drive-thru, dirty, sweaty, and just plain hangry. I had spent the entire day working in the yard without taking time to eat properly, trying to finish up my to-do list before running my daughter to her sport practice. I was starving by the time The Bell caught my stomach’s attention. I pulled up to the speaker to order when my whole day turned around. The employee taking my order was HAPPY. Happy to speak with me, happy to take extra time to get the order correct, happy to be at work, exuding a sense of pride in himself that spilled over into my day. His happiness reminded me that whatever task is at hand, do it with joy. Cheers to spreading your joy!...
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