Self Love, Confidence, Change… Oh My!

2014 Theme WordsIt’s been a long time since I’ve wrote on here and I really miss it. I miss just having this space to write for no reason other than because I want to do it. I went through a phase where I started feeling silly for having this blog – feeling like I was too old to have a ‘just for fun’ sort of blog. But I’ve learned something the last few days (in light of my 39th birthday)…I’m not too old to do things that make me happy! And writing here used to make me happy and I miss it, so I’m coming back to this place, but only when I feel the urge to write! Anyways…enough lame small talk. It’s time to get to good stuff – my 2014 words.

I was always one of those people who had good intentions to follow my New Years Resolutions. And I did…for about 3 weeks maybe a little longer. I just never stuck to them. Then a few years ago I was introduced to the concept of choosing a word(s) – no more than 3 though – as your theme for the year. Here’s a post about it for this year. It made a lot more sense to me to pick a word or two that would be my theme for the year. Last year (2013) one of my theme words was creative and that gave me an ‘excuse’ to dig a little deeper into my photography hobby.

This year there were 3 words that jumped off the page and resonated with me:

  • self love
  • confidence
  • change

And even though it’s only the end of February, these 3 words have been front and center in my life the last couple months. 2014 is all about…reclaiming my life. There’s a lot of “behind the scenes” sort of things that I won’t go into a lot of detail about but those things are the reason this year is about reclaiming my life, learning to love myself, gain/build my confidence and getting me back. And of course those things require change and that means a whole lot of stepping out of my comfort zone too!

And recently I was at a biz event and one of the keynote speakers gave us a list of verbs and had us choose our verb. I found it really interesting that the one verb that stood out to me was overcome. It just fit so perfectly with the 3 theme words I had already picked for this year. So, it just kind of intrigued me how that kind of, in a roundabout way, tied into my theme words.

And this year I’ve started off full steam ahead with changes, building confidence and learning to love myself. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone in several ways already:

  • Traveled alone
  • Rode on MARTA in Atlanta…all by myself
  • Went to a local Singles Mingle…all by myself
  • Accepted a public speaking offer in May…YIKES!
  • Spoke up for myself (which is really hard for me!) on more than one occasion
  • Started eating healthy (woo hoo for 28 lbs. lost so far!)
  • Decided to join a friend in what’s going to be a really awesome 5k race – The Color Run! (And this coming from the girl that just several months ago – November – had to be pushed in a wheelchair in 2 airports because she couldn’t walk the distance from one side to the other (in Chicago and Detroit)!

I think that’s a pretty damn good start for only being about two months into 2014!

I’d love to hear from you now – did you set a New Year’s Resolution and if so are you still sticking to it? Or did you choose a theme word for the year? Leave a comment below and let me know! 

Until next time…






Merry Christmas

Merry ChristmasIt’s hard to believe that Christmas is already here. This year has flown by. And honestly I’m looking forward to 2013 and a “fresh” start. 2012 has been a year of lots of loss for my family, lots of changes in my life (for the better) but lots of hard work to make these changes happen.

This is the first year that I didn’t have anything to do on Christmas day! Usually my mom and step dad do Christmas dinner on Christmas day but because my mom has to work the next morning, she decided it would be easier on her to do it a few days before Christmas.

So, the kiddo and I had Christmas with my mom, step dad & everyone on the 23rd and then on the 24th had it with my dad and everyone. I celebrated Christmas with him on the 23rd because I had to drop him off back at home on the 24th.

I was actually okay with not having anything to do today. It was kind of nice vegging out, watching Christmas movies and not having anywhere to rush off to. Unfortunately I ended up in bed most of the afternoon/evening with a migraine and earache. That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for Christmas day but thankfully all the family festivities were over so I didn’t have to miss them.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!


Why I Will Never Have a Fake Christmas Tree Again

christmas-tree-2012This year I decided to go with a real Christmas Tree. I haven’t had one since I was a little girl. Every year since I’ve been out on my own I’ve either (A) had a little Charlie Brown tree, (B) not had a tree, or (c) had a crappy, pain in the rump to put together and take apart fake tree. I can’t even pinpoint when or why I decided to go with a real tree. I just remember it was a thought that popped into my head one evening and that was that…and a couple weekends later my kiddo, sister N and I headed out to pick out the perfect one.

It was a bit of a pain getting it set up in the tree stand and there was a minor mishap once we had it what we thought was centered and fit snug in the stand…thankfully the kiddo didn’t mind crawling under the tree and working some ‘magic’ to fix it. Once we finally got it all set up, decorated and turned the lights on…I knew in that instant I would never own another fake tree!

Here are 10 reasons I’ll always have a real Christmas tree:

  1. It’s so full – no bare spots like on a fake tree
  2. The pine smell is amazing
  3. It’s pretty
  4. It makes me smile when I look at it
  5. I love sitting in the morning with just the Christmas tree lights on, drinking a cup of hot cocoa
  6. I love sitting in the evening with just the Christmas tree lights on
  7. The pine smell is awesome (yeah, it’s worth mentioning twice! lol)
  8. The branches don’t sag like my fake tree branches did
  9. It just makes my heart happy every time I walk into the living room and get a whiff of the pine
  10. I juts love everything about the realness of it

Sure, maybe those are silly reasons but they’re my reasons :-) Plain and simple, I just love having a real Christmas tree!

20 Reasons I Love My Town

A little while ago I saw somewhere a post about 100 reasons this person loved their town. I don’t remember where it was or I would point to it. But as I’ve been embarking on a journey of trying to be more positive in my life, this hit home for me so I jotted it down on a sticky note to do this. So here I go…but I’m wimping out and only shooting for 20 reasons. The thought of trying to come up with 100 overwhelms me and this is supposed to be fun.

20 Reasons I Love Charlevoix

1. Beaches – Lots of them!  :-)

2. Drawbridge – Okay, confession time: I may not like this when I’m stuck in traffic waiting for the bridge lol Photo by johnkebab

Charlevoix Michigan Drawbridge

3. Amazing sunsets – I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many pictures I took of sunsets this summer!

Charlevoix Michigan Sunset

4. Amazing sunrises – I must admit I only saw a couple of these…they are way too early for my liking ;-)

Charlevoix Michigan Sunrise

4. Boats – Lots and lots and lots of them! Some of them aren’t even boats – they are yachts! I’ve never seen so many huge boats as I did this summer. I’d hate to know what it costs to take some of those babies out just for a day (bummed I didn’t get any pictures of them!)

5. Venetian festival – I was way more into this when I was younger. This summer I didn’t even go down to it.

6. Tourists – Okay, another confession: I may or may not complain about them over taking the town in the summer! ;-)

7. Library – This is the most amazing library I’ve ever seen (seriously…out of towners always comment on how big/nice this place is)

8. Apple festival – I’ve never actually been downtown for this so I don’t even really know what it is but I hear lots of people talking about it lol

9. Beautiful, big homes – There are 2 different subdivision areas I like to drive through & just look at the homes.

10. Mushroom houses – These are so cool! I would love to go inside one. A little note about mushroom houses: A number of houses in town were designed by architect Earl Young and have been called “mushroom houses” by the locals.  Photo Courtsey: Chamber of Commerce web site

Charlevoix Michigan Mushroom Houses

11. Lighthouse – Cool pier to walk out on with a lighthouse at the end- love being there when the waves in Lake Michigan are really big like they were on this day. This was also the first time I’ve ever seen a stand up paddle boarder (think that’s what it’s called):

Charlevoix Michigan Lighthouse

12. Great foodKelsey B’s being my favorite.

13. Ferry Beach – It’s a beach, need I say more ?

14. Michigan Beach – Again, it’s a beach need I say more?

15. Depot Beach - Yep, sure enough again it’s a beach need I say more?

16. Sailing School - One day while at Depot Beach I found out they had a sailing school right next to it (the beach I was at) and got to see several students sailing:

Charlevoix Michigan Sailing

17. Drizzly Day at the Beach- Kind of neat to be at the beach on a really windy/foggy/drizzly day:

Lake Michigan Drizzly Day

18. Small Town - There are definitely pros/cons to living in small towns. I’d say the population is roughly about 3,000 people. That’s not too huge and not too small.

19. Coast Guard Station - Okay, I have to admit I’m a sucker for men in uniform. Too bad I don’t run into these guys more often ;-)

20. It’s just a beautiful town…it really is!

And just for the heck of it, here is one more pic from this summer. Rainbows are so neat and this is one of my fave pics from this summer!

And now that Fall is here and winter is fast approaching, I’m going to have to remind myself to do another post like this for the winter. I may have lived in Northern Michigan my entire life but that doesn’t mean I like the snow ;-) So, I’ll have to work really hard on the being positive this winter & it could be impossible to come up with 20 reasons I like this place in the midst of winter! lol

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama today for Five Minute Friday.  On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat out.

What can you write in five minutes flat? 

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



Here I go – my second Five Minute Friday.

It still feels really weird to just write what comes to mind.

I have so many things running through my head some about opportunity some not.

Tomorrow is a big family event – my younger sister’s college graduation open house. I bet there will be so many new opportunities knocking on her door.

I’m stuck. I want to sit here and stare at the screen but the point is I’m supposed to be writing.

I have so many opportunities to be doing so many new things in my life. I’m single. My son only lives with me part-time so I have quite a bit of free time. But I don’t look for new opportunities because I’m too caught up in some personal things going on right now that kind of hold me back.

I wonder what opportunities God has in store for me. Am I willing to let Him use me for new things if they take me out of my comfort zone?

I still have a couple minutes left. Goodness I guess five minutes really is longer than it seems!

I have to admit I stopped typing and sat for a second staring at my keyboard. I think there are just too many thoughts running through my head to put anything down that would make any sense.

I wish I lived in a bigger town – for more opportunities to find those new things I briefly mentioned above. Then again, if I don’t seek them in a small town would I really look for them in a big town?

I have to go to the laundromat tomorrow…one huge downfall to my apartment (no washer/dryer).

Yeah my timer is slowing down to nothing…