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Colorado On My Mind

Beautiful post from my beautiful Daughter, Lexie, on her journey of life.

For The Love of Adventure

I’ll be 24 and a half this month. (It’s okay to still celebrate half birthdays when you’re an adult, by the way). I think one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned during the last 306 months of my lifetime is that you just simply can’t wait on other people. Do what you love to do, do what feels right, and do it now. I love change, I’ve learned this over time. I love life to feel new and exciting and unknown – I guess you could call this a quirk, as I’m gonna go ahead and say the general population doesn’t deal with uncertainty well, nor do they like it. Embrace it and roll with it, I say! Change inspires me to explore everything that’s out there; it motivates me to try new things and meet new people; it excites me to know that the best may still be yet…

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Falling in Love

When my son posted this blog this morning, it reminded me that we are all free to choose – I’m so proud and happy that he has chosen to pursue a life of learning, meaning, compassion and love. I think he’s extraordinary for 26 years old! Please enjoy.

I’ve been sitting on this blog for a few weeks, because I couldn’t — still can’t, really — put my thoughts into a proper order and fully express what’s in my head. We’ll try anyway:

Remember my friend Scott, from college? The one who founded the wonderful experience that was Saga Fest? I mentioned him a few times in my blog about Iceland.

Anyway, when we met up in San Francisco before my trip began, I told Scott about my planned journey. Where most people heard me out and then peppered me with excited follow-up questions, Scott just smiled. Then, he boldly claimed: “I have a feeling you’re going to fall in love on this trip.”

Well, Scott was right.

I did fall in love. Many times over, in fact.

I fell in love with the Australian vibe in Melbourne and the self-sufficiency of a Tasmanian camper van trip.

I fell…

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Leaving Things Behind

Wanderlust will eventually lead you home….

I’ve noticed a lot of my blogs contain the phrase “One thing I’ve learned from this trip…” as an introduction to blindsiding you with my incredible wit and wisdom. And humility, obviously. I’m here to do that again. So, here goes.

One thing I’ve learned from this trip…is how to leave things behind. How to say goodbye. Don’t confuse being well-practiced with being good at something, though. I’ve played hundreds of games of basketball in my lifetime and I still look a lot more like Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly than Steph Curry.

And I also mean this both literally and figuratively. I’ve literally left half my wardrobe scattered around the world, along with a few books, a tent, two toothbrushes and travel sheets (no, not all were left purposely). One of those handy dandy global chargers mysteriously disappeared in Spain. Various amounts of my blood…

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AT&T Be Damned

I don’t anger easily. I am a problem solver and a peacemaker. I try to look at all sides of the issue with understanding and move toward resolution.  I also understand that everyone makes mistakes and allow for a margin of error. Having said that, I have had it UP TO HERE with AT&T and their automated, non-automated and never-ending loop of “help” they call customer service. They have certainly trained their Customer Support staff to say all the right things in a friendly, helpful way. But that’s where the buck stops. They are batting zero with regard to actually resolving my problems.

I am crafting this post while on the line with AT&T – this time – for over 90 minutes. My internet service has been “suspended” for the fourth or fifth time in seven months. Just today, I have spoken to Angie in Customer Service, Kelly in Billing, Mike in Technical Support, Julia – again in Billing – and now Kirsten in Collections (I think?). Every one of them has been earnest and seemingly the “ONE” who can make the difference. Kelly discovered that my payment back in March was never posted to my new account, thus beginning the spiral effect of my account being “overdue.” She is – yet again – notifying collections to investigate. Mike wants to help me get back online, but insists that Collections is the only department who can remove the suspension on the account – and they are closed… because it’s 6pm and they close at 7:00pm PST. WHAT?? Last time I checked, I live in California …

Meanwhile, we have been dealing with this same initial payment that never got to the correct account (which was changed in January by the way), going on 9 months now – and not ONE of these friendly, helpful people have actually been able to connect the dots and get the issue resolved. I have to repeat my account number, verify my identity and retell my story multiple times, because apparently they don’t REALLY record you for better customer service. Each one tells me that according to what they “see,” we should be back online and everything is settled. (And of course, they all remind me the easiest way to resolve any issues is by going online to http://www.att.com… Yeah, wish I could.)

Now I’ve got Kirsten working her magic to “fix everything once and for all.” She just told me I am now getting a CREDIT and my Internet connection should be live. Thanking her profusely and apologizing for any misplaced frustration, we parted ways. I rebooted the router, and (drumroll please!) … NOTHING.

Any Customer Service/Ops gurus out there? AT&T needs help – big time! And Angie, Kelly, Mike, Julia, and Kirsten – your communication skills could get you far – but your Company is making you look bad, really bad. Get out ASAP.

As for my Internet service – if you are reading this now, I’m finally back online, but definitely ready for a change. Anyone know of an ISP that says what they’ll do AND does what they say??

Life is a Journey

Just got off a “Facetime” (another noun/verb that technology invented!) with our #1 girl – all of 23 and traveling with a one-way ticket and a work visa in Australia for almost a month now. Since graduating college in 2013, she’s been itching for such an adventure – to challenge herself, to see the world and to discover her career passions.

“Go as many places as you can.
You can always make money, you can’t always make memories.”

She is on an awesome adventure, taking each day one at a time, no expectations, spreading her wings, exploring her future and embracing LIFE as it comes her way. We look forward to her blogs, her quick texts, her occasional calls, and living vicariously through her journey. I miss her, a LOT.

AND THEN IT HIT ME LIKE A JOLT.

She is not the only one on a journey of transformation. I am facing a future where school and team sports no longer outline our family structure, where children who left home as teenagers are now young adults. I have been unwillingly thrown into a phase of life where I need to rediscover myself, my relationships and my “place” as a mom.  With an empty nest (for REAL this time!), I have to shift my focus to just the two of us, aging parents, and spending our time in different ways. But most immediately, I must adjust to this new role of mom to two compassionate, resourceful and fiercely independent young people who want to travel the world.

My daughter struck out first, but her brother is not long behind. I sense the whispers of those who judge her choice as irresponsible and as wasting time in finding a lucrative career; am surprised at the admiration from others about her “bravery;” and revel in the wistful applause of older friends (no matter how successful!), who repeatedly claim their biggest regret in life was not traveling before they got caught up in career and family.

Her path does not fit the “norm” but then, neither does she. She’s always been one to challenge the status quo. I listen to friends speak of their kids’ journeys — from college, internships, grad schools and career success; to engagements, marriages and starting new families — all traditional paths for our twenty-somethings. While a part of me wishes I could chime in with similar news, I also know that encouraging her to step out into our great, big world unafraid to risk putting some traditional things on hold – will lead her to a life of no regrets, a global perspective and experiences to last a lifetime. Priceless.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

I expected to miss my girl, to follow her adventures with interest and excitement, to possibly visit her in some faraway destination. I did not expect that it would take ME out of MY comfort zone and force me to face myself and my expectations of how her life might unfold. Wise beyond her years, brave and bold, I truly can’t wait to see where her journey takes her. Lexie, I am so incredibly proud of you!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Green shake

3-Day Cleanse – LUNCH!

OK, it’s the morning after and I’m ready to share all the sordid details. First of all, three days is not that difficult to do – I am fortunate that I work 2 miles from home so was able to come home for lunch all 3 days and process that yummy looking green shake! My experience overall was not much different than several others who have reviewed the Doctor Oz 3-Day Detox Cleanse. In fact, when I came across this review, it was almost word-for-word what I might have said. With the following exceptions:

  • I enjoyed the taste of all 3 shakes. Breakfast was probably my favorite and easiest to replicate on a regular basis – and was my snack shake on Days 2 & 3. But I also really liked the flavors in the dinner shake with that “finish” of cayenne. I thought it was a great addition to the flavor.
  • I didn’t have the extra shake on Day 1, and felt pretty hungry when I went to bed – wondered if I could really pull off two more days.
  • The lunch shake was tasty – I actually threw in the whole lime and the whole cucumber, peel and all. The shake does have more “texture” than the other two, but with the lime peel and pineapple it almost seemed like there were bits of coconut in the drink – and I liked that extra texture.
  • I did not cheat at all. Not once.
  • I didn’t have coconut oil and didn’t want to buy it because I don’t plan to use it for anything else, so used my Omega 3 (delicious lemon custard flavor) as the oil in the lunch shake. Maybe that made it more palatable?
  • Not a fan of the tea – really missing my morning cup ‘o Jo! And never got to the bath (I hope it wasn’t the “magic”…)

I did feel hungry – a lot. But, the shakes were satisfying and I never felt bloated or uncomfortable. It felt like my body was functioning as it should and was getting the necessary nutrition – a good formula for those who don’t care about food like I do! Since I’m in the “live to eat” camp, I know 3 days is my limit. It took everything I had to forego the grilled salmon and veggies I made my family for dinner (purposely so I could look forward to the leftovers on Day 4!)

Tips for anyone wanting to try this – if you have a Vitamix or Juicer, you’re golden. If not, the breakfast shake fits nicely in a Magic Bullet cup, I needed a full-on food processor for the lunch shake (which makes twice as much as the breakfast), and my blender sufficed for dinner. I believe prepping for all 3 days on the first day saved me. Having a container with everything pre-measured and ready for each meal allowed me less time to talk myself out of it.

As for cleaning out my system — well, let’s just say I do feel clean, healthy and have plenty of energy – but nothing was moving the way I expected it to. I managed to lose 3 pounds on the scale (but I rarely weigh myself and don’t really care that much about the number).

Overall, I think results will vary for each individual, depending on your usual eating habits. It’s a great re-set regimen for people who want to get back on track, but I eat pretty cleanly already, so perhaps that’s why I didn’t notice anything life changing. I did love incorporating almond butter, avocado, cayenne, spinach and kale into a smoothie and will likely use these recipes again from time to time.

Ready or not, Paradise here I come…!

Coming off a week in Austin where it’s “all-about-the-food,” and a month before a trip to a certain sunny spot in Paradise, I decided to try a “cleanse” to get me back on track. Having watched the Dr. Oz Show fairly regularly during my afternoon workouts, I remembered a 3-day detox cleanse he had enthusiastically endorsed.  It didn’t sound too overwhelming – only three days, three simple smoothies made with superfoods that I love. And he provided a shopping list – what could be simpler?

I must admit, I’ve been HUNGRY!  You would think these drinks – with all that fiber – would be more filling. And get things moving. Not quite.

But, I have endured and managed to make it from one “meal” to the next so far (thank goodness there’s an extra “snack” shake involved). Lucky for me, I genuinely like the taste and texture. What’s not to like? Raspberries, bananas, pineapple, almond butter, spinach, kale, avocado, celery, cucumber, lime, green apple … all pretty common staples in my kitchen.

I’ve made it through Day 2 (though I REALLY WANTED TO CHEAT). And I’m still hungry. But instead of giving in, I wrote this blog – and it’s given me the motivation to make it through ONE.LAST.DAY.

Stay tuned … and I’ll report on the outcome – whether I made it to the end and more importantly, whether it was worth it. Hope the growling doesn’t keep me awake …

MLB Fan Cave Fever!

This time last year, my son announced he had been chosen as a Top 50 finalist in the MLB Fan Cave competition. The what?? I had never heard of such a thing, much less known he had applied a few months earlier.  After being (sometimes unwillingly) dragged through years of Multi-league, Little League, Pony League, Summer League, and HS Baseball as a devoted mom to my baseball-crazy first-born, I’ll admit, I developed a love for the game, and definitely had a good idea of what this could mean to him. So of course, I jumped on board.

For two solid weeks, I continuously voted online for “my favorite” candidate. I emailed all of my friends, family, and everyone else I could think of. I posted links on Facebook and talked it up to strangers at the gym. Jeremy lit up our house with activity – nightly Skyping with the group of Top 50 who had quickly become close friends, “Tiny-chat dance parties” (I know, I know), late night video-making, tweeting, and stat checking.

It was a whirlwind 2 weeks. In the end, he did not make the cut for the trip to Arizona – but the whole experience managed to fuel a passion in him for his writing, his career and his future that was unprecedented. All moms like to see that, right?

Fast forward a year later, and his much improved video application has once again been selected for the top 50. And did I mention he scored a girlfriend through the process last year? Kelsey made it all the way to the Top 30 last year, and is also a Top 50 candidate in 2013.

And so the voting begins… AGAIN. If they make the next cut, they have a chance to formally “interview” for the position at Spring Training with MLB staff. It would be a dream come true – repping Major League Baseball in the MLB Fan Cave in NYC for the entire season – interviewing players, hosting events, watching and blogging about all 2400+ games… if you are a baseball fan, I’m sure you can relate. It’s is a BIG DEAL.

So, here we go again. The house is abuzz with BASEBALL-BASEBALL-and more BASEBALL — times two!  It’s FAN CAVE FEVER all over again – at least for the next 2 weeks.  And as they say, “if you can’t beat em, join em.” Just doing my job.

Watch their great videos and VOTE HERE for Jeremy Dorn & Kelsey Shea!

Want more?

LIKE Jeremy’s FB page: http://www.facebook.com/JeremyDornMLBFanCave and follow him on Twitter @Jamblinman

Read his articles on Bleacher Report: http://bleacherreport.com/users/648700-jeremy-dorn

Read his blog and listen to podcasts at: 3u3d.mlblogs.com

Thanks for sharing and your support!

 

Rather than spouting off a bunch of new resolutions for 2013 (many likely the same as years’ past), I vowed to do something different this year.  I decided that if I could think of just ONE word – a word that would be easy for me to remember, yet broad enough to make a difference – maybe I could truly stick to it for once.

So here is my word for the year:  INTENTIONAL.

Not just “intention,” which speaks of the “plan” to do something, an “objective” or “purpose.”  But rather, “intentional,” which is more willful and deliberate, and to me, denotes being more self-reflective, thoughtful, and proactive.  I want to focus this year on being intentional in everything that I do: exercise, eating, behavior, conversation, work projects, home projects, family time, friend time – I think you get the picture.

Much too often, our lives get so hectic that we default to being reactive. Which translates to “stress.” I don’t know about you, but “reactive” doesn’t work out so well for me. Stress is no good for anyone, anytime. And it certainly doesn’t serve the ability to navigate and appreciate each and every day, whatever that day may bring.

So far, I have been “intentional” in choosing more healthy foods, getting out every day to walk or exercise, and now am following through on being intentional in (finally!) cleaning the outside of my kitchen cabinets. I’ve booked two getaway vacations for the next few months and am working on a third. It feels good; more peaceful, accomplished, and for once I am not beating myself up for staying indoors all day (except for that walk in an hour or two).   I’m still working on being intentional about getting more sleep – because I am convinced that restfulness feeds every intention.

What is your word for the year?  Happy New Year everyone.

What’s So Great About 50??

I’d been hearing it for years … “Your 50’s will be the best years of your life.”  And I believed it – even counted on it.  “50 is the new 40,” they said. “Maybe even the new 30! (wink, wink).”

I’m supposed to feel free to express myself, no longer care what anyone thinks, have the freedom to focus on myself  and rediscover the romance in my marriage — not to mention the hobbies and passions I’d long ago let falter.  It all gave the thought of being an empty nester a little twinge of daring and excitement. Could it be??

Well, here I am – smack in the middle . . . and still waiting.  I have to exercise more than ever to jump-start my metabolism (and I’m a huge foodie, so this is NOT good news).  I  supplement with vitamins, take a pill to keep my blood pressure in check, and along with an ‘apple a day’ it’s now a ‘baby aspirin a day.’  I have to paint on my lips and eyebrows in order to see them, and who ever dreamed up “hair mascara” was genius. A night out on the town starts earlier and ends … well, earlier.  A good night’s sleep is a distant memory — and I feel bad about my neck.

Either “it” is not happening for me or I just don’t get it.

Sure, there is more time for hiking, quilting, coffee with friends, dinners out on the town, a photography class here and there and a bit of travel — but I am often left wondering;  if this is supposed to be the best time of life, why do I have to work so hard to enjoy it?

Somebody lied. By omission.  “They” forgot to mention that even though I’d have more time on my hands, more money and a more mature perspective, I’d also lose my shape and my libido, flash hot and cold all night, learn that a “muffin top” is not a food, and get a critical eye from my 20-something daughter when my outfit is a little on the “young” side. Let’s face it – given a choice, I’ll take 30.

But since time marches on with or without us, I’m learning to enjoy and be grateful. For my wonderful family, my generally good health, every wrinkle and new gray hair, pants that fit better a bit closer to my waist, the 10% discount at Ross on Tuesdays, and dear friends who are in the same boat and can share the journey. And I’ll be certain to get my daily dose of red wine and dark chocolate to better my chances at 60, 70 and 80.  It sure beats the alternative!