Monday, November 03, 2008

Grandparents Rock

Today was grandparents day at my boys' school. This is an event that generates a great deal of excitement. In fact, the air was absolutely palpable. You could almost feel electricity. As I walked the halls and waited for my crew to do their rounds, I was able to hear all the exclamations of how wonderful the school is and how great the kids are doing. I found myself filled with pride. To be honest, I am not sure why. After all I am just a parent. I don't work there. And yet I felt a sense of ownership of this pride. And then it hit me, I felt a sense of community, a sense of belonging. For me the warmth of the school, the community is what I as a parent enjoy so much. Yes, my boys being safe and having a great education is critical. That being said, knowing that I am part of something bigger than myself, something that will help to shape our children's lives for generations to come, although on a small level, is pretty awesome. I am glad that I can participate even in small ways at the school.

So my lesson for today, even if its just a few moments, participate. My boys smiles knowing I was there helping serve food to grandparents and taking pictures to capture those moments was something I will cherish for a long time. It was a small sacrifice of a few hours for a lifetime of memories. When my boys are older and have children of their own, I hope it is those moments that will stand out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Impulse Control, hmmm

Is that anything like Jumbo Shrimp? What exactly is it that causes a boy to suddenly walk up to another and slap a hat off their head? Can I vent?????

I spent part of my evening at baseball practice with other moms as we watched our 7 to 9 year old boys practice baseball. In between making awesome plays and seeing who can get the dirtiest by sliding I watched boys do the silliest things. I actually found it somewhat comforting when I realized my boy was not the only one afflicted with this "impulse control" issue. James Dobson refers to a distinct difference in the boys brain which happens in the womb. This difference apparently disconnect all logic and thought process from action (Lia's words).

Today I sit hear and thank God for little boys and also for helmets.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Think, think, think . . .

As I sit here at 10:41 pm and ponder on the day, I am struck by a melancholy feeling. I am unsettled, confused and yearning to figure it all out. The problem is I do not know what questions to ask. I don't know how to fix this. I don't even know what this is. I must admit, I do not do this gracefully. I am usually the one people come to for answers. I am the "fixer" of the group. So how do I fix this? Good question. I think for right now, I need to sit in it a while and see if I can figure it out. I don't do that well either. So wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Growing Up is Hard to Do

It's been an interesting summer to say the least. Now we are heading into fall. The evenings are getting cool and the kids are back in school. It is amazing what a difference a season can make. As I reflect back on this past summer, I am struck by some very distinct memories.

  • Waking up without an alarm clock, who needs one, I have two boys wake me up.
  • Working in spurts, in between camps and errands.
  • The Olympics - Wow! My boys are hooked. My oldest son says he's mini-Michael Phelps.
  • Camping with friends, the best.

As I reflect back and try to focus on the joys, I realize that seasons are only for a short time. In no time it will be winter again, with snow and ice & skiing and hockey. What's my point?

I also had some emotional struggles with the summer. What I was not getting done because I could not work as much? Now that the boys are back in school, and I am back to business I realize it was only 10 weeks. I will always have time to work, but my boys will only be this age right now.

Enjoy your seasons.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Extreme Self Care

Today I had to do what I call Extreme Self Care. I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit under the weather. At first I started to get anxious and angry. Then I took a step back and decided to reframe my day. By the end of the day I felt like a victor instead of a victim.

First I called a meeting of my MasterMind buddies, two fellow mom business owners who understand what I am going through. Then I got busy writing a plan including a to do list. It was very empowering. Finally, I made a decision to dedicate this year to developing a spirit of discipline. I am very excited about the growth I will experience this year.

When the day is getting tough, the tough call their girl friends.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chinese Food Cures All

I have to admit I have been quite stressed lately. In fact, I have been feeling like I am living on the edge of a cliff and not sure how to stay safe. The good news is that I am starting to feel safe again. I am seeing clarity and gaining some perspective.

One thing I noticed about myself during this time is that when I feel like this, I long for and crave good Chinese food. For me the smells, flavors and texture is the ultimate in comfort food. It also tends to be less fattening than other foods which is important to me.

So I say, when the going gets tough, get some Chinese food.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays . . .

Have you ever had one of those days. Well today it feels like my life. I am so tired of fighting. I fight with myself and there are days when I fight with the world. I am not sure what else to do, but I am almost done. The pain is too much and it does not seem to end. The worst part is most of it is my fault, and I can't seem to stop it. Don't get me wrong, I am not a victim. Yet, I find myself doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Yes, that is the definition of insanity. Look it up in the dictionary and you will see me.

Please keep me in your prayers if you are the praying sort. I feel so tired. Today, it is just too hard. I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Was it only one week?

Last week felt like a lifetime. I know it was me, and I accept that as my truth. My boys started camp today. It is interesting what a difference a week can make. I was very busy today, with lots of appointments, I drove quite a distance between appointments, dropped and picked up boys and equipment, just to name a few of my many tasks for the day. And yet today, I felt calm, cool and collected. I don't believe I raised my voice much today. Even with my youngest melting down as I dropped him off to a new camp with unfamiliar settings. It was great.

What have I learned about myself? I always ask myself, "self, what have I learned about me?" Today I learned that I have to accept who I am. I am a mom of two exuberant boys. I am a business owner. I love being a mom who loves being a business owner. I feel most complete when I get to exercise all of me. The mom muscles as well as the business muscles. When I don't get to do both, I am not as happy.

I also learned that I have another side of me I need to nurture. It is the "me" part of me. I have found that I don't take time to take care of me. I know when that happens because I find myself saying things like "When is someone going to take care of me?" So I am on a path to find a way to take care of me on a more regular basis.

Lastly, I learned that I have a wife muscle that I had put on the back burner. This weekend I had time to spend quality time with my husband. I realized that is very important. So in my exercise program, I need to add that to my list.

Hm, this seems like a lot. I have faith because I have a strong spiritual muscle. So I will pray and seek guidance on how to create a plan that takes all of my muscles into account.

Wish me luck -- this is cool.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Time & The Living is Easy

Who ever wrote that song was not a mom. Argh!! I love the song, but it's not been my experience. Being a mom and business owner brings on different challenges. I find it hard to think with out the space I am used to during the school year. I guess I feel sad that it is not enough for me to be a mom without the business. I love my boys, but the truth is, I am a more complete person when I have space to breath, be more than mom and flex some other muscles.

Today my friend prayed with me over the phone. I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by some challenges. It was so great to be able to share with her in the moment where I was. She is a fellow business owner, Christian and mom. She's walked in my shoes. For a moment I was very honest and open, and she took that and ran with it. I asked her to pray for me as I try to get through my feelings and she stopped everything she was doing to pray with me right then and there. Now I have to be honest, I don't want to sound like a whiner. I know life could be worse. Yet, in the moment, I knew I needed to be honest and ask for help. That was hard for me to do. I have been taught to buck up and deal with it. I am, but I still have strong feelings about what bucking up and and dealing with it feels like.

When life comes at you fast, take a moment and share how you are feeling. Ask for help if you need it. I can tell you from personal experience, it feels good to share your burdens.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Just What I Needed To Hear Today

Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty.
-- Henri Frederic Amiel

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Can you smell the air?

Oh, I am really enjoying this time of year. We are experiencing a real Spring. The air is fragrant and not too hot. The evenings are still cool. There was just a evening shower, and I can smell the moist earth. I never noticed this stuff before. I love that I have learned to take time, even with all the stresses out there, to smell the air.

I sat at the ball field and watched my oldest son play baseball. It was great. Tom was on his game. I not only was able to take in the game, but think about a new product/offering I am putting together for my business. I put it out to the universe; what I wanted to accomplish and sat there with a pad, and waited for Divine inspiration. Every time an idea came, I jotted it down. I know in no time I will have my ideas all put together so I can create something awesome. And still I had time to watch Tom hit a double, tag someone out at third and come home on an RBI. How cool is that?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Make Time for Dinner with Kids

I just read an article that confirmed what I already knew. Taking time to eat dinner with your kids in important. In fact, it may be one of the main factors in preventing addictive behavior. The information is so important I am including it in it's entirety here. So take time and dine.

Study Shows Dining With Family Reduces Teens' Risk of Addictions


By Ed Thomas
June 16, 2006
(AgapePress) - According to one national organization's research, eating dinner together as a family is not only good for bonding between family members but also cuts down on teens' risks of alcohol and drug addiction.
The Columbia University-based National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse has made the link between eating dinner as a family and teens' alcohol and drug addiction risk through analysis of eight years of results from an annual survey of teens. Center president Joseph Califano says the questions on the yearly survey of 12- to 17-year-olds have pointed to a clear pattern since the initial year of the study.
"One of the things we've noticed in our surveys, beginning in 1996, was that the more often kids have dinner with their parents, the less likely those kids are to smoke, drink, or use drugs," Califano explains. Meanwhile, he notes, the survey has shown that "kids who have dinner with their parents less than three times a week are much likelier to smoke, to drink, or to use drugs than kids who have dinner with their parents five to seven times a week."
Those teens who ate with their families five to seven times a week received the maximum benefit, the Center spokesman points out. He says this group enjoyed relief from the primary risk factors of stress, boredom, and pressure from academic demands in school.
"And we find that the family dinner is on the wholesome side of every one of those pressures," Califano emphasizes. Eating together as a family, he asserts, "helps to reduce stress, it helps reduce boredom, and it certainly relates to a kid's academic performance."
Because of the these findings, members of a supermarket industry group called the Food Marketing Institute are helping to promote the Center's "Family Day" on September 25. This initiative will encourage parents across the nation to eat dinner with their children on that date and to be aware of the benefits of dining as a family on a regular basis.
© 2006 AgapePress all rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Spring has Sprung

I am sitting at my computer next to the window which is open. I can feel a gentle breeze and smell the freshness of the cool evening. We just came home from a great baseball game. My boys love baseball, which is great because so do I. I find myself content in this place. Yes, there are challenges; and yet, in the quietness of this moment, they are but a grain of sand on the beach. For I am blessed with opportunities and abundance. As I breathe deeply, I meditate on my blessings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From the mouths of boys

I have to share these awesome and funny moments with my boys.

First, Thomas is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It's all the rage at school. He tells me this joke from the book that just tickled his fancy. You know it has to do with funny noises or body parts. In the book a boy says to his doctor (by way of a comic that is drawn in the book) "Doctor I need a new butt." The doctor says "Why?" The boys say, "Mine has a crack in it." Ba rump bum.

Well you can imagine the chuckles that brought our household including my 5-year old, David. Of course we coached him on not sharing this joke with his classmates in school who are not ready for such grown up humor. Speaking of David, he decided to become a vegetarian this weekend. I informed him that would be fine, but he would have to eat enough vegetables and protein so he would have a good diet. He was ok with that. Then I made ham steak last night, his favorite. He said "Mom, why did you have to make my favorite meat when I decided to become a vegetarian?" Well it was just too cute. We of course worked through that event.

My last story for this post is about a joyous moment at Dairy Queen. Tom had a cool night with a church group of older kids. David was feeling a bit deflated because he could not go. So I offered to have a special treat of Dairy Queen. He ordered a special waffle cup filled with his favorite, chocolate/vanilla swirl and multi-colored sprinkles. He ate the ice cream in no time flat. I suggested he eat the waffle cup on the way home. As I strapped him into the car for our ride home, he had the most joyous, innocent look in his face. He said to me, "Oh the sweet life."

Now you understand why my life, though filled with challenges, is focused on joy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Is It Me . . .

or is the world just getting a little crazy! Imagine taking your preschooler to get their hair cut. After some research in the cool magazines in the shop your son says "Mom, this is really cool, can I get this cut?" Keep in mind he's in preschool, not looking for a job. You say, "Sure, why not." After all it will grow back, right? Now picture your son feeling pretty cool about his new look. He's styling! He cannot wait to go to school and show all his buds. "You're the best mom!" is what you hear as you drop your child off at school. You would think the school would see the joy and the exuberance in his face and greet your son with the respect and jubilation due a preschooler. That was not the case for one young man. I am sharing a link to this story because there are times when you just have to wonder, have we gone too far. This boys was crushed by the response. Now his mom is left to pick up the pieces of a little boys moment of glory.

Read for yourself: Preschooler banned for trendy haircut

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sister, I'm There

Have you seen the commercials where the actors say "I'm There." The one scene that caught my attention was the father standing their while his teenage daughter was practicing driving with a diving instructor. While she was knocking down cones he was thinking how did she go from my little girl to an almost driver. I have those moments every day. My boys are growing up so fast, maturing and already I am seeing the signs of moving toward peers and away from mom. I am trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the time we have now. Enjoy the hugs when they come. Enjoy the silly sounds followed by the giggles. Enjoy the hugging that turns into wrestling. Why, because one day I will wonder where the time went and when will they slow down long enough for a hug.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

That's What I'm Talking About

Okay pinch me, can this be real. I had the best day today. What was so special? Well I realized again, but at a much deeper level that I am living my dream. The best part is that my husband will soon be able to live his dream.

This morning I dropped my boys off at school. They waltzed in with great joy and anticipation of a great day. I then had two meetings with two of my favorite clients. I was then off to pick up those awesome little guys and we were off to a joint play date and business meeting. While I was enjoying my time with my colleagues in business, my boys played together with fellow entrepreneurial kids. By 5:30 I was on my way home to feed my kids and enjoy a quite evening home with the family. Of course once the boys are in bed I love to catch up on emails and continue to create my lifestyle.

I mean when I think about how hard it would be to juggle a "job" and kids, it just boggles the mind. This month at school has been a challenge for several parents at school because the flu hit. One mom is convinced she is losing her job because of all the time she has taken off to care for her son. Here I am building a big business, a great team and raising a great family. I really have to pinch myself to see if this real.

Thank you for the blessings, may they continue and may I continue to deserve them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Well it's here again, Valentine's Day. I really love this day for lots of reasons. I love the whole idea of love. I was married on Valentine's Day so you can see I am hopeless romantic. In fact, my husband is way more romantic than me. That is the best. There are times when I realize that I don't deserve such a great man and then I realize that we compliment each other. My strengths are not his and the opposite is true.

Now I have two great little guys who I love and love sharing Valentine's Day with them. Today consisted of class parties with cup cakes and drinks. It is always awesome.

I hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day. May you love your self first and then share your love with the world.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Did I Mention Sameh Got Out!!!

Although his troubles are far from over, Sameh Khouzam, my Egyptian friend, was finally released from prison. He's slowly trying to assimilate back into society and get his life back in order. I thank God for hearing our prayers. We continue to pray that he gets some closure and can really start to live without fear of the other shoe dropping.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back on Roller Coaster Ride

It is hard to believe it has been seven months since my Egyptian friend was put back in prison. Finally yesterday we received great news, he was to be freed immediately (forthwith). We all stood at the prison with bated breath and great enthusiasm waiting along with the news crew for the gates to open when the news was received that he had to stay five more days while the opposing team had time to decide what to do next. Imagine the emotions of everyone, especially my two small boys who wanted to give Sameh a hug and play chess with their best friend. Please don't forget about Sameh Khouzam and keep up with updates on his case by going to