Resolutions & Word for the Year

It’s been over a month since I poured my heart out and let you all know where I’ve been in my life and what’s been going on. My life was completely in the hole… a deep, dark hole that I struggled to climb out of and when I did manage to get closer to the top, where I could see the light, I’d slip down again. I’m not in that hole any longer, but that is due in part to taking anti-depressant and anxiety meds.

Meds are not the answer though. I fully feel that they’re only part of the healing process and becoming whole again.

The best way that I can explain it what a close friend said to me. You have to take care of yourself mind, body, and soul and when you focus on one area too much you tend to let the other areas slip. Through the medication, therapy, taking care of my physical health, and working on my relationship with God I will be where I want and need to be eventually.

As the new year began the usual things flew around social media like setting goals, resolutions, and a word for the year. I thought about this and tried to think what would my word for the year be (no resolutions here… I never keep them). At first I couldn’t think of anything … no words came to mind and then after some time many words came to mind and I couldn’t figure out how to narrow it down to just one.

So instead of a word for the year or a resolution I have a phrase… a sentence if you will.

Lost Lake Quote

This is from one of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen. She posted this on her Facebook page promoting her new book that is coming out this month and when I saw the quote it spoke to me… so I saved it and it’s my current image on my phones lock screen.

Every word of it is true. I am trying to leave the past behind, work on forgiveness, dealing with my depression and anxiety, and becoming a better person all around. In essence, I’m transitioning to another version of myself and yes, it is hard. Damn hard.

Recently, Jennie from A Lady in France (by the read her book… it’s awesome!) and I have emailed back and forth a few times. I’ve spoken to her briefly about where I am and the journey that I am on and she shared with me a piece of scripture that someone shared with her when she was first on her path to being a Christian. Now, I am sharing it with you.

This is special to me and I keep a tab open to this scripture and read it at least once a week. It’s a reminder that I am not alone and that there are good people out there. More importantly good friends who really do care about me and how I am doing.

Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Did you come up with resolutions or a word for the year? 

The New & Improved Hallmark Rewards!

I love Hallmark cards. Honestly, I love all cards and was really sad when the two local Hallmark stores closed. Even more sad was that I wasn’t able to quickly run in and grab a cute card or gift for someone or collect more reward points. I was stuck with the cards that were at the grocery stores…. yea, sometimes they had Hallmark cards but I didn’t get the Hallmark Rewards for them.

Hallmark Rewards

Well, now that has all changed! Now the Hallmark Card Rewards lets you earn a reward for every five Hallmark cards you buy, whether you buy them at Hallmark Gold Crown stores or more than 40,000 grocery and drug stores and supercenters across the U.S.  Rewards include gift cards, discounts, dollars off, and reward partners like Land’s End, Applebee’s, Omaha Steaks and Cherry Moon Farms.

5 cards = reward

Oh, and to make this even easier for you there is an app (for Android and iPhone)! You can use the Hallmark Card Rewards app to scan the barcode on the back of the card and you’re done. Or, you can report your purchases online by entering the UPC. As always, cards that you get at the actual Hallmark Gold Crown store or will automatically recorded for you when you use your Gold Crown rewards card.

Now, how about something a little fun and exciting! Starting today, every 100th new member, up to eight, to sign-up will receive $250! That’s eight chances to be rewarded just for signing up! Who couldn’t use a little extra free money? I mean the holidays are coming up… so what are you waiting for? Go…. sign up now!

Well? Did you sign up yet?

Disclosure: I’m just spreading the word about the cool new program from Hallmark… I don’t get anything in return for it. 


Once a year we all reach a special milestone. Of course to some it’s not all that special and we’d rather ignore it and to others it’s a reason to celebrate for days and something that we look forward to all year.

Yes, it’s our birthdays.

Today I am 41… another year has passed and I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday. There are days where I really do believe that age is just a number and that it really is about how we feel, act, and live our lives and then there are days that I start to feel (and see) my age.

So in celebration of my special day I am taking the day off of work (it’s a paid holiday for me where I work WOOHOO!) and I will be doing all the things that I want (except for taking my husband to the airport at 4am today and the load of laundry).

I’m going thrift shopping, napping, collecting my free pizza from the local pizza place for lunch,  writing a few blog posts, and a maybe even doing some crafting…. and if I can fit it in… a pedicure. Today is all about me and what I want to do. Because your birthday is your special day and you should be able to do what you want, right?


There are times that I look back at my life and wonder how the time has passed so very quickly. I look at all the pictures, where I was and who I was with in each of them, and fondly remember each and every moment like it was yesterday. Through those pictures I relive special times in my life.


Weddings, birthdays… mine, my children’s, and family members alike, holidays, special events, and every day moments are all captured in those pictures of my life. They’re a history of me. A history of my life. A history of my family.

As I looked through pictures yesterday for this post I realized how many pictures I really have, printed and digital. They’re are literally hundreds of pictures and they span the entire 41 years of my life.

So today I celebrate my 41st birthday and look forward to what the new year holds for me.

How did you celebrate your birthday this year?

I have a dream – The 50th anniversary

50 years ago on a warm and humid day in Washington D.C. more than 250,000 people marched for jobs and freedom, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation’s capital, and one of the first to have extensive television coverage.

People from all over our great country and from many walks of life marched all the way to the from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, to hear Congressman John Lewis, Rabbi Uri Miller, President Synagogue Council of America, Matthew Ahmann, Executive Director, National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, and most importantly Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak that day.

The heat that day was oppressive when the large crowds were factored in and people could be seen wading or sitting on the edge of the reflective pool just to cool off a little. But there was little to deter everyone from taking part in such an important and monumental occasion. Today, that is something that most would not even dare to attempt.


This past weekend while watching the Face the Nation this past Sunday morning there was segment about the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington. I’ll be honest…  I didn’t even know that this special date was coming up. It’s not a national holiday or something that is marked on the calendar for so many to remember and celebrate, but it should be. It was a huge turning point in history and deserves recognition.

While watching Congressman John Lewis spoke with Bob Schieffer about his time with Dr. King, the speech that he gave and how he changed it because Dr. King told him that it did not sound like him. And even though he changed the speech it was still considered controversial at the time.

The revolution is at hand, and we must free ourselves of the chains of political and economic slavery. The nonviolent revolution is saying, “We will not wait for the courts to act, for we have been waiting hundreds of years. We will not wait for the President, nor the Justice Department, nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands, and create a great source of power, outside of any national structure that could and would assure us victory.” For those who have said, “Be patient and wait!” we must say, “Patience is a dirty and nasty word.” We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually, we want our freedom, and we want it now. We cannot depend on any political party, for the Democrats and the Republicans have betrayed the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence.

He also reflected on the march on Selma, Alabama where he was beaten and thought that he wouldn’t make it out alive, and the progress that the civil rights movement has made and what Dr. King would think of it now.

What would Dr. King think of where we are now? Would he believe that progress has been made? Would he see that there is equality for all no matter what color, race, sexual orientation, or whether your male or female?

If you ask me the answer is no. I do not see equality for all. Many will disagree with me and others will agree… I suppose that is just the way it is when it comes to controversial topics.

There is still self-imposed segregation or segregation when drawing neighborhood/school district lines. I’ve even heard of towns in the south having separate proms because they’re not school functions that are organized by students and parents. These segregated events reflect historic and lingering racial divides a reality that is hard to ignore.

Take a few minutes and listen to the message the Dr. King delivered today 50 years ago. Listen, learn, and be inspired to lead change.

Just a little note… the I have a dream part of his speech was not in the written version. It added that in as he spoke.

In the next 30 days….

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Diet Coke (especially Diet Coke from the fountain… like at McDonalds). While the rest of the world is waking up with their morning coffee I am happily sipping on my Diet Coke…. or Diet Dr. Pepper which is my other love. Now, I do love the smell of freshly brewed coffee but the aftertaste is so incredibly bitter that there is nothing that I can do to wipe the horrendous taste off of my tongue fast enough (I probably lost a few friends saying that I don’t like coffee, right?).

Give me a pop any day and you’ll be my favorite person until the caffeine/sugar buzz wears off. Yes, I called it pop because that’s what it is. Now, if you don’t already know me I’ll let you guess where I’m from …. calling it pop should be a dead giveaway.

In the next 30 days I am going to forgo my favorite beverages. No pop for the next 30 days.

30 days august

Why deprive myself of something that I love? Well, lots of reasons really. First of all it’s not healthy for me to be drinking all of that diet pop especially since I’ve been drinking it since I was in high school back in the dinosaur era. Second, I need to drink more water instead and last but least there are some rumors going around that pop, diet and regular, have a huge affect on weight loss and your metabolism. I’m not 100% sure that the last one is true on all accounts but why mess up all the hard work I’ve put into losing weight.

This all started while I was in Chicago at BlogHer. I had the pleasure of meeting Anna from In the Next 30 Days (I actually met her in a FB group before the conference) and she does these challenges for 30 days at a time. She must have willpower like no other because some of the challenges she has done are hard…. like 30 days of a clean house…. random acts of kindness…gluten free! My house doesn’t stay clean for 30 minutes let alone an entire 30 days.

It’s been 6 days so far since I’ve started this little experiment and I haven’t had a single pop. Pretty good, huh? I know… it’s only been a week.

I’ll update once in a while here but not daily because you’ll get sick of hearing me whine about how I’d love a pop right now.

Have you ever tried to do anything for 30 days straight? If so, what was it?

The A to Z of me – Old School Blogging

I am so far behind and the funny thing is that I have no idea how I got here. Blog feed… over 400 entries to get through… 5 Facebook groups I’ve barely been stalking and need to actually take part in… Twitter… eh, very few actually chat there anymore.

Regardless of the weekend was great! And I think that it was worth getting a little behind because I was able to spend time with my family and really enjoy it. When was the last time that you really unplugged and had a great weekend?

So to make things a little easier for me and because I love this meme it’s time for some fun blogging… old school style with Elaine from The Mis-Elaine-ous Life! You know a meme couldn’t get any easier than this too because it’s only once a month and you just have to follow the prompt which is usually just a series of questions. Come on… you know you want to join in.

Alphabet Meme

A. Attached or Single? Married… attached… and happily so.

B. Best Friend? My sister is my best friend. There is rarely a day that goes by that we don’t talk to one another… IM (yes, we still use it), text, or actually talking on the phone. I just wish that we lived closer together.

C. Cake or pie? Hmm… I will have to say both. Cake is awesome. Pie is awesome. I even think that someone on Food Network combined the two together once.

D. Day of choice? The one where I get to do what I want all day long.

E. Essential Item? Silly question… my iphone.

F. Favorite color? Lately I’ve been on this kelly green kick. I just love the color!

G. Gummy bears or worms? Sour worms or bears. Mmm…

H. Hometown? I grew up in Lapeer, Michigan but now call Owosso, Michigan my home.

I. Favorite Indulgence? I have several most of which I don’t get to indulge on because it’s something that is incredibly full of calories, I lack the time, or money.

J. January or July? July. January sucks here in Michigan. July can be hot and humid but at least there is the beach, pool, and A/C to help with that. January… it’s cold, gray, frozen, and unless you like being out in all that snow there isn’t much to do.

K. Kids? Duh…. 4 kids. Three girls (17, 13, 11) and one boy (3).

L. Life isn’t complete without? My family, friends, Diet Coke, and my iphone.

M. Marriage date? 05/19/07

N. Number of brothers/sisters? I have one of each.

O. Oranges or Apples. Apples. Especially in the fall when all the farmers markets and orchards have fresh apples.

P. Phobias? Lice… need I say more?

Q. Quotes? I like quotes. I don’t know that I have a favorite one though or one that sticks out in my head. I will say that my sister always says, “it is what it is” and I find myself using it, but it really is true.

R. Reasons to smile? I don’t think that anyone needs a reason to smile. Just do it… it makes people wonder what you’re up to. LOL!

S. Season of choice? Fall. It’s still a bit warm, the breeze is just starting to get a chill to it, the air smells of crisp leaves, fall bon fires, and the colors. Oh, the colors are beautiful around here.

T. Tag 5 People. Jill, Jessica, Wendy, Emmy, Kmama

U. Unknown fact about me? Well, if I tell you then it won’t be unknown will it?

V. Vegetable? Yes. I like them a lot… except mushrooms and olives. My favorite is cucumbers with a little bit of seasoned salt on them.

W. Worst habit? Cracking my neck.

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound. I always loved going to get an ultrasound when I was pregnant and getting to see my babies. Except that one time… that sucked.

Y. Your favorite food? All of it. Except mushrooms and olives, but I said that already…. and liver. They’re disgusting. Mostly sweets though. I really like dessert!

Z. Zodiac sign? Libra

Don’t forget to tweet about Old School Blogging with the hashtag #OSBlog and please tag your friends if you link up!

Growing Old Gracefully

Okay… growing old gracefully. What does that really mean? Is it a real thing? Can it be avoided? I wasn’t really sure what it meant so I asked Google and this is what I learned.

Being accepting of your age and keeping a youthful spirit. Watching your diet and exercising, maintaining your looks the best you can, keeping your style of dress suitable for your age. Staying interested in life around you and people of all ages. Not getting stuck in a rut and learning new skills, developing new interests.

Embracing your age– accepting gray hairs and wrinkles.

Letting your hair go gray, or away, starting to wear sweaters more, eating the early bird dinner at Denney’s and quietly proceeding to the nearest retirement home for BINGO and early bedtimes.

Growing old (or growing older) gracefully means accepting the past as the past; a place to remember, nut not a place to live in. And it means accepting the place God has put you in, as the place you are meant to be.


growing old gracefully


This is a list of a few of the things that I’ve noticed about growing old.

  1. Wrinkles are inevitable no matter what lotions & potions you slather all over your face. I’ve tried a lot and those damn wrinkles never go away.
  2. Your metabolism takes a major nose dive. This means that when you’re young you can eat anything you want all day (like a king size Reese’s peanut butter cups & Clearly Canadian water or Diet Coke for breakfast) and it doesn’t do anything whereas when you get older you have to merely lick a Reese’s and there an extra 5 lbs on your thighs.
  3. Femstache. Yes, it is a real thing and it’s terrible. I’ve often seen women out there who have a stray hair or more and wonder what was up with that… did they shave it or something? What I didn’t realize is that it’s part of getting old! Yea… I’ve found one of those stray, dark hairs! It scared the hell out of me too.
  4. Dressing suitable for your age…. this makes me very sad. I realize that I’m not a 20-something anymore… hell, I’m not even a 30-something. But I can and should still be able to wear what I like as long as I don’t look like a street walker, right? I kinda like those Miss Me jeans but my kids told me I can’t wear them…. those and a few other things because I’m too old. I’m sure not ready to turn in my regular jeans & pants for the high-waisted,  elastic at the waist, no back pocket grandma jeans! I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point… and if I do I would hope that one of you would would shake some sense into me.
  5. Gray hair is also inevitable and with dark hair it really stands out. I will admit that I am vain and will color my hair till the end of time to cover it up! My hair is thick and course and if I let it turn gray I’ll look like that crazy witch with the bobby pins flying out of her hair in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.

I’m not really clear what it means to grow old gracefully still but what I do know is that I have experienced everything in that list in the past couple of years and it sucks… big time. I hate the idea of growing old, turning gray, and letting things just go their own ways because I know that if I try hard enough I can hold it off for a while long or at least hide it really damn well.

What do you think about this growing old gracefully thing? 

Are you just accepting all the things that come with age?

How are you battling age?

A somewhat random act of kindness

Last week the wonderful Wendy Nielsen shared this new series, 31 Day Blog Challenge, with those of us in a Facebook group (amazing group by the way). My first thought was cool! I can do this and then reality quickly set in and I realized that’s 31 days of blog posts…. 31 days straight.

Not happening. I mean I can barely squeak out the three posts that I do each week, but what I can do is use the prompts for the days that I do post because some of them are pretty good and today’s is worth writing about.

You’re Last Random Act of Kindness.

So the first thing that came to my mind was a trip that I took to McDonalds a few months ago to get my much loved Diet Coke. The local McDonalds made these changes that are supposed to speed up service and make things easier…. they made two lanes in which to place orders… but I think that they’re worse.

Here’s the story. I pulled up into my lane, ordered, and in that time another car pulled up in the one next to me and they thought that they were going to cut in front of me even though I was there first and was already pulling forward. Of course I wasn’t letting that happen! I made sure that they didn’t cut and of course they were all pissy about it. Then again they were teen/early 20’s boys.

be kinder

Courtesy of Pinterest

I could see them pointing, gesturing, and talking with one another and loud enough so I could hear them. I knew that they were mad but I didn’t care because they tried to shove me out of the way. Jerks. So what was my random act of kindness?

I pulled forward and paid for my order and then let the cashier know that I’d pay for theirs as well. I moved up to the next window with a somewhat smug smile on my face. As I took my Diet Coke I watched closely in my review mirror as the cashier let the guys know that I had paid for their order. They laughed, waved, and yelled thanks.

It wasn’t totally random. I did it for a couple reasons… 1) out of spite and 2) to kill them with kindness and 3) to prove that there was no reason to be jerks. Did they learn anything from the situation? Probably not but I felt better about the situation and got a bit of a laugh out of it.

Have you ever done a random act of kindness?


The Idiot Driver

Okay, remember last week or so when I posted on Facebook about the idiot driver who rode my tail and then passed me in town and how he was getting his very own blog post? Well, this is it.

So it was another Michigan morning and I was on my way to work. As usual the roads were a bit snow covered and slick in some spots… it was early so the only spots that had been salted were curves and intersections. Pretty normal for around here.

I’m driving along and minding my own business and making sure that I didn’t slip off the road into a ditch and roll over again. For me this is a big deal because I’m a chicken when it comes to snowy/icy roads and have this fear that I can’t seem to kick. My husband thinks I’m crazy… but whatever.

Anyway, back to my story.

I’m driving along the back country road and going the speed limit because this one time I was going just a tad bit fast and got a ticket… why is a country road marked as 50mph anyway? So this truck pulls onto the road and figures that the speed limit is just a recommendation or something optional I guess and comes flying up behind me.

He followed me, pretty much glued to my bumper, for close to 3 or 4 miles! Through three intersections and one of them being a major one! I wasn’t even through it and he was right there behind me. Now, I can see him being in a hurry if he had his wife in the car and she was in labor but nope, he was alone.

Alright, by this time I was just annoyed! I thought about hitting my breaks but he was way to close and I knew he’d hit me… he was a freakin’ moron!

And to prove that point, once he was through the third intersection and almost to the fourth he passed me! Normally, this isn’t a big deal BUT… we were in town, in a residential area, near an elementary school, AND there were kids out walking to school. He passed in me a 25 mph zone and kept on speeding up until he got to the stop light. So, at the red light he barely stopped (what some of us call a Michigan roll) before he turned right and sped off down the road.

If I were doing something wrong I’d admit it… probably… but this time I was following the speed limit and making sure that I wasn’t doing something to cause an accident on the crappy roads. This guy… he was a complete and total idiot.

I’m pretty sure that beeping my horn at him as he passed didn’t even phase him.

Have you run into an idiot driver like this?

What did you do?

Family Fun & Dinner

Every once in a while I try to do something to bring the family together whether it’s a movie, a game, or some sort of outing but there is a huge challenge in that. The challenge is trying to find something that will make everyone happy from a toddler, a tween, and two teens…. you’re laughing aren’t you? Go ahead… you can laugh because I would too. It really is difficult but once in a while I do succeed.

So I rented the Disney version of Just Dance from Redbox for Couch Critics and I have to say that it was a lot of fun! I enjoyed it and I know that my younger two kids did too…. the teens well they watched for a few minutes and moved on to something else. And I do have to say that it is so much better than a game of Monopoly…. that is a long… long… long game that nobody but my husband wins at.

dancing with Disney

Maybe the game was a flop with the teens but dinner well, that was a huge success! Homemade broccoli cheddar soup, bread, shrimp cocktail, and the kids favorite… mini corn dogs.

mini corn dogs shrimp

I’ll be honest… I kinda like corn dogs too but I skipped eating them simply because I wanted the soup more and I was really trying to watch what I eat.

Dinner at our is important to me and it’s the one time of day that we all sit down together at the table with no cell phones, television on, or any other distractions. It’s when we can talk over our day and share a bit about what we’ve done, it’s a time to connect as a family and spend quality time together every day.

It’s important for so many reasons to sit down together as a family too. It’s a time where you can engage with your kids which is important all on its own, but there are health benefits for us as adults and kids too. It can also be fun!

It’s incredible how many laughs we have shared together at the dinner table whether it was something the toddler did or tried to say after hearing something that one of his sisters said.

broccoli soup

The soup was great! The kids all loved it, I loved it, but my husband… well he didn’t. I think that it was the veggies…or that it was soup (both he doesn’t like).

Do you have family dinners together? What about family games?

I shopped at Walmart for our dinner and you can check out my Google+ album. You can check out Redbox on Facebook & Twitter if you want to learn more about them.

 I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric