June 29, 2013

Blog Friends: You too NEED one!

I have to share with you what came in the mail last night...so excited!

A few months ago a friend said she loved reading my blog, and thought it was a great way to leave my thoughts for my children some day. I never thought of my blog like that until that moment. What an amazing gift for them to read when older. Imagine if our grandparents blogged(guess it was called writing a diary back in the day lol).

I started worrying that someday my blog would be deleted... it would be lost in cyber space, and I couldn't let that happen. But how great would it be to have my blog turned into a book!!?! Turns out that is so do-able, and wait til you see it!

I decided to just start with the first three years of my blog(established in 2008!). I didn't want the book too big, and I am in no way done blogging, so knew there would be a volume 2 at some point. Ok I've made you wait long enough, here it is!

I could show you tons, but you get the point. It's a nice, big, hardcover book, with about 400 pages. The site I used was SharedBook, and I highly recommend them. The process was easy, and their customer service was wonderful.

I'm not ready to share the book with the boys yet, but I'm thrilled to have it! Now you know what to ask for this holiday season :)

June 19, 2013

Advice for the youngins......

I know some of my readers are young(er) than me, so I wanted to share this if you've never seen this. It's a column that was written in 1997 for the Chicago Tribune, and I'm sure has been read at countless graduation ceremonies since.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '98: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

June 18, 2013

I have no witty title for this one!

I just saw this and got a little ticked:
Don't ask why I got ticked, I'm not too sure, it just doesn't sit well. If you're having a day where you are feeling down and pessimistic, you could care less about this silliness!

I have a lovely life and lovely things, I don't deny that. But I'm a gal that always wants more. Not material things, just life happenings.  I'm having one of those days where I question every aspect of one area of life. How did I get here? What can make it better? Why is it never enough?

I've said before that I'm a pessimist, and I firmly stand behind that self proclamation. I find it easier to see the negative, then be pleasantly surprised at the positive when(if) arrives. My judgement is severely clouded today though, so I don't even know what I feel. 

I can tell you I'm smelling change in the air though. No idea if that will change my perception of this life area, but I know it will make me feel something I don't anymore. 

I'm Currently...

Thought this would be a cute addition to the blog every now and then. It's a great way for a quick overview that still makes me have to think a little!

June 10, 2013

One more candle on the cake today.

Why does time seem to go so quickly? It never did when the kids were tiny, the days seemed to be endless. Each year goes just a bit faster than the last. I love to tell the kids to hurry up and get tall so we can ride more coasters, get a little older so we can do more fun family things, but today, when my baby is turning 8, I just want time to come to a complete stand still.

I have such vivid memories of being in the hospital with my sister, patiently waiting for my sweet baby. We ate donuts, watched tv, and laughed all night. Now eight years later, I ran upstairs this morning to be sure to be the first to say Happy Birthday, and his bright eyes made my whole day. He is becoming such a wonderful young man. So kind, polite, and compassionate. I'm proud of all of the strides he has made this year and every year before, and he has changed me in more ways than I ever thought possible.

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit sappy today, 8 just seems like a turning point from little to big guy. I'm so thankful for my Alex, and hope he has a wonderful, fun, memorable birthday :)

June 6, 2013

Smile, though your heart is aching.

Today marks the twelfth year since an event changed the way I see life. I have very clear memories from this exact time of day, pulling into my parking spot at my school, getting a phone call on my giant old cell phone. I heard what he was telling me, but just wasn't processing it. For everything I believed in at the time, I just could not understand why someone would be taken from the world at our age. He had started flying a straight course and was turning into an amazing man with a big future. All to be snatched in seconds. 

After that moment I had days on end of coming home from work, sitting on the front lawn, and just staring at the lake that was across from our house. I searched for answers that were just not there. I saw lives change and hearts broken. A mother should never have to feel that deep sorrow that never leaves. It is then that I lost my sense of anything greater than us. That of course continued to evolve over the next few years, a story for another time.

Of course there was joy found within the loss. Families and friends getting together after time apart, consoling each other through awesome stories. I can still remember wearing yellow to the funeral, because I was celebrating. I was celebrating a guy that I knew my whole life and loved as a brother. I had the privilege of being part of their family, and the honor of knowing him. And for that I was grateful, and celebrating the life he had. 

All these years later people still tell their stories and everyone smiles for a few minutes. That time when we...., when he decided to...., his laugh, his hugs, his life. It's a day we face with heavy hearts, but as I sit here on my porch in total quiet, I can smile through the tears, thinking of how many lives he touched and how many smiles he is responsible for today.