Category Archives: Attitude

Money or the Mindset?

Do the little things matter because it’s a little more money in the pocket?  Or because the mindset to save dimes will inevitably save way more than a few dollars?

I wondered this as I got half-way through the parking lot before realizing I forgot my reusable bag in the van.  I walked back for the specific bag for that store (they only give credit for THEIR bags) and shortly after, received my dime’s worth of savings.  As I walked out, it was still on my mind…. I was doing the mental math.  4 bags a week for a year.  Maybe $20 a year in savings.  Maybe.

Sure, there is the whole “green” thing.  I’m not dissing that.  But I was focused on the change.

So does $20 really make that much difference?  Especially when it takes a year to accumulate less than what we need for a family dinner at a restaurant?  Is it worth the walk back for a bag?  Is that dime worth the quick pang of quilt when you don’t have a bag?

Or does the mere intentionality of it crucial to compounding the savings into something bigger?

If I don’t care about the dimes, will I have trouble caring about the dollars?




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Filed under Attitude, Shopping, Uncategorized

Walk the Walk

I keep wanting to be more active. Then I use the “just didn’t have time to go to the gym” excuse.
I want to save money. Then the “don’t have time, this time” excuse.
I want to slow down and be more mindful. Are you guessing what comes next?…..yep excuses.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Change is hard.

Monday I walked to the grocery store. Really just to see if the bananas were actually yellow. Knowing I would only be getting some produce made it easier to grab my reusable bag and walk the 8 or so blocks. It felt good.

Sure, it took longer. I didn’t really mind though. Instead I was thinking about how I’d feel if I planned more things like this. Forcing me to slow down. To think. To work for what I need and want.

I walked home from the dentist yesterday. It’s maybe a little over a mile. No huge accomplishment but it did take 25 minutes instead of the 5 to drive. Felt good to just take a little extra time.

No worries, though. I’m not selling my van any time soon.
Baby steps.

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Filed under Attitude, Goals, Just Me

New Stuff

Happy New Year!

There continue to be good days.  There are still bad days.  This week, Grace enters an outpatient program at Mayo.   I believe it has the potential to make a HUGE difference in our little family’s lives.  Especially hers.  Later I will talk more about that whole thing.

Not just because it’s January, but because the opportunity is here…. Time to get a little more mindful.  There is a January budget.  There are some books that I’ve started.  I’ve taken my vitamins for almost a week straight.  I know, sounds dumb.  But hey! Have to start somewhere, right?

Now it’s about finishing the books.  Following the budget.   Keep taking the vitamins.  Make thoughtful decisions.

Because it IS January, I will make a little list of 13 things I hope to do better in 2013.

  1. Go back to low carb eating.
  2. Head to the gym 3x a week.
  3. Follow the budget.
  4. Hang some pictures on the wall. Our photos.
  5. Read some books. Regularly.
  6. Have more fun at work.
  7. Go on dates with my husband.
  8. Clean out my closet.
  9. Make my son a quilt for his 13th birthday.
  10. Spend time in the Word. Regularly.
  11. Catch up on ONE scrapbook project.
  12. Count my blessings. Daily.
  13. Be a better friend.

Obviously all this won’t happen overnight.  That’s okay.  If the last couple of years has taught me anything, it’s that all we can do is try. So I will do what I can each day… It feels good to be hopeful and know that maybe all it will take is being a little more mindful.

Happy New Year!



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Filed under Attitude, Just Me

Here we go again…

I have thought about just starting this blog thing over again… then I think that doing this at all is crazy… then I think it’d be a good outlet.  I truly don’t know.  So, lets give it another start.

Hi!  I am a mom.  I have two kids, one husband and a couple pets.  One kid is a pretty normal boy, or so I’m told by my husband.  I didn’t have much experience living around boys when I was growing up so a lot of this is foreign to me.  He’s a great kid though and he can always make me laugh, so how can I complain?  The other kid is a fantastic kid, too.  But she struggles with health conditions.  And that sucks.

Right now I’m waiting for the school to call.  Grace has been unconscious/unresponsive for over 45 minutes.  She’s been moved to the sick room and they are monitoring her pulse and pupils.  Sounds like something that should alarm us, right?  I would think so too, except that when this happened last month and we took her to the local ER we were treated like we shouldn’t have gone in.  We’ve since met with her primary care physician and her neurologist and they assure us that a syncope of this duration is nothing to worry about as long as her vitals are good.

They are, so I wait.

Bring her home! That’s what my mommy’s gut cries.  It’s hard to move an unresponsive child.  Over a hundred pounds of dead weight is not easy to maneuver into a vehicle.  I would hate for anyone to get hurt in the process.  So she was moved by wheelchair out of the classroom and to the office.

It’s been 2.5 weeks since she had a syncope at school.  Or at all.  The last one was more typical, lasting only a few minutes.  It did however stray from the norm in that she woke up vomiting.  She stayed at school that day and just called for some clean pants because she’d thrown up on hers.

I can’t imagine what its like to be her.  To never know when she’ll pass out or who will see or what will happen.  She’s a trooper… she just keeps going.

It’s been an hour now.  And I hate every minute.  There are a lot of things that stink about all this.  But, there are blessings too.  I think it’s time to talk a little more about both.

Another call from school… she’s starting to open her eyes but won’t respond when they talk to her.  I just called my hubby to go bring her home.

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Filed under Attitude, Kids

The Trap

I just found myself getting into that old habit of thinking that things will slow down soon.  We all know that doesn’t really happen!  It’s a trap.  That’s my conclusion.

I was looking at the schedule for the week…. ugh.  Work for three days and then head to the cities for the State Speech Tournament.  My girl and one of the kids I coach both qualified to compete, along with a handful of other awesome kids from SmallTown.   But it isn’t just work for three days.  Monday there are parent/teacher conferences at school.  Given Grace’s current situation health-wise, we NEED to meet with teachers.  Then I meet with trainer Pete at 5:30.  That will last until 6:45 and then I’ll go straight to the library for a coaching session with the kid I mentioned, until 8:00.  Tuesday?  Daycare training in a neighboring town until 9pm.  And my son has gun safety training in a neighboring town.  Wednesday?  A haircut… finally!  Except I may have to reschedule it so I can get some more coaching time in with the kid.  Then I leave at 8am on Thursday and return about 3am Saturday.

So I am thinking that THEN it will slow down.  But will it really?  You know how this goes…. we envision how much time we’ll have to… I don’t know… breathe!   To catch up on things and relax a little.  That doesn’t really seem to happen though.  First we work to catch up on all the things we let slide during the crazy-busy time.  But THEN!  Oh, then….. it will surely slow down.  Or will it.

So today, while it rains, I am catching up on some paperwork and getting ready to take my girl to a nearby town to shop for some things she’ll need for the State trip.  Then maybe I’ll clean.  All the while doing my best to just enjoy this day; not worry about the next one.

I don’t want to get caught up in the trap.

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Filed under Attitude, Just Me


Just a week after my last post, I took my girl to Mayo Clinic for a week of testing. Oh, we didn’t go with the thought we’d be there a week… but we were. Then in February we were there for another 4 days. This month? We only had one appointment two weeks ago. And if we’re lucky we don’t go back for 2 months.

She has a couple of chronic conditions. She is an amazing girl who is still an A student although she’s missed about 2 dozen days of school so far. She is happy and peppy. And a little sassy, in a good way. Everyday she feels rotten to some degree. It may be light-headedness or headaches or hot/cold spells or stomach pain and cramps all day. Or any number of other uncomfortable things. She’s passed out in school, at church, at home and at Mayo Clinic. She plays two band instruments and is a rock star on the speech team.

Before you want to tell me all the things it could be or that I should be doing… I’ll tell you that any/all heart issues have been ruled out with a LOT of tests. Seizures and other brain abnormalities have been ruled out with an EEG and MRI. She’s had an upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan with barium contrast, Renal Scan with lassix, multiple labs and other random tests I’m forgetting right now. Celiac and Fructose Intolerance have been ruled out. Most everything has been ruled out. I am pretty confident that her diagnosis are correct and the main cause of her symptoms. (I’m not quite ready to share the diagnosis) We are working on getting her feeling better with lifestyle changes and medications. It’s a slow process but we’re hopeful!

So, I still live in a SmallTown and I still strive for a SimpleHome, but the reality is that we take it all a day at a time.

Honestly, I have taken it hard the last month. These first months of this year are taking their toll on this mama’s heart. I do the thing in front of me and that’s about it. I do my best to follow my daughter’s example: suck it up, smile and get through the day with as much joy as possible. Obviously watching her suffer is tough. So is not knowing if I will get to work on my own stuff at night or if I’ll be sitting with her while she feels awful.

So there is a glimpse of the reality. I’m still not sure why I’m putting this out there. Maybe I need to get some of it out of my head. Maybe someone out there won’t feel like they are alone. Because sometimes I feel that way.

Now it’s midnight and I need to make a meatloaf for tomorrow. If you feel like it, comment! I’d love to hear what you make ahead to save time (and sanity) the next day.

Maybe I’ll be back soon. Maybe I’ll be cuddling with my wonderful teenage girl. Either way, thanks for stopping by… I haven’t forgotten about this place.

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Filed under Adventure, Attitude, Kids

Let Me Think About It

How long did it take you to realize that you don’t have to say yes to everyone and everything in order to be liked?  Or accepted?  Or accomplished?

You probably figured it out waaaaayyy before I did.  I was in my early 30s?  I don’t remember exactly when but it wasn’t that long ago, I’m sorry to say.  Now I rarely give a definite answer without taking my time.  If I get asked to join something, do something, make/bake something… whatever the request might be, I am quick to say that I will look at my calendar or think about it or whatever and get back to them soon.  I generally give a time frame, anywhere from an hour to a day or week, depending on the request.

It is empowering to take my time in decision-making.  And when I do make up my mind, the other party knows that it is truly what I want to do and can do.  Nothing fake about it.

Unfortunately I didn’t extend that to my daughter earlier this week when she was on the phone with someone requesting her service.  She attended a leadership training at a local Bible camp (that she has attended for 4 summers) in June.  She loved it and eventually hopes to be a camp counselor there.    This training was to start the process of training her to be a JC or junior counselor.  Unfortunately she had to leave early (the night before scheduled) due to a migraine.

But the exciting part was that they were interested in starting her as a JC THIS summer… even though she is only 14 and their usual requirement is that JCs complete their sophomore year in HS first.  She just completed 8th grade.

So this week they wanted her to do a week the first part of August.  It would overlap our big family vacation by a day, which I told her.  They said they could let her go a day early.  She agreed.  When she hung up I asked if she was sure she wanted to do it.  She got a little huffy thinking I didn’t want her to…  fact is, with this added to her calendar it would give her only one more full week at home all summer.  The week before school starts.  When I tried to explain, she started to cry.  Overwhelmed.  She didn’t realize that.

I should have instructed her to tell the camp director that she would call her back the next day after looking at her calendar.  Why didn’t I?  Because I was busy with work and not really thinking…  I did assure her it was not the end of the world.  That she could certainly call the camp back and explain that after looking at the August schedule more closely, it just wouldn’t work.

She didn’t really want to make that call… I don’t like to see her having to do uncomfortable things.  But she’s getting bigger and needs to learn these things.  Better now.  With me right here.  She was afraid they would be mad.  I assured her they wouldn’t.  If they think enough of her to have her JC two years early, they certainly won’t hold her honesty and responsible nature against her.

The camp director was sad she was so booked up already but assured her they would contact her early next year to get her scheduled before her summer booked up.   And Grace learned that you just have to do some things.  Like make tough phone calls.  Even if there is a chance someone will be upset.

I think a valuable lesson was learned.  Both in having to call and say that she couldn’t fulfill the commitment she made and in seeing the value in telling someone that you certainly want to do something but need to check the calendar and think about it before committing.

She’ll make a hasty commitment again.  And sometimes she’ll just tough it out and do what she said she would, maybe even hating every minute.  And sometimes she’ll find a way to back out gracefully.   But maybe she’ll get the hang of making thoughtful decisions before she’s 30!  That would be great!

Aren’t we all just trying to pass along those lessons we wish we’d have learned a little earlier?  What are you teaching a young one these days?  What life lessons do you wish you had learned earlier?

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Filed under Attitude, Kids, You Don't Have to Like It