The Best Gift

 I love surprises and unexpected attention.

Tonight I was sitting at my computer around 10 pm and Juliana was getting ready for bed. She came to me with a really hot wash cloth that had been warmed in the microwave to wash my face. She knows how much I love this ritual and how I don’t usually take the time to care for my skin the way I should. I’ve taught her to wash her face, but I don’t do such a good job of modeling this behavior.  When I do heat up a wash cloth and put it on my face, it brings such great and simple joy and I melt into the comfort of the moment of the warmth, taking my breathe away.

When she unexpectedly brought me this gift tonight for no reason other than she loves me, I felt like it was my birthday. I felt cherished and was so happy that she surprised me and took care of me, knowing how much I would appreciate this simple gesture. She knows I’m tired and she took a moment to connect and to pamper me before going off to her room.

Thank you, Juliana. I’m the luckiest mama!

If you’ve never heated up a wet washcloth in the microwave and enjoyed the steam on your face, you’ll want to try it. I think you’ll love it too.

Wishing you love and sweet, simple, connections and comforts.




Better Than a Pedicure!


This was my afternoon snack while driving the kids around yesterday afternoon and that’s only part of the good stuff.

You see these juicy, delicious, heirloom cherry tomatoes were washed and bagged and just given to me. I loved this gift!!

My BFF had been to the produce market and picked up all these treasures and wanted me to come over to chat, clean, chop, and cook together. She and I both love to cook for our families and friends and she is excellent at choosing and cooking healthy meals from scratch!  I absolutely love cooking with her and watching her whip up the most delicious meals by adding a little of this and a little of that, without really measuring.  Together we mix and taste and add our own bits to make the sum greater than the parts and it is so fun!  Usually we have four different meals being prepared at the same time. It’s a fun, chaotic and crazy kitchen and we laugh and work really fast and have the best time together.

The hardest part of cooking for me is picking out what to make and she decided that part and did all the prep shopping and I just showed up and got busy, bringing to go containers and pots and one ingredient.

I love doing something together with my BFFs and this was the perfect idea. 

I can’t wait to do it again next week, but I’ll do the shopping and prep and she can come to my house this time!

I don’t know which part I liked the best. Maybe it was doing the work together or maybe it was chatting and laughing side by side, sharing stories.  I think maybe it was that she planned this activity for us and I just showed up ready to work.  Maybe it was leaving after spending time together with baskets full of prepped meals to feed my family this week. I don’t know exactly where the magic happened, but this was better than getting a pedicure together!


I am still smiling and enjoying this activity even today, and we still have food left for tomorrow and maybe the next day too. 


Thank you ML! You made my day!!



Jessica Herrin, a wonderfully talented, well rounded woman and the founder of Stella and Dot, just celebrated her birthday after Thanksgiving. She posted a picture of a card that one of her daughters gave her that stood out to me. The card mentioned all the things her daughter loved about her.  I found this incredibly charming.

One of the adjectives she used to describe Jessica was accomplished, in addition to many other kind words such as loving, beautiful, witty, unique, forgiving, caring and strong to name a few.  The accomplished one really stood out to me and I wondered about it.

How did her young daughter realize how accomplished her mother really was? Is this something she heard people say about her? Is this something she says about herself? I liked all the other adjectives too, but this one shined. Her daughter sees her mother as accomplished and she admires her. This is a beautiful thing.

I love this.

Jessica Herrin is accomplished and has accomplished many wonderful things. She has built a successful company, has helped so many women build careers for themselves, given back to the community, and has a supportive husband, and loving and daughters. She is smart, kind, genuine and is also a Christian. She is definitely accomplished in many areas and her daughter admires her. This is a wonderful gift for both of them.

I looked up the definition of this word and it means highly trained or skilled. I next wondered if I was accomplished and how would I know and what would I be accomplished at?

Then later during the weekend, Jeff and I were talking and he described me as accomplished and I stood back thinking this was too weird as I mentioned I was wondering about this word and now he was using it to describe me, even though I never mentioned Jessica’s birthday card and my curiosity.  Weird.

So I wondered some more. How am I accomplished and what do I want to accomplish?

I feel that I am accomplished as a mother now that I have many years of experience and continue to practice daily.  I feel successful so far in my role as a parent, even though there is always more work to be done. I’m sure this is true for every profession. I feel accomplished in my marriage, now that I’ve been married for many years and still love and admire my life partner. This feels good to me.  I feel accomplished in my community and know that I have more to do and will never be done. So yes, I like this word and want to continue practicing this life practice that is my path and I want to continue adding to my list of accomplishments, whatever those might be.

I am getting ready to celebrate the accomplishments of my sisters who are graduating and becoming a teacher and a nurse this month. I am so excited for them and happy to see that their hard work and tenacity is paying off. They have accomplished so much and I am proud of them.

How are you accomplished? What are you highly trained and skilled at doing? Are you practicing what you love and sharing your strengths?  We all have gifts and talents. What are yours?  Celebrate wonderful you. xo  Namaste


“If you have one close, trusted friend, you are truly fortunate.” – Rabbi Earl Grollman

At Chase’s funeral, there were probably over 500+ people there to bear witness and say goodbye. I wonder if he knew how many people truly loved him and were touched by his passing.  Seeing everyone there and watching their faces and expressions of love and grief, made me wish that there could have been an angel like Clarence from “It’s a Wonderful Life” to save Chase.  I wonder if he knew how fortunate he was and how many people truly loved him.

There were girlfriends, and wrestling friends, marine friends, and football friends, neighbor friends and family friends, teacher friends and coaching friends.  He and his family were surrounded by love and caring hearts that wanted to comfort his family and comfort one another.  I have faith in our youth. They/we expressed love and pain and shed tears and hugs and it was powerful to be part of the journey together.

Friends and family united to celebrate a dear, beloved, young one. People have been so kind and loving and generous and giving through so many different ways. We are connected through love and pain, joy and sorrow.  And people want to take care of each other to ease the pain and to help walk through the grief together.  Friends are an amazing gift.

“Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys”– Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)


I am thankful and fortunate for my family and friends, that comfort me and make this life journey a better experience every day.

I wish you peace and love and the gift of friendship that helps to carry the burdens of life.


“Those who bring sunshine to others, cannot keep it from themselves.” – Sir James Barrie

Day 324: Do The Work…


Admiring the gifts of friendship…

I went to bed at 2 am this morning. I was still on a high from last night’s celebration and in denial that I had to get up by 7 am to start cleaning for the landlord, a real estate agent and a couple who were coming to look at our house at 8:15 this morning.  The kids had late start for school (9:20 am vs. 8:30 am on Fridays), so it was totally doable to squeeze in a visit from these guys before school, right?? What, am I crazy? Yes, just a little bit… but I’m sure that’s what you find endearing about me, right?  😉

The good thing is that my house was picked up and decluttered by 8 am and was ready to receive guests. Really? I have to remember that this is possible, because I wouldn’t believe it if you told me it was true.  It felt really good to be dressed, lunches made, kitchen cleaned up and ready to take the kids to school an hour before usual.

The landlord was very happy and thankful and he was respectful of our need to get out of the house by 9 am. Everyone cooperated and I think got what they needed.  This made me happy, because we all flexed to take care of each other and did the work to make this transition as smooth as possible.  He later emailed me, asking for my help with a key and dropped by later in the afternoon to make a copy . When he came back, he brought me gifts, thanking me for being kind and flexible and willing to work with him. I was touched that he was so generous and kind back. I love when life works like this.  Let’s remember to take care of each other, even if it means a slight inconvenience for ourselves. Life is good.


Gifts from the landlord, just because… 😉