Friday, May 23, 2014

thought for the day….




thank you to all the readers who continue to stop by and leave me such genuine, thoughtful comments..I cannot tell you how much I value your insights.

If you haven’t heard from me it is because I am busy trying to piece together our new surroundings right now… which includes getting our internet up and running. I hope to visit you all shortly.

Happy Weekend fellow Queenies!



Saturday, May 17, 2014

when life gets crazy….4 things




Today my computer goes dark and our service won’t be back up until next Wednesday.

Did I mention this?

The owner of our current place would like to move his sons into this space, so this weekend we’re  transferring all of our belongings into another condo he recently purchased. As I write this, all the utilities are scheduled to be turned off and boxes will be loaded shortly.

Meanwhile our house hunting has become a slow drip affair as we basically wait for a home to come on the market in the neighborhoods we like.

Then, following our move this weekend, we will need to help Michael, who has to be out of his college apartment next week before he heads to Georgia to compete in his big rowing event. And two weeks later, we’ll help Patrick relocate from his place in San Luis Obispo.

Are you still with me? Because I realize this is starting to sound like a really bad reality show. But yes, it is all happening, and I’m pretty sure we’ll look back later at this period and think, “Wow! how did we get through all that?”

All these changes have made me stop and realize. Yes, feeling uprooted has been hard. Being without a home has also made me aware how much my house allows me to express my creative energies, which has been another big loss.

So I’ve had to find other ways to express myself.



Can you relate to having a lot going on right now?

Because today I thought I’d share four positive things I’m doing right now to make this transition  work for me.

1. Getting physical.

Well, I did it.

I finished my 30 day yoga challenge and I’m still going strong. And honestly, I can’t emphasize enough how much this experience has helped me stay positive. When I initially signed up at the local hot yoga studio, I was interested in building a strong body, but I never expected the intangible changes that would happen within. The breathing, the intentional focus on the present moment, the transformative effects of the heat…not only do all these help me re-focus on my body in a healthy way, but I feel the calming effects too.



If you’re interested, you can read how the practice of yoga actually changes the brain’s reactions to stress HERE. 

2. Doing something you’ve always wanted to do 

Do you dream of publishing your own book?  I know bloggers that write with the hope of being discovered by a publisher, of having their writing acknowledged by a larger audience. When our house hunting got tougher, I decided to funnel all my edgy tension into something I’ve always wanted to do. Take a writing course with an author I admire. And it’s the single biggest reason I haven’t been blogging lately. I’m loving this class.

What is something you’ve always wanted to try?

Adding something new to our lives gets us out of our comfort zone and keeps us growing, especially during an otherwise tough time. My online writing course fits perfectly into my schedule and THIS recommended book has already changed my entire thought process on story-telling.

(If you want to be a published writer, you have to read this book!)


3. Dreamy escapism 

I totally believe this. Are you ready?

Here it is: there is no situation too stressful, that a good dose of Jane Austen won’t cure. I don’t know how many times I have seen this movie, but I swear, it works every time.

My favorite obsessively watched movie: Pride and Prejudice !!!



(Ahhh..that scene in the rain is a heart-thumper!)

When you’re going through a stressful time, allow time for simple pleasures. Reading, gardening, and activities that allow us to lose track of time are the kind that replenish us. And when we’re taking care of ourselves, we have more to give others.

 Do you have a favorite movie you can watch over and over again?

4. Cultivating empathy

I have this old, deeply engrained desire to connect with sad people. It’s a long story, but I’m sure it’s at least partially responsible for my chosen profession. And recently I was telling Patrick about THIS blog that I follow, and his reaction didn’t surprise me when I showed him a picture from a recent post.

He immediately winced  and said,  “Oh, God Mom, that’s tough. That’s SO hard to hear about.”

I go to this blog because I admire and care about this young mother. Sometimes I leave a comment and sometimes I just check in, to see how she’s doing. But I’m always deeply moved by her posts. And when I offer a  prayer for her, I like to believe she experiences it as a little dose of strength.

There are some people that blow me away with their courage and break my heart at the same time.

Just enough to remind me

that there is nothing going on in my little life that I should be complaining about.



If you’re new here, this blog is where I share my humble perspective just in case it might help someone. But I also love to hear your ideas.

Tell me. How do you stay sane during turbulent times?






Thursday, May 8, 2014

thoughts on the “perfect” Mother’s Day gift




Mother’s Day is around the corner and I have a confession.

I am the worst--more boring--mama when it comes to creating a gift list for my boys. It’s not that I don’t have a running list of luxurious little wants in the back of my mind. I love bouquets of fluffy peonies as much as you. And pedicures, back massages, gift certificates to my favorite boutique, the latest best-selling novel…all these are certain to make me smile.

But truthfully, as I get older I see all those as things I can easily buy myself, so it begs the question. Hmmm…what is really precious to me these days?

What can’t be so easily purchased?

For me the answer has always been Time.

Time together.

When the boys were younger, on Mother’s Day I would have them join me in my garden where they, alongside their Dad, would sweat under the blue sky, lugging heavy bags of bark and working next to me in the dirt planting rainbow colored flowers. Afterwards, we would shower and head to a nice restaurant, their favorite part of the “giving.”  Did they grumble? Of course. And needless to say, they preferred Father’s Day much more because it was completely devoid of work. But the gardening was always followed by a hearty meal and long, lingering conversations.

And looking back, I think this ‘gardening’ gift to me reinforced the idea that real generosity is giving freely, not only when it feels good to you.




Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts because it’s an idea you might want to use too.

I originally read about it from THIS friend and when I mentioned the concept to my husband, he kindly adapted it for my Mother’s Day last year.

At first glance it simply looks like a list of 17 chosen questions for your child to answer. But I view these scribbled thoughts differently; I see these as a window into my child’s mind, a chance to step back and see them as separate, distinct people from us.

In the end, I think this is real love. To see them for who they are. To value them no matter. To be fascinated at their complexity. And to remain incredibly interested at whom they are becoming. How they see the world in which they live.

And yes, even us.

Are you curious to hear what your child thinks makes you happy? Sad?

. Here are the questions Jim gave to our boys and had them answer in private, separate from each other. Feel free to borrow and adapt for your own kids. Remember, Patrick was 20 and Michael was 18 when they answered these.











Granted, it’s a “slice of life” picture. And while it looks pretty lovely-dovey, you can see I’ve been accused of nagging (#13), and  also those Huffington Post references happened because HP  had recently linked to a post of mine.

But this snapshot of what’s happening in the moment is meaningful to me. I find these brief, idiosyncratic answers to be the real gems that I will savor long after my flowers wilt and my chocolate truffles are eaten. They are gifts of the heart, my favorite kind.

Oh, and one more thing.

When it comes to Mother’s Day I’ve learned that there will be good years and tougher ones depending on what’s happening with our kids. But keeping our expectations in check really makes a difference. Whatever is happening with your family, I hope you feel appreciated and special.

And that you remember, it’s never too late to begin anew. To say “I was wrong.”

or  “Hey, I may be flawed, but boy I love you.”

Or to simply be patient. And know that “this too shall pass.”

Mothering is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.



mason jar filled with pink peonies


Tell me…

what is your favorite Mother’s Day gift?





..I’m linking up this post here:




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