Love, loss and hope

The last several weeks have been especially difficult for my Dad; his brother had fallen ill, and on Mother’s Day, lost his battle and went home to his Lord. My Dad is the oldest of six, and has survived five siblings and both parents. I was a bit hesitant to write this post, but felt the message was important to share.

My Dad and Uncle have always had a good relationship, and even though they didn’t see each other as often as they would have liked, they were only a phone call or visit away. With each passing year, I could see how important relationships were to my Dad.

The day of the service was toughest on him. The message was filled with lovely words about my Uncle’s life. As the service ended and friends and family gave their last respects, it was time for our family to follow in the procession. I was next to my Dad’s side as he approached the casket. The sorrow he displayed was heartbreaking as his hand laid upon his brother’s heart for the last time, and tears fell.

I can’t imagine his pain and heartache, as I can’t imagine losing one of my own siblings. It makes me appreciate each one, and even though we don’t always see eye to eye, we love each other.

After the services were over, and friends and family parted ways, we spent time together with my Dad as a family. We didn’t have anywhere else to be other than with him. Letting him know how much we love and care about him. A simple drive to a favorite custard shop was in order as we shared stories. Driving around the countryside, admiring it’s beauty, is one of my Dad’s favorite things to do.

My message this week is about love, loss and hope. Be grateful for the loved ones in your life. Take the time to tell them how much they mean to you. Today is all we really have; live it with no regrets. Even though my Dad lost his brother in the physical sense, the love for him remains, and hope is knowing the light through the clouds. Rest in peace, dear Uncle.



The Sweet Life

Recently, good friends made a dream come true. They looked beyond fear, and took a leap of faith toward their future. They officially launched their start-up business, The Sweet Life Donut Stop.

For as long as I can remember Jill has always loved popcorn, and thought about a future business around the popular snack. When she finally announced her and husband Dan had been thinking about starting a donut business, our group of friends were pleasantly surprised. Someone asked, “Jill, have you ever made donuts before?” She responded, “No”……we all laughed.

Over the last year they have been praying, planning, organizing and getting ready for the day. The week prior to the launch, they hosted a soft opening and invited friends and family to sample the donuts. Jill and Dan thought of everything to make a customer’s experience special. One look and I knew it would be a big hit at a local farmer’s market.

I was so impressed by the thoughtful detail, right down to the hand-stamped paper bags with The Sweet Life logo. They are serving delicious mini cinnamon donuts (cinni-minis) made fresh while you wait, but more important they are doing it with a grateful heart. They are also giving back a portion of their proceeds to a wonderful charity, Feed My Starving Children. I have no doubt they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams. They took one step at a time, trusted their hearts, and took a giant leap forward.

What do your dreams look like? Are you letting fear stop them, or are you taking one step at a time, getting closer to your dream? Have faith, trust your heart, and fly. Now is the time… can do it!

Let The Sweet Life Donut Stop be your inspiration.


PS……..I thought I would be able to stop at one cinni-mini….that was not the case…….drat!

PSS…..Next time you are in Kenosha, Wisconsin, stop by the Harbor Market and say hello…..then gobble up some delicious fresh, hot cinni-minis.

Vision your best life

This past weekend I was honored to co-host another workshop titled, Vision Your Best Life. We were blessed to have spent an afternoon with women ready to vision the possibilities of their own life, by creating vision boards. Vision boards are simply a tool used to help clarify and concentrate on specific life goals, by using any type of board to display images and quotes on what you would like to attract into your life.

The afternoon started off with a lavender infused hot towel treatment and short meditation to  tap into what each woman envisioned about their lives, and the goals they wanted to focus on in the upcoming months. Supplies were provided along with any personal pictures and quotes brought with them. For the next two hours, the women created, laughed, snacked, and connected with one another.

It was a joy to watch as each woman created their boards filled with goals and dreams; connecting to their hearts and desires, all on an 8 x 10 inch blank canvas. Each board was a masterpiece and unique, as it told a story of what they saw for themselves and their future. The atmosphere was electric and up-lifting, as spirited conversation bubbled over the space.

Towards the end of the workshop we asked if anyone would like to talk about their board. Some felt brave and shared their dreams, wishes, goals and hearts with us. Each had their own beautiful story. One woman in particular touched my heart deeply. Her ailing mother had lived with her and her husband for twenty-five years, and recently passed away. Her mother controlled one half of her life and her husband (who had also passed away) controlled the other half, and for the first time in many years, at age seventy-one, was excited about rediscovering herself and the possibilities yet to uncover. Her board was around travel and the places she wanted to see, feel, and experience. I loved we were able to witness her new found excitement of getting to choose for herself.

It’s never too late to discover new passions and possibilities of our lives. Imagine what’s waiting on the other side for you. Don’t hold back; vision your best life, then trust your heart and leap.


My first love

This past week marked another blessed year on the calendar for my first love… Dad. His birthday weekend was shared by the college graduation of my nephew, which I know my Dad was happy to celebrate with his grandson. His eyes light up any time he is around his grandchildren, and deeply cares about each one.

When my daughter was in junior high through high school and beyond, she randomly developed and practiced on a daily basis, a loon bird call. She tried to teach her soccer and football coaches, teammates, friends, family, and anyone else that would listen. My Dad got the biggest kick listening to her, and looked for years to purchase a man-made loon call. He wanted to have it one day, and secretly whistle when she arrived to visit. Unfortunately, he never found one, but I would guess still looks for it now and again. He was one of her biggest fans when she was in Canada and Brazil on her recent internships.

He also has a close relationship with my son, Andrew, who would do anything for my Dad, which makes my heart happy. I love watching the two of them together. My Dad loves his adventurous spirit, hard working ethics, humor, and the confident and firm handshake he developed, by his guidance. Andrew, my nephew Garrett, and Dad spent many hours together. The two boys were his sidekicks, helping out with any needed chore. Even though a lot of hard work was completed, fun and laugher didn’t take a back seat. He appreciated every second, and always rewarded them well. I know he holds those memories dear to his heart.

He has the same close relationship with his other granddaughter Chanel, three other grandsons Tyler, Jordan and Chase along with the youngest, great granddaughter Nora. He would do anything to support them; no matter how near or far apart they are in miles. He is loved and respected by each one.

I believe my Dad’s heart is happiest when his family is spending time together. It gives him the greatest joy. His generous heart and loving ways connects the family in a strong bond. In good times and bad, tough times and sad; he is the revered patriarch of our family. I’ll never be too old to be his girl…..he’ll always be my first love.

Happy birthday Daddy,

xoxox…..your baby girl