32. I have a good feeling about it. This is where I am going to choose to come each day and share a beautiful or positive thought or image or quote as a part of my own personal choice to live a life more focused and centered on positive things. Here's to the beautiful things in life!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Promise to California

A PROMISE to California,
Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and
Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain,
to teach robust American love,
For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you,
inland, and along the Western sea;
For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I will

~Walt Whitman

Monday, August 2, 2010

Faith from fear
draws no one nearer
to the heart
the soul
the purpose
of God.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Deer in the headlights

Last night on my way to pick up the girls after a meeting at Lauren's new pre-school, I came up over a hill and saw a family of deer. About four does, what looked like a young buck, and a fawn. I was probably driving a little too fast for the road, but luckily saw them with enough time to slow down. I ended up just stopping in the middle of the road for a few minutes (it was a gravel back road, and I made sure no one was coming or behind me) and watched the deer for a minute (two of them were in the road). It made me think about how fast things can come up in life. Things that could drastically change your life forever. What if it could be just like this moment? Everything just slows down and has the ability to stop before something devastating happens and the situation is laid out in front of us for full view. Where choices are very easy to see and disaster can be avoided. I slowed down, the deer finally took off and we avoided a disaster for both of us. Could have ended much differently if I weren't paying attention. I'm thankful, not just for myself avoiding the accident, but for the beautiful family of deer. I know it's hokey and lame, but they all just looked so peaceful and beautiful, standing there together. It just reminded me of how life should be more relaxed and simple and cherished. Every moment. Every day.


I've been slacking on my writing. Exactly what I set out NOT to do. I've been really tired and flakey the past couple of days, but I am going to get back on track. I need to get my motivation back!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'll Stand by You by the Pretenders

This song makes me think about the kind of close friends I have and the kind of close friend I want to be. It moves me so much when I hear it. The words are just simply beautiful and poetry in motion.

I'll Stand by You
The Pretenders

Oh, Why You Look So Sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

So if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you
When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you

And when...
When the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
I started reading a new book yesterday. There is just something about starting a new book, a good book, one that draws you into the story, makes it personal, that sets the imagination on fire. I feel so uplifted and creative when I read a good book. The fun thing about this book, also, is that a couple of days ago, the author became my friend on Facebook. I had written her about how awesome another book of hers had been and she thanked me which is always cool to make that connection with an author. I really hope that one day when I've published my books, that I touch people (or even at least just one person) enough to encourage them to reach out to me and express how my writing, my story, made them feel. What an honor!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Date night

Nathaniel and I were able to go out tonight. It's so funny how much dinner and a movie can kind of bring you back to life and lift your spirits and make you feel like you're part of "the real world" again. It was so nice to sit and talk to Nathaniel without hearing "Mommy, mommy, MOMMY!" every five seconds. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my children, I love hearing Mommy most of the day, but a break was definitely needed. The girls were really good while we were gone, too, which made me feel even better. I think they seriously need a break from us, too. They have to deal with our craziness and our stress every day and try to figure out how to live around that and probably appreciated being around someone with a little more patience! So today, I'm thankful for the little things, for a small break and for loving family and for my two beautiful girls who I always appreciate more when I'm away for a bit. Can't wait to give them big hugs and kisses in the morning when they wake up!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.

Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Something to think about


I love books. I have always loved books. I love the look of books, the smell of books, the feel of books in my hands, the world that a book opens up, like being able to have a passport to this world and beyond with no restraints of space or time. I have been considering applying to the Master's program at U of I for a while to get my Master's in Library Sciences. Today I went to the library in Alexis to see if I could volunteer or anything to kind of get a feel for things and see if it is really what I want to do. They told me they didn't need any volunteers right now. I was kind of bummed, but maybe it's just not the right library for me. Even though it is a very small library, the feeling I felt taking the girls there and the feeling I had in myself, coming to this home of so many different lives and experiences and places and times. It moved me. I love the quiet, the organization, being surrounded by the creative energy of others. I feel somewhat similar in bookstores, but honestly, there is just something about knowing that the books in a library have been in other homes, in other hands and have come to life in other people's minds is just amazing and beautiful. The power a library card can give you is unmeasurable. It is that passport across space and time to lands that to one person will be completely different to another thanks to the power of individual imagination.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This Woman's Work by Kate Bush

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world.
Ooh, it's hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking

Of all the things I should've said,
That I never said.
All the things we should've done,
That we never did.
All the things I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

(I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.)

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking

Of all the things we should've said,
That were never said.
All the things we should've done,
That we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

Grin and bear it? Parenting, happiness and the pressure cooker

Grin and bear it? Parenting, happiness and the pressure cooker

I thought there was so much truth in this article and it really made me feel better about some of my feelings, so I wanted to share this.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Things I've Learned from my Grandmother

Today was my grandmother's birthday. I was blessed to be able to go out to dinner with her this evening, along with my mom and the girls. I am so incredibly thankful to have my grandma in my life. She's one of the most amazing, strong, loyal, faithful, trusting, trustworthy, beautiful people I have ever met. I have learned so much from her in my life. She has taught me the value of good friends. When I was little, my grandparents had game night on Fridays and they would rotate which friends' house we had game night on. It was so awesome to grow up in an environment where laughter and friendship were valued so highly. My grandma is always the perfect hostess and works so hard to make sure her company is always taken care of. She is involved in her church and in the community, but also takes time to enjoy things herself and to be independent. In the past few years, she has taken time to travel to places she has always dreamed of: Alaska, Spain, the Carribean, and she has a future trip to Panama that she is thinking of taking. She lives life to the fullest, always. My grandma was a faithful wife to my grandpa. When he was sick for years on end, she was there to drive him to appointments, cook him meals, care for him, and she made sure that he was surrounded by love. My grandma is by far one of the most selfless people I know and I know she would do absolutely anything for anyone she loves. She is honest and caring and funny and easy to talk to. When I thank God for things in my life, she has always been at the top of my list. I pray to God that I can be even just a little like her in my life. I am incredibly grateful that my girls have been given the opportunity to have her in their lives. They love their Gigi so very much and the smile upon their faces when she enters the room are brighter than the sun. She has blessed me so richly with her unconditional love and care and I hope I have blessed her with the same. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I am so very, very fortunate that in my life, I have had the pleasure of calling her my grandma.

I love you, Grandma! I can never thank you enough for all you have taught me! May you have a very blessed year ahead!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just being me

Philippians 4:8

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”

Mary, Mary, quie contrary, how does YOUR garden grow...

I was quite disheartened by an article I read in the paper last night. Not just by the article, but also by the comments left in regards to the article. This particular piece was about a new church opening up in Galesburg. Now, as someone who is currently searching for a new church, I see it as something positive; a new place to check out. What I found sad about the article itself was that the teaching pastor referred to the new church as a "cool drink in dry land". Now, I understand what he means by this as someone who hasn't had luck finding a church, but it sure would offend me if I went to another church in the area and really felt that my place of worship was doing a good job of ministering to the area. As much as I feel it's a person's right to speak his/her mind, I also don't think I would go around saying things like that and implying that there are no purposeful/productive churches in the area. Especially if I wanted community support and to encourage others to check things out.

I was also disheartened by the amount of anger and frustration and what I perceived as hate, directed towards the church in the comments. Comments in regards to another megachurch looking for more money to now Walgreens and Pizza Hut will have to give up their liquor licenses due to proximity to the new church (is this really a city ordinance?).

What I wish people would understand and accept is that worship is not a once size fits all deal. Worship for everyone is so different and individualized. Even among people who attend the same church, worship looks different. In terms of relationships with higher powers, I really feel that people are like plants. Would you plant basil and an oak tree in the same place? Maybe, but the basil could grow and thrive in a small pot in a windowsill whereas the oak tree would need to be planted outside in the ground to reach it's full potential. Cactus plants prefer dry, arid land while Cattails thrive in the wetlands.

Whether you worship better in a small environment, a megachurch environment, worship with a pastor/rabbi/priest/etc who has a serious or dry approach to scriptures or one who uses different approaches like utilizing drama, music, comedy, we all are engaged in different ways. The place of worship that is going to help me build my relationship with God is not necessarily the same that would help you grow in your relationship. We need to honor the fact that we all have different learning styles and different life experiences that we bring with us and to our relationship with God and that may mean that this oak tree is meant to grow in a backyard and not in your windowsill, your desert or your forest.

Let's love and encourage each other to grow in our relationships with God. If you don't like how someone is caring for their garden, then go to another or plant yourself at the park!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bottoms up!

Oh how I love my silly little girls and their love of each other (and crazy yoga positions)!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seasons of change

Autumn is by far my favorite season, even if it is seemingly the shortest one. October to me is the perfect month. I love the fall colors, the cooler weather (wearing a sweater, but not needing a coat), school in full swing, high school football, scenic drive, pumpkins, and a calm before the craziness of winter. I'm already looking forward to it, especially after the steamy start to this week. I'm going to miss our walks along the Naperville Riverwalk, playing at the park next to the Fox River in Oswego and the Dollinger Pumpkin Patch and farm we always went to. I'm looking forward to walking along the Spoon River at scenic drive, and going to Country Corners this year instead. I also am hoping to travel to San Francisco for the first time this October to visit my dear friend, Jenn. So much to look forward to. I always feel such a sense of joy in October and I'm already looking forward to it now in July.

So what I'm looking forward to doing is enjoying fall and harvest in the country this year, living in the heart and soul of the season as opposed to the middle of the city where I have to seek out the change and beauty of the season. So I share this quote from one of my favorites:

"To appreciate the wild and sharp flavors of these October fruits, it is necessary that you be breathing the sharp October or November air. What is sour in the house a bracing walk makes sweet. Some of these apples might be labeled, “To be eaten in the wind.” It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit. . . The era of the Wild Apple will soon be past. It is a fruit which will probably become extinct in New England. I fear that he who walks over these fields a century hence will not know the pleasure of knocking off wild apples. Ah, poor soul, there are many pleasures which you will not know! . . . the end of it all will be that we shall be compelled to look for our apples in a barrel."
- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thank you for being a friend...

I am so very thankful for the friends I have in my life. I have been so blessed with a handful (or more) of really loyal, trustworthy, faithful friends who offer me support, encouragement, and a swift kick in the butt when I need it. It is so comforting to know that I have people to talk to, bounce ideas off of, reflect with and who do so lovingly and without judgement.

I also feel like I have the most amazing group of creative, open-minded, spirit-filled, unconditionally loving people in my life. I am so inspired in so many ways by my friends.

So, if you're one of my friends, please know that I count you as a blessing each and every day. I know I'm not always a ray of sunshine and I definitely have my faults, but I hope and pray that I can be a blessing to each of you, too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great, now I'm a porn addict

Today I was "exposed" to the most glorious "porn" site ever imaginable. Please check it out, especially if you love books. :)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

32 (non-people) things I love

1. The changing of colors of the leaves in the fall. Oranges, reds, dark greens, browns, BEAUTIFUL!
2. Although I'll agree it's gross, the smell of Emma's blankie and the smell of Lauren's Teddy. It smells like pure unconditional love.
3. Sunsets. Remind me of three things I love; my Grandpa Lynch, my honeymoon in Puerta Vallarta and going to the beach in Michigan with the McKennas.
4. Coffee. What a simple, warm, delicious treat. :) (preferably from Starbucks, but I'm not SUPER picky) ;)
5. Books. I could LIVE in the library or a Barnes and Noble. I love being able to escape into worlds I otherwise may not have thought of but still have the creative freedom to imagine the world as it is painted with words in my mind.
6. Musicals. Oh how I wish the world were a place where people just randomly broke out in song. Glee, Wicked, Rent, they just brings such joy and emotion to my heart.
7. Daffodils. In my opinion, the most joyful flower EVER.
8. Sunshine. Enough said.
9. Beaches. It makes me remember my place in this world to be standing next to something so much bigger than I can totally comprehend.
10. Chicago. Pretty sure there isn't a greater city in all the world. LOVE IT.
11. Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. Please don't ask me about this one. I don't understand it either, I just go with it.
12. Hugs and kisses. Who doesn't love this one?
13. Porch swings. Nothing more relaxing and beautiful thank chillin' on the porch. (I think I'd even include the rockers in front of Cracker Barrel on this one... I could sit there all day!)
14. Simply Lemonade. Especially when it's made into a slushee, it makes an awesome treat on a super hot day.
15. Public transportation. I love people watching.
16. Journals. For me to write in. :)
17. Online message boards. What a better way to connect with people who have something in common with you, but different experiences and knowledge to bring to it!
18. The smell of rain
19. Cajun/creole food. YUM
20. Flannel sheets in the winter
21. Cotton sheets in the summer
22. Newborn diapers that are so teeny and smell like powder
23. Kindergarteners
24. New music
25. Old music
26. Free shipping on all orders
27. Road trips
28. iPods and iTunes
29. Really good iced tea
30. Campfires (especially if s'mores are involved)
31. When a new season of a favorite show starts. Always exciting.
32. Random "I love you"s throughout the day

Monday, July 12, 2010

Defying Gravity

I've deleted some parts of this song (mostly Glinda's spoken parts) but I just love the message of this song. I really feel like people don't hold us back that we choose to hold back because we're afraid of what others will think and are held back by the gravity of those around us. When we free ourselves from conformity and defy the force that society pulls on us to be like everyone else, we change the world. We give the true gift of ourselves and all we have to offer in our own unique thoughts and creativity. I think we should all "Defy Gravity"!!!

Defying Gravity
from the musical Wicked

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down:

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!

A peaceful moment

Don't have a lot of peaceful moments at my house since Lauren stopped napping regularly about nine months ago, but today, she has fallen asleep on the couch and Emma is upstairs napping and I'm enjoying a bit of peace and quiet in the afternoon. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping and I'm enjoying less humid air and cooler temperatures. I love to watch the girls sleep. Amazes me at how these two beautiful little girls were created inside me and how much they have grown. Despite frustrations at times, I love watching who my little girls are becoming and I pray every day that I can constantly change and become a better mother for them and encourage and enlighten them and give them all the love I have to give. After all, they have been the most precious, beautiful, mind blowing gift I have ever received and I will cherish them forever and always.

Bob's ministry lives on...

Lovely. Describes the day perfectly. I got to sleep in and then came downstairs to my beautiful girls singing to me "Happy birthday, Mommy!". Nathaniel made me breakfast, complete with the creamer I love for my coffee (which he went to the store and bought me four of so I wouldn't run out for a while). We went to my favorite restaurant (Shogun in Davenport) for sushi with my friend, Crystal, and her husband, Tom, and their son, Ayden (who turns 3 today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AYDEN!). Had an amazing lunch and then went to Target and Starbucks (those who know me know that that totally made my day) and then over to my grandma's for a visit. I was surrounded by people who love me and care for me, I received phone calls and texts and even though I know it has been said that it's making us all socially inept, Facebook was a huge part in making my day special as well. As of right now I have had 86 well wishes for my birthday on Facebook. 86. How overwhelming it is to think that there are 86 people who took a moment out of their day to just wish me happiness on my birthday? I am so very blessed. It has made me realize just how much a simple message can mean to someone. Reminds me of Bob White, a gentleman I knew from my previous church who called everyone at church on their birthday. Bob passed away this past year and I just think of how huge his ministry was of making people feel special on their special day. It really encourages me to step up and work to be a more encouraging individual, not only on birthdays, but to just not hold back when I have love or support or encouragement to give. We are so often quick to lend criticism and negativity and rarely do we project positivity and encouragement as quickly. I want to work to change this.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Well, it's officially July 11, 2010 and I'm officially 32 years old. For some reason I feared 31, but 32 feels like it's going to be so good. It feels comfortable already, even though I just got here. I really want to be more focused this year. As my brothers are always saying "JFDI" or "Just f-ing do it", so here I am. I am a writer, and artist, a creative being and I am choosing to express that more this year and live it, not just dream it. I will come here every day and post a positive thought, beautiful picture, inspiring quote, something that moves me and excites me and encourages me to live boldly, beautifully and positively. This is the year. This is MY year. Carpe diem. I'm seizing the days and I'm making them mine. This year I will make decisions for myself and my family to move us ahead and to make us stronger. This year I will love like I've never loved before and I will not be ashamed of who I am or what I believe and feel. This is the year I'm going to write and pour my heart onto paper and share myself with the world.