Bursting with gratitude

As the holiday season begins, it reminds us to stop and give thanks for our blessings. Even though I have a daily gratitude practice, I don’t always take time to let others know how special they are to me.

Thank you Mom, for the wonderful example you have shown in your dedication and persistence in everything you do. I’m especially thankful for your contagious laugh.

Thank you Dad, for your unconditional love, wisdom, firm handshake, and fist pounding laughter. I will forever be your girl.

To my brother Greg, thank you for your calm demeanor, and soft spoken words, yet your fun and joyous spirit after a cocktail or two….HA!

To my sister Cindy, thank you for the years of uncontrolled snorts, laughter, and our wacky adventures. We do manage to find trouble from time to time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To my brother Jeff, a.k.a…..my “J to the G”, thank you for your awesome, endless advice, and for the closeness we’ve shared since childhood. You always make me smile.

For my son Andrew, thank you for your soft-hearted soul under your tough guy exterior. You melt my heart.

For my daughter Hannie, thank you for showing me what it means to never give up, no matter what. You make me proud.

To my family and friends, thank you for your love, kindness, friendship, support, and your incredible “only-ness” that makes you, you, and special in every way. You are each a blessing and bright light in my life. I’m bursting with gratitude…..my heart is full.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Moon over me

Earlier this week was a full moon; not just any moon, but a super moon. It was in the news, social media, and people everywhere were talking about it for several days before. This moon was closer to earth than it’s been in almost seventy years.  An event I didn’t want to miss.

I had a late afternoon appointment, and by the time it was finished the sky was already dark. As I whipped my head around to and fro to find this super moon, it was a bit cloudy, but a beautiful sight to witness.

I’m fortunate to live close to one of the great lakes….Lake Michigan. I had the brilliant idea of heading down to the lakefront to get a clear view over the water, with no city or light distractions. I was in awe as I winded around the road that lead to the beach; the moon was beaming through the misty clouds. Upon arrival, I wasn’t the only one to have the same stellar idea; two to three dozen cars surrounded the area. There was a constant stream of cars coming and going.

I parked near the beach, jumped out of the car and headed through the tall grasses, and sand to get closer to the water. The weather was mild with only a slight nip in the air. I stood in the sand gazing up at the beautiful night sky, as the moonbeam cast a glow over img_2238the beach. The water was gently lapping up against the shore, as people stood quietly talking to each other, while some children played in the sand. The beach was peppered with flashes of lights from cameras to capture the moon’s beauty.

Looking up into the universe I felt so insignificant on one hand, yet special on the other. It was spiritual and calming as I breathed in the fresh, lake front air. It felt like a good time to set my intentions; getting rid of old and bringing in the new. I snapped a few pictures from my phone; but they didn’t do the moon justice. It was magnificent.img_2242

Leaving the beach I felt happy and inspired. The moon over me was a new beginning of sorts. We all get the chance to reinvent ourselves with each new day. Get rid of the old that isn’t for our highest good and make way for blessings. Open your heart and listen…….they will come.



Does fear stop you?

Fear….a simple four letter word. How does fear show up in your life and stop you? I’m not talking about danger, but the fear of doing something you know in your heart is worth the risk. Fear has blocked me many times in life, but if I can recognize it for what it is, I am able to baby-step my way through things. What happens if you let fear consume you?img_1071

As a young farm girl, I loved animals. I grew up on a dairy farm, and for the record…the size of a dairy cow is significant, especially for a young girl. I can honestly say I had no fear of their size or strength, until the one day I will never forget.

At the end of each day, I would make my way to the cement barnyard, and through the cows, to get to the silver gate that separated the field from the barnyard. I rode the gate when the livestock were herded back to the barn each evening, as it swung close. It was a ritual I had with my Dad, and one of those special memories I will always remember. It was the end of a farmer’s day, but the ride of a lifetime for his daughter.

One evening, my Uncle Tom was helping, and he would be swinging the gate closed. As usual, I started my nightly walk through the cows to get to the gate. Rosie, my favorite rusty-red and white spotted cow stood directly in front of me. As Rosie lowered her head, she caught me under my chin and lifted me high into the air. I flew up and landed hard on my backside. I was so mad I stood up, put my hands on my hips and yelled, “YOU  G*D  D*NM COW!” Then started to cry as my Dad and uncle rushed to my side.

As soon as they saw I was OK for the most part, they started laughing so hard they couldn’t catch their breath, as blood dripped from my chin and tears fell onto my cheeks. My Dad scooped me up into his arms and took me home so Mom could attend to my chin.

What happened that day affected me for the remainder of the time we had the cows. Sadly enough, I don’t think I ever rode that silver gate again. I let the fear stop me from doing something I loved, and let it take my joy.

Does fear stop you? Fear can stop us in our tracks, but if we can recognize it’s importance, and are willing to take a risk…..the outcome will be worth more than the initial fear. Make the leap…..be fearless, and take a chance on you.img_0219



Circle of Love

I love giving to others, but am often hesitant to accept help in return. Giving to others makes me feel warm inside, and unsure why I have a hard time letting others feel the same. I’m not sure if it’s pride, embarrassment, or fear of being vulnerable…..I’m guessing it’s a little of all three. Why is it OK for me to be fed when others want and need to be nourished too?

Before surgery, one of my sweet girlfriends reminded me it was just as important to let people help me, as it was to help others. It’s a circle of love and friendship that needs to be equally fed. So, that’s what I’ve been doing…..letting go, and allowing to be loved and cared for by others.

One friend spent the last three Sunday’s preparing a meal for my family, as well as spending the afternoon and evening visiting. It has been such a joy to break bread together, as our time was filled with laugher and cheer. Her generosity has been heartfelt.

In this circle of love, I’ve been blessed with homemade soup in all flavors and textures, full meal preparation, fruit, flowers, cards, visitors, running img_1070errands, and basically making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world……and this girl is counting each and every blessing. Letting go, showing my vulnerabilities, and allowing love in……I feel everyone’s heart.