Daddy’s girl? Absolutely!

Like many father/daughter relationships, I have a special one with mine.  We have a strong bond and a connection I treasure.  Throughout my life he has always made me, my Mom, and my sister feel special and loved.

As a young farm girl I have wonderful memories of being around the animals.  One of my favorite memories was the daily ritual of climbing on the long, silver, metal gate that separated the green pasture imagefrom the barnyard.  As my Dad herded the livestock back to the barn at the end of each evening, he would swing that gate closed, signifying the end of another work day; but to me it was the greatest ride in the world.

Another special memory were the times I would tag along with my Dad to Milwaukee in the big “straight” truck, to haul corn, wheat or oats to the Continental Grain Co.  I didn’t want him to be lonely during those trips, and I loved the time we spent talking and laughing.  On special occasions he would let me pick out a soda at the food truck outside the grain silos, while we patiently waited in line to weigh and sell the harvested grain.  He was the coolest dad, EVER!

Many people know my father by his firm handshake/grip and he taught his children, and grandchildren the importance of a good handshake.  This grip also served him well when meeting any would be suitors that wanted to date one of his daughters.  He made no bones about who was boss and in charge; most boys left shaking in their boots, which I am guessing made him smile, and was exactly the reaction he was going for.

Like many father/daughter relationships ours is a bond that can’t be broken.  Growing up, he was everything to me, and still is today.  He is my teacher, my inspiration and my hero; I will never be too old to be a Daddy’s girl.  Happy birthday to the most important man in my life.

xoxox…..your baby girl

 

Twenty-one?……not possible

My baby girl turned 21 years old this week (double gasp).  How can that be possible? It seems like just five minutes ago I was holding her in my arms and staring down at her beautiful green eyes, and her golden locks of hair. This week’s post is dedicated to that precious girl of mine.

Growing up on a farm myself, I had the same kind of childhood experiences my daughter had, since she grew up on a farm as well.  I consider both of us blessed to have had that opportunity and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  She learned early on about the cycle of life and witnessed the birth of many animals, that most kids only read about in school. She bottle-fed lambs and nursed an old ewe (female sheep) that was near death, back to a healthy,  vibrant animal, that would deliver lambs for the next several years.  It was her tender heart and her caring spirit that gave that mama sheep new life.

She has always been the kind of girl that knows exactly what she wants, and won’t stop until she gets it (perhaps a little like a bull).  She is tenacious and driven, with a good head on her shoulders.  Throughout high-school her friends would be in a situation and would think WWHD (what would Hannah do), I always got a big kick out of that one.

She will protect her friends with a fierce attitude, yet call them out when she thinks they need it.  She is a born leader and will defend her point of view until everyone agrees with her, or…..they give up trying.  She never liked when my perspective didn’t match hers, but has matured into being open to my opinions.  She is determined and dedicated to anything she is passionate about, which is probably one of my favorite things about her.  She has spunk and a kind heart.image

My daughter helped shape me into the woman I am today.  She has taught me courage, strength, bravery and how to love deeper; for this I will always be grateful and blessed.  It has been an honor to watch her grow into a beautiful young woman, both inside and out.

So to my precious baby girl…… take the bull by the horns and dream big; the possibilities are infinite.  Listen to your heart, be kind, generous, forgiving, and make a difference in whatever you do. Happy birthday Hannah Elizabeth……I love you beyond words.

xoxox…..your grateful mama

Namaste

Meditation is something I have tried a handful of times in my life, but never felt I was very successful.  I would close my eyes and think I was meditating, until my long to do list would go across my mind like a ticker-tape at the stock exchange.  I would try to re-focus, but soon enough my mind would be swirling again with all the things I needed to do, along with any worries of the day.  That, my friends, turns into anything but meditation.

I happen to come across a free 21 day meditation  challenge from Oprah and Deepak Chopra, and I had an immediate feeling I was being nudged to commit, so I did.  I embarked on my 21 day journey, determined to complete the challenge.  Each day had a centering thought (theme) and a mantra (kind of like a battle cry), and I thank the meditation gods, because I didn’t have a clue where to begin.  Oprah and Deepak guided me through each day’s meditation, which was a perfect way to learn.

imageI must admit, it took me a few days to settle into a routine.  I couldn’t decide whether it was better to meditate first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  Doing it the first thing in the morning meant I had to set my already crack-of-dawn alarm 30 minutes earlier, perhaps it’s best to do it right before bed.  However, the couple times I attempted before bedtime, I actually fell asleep, which I am guessing didn’t have any meditative qualities.  So, early it was.

As the days went on I began to treasure the time and looked forward to meditating each morning on a new centering thought.  It made me feel connected and whole; I was more centered and calm.  When the challenge started winding down, I was saddened, but knew I wanted to continue on my meditation journey. I am creating my own daily mantras, and try to say them in my mind several times throughout the day, keeping me connected to the here and now.

Meditation teaches us to stay in the present, connecting mind, body and soul.  Listen, dwell in the possibilities, trust yourself and stay open…..Namaste

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

Letting go

Over the last few months I have been told the same thing by more than one person, “You’re a perfectionist.”  “WHAT?…..”No, I’m not.”  “Ummmm…..yes, you are!”  “Really?”  It’s odd,  I’ve never thought of myself as a perfectionist.  Maybe a bit of a control freak when it comes to some things, “but me, perfectionist……NEVER!” Again, they replied….”You’re totally a perfectionist.”  Hmmm….wasn’t quite sure what to make of that statement.

OK, I’ll admit, I am a very detailed gal…..friends often joke about how many questions I ask.  I will concede I love to know all the details about a situation or event; but I always chalked it up to being curious and consider myself a life long learner. Frankly, I think I exhaust some of them; but I tell them it’s part of my charm…..HA!

Being aware of the possibility of having perfectionist tendencies that I  may or may not possess, I have been attempting to let go and surrender.  Recently, I was invited to go to one of those painting parties.  You know, where a group of friends gather together with wine and food, and are instructed on how to paint the same picture.image

Normally, I would have asked a million questions before making a decision to go or not, but this time I just said yes.  I didn’t know where it was, who was going, or even the picture we were painting.  Guess what……it  was a wonderfully fun evening not knowing a single detail and letting go of any control.image

The funny thing about life, we think we have control and are the potter in our own story, but in reality we are only the clay; being molded into our individual and wonderfully unique selves.  So, here’s to letting go and letting God.

xoxox…….Sheryl

I’ll get it….answering the call

Have you ever struggled with knowing what your natural gifts and talents are, or are you one of those people that has always known?  If so, consider yourself blessed.  I happened to be one of those people that didn’t know what mine were; or at least in my mind that is what I kept hearing.

Over the last couple of years, a friend would constantly ask me that burning question.  I remember clearly one of those occasions; we were driving into the city and my answer was no different than the last million times……”I don’t know!”  “I want to know, I just can’t figure it out!” She actually rolled down the window and yelled it at the car sitting next to us, in the already irritating Chicago traffic.  She loudly informed them I had no idea what my gifts were; as the two men starred blankly back. Her and I would spar back and forth, with her always claiming VICTORY that I did know…grrrr!image

It seems like I was searching for the longest time, but I discovered  I  wasn’t being still and listening long enough to hear.

I spent most of a year being still, listening and uncovering clues.  I kept a log and would write them down and would go over them with a fine tooth comb…..kooky, I know.  I made decisions that would help get me to my answer.

Then, just like that, one morning from a sound sleep, my eyes sprung open and I knew.  I said it out loud and tears of joy began streaming down my face.  It was the Ah-ha moment I had been praying for.  I called my victorious  friend and left a happy and excited message, that she was right.  I also admitted, I  did in fact know all along what my special gift was, and that I had just misplaced it.  I couldn’t have been happier eating crow that morning.

My advice if you struggle with the same burning question is this…..be still and listen.  The next time you hear that voice in your heart, be sure to answer the call and yell “I’ll get it!”  The world deserves your special gifts and talents, and they can only be shared by you.

xoxox……Sheryl