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River Time

Had such a great weekend doing nothing but enjoying what the good Lord gave us….

Yes, I know it sounds like a bad country song and I would normally NEVER post anything so cheesy (yeah, right) here but I start my vaccine trial TOMORROW and I’m feeling a little bit of everything so I allowed myself a pass just this one time.. 

It seems as though I’ve heard of more deaths this past week alone and it seems to be hitting closer and closer to home making me, both, more terrified and even more inclined to do it.. 

So, yeah, that’s it. 🤷🏼‍♀️ #grateful

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Moderna COVID-19 Clinical Trial, Phase 3

It appears I am one of the 30,000 people taking part in phase 3 of this trial. My first injection will be administered on Monday, August 3rd @ 7am. Part of this trial involves keeping a log of the experience so consider this your warning.
If, for some reason, you don’t hear from me again after 7am on Aug 3rd- IT DID NOT GO WELL- and it was really nice knowing all of you! 🤷🏼‍♀️🙏🏻❤️

Much love, …

M

You can find more info about the trial in the link below.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/27/moderna-nih-launch-30000-person-trial-coronavirus-vaccine/?fbclid=IwAR3aYV_CMx6t9BI1cHnJaPxpO9sm7znU3BuXFaPWPwmbsfvGcbX1R0jJ-8E

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All Endings Are Also Beginnings

Today marks the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. It’s not going to be easy; it already hurts like hell and I feel like I’m going to break in half any second but it’s happening. The thought that this is just the beginning sends shots of pain right through me.

I wish I could blame it all on someone else but I can’t. This was MY choice, MY doing. Whatever follows will be because of my actions (or lack of) so there is no one to blame, no excuses to give to myself or anyone else, no reason to even attempt to pretend it happened TO ME. Because it didn’t. On the contrary, everything that is about to follow in the coming days, weeks months; will be happening BECAUSE of me.

I’m hoping that in time I will find the peace I have so desperately been looking for and it will, even slightly, make up for everything that I am about to lose. I am hoping that within all the madness that’s about to ensue, I’ll find myself again.

I continue to remind myself that I NEED to be real. I, and all the people involved, the ones that make up every sliver of this shattered heart of mine, DESERVE for me to be real. This is not the time for messing around or beating around the bush in order to spare other people’s feelings. It’s the time to be completely honest. The band aid has been ripped off, the blood is oozing out, and I have no other choice but to follow through until all of the wounds have been healed.

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Life As We Know It…

I had, honestly, been taking all of this in stride, one day at a time, paying attention but not OBSESSED, but this SERIOUSLY breaks my heart. These kids are being robbed of a crucial college experience; major EARNED milestones like graduation and ring ceremonies will not be celebrated, housing situations are being left in chaos, friendships made will be left uncultivated, memories that should have happened, never will.. 

My daughter is one of the lucky ones. She can easily go back to her apartment and gather her things at her leisure. We have “decent” internet connections and ways to rectify the situation, if necessary. God willing, she will still have her commencement ceremony next spring and life will, eventually, go back to normal- whatever that may be- but for the others; you are and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, every minute of every day.. 

And yes, I still plan to go about my life. I wont let this virus control me or my family, nor will I live in fear that I’ll run out of toilet paper or food and start acting like a crazy ass fool (not anymore than usual, anyway). I’ll continue to use common sense (whatever I have left of it) I’ll continue to take all the necessary precautions, but I refuse to allow this to affect me or my family any more than it already has… life WILL go on. Just with a lot more hand sanitizer… 

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February Books

I guess the holidays really did me in because I cannot seem to get through one book, let alone four. Nonetheless, here are the books I read or am reading now.

The Book to Teach Me Something: Girl, Stop Apologizing By Rachel Hollis.

” … a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.”

Just like her other book, Girl, Wash Your Face, there were parts I tolerated, parts I loved, and parts I could have done without.

I could have done without some of her personal stories, although, they did tie in well. What she considered “an excuse” isn’t always that.. sometimes they are actual REASONS why we cant do something at that particular moment, that doesn’t mean we are done with it for good – just delayed – and there were a few times I thought her logic was a bit skewed. HOWEVER, for the most part, I think it’s something I would encourage my own daughter to read. And I did find myself highlighting a few key parts. My favorite quote was this one:

“I’m grateful for the small spaces I’ve inhabited; they taught me how to grow.

I’m grateful for every misstep along the way; they taught me how to run.

I’m grateful for every moment of insecurity; they propelled me to gain a lifetime of confidence earned through practice and study. “

Rachel Hollis, Girl Stop Apologizing. Pg 58

In a nutshell, dont be afraid to screw up royally – there isn’t anything you do that can ruin your life FOREVER.

The Book to Take Me Away and the Book that’s Good For Me: Unfortunately, I STILL cannot get through Jodi Piccoult’s Small Great Things. I, honestly, can’t explain why, I just can’t. But I will.. eventually.

The Book That Is Just For Fun is just about to start. Elin Hildebrand’s Winter Solstice. I haven’t even cracked the cover yet but plan to start on a plane ride to Vegas tomorrow. I’ll keep ya posted!

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To Do List of 2020

I did one of these in 2018 and, to be honest, I sucked at it. I probably accomplished one thing off the list and, even then, it was about a year later.

I think my son accomplished another one. OK, he did… but it was still HIS accomplishment, not mine.

But, here we are; another DECADE upon us. And here I am, still making my damn lists.

So here goes – my To Do List of 2020.

  1. Finish up that gun class I took and actually learn how to use one. I mean, I am a LICENSED gun carrier person..
  2. Learn how to meditate – like for real, the right way – the kind where my soul actually leaves my body and does my body and my mind some good.
  3. Take a photography class.
  4. Go see Abraham-Hicks LIVE and IN PERSON.
  5. Pay off my Target card (odds are slim)
  6. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
  7. Visit that Ice Castle Spa place
  8. See Magnolia Silos

That should do it for this year. If I can accomplish even HALF of these things; it’s gonna be a good year.

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What I want for Christmas this year:

1. To send my kids a text asking: what meals do you want me to make for you while you’re home?”  ✔️


2. Christmas music playing non stop – loud enough for everyone to hear no matter what room you’re in in this house. ✔️


3. To put clean, fuzzy sheets on a bed that hasn’t been slept in for a while. ✔️


4. Stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that the owners of those stockings will soon all be there.


5. To get this text from my kids simply saying: “heading home.”✔️


6. To bake batches of holiday cookies; even if they’re the ones from the package .✔️


7. For everyone who calls me “mom” to be asleep under my roof.


8. To have breakfast together every day… and include mimosas on most of them. 


9. More laundry in the washroom, more clothes and shoes thrown around the house, more cell

phones charging at every outlet not being used by a Christmas light.


10. The sound of all my children’s voices laughing together in the same room.


11. To go to bed at night without leaving my phone on because all the people who might need to call me at 3 a.m. are within earshot.


12. To need to buy more milk, more cereal, more laundry detergent, more toilet paper, and more—much, much more—pizza.


13. Family game night with all the players. 


14. To do everything on our “next time you’re home” list.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

And a roomba..  😊❤️

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November ALREADY, Kindle Unlimited, & Marie Kondo

I cant believe we are already into November! It was just the other day I was writing about Back to Basics – Holy crap, it took me THAT long to actually get started! The year is almost OVER!

Anyway, in my long overdue journey of clearing out the crap I stumbled upon the cutest little woman named Marie. Everyone seems to love her and her videos made it seem so easy. Yes, I knew there would be some mess, I mean, you gotta break it all down to put it back together, right, but I NEVER expected it to be like this!

So I went back and watched the videos again. I HAD to be doing it wrong. Then I realized something; they never tell you how long it took! There was NO TIMELINE! How did I not notice this before?

That made me feel better but also made me feel worse. I wasn’t doing it wrong but this could, possibly, go on indefinitely. And in the meantime, I am losing my mind over the clutter.

I didn’t take before pics because I, honestly, swear to my God, thought I could do this in a night. I didn’t think it would be this hard..

But this is my progress so far (not much):

Started on Monday, November 4th –

I swear I worked on this aaalllll day and night but this was my progress on Tuesday.

It is now Monday, November 11th and I have yet to finish category 1 of this ordeal. I am, officially, scarred for life. Torching the house does NOT seem like a bad idea anymore.

Forget cancelling Kindle Unlimited because I somehow UPGRADED the damn thing! I dont know how and I am not even going to fight it. Instead, I have chosen to embrace it and read on! I have “listened” to more books than any one person should… and I don’t have to deal with said book when I hit THAT category of the Marie thing. #winning

I guess its back to working on learning how to fold the 27 grey t shirts that bring me joy…

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30 Days of Thankful – and why I almost didn’t do it.

Every November since 2012 I’ve done this 30 Days of Thankful thing.  It first started as a fb “challenge” from a friend and it quickly became one of my favorite things to do. One I usually look forward to all year long. 

This year, for some reason, I just didn’t want to do it. 

It’s been a rough year.  

Late last year my job structure changed and I’ve had a tough time adjusting to it and all the “freedom” it’s given me. I use that term loosely because, while I may have acquired the flexibility I cried about for DECADES, I lost the stability and structure I never knew I desperately needed. Yeah, came as a surprise to me too. 

My kids are all grown and doing their best to adjust to this adulting thing but, let’s be real here, they aren’t that great at it yet and they’ve made some really crappy decisions that have cost us lots of money and heart ache. Thank God you guys are super cute and that I have an amazing sense of humor (yes, I just complimented myself) because that’s, pretty much, what’s kept me from not beating all of their butts- you’re welcome. 😬

Sparing you the boring details, one, not quite completely insured car I still owe a substantial amount of money on, was totaled and the other car caught fire. Literally! And, of course, I was grateful everyone was ok and, of course, that’s what’s REALLY important but the damn car went up in flames. Big ones! I mean, come on, seriously??

I also realized I have zero budgeting abilities and my finances are in a state that’s pretty similar to that car that had to be SCOOPED off the expressway. Turns out I have a whole lot of stuff I don’t want or need, including 27 grey t shirts I bought from Facebook ads. Do I think they’re cute? Very. Will I ever wear them? Nope!

Seems like just when things are about to get better, something else falls apart. Like me, for example. 

I’m getting old and I’m not liking it very much. Botox has become my new favorite thing (someone stop me if I come anywhere remotely close to looking like the joker). I’m always tired, my blood pressure is high, I am pretty sure I’m in the beginning stages of menopause and I spend more time talking to my dog than I do anyone else (he’s an excellent listener, btw) because there’s only about a handful of people I don’t often want to punch in the face – and no, my kids are not always a part of that group. As a matter of fact, they are RARELY in that group.  (Mommy still loves ya, though!❤️❤️❤️) 

The passing of my stepfather was the hardest. Not only was he gone and I now had this huge hole in my heart but I had my mom being alone and the possibility of her moving in with me to add to my list of worries! (I still can’t tell you which scares me more ; her being alone or her wanting to live here!!! – love you mom!😊❤️😬)

And yes, I have had alot of really great times in between all of this stuff and I know how blessed I really am (I do know, I promise I do) I just hadn’t been feeling it a lot lately. But yesterday we got to do something really great for one kid and the other two were truly  happy for her and I realized that THAT was what mattered. My kids were (almost)well adjusted- not -a -danger- to -society- about -to -be -adult people that were genuinely HAPPY and there for each other when it mattered the most. 

As she drove away this morning, still glowing from yesterday’s events, and I realized that it was the 3rd of November and that today was my dads, Manuel’s 69th birthday and he was stronger and better than ever and all of those crappy things that happened could have, just possibly, made ME stronger and better, too! So I’m doing it; 3 days behind but that’s ok… sometimes you just have to take a minute (or 3 days or a month or a year or whatever) to make the decision that it’s time. Time to get your shit together and stop worrying about things that are out of your control and just be grateful for every good, hell, any half-way -decent -at -least -I’m -not- dead moment you got! 

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August and September Books because I just cant seem to figure out how to cancel Kindle Unlimited.

It appears I have a Kindle Unlimited account I just cannot seem to cancel (yes, I’ve tried – numerous times). For some reason, it just wont seem to go away. So I decided to actually USE it (crazy, I know).

In my quest to use this application I have, apparently, been paying for since 2016 I found that, not only can you download books, you can LISTEN to them too! Since my discovery I have listened to more books than I ever thought was possible! I have found myself making excuses to drive places just so I can finish up a book or two.

Unfortunately, I haven’t even finished reading the books I started in July – but that’s ok – they aren’t going anywhere. Read below to see why:

The Book to Teach Me Something: Unleash Your Inner Money Babe by Kathrin Zenkin. I already told you I have some serious spending issues. Issues that need to be resolved ASAP, as in NOW, I mean, I have been paying for Kindle Unlimited for YEARS and never used it. See- issues… I thought this book would help me dig deep into these issues but, nope, doesn’t seem to be working. I just cant seem to get through this thing! No idea why. I guess it’s just not as interesting as I thought it would be. Or I really am a lost cause.

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I still have it sitting here, on my desk, staring at me daily, just daring me to pick it up – and I will, eventually. I think.

In the meantime, I have read – listened to, actually -two books that fall into my Books That Are Just For Fun category.

My first Kindle Unlimited Audible Compatible book was The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms.

Amy and I are kindred souls. There was so much of her I could relate to. There were a few times I wanted to BE her! Finding yourself, figuring out who you are when you aren’t a mother, and learning how to survive the inevitable; the moment you find out that your children have lives of their own and you have become nothing but a spectator. (ugh, that one hurt!) I couldn’t have said any better than she did below:

“the painful realization that your children need other people in their lives besides you, that soon you’ll be relegated to the sidelines of their adult lives and have no idea who you are anymore.” 

If I’m not the chauffeur, and cook (who are we kidding, the order taker is more like it), and pony tail maker – then who the hell am I?

This is about the time you start to look around at the people in your life. Specifically, your husband – and you wonder – who the hell is this guy? and where has he been all of this time? Sure, he’s been there – sort of – he yells at the kids when I dont want to and he goes on occasional family events when I make him but, who is he, really? Do I even like him?

“This man and I combined our genetics to make something greater than the sum of its parts. We made two children I love more than I have ever loved anything else…” 

In my case it’s three children but the concept is the same.

This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel sorry for her, it made me slightly jealous of her, and there were a few occasions my chest swelled with pride FOR her. My accidental purchase turned into a sweet and perfect 8 hour relationship I will treasure for ever.

My Kindle Unlimited account I can’t get rid of also led me to this off-the-wall surprise:

I’m Fine and Neither Are You really threw me for a loop right from the get go. Camille wasted no time in getting into the heart of the story by killing off one of the main characters in the first chapter. Although she (Jenny) remained part of the story, I have to admit, I was shocked by such a bold move. It’s been weeks since I read it and I still dont know what the REAL story line was. Was it how complicated and energy consuming marriage could be;

“But something between us had shifted over the course of our marriage, particularly the last two to three years. We had gone from being lovers to best friends to . . . roommates who routinely irritated each other.” 

That things weren’t always the way they appeared to be;

“and yet, you really didn’t know me”, Jenny said.

Or that all you have to do is look past all of the day to day mess and focus on the good stuff and you will be ok?

“This is not a test. Life is messy and sometimes tragic and often just plain hard for a woman to weather. But when you step back for a moment, the whole of it is incredibly beautiful—and that is what we must choose to focus on.” 

Whatever you take away from it – I hope it’s something positive. I’m still trying..

The Book to Take Me Away and the Book that’s Good For Me are one in the same and I still haven’t finished it. That’s not really a surprise as I have this trouble with ALL of Jodi Piccoult’s books. But for some reason small great things. has been tougher than most. I am determined to finish it this month, though – for sure!

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Being Stuck….

I saw this picture on Pinterest of a person stuck in a jar. The quote read “I feel like I am stuck in a glass jar. I can see what I want or need to do, yet I cannot reach it.” Holy crap! After months of trying to describe how I am feeling THIS random picture did it for me! This is EXACTLY how I feel; like I’m stuck in this world where my days go on and on and I am trapped in this merry go round I just cant seem to get off on.

There are days the dizziness is just too much. So much that I actually get nauseous. Then there are days the lid is so tight I cant even breathe. On the outside, everything looks fine. Actually, everything IS fine. I have a job I love, I have the set up I had prayed for for years. I have amazing friends, healthy kids, a home I feel blessed to live in. I drive my dream car. And yet, I still feel “off”.

If I were to take a page from my LOA book I would say I am not “in alignment”. So my question now is; how in the hell do I get “aligned” because I’m about to blow this lid off and turn my entire world upside down! Or I’m going to die… at this point, it could go either way.

Meredith Grey

Since my daughter has been home we’ve all been watching Grey’s Anatomy. Every. Single. Day. I stopped watching it years ago because Meredith got on my nerves and I swear I wanted to punch her in the face by the end of every episode – so I just stopped watching – cold turkey. But, when my kid takes over the tv; you’re kinda stuck watching what she wants. And this is what she wanted. She actually started it from Season One, Episode One. By Season 16 I was pretty confident I could be a surgeon myself.

Turns out there was alot I missed. I swear that show drained me. I would, literally, be exhausted after watching it. A part of me wanted to be friends with all of them and another part was scared to actually have them as real doctors because they did not know how to follow ANY rules. And they weren’t even good at trying to get away with it…

But then one day, Meredith said something that really resonated with me.. she said:

“Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is, appreciating small victories and Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human” ~ Meredith Grey

With everything going on right now, I thought, holy crap, she’s right! Let’s stop focusing on every bad thing that’s been happening, Lord knows, there has been a-lot, and let’s start focusing on the good; no matter how insignificant it may be. So that’s what Im doing; remembering to be thankful.

Im thankful for the familiar things I know and I’m thankful for the things I may never know. I’m thankful for the people in my life, the memories we’ve made and the ones we have yet to make. 

At the end of the day, the fact that we have the ability and the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.

Is this our new “normal”?

I read an article on the lasting impact this virus is going to have on us and how we do business. For the most part, I agreed with everything the author said; expect for one thing… 

She stated that “the comfort of being in the presence of others will be replaced by a greater comfort with absence….” Instead of asking, “Is there a reason to do this online?” we’ll be asking, “Is there any good reason to do this in person?”

While, at this particular moment, distance is, unfortunately, necessary, I PRAY that it is not a replacement for actual human interaction. I still believe that putting a face to the name of someone I have been interacting with for months is important. I still believe that a hug from a colleague you’ve worked with for decades means something. I still WANT to be able to sit down at a table with that team you’ve come to think of as family and talk about our (crazy)lives.. I still want to drive Marcus Ramirez crazy with the things I agree to because I, honestly, believe he CAN do anything and everything “ASAP”. 

All I am saying is that, when all of this over, I hope we go back to the way things were because the way they were wasn’t bad. It was REAL. It was US. And I happen to like us… a lot. 

Words of Wisdom on my baby girls 21st Birthday!

TWENTY ONE YEARS OLD! How did that even happen? WHEN did it happen? Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating your high school graduation and I was coming to terms with the fact that you were LEAVING. Now THIS! If it wasn’t for the fact that you were so responsible and mature, I don’t think my heart could handle it. Lucky for me, you are. 

I clearly remember sitting at my desk writing my words for your brothers when they turned 21. Of course, it was all about laying low on the drinking (last week’s headaches proved they didn’t listen), cautioning them on the dangers of strip clubs (gross), telling them to trust their gut and run when things seemed “shady”, and reminding them that the great freedom they had just stumbled upon came with enormous amounts of responsibility (not sure any of that sank in). None of that seems appropriate for you, though. On the contrary, my words for you are the complete opposite. 

For you, I have the following: 

• Let loose every now and then. It is not only acceptable, but encouraged, to have a RESPONSIBLE night out on the town. In this day and age there are no excuses for drinking and driving. CALL AN UBER. I will even pay for it. But promise me you will have a night filled with “vodka and regret” sometime soon. (And take pics, post on snapchat, and facetime me throughout the night as often as you can. I can even join you if you want, just sayin’). 
*And for those of you shocked that I am encouraging my daughter to have a night out, mind your business! You clearly do not know me or my kid.*

• Make time for Family – Stay connected to your brothers as much as possible. Yes, they’re annoying but they will become less so as the years go on. Promise.

• Don’t let one person become who you live for- if you do, make sure that one person is YOU. Learn to love yourself as unconditionally as you will love the children you will one day have. There is no feeling quite like it. This I can assure you of. 

• Don’t over analyze your thoughts or anyone else’s. No one’s opinion of you matters that much, not even mine. Trust your gut as often as possible but feel free to ignore it every now and then, too. There is no ONE decision that will ruin your life forever. I am living proof of this.

• Find your passion and stick to it. Doesn’t matter what it is. If you love it, it’s ALWAYS the right thing to do. Having lots of money may make paying the bills a lot easier to do but it won’t help getting out of bed each and every day any better. Do what you love, everything else will work itself out.

• You are not defined by your job title, relationship status, or bank account. You are your experiences.

• Gain those experiences by Travel. Go to as many magical places as you can but learn to appreciate coming home just as much.

• Write your feelings down. Any time I feel overwhelmed or confused, I write. Somehow it all makes sense on paper. (A little surpise on this topic is on its way to you now.)

• Be grateful for at least one thing every morning- you’ll be surprised how much this can set you up to have a beautiful day. And then write about that, too.. (see how this is all tying together..)

• Never assume, always ask questions- even the ones that make you feel uncomfortable; those are the ones that will teach you the most.

• Hold on to people that bring you love & joy, and once these people no longer do, know that it’s okay to let them go.

• Never be afraid to come to me with any of your problems and I promise to always listen and never judge- all I ask is that you do the same for others, me included.

• Listen to your mother. I speak from experience. Not because I have followed all of the advice I have given but because I WISH I had. 

• And most importantly, even when you can’t understand how or why, believe me when I tell you that life will always go on… and I will always be right there if you need me. 

Oh, my love, you have reached those wonderfully selfish years; the ones filled with so much adventure and curiosity. Embrace each and every moment of it. Even the ones that turn out to be mistakes of colossal proportions. I promise you, with every fiber of my being, that I will ALWAYS be right there beside you; cheering you on, picking you up, and reminding you how truly loved you are. 

Have an AMAZING day, my baby! Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Always have. Always will.