Archive of ‘Life’ category

Three Years Living With Dogs

It’s been three years living with THESE dogs. Three years ago, hubby’s best friend from high school passed away suddenly. Needless to say, it was a shock to us all.

In his will, we inherited his dogs. We just lost our beloved Beagle of 14-years, and were ill-equipped in handling an 80-pound black lab, named Thor, with territorial issues. Our youngest, who was 5-years-old at the time, was scared to death of this massive dog. The two have since became best buddies, and Thor has lost 10 pounds. He is still big, black, and threatening-looking that I don’t worry too much about a home intruder. We also call him Thor-bee-licious.

The other dog is a 10-pound toy poodle, named Rocco, who peed on everything! I had a toy poodle as a teenager, so you can imagine how much I love this dog. He has received a few nicknames as well, like cutie pie, Fluffy McKissens, and Prince.

It’s been three years of dog training, kennel training, acupuncture for allergies (for the humans), special diets, one torn ACL (Thor), and lots of vacuuming up dog hair.

They say given enough time, everything works out. Although, with the help of Bark Busters, there is room for improvement when it comes to Thor’s territorial issues, but he has come a long way. Rocco still pees on everything..so, I guess we need a lot more time there. One thing is clear, these dogs have become a part of the family.

Living with THESE dogs has been a crazy ride and unexpected blessing. Uh, most days.

rocco

Rocco desperately needs to be groomed!

thor

Thor has his eye on the prize…a Milk Bone!

Your Monday Morning Coffee Break | Life is Short, Live it

red lipstick

Because Life is short…

Rock your red lipstick.

Do what you can, let go of the rest.

Let go of regret.

Avoid drama.

spider web

Tell your story. Even if you think nobody is listening. Your story matters.

Have faith everyday.

Be an encourager. Big or small.

path walk

Walk your own path.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “You’re on your own. Figure it out.” Trust in the Lord.

Drink water. Eat right, but also eat ice cream like a kid.

Ignore haters. Be you. Everyone else is taken.

Give yourself (and others) a break.

Surround yourself with positive girlfriends.

black and white photos

Be in the moment. Put down the cell phone.

Eat chocolate…daily.

Do at least one thing a day that makes you happy.

Don’t take yourself, or life, too seriously. Laugh at yourself.

coffee

Know that you are strong.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Seriously, just stop.

Pray everyday.

Start before you have all the answers. “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” Tina Fey

leaves on porch

Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.

Don’t post everything on social media. Some things are best left unsaid.

Don’t waste your emotional energy worrying about people who don’t like you.

Pause. Enjoy the simple things.

Life is short…live it.

myGFA

Join me in being a #SmallSeed. Do something small that is good. Grow in faith and compassion.

If you are reading this via email, I incourage you to hop over and check out the new look of the blog.

9 Things This Week…

I would like to say it’s been slow around here… This week has been nothing but slow. It has been C-R-A-Z-Y!

9 things this week…

  1. Two trips to the ER. Hubby has kidney stones, and anything that can bring a grown man to tears, on his knees, making deals with whomever will take the pain away, well, it’s enough for me to say, “Kidney stones suck!” You can put that on a t-shirt.
  2. One procedure to help those little ‘ol kidney stones on their way out, requiring an over-night hospital stay.
  3. One missed cross country meet.
  4. Several nights of little sleep and too tired to cook a decent meal. Do Goldfish crackers count as a meal?
  5. Forget about running the vacuum cleaner across the carpet…
  6. Planning a soon-to-be 8-year-old’s birthday party…in 2 weeks! What?!
  7. Plans for a weekend trip to Leadville canceled. We missed the Aspens turning this year. :-(
  8. One quilt and fabric show with a friend…Just a few hours to think of nothing and looking at pretty fabric!
  9. Instead of a trip to the mountains, we had a craft day.
Fall Button Tree on Canvas by Alex

Fall Button Tree on Canvas by Alex.

Craft Day Mess

Craft day mess.

The flowers making the transition from vibrant summer to fall.

The flowers making the transition from vibrant summer to fall.

A gift quilt pieced.

A gift quilt pieced.

New favorite shoes by Parker.

New favorite shoes by Parker.

The one cross country meet I did attend 2 weeks ago...

The one cross country meet I did attend 2 weeks ago…

And that wasn’t even everything!

I know we all have crazy weeks, or months, or years…but sometimes I have to ask, seriously? That’s when I am even more grateful for my framily (friends who are like family), who pick up the slack for me, without fail. Because I have no family here, these people (you know who you are) are even more important and loved. And, who I owe a giant steak dinner…just as soon as hubby is feeling up to it!

ALS Denver Walk in Photographs

Team McCormick, the small but mighty !

Team McCormick, the small but mighty! (Hubby is taking the picture)

Walk Details: 3K around City Park Lake, Denver, Colorado. September 13, 2014. To date, walkers around the country have raised over $21 million during the Walk to Defeat ALS! That is a lot of moo-la to help find a cure for this terrible disease.

City Park, Dogs Getting in on the Walk too, and Walkers

ALS Walkers   //   Dogs got in on the Walk too   //   Walkers Reflection in City Park Lake

City Park with Denver Skyline in the Background // Denver Walk Shirt and Team McCormick Pins // Start of the Walk

City Park with Denver Skyline in the Background   //   Official Denver Walk Shirt and Our Team McCormick Memory Pins   //   Start of the Walk

ALS Denver Walk

May Favorite Shirt // Enjoying Free Pancakes (we also enjoyed Ice Cream) // For Ron McCormick

My favorite shirt: “Believe. Pick a stronger word than Hope. Cure. Waging war on ALS.”

To read more about how ALS has affected our family and why we walk as Team McCormick click here or here.

Time to Renew

Draw Near to God

Does it feel like summer has just flown by? Didn’t the girls just get out of school, like, last week? I can still feel the Florida sand between my toes like it was yesterday, but it was three long months ago.

It was a fun summer with no schedule, sleeping in until 10 am (that was the 12-year-old), no official bedtime, summer vacation with the family and a wedding on the beach mentioned above.

There was disappointment too. Selling of a business that was built for many, many years. One of a job accepted, then relinquished, leaving us to flutter about like a crazy moth banging its head again a window trying to escape. Now, we are left to start over. Did we not read the signs correctly, God?

That last one makes me feel like I need to renew.

I need to come out of the laziness that is summer and into a renewed purpose.

I need to be invigorated, connected, committed (not to a hospital kind of committed either).

As the leaves and weather change, shaking off summer, so too does this life.

This renewing starts with Him. Commit to read the Word. Connect to it. Be invigorated by it.

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the trouble we can need now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

What about you? What plans do you have for this new season?

* * * * *

Draw Near to God print is available in Have Faith Everyday Shop. Priced as low as $6.60. Also available as a throw pillow, tote bag, and greeting card. LINKING UP with RachelWojo.

About This #IceBucketChallenge for ALS

My favorite picture of Ron before ALS changed his life

My favorite picture of Ron before ALS changed his life

My step-father, Ron McCormick died from ALS on July 4, 2011.

For 10 years he endured this terrible disease that is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. For many years we, as a family raised money for ALS research and participated as a team in the Walk to Defeat ALS in Colorado and Missouri, and attended candlelight vigils, but never thought about dumping ice water on our head!

This #IceBucketChallenge makes me smile. Seeing so many people getting involved with an organization that is committed to finding a cure for ALS is inspiring.

As of yesterday, (8/21/14) the ALSA has received $41.8 million in donations, as opposed to $2.1 million raised during this same time in 2013 (July 29 to August 21). ~ALS Association

There are haters out there, bashing this Challenge. Forget those people!

Anything that gets this much attention for ALS is a good thing. The more attention we bring to ALS, the better chance we have to find a cure, because cures are not cheap, people!

The following is an excerpt of a post I wrote for Ron on his 62nd birthday.

* * * * *

Ron in 2003

Ron McCormick turns 62 years old today. It’s a birthday to celebrate. He should eat lots of sugar-loaded cake. He should open presents from loved ones. He should kick up his heels, dance a little, maybe on a table. But he can’t because he was diagnosed with a fatal disease called ALS.

Ron is now completely paralyzed. He has lived with the disease for almost 9 years. Typical life expectancy is 3-5 years after diagnosis. So he has lived far beyond the “norm”. But he is tired. He is weary.

Ron in 2010

Ron in 2010

Ron has been on a ventilator for more years than I can remember (since 2003). He can’t eat. He can’t drink. He can’t swallow. He has a feeding tube. His throat has to be suctioned out continually. He can’t sit up on his own. He can’t talk. He only “talks” using a special computer. My mom and his caregivers try to read his lips but over the years that has become almost impossible. He can’t walk. He can’t hug his grandchildren. He can’t work on rebuilding his Monte Carlo. He needs 24/7 care, even though the state of Missouri doesn’t feel he “needs” it and will not pay for that kind of care. My mother is left to “fend for herself”, using whatever or whoever she can as a caregiver. Many of these people, although good-hearted, are not qualified to be this type of caregiver and they learn as they go (just as she has). With all this she also works a full-time job and takes care of Ron’s young grand kids.

* * * * *

This is why I give to the ALSA.

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE…IT’S ABOUT FINDING A CURE. If dumping a bucket of ice-cold water on your head is the thing you are compelled to do for ALS, then go for it! I will watch your video, and applaud you. But also give money because that is really the point.

If you are like me, the idea of dumping ice-cold water on your head gives you chills, well, ALS will take your check without the ice water! Either way the ALS wins!

Because it’s time we found a cure!

Ron’s Story | What is ALS | ALSA | Walk to Defeat ALS

 

Honestly Messy Life

Dear friend,

You came to my house last evening. I welcomed you in. I offered you a drink. Among the mess, we sat down on the sofa to chat.

It wasn’t that many years ago that this simple act of friendship would have sent anxiety coursing through my veins. I was acutely aware of the mess around us.

Messy House

You can see my kids’ rooms are messy with toys about the floor. There are dirty dishes in the sink and the carpet could use another vacuum to remove massive amounts of dog hair.

There is dust on my ceiling fan blades. It actually looks more like the blades have grown fur. I admit, I wish I had cleaned them before you stopped by. No worries, I did what any self-respecting woman would do…I turned on the ceiling fans as to disguise the dirt on the edges!

In years past I would have vacuumed every inch of my house, cleaned the bathroom (why is there a shoe on the counter?), and loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher…and of course, wiped down the ceiling fans before your visit.

Back then I was so worried about doing it all, doing it perfectly, I wasn’t living an authentic life. It was the fake, Martha Stewart way of doing life. I was fueled by the accolades you gave me, whether it was for the fabulous birthday party I planned, or the compliments when you said, “Your house is always clean.”

I wanted to do it all because that signaled that I had it all together. When really anxiety was ruling my head. I was so concerned about hiding the mess that I forgot to live life.

The real me has dust on the edges; and if I want you to know me, really know me, then you need to see that dust.

Life is messy. And if you have kids, it’s really messy. If we are honest, my friend, we are all messy.

In today’s world it’s not easy to admit that we can’t do it all every single moment. We shouldn’t compete with the glossy styled homes pictured in magazines; or the Pinterest food too pretty to eat; or our fabulous Facebook friends. We are only seeing what they want us to see.

I want to know the real you too. Mess and all. Let’s live this messy life together. That’s the honest, messy truth.

A Summer Letter to my Kids

Dear kids,

You have 35 days of summer vacation left before school starts. I would suggest you don’t waste it with whining, fighting, and proclaiming, “I am bored!”.

I am bored is not a disease. It is not an affliction that calls for a remedy. It is not a bell you ring and the entertainment director magically appears with a circus. I am also not that entertainment director I speak of.

Bored is what adults call leisure time.

Look, before you know it we will be school supply shopping. I will register you for school next week. We will be meeting your teachers, learning your new schedule, signing up for fall sports, and fighting about math homework.

Splashing rain

Summer is not be squandered. It should be relished, adored, relaxed.

With every proclamation of “I am bored” is an opportunity for adventure, creativity and ingeniousness.

Summer is the perfect time to use those little brains of yours to seize the day.

Cape Diem.

Spalshing rain3

Splash in the rain puddles like the neighbors aren’t looking out the window, shaking their heads.

Grab an arm full of recyclable materials from the recycle bin and create something awesome with glue and glitter.

Pull out the Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and Legos from the closet and build. Let your imagination run wild.

Head to the backyard and build a tent, have a picnic, play in the sprinklers, and enjoy the summer sunshine.

Splashing rain2

Don’t waste this summer. In a few short years you will be leaving behind these carefree days for adulthood. You’ll wish you could have a summer vacation.

Go on…seize the day.

*Pictures by Alexandra

Generation Gap

generation gap

Husband and I were talking with our girls about jobs we have had in our lives. I told my 7-year-old I worked for my hometown newspaper when I was 18-years-old.

She asked, “What’s a newspaper?”

After my bewilderment wore off, I explained a newspaper by using an example I thought she might have seen on a TV show.

“Oh,” she said with a questioning look. I can read between the lines. What she really meant was, “Why would anyone read a newspaper when you can get your news online?”

I am sure it happens to every generation. Parents and kids don’t connect on technological levels. This is why my 12- year-old gives her Dad lessons on how to use his iPhone (evidence above).

My kids have never used a phone with a cord, except in a hotel. They will never laid on their bed, gossiping with a friend while twisting the cord around their fingers. We haven’t had a land line in our home for seven years. On a recent trip to the Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida I had to “teach” my girls how to dial on a rotary phone that was on display.

They take for granted instant internet access. Remember dial up? One of our TVs even has wifi for surfing the net. Remember having only four channels to choose from, and if you wanted to channel surf you had to get up and turn the dial on the TV?

They have never watched a movie at the drive-in. That is just sad.

They have never played a cassette tape in a boom box. They have never rushed to the store to buy a new release of an album by their favorite artist. They have never laid on their bed, listening to the entire album while looking at the album art. Instead of buying a single 45 record they download one song at a time. They only own CDs because I have bought them. They will never make a mix tape.

They have never taken pictures of their friends on a film camera…then waited a week to get the pictures back. Instead they use Instagram, digital cameras, an iPod, or phone with a camera. It’s all instant.

They don’t write letters, they text. Come to think of it, they don’t talk on the phone either, they text.

I wonder what technological advances will be different when my kids have kids of their own.

Will they say, “When I was a young we got our news on the Internet.”

And will their kids ask, “What’s the Internet?”

How Not to Scar Your Kids for Life … Talking About Sex

TALK

 

Let’s Talk About Sex (Amazon) Book by Planned Parenthood/Mar Monte A read along for ages 9 to 12 and their parents

Two years ago my oldest daughter was in 5th grade. That is a big year in school for kids. It’s when they start transitioning from “little kids” to “big middle schoolers”. It’s a time to start giving our kids more responsibilities, not just at school, but also at home. They start to take on responsibilities that will prepare them for the future.

It’s also the year across America that schools give the dreaded “sex and puberty talk”. It’s a big deal for our little ones…and it’s a big deal for us. Our precious little kids are growing up! (Sigh) Although “the talk” covers the basics of puberty, menstruation, body hair, etc. there is a lot of information they don’t cover. Parents, I hate to tell you this…you still have to have the “birds and bees” talk with your kids.

Are you freaking out about that? Inhale…exhale…then get this book: Let’s Talk About S-E-X. This book covers all the bases…I mean everything.

(more…)

1 2 3 20