In 2012 we challenged you to write 12 letters of Gratitude to people that influenced your life. Many of you did this and wrote amazing stories of the experience.
This year 2013 we are focusing on BEING PRESENT. This is your life. Each day is a gift. You can't turn in yesterday for more time. So make the most of each day and continue to be grateful and embrace life! Be Present! We are changing the world...ONE DAY AT A TIME!

Monday, March 18, 2013


How does greatness happen?
How do we become great?

Today I had a thought and it led me to write this:

"When you set your mind to "I CAN", No mountain is too high, no river is too wide that you can't masterfully conquer them.  When you set your mind to "I CAN'T", No amount of training and preparation will help you succeed.  When you conquer your own spirit before you even will fail.  When you give yourself permission to succeed, and tell yourself you are halfway there.  It doesn't remove the need for work and follow through, but it makes all things possible.  This year I CAN!!!"

This has been a year of freedom and embracing the present for me.  I want to be present in my own life.  I want to come off conqueror.  I want to be the master of myself and my own accomplishments and future.  I am taking the reigns.  For too long I have conquered my own spirit with fear, doubt and disbelief in what I am capable of.  But I am great!  I CAN!  This year...not only CAN I...but I WILL!  I AM!  This is the present, there is only one present.  I spent yesterday and there is no guarantee of tomorrow.  I am embracing my life....with all the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the trials and the joys.  This is my life!  It is beautiful!

Make it a great day!  Only YOU can!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Growing Pains....

 This whole blog ( I have a couple blogs I write when I fancy doing so), but this whole blog has been my journey in becoming.  It began at birth, though I didn't start writing then ;)  I think I really started embracing the process after losing my mother and 3 short years later, my father.  I am becoming these amazing things, I always was, but now purpose and drive are fueling the fire.

Losing both parents before 40 has made me evaluate many things.  I am realizing some of their weaknesses that I just glassed over with Rose Colored lenses.  Coupled with this has come the epiphany that I am realizing some of their strengths that I NEVER gave them credit for in this life.  I am less hard on others since their loss.  And becoming less hard on myself.

I am breathing more, smelling more roses (Thank you C.T.R... for helping me learn to do that when we were working at EHS for A.V.I.D... I bet you didn't even know the lesson literally stuck, but it did), I am reading more, laughing more, and having spontaneous water fights with my children.  I am gardening.  I remember endless hours of my mother stooped over some dirt, digging and shoveling, weeding and planting.   And I thought, "Good for her, but that will NEVER be for me."

When she passed she wanted me to promise we would plant sweet peas with the children, and I assured her my Darling Husband would.  However when I lost her I seemed to recognize the value of her stooped over, digging and planting.  I learned over the last couple of years that when growing gardens, cultivating plants is not the only growth that occurs.  As my hands mix the soil, as I water, and watch, prepare and nurture...miracles spring forth.  And just like raising our children...some of those seeds don't do just what we want, some take longer to sprout, some refuse to in general and all of them have a mind of their own.  There are early bloomers and late bloomers and everything in between.

Life is full of growing pains.  We are experiencing the growing pains that accompany the transition from age 11 to age 12, of hormones, of the onset of puberty... ummm.... this is NOT fun!  But it IS part of becoming.  As I suffer through these days of fluctuating between being the greatest and worst person in the world (nearly daily) in my daughters eyes, I have gained a new respect for me parents and how beautifully they helped navigate me through those difficult and stretching years.  I wish they were here so I could say how many times I was wrong, and how sorry I am.  I can see it now far more clearly.  Funny how smart our parents often get as we get older.  No rose glasses here, I assure you they had as many weaknesses as I do (and the list is long), but the journey in discovering their wisdom has been rewarding too.

Make it a great day!  Only you can!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Little things...

Today I had to run by the grocery store to get bandaids.  Yesterday's gardening venture was wonderful, but left my broken open blister hurting.  While I was there I peeked into the candy isle.  I had something in mind and I FOUND IT! was on sale.  My nephew is serving a mission in the Philippines and occasionally he will write home requesting something.  Mostly what he asks for are sweet and sour candies which he evidently cannot get there.  And the last couple letters he has mentioned how much he loves those strings that are sweet/sour.  I was so happy to find them in several flavors.  I grabbed several packages.  It is such a small thing but sometimes it is the little things that get us through the days.  When I get to the end of a hard day a cup of hot chocolate or some herbal tea help melt away the struggles of the day.  That is such a little thing too, but it helps so much, makes such a difference.  For me, the little things are often the things that matter most, kisses from my children and sweetheart, hugs, milk mustaches, laughter, picnics, music playing in the back ground of my life...all these things add up to the journey...I am grateful for my little journey, in my little piece of heaven.

Make it a great day!  Only YOU can!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A little dirt can clear things up...

I have heard all those analogies about how we shouldn't muddy the waters.  For example...when I was newly married, my beloved would do something to put me in a rage and I would call my mom.  I would vent and she would side with me...I   AM   her daughter.  Then my beloved and I would apologize to each other (yes...I was wrong too)...and soon life was coming up roses again.  Except...EXCEPT for one thing.  I had muddy mother was still mad at my beloved.  So it would seem that the dirt and the mud of life can really get in the way of our happiness at times.

But today...the dirt of life made everything clear.
Today the sun was out and I went to my planters.  I dug and weeded until I actually got a huge blister in the middle of my hand.  I bandaged it, wrapped it with duct tape and continued.  Because it felt so good to be outside, out in the sun, out in the dirt.  I remember playing for hours in the dirt.  Mud pies, mud days, laughter and silliness...all in the dirty back yard.

In this world where "digging up dirt" means stirring a pot of trouble, and slinging mud means saying mean things (often lies) about the opposition...  it was a nice contrast today to dig up some dirt.  It is the only kind of dirt I wish to dig up.  The dirt of my past and the pasts of anyone else...I am happy to leave that dirt buried deep in the soil of yesterday.  But to prepare the earth with my hands, to get something read to grow, to become...that was just the medicine I needed today!  For me, a little dirt cleared things up, cleaned out the cobwebs of my mind and started getting me thinking about spring and beginnings.  So I hope that sometime soon you get to dig up some of the dirt that actually helps something grow.  It might even brighten your day, elevate your mood and change you in amazing ways.

Make it a great day!  Only YOU can!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Blogs and My life...

My blogs and my life go in cycles.  I have good days and bad days.  I have days I write and days I don't.  Then there are the times where months go by.  Of course like life has continued.  The mundane and the extraordinary all roll by.  I have learned a lot about myself through the Butterfly Project.  Gratitude changes things.  This year I have watched gratitude change me.  I am more aware of the little things that people do.  Especially, I am aware of my husband and my children.  The more grateful I have been the more blessed I have felt and that is another beautiful offspring of gratitude.  So even though in some ways this was one of my more difficult years in life...I would not trade 2012...because I learned so much about who I am and who I want to be.  I most definitely want to be a more grateful person.  To all those that participate with me, whether you wrote one letter or twelve...thank you for taking the journey with me.  The road to growth and discovery is always easier to travel when friends walk with you.

For 2013 my goal is to free myself of the baggage of past hurts, sadness and personal lose and grow from the trials of my past (recent and distant).  Any takers?  My one word for 2013 is Freedom.  I love that Freedom goes with the Butterfly Project.  And I will be continuing letters of gratitude in this coming year.  I hope you will join me.

Make it a great year...Only YOU can!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fabulous and Forty...

I am not a size 6 like I was in high school...
I don't weigh anywhere close to 117 pounds like I did in 1990 when I went to Prom.
I don't have a PHD.
I haven't invented anything or made my first million...

But as my birthday, my 40th birthday started to roll closer and closer with momentum I couldn't help but reflect on my first 40 years on this earth.  I hope to have 40 more, or 60 more if I am blessed with that many.

I am happy in my skin...and yes I will take the wrinkles and stretch marks...I earned every one.  I don't feel old.  Though at night I do feel tired.  I waste and wear out my life loving people not things.  I can't think of a better life and I wouldn't want it any other way.  If I made more money I would travel more...but not the go to Jamaica and Hawaii kind of travel.  I would plan trips to see extended family and dear friends because that is where I gather the most joy and the best memories.

Early on in our marriage we discussed what kind of trips, what kind of memories we wanted for our children.  Our trips have almost always included extended family.  And when my two year old begs to go see his Uncle D (whom he is named after) that lives an airplane ride away...I confess it makes me smile.  Moments and memories mean so much more than momentos and vacation destinations.  I am grateful for an incredible culmination of fabulous memories.

I live for family reunions and dinner with friends.  I love notes in the mail...both sent and received.  I don't believe you can say "I Love You" too much to anyone and if you are remotely close to me I have told you I love you.  But I want you to know it isn't tongue in cheek.  If I say it, I mean it!

I have learned in my 40 years that life is too short...often!  And I need to live in a way that if I didn't wake up tomorrow there would be no significant people in my life questioning my love for them.  Believe me, I do see my own weaknesses and know that there are some ways I could do better at this.  But I do believe I have made great efforts in that regard...especially with the Butterfly Project where I have written almost 60 letters to family so far.  I have many more letters to write in the future!

I have learned that life is beautiful.  Yes there is tragedy, sorrow and illness.  But there is also JOY, Laughter, happiness, hugs, kisses...and LOVE!

I count myself among the most blessed on this planet.  I love myself...imperfections and all!  My butterfly wings are wet, and I am still gaining strength and momentum...but I have never flown higher, never been better than right now.  So as for 40th is going to be fabulous...because I choose for it to be!

Changing the world...One letter and moment at a time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little Feet...

Since I started this interval training... link here--->  Cool Running 5K Training with this Music (Podrunner interval beat Music)  which has free downloadable music to train for a 5K...I have been very aware of my FEET.  I have been aware of where they take me, and how they can carry me ten more running steps when I feel like I will colapse. Also I have been careful where I walk and step so as not to injury them.  As I have set this goal and determined to be a FINISHER I have seen more than changes in myself.  And I am learning things that I did NOT anticipate learning.

I have a son that is so persistent that he does not EVER relent!  EVER!!!  So when he asks for Scooby-Doo about 400 times a day, I confess I give in (sometimes).  The other day he would not give in.  He wanted GRAPES.  He had already had two handfuls.  Really, I don't know why I was resisting.  They are grapes.  There really isn't a down side, at least in the quantities we were dealing with.  I looked at my determined 2 (almost 3) year old and in a questioning voice said, "You're a finisher aren't you?  You don't quit until you get what you want?  You don't give up, do you?"  He said, "No, I'm a finisher!"  He smiled so proud.  But he didn't have a clue what that meant except that I was stretching out a bowl of grapes to him and that he SUCCEEDED.

But this one little interaction really got me thinking.  What if our words changed EVERYTHING?   Those little feet have watched me the last week, have listened to me, have heard me TALK about being a finisher.  What if saying I was a finisher everyday helped MAKE me a finisher?  What if it helped make my children finishers?  And if that is true the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!  I could be a seamstress (always wanted to be), a quilter, a writer,  and  Drum ROLL... ORGANIZED!  That is a life long goal and it flutters in front of me.  But why?  Why is the thought or reality of being organized so elusive?  Is it possibly that I say, to myself and others,  I am a slob, I am a pack rat (if only I had a dollar for every time my mother said this), I have never been organized, my room growing up was a pig sty...etc, etc, etc.

What we ARE is not always what we DO.  What we DO is not always WHO we are.  I have started asking my children what they want to DO when they grow up.  Because what I want them to BE is kind, just, compassionate, honest, gentle, true, sincere, faithful!  They can BE all those things no matter what they DO.  I am becoming the butterfly.  The sweet buttefly was ever elusive, fluttering in front of me, in view, but out of grasp.  She was out of reach, but always what I wanted.  Well, not anymore.  I am the butterfly, my wings are fresh and still a little wet.  I am learning to fly faster, father.  The journey is amazing.  I am also organized.  Mind you that given a month, year and decade I will be even more organized than I am today.  Because nothing happens unless we DO something.  When we DO nothing, we get nothing.  When we DO something, we get something.  I am going to be more selective about what I DO because I have a clearer vision of what I want to BE!  I hope you are enjoying your journey to becoming.  If you don't like where you are going...change course!

Changing the world...One letter and FOOT at a time!