the courage to shine is full of crap

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - Marianne Williamson (from a post on finding the courage to shine)

The one thing people often say to me that never ceases to surprise me is this: “You are so brave.” It takes my breath away every time they say it. I look behind me, to see if they’re talking to someone else. I laugh out loud at the absurdity of it. Because the truth is I rarely feel brave.

I feel scared just like everybody else. There are plenty of days when I have toe-curling fears about scarcity and credibility and purpose and love and keeping up with those freaking Joneses, too. It’s just that I know in my bones, and recognize it much faster than I used to, that those fears do nothing but steal my shot at living a joyful life.

When I chose NOT to drive off a bridge in 2003, as I’d fantasized about a thousand times during my journey through postpartum depression, I did not feel brave. I didn’t feel like a courageous mama soldiering on to create more light; I felt like a coward who couldn’t pull the trigger and had bills to pay, so I stuck around, focusing on surviving (but certainly not thriving).

When I left corporate life in 2007, and even threw myself an “independence day party,” I did not feel courageous. It felt like a necessity; like my soul was shriveling up and needed room to breathe, and that there was something more waiting for me – I just didn’t know what it was. Our financial advisor told me leaving would be risky, and she was totally right (we wound up in DEEP debt). But I left anyway, knees knocking, because I had experienced a whole bunch of signs from the universe that felt more wise and soul-stirring than any spreadsheet. Some people would call that irresponsible, others might call it blind faith. It was not a smooth transition, but it delivered me to joy.

When I had a second baby the next year, I was petrified. But I’d had a moment of clarity – a brief flash of faith – nine months before. I prayed, I talked to the angels and I set my intention, saying that if a calm, quiet, happy baby was available to come into our lives the following spring, I could make myself ready for that. I later wrote in my journal – like hours later – that I was already regretting that move, fearful it would actually come to fruition. And it did. I learned four weeks later that I was four weeks pregnant. I was scared shitless of repeating the traumatic birth and downward spiral of 2003. But there was no turning back – and Tru was born at the end of April; the calmest, quietest, happiest baby ever.

When I declared myself an artist in 2010, I wanted to throw up. I knew artists who would spent weeks on one painting and made thousands of dollars on each piece; I did not feel like a peer to them, but a wannabe, a faker. I remember showing my first mixed media collage, one that I was going to put up FOR SALE, to my family – my parents (art lovers) and my brother (an artist by trade) – and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. They were kind and supportive about it, and it gave me just enough faith in myself to move forward.

When my intuitive gifts began to intensify, and when healers and mediums started telling me I was one of them, I resisted it like crazy. When that didn’t work, I tried to contain it, keeping it to myself and only using it on special occasions (like quietly working with the angels on manifesting really big stuff in my life). When that didn’t work and I started blurting out things I “shouldn’t” have known or seeing dead people in my baby’s room, I told a few friends – who all looked at me like I’d just told them the sky was blue. My intuition was old news to them; they just wanted to know when I was going to tell the rest of the world. Ugh. It took years to choose faith over fear (fear of what people would think, fear that I wasn’t good enough, fear that I’d fall flat on my face) and let my intuition become my way of living (in all ways). None of it felt courageous; it all felt scary.

These stories from my past keep popping up for me, reminding me that whenever I’ve been in the middle of a scary situation – a big decision, a daring move, an uncomfortable conversation – it felt so much bigger than it really was. You have these stories, too.

This may sound silly to some of you (and gross – sorry in advance!). But a year ago, I was in knots about Tru’s inability to poop on the potty. His autism and the developmental delays that come with it made potty training a nightmare. At five years old, he was pooping in his pants or on the floor reguarly. I attended workshops, talked with his therapists, read everything I could about it and no one had a solution. And we felt like we were on a deadline; he couldn’t start kindergarten the next fall if he didn’t know how to use the bathroom. I cried about this. I felt defeated by it. I felt it draining me of my joy. Try cleaning up a big kid’s messes multiple times a day, and you might, too. Eventually, I chose to step back and see each accident as an isolated incident, easy to manage and move on – and trusting it would not go on forever.

And then one day, Brad sat with Tru in the bathroom, encouraging him to relax – as he had many times before – and something clicked. Tru pooped on the potty. Glory, glory, hallelujah!!!! This huge weight was lifted, and all of the previous tension and angst seemed, well, unnecessary. I felt a little silly for having spent so much energy worrying about it. And today, a year later, I barely remember how awful it felt; I have a cognitive memory of it, but not a visceral one. And it serves, now, as a lesson for me about facing the shit I don’t want and knowing the old adage “this too shall pass” is really true. The hard things that feel insurmountable and almost inhumane miraculously pass. We somehow move through grief, we somehow heal relationships (or let go of their hold on us), we somehow survive the big decisions we make. And looking back on them, they look a lot like courage even if we didn’t feel it at the time.

Today, I know my fear is just a bully. When I give it power, it beats me down. When I notice it nagging me, taunting me, I remind myself that there is a light in me, a faith in me, that can cut through the darkness if I let it, if I choose it. The courage to shine is not about waiting to do something until we feel brave enough; it’s about choosing to trust even when we’re scared.

If this resonates with you, consider it an invitation. This post features part of the class email that Project Light Year participants received yesterday, as we wrap up 12 amazing months together. Talk about courage! These women have made incredible changes, lifted each other up, witnessed miracles, created holy wow abundance and so much more. It’s been so good, that I’m doing it again. Registration for Project Light Year 2015 launches today with an awesome early bird sale; click here for details on the class and to get $70 off! Woohoooo!

where angels go for a good time

New York City rooftop terrance ... all to myself!

I should be on a plane headed home from New York City; instead, I’ve spent the day here. All by myself in a rooftop haven overlooking Manhattan – just me, the blue sky, and the city below. I’m pretty sure this is where angels go to have a good time.

Brad gave me the gift of a long weekend here with my dear friend Lori Portka as a 40th birthday present. At the time, we had no idea the timing would coincide with our launch of Infinite Purpose. Our time here has been filled with little miracles, and so much excitement as people kept signing up and connecting with one another. We are so, so grateful.

This morning, when I checked on my flight status, the airline recommended I change my flight because it would likely be cancelled due to the snow storm in Minneapolis. They would change it for free, but not cover my night in New York. The room we’d been staying in was already booked for tonight, and to book another would have cost a small fortune. I chose not to panic, and asked the angels to help coordinate whatever was meant to be.

My dear hubby jumped into action while getting the kids ready for school back home. He called his parents, who quickly found me another hotel using loyalty points – awesome! And then the nice man at the front desk suggested I store my luggage with him and spend the morning in their VIP lounge. When the elevator doors opened to the 33rd floor, I gasped. It opened out to this glorious rooftop terrace, which I had to myself for as long as I wanted. What!?

Had I flipped out at the news of my flights being cancelled, I’m not sure the same thing would have happened. I believe – and see proof time and time again – that when I allow a situation to unfold as it’s meant to, rather than try to control every little detail, magic happens – and the view’s amazing.

a letter to my 30s: the calm after the storm

Liv Lane in 2004; the difference of a decade

Dear 30s,

This is our last day together. While many friends have fretted lately over leaving you behind, I have felt downright euphoric. Ready for a clean slate, a fresh start. Ready to ditch a decade that frequently felt like an uphill climb.

But the closer I’ve come to this milestone birthday, the clearer I see what a gift you’ve been to me. 

Ten years ago, I wasn’t much in the mood for celebrating. We don’t even have any photos of my 30th birthday; I’d all but disappeared by then. I’d dyed my hair brunette, mastered the almost-believable happy face, and let numbness take over. That felt so much better than panic, so much easier than heartache, more respectable than driving off a bridge. So I stayed there, comfortably numb. Sleepwalking into a new decade. I was on the verge of a breakthrough, though, close to realizing I didn’t have to exist like that forever. Undiagnosed postpartum depression and PTSD had deadened me, and I needed to work my way out.

Looking back, that arduous journey and all the soul-stretching challenges that came after were neither bad luck or punishing blows. The hardships and hurdles were like force-fed doses of truth serum. With every new challenge, I would feel the serum trickling down my throat, through my chest and into my belly – twisting through me like a tornado. As it churned, building steam, it would latch on to my untruths – my fears, my masks, my resentments, my pain – and spit them out like they weighed nothing. It would pepper me with questions about who I was without all that debris, and dare me to find light in the eye of the storm. And when I did, the truth would scoop me up and cradle me, blanketing me in purpose and singing lullabies of possibility.

The tornadoes of my 30s didn’t throw me off course; they carried me to my path. Turns out you gave me the best gift a girl could ask for. 

With gratitude and awe, Liv

my birthday wish

ageless mug

We’re still recovering from a jam-packed birthday celebration for my just-turned-11 year old. An epic slumber party, a family pizza party, cards and gifts and cake and singing “happy birthday” at the top of our lungs. And Ryder beamed through it all (well, except for the times he was weeping from being so tired after the epic slumber party).

This is the way birthdays should be, in my book. A chance to connect with people we love, who love us just for being born, and then do whatever feels like a joyful shout-out to this life we get to live.

But that ain’t happening with most of my peers.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of so many women who barely want to acknowledge their birthdays. While scrolling through kind messages from Facebook friends, they’re quietly feeling like another birthday is more of a life sentence than a life celebration. One step closer to their expiration date, one day closer to not achieving all they’d hoped.

I love the way kids can’t wait to get older, thrilled to the brim by all the potential that comes with a new year. But for middle-aged women, all those candles on the cake are more likely to represent the running tally in their heads: grievances, failures, losses, set-backs, wrinkles and the crushing pressure to make the most of the years they have left.

Research shows that, on average, our happiness hits an all-time low around age 50…and then slowly rises with each passing year. The happiest people on earth are 80 and older; they’ve had a chance to make peace with their choices, to look back and see the big picture, to accept rather than fight their aging bodies, and feel grateful for – rather than pressured by – the days they have left.

But I refuse to wait that long for happiness. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Yes, I’ve suffered loss. Yes, I’ve cried me a river. Yes, I’ve been unkind to my body. And YES – all of it made me who I am, provided wisdom for the path I’m paving, led me to deeper love and connection, made me all the more grateful for little joys. There are huge gifts in the wrinkles. I know there will be more, many more. But there will also be fireworks and delight and glorious growth. And really good cake.

When I turn 40 this year, I intend to celebrate like a kid: thrilled to the brim by the potential of what’s ahead. And when I blow out all those candles that shine a light on where I’ve been and where I’m going, I’ll make a wish for me and you: for the strength to choose happiness in the now, in the aging, in this life we get to live.


This post is part of a birthday celebration for Susannah Conway, who asked a beautiful group of blogging friends to share our thoughts on aging as she enters her 41st gorgeous year today. My kind of party!

4 Awesome Videos to Make Your Season Bright

Four Awesome Videos To Make Your Season Bright

I am such a sucker for inspiring videos; I love being catapulted into elation while I sit here in my jammies! You, too? Yesterday, I was all teary watching several videos posted to Facebook. As I was watching them, my little angel Tru said HE wanted to make a video.

This boy has adored the song Angels We Have Heard on High for as long as we can remember, so I asked him if he wanted to sing it to my camera. As many of you know, Truman’s on the autism spectrum; repetition, movement and music are soothing and so joyful for him. Watching him and listening to him sing this song he loves just fills my heart and I thought it might do the same for yours. My favorite part? Where, instead of saying “Christ the Lord” he says “Price the Log.” LOL!

So, I’m happy to share his video with you…and three others that have touched my heart this week.

Angels We Have Heard on High…by 5 Year Old Tru 🙂

Awww…the bowing at the end just slays me. Love that little guy. Okay, moving on to the other three heart-stirring videos…

Flash Mob for Nelson Mandela

This is a flash mob by the Soweto Gospel Choir, staged at a Woolworth’s store in South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s passing. When they raise their hands in the air? Yeah, I lost it then.

Airline Teams Up With Santa To Surprise Passengers

This is a marketing stunt by WestJet Airlines, but a brilliant one. I was all teary when the packages started arriving. What a joy to watch people so stunned by this act of kindness!

The Tutu Project

When his wife got cancer, this hubby tried to cheer her up with a tutu. And now that tutu is cheering up and cheering on other cancer patients, too. Amazing.

Got any other faves? Feel free to share links below!

angels, rock stars and the power of intention: our bon jovi miracle

Bon Jovi, Xcel in St. Paul, April 7 2013

photo via Pioneer Press :: pretty sure Jon is reaching out for us here 🙂

This is the longest post I’ve written in a while – but I’ve got a story that so full of awe-inspiring goodness, I couldn’t stand to leave out the details. Ready to rock?

Over the past 24 years, I’ve lost count how many times Bon Jovi has performed in Minneapolis, but I’ve been there every time. And last fall, they announced they’d be coming back on April 7, 2013. YES!!! I was thrilled. This band has provided a soundtrack for my life since I was in my early teens and I’m so into what they’re about as human beings: compassion, persistence, service to others, seizing the day and doing what you love. (Oh…and…um…I might still have a schoolgirl crush on the lead singer. So, there’s that.).

I’ve attended shows with a wide range of friends and family over the years, but I had someone extra-special in mind this time around:  my 10-year-old, Ryder. My dad had taken me to my first big concert – yes, BON JOVI – when I was 14. Just the thought of doing the same thing with my own kiddo got me all choked up.

But I needed some help to make it happen. 

I turned to my buddy Michelle, who is a concert junkie known for her amazing ability to snap up the best seats (seriously, you should read some of her stories here). She gave me the pep talk I needed, reminding me the perfect tickets would find their way to us. See, Michelle doesn’t go for just any seats; she always taps into the power of intention, visualizing the perfect seats for each concert, fully believing they’re possible to get, and trusting her instincts about when and where to purchase. Knowing that I approach many things the same way, she encouraged me to take some time to envision the perfect seats at the perfect price. I did. I pictured us to the left of the stage, a few rows up, and on an aisle so that Ryder could see everything clearly (on the floor, everyone’s at the same level and his view would surely be blocked). I could feel the excitement, the thrill of it! I didn’t need to know how it would happen; I just needed to trust it could and would.

Months passed and I occasionally checked the ticket sites, but didn’t see anything enticing. The original section I’d envisioned us sitting in was 118 – and the ticket prices seemed to be rising there and everywhere. Even though Ryder and I really wanted to go, I couldn’t justify spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tickets for each of us. I tried not to worry and kept telling myself that if we were meant to go, we’d find a way.

But nothing materialized.

Last week rolled around and I started checking sites every day – Ticketmaster, StubHub, TicketKing, Craigslist, eBay. The tickets in 118 and most of the lower level were crazy-expensive and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of sitting in the nose-bleed seats for Ryder’s first show. Then, several days before the concert, lead guitarist Richie Sambora backed out of this leg of the tour. For many bands this wouldn’t be a big issue, but Richie and Jon are an iconic pair and amazing performers together. Honestly, it made me feel a tiny bit better about potentially missing the show.

By Sunday, the day of the concert, I still had no tickets. And folks…I was feeling a little low.

My heart was still all-in – but my head had already decided it was too late. I spent the day working on taxes in my pajamas (could there be anything more depressing?!). Eventually, I went upstairs to take a shower and settle in for a quiet evening at home with the fam. It was 4pm; the concert would start at 7:30. I thought about the band arriving in the Twin Cities, glad they had a sunny day to greet them. I thought about them prepping backstage, about their crew making final tweaks to the stage and sound system, about the thousands of fans giddily getting ready for an incredible night. And that’s when it hit me: a wave of clarity and a voice in my head, asking me what the heck I was doing just standing there. I thought about much I would regret not taking a chance to make a memory with Ryder; I wanted him to be able to say, years from now, that his first concert was Bon Jovi – and that he went with his mom.

In mere minutes, I went from feeling down in the dumps to all fired up!

I rushed downstairs and revealed my new plan: Ryder and I would drive down to the arena, ask our angels for some serious help and find two perfect seats at the perfect price, somehow some way. Ryder was worried: “But what if we don’t get in!?” Brad smiled and said, “I know your mom. You’re getting in.” Ha! Loved that!

We rushed to get ready (so much so I forgot the battery for my camera – gah!). Everything was working against us – time, ticket prices, ticket availability – but I had to quiet the doubts in my head and just follow my heart. As we hopped in the car, I continued whispering to my angels and envisioning those same aisle seats I’d been eyeing all along. The only tickets I’d seen available in section 118 were going for over $400 and that had been days earlier. So, I told myself that just getting in the building and sharing that experience with my boy would be exciting enough…but I told my angels that 118 would be especially heavenly. ;o)

We made a quick stop at the ATM; as I withdrew $300, I felt a twinge of anxiety. Would it be enough? Would it be too much? Would I regret spending all that money on crappy seats? I stopped myself from diving down the rabbit hole and set an intention, choosing to expect that the money I spent at the concert would swiftly work its way back to me – maybe through a new client, a few ecourse signups, whatever. That allowed me to move forward without any guilt or worry attached to it.

Meanwhile, Ryder’s biggest worry was whether or not the concert would include his favorite song, “Shot Through The Heart” (a.k.a. You Give Love a Bad Name). 🙂

Okay, this is where the story gets really good…

We arrived at 6:50pm (40 minutes to show time!!!), practically flew down the stairs of the parking ramp and spotted a scalper on the next corner. I knew the seating chart by heart and knew exactly where his tickets were – way too far from the stage. He walked with us over to the arena, where two of his cohorts had more tickets on-hand. Friends, these guys were sleazy…but they had some decent tickets. One pair was to the right of the stage, which they first offered for $350. Couldn’t do it. $300? Still no. $280? Okay, maybe (that’s actually what I had left after paying for parking!). I almost agreed to the deal, but a great big guy with kind eyes leaned in and said, “Ma’am, when you’re done with them, come see me. I think I have some tickets you might like.” This, understandably, ticked off the three stooges, who were yelling at me to make a decision. But I was curious and needed to know my options, right? I took a couple of steps towards the big guy and he handed me two tickets: Section 118, Row 16 for $260 total.

I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a second. 

I had not said that section number out loud to anyone but Brad, Ryder and the angels. “These are aisle seats,” the big guy said. “So you know your little guy will be able to see.”  Holy crap. Was he an angel?? I said YES, of course – and he was kind enough to walk us into the arena so we could be sure the tickets were real before I handed over the money.

Ryder and I were so excited, we squealed and jumped up and down as we made our way through the crowd. When we got to our seats, they were awesome – just up from the stage and Ryder could see perfectly.

Before the Bon Jovi concert, section 118!!!

The lights went down, the crowd went crazy and Jon’s voice rang through the crowd: “SHOT THROUGH THE HEART…AND YOU’RE TO BLAME…YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME.” Ryder and I just looked at each other and screamed! We couldn’t believe the one song he hoped to hear was the very first song they sang. Seriously, those angels pulled out all the stops. 

Jon Bon Jovi, St. Paul, MNAt one point, the band played one of my favorites – Lost Highway. I put my arm around Ryder and we swayed to the music…and I started to cry. Thankful for that first concert 24 years before with my own dad (and knowing he was with us Sunday night). Thankful for angels who rock it out every time I put my trust in them. Thankful for the enduring power of intention and for people in my life to remind me of it. Thankful for a band that has cheered me up and pulled me through so much. Thankful for such an incredible moment in time with my boy – one neither of us will ever forget.

The night was amazing – and it ended on the perfect note. After the concert, Ryder called home from the car to give a full report to Brad. He excitedly told him all the details and then Brad said he had something to share. While we were gone, he decided to go through Saturday’s junk mail, which included a plain white envelope he nearly threw away. When he opened it, inside was a check for a deposit we’d made years ago and never thought we’d get back. It was just enough to cover our tickets, our parking, our drinks and even Ryder’s new Bon Jovi hat. Yes, really.

See why I wanted to share the whole story!? I hope that it not only made you smile, but also serves as a reminder that when we lean into the power of intention, lean on our support systems – angelic or otherwise, and lean toward the notion that anything is possible…guess what? Anything is possible. Rock on, fellow sparklers.  


Shock & Awe: The Blissed-Out Video!

Every Friday, the Little Bliss List provides a chance for us to celebrate the little things that brought us hope and happiness this week. I do believe when we focus on the sweet stuff of life, the sweet stuff multiplies. And by sharing those small gifts in our lives, we help others notice the gifts in theirs. 

Yesterday, we wrapped up our family vacation in Chicago. Waved goodbye to our hotel and took one last stroll down Michigan Ave. Ate one last handful of Garrett’s Chicago Popcorn Mix. The kids were prepared for an eight hour car ride back home – but we had other plans.

The Big Surprise!

We told the boys we’d be stopping briefly in Wisconsin Dells {a popular family tourist attraction full of hotel rooms and water parks} just to see if we could tour a hotel} to look around and decide if we’d ever want to stay there. What they didn’t know was that we already had a reservation to spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge!! So hard to keep that secret – but I knew the surprise would be worth it!

We pulled up and Brad went inside, claiming to be asking if we could walk around the resort. He returned to the car and said we had the green light. Below is what transpired on video once we got inside and began looking around…

It’s one great big ball of bliss, isn’t it? After I stopped filming, I had to wipe away a huge crocodile tear rolling down Ryder’s cheek; that’s how blissed-out he was by the surprise. Stunned into silence, which never happens!  Soooo sweet.

That’s my unconventional bliss list this week, packed with pleasure and oodles of outings. Wanna track your own bliss? You can participate in the link party below through Sunday at midnight central – or simply leave a comment!

{Wanna share the badge? Click here to get yours!}

Pinned With Love {4 Ways To Play Fair on Pinterest}

a popular pin, via vol25


Let me first say that I love the premise of Pinterest. The way it allows us to so easily share beautiful images with each other – art, quotes, ideas, DIY projects – is pure genius. But as the site grows like crazy, I find people are pinning recklessly, without any consideration for the person who made or photographed the original image they love. I’d hate to see this site, which was developed to celebrate and share creativity, actually become more hurtful than helpful for the creative community.


The image above has been pinned many times, rarely with proper credit. I saw it yesterday in a friend’s Pinterest feed and loved it. But before I re-pinned it, I wanted to make sure it linked to the artist behind it. No such luck. It took me through several blogs – none of which credited the artist – which finally led me to an error page on an abandoned blog. Not cool. It took me a while searching the web to finally discover Jessica from vol25 – an Etsy artist I already loved – had created it. Like so many artists, me included, she’s not sure how to handle situations like this. Do we complain and risk sounding like whiners? Do we report it to Pinterest as a terms violation? Or do we play nice and bite our tongues – again and again?


Pinterest can’t possibly monitor the legality of every pin and re-pin, so it’s up to each artist or creative organization to decide how to handle these situations. But it’s also up to those of us within the Pinterest community to treat the images we pin with love and show some respect to the artists and photographers that created them. Agree? Here are four ways to pin with love:


Be Original

See an image on a blog or site you want to pin? Make sure it credits and links to its original creator. If it doesn’t, do a little research to find out where it came from {search Google images using a description of the picture or the quote within in} and then link from the real source. I know this sounds like a pain, but you’re not only helping the artist – you’re helping yourself. Upon joining Pinterest, you agreed to follow copyright rules, so make sure your pins give credit where credit is due.


Follow That Link!

Do the same thing with any image you love that’s already on Pinterest. Your Pinterest home page is full of pins from the people you follow. If you see one you want to share with your followers, click on the image…and then keep clicking until you arrive at its source page {the place from where it was originally pinned}. If you find it easily, great – go ahead and re-pin. If not, don’t continue to share that pin. You might even want to inform the person who pinned it that it’s not properly credited {I would totally want to know if you find anything like that on my Pinterest page; I know I wasn’t as diligent about this early on}.


Pin the Permalink

If you’re pinning an image from a blog, make sure it links to the post it was part of – not just to the blog’s home page. Let’s say you want to pin this sunrise image. If you’re reading this post on the main/home page of my blog and pin it, the link will take people right back to the home page. That’s a problem weeks or months down the road, because people looking for the source of this image won’t find it on my home page. It will be filled with other blog posts by then. SO – click on the headline of this post to be taken to a page where just this post appears. Now, when you pin the image, it will capture the permalink – the unique URL for that blog post, where the sunrise image resides.


Show and Tell

If you share images elsewhere {via your own blog, a company web site or even on Facebook}, you have the power to give artists and other content creators the credit they deserve. Whenever you share someone else’s image in a blog post, be sure to link with love: include a caption and link the image to the web page where you found it, ensuring that page also gives proper credit to the artist or photographer. I’m especially appalled by so many blogs on Tumblr where it seems nearly impossible to find the source of photos. What is going on over there?? Meanwhile, if you’re going to share an image on Facebook, find out who created it and include their name in your comment section {better yet, a link to his or her site or Facebook page}.


It’s only fair. If you love an image, pin it with love.


The Little Bliss List #5 – Share Your Joys!

Every Friday, the Little Bliss List provides a chance for us to celebrate the little things that brought us hope and happiness this week. I do believe when we focus on the sweet stuff of life, the sweet stuff multiplies. And by sharing those small gifts in our lives, we help others notice the gifts in theirs. 


I totally want to know what’s on YOUR Little Bliss List! Share your own list in the comments section or share your blog post in our link-up so others can visit you! Here’s my Little Bliss List for the past week…


1) Today’s the last day of my second edition of the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse and it has flown by so quickly! I’m excited to have some breathing room after the past six weeks, but will miss all the phenomenal participants. What a joy it’s been to watch them bloom!


2) Ryder told me the favorite word he’s learned in third grade is “personification.” That totally tickled the wordsmith in me! We talked about it and came up with all kinds of examples of personification. So fun!


3) I found a mix CD in my car from 2009 and I love it!  Been jamming all week!


4) Brad surprised me with a bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day and I just love watching each one unfold.


5) In case you didn’t notice, I am head over heels for berries this week: raspberries, blackberries , and strawberries. Seriously, I’ve probably eaten more berries this week than I had in the previous 3 months! They are delicious, people.

6) I got back into my dudio; hadn’t painted in a while and it felt so good! I also ran over to one of my happy places, Dick Blick. Man, I love getting new art supplies!


Okay, your turn, grab your badge for the little bliss listlovelies!

{Wanna share some badge bling on your blog? Click here to get yours!  You can link up your blog here through Sunday at 11:59pm central}

The Mother Lode of Aha Moments

Silver Town and Country Minivan

{how the hell did that get there?}


Yesterday, I opened the garage door and was flabbergasted to see a minivan parked inside. Utterly shocked. I shut the door quickly, hoping it would magically disappear. It did not. Turns out the giant silver bullet is mine.


This happens every few weeks: moments where I’m stunned to realize my house has been taken over by toys, I’m wearing the same thing I did the day before, there’s a minivan parked in my garage and two kids who look vaguely like me keep calling me “mom.” It usually only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like I’ve been plunked right into a life I don’t recognize and never planned on.


Oh, please tell me this happens to you, too.


I vividly remember standing in my boss’s office about a dozen years ago, telling myself I would never wind up like him. He had three young kids, hadn’t been to a movie with his wife in ages, and couldn’t even be persuaded to attend an after-work happy hour {“too many family commitments, blah-blah-blah”}. I remember him saying someday I would understand. I wholeheartedly doubted it. At the time, I was on a different plane to a different city most weeks, creating PR events and babysitting celebrity spokespeople. Life was good…and fun…and easy…and I figured someday I would have a family, too – just not the kind that takes over your life and keeps you from going to happy hours. And no way, no how would I ever own a mom-mobile.


Fast forward to 2012 and looky here: I’m knee-deep in that life I was once so sure I’d loathe. Every now and then, I have a multi-second freak-out, like yesterday’s “oh-my-god-i-have-a-minivan?” moment. I also survived yesterday’s “take that fruit snack out of your nose” moment, several “stop hitting your brother” moments and approximately 127 opportunities to say, “do you have to go potty?”


But I also had a great big a-ha moment. Just after making a bagel-and-cheese-and-chocolate-milk lunch for Tru, I was invited to a last-minute happy hour. With grown-ups I like and big girl drinks and no one wiping their mouth on my sleeve.


But I said no.


I could have gone – it was on the one night of the week when nothing was scheduled {no basketball, no choir, no play dates}. But I knew in an instant that I’d rather be at home, chilling with my family, than out on the town. I didn’t want to miss bedtime stories, pajama snuggles or sharing favorite parts of our day. Right then and there, I realized someday had arrived: the day my boss predicted, when I would finally understand why he steered clear of happy hour, why he was constantly carpooling kids from here to there, why date nights took a backseat to…well, everything else.


This is my someday…and it’s nothing like I’d planned. It’s way better.