TRUTH: I AM AFRAID TO TRUST THE DREAM

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I have narrowed it down, I am afraid to trust the dream.

Today, when I swung my feet on the carpet and forced myself into standing position, I immediately noticed it there, pulling up a chair and taking a seat in the forefront of my brain, my self doubt.

Have I tricked myself into believing in a world, so far from my actual reality? I wonder if I will wake up, rocking myself in an insane asylum and face the terrorizing thought, “That life never actually happened.”  I spend countless hours writing, editing, reading and most of all, thinking which words I can string along to tell my story. Which words will clearly explain the circulating thoughts. Why? Why do I do this? Is it just a vice to get me through the mundane chores and actions of a day?

When I further investigate my desire to write, I find it sprouting from a small seed, whispering out only a single phrase, “There is more.”  I instinctively take a step back, as those powerful words have caused my heart to flutter incessantly like the wings of a hummingbird. “There is more.”

My desperate desire for more haunts me, keeping me up at night. I can taste it in every bite, it is there. I feel it pressed under my nails and it cools my mouth with each sip of water that passes my lips. A sense of being underutilized and unfulfilled has formed as my shadow, always lagging behind.

I want more. Is that wrong? I feel so blessed to be surrounded by health and family. That part of me is inflated with love and gratitude, nearly bursting at the seams. I have had four children, just to ensure that piece would be filled to capacity. What about the rest? What about me? Why am I not content with this being it? No, instead I lie in bed at night, just short of drifting off into a peaceful slumber, when an urge to swiftly jump up, grab a pen and paper, just to write down three little words. . .

There          Is          More

Photo Credit: Doubt and Fear Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.via Shutterstock

Following Mother Nature’s Orders

Snowy-Night

It’s a whirlwind outside, the specs of freezing white snow, aggressively thrusting against one another, swirling in mid-air. The bare branches crack and whine when the harsh wind barrels down its force upon the trees. The streets are desolate, no pedestrians in sight. The dense snow collecting on the ground is glowing in contrast to the saturated night sky. For a few hours the earth seems still. Perhaps, nature’s way of demanding us to pause a moment, and slow things down. We all seem to have obliged. Although, not without first frantically rushing through the sliding glass doors of the store to stock up on various ingredients for a home style meal or two, and some sweet treats. Similar in our preparations for a holiday, the children will surely rush to their windows in the morning, hoping to be amazed.

The anticipation of what to expect has been buzzing through every radio and television station, every social media news feed page and every person in line at your local gas station and grocery store. Words like, “Record Breaking,” “Historic,” and “Accumulations” have warned us to gather with loved ones and hunker down for shelter.

While sitting in the silence of the vicious snowy downfall, the occasional yellow siren flickers through the windows, a reminder of the people who are there for us, always prepared to dig us out. Through our community and within our families we unite to bear the frost and bitter cold of Mother Nature on this winter’s night, just as she intended.

Photo Credit : http://piktiva.com/snowy-night-cieszyn-poland/

What the Library Means To Me – Book Nerds Where Are You?

I wrote this some time ago for a library writing contest and won! I really couldn’t believe it. I ❤ the library! Here’s to my inner nerd!!

Why I Love my Library

Throughout my life, I have always been drawn to the library.  The large brick structure stands strong, protecting the authors and valued pages of literature that it houses.  As a child, during summer, I would walk through the automatic sliding doors, letting the icy cool air engulf me, leaving the hazy sun behind. I would browse the endless spines of eye-catching titles, printed in fancy calligraphy or block font. The choices were limitless, leaving me dizzy and indecisive.  The library was a good friend to me then, as I thumbed through the pages of my R.L. Stine, “Goosebumps” series, quietly sitting in the adult section, feeling mature at age 10.  The library provided me with one autobiography after another, as I obsessively read through volumes, on every person I recognized.  The library was calm, sensible, and willing to keep me company, until my curfew beckoned me home.

​Eventually, the library would become a tutor for me, as I researched information in the reference section, for countless hours, to prepare for a school report.  It was where I would seek help for my next Regents exam, or SAT test.  Sifting through books on biology and mathematics, the library supported me through my education, aided me, in reaching for a higher test score.

​The library is a second hand thrift store, where I could sit and browse through a respectable selection of books, and have the joy of walking out with ownership of a piece of literature, for only a dime. A small present for myself, purchased with the change rolling around on the bottom of my purse.

​The library is a knowledgeable mother, guiding me through parenthood.  Providing suggestions on ways to soothe a sleepless baby, tips on discipline, and holding my hand, when it came time for the ever-so-dreaded, potty training.    The library saw me through my challenges as a new mother.

​The library is a teacher, allowing me to learn about any topic, from filing taxes, to writing novels, along with the best ways one can explore Disney World.  I can sit and learn for countless hours, from the wisdom that the library embodies.

​The library is my office, where I went to inquire about civil service employment opportunities. It is where I go when my computer is down, or I need to make copies.  The reference desk awaits me, if my documents need to be notarized, or they simply require a staple.

​The library is both a coach and cheerleader, encouraging reading for all age groups, with rewards and prizes.  Ringing my phone and delivering good news, I can collect my winnings!  Generously providing my children with a weekly prize, and allowing them to be exciting about reading.  Graduating them through reading clubs, as they excel and develop their reading-skills.

​The library is a Mommy-and-Me, where I went to sing songs, and listen to fairy tales in the community room. My tiny tots would sit in my lap, clapping their chubby, little hands to the cheerful melodies.  As toddlers, my children engaged in the singing and dancing, playing with puppets, and a simple musical instrument or two.

​The library is an art class, where my children and I can walk in and decorate a treasure box, or color a wooden snake.  They can create a picture frame, or a present for Dad, for Fathers’ Day. The library is inventive and creative, allowing us to leave with a parting gift of some sort.

The library is an app on my tablet. Access to a new and interesting read is just a few clicks away, anytime, anywhere.

​The library is a media super-center, generously providing the latest DVD releases, as well as the classics.  It’s where my family goes to plan an epic movie night.  The library provides music for an upcoming party, or just for my daughters, to sing and dance along to, in the living room.

​The library is a hideaway, for my four children, and I. It is where we go when the snow is piled high to our knees, and when the rain leaves the playground soggy. It is a place to escape to, as I did so long ago, when the summer sun beat down relentlessly.  My affection for the library is a trait, which I have proudly passed down to my children.  The library has provided countless bedtime stories, for their heavy eyes, and early-reader books, as they struggled to sound out each letter.

The library is a place that is expansive in wisdom, and an infinite source of creativity. The library is not just a building, but it’s a thriving part of our community.  The staff is warm and inviting, helpful and educated. The library is a haven for my family, where we are known by name. The knowledge, memories, and friends that we have gained, at the library, has made an indelible impression on the life of my family.

Absent Minded Professor Syndrome

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Despite the daily rituals and routines, my son is a driving force, rebelling against regularity. At his tender age of eight years old, he pretty much lives the same day on repeat, as most children do. Routine, routine routine! He has the same homework every day, reading, math and spelling. It is all logged into his agenda book daily, which needs to be signed by a parent. We have the same morning and nightly routines that one would expect in any household with children. Pretty standard stuff right?  One would think so.

It could be viciously snowing out, freezing cold temperatures in the dead of winter, when my son charges off of the bus after full day at school. There is only one problem. “Where’s your coat?”

We sit down to do homework, part of the aforementioned routine, and sort through the contents of his backpack. There is just one problem. “Where are your books?”

We are getting ready to leave the house, all six of our family members waiting by the door to leave. There is just one problem. “Where are your shoes?”

I suppose its more than just “one” problem, but every time I am always sincerely surprised. I honestly just cannot believe that he hasn’t mastered the routine of his life by now. I should mention that he receives great grades in school and his reading is well above his grade level. He is no doubt a very intelligent boy. Intelligent but dumb!

I am at my wits end and losing patients . . .

A temple where I can worship my passion – A trip to the book store!

Today, I trekked through the rain with two, of my four children, holding onto their little hands, as I pushed through the heavy glass doors of a book store. We crossed over the threshold into a new world, leaving the dreary, stormy day behind. The store was buzzing inside. Clusters of people were rummaging through clearance piles, others were waiting on a  winding line for their overpriced lattes, employees were attempting to rearrange the displays while being solicited for help by confused customers. Every wall, table and aisle was covered with intriguing titles of my next possible read. Crisp pages bounded together by glossy covers flirted with me, as I strolled past each aisle. My eyes scanned the shelves, top to bottom, occasionally pausing to pluck a contender out of its assigned place. I began to inspect it, briefly skimming through the details of the protagonists, the plot and setting. Is this where I want to be swept away?  It can be so difficult to decide.

In this space, my heart is awakened by the creative energy bleeding through each book, a temple where my passion can worship alike individuals. So much more to me than a store, a home for creativity and where I hope my work can one day live, standing tall among its peers and winking at each person as they stroll by.

Lost in this thought, I am in total bliss.

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I purchased Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty for book club.

Photo Credit: http://www.bncollege.com/retail/stores-within-our-stores/tech-store/

#am_I_doing_this_right?

Ok my WordPress family, I need your help!!!

I just signed up to twitter. I know, I know, I am a little late on trend.

I would watch Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show display the humorous tweets he received in response to his hashtags or Ellen at the Oscar’s taking the “most re-tweeted” photo, all the while, sitting there, nervously smiling among my peers, with no clue as to how the Twitter world works.

I have successfully linked my blog to Twitter. Yay! Small victory. I have looked up all of my favorite authors, actors, singers, publications and any other random people I could think of and began following them.  Now what?  What am I suppose to post? What exactly is a hashtag? Can I make up my own? Is it beneficial to tag your post with a hashtag that already exist?

Standing in the Twitter world, I feel alone and afraid. Everyone is buzzing about, posting, hashtagging, re-tweeting, all rushing by me as I stand still looking for a familiar face in the crowd. So if you are reading this, please stop for a second and drop a line of advice.  I would greatly appreciate it. 🙂

#HelloMyNameIs #IamLost #Help #AloneAndAfraid #WhatIsA# #JimmyFallon #TonightShow #Oscars #EllenDeGeneres

(I know the #s don’t count on here or do they?)

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 Photo Credit: http://osakabentures.com/2013/01/forays-in-social-media-marketing/funny-twitter-acronyms-and-birds/

TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

Confession: I should be at the gym right now!  No one will be upset that I am not there, climbing away on the stair machine.  No one will even know.  Well, except for me, and you, but you won’t say anything right?

Confession: I have been paying for a gym membership for a few months now and have gone a handful of times.  Again, no one really cares, or says anything to me about it. Perhaps that’s the problem.

I’d rather, work on my novel, read a book, which I hope will improve my writing or give me ideas, or work on my blog.  Like now.  All of these acts, require me to sit on my butt, preferable with a cup of coffee and maybe a small sweet snack.  Does this count as following my passion or just lack of motivation to be healthy?  Hmm.  Don’t answer that.

If you look around at people as they get older, you can tell who took care of themselves. I don’t want to be one of those people, struggling to walk, in poor health. I want to be a little spit fire, zipping around everyone, with a zest for life! I want to be like Jane Fonda! Yeah!  I know, she is rich and probably had “work” done.  You’re right, she did make all of those exercise videos and stayed fit.

Okay, Fine! I’ll go to the gym. . . . tomorrow.  😉

JANE FONDA

My fitness motivation.

Photo Credit: Sportsphoto LTD/Allstar

TGIF – Hectic Morning?

I woke up late today! You know the feeling. Your laying in your warm bed, the weight of the comforters securely resting upon you, the room is dark, leaving you guessing what time it is. When you finally give in to fluttering your eyes open and stretching your legs out, that wonderful feeling of blood rushing from your pinky toes to your fingertips, while you curve your back off the mattress, immediately followed by the relaxing release. You contemplate rolling over for just a few minutes more, it must be so early, you think to yourself.  That’s exactly when my responsible six year old daughter came in my room, with her new fuzzy robe tied tightly over her pajamas, “Mom, I think its late. Don’t we have to get ready for school?”

What?!! What time is it?!!!  Shit! Its late, my son has less than twenty minutes to catch a bus and the girls and I have only forty minutes to compromise on reasonable outfits! I glance out the window and it looks as if we have been inserted into someone’s snow globe.  A thin blanket of untouched snow covers the ground, while a whirlwind of tiny white flakes dance around in the sky. There is no way I want to have to drive kids to school today! They must catch the bus!!!

I practically throw a bowl of cereal at my son, while chanting at him to HURRY! While he consumes spoonfuls of flakes, I am kneeled under the table getting his socks and shoes on, there is no time to waste.  After swooping his bowl away, rush him through brushing his teeth and hair, getting on his coat, hat and gloves and running him out to the bus stop – WE MADE IT, just in the nick of time.  Returning back into the house, I have just under a half our to get the two girls ready, which would be ample time for any other child, I’m sure. However these girls will drive me crazy. I will have to give ultimatums before we “agree” on a suitable outfit for school. They would prefer to wear their white dress shoes from Easter, blue tights, red and green tutu with an orange sweater.  I insist that they look like Rainbow Brite. They inform me mismatching is cool! Duh! Have I mentioned its snowing out?   “Go put on leggings, boots and a sweater.” They look at me wide eyed. “Please” I add for good measure.  Nothing. They just stand there. “Go!” I snap sternly. We don’t have much time left before the bus comes. “NOW!” I need to holler out before they turn on their heals and change their ridiculous outfits.  My little one is in nursery school twice a week, which is not today! Thank the heavens. Although, she’s easier to comply.

We made the bus! Their teeth were brushed, hair was done, and dressed for school in adorable and practical outfits.  Its a Friday miracle!! These two are in Kindergarten and 1st grade! I know I’m in for it!  I have tried planning out clothes the night before and have rewarded them for being easygoing. I have removed all “crazy” clothes, not to temp  them and have given in to them, so they can just get it out of their system – Nothing works!

Am I alone here? Does anyone’s children believe they are attending a red carpet event, when they have to leave for school?  Has anyone else’s children have no rational thinking when considering the weather?  Anyway, I am going to sip my coffee and think about the moments of when I was in bed, blissfully unaware of the time.  TGIF!!!

Oprah Magic

This past fall, my dear friend, Vickiwhat, and I loaded up her car and drove off, leaving our town, our children and our responsibilities behind, travelling to our neighboring state for a weekend. The windows were rolled down blowing our hair wild, the music was blasting while we sang out off key, along with me occasionally interrupting, yelling out, “Turn! Turn here!” just as we bypass our right turn. I must admit, I am a terrible navigator, but Vickiwhat, unfazed, continued to sing, as she made another U-turn.

Nothing could bother us, because we were in possession of two tickets to see Oprah on her Live Your Best Life Tour. Yes, they were probably the worst seats they sold, but we didn’t mind. Oprah was going to make this weekend go smoothly, after all, this was technically checking off an item on our bucket list. The “Oprah Magic” began a few days prior when our hotel called us and asked if they could relocate us down the road, in return, they would comp our room and parking. Great! The whole car ride there, we began thanking Oprah and the universe for our fabulous weekend. “Thank you for letting us meet Gayle.” “I was so happy to see Adam Glassman again.” “Thank you so much for the upgraded seats, it really made the trip special” and so on. We continued to show gratitude for an amazing weekend, as if it already happened. Crazy, right?  Nope!

As we strolled along the sidewalk towards the arena in our high heels, my eyes began scanning the crowds of people clustered around the entrance. I nudge Vickiwhat, saying “Hey, doesn’t the lady look just like Gayle King?”  Well, it was!  We yelled out to her, waving frantically. She turned towards us, looked us right in the eye and waved!  Shortly after, Adam Glassman, the creative director of the O Magazine, strolled along side us as we chatted him up, before wishing him well and parted ways.

As we entered the arena, we realize we must climb every single flight of stairs to reach our seats. I nearly had a panic attack, as I am terrified of heights.  Again, nudging Vickiwhat I said, “Come on, I can’t do this” and we walked down the several hundred stairs back to the lobby. After a half hour spent at customer service, a very nice gentleman upgraded our seats to the 1st tier level, which was extremely close to the stage! We were overjoyed and could barley contain our excitement, as Oprah Winfrey took the stage in her beautiful, plum gown.

The crowd of majority women, were the nicest, enlightened, most positive people I have ever met.  The energy vibrated throughout the packed arena.  The following day, Rob Bell, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and of course, Oprah Winfrey, all spoke about their most valuable and influential life lessons. There was a workbook handed out, which Oprah prompted exercises. For example,

Think of a person who is closest to your heart. Think (or write down) of the ideal life you would want for them. You can give them anything, money, cars, career opportunities, ect.

The life you wished for that person, is a reflection of what you want for yourself. We tend to want more, and are willing to ask for more for others, than we would for ourselves. We should begin to learn to ask for ourselves. Want and expect more, because you can never give to anyone, until your cup is full.

My friend, Vickiwhat, at some point began speaking with a group of women, who would later invite her and I to their box seats, where we finished the evening off, with our shoes off, sipping drinks, watching the show.  As if all of this good fortune was not enough for our life changing weekend, at the end of the show we saw Oprah Winfrey back stage from our seats. We yelled, in unison, her name as she was walking through a doorway to leave. A moment after our chant, she then backed up, spotted us in the crowd, threw both hands in the air and gave us a double wave. Oprah Winfrey “saw” us! and waved!! I know this may not sound like a big deal to most, but for us, it’s what topped off the weekend. We will be forever grateful to the “Oprah Magic” and continue to have faith in gratitude and the power of believing.

The following are some nuggets of wisdom from the show. I can never try to explain what exactly transpired, but I vow that it was extremely moving, life altering and has changed my perception of the world.

“Whatever you are going through, you will get through, so just say “thank you.” – Oprah Winfrey

“The easiest way to change vibration (energy) is gratitude. You will draw other good vibration.” Oprah Winfrey

“Other people have no power in your territory.” – Oprah Winfrey

“What you pay attention to will expand.” – Oprah Winfrey (I like this one. Whatever you focus on, good or bad will grow.)

“Knowing what you don’t want is information leading towards what you want.” – Oprah Winfrey

“The purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart and inhibit aliveness, until your gift strikes the need of the world” – Mark Nepo

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than a perfect imitation of someone else’s life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Do little things with great love. It all matters.” – Rob Bell

“To be the best, you have to say “no” to good.” – Rob Bell

“If you have made it through the past, then you past.” – Iylanda Vanzant

“Stop squeezing into things that do not fit you. Pay attention to how “it” makes you feel.” – Iylanda Vanzant

“Life says, “yes,” “no,” “stop,” “go.”” – Iyalnda Vanzant

“Courage is doing what you need to do before you are forced to do it, and if you don’t do it, don’t be mad at the people who force you to.” – Iylanda Vanzant

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A New Year In New York

For the first time in a long time I was able to spend New Years Eve with my husband, as he usually has to work at Times Square.  So what did we do?  Went to Times Square of course!!!

As the clock was ticking away towards 9pm, we were just getting into the car with a steaming hot cup of coffee in hand, city bound. Too late for a 45 minute commute on New Years?  Not for us!

There is a scene in the movie Goodfellas, when Henry courts Karen and takes her VIP into an exclusive club. This is always how it feels when we go into the city.

Just as Henry leaves his car with the valet, we leave our car parked conveniently on a city street, just steps away from our destination.  As we quickly skip down the subway stairs, careful not to touch the railings, he pulls out a set off keys and unlocks the iron gate, holding it open for me as I stroll through, no icky turnstile or line of people waiting to scan their MetroCard.

When the short subway melody echos throughout the train, alerting passengers of the next stop, we stand, bracing our feet, ready to get off as the doors briefly slide open.  Nearing the top of the stairs, leaving the warmth of the subway behind us, we are faced with barricades and a group of people being turned away.  No entry! No problem, not for us. With an inconspicuous flash of his wallet, the barriers are parted allowing us through.  We sliced through crowds of people, pleading with excuses trying to get past barricade after barricade, we are pleasantly let through with greetings and best wishes for the New Year.

There, right in the middle of Times Square, the ball 141 feet in air peering down at us, we walk in between the pens bursting with people packed in, shoulder to shoulder. I will say, the ball, which has so much emphasis and worship on this special night, is so teeny tiny small.  I just don’t get it.

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 We walk pass random people with press passes around their neck, focusing intently on their part of the New Years Eve production.

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We passed Carson Daily and Chrissy Teigan, smiling at the camera, pretending not to be freezing.

Carson Daily

On our right, Ryan Seacrest was in the middle of his broadcast, informing viewers of the energy buzzing throughout the city.

Ryan Secrest

We saw Jenny McCarthy getting her make up touched up, and although I hate to say it, she looked like plastic, in a weird way. Her husband Donnie Wahlberg was patiently standing next to her.

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(Perfect photo bomb from a random guy, right?)

As the night carried out, Taylor Swift appeared in her perfectly fitted wool pea coat, emphasizing her minuscule waist, hyping up the crowd and waiver to her fans, while Ryan Seacrest stands next to her waiting to start the brief interview.

Taylor Swift

Also waiting for their turn to take the stage, Georgia Line was just hanging out, joking and laughing, like a group of true friends

Country Group

Amidst the three layers of clothing, winter coat, gloves, earmuffs, hat and scarf , it was freezing. By the end of the night, my feet were numb and my hands aching from the cold.  I couldn’t image the approximately one million people standing there waiting from early that morning. I had difficulty uploading my videos (which is why you don’t see any clips of Taylor Swifts performance either), however I will try to convey the magic carried by the brisk wind of last night. When the countdown started, confetti began to fall and the tiny ball pulsed with florescent colors.  A crowd of what felt like more than a million, chanted down the seconds to midnight. And just like in Cinderella, when the clock stroke twelve, genuine, awestruck magic filled the city, sending chills through your spine and tingling your skin. I didn’t notice the cold or anyone’s social status, we were all equally apart of the experience. While embracing my husband during the first few seconds of the New Year, confetti continued to rain from the sky with vengeance, in which you couldn’t see a few feet in front of you. Pulling the delicate pieces of tissue paper out of my hair, an array of handwritten wishes were written on each one. Pure blissful magic!

From my New Years in New York, I wish nothing more but for each wish to come true!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!