Archives for May 2018

What Lies Beneath

While I was doing my laundry in the basement with quarters, I buried my face in the fragrance of hubby’s clean shirts and felt thankful. At the moment, I live in a big old drafty urban apartment building. I wash my dishes by hand, and I cook out of a ridiculously limited kitchen. But I’m still #livingthedream with all my heart and mining the gold right where life has me today.

I just felt to remind you not to allow yourself to be DEFINED or LIMITED by your current circumstances. Your abode may be in chaos today, your laundry breeding, your kids challenging you at every turn while hubby sits on your last nerve. HGTV, Pinterest and social media keep reminding you of what you’re lacking with their trickery.

Refuse to allow your circumstances to determine your attitude, your level of generosity or your dedication to parenting well. Greatness works from the inside out, not the outside in – and it seems to me that what many people strive for, go in debt to buy, lean on, trust in, and base their self worth on is often only smoke and mirrors. Don’t fall for it. March on, head high and be the bada$$ mama God’s called you to be! Need some more muscle? This post should help Click HERE to read Power for Your Parenting!

Thank you for reading, I’m truly honored. If you’d like to read more, subscribe for my updates and grab my TRANSFORMATIVE  freebie, 7 Steps to Cure an Unhappy Kid and Revolutionize Your Home Life by clicking HERE.

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Who Is That Little One Sleeping in His Bed?

Happy 32nd to our second born son, Benjamin!

Who is that little guy sleeping in his bed?
Is he a doctor, a lawyer, a CEO, a trash collector, a manager, a pastor, a landlord? Who will he become?
Where will he make his impact?
Will he marry and have 8 children?
Will he paint marvelous portraits?

Oh, the wonderful, magical surprises God has for that little one.

How would we live if we knew in advance, the wonderful things He has prepared for the sons and daughters born to us?

We would invest wisely.
We would carefully tend to their souls.
Our prayers would be genuine, costly and intent. Our covering, strong.

Who is that little one sleeping in his bed at your house tonight? How are you attending to his destiny?

CLICK HERE and be inspired by the story of one young man’s destiny unfolding…”Who is That Little One”

#benunion #parenting #sons#destiny #music #seattle #stay #theperseveringartist#happybirthday #birth

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Live Life this Summer!

There are days when my heart is so full, it could burst.
Today is one of those days.

I’ve been busy living life and pausing most of the rest.
We live in the Pacific Northwest – good lawwwwd this weather will torture your soul.
Promises, empty promises time and again of forecasted sunshine that doesn’t show up – or it shows up at 7 or 8 pm. Whoo hoo.

I’ve boxed with the weather here, but she always wins. No option but surrender.
I hasten to say the natural beauty here is unmatched. Hashtag paradise.

But there’s a price to pay for all this green. An infinity of misty, rainy gray days. Although we’re around 40th in the U.S. for rainfall, we’re in the top 3 (yes, with Portland) for gray days.
Can you feel my pain?

This weekend was our summer breakthrough weekend and when the sun comes out in Seattle, baby, you don’t hesitate to seize the moment.
You say “yes” to spontaneous walks with friends. You stop everything and sit in the sun with hubby, chatting about life and serving him a cold drink while he relaxes, drinking in the rays he’s been starved for all winter.

When the kids pop in to share your coveted private urban sunny balcony, you pull up more chairs and engage.

You silence your phone; you listen without distraction.

You clear the calendar, plan picnics and beach days and ignore email, phone calls and unnecessary chores. You fire up the barbecue at the last minute, because…sun, friends, and yum.

You play with your grandkids. You pause to hear the nuances of their beautiful childish amazement…an unusual rock, a new word, a bug, a flower, a story you’ve heard twice before; an ouchie they got a few days earlier. A song or rhyme or funny joke. Their wish is your command.

You make good food to share because…food! Right??!

I’d rather live life than write 7 poignant points about living life.
I’d rather live life than Instagram or Facebook or Tweet about living life.
I’d rather live life than take perfect pictures of living life.
I’d rather live life than dream of ‘someday’ REALLY living life.

I plan to be intentional about living life this summer with my precious people, discovering the hidden gems I’ve missed in the PNW, and endeavoring to be present for what matters most, so I’ll be adjusting my blog posts a bit and shaking up the every-Monday posting schedule as needed to flex with what presents itself in this glorious season in our city.

I encourage you to do the same wherever you may be living because we’ll blink and it’ll be pumpkin spice everything, the aromatic scent of burning leaves and football mania here in the US…and we’ll be glad we didn’t waste our summer on BUSY.
Let’s do this!

Your Two-Minute Takeaway
1. NO procrastinating. Ask for the extra time off you deserve. Refuse to allow your cell phone to determine your schedule. Plan ahead to make this season count with your spouse and kids. Don’t take no for an answer. You’re not promised tomorrow.
2. Unplug the kids. Seek nature. Think outdoors. Morning walks, patio, swimming pools, roller skates, jump ropes, barbecues, spray parks, ballgames, sidewalk chalk and reading aloud under the shade tree on a blanket. Camp out in the backyard. Ration movies so they’re truly unusual treats to enjoy together with popcorn and special friends.
3. Journal simply. Make notes at the end of every day on a spiral notebook, listing the true value you experienced. Simple, special, memorable, moments whatever they were for you and your brood. Cooking with the kids, Iced coffee, crossword puzzles, neighborhood pool fun, anything that spoke to your soul and filled up your cup! You’ll be amazed at what was accomplished!

Thank you for reading, I’m truly honored. If you’d like to read more, subscribe for my updates and grab my TRANSFORMATIVE spring freebie, 7 Steps to Cure an Unhappy Kid and Revolutionize Your Home Life by clicking HERE. 

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Your Discomfort Zone – Where the Magic Happens

Yesterday I walked into the kitchen to prep my daily green smoothie. I suddenly remembered – facepalm – I was out of power greens and celery. Hmmm. I’m not easily dissuaded, so I shook down the fridge and found baby arugula and romaine lettuce (surprisingly, romaine lettuce is a solid source of protein).

I packed my Vitamix full of these optional greens, blueberries, a chunk of fresh ginger, chia seeds, maca powder, avocado, organic protein powder and pure water. It was disgusting. And I guzzled every drop to get it down the hatch quick. Why? Because the goal wasn’t pleasure, but nourishment.

Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine says, “Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. It can improve the expression of thousands of genes, balance dozens of hormones, optimize tens of thousands of protein networks, reduce inflammation, and optimize your microbiome (gut flora) with every single bite. It can cure most chronic diseases; it works faster, better, and cheaper than any drug ever discovered; and the only side effects are good ones – prevention, reversal, and even treatment of disease, not to mention vibrant optimal health.”

I’m determined to do everything in my power to maintain optimum health and that means enduring some discomfort on a daily basis, whether that be a nasty green sludge smoothie, a power walk including steep inclines, or an early bedtime to get plenty of sleep. (Click here for a quick read on feeding your kids for best outcomes.)

It occurred to me that much of my life has been spent living intentionally in my discomfort zone, from which I’ve reaped many priceless benefits.

Anything you want outside of normal is likely going to be produced in the discomfort zone – that awkward, uncomfortable, at times miserable, redundant, tedious, costly, trying, testing, lonely, d..r..y place.

The place average achievers intentionally avoid.

It’s really the only place to be often if you want to initiate real living, bring about true change in your life and family, and have an impact in the world. All that accomplishment doesn’t take place binge-watching Netflix with a bag of chips and soda every night, yet stats tell us the average person spends 3-8 hours on the internet daily.


When I got married 6 months out of high school to a self-confident Italian 11 years my senior, I was walking the razor edge of heresy according to some. Was I ready for marriage? Is anyone ready for marriage?! Because, let’s be honest, strong marriages that last are not built in you and your partner’s comfort zones. Can I get an ‘amen’?! 38 years later, I’m so glad we determined to push through all the uncomfortable days. (You can read more about that HERE.)

Motherhood and Home Education

When I found the joy of motherhood and continued having babies, one after another to the dismay of some vocal family members – you guessed it, discomfort zone. Then when I decided to homeschool them all with no formal training, well, let’s just say it was unfamiliar territory I had to learn to navigate on a daily basis, despite the jeers in my ears. Life found us pioneering, blazing trails; trudging along bumpy and lonely roads at times over the years, but one step always led to the next, even when it seemed like we’d hit the wall.  33 years later, the outcomes were worth any discomfort. (Read HERE for a glimpse…)


Your New Normal: the discomfort zone

If you’ve got your sights set on building a strong marriage, raising great kids, growing healthy bodies, serving your fellowman, increasing your intelligence, achieving the dreams in your heart, and conquering life’s mountains along the way – just remember the motto of the U.S. Navy SEALs, “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday,” and gird up for extended periods in the discomfort zone. 

Your Two-Minute Takeaway

  1. List the top 10 accomplishments you see as paramount in your life. Ponder how much time and energy and emotion was spent in your discomfort zone that bore such fruit. How can you apply this same determination in your marriage, child rearing and physical health? Make a plan!
  2. The average person looks at their smartphone at least 100 times a day where they find delicious, comfortable, indulgent, audio and visual delights every millisecond to anesthetize them briefly and distract them from real life and real relationships. Refuse to use your phone for anything more than an absolutely necessary call or text for the first two hours of your day for a week and jot down the affects of your mini-fast.
  3. Embrace the effects of your discomfort zone-you aren’t failing, weak or going backwards. Reframe the thoughts and emotions that feel so heavy and dark – turning them into a buoyant victory march toward the finish line of success. Be the badass you know you ARE deep down inside.

Thank you for reading, I’m truly honored. If you’d like to read more, subscribe for my updates and grab my TRANSFORMATIVE spring freebie, 7 Steps to Cure an Unhappy Kid and Revolutionize Your Home Life by clicking HERE. 


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