Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I love my life!


I love my life. It’s as simple as that. I find myself thinking that ALL OF THE TIME. Last night I had dinner with some of my Camp GLP family and again, driving home in my car said out loud, “I love my life!”

But what does that mean? It means I have been able to surround myself with amazing encouragers. These are people that come from all walks of life and all aspects of my life. What this doesn’t mean is that I don’t have days that are challenging, because oh yeah, I have plenty of those. I'd just rather spend my time being grateful for all of the amazing things in my life instead.

My challenge to you, find at least one thing you are grateful for each day and name it. It’s amazing how just that one small action creates a domino effect of positivity.

I’ve wanted to capture and share one recent example of loving my life, here goes…I just got back from an epic adventure, an adventure with lots of courageous people. It started with a bicycle ride in Death Valley that raised over $900,000 for Type One Diabetes research with JDRF. It continued as five of us visited six National Parks in 12 days.

We rode our bikes; upped our salt intake; checked our dehydration levels; camped in hammocks; put our food in bear boxes; saw coyotes and scorpions; walked and drove through marbled canyons; visited a ghost town; stood on the edge of a volcano crater; sat in a hot springs tub in the middle of a field by a green church; had snacks with cousins; watched people scale El Capitan; sipped free wine at the Ahwahnee; drove through big trees; stood in awe in front of 2,000 year-old Sequoias; watched sunsets from dunes, rocks and trees; ate In n Out; went from 103 degrees in the desert to snow in the Sierras and Cascades, looked at where Crater Lake should be. National Parks Visited: Mt. Lassen | Death Valley | Yosemite | Sequoia | Kings Canyon | Crater Lake.































Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grandma Pearl was a poet.

Its been 24 years since I found my grandma's poems on very fragile typing paper, typed with her own hands. Back then I carefully retyped each one and made a little book for her and the rest of the family. Its been a really long time since I brought it out and looked at them. So many are still so relevant. Many were written in the 1960s and way before. I have always loved the ones she wrote about my dad and then later when my mom entered the family. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Greg

Oh little one tucked neath my heart,
Of my small world you've become a part.
Already you have filled my being
With the joy that I'm foreseeing.
Your first sign was a fluttering,
Like the touch of a velvet wing.
Next thing I know you'll burst in bloom,
From the tiny seed within my womb.
Sweet mystery that life can be,
To give this blessing unto me.
This untold glory that is mine,
The product of love devine.
I face my God my head I bow
I pray He listens as I vow,
To give to you the best I can,
To help you to be a boon to man.

Carol

She truly is a darling one
This girl that's married to one son.
For in our lives she does her part
To fill the vacancy in our heart.
Though fair of skin and beautious brow
I know no task to which she'd bow.
She has the spirit of pioneers
She'll surely go down with our peers.
You can tell we dearly love her
And hope her guiding star above her
Will join our galaxy 'til when
We all can say "Thanks and Amen."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Crowd Pleasing Side – Calico Beans

I feel like its time for a recipe. A recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Well at least in my case a pleaser of 22-year-olds that show up the weekend before finals and are really hungry.

















Justin and one of his Rugby buddies came up recently and I knew I needed to cook a ton of something. Instantly, I thought of Calico Beans, Justin loves them, they are easy to make AND the crock-pot does the work, well most of the work.

These are a can’t miss summer BBQ side.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We all fall down...

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.


So, I’m doing this 100-mile bike ride in October. I decided to do a bike fitting at The Bike Gallery (I highly recommend Brian there.) I’ve also been toying with the idea of clip pedals and shoes, so I pulled the trigger before my fitting. I have to admit I was terrified to use the clips. As my family will attest, I’m quite the clutz, accident prone if you will. Brian, sweet Brian said, “you’ll get used to it, it will become second nature. But we all fall down. So make sure you get unclipped well before you need to stop. But really, we all fall down." Right…

Well, yesterday I went for a ride (second ride with my clips) to some friends’ house for a porch cocktail hour. We came equipped with a bottle of wine and a tomato plant lovingly nurtured in our greenhouse, all of which were in the wicker basket on my handlebars. The ride went great, until, yep, I fell. And not a fall in the middle of a quiet street, nope it had to be at a busy corner at Woodstock Ave. And there was a mom and a child that I had stopped for. I did what sweet Brian said, got unclipped a half a block away, but then when I was ready to stop, the clip caught and it was like a tree falling, timber. My lovely guy, the one that actually did the tomato nurturing quickly jumped off his bike and made sure the tomato plant was OK. I was still trapped under my bike and couldn’t get up. Once the plant was up righted then my knight in shining armor came to the rescue.

I've decided the morale of the story is…we all fall down. In this case this was not meant metaphorically.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A little proud mom advice

I recently had a proud mom moment. And as a single mom, I need to celebrate those proud moments. A long time friend of mine sent me a note telling me what a good kid Justin is and “you dun good!” He has run into my son a few times, this is the second, “you dun good!” note from him. My son is about to turn 22. He’s going to college. He’s growing up. And I really enjoy seeing him turn into a contributing member of society.

That’s a big thing for a mom. It’s hard to raise a child by yourself. Its funny, I was just having this conversation with an amazing single mom. People talk about all of the sacrifices I must have made. And don’t get me wrong, there were many. But every single one was worth it. To see Justin begin to flourish and to see other people enjoy him is the reward.

Here’s a little advice to mom’s everywhere, single or partnered:
  • A spotless house is nice and all, but getting it just clean enough is perfect. You do that and you can go and watch your child’s game, volunteer for a field trip, help them with their homework and plop onto the couch to watch some mindless TV before bed so you can wind down.
  • Don’t back down on your consequences. Set the consequence for your kid’s good behavior and bad behavior, then stick to it, even if it means you lose out on something you really want too. 
  • You may think that you are so busy taking care of your kids, the house, your job that you are missing everything. You’re not! So give yourself a break. It may be a blur at the time, but when you look back, you see just how much you enjoyed the chaos and being there for your kidlets.
  • When your kids are sullen and uncommunicative don’t take it personally. There is absolutely nothing you can do and trying only makes you more frustrated. They will get through it and so will you. 
  • All your hard work is going to make a glorious human adult. Someone others will have to work with, live with, marry, buy from… Even when you think they didn’t learn anything from you while they are the sloths in your own house, when they get on their own, they remember all that dear old mom did for them and they miraculously start taking care of themselves. 
I guess the morale of this post is that it’s great to hear from people that your kids are good kids and “you dun good”. Its also great to remember each and every day that “you are doing good.” The journey may be hard, but boy it’s worth it!

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Lovely Green Leaves.

Nothing that beats a warm Spring day in Portland. Seriously! When the sun comes out on a warm day in May it seems everyone gets a smile on their face, they get an extra spring in their step and all is well.

That's all, I just wanted to celebrate Spring!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Generosity begets generosity.

I had the pleasure or having tea with Greg Bell @waterthebamboo yesterday. Our conversation centered on generosity and how it just plain feels good to be generous and to be the recipient of generosity. It seems there has been a shift these days. I’m surrounded by folks that are giving of themselves and less by people that are holding back or holding tight. It may be that I’ve made some conscious decisions to seek positive and giving people. As a result, I find myself happier AND healthier. 

I think we should all think about our personal communities. Is it time to start focusing on the people that have positive influences in our lives? I’m not saying to weed any friends out, you don’t have to “break up” with the negative ninnies, I am saying, consider spending a little less energy there. I can pretty much guarantee if you focus your energy and time with people that are positive and generous, you will find you will be more positive and generous. 

As I write this, I was thinking of my strawberry patch, it's a great metaphor for how generosity begets generosity. We planted our strawberry patch three years ago, the first year, we watered and cared for our small plants, we had a few delicious strawberries. The second year, we watered and cared and we had more delicious strawberries. Last year, we watered and cared and the plants flourished and kept giving and giving all summer long. We were so excited; we were able to make three batches of jam. Which in turn we gave to our friends and family. Those little plants and a little generous watering and care created a year full of strawberry goodness. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Because I'm Happy

Come on really, how can you not get a little smile on your face and bounce in your step when you hear Pharrell Williams' Happy. You know I make a conscience effort to choose Happy every day. This song makes that choice easier every time I hear it. Can't nothing, bring me down. Now...Clap Along!

Happy
It might seem crazy what I'm about to say
Sunshine she's here, you can take away
I'm a hot air balloon, I could go to space
With the air, like I don't care baby by the way

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don't hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I'll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don't waste your time
Here's why

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Happy, bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
I said bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
I said

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Happy, bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can't nothing, bring me down
I said

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do


Monday, April 28, 2014

Money's just a thing

This blog post from Heather Thorkelson | Republic of Freedom, really resonated with me so I wanted to share. As a freelancer the money train ebbs and flows. That results in your bank account ebbing and flowing too. Some may say I'm a little bit of a control freak, so this inevitable pattern stresses me out.

No more! What I took from the @RepOfFreedom post is that money does not define my success, talent or worth. "Its just numbers on a screen."


Friday, April 25, 2014

105 miles + Death Valley = Bike riding toward a cure for Type 1 Diabetes

I've made a crazy commitment to ride my bike for 105 miles in Death Valley this October. I'm joining my friend Kaitlyn and five other brave ladies to take our stand against TD1.

Our team has been training and planning and fundraising. Coming up, we'll be hosting a party this summer, staging a pop-up cupcake stand and will be making some guest appearances with some wacky stunts to aid in our fundraising endeavors.

Wish us luck with our training and join our cause by pledging a donation. Its easy to donate by checking out my JDRF Ride to Cure page.

peace + cupcakes!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wise words.

Steel your courage, face the truth and get moving.

These are words from an "O" article one of my besties sent me today. The article was titled "How do I know it's time to let go." To me, these are words that go way beyond that thought, words we should probably remember every single day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bloom where you're planted!

These are words I heard from my mother often. They are now words that I live by. I think we spend so much time trying to get to the next thing, that we often don't see how amazing right here is.

Everyday there are perfect moments. Heck no, not a perfect day, but definitely perfect moments. This reminds me of a good friend that starts and ends his day with the question, "what's going well?"

Do me a favor think about "what's going well". Then "bloom where you're planted!"