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Why I Love Book Club

old-books-436498_640This week, Divine Goddess Book Club was just me and J. And I didn’t care. I loved it. And we didn’t even talk about the book. Mostly she told a story and I just listened.

I’m getting better at just listening.

Not the kind of listening where you’re hearing what they’re saying but you’re already thinking about what you’re going to say.

Not the kind of listening where you are smiling and nodding but are secretly checking your phone or checking things off on your mental to do list.

Not the kind of listening where you’re constantly interjecting with a contradiction or an example “one-upmanship”.


I’m getting better at the kind of listening where I don’t notice my phone going off.

The kind of listening where I am hearing the story; seeing how the story-telling is making the other person feel. I notice the things she doesn’t say. I see the gears turning as she considers the next thing she is going to say.

The kind of listening where it’s no longer about me. Where it’s about the connection, this moment, right here where someone is sharing a part of their world.

The kind of listening where I no longer judge what she says. Where I just see her for who she is at this moment in time. And we each are better for it.


That’s the kind of listening I want more of. Not me speaking. I do enough of that here in my writing and with people all around me. I want more of that real connection. I want that person in front of me, no matter how scared or hurt she is to be able to turn to me and be able to open up. To be able to share even just a little bit of her story and be assured that she will not be judged. So that she can begin to heal. That she is safe here.

This is my Core Desired Feeling: Connection. And this is why I love Divine Goddess Book Club, in whatever way it manifests itself: 1 or 10 people or even some day 100 or 1000’s.

It’s so much more than talking about a book. In fact, many times we find ourselves not even really talking about it; it’s just a conversation starter. It has become a curling up around a fire, quiet corner of light in an ocean of darkness where I can just listen. That is why I love it.

DGC Book Club Meets:
at Pandora’s Boox and Tea in Olds
Thursday Nights 5:00 – 6:00
It’s never too late to join in the conversation and Goddess Gathering
(you don’t even have to read the books. Our conversations are open to anyone and are always meaningful.)
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Another Ordinary Day

walk-2021_1920I see you, on the ordinary street. You are wearing ordinary clothes and your hair is ordinary. Your face is ordinary. You walk in an ordinary way going to your ordinary job. If I knew your name, it would be ordinary too.
But you are far from ordinary. And I see that too.
You are more than the alarm clock beside your bed. Grateful to find yourself in a new day, you rise with a smile. You think about the quiet space that awaits you in your little corner of the room. The soft light welcomes you to your comfy chair. Silence surrounds you. With a loving heart, you pause, reflecting on the people you love and the life you are leading. Gentle music lifts your spirits and you listen to your angels as they whisper to you in your space.
In the shower, you let the hot water stream down your shoulders, caressing and warming your skin. You hear applause in the noise of the jet stream and you imagine yourself five years from now in another place, doing other things. Again, you pause in gratitude for where you came from, and where you are but you know that this is not where the story ends. You smile as you hear the applause again.
You let your hands rub the oils on your skin, taking pleasure in the simple joy of allowing yourself this little indulgence made just for you. The clothes you select make you feel good and comfortable, it does not matter to you what name is emblazoned on the tag. It all makes no difference as long as it makes you feel like you are you.
You are more than the ordinary breakfast you have this morning. You choose that orange carefully. You smell the tangy citrus as you peel it. You notice the tiny spray of orange drops as you pull the peel from the flesh. You taste the bold sweetness as it drips down your chin.
The street is far from ordinary to you. You notice the songs of the birds on your walk. You wonder how soon they will heading south. You catch a glimpse of the growing garden in your neighbor’s yard and you remind yourself how good fresh picked peas taste at this time of year. You notice that there are a few leaves that have changed color and you remember how fleeting summer days are. Your mind recalls all of the adventures you have had so far and you smile at the ones to come today.
Your job is not who you are, but you bring yourself to your job. Each day, you do whatever you can to help someone, even if it’s just one person. Your smile brightens the world of someone who is struggling today in their cubicle. You don’t know this, but you smile anyway. There are days when you struggle too, but you have also witnessed the days when things go right. You choose to accept those tough days as lessons and move on to the next.
You leave your job, there at the office. You know that carrying that burden further into your day serves no one, least of all you. You have done your best with the resources you had control over. You breath and you move on.
You hear their voices long before you see them. Again, you marvel at how much they have grown. She towers over you and on this day, she ventures to hug her ordinary momma. Tomorrow may be different, so you gratefully return the embrace. He barely acknowledges you right now, and that’s ok, you know he hears your love in your questions about the day. It is all he needs for now. Later, he will sit beside you on the couch, feeling safe in the knowledge that he doesn’t have to say a word and you are there for him.
Together, you enjoy an ordinary meal that nourishes more than your body. It nourishes your soul as you share the food with those you love. You reflect on how much you have changed what you choose to eat over the years. You don’t criticize, you just understand that you are learning and growing and becoming more.
Dishes done, the house settling, your ordinary day draws to a close. You welcome the peace and tranquility of your room. You share this room with your true love and you adore this part of the day. The warm, soft blankets, the amber light, the protective arms and kisses that make you feel like so much more than ordinary. Quiet surrounds you as you curl up next to him with your latest book. Both of you make sure that at least a foot or a hand is touching the other as you fall asleep.
And there you breathe; your ordinary breath, at the end of a far from ordinary day.
This post inspired by the Writing Prompts over at Mama’s Losin’ It and My 500 Words writing challenge from Jeff Goins.
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self-care thursday

Bringing Happiness Closer

self-care thursdayI read this very timely post from Joshua today: 7 Questions to Bring Happiness Closer. It’s what we were discussing at Divine Goddess Book Club last night as well (we are talking about the book, Happier at Home right now). It seems that so many of us keep striving to find happiness outside of ourselves. Gretchen Rubin discusses “Interior Design” in her book which focuses on what can I do INTERNALLY to create my own happiness.

I was compelled to answer Joshua’s 7 questions from his post for myself and thought I’d share my answers here with you.

1. What can I be thankful for?

Oh my, I am so thankful for so many things. Practicing Gratitude regularly has completely changed how I perceive my day. Right now, for example, I am grateful for this summer of being home. I’ve been spending really amazing time with my kids, my extended family and with my friends. I’ve been spending time with myself as well and this has changed me. I am happier because I am grateful for what I have right now instead of all the things I wish I had.


2. Who do I know that loves me?

The list is long, but this is something that I have struggled with (still do). This one has affected my happiness the most – still does some days. Too often, I base my happiness on the HOW others love me. I have been striving for acknowledgement and recognition of their love. I have held lofty expectations of the HOW they should love me – they should love me the way I love them! And then when they don’t, I’ve been disappointed and unhappy. I am learning though that they love me in their own way – and they love me very much and for who I am! I am learning to just be happy in the recognition that I am indeed loved so very much.

3. What progress have I made?

Wow, if you could have seen me even just 5 years ago…some of you have, I know. When I look back and see pictures of the woman I used to be, I recall the huge sadness and hurt that followed me. It was a choice I made each day. Now, I choose differently and most days, I have the guts to see just how truly blessed and happy I am. You’ve come a long way, baby! 🙂

4. What contribution do I bring? 

Though sometimes I struggle with my need for acknowledgement, most days, I know that I am helping people with my words that I write and ideas that I share. I help people by being the listener who I love to be. My children and husband are happier and content because I am contributing to it and inspiring them to be happy in themselves. I believe that I am someone who is making the world a better place as I let my light shine (and it gives others permission to do so as well).

5. What pursuits bring me the most joy?

Finally, I am no longer afraid and rarely feel guilty for pursuing my own desires. I allow myself the comfort and support that I know I need. I follow my heart daily by focusing on creating a life that brings me joy. I do not expect the world to make me happy – that’s my job. I pursue that pretty much every day!


6. Who can I help? 

I long…no, I crave…helping thousands of women. Especially working women. I have known so many in the past who long for a peaceful life and a life free of guilt. Women who put everyone else’s needs in front of their own and struggle to find even the smallest sliver of light in themselves. So many who long to be free of the unrealistic expectations of today’s society. Who just want to be great at everything that they do but feel like they fail at everything instead. I know these women well. I have been her. She is so much more that what she sees of herself right now. That’s who I want to help. I pray that I will reach her in some small way with my words of encouragement.

7. What choices do I have? 

My biggest one is that I get to choose how I want to live my day. I choose to be happy. Right now. in this very moment.

What are your answers to these questions? We’d love to hear them here in the comments (or shoot us an email if you’re shy 🙂  )

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You know what I’ve noticed this school break? I haven’t got very many of my “projects” done that I planned. At first, I was annoyed with myself, thinking that it’s because I’ve been feeling UN-motivated…and that I’ve been “lazy”.

However, what I’ve realized today is that I’ve really enjoyed this time WITHOUT getting those things done. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids and with friends. I’ve been doing little things around the house that I thought were project ‘avoidance’ tasks but now I’ve realized were little things that were bugging me (eg. the recycling yesterday). I’ve slept more too.

Most of all, I’ve been spending time just in my head. Not really thinking about anything, just in the quiet space, turned off and tuned in. Not really consciously meditating, but turned off from all the projects and books and ideas and to-do’s and songs that are normally flying around in my head. They just haven’t been there. It was worrying me. What if I was missing out? What if those things don’t get done? It’s hard to just let them sit there without the accompanying guilt filling me up. I am letting it go, how could I face myself knowing that I wasn’t getting stuff done?

Maybe it’s my hubby’s zen vibes he’s sending me from Costa Rica. We’ve been emailing back and forth and I can already feel how changed he is. Maybe it’s the spring trying to peek out from the long cold winter. Maybe it’s just me, feeling a little burned out; but it doesn’t feel like my usual burn out I’ve felt before.

Maybe this UN-motivation isn’t anything sinister. Maybe it’s just me making space for the changes that are coming. Changes that I don’t even know about. Maybe it’s just time to embrace whatever happens WHENEVER it happens. Life is just too bloody short to fret about what I’m supposed to do next; even if those are things I love to do. Maybe it’s a little reminder to just be here in this moment whether the moment is filled with something or not. It’s just a moment. And it’s mine to do with whatever I will or even won’t do. I choose right now, today, this way. And that’s totally OK, no matter what it looks like.

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Meditate – Eyes Open

I’ve been exploring a different way to meditate and I am in love!

Sometimes, I find it hard to sit with my eyes closed and observe my thoughts. I’m often tempted to open them to make sure no one is there. I guess I’m still working on that trust thing.

However, with this new meditation program I’m doing, it “fits” better with me. So far, it’s less about the “ooommm’s” and more about intention in the moment. It’s more about FOCUS – with my eyes open. Focus isn’t easy, but so far, doing it this way works way better. This example in the picture is focusing on the word on the page. Listening and being absorbed in each line as I create it. Being aware of the word coming to life as my pen moves across the page. Focusing on something like that, I am less distracted. I am actually focused!

I wanted to share this really wonderful idea with you today. If you struggle with taking the time for you; with taking the time with “meditation” (or have any ‘fears’ around doing something like that); I highly recommend Annika’s program. It’s something different and a comfort for me in the wee hours of the morning to help me focus my day. Plus, she has a beautiful voice to soothe your soul 🙂 Visit Eyes Open from Annika Martins to sign up!

Do you have any recommendations for meditation? What kinds of “tools” do you use? I’m always open to trying new things! Let us know in the comments!

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Happiness Is…

Recently, it was International Happiness Day. A day to celebrate what makes us happy. The point of the day, in my opinion, is to notice the little things and…most of all…

So many of us rush around getting things done, being stressed out, keeping up with everyone else. We have more things, but we are less happy. We are sick and tired, yet most of us have everything we’ve ever dreamed of. And then some.

I was looking at old home movies on the weekend and I noticed something. I wasn’t very happy. I noticed how happy my kids were with simple things like playing gymnastics on the couch cushions or sliding around the kitchen floor in their socks or just playing playdough. I noticed that I was always cleaning or constantly moving from one thing to the next and our house was full of STUFF. I was very overweight and dressed (if I was dressed at all) in clothes that did not flatter me. At one point, I heard my hubby sweetly ask me what he could do to help and I told him he didn’t have to – that I would do it all.

It was an eye-opening glimpse into how far I’ve come. This was perfect timing for me because I still have days – like Friday last week – where I think that I’m not good enough. Days where I struggle accepting who I am. My sweetheart and I talked late into the night trying to help me accept my truth. And then, I woke up to the thought, “Oh! I need to backup those home movies before that computer crashes”. I hadn’t thought about them in months – maybe even a year. Yet, suddenly, I thought of them early on Saturday morning. Still shaky in my belief about my own worth. And then I saw her on the video. The old me. The one who struggled to find happiness in those simple moments caught on video because I was too busy running around, “catching up” on all my to-do’s. Too busy to eat properly. Too busy to shower. Too busy to wear clothes that I love. Too busy to take care of me.

I’m still not sure of what the exact moment was when I decided that this had to stop. Maybe it was that I was tired of it all. It certainly wasn’t overnight. It has been one step after another. Each day something new. Each day a chance to try again. And now I hardly recognize her.

Now, I don’t mind so much being in front of the camera. Now, I’m mostly smiling. Now, I slow down and notice the little things. Now, I choose Happiness:

  • I love that our espresso machine has a mug warmer on top
  • I have a really cool space where I can sit and create, play or do whatever makes me happy
  • Yoga with my sweetheart to close the day
  • Snuggled on the coach, squeezing in beside lanky teenagers watching a movie
  • Quick visits with my grown up baby boy wherever I can catch him
  • Resting my head on my daughter’s shoulder as she towers over me for a quick “Mama” hug
  • That goofy little guy who’s almost as tall as me and has his Dad’s sense of humor that always makes me laugh
  • A cup of tea and amazing conversations with kindred spirits who I call friends
  • Catching a glimpse of geese and hearing their call on yet another winter day that gives me hope for spring

It’s the little things that truly make me happy. What makes you happy? Share in the comments.

Do you need help and inspiration to notice those little things? The Divine Goddess Circle can help. It’s a community for working women who are seeking support and actions to become the Goddess they are! Join us:

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Why I Ate Sushi (and I hate fish)

It lay there, beautiful displayed. The setting was perfection. I had been having a wonderful, just-the-two-of-us-vacation. It was our 15th Anniversary. We were alone, at the back of the restaurant, in a traditional Japanese private room. I like sushi…vegetarian sushi…I don’t like fish. Hate it. I’ve tried and tried again, but I still hate it. I knew what was in it – BBQ eel. Yep…I said eel. And raw salmon and banana of all things…


Why did I do it?

I am 43 years old. I have been married for 15 years. Not all good years. In fact, some were really shitty, my heart broken beyond repair. I have been “Mom of the Year” and yet close to strangling my own off-spring. I have changed careers (not jobs – careers) 4 times and gone back to school twice. Some days were easy and on some I thought of pulling the plug – literally, on those darkest days. I have been afraid. Heart pounding, gut wrenching afraid. And I have stood still, paralyzed and unable to move.

I have lived to tell the tale. I have grown stronger with each jagged heartbreak. I have chosen to love anyway because it’s what I do best. I have yelled and screamed and crumpled in a heap in despair. My tears have filled an ocean and my knees are bruised from falling down so often. Each time, I get back up and clear the rubble once again.

There’s been help. Shoulders to lean on, tearful wits-end conversations with people who still love me for some crazy reason. Banks renegotiate loans, parents give support and windfalls come in the nick of time. Someone comes to the rescue before I commit a crime on my own kids. Yes, there has been help and I am so grateful.

Through it all though, one thing was constant. One thing.

There were many, many times I could have let the darkness take me. Times when I could have just said, fuck it. I came so close. But one person would not let me. She was there, she knew that just one more step would move me forward. She pushed me and I took the step, sometimes unwillingly, but I did.

And that is why I ate the damn sushi. I was in the moment. In the perfect spot on a perfect day with the man I love with every part of my soul who actually loves me back.

Really, what other choice was there? Sitting there, wondering what it would be like? How gross it could be? Wishing we had chosen a different restaurant? Resenting him for all the mistakes he’s made? Beating myself up for all the times I’ve been less than awesome? Thinking of the what-if-I’d-done-that-instead-of-this scenarios? Oh, there were a lot of choices I could have made. But…I chose the fish…the raw freaking fish

I smiled, I chop-stick-handled, I dipped and I stuffed it in my mouth. But…I savored the moment. I chewed and tasted the flavors and the textures. I gave it the “old college try”…

…And I absolutely loved it. LOVED it! I couldn’t believe it. I had more, I ate it without the sauce, I ate it with the banana. Another plate came and it was better than the last. Delicious. I was ecstatic! And I am alive and I am blessed and I am grateful. I wanted to shout from the roof tops, “Sushi rules!” We laughed, we enjoyed, we loved every precious, perfect moment.

…but there will also be many, more days of glorious Sushi and I will savor each and every bite.


I would love to hear your sushi story. We are the same, you and I. Let’s chat! Email Shawna:

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Practice Makes Perfect

applesauceI love spending time learning to cook traditional foods with my Mom. This weekend, we spent a warm Sunday afternoon making applesauce with apples from her two apple trees. It was just Mom & I because my kids & hubby had other things to do and Dad was doing stuff outside. We experimented with the applesauce last year and loved it so much, we decided to do it again.

One of the reasons I love spending time with her is the stories we share. We talk a lot about different things from when I was growing up. We talk about the way things are today. We talk about healthy and frugal living. Mom comes from a long line of women who could make something from nothing and know what hard work means. She also comes from a long line of women who are always sacrificing themselves for the sake of others. It’s hard for my mom to relax; to do something that is just for pleasure. There’s always more work to be done.

My Mom’s house is beautiful. It’s perfectly clean and organized. Always has been. I can’t remember it ever being messy. If you needed something, there was always an exact place to find it. She still finds teaching moments for me to learn how to clean properly. I caught her doing it several times as we did the applesauce (it’s a messy job!) It made me smile every time – I’m 43 years old and my mom is still teaching me how to clean a stove!

Just a few years ago, I would have resented the teaching. I would have felt like a failure, thinking she assumed that I don’t know what I’m doing. I would have felt small and childish. I would have drummed up that old attitude of thinking I’m never good enough for her. I would have been hurt and upset that she thought so little of me. I would have put all kinds of thoughts in my head about what she was thinking as she showed me these things.

I’m older and wiser now. I’ve come to terms with that kind of thinking. My Mom does not tell me these things because she thinks I’m not good enough. It’s not about me at all. In fact, I know my Mom thinks I’m pretty damn awesome. She may not say so, but the fact that she wants to do these things with me is the best indicator I know that she cares. She does these things because it’s what makes her feel good. She feels important and respected when she is able to teach me something new or show me something she is good at. And she is great at taking care of her family and her house. No one can clean like she can.

She was teasing me about how I talk about organization here on Simple Life Celebrations and she knows just how disorganized I can be. Oh yeah, she’s seen some pretty messy days at my house. She’s seen me forget things, burn muffins, indulge my kids, change careers, cry about my relationships, and have a lot of dirt on my window sills. She doesn’t understand any of these things. It’s not her way at all (and certainly not the way she taught me).

Oh yeah, she’s called me out on these things. She’s my Mom, it’s her job. Yep, I’m 43 years old and my Mom is still telling me I need to wash my walls. If she didn’t, I’d wonder what was wrong.

My Mom has also seen me get, not one, but two diplomas from SAIT (with honors) while being a single mom. She’s seen me raise thousands of dollars for causes I believe in. She’s seen me fall in love with someone who is my best friend. She’s seen my kid still hug me even when he’s 22 years old. She’s seen the wonderful people my children are becoming. She’s seen me write the stories of our lives. She’s seen me try and try again.

Mom is perfect. She is able to do things I never will. I’ll never have a house that clean or everything perfectly placed. She will always be teaching me how to make a bed or organize a pantry, hopefully when I’m 86 years old. To me, she’ll always be perfect. Teaching equals helping others. She comes from a long line of women who teach the next generation. Who accept that times change and that’s OK. There are new ways of doing things and they are open to learn too. My Gramma learned how to use a computer and how to make the BEST pizza you’ve ever had. These were not skills she grew up with. My Mom can install a printer for my Aunt and can drive a tractor as good as my Dad. Again, she didn’t grow up with this. She learned. They practiced until they got it right. Practice Makes Perfect.

To my Mom, I am perfect. I may forget to call or forget about so-and-so’s wedding shower. I may have a dusty bookshelf. I may have laundry piled in the kids’ rooms. I may not know where my stapler is. I may have given away my mother-in-law’s china. But to her, I am trying, I am learning and I am teaching others as I go. That is all she’s ever asked for. That is her most important lesson: Practice Makes Perfect. Sharing what I’ve learned here with you makes her proud to say, “That’s my daughter. She learned that from me.”

What lessons are you learning? What ways can you teach others? Share in the comments or over on our Facebook page: Simple Life Gals


It was a day of firsts yesterday for the Cevraini’s.

  • First day of high school for my girl
  • First day of flying solo at the middle school for my boy
  • First time the 3 of them went to the grocery store to pickup our groceries
  • First email for our biz sent with our new tool

A day of firsts to be proud of, that’s for sure. But I have to admit that I have also had so many worries along with these firsts:

  • She is so excited for high school, but I worry about the pressures she will have there. I still have a lot of reservations surrounding that high school and it’s location, it’s methods and whether it’s the right “fit” for someone as special as my daughter. I picked her up from an after school volleyball meeting and she was standing alone. I worry about her “fitting in”; yet at the same time, I don’t want her to be part of the “in” crowd. I know what it was like being on the outside looking in when I was in high school. Yet I am so glad that I wasn’t. Besides, she’s much stronger than me at that age.
  • She has another group meeting that she wants to attend this morning. And volleyball after school tonight, and work on Thursday and a hike on Saturday…it goes on…already. She wants to be involved in so many things – this is why high school is so exciting for her. She is not yet 14, and I worry about her becoming overwhelmed with doing too many things. I fear for how much she is like me in that. How it’s so hard to say no when you want to experience everything. I’ve done that so many times. I fear for her. What if she has to learn the hard way that she can’t do it all? What if she can? What will that mean?
  • My youngest is a quiet one and content to just be. I worry about him not getting involved enough! And then he spoke up yesterday and told me he wants to go into the boxing club. What did I do? My initial reaction was that it would interfere with Cadets – which he’s half-heartedly into. I know what Cadets did for my oldest son, I want the same for my youngest. But I worry that I’m not letting him be HIM. He is not his brother. I worry that I shelter him too much because he is they youngest and we all protect him. We forget that he doesn’t need protecting. He may be quiet, but he is determined and quite capable of anything – mostly because he watches and learns and doesn’t make the same mistakes that everyone else does. He pays attention to the details. Yet, I still worry and I still cast him in the same mold as his brother.
  • It was a big deal sending them for groceries. I had to release control that I cannot do it all. I had to release responsibility onto them to make good choices and follow the list that we came up with. I had to allow them to make mistakes. That’s really hard for the Martyr Mom who I can often be. If I don’t do it, then it won’t be done right. I had to trust my 23 year old with my credit card. That was really weird. I worried about that, though he’s never shown ANY sort of issue with handling money from me before. He’s never given me cause to worry or distrust. It was still very strange and made me a little anxious. But I had work to get done and I needed their help. Then I beat myself up that I should have enabled them to be more helpful in that past. Why had I waited so long to trust them to help me?
  • He’s moving out today, and that has made me worry all the more. It has been great to have him here – most days, but I’m torn between wanting him here and wanting him to move out. He doesn’t cause trouble here, but at the same time, I know that I have been an over-protective mom and he needs to fly the coop. I have not taught him much of anything for how to look after himself. Last night was the first time he’d gone grocery shopping by himself! Not good. I should have let him do that a long time ago. How will he manage on his own? Will he know what to do? I feel so often like I’ve failed him. Especially on days like this when I realize what I haven’t taught him yet. I feel like I’ve left him unprepared for the ways of the world. What if the world is tough on him? What if he fails? What if he doesn’t?
  • I’ve invested a lot of money in the new tool we’re using for our business. I want so much to take it to the next level. I want to help thousands of people. I made the decision without really talking to Krystal or to my husband (both of whom the money affects directly) and I have a tremendous amount of guilt feelings surrounding that. I am trying so hard to make it work so that they won’t be disappointed in me. Mostly to justify what I’ve done. Like it’s some horrible thing to be ashamed of. Yet those feelings keep popping up for me. Both of them say it’s OK, but I am my own worst critic. I am so scared sometimes of what success will mean for me. What if I am suddenly helping thousands of people? What if I can’t handle it all? What if I don’t – what if I’ve got nothing to offer? What if I’m just full of crap and I help no one? It goes around and around sometimes.

I have had a lot of questions these past few weeks. I get like that sometimes. I am so grateful that I have my husband, my BFF and my family for support. Good God! I could never do this alone! My poor hubby has held me as I’ve cried soooo many times. He’s reassured and contradicted my negativity as I try to sabotage myself. K has spent hours texting or talking to me to bring me back down from my anxious flights of insanity.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we constantly critique and belittle the beautiful people we are? Everyone else has the same firsts. The same worries. The same fears.

I guess if we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be human. To be human is to strive for – not perfection – but for contentment. For happiness. To truly matter to someone else. We fear that we won’t matter or that we’ll make too many mistakes so that they will turn their backs on us and we won’t be important in their lives. I, for one, have given them plenty of reasons to leave me. Yet, here they still remain. Not in spite of my mistakes, but because of them. It makes them feel like it is ok to make them and that it is so important to be afraid because it is in overcoming those fears that makes us grow. I am an example to them, in all my imperfections, that it is possible to rise above, fall down, and then rise again. Each time a little higher.

double rainbow

And so, I will continue to strive for Firsts. I will continue to fail. I will continue to worry about those failures. But I will also find that sometimes I won’t fail. I will celebrate both.



You are the woman we love…regardless of the firsts or the lasts. Just for the way you show up today.

The Hug

calvin-hobbes hug

I was never much of a “hugger” – it just wasn’t something we did growing up. We showed affection in other ways, and I was OK with that. I always felt loved.

Then there was a blind date… We both belonged to a dating service – which, back then, was done for you by interviewers, pages of questions and some big computer in the back somewhere that sent a letter (in the MAIL) to you to invite you to call each other. He called me. I was ready to give up on this dating service thing and I was his first “letter”. After I heard his voice, I had to meet him.

We agreed to meet in a local pub we both knew. He was surprised to find me drinking a beer because he’d never met a woman who drank beer before. That city boy had never met a farm girl before ;P We talked like we were old friends. About everything. All too soon, the evening wore on and I had to leave (I was a single mom and I had to work in the morning!) He walked me to my car…and then it happened….


His height made it perfect for me to “fit” into his chest. His leather jacket smelled so good, with just a hint of cologne somewhere in there. I completely melted into his embrace.

I went to work the next day, exclaiming to all my friends; “He hugged me! He hugged me!” Eyes rolled, especially when they heard that the hug was the only physical contact we had. My nurse friends had been hoping for much more for me! LOL! The older & wiser office manager smiled, knowing that there was much more to the hug than the physical. And she was right….I married that man who became my friend who hugged me first before anything else.

I hug a lot more these days. I hug him all the time. My kids, as many times as I can get them to let me.

These are some hugs I wish for:

  1. My Gramma – I was always in too much of a rush to get going to pause at the door of her welcoming home and give her a hug. She would have let me.  I will see you again
  2. My sisters – because I just don’t see them often enough. Our time together in Mexico was so awesome. Like when we were kids.
  3. My friend Kristi – she needed one yesterday, and I missed it
  4. My best friend Krystal – we are so comfortable with each other, but it’s not something we do. Maybe we should.
  5. My brother-in-law – to show him that he was loved and that there IS hope.
  6. My friend Lindsay – around her big pregnant belly to wish her well as she journeys toward motherhood for the first time
  7. Another friend Stacy – as she struggles to let go of her oldest son as he flies off away from the nest so far away across the country
  8. My aunt – as she bravely faces cancer treatments and a new reality
  9. My friends Lori and Kristen – just because I miss them
  10. My friend Shauna – I got to hug her the other day, but today, especially, I would like to hug her again
  11. That stranger I forgot to smile at – as she wondered if anyone loved her. I should have shown her that I do

What hugs are you wishing for? What’s stopping you?
We all know someone who needs a hug. Love them through it.

This post was inspired by the people in my list above and prompted by This Week’s Writing Prompts

Mama’s Losin’ It

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