Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday is Only the Beginning...

Don't doom your week by starting off on the Monday foot! Week, after week, after week, I see Facebook posts starting on Sunday night about it being Monday eve.  :( Then Monday morning it's always "bring on the coffee", "I hate going to work", "Mondays suck", and then people wonder why their week blows biscuits! I take a different approach why? Get a clue! I am NOT normal, or typical or any of those words that sound boring to me. I approach Mondays like this... "Today is going to be my start to a great week!", "I am lucky to have a place to make money to provide for my family", "Today is another day I get to live life" and of course I also say "Bring on the coffee"... but I say that everyday; it smells and tastes yummy.

Does doing this always make my week awesome? NO! Are all my Mondays fabulous? Ummm, NO! Do I always want to bounce out of bed and start my week? Absolutely NOT! However if I tell myself Mondays suck, they will ALWAYS suck. I figure I have a much better chance of success with the right attitude. Self talk is VERY important. If you tell yourself you can't, you won't. If you tell your self you can, you will. Trust me, when that alarm goes off I would more often than not love to stay curled up in bed; especially this time of year when it starts to get cold outside, but living every day I am given to the fullest is something I never want to take for granted... and neither should you! <3 br="br" nbsp="nbsp">

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Special Meaning part 2....

First of all my apologies for not posting a blog since the 19th... last week was VERY CRAZY and eventful so I have a valid excuse! Mid week, my 4 year old son Zane was coughing like a mad man; he is NEVER sick but allergic to everything under the sun, so... after a visit to the doc it was found that he had caught a nasty respiratory virus (RSV). We came home with a nebulizer and I assisted him with breathing treatments every 3 hours all week. By the 19th, I was sitting on pins and needles (as I shared in my last blog post) waiting for the Kindle version of my book to go live, that was a mega stress builder... (the good kind that involves adrenaline) Unfortunately it did not happen before midnight as I had hoped... (and alas there WAS a reason ). On the 20th, my oldest daughter Cierra flew in and my Kindle version finally went live! Exciting! On both accounts. Being that my oldest is now across the country from us I always love when she comes home to visit, so I then took the weekend off to spend with the family.

By Sunday my youngest daughter "Brie" started coughing... although I love that her brother shares everything with her without a fight, in this case I wish he had been selfish, Ugh. Monday went pretty smooth but my littlest one was feeling worse as the day went on. She handles everything in stride and rarely complains and this was no exception, but laying around all day even when music was playing was a clear indication she was not feeling herself. That night (or  I suppose I should say at the crack of Tuesday morning) at about 1:00 a.m. she woke up crying. I went into her room and she was struggling to breathe. Her large rapid breaths scared me and Corey to death.  Her little heart was racing so we decided I should take her to the ER. Corey stayed home with the other two kiddos and off we went. 4 hours later, after they got her oxygen stabilized and after finding out she had tested positive for RSV, we were transported to All Children's Hospital where we stayed the next two days.

While we were in the hospital, the paperback version of my book became available on Amazon and the day we were discharged, my daughter Cierra had to leave.... (but not before I squeezed her into my studio to give her a new hairstyle and color as I had promised her I would.) I was literally a walking Zombie... and it took me a few days to recover, but we are; it's Sunday... fun-day, the day of rest, and the night I typically blog for my Monday posts. I decided that since I have had to skip a few days I will post this one tonight and write another one for tomorrow to make up for the lost time. Call it stupid and uncalled for but hey... it's me and my brain and that's just how it ticks.

If you have not read my last blog post yet, read it now (click below) 
or this last paragraph will not mean as much...

As I end this post, I will say this... my book went live while my daughter was here, she was able to share that moment with me; how appropriate and on purpose that was! Maybe I am reading into it too much, but it was special... to have her here the day it went live. It was only one day after Teresa's birthday; the day it SHOULD have gone live which I was upset about. Perhaps this was Teresa's way of letting me know that she wanted Cierra to be here when it happened... and I am really glad she was. <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">
Reasons for everything that happen surround you... pay attention.


Me and my daughter Cierra... aka "Mini Me"

What makes this mom happy? Seeing ALL her kids together! <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Special Meaning

I am extremely sentimental, and attempt to put meaning into everything I do. I have learned that it's a blessing and a curse to be this way because sometimes it sets me up for disappointment. Today was a very special day for me... it was the day that the Kindle version of my book should have gone live on Amazon, but technical difficulties may have gotten the best of that happening. I did get my issues resolved, but it takes up to 12 hours to make it live from the time it gets published to Kindle's site and that happened at 3:30 today. (insert sad face) I have not given up; it's not midnight yet, so I will hang on to the hope that it will happen before then. (fingers crossed)

I chose to make it live today on purpose, it would have been my sister Teresa's 48th birthday. I wrote my book in her honor, dedicated it to her and truly hoped to have it go live today... on her birthday. Now, that may not happen and although it makes me sad, it happened for a reason and I know that; it is what my whole book is about, and since I wrote it... I believe it; there are no accidents. My original deadline was missed and it was not able to go live on August 5th; the 31st anniversary of her death; which I was upset about and that turned out to have HUGE purpose which you will read about in my book... so I am confident that if it does not happen tonight, there is yet another message out there for me.

Life is full of purposeful things, things we may notice, and things we may not. There are things that we should pay attention to, yet we turn our noses up and often take them for granted. I have been more observant over the past few years and because of that I have found miraculous meaning in moments that may have meant nothing if I had not been paying attention. NEVER stop paying attention... for you will miss opportunities, happiness, laughter and meaningful things in life that you are meant to experience. Don't just stop to smell the obvious roses... find the rare ones that  hide from plain view.

Tonight, I will think of my sister, I will sing happy birthday to her in my dreams, I will wonder what she would be doing right now if she were here... and I will hope that somehow, some way, my book will go live before midnight. If it does not... I will anxiously await the reason why. 

Have a great night everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012



Those famous words of many children (and adults) as they conjure up some fantastical, imaginative, exploratory adventure that they want us to witness firsthand; in the case of our kids, it's like watching the gene pool overflow, in the case of  adults it's likely to make us happy we are not FROM the same gene pool!! (ha) I wasn't really sure what to blog about tonight, but since I had the feeling that my Monday-Wednesday-Friday blog promise had recently been broken a time or two due to "busy" kicking my life in the butt, I could not leave you without a dose of "Shells" tonight.

My brain is fried... it's been a long, yet very productive day and I can barely keep my eyes open! So excuse any grammatical errors that I may have missed.

I have to give my good friend and client Ani a big applause (yet again) for sending me the email which inspired this blog post, because when I opened her email I laughed out loud...saying "WOW! That is so TRUE!"

This is what she sent me...

For those of you who know me, you know I have two toddlers, for those of you who did not know that? Well, you know now. I have 4 children, two of whom are full fledged toddlers, a raging hormonal almost 11 year old who LOVES to be the center of attention, and a very cool 20 year old who was once both; well I take that back she did not particularly like the limelight. Given that fact, when I saw this I wanted to print it out and frame it! (I may very well do that!) In my mind it is a very inspirational reminder of how good it feels to feel like all eyes are on you, how exhilarating it can be to have others watch while you attempt to do something incredible (or stupid). We never think that we will mess up, we have confidence and that is why we want an audience. (or in the case of "hold my beer", perhaps too intoxicated to know we are on the verge of stupidity.)

I was a center-of-attention kind of kid, and I always had a delighted audience. Along the way I was damaged by being shut out... nobody cared to watch and when I asked nobody listened. It was pretty lonely, and frankly took YEARS to overcome. Self-esteem is delicate... very delicate. I was lucky enough to have certain people in my life help me believe in myself, but for a long time my audience was just me. I have gotten to a place now where people have joined my journey, they are riding my train, hanging on my coattails, watching me every day as I reach for the sky; I hope they are having as much fun as me. It feels good to have that audience back, because it truly does boost confidence when you have others say "good job, way to go!" and mean it.

I guess my short,sweet moral of tonight's story is no matter how tired, annoyed, and not in the mood you are to watch your kids or friends when they say "WATCH ME" remember that they are feeling confident at that moment and you NEED to cheer them on. (Unless of course cheering them on will likely ruin the family name or hurt someone. in that case... burst their bubble diplomatically.) Rejecting this moment could put a dent in their self esteem. If they fall on their face or mess up, be there to say "that was an awesome attempt, keep trying! There is no confidence killing in that statement, only encouragement to never give up! 

Have a great night, and next time someone says "Watch me" or "Hold my beer" 
perhaps you will think of me!


Monday, October 15, 2012

"My Amazing Brie is 3!"

Three years ago, my youngest daughter Abrielle was born....... with Down syndrome. What some people feel is a curse, a punishment of sorts, a burden, a chore and a sign that their child will not be perfect... has been the most  perfectly amazing blessing in my life. I am so glad I believed and had FAITH that she would be a wonderful piece of my puzzle. I never doubted it because the journey I have played out has had purpose. Something I wanted to have all of my life; and never got ,when nobody else believed in me but I believed in myself. I could not make them right; I would do it without their support because I believed I would.

Abrielle was no accident; she too had purpose. I am here to be her voice, to make others aware of how wonderful people with Down syndrome are. They can teach us about, humility, innocent humor, struggle, defeat, accomplishment, determination and most of about love. Not the kind of love we know now, but the kind of love you only realize when nothing you do makes them love you any less. Wonder what the world would be like if we had no conditions? I will tell you that I KNOW it would be a better place.

Ability does not have anything to do with how many chromosomes you have; it has to do with your heart and what it tells you to do in life.

Please help me share this message by sharing this blog and visiting her channel by searching 
YouTube for 

We will be posting her annual birthday video on her channel on 10-16-2012
for her 3rd birthday! 

This Blog was written In Honor of
Down Syndrome Awarness Month

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Losing a Pet is Losing a Friend

The smell of their breath, their sweet little licks, the way they communicate their likes, dislikes, wants and needs... our pets are our children... only furry. Sometimes we never really realize how much they add to our lives until that dreaded day when they are no longer with us.

This week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I had to bring my 14 year old cat "Lillie" to the vet because over the past month her health began to fade fast. She had visibly lost weight, began to sleep more and seemed to be more clingy than she typically was, rarely leaving my side. I contemplated bringing her to the vet because I knew that blood work and testing would cost a small fortune. When you have three children and a home to provide for you have to consider your financial priorities a little more than you would like to at times. I decided on Tuesday however, that I would take my other child... "Lillie" to see the doctor because I KNEW something was  terribly wrong. She had stopped eating and had begun to get weak, she was wobbling when she walked and her meow had changed. As I picked her up to put her in the pet carrier she did not even fight; that was not like her at all. I tried to emotionally prepare myself for bad news; but I suppose you are never REALLY prepared for bad news.

When I took her back, the doctor did not seem too optimistic because of her age and how weak she was. We spoke for a while about that and they had me wait in the waiting room while they did their thing. They gave her some IV fluids and fed her through a tube because she has not been drinking or eating for at least two days, gave her an injection to stimulate her appetite, some antibiotics for the infection and something for pain. She had developed a pancreatic abscess and it was taking it's toll on her sweet little body. I started crying as soon as I got to the waiting room. I knew this news was no good and my optimism was quickly fading.

I took her home with instructions on how to administer IV fluids... (I hate needles, but I did it for "Lills") and was told to bring her back in on Saturday to see if anything had changed. Over the next two days I watched her in agony. By that evening, she was worse. Corey and I sat and watched her lay in my tub which is where we put her to administer the fluids, and we said our goodbye's thinking she would not make it through the night... but she did. I was home with her all day Thursday and it was horrible to watch her frail little body lay motionless only to occasionally hear an agonizing meow when she tried to change position. This was not the "Lillie" I knew and it felt cruel to let her go on like this. I have never had to make a decision to put an animal to sleep, and would not wish it on my worst enemy; the mere thought broke my heart, but I had to think of her and stop being selfish. Corey and I talked and decided that if she was still with us Thursday morning that we would lay her to peace and let her go. I was a wreck all night and barley slept a wink. Watching my sweet kitty die was horrible but so was having to say goodbye.

She was still alive; barely, on Thursday morning so I called the vet's office and told them I could not put her through two more days of this. I explained that she had gotten worse and made the dreaded appointment. After 8 years of having her as part of my family, I simply could not stomach taking her to the appointment; so Corey came home from lunch and took her for me. As I picked her up in the blanket she was wrapped in I began to cry; this was the last time I would hold my sweet "Lillie". I kissed her on the face and told her I loved her and that she could go visit her sister "Phoebe" who we lost last year of old age. I placed her in her carrier, and when I put my hand out to pet her head, she rested it in my palm. I started to cry and shut the door to the carrier and as soon as Corey left I absolutely lost it.

There is a hole in my day now; for she no longer sits at my feet when I make my coffee or meows at me when her water is not fresh. I don't have her beside me when I am sitting on the couch and she no longer sits on my head when I sleep. I went to pet her this morning as I usually do when I wake up only to realize that she was really gone. Our pets are not just pets, it's not "just a dog, or cat, or horse" they are our friends... the most loyal and unconditional kind you will ever encounter. The love from a pet can never be replaced or forgotten.

We buried her beside "Phoebe" today and I am comforted tonight by picturing them frolicking in kitty heaven or perhaps waiting for me on this side of "The Rainbow Bridge."

Two dear friends shared this with me when I posted my tribute picture of "Lillie" on my Facebook page and I will now share it with you just in case you ever need the comfort it brings. <3 p="p">


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When our beloved pets die, they journey to this idyllic spot. There are meadows and hills enough for all to frolic freely, and plenty of food, water and sunshine. Each and every animal is warm and comfortable.

Those pets that have been ill or aged are restored to health and vigor. Those who are hurt or maimed are made whole and strong. Each is just as we remember in our dreams of days and times gone by. Our pets are happy and content at Rainbow Bridge, except for one small thing. Every creature misses someone special, whom they've left behind.

The animals all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops, and looks into the distance. Bright eyes are intent; an eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly, running from the group, flying over the green grass, legs are going faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and you and your special friend come together in joyous reunion. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head; and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together. 

Author Unknown

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Giver Always Forgets One Person...

It is both a blessing and a curse to have a giving spirit. It is a blessing because it feels good to give, you are able to see a smile on someone's face for your efforts, you get that instant gratification of knowing you helped someone in some way. It is a blessing because no matter how bad things are for you... the act of giving can take it all away for a moment, and can even put you into forward motion when life is going backwards or even standing still; that is a very powerful thing. I am blessed with this gift of giving... of wanting to help others in a deep and passionate way; it is who I am; but it sometimes opens me up for pain and disappointment in the way others receive it; and this is one of the negative spins on giving. You are easily taken advantage of and you often put your own needs and wants aside for the sake of others and THAT is not always a good thing. In fact... it can defeat your whole purpose if you are not careful. Let me explain myself...

How many times have you given time, money, resources, or simply your ear only to be left feeling slighted, unappreciated, taken advantage of and perhaps even a bit resentful? It happens... easily when you forget to take care of yourself first, and givers often do. I remember feeling this way many times over the past several years as my giving heart kicked into high gear. I had a pivotal moment when one day I read something that hit home and made me see where I was going wrong. You see... you must prioritize your giving; and sometimes that means saying "no" to someone else so you can say "yes" to yourself. We easily wear ourselves out and leave important things on the back-burner when we are in the giving mode only to be left with a mountain of responsibilities and unfinished tasks at home, at work or in school once the giving train has stopped. It is then that we get upset that we took away time from things we should have done and NEEDED to do in order to give or help someone else.

I struggled with this for a long time.. and sometimes still do; but I quickly remind myself that it is okay to say no when I have something else that is a higher priority. Create a totem pole in your mind of what is important and be sure that YOU are somewhere high on that totem pole. It does not make you selfish... it makes you ABLE to give as you should. Not forgetting about yourself makes it more rewarding to help others.

Givers also find it hard to receive help from other people when it is offered; I am as guilty as they come with this one! Nearly EVERY time a person offered a hand, I would always say "that's okay... I can handle it" even when I had no clue how I was going to handle it. I had the feeling that if I accepted help that I somehow was saying I would fail on my own. I internalized my emotions and would take on the daunting task of figuring it out on my own and because of this it often took me longer to work it out or sort through it and sometimes the hole got even deeper than it would have if I had just said "yes" when someone offered to help me. Again... I read something that changed how I looked at this forever and I will share that message with you.

If you have a a hard time accepting help or if you have a hard time asking for anything even when you KNOW you need it... you are likely a giver so listen up.

When you refuse someone's offer to help you, you keep them from the wonderful feeling  you feel when YOU give or help someone. When a person offers; they WANT to help and if you do not let them, it is hurtful and will make them feel that their offer is unimportant. The next time someone offers to help you, say YES; allow that person to feel what you feel when you give. It is always a win-win situation. You will feel relief because having help is a nice change and they will be rewarded with the honor of giving and helping you overcome something.

Have an awesome Monday! See ya again on Wednesday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sometimes it's What a Person Needs

After nearly 22 years of being a stylist I am still amazed at what happens when a person sits in my chair for the first time, and can't help but wonder if this happens to every stylist or not. Being that I do not advertise at all (except talking about my studio on Facebook from time to time), the only way I get new clients is through word of mouth referrals; I had two this week. Two complete strangers coming to see me in hopes of feeling better and looking better when they leave... I have never really thought of how vulnerable a client is on their first visit to a salon until this very moment. WOW!

I remember years ago when I took a class on growing your salon business. I always take classes, and often took advantage of local training; anything I could to become a better "me" at what I do. I recall being trained on how to give a great consultation... and my ears perked up because over many years in me trying to find a stylist to do MY hair (I am my own stylist now) what lacked was a good consultation. They never sat with me eye to eye and asked me what I wanted. I was vulnerable, with a cape on... and they were always standing behind me facing me in the mirror, which psychologically put them "above" me and caused the feeling that they were looking at themselves, not me.  (Hmmm... no wonder I paid attention when they discussed this.) Anyway, my point is that when you meet a client for the first time they are vulnerable and you need to know what to do with that to make them feel at ease.

Back to my initial story... two new clients this week, yea... that's where I was. (blame it on my A.D.D) The first new client was great, she had come in for a haircut and after I pumped her up a few pumps in the styling chair, I sat down in front of her in a chair lower than hers and asked her what SHE hoped to accomplish with the visit. (she was up, I was down... she was not inferior, I was.)We had an awesome time chatting and getting to know each other before I did anything to her hair. After we discussed her needs and wants we made our way to the shampoo bowl and I relaxed her with a nice cleansing. (Guard down, her relaxation had set in.) We walked back to the chair I put on her cape and all was good. We continued to talk and she really opened up. When the visit was over she had a smile on her face and was very pleased with the haircut, and made an appointment for the next day for color. See how that works?

If you are bored... hang tight, I have a great message in this story! PROMISE ;)

The next day she came back for her color which we had discussed the day before and it was like we had been friends for years. She raved on the haircut and we got started with her transformation; it was cool. I learned a lot more about her this visit because she was with me for almost two hours. She needed to talk and I was her listener. We talked about family... how she had a large one and she shared with me the good bad and the ugly between she and her siblings, one of whom she was not getting along with very well at the time and they were going to lunch after the appointment. I learned about SO much about her, the stories were fun to listen to, and here I was, practically a stranger yet it no longer felt that way. I had done my job and gained a loyal client.

My second new client of the week was yesterday, she was also referred and I did my usual thing... pumped her up and I sat down in front of her, we talked about her hair and what she wanted, we got to know each other, I relaxed her and we began. I was doing a color service on this client so she was with me for two hours. She asked me if I had kids... to which I said yes, four of them and we talked about them for a little bit. Then, of course, I asked her if she had any. She paused, took a deep breath and said "yes, I have two sons... well I had two sons"... she swallowed hard and said "but one of them died"... and she burst into tears. When this happens, and it has happened more than once over the years, I have to think fast. I immediately said to her, "I am so sorry, although I do not know what it is like to lose a child personally, I lost a sister and saw what it did to my parents and know how I suffered as her sister." We started talking about that... and it got her mind off of losing her son for a moment. I told her my story... then about my book and how it was healing to write it and I could see pain lifting from her face as she realized that she was not alone. It was nice to see; it's why I wrote my book, and I feel more and more each day that it was a good choice.

We had a long talk, I found out what happened to her son and found out that her other son is struggling with the loss even after 12 years. I told her that grief never goes away... how it simply "changes clothes" and puts on a new face over time. She smiled, agreed and I gave her a tissue to wipe her tears. It was a great visit, she was very happy with her color and I gained another loyal client. We became friends over that 2 hour span of time, it happened just like that.

Here is my message for today:

We are all connected; nothing happens on accident. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to listen to their story, a shoulder to lean on, cry on. laugh on. We have to realize this as we walk through life and STOP when it happens in order to become a better person. Sometimes when someone is bugging you, they just need you for a minute, give them that time, don't disregard them... be there for them and maybe when you need it someone will do the same for you.

Have an awesome weekend! See you Monday!