Saturday, June 18, 2016

JOIN: Say Cheese - Character Snapshots

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

Two weeks ago my husband surprised me with a mini-shoot with a photographer for some family pictures. We were pretty adventurous and took the dog with us...and she did better in some pictures than in others but overall I'm so happy with how the pictures turned out. I just love my sweet family. My boys crack me up. They are so different and yet so full of their own unique personalities.
I might take a day this summer and write down everything they say, just watch them and make note of their mannerisms and the phrases they say all the time. My oldest just turned nine and my youngest will turn six soon. We had so many firsts with these kiddos when they were babies but there are still so many firsts worth noticing and celebrating and remembering. 
My youngest just this week started going down the big slides and jumping off the diving board at our local waterpark. On his first jump off the diving board, he walked to the end of the board, smiled, gave me two thumbs up, and jumped a giant cannonball jump, his face scrunched up in happy expectation of hitting the water. After he splashed into the crystal pool and his little head popped up out of the water, he doggy paddled to the edge. I laughed the whole time at his pure pride and shook my head as he danced his way back into line.

Everyone is full of his or her own personality if we stop and notice. This week I'm stopping to celebrate these little people in my family who bring us so much joy. Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WATCH: Dean James Ryan's 5 Essential Questions In Life

Life has it's ups and downs, it ebbs and flows, we experience highs and lows. 

But if we can hold onto what's most important to us through it all, we just might feel like it was all worth it in the end. I thought about this as I listened to James Ryan's essential questions because if we can hold onto these questions - ask them and continually come back to them - our lives just might feel fulfilled. See what you think, here is the excerpt from Dean James Ryan's speech at the 2016 Harvard Graduate School of Education Presentation of Diplomas and Certificates where he shares his 5 essential questions in life.

5 Essential Questions In Life:

1. Wait, what?
2. I wonder...?
3. Couldn't we at least...?
4. How can I help? 
5. What really matters?
And did you get what 
you wanted from this life, even so?

And here's the Raymond Carver poem he references:

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

I'm good at asking myself what really matters: spending time with my family and friends, living healthy, encouraging others to believe in their dreams, reading, writing and having fun. Pretty much in that order...but not always.

Even though I know what really matters to me, I have to purposely make time in my life and find balance (as much as I can) amongst it all. But it's not easy!

Life is short. I believe in making the most of it so I definitely connect with these questions and hope to keep them close and come back to them often. I might need a poster of them...

Watch and decide for yourself if these questions seem as essential to you as he claims them to be. Take a few minutes to write down your answers to each of them and even write down your thoughts about the questions themselves. Then stop and reread what you have written. How does it feel? Then reassess, do these questions seem as essential to you as he claims them to be? Do they resonate with you or do you have variations to suggest? 

I would love to hear your thoughts...
and your answers to my questions:
What really matters to you?
How can I help you when it comes to what really matters to you?

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Mindfulness through writing is a powerful thing. 
I invite you to take a few minutes. 
Free write, 
make a list, 
write a poem, 
craft a blog post, 
draw a doodle, 
take a picture. 
You pick. 
CURIOUS is your word to explore this week.
Share your story in the comments! I can't wait to read about your week!
Thanks for exploring your story with me!  

Psst! Yes, you!
Wanna read what I wrote about when I explored the word curious this week?
Sign up for my newsletter here!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

JOIN: Barefoot Water Skiers and An Acrobatic Dog

Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.

Oh, what a blissful week I've had! 

On Monday, we drove up north a bit to Wisconsin Dells for a few days.

We ate blue moon ice cream and took a ferry across a river, 
we climbed thousands of stairs to go down wild water slides, 
we bought the most random junk - like handcuffs and hematite necklaces, 
we cheered for barefoot water skiers and an acrobatic dog, 
we chuckled at bad, punny jokes from the duck driver,
and it was awesome.

On Thursday, we came home for a few days.

We slept in,
we played Guess Who? and did puzzles at the library,
we were super excited to hit the pool,
but it was closed,
so we braved the cold water at the beach,
we almost bought a bearded dragon (a lizard!), 
but I put my foot down,
so we just bought lots of treats for Perdi 
(the puppy we already have - a puppy!),
we roamed around the dog park,
we drove miles and miles to buy venus fly traps,
we took orders and served Play-Doh food,
we smiled toothy grins for family pictures,
and it was awesome.

And now it's Saturday and I'm exhausted and I've barely blogged all week! I love to write but I also love to play with my kids and go on adventures and squeal down water slides. Which means I'm (still) figuring out how to write and have al the other fun too.

But as I sit and look back at this really and truly was so so awesome. Wisconsin Dells is fascinating. It's a tourist trap to the extreme. It's gorgeous and full of history with the most unique attractions piled on top of it all. And then coming home from being away reminded me of how good it feels to be home. 

Even though I haven't written much this week, I have so many memories and ideas tucked away that I know will come into my writing at some point. More importantly, I saw people living their passions - like the barefoot water skiers and the acrobatic dog - and watched my own kids explored their passions - like when Peanut was so focused on getting a venus fly trap - and they reminded me that writing is my passion. And that's something to celebrate!

Have you noticed someone living their passion recently?
I would love to hear about it! Please share in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by!