Monday, November 19, 2018

Being thankful

I am incredibly thankful.

I have so much to be thankful for

Despite the fact that I have a bad cold and I am sitting on the couch surrounded by tissues and cold medicine, I am spending time thinking about how truly grateful I am for everything in my life. I could be moaning and groaning because let’s face it no one likes being sick, especially right before a holiday weekend, but a cold is just a temporary annoyance.  

Thanksgiving offers all of us a wonderful chance to reflect on everything that we have to be thankful for, and I have an embarrassment of riches in my life.

·      I have a wonderful husband. I am thankful every single day that he came into my life.  He isn’t perfect, but he is absolutely perfect for me. He makes my life better every single day.  

·      I have two of the most amazing incredible children in the world. My two daughters make me so proud every single moment. I know that all parents think their children are exceptional, but my daughters give me reasons every day to be proud of them.

·      I have a grandson who is the light of my life. He is already such a kind and caring person and I am excited and grateful each and every day to watch him grow into the amazing person he is becoming. 

·      I have a beautiful home. It is a place that is warm and welcoming. I love coming home each day and feeling that special contentment that our home brings.

·      I have the sweetest dog. I am so grateful she came into our lives. She adds so much joy to our home each and every day. 

·      Other than this annoying cold right now, I am grateful for my health. I am working on losing weight, but I am able to do all the things I want to. I don’t have any major health problems and that really is something to be grateful for every single day.

·      I have a wacky and wonderful family that I am grateful for. My father is 89 years old and even though he is struggling with health issues, I get to spend time with him and I know that is something to celebrate and be especially grateful for. I have wonderful siblings who are all so different and I know that they love me – each in their own way. I have the most amazing nieces and nephews and I treasure my relationship with all of them. I am even lucky enough to have beautiful great nieces and nephews. 

·      I have a fun car to drive. I had always wanted a convertible and it does add a lot of joy to my life. There is nothing quite like driving along with the top down on a warm and sunny day. 

·      I have had the privilege of travelling across the world. I have been to Europe and Asia and across most of this country. I am grateful every single day for the ability to travel and see new places and learn about different cultures. 

·      I have really wonderful friends. Some I see often and others I see only sometimes, but they are always in my thoughts. Friendships make our lives richer and I am very rich indeed with some of the most wonderful people that I am honored to call friend.

·      I am so grateful for all of the experiences that make my life more fun. I love being able to watch my beloved Sun Devils with my husband. Our evenings watching ASU basketball make me so happy. Having things we love to do together adds so much to our lives.

·      I am thankful for my kindle and my ridiculously large collection of books. I love reading and my books bring me great joy.

·      I am thankful to live in Arizona where the weather is beautiful for so much of the year. The warm sunny days offer so many opportunities to enjoy being outdoors. 

·      I am so thankful that we have enough money to pay our bills and even have enough to splurge once in awhile on fun things like basketball tickets or Christmas decorations. I know that there are so many people who do not have that privilege. 

There are so many more things I could add to this list. Expressing gratitude for the many wonderful things in your life can make a big difference.  Being thankful is actually healthier. “Studies show that people who more frequently think about and express gratitude tend to be happier and less lonely or anxious. They cope better with stress and trauma and are more forgiving, helpful and empathetic.”

This holiday weekend enjoy your turkey dinner and spend some time thinking about your life and what you are thankful for. If you have a few minutes, write your list down – and occasionally take out your list during the upcoming year, reminding yourself of the many things you are thankful for.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

My latest book project

The Keto diet has become very popular. 

Many of you know I have been doing the Keto diet with my husband for the past 100 days. We both managed to lose quite a bit of weight, I lost a total of 30 pounds and my husband lost over 35 pounds.  I have been blogging daily during our weight loss journey and I decided to turn my blog posts into a self-published book, which is now available on Amazon. 

I am excited to share this book with the hope that it might be helpful for anyone who is also considering the Keto diet. I don’t offer any medical advice; this isn’t a cookbook. I am simply sharing a day-by-day look at my Keto journey.  

Keto is not new, doctors have been prescribing ketogenic diets to treat epilepsy for nearly a century, and some doctors think Keto may hold some promise for people with Type 2 diabetes. 

Many famous stars including Halle Berry, LeBron James and the Kardashians have endorsed using the Keto diet. 

If you are interested in the Keto diet, or know someone who is please check out 100 Days of Keto by Laurie WJN on Amazon Link:

And add it to your list of books on Goodreads

Friday, October 26, 2018

20 Day Mental Wellness Challenge

I saw this online and decided it would be a great thing to do. 

Here is my list for Day 2

10 Things I am grateful for:

1.    My amazing husband- Peter is so loving and supportive of everything I do. He is kind and fun and funny and he makes my life better each and every day.
2.    My two incredible daughters – they are intelligent, compassionate and loving women who make me proud every single day.  
3.    My perfect grandson – William is the light of my life, he is smart and sweet and each day I marvel at how he is growing into a fabulous human.
4.    My Dad – I am so lucky that my Dad is still around and he is the very best role model for the kind of person that I want to be. He is truly an example of the greatest generation; caring for his children, his grandchildren and now his great grandchildren. 
5.    My beautiful home – I am always grateful to live in my house with our stunning view and our pool. My house is my happy place.
6.    My great friends – I am grateful for having good friends that I have known for years as well as more recent friends like my fabulous book club ladies. Friends add so much to my life.
7.    My dog – I can’t write a list without including my fur baby. I am lucky to have had several dogs in my lifetime who have added so much to my life. Lexi is sweet and such a special girl. She makes me feel loved everyday.
8.    My car – There is nothing quite like driving a convertible, especially in the gorgeous Arizona fall and spring. 
9.    The chance to travel – I am so very fortunate I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit, seeing most of this country and many countries around the world. Travelling is an experience that changes your life. 
10.Words– I am grateful for the ability to write and my love of words; reading and writing have brought so much to my life. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Feminism is not just for other women. Know your history

I found this incredible list online and just had to share:
1. Get credit cards in their own names.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 gave women that right. The law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without a husband’s signature.

2. Legally get an abortion.
The seminal Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which protected a woman’s right to choose, didn’t happen until 1973.

3. Access the morning after pill. Or birth control.
The FDA first approved emergency contraception in 1998. The morning after pill didn't become available over the counter until 2013.
1965 The Supreme Court (in Griswold v. Connecticut) gave married couples the right to use birth control. 
It wasn't until 1972 The Supreme Court (in Baird v. Eisenstadt) that single women's access to birth control was legalized in all 50 states. 

4. Be guaranteed they wouldn’t be fired for getting pregnant.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 added an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specificyng that employers could not discriminate “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

5. Marry another woman.
Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. That right wasn't extended to all 50 states until 2015. For the pitifully pedantic.......that right did include men. 

6. Fight on the front lines.
Women were first admitted into military academies in 1976. And in 2013, the military ban on women in combat (tied to a Pentagon rule from 1994) was lifted by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. Prior to 1973 women were only allowed in the military as nurses or support staff. 

7. Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment.According to The Week, the first time a court recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for legal action was in 1977.
The 1986 case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, was first time the Supreme Court recognized "sexual harassment" as a violation of Title VII.

8. Decide not to have sex if their husbands wanted to.
Spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993.

9. Obtain health insurance at the same monetary rate as a man. Sex discrimination wasn't outlawed in health insurance until 2010. Until then, insurers regularly charged women more than men for even the most basic insurance.

10. Keep your husband who had been convicted of spousal abuse from owning a gun. Voisine v. United States, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that reckless misdemeanor domestic violence convictions trigger gun control prohibitions on gun ownership. In other words, until this year, the man that was convicted of beating the crap out of you and your children was still allowed to own a gun and keep it in your house if you decided to still live with him. In his house if you managed to get out.

In 1880 the age of "consent" was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware, where it was 7.

This is why we all need to VOTE! 

*credit for this amazing list goes to Lisa Bialac-Jehle, 

Friday, September 28, 2018

I’m angry

I don’t know about you, but right now this all just feels like too much to bear. Watching the heart-wrenching testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the disgust, disinterest and degradation of the old white men in power and how they disregarded her words has left me feeling angrier than I can ever remember. It is not a momentary anger, this is a built up frustration of decades of men being held to a different standard than women. 

·      This is an anger at un-equal pay, but I can’t even say for equal work because women work twice as hard for half the recognition. 
·      This is an anger at being dismissed simply because of my gender. 
·      This is an anger at  being told I should “smile” as a way to dismiss me and my feelings. 
·      This is an anger at all the times someone accidentally brushed against my chest. 
·      This is an anger at not being allowed to take a maternity leave.
·      This is an anger at the many salespeople that walked past me to shake hands with my husband first, as if I wasn’t even there.
·      This is an anger at the time I first got married and my credit cards were then put in my husbands name.
·      This is an anger at a voting public who believe lies about a female candidate but disbelieved the truth about a male one.
·      This is an anger about watching the Anita Hill hearing on TV back then and realizing that NOTHING has changed.

·      This is an anger at the college professor who gave my daughter a lower grade than her male classmate for the same work. 
·      This is an anger at being told I am too loud and that women should be seen and not heard.
·      I am angry about so many more things like this.

I am ANGRY because I have every right to be angry and I have just one thing to say to those misogynistic old white men who dismissed me and every other woman this week – I am angry and I WILL VOTE. And I am not alone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cheers to Midlife!

I saw this online and I LOVED it. This is one of the best parts of Midlife, learning to be comfortable in your own skin. 

One of the best lessons that we learn as we age is that life is too short to worry about what other people think. There is something incredibly freeing about Midlife; being able to make your own choices, being finished with raising your kids, and having the knowledge to value your time. 

We all only get so much time on this planet, and there is something about beginning the second half of your journey that gives you the confidence to put yourself first. 

I know I have worked hard my whole life. I put my husband and kids first. I volunteered in their classroom. I participated in my professional organizations. I worried about what others thought of me.  I don’t worry about that at all anymore. I worry about being happy, spending time with my loved ones and achieving my dreams. What someone else thinks of me doesn’t matter at all.  

Cheers to Midlife for helping so many of us learn how to really enjoy ourselves. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Day for Memories

Today is a very special day for me. No matter how many years pass, this day is one that is etched in my memory.  Eleven years ago today my life changed forever. Today is the anniversary of the day my husband killed himself.

Every year since then I have noticed that this particular day, September 14th, is hard for me. The funny thing about this year is that I almost didn’t remember that it was today. About halfway through the morning I realized the date and I was surprised that I hadn’t even thought about it at all.  Usually on this day or somewhere near it, I tend to get emotional. I find myself feeling uncharacteristically sad, or just not quite myself. This year I didn’t feel any of that. What I did feel is a bit of nostalgia. 

I spent some time today looking though a very special memory box that I keep. Inside the box are piles and piles of cards filled with sweet and kind words from family and friends after he died.  

Eleven years feels like a lifetime ago and in many ways it is. I am happily re-married now and I can honestly say that I have never been happier in my life, but every once in a while I think about before. I think about my first husband and our life together. Our lives have all moved on without him, and on days like this I wonder if I am the only person in the world who even remembers this day. Reading through the cards helps me feel like he was real, like he did exist and that he is remembered. 

I know that people often say time heals all wounds, and while I agree that time can soften the sharper edges, wounds leave a scar, and emotional wounds leave just as prominent a scar.  

Eleven years ago my life changed forever, and today, for just a few minutes I spent some time looking through memories, and that’s okay because these will always be part of me. They helped to shape who I am today. When I finished, I put them all back in the box to look at again another time. They will always be part of my story.