Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Special Gift for You!


'Tis the Season of Giving!  And I am so excited to share with you a recording of my interview with the amazing Rosemary Nickel of Motivating Other Moms where we discussed...

The 5 Lessons I Learned
from my
In Search of Me in Mommy
one-year purposeful journey! 

During this interview, Rosemary and I talk about life-changing lessons that I learned during 2010 when I took a year to rediscover myself after five years of being consumed by motherhood.  It is my hope that you listen to my story and learn at least one item that will help YOU through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

I would love to hear what you learned from the interview, so be sure share in the comment below or post your thoughts on the In Search of Me in Mommy Facebook page!

I hope that you enjoy this gift!

But before you scroll down to click and listen...there is another gift that I want to share with you...
As you may, or may not know, in January, I am offering, for the first time ever, my 6-week In Search of Me in Mommy Class.  And because I know that we, as moms, are often last on our lists, I want to encourage you to put yourself on the top of the list and do something for yourself. 

There are many ways to do just that...have a spa day, take a bath, go for a run, head to a local coffee shop and sit and read, take a class to learn something new...who knows, maybe you even want to take the In Search of Me in Mommy Class

And, if taking the In Search of Me in Mommy Class is something you want to do for YOU **what a GREAT idea :)**...and you sign up by December 31, 2011 at 11:59pm EST and get a 20% discount!  To get the discount use the coupon code "GIFT".

For more information about the class, click here.

Happy Holidays from me to you!


So, without further delay...here is the interview for your listening pleasure...

The interview is approximately 30 minutes of goodness, so grab your favorite beverage, find a comfy chair and get ready for...

The 5 Lessons I Learned from my
In Search of Me in Mommy one-year purposeful journey!



Truly, I hope that you enjoy this holiday season and are surrounded with love and kindness!

Thank you for being a part of In Search of Me in Mommy!





Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today I choose...

Too often I have found myself letting life happen to me.  I get blindsided by a rude comment, or annoyed by an innocent suggestion, or bugged by someone else's negativity. 

And I react...I may get cranky, or feel bitter and resentful, or snap at my children and husband, or indulge in emotional eating. 

These reactions just happen.  Often unconsciously.  And then later I wonder why I am not happy.

What if, instead of reacting and letting life happen to me, I lived my life more intentionally.

What if every morning, I choose to be happy, or grateful, or forgiving?

What if every morning I choose to eat healthy or exercise or meditate?

What if every morning I consciously choose how I wanted to life my day? 

What if I picked 2-4 items each morning and decided, ahead of time, the focus of my day.

Would that change my life?  I am not sure - but I bet it would, at least change my day!

So, TODAY I CHOOSE...



What do you choose for your today?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feeling Lost in MOTHERHOOD?

I did!

I was married in '03, had my first baby in '04, bought a new house in '05 and had my second child in '06.  My world had drastically changed in a few short years.  And while marriage, and a move were both big deals.  Neither rocked my world the way motherhood did!

In 2009, both of my boys were in preschool and, for the first time in 5 years, I had 2 hours - on a regular basis - to myself!  Although those hours, during preschool, flew by, it was just enough time for me to notice... 

...Notice that I wasn't as happy as I thought I should be. 
...Notice I didn't know what to do with myself during those moments that I set aside for "me time". 
...Noticed my friends, my conversations and my interests had changed.


And I realized that I did know who I was anymore.  Motherhood had consumed the "Kim" in me.

So I set out to find myself.  Through a purposeful journey I began to become reacquainted with me - the "Kim-me".  And I felt so much more fulfilled - as a person, and as a mother.

And *BONUS* I found my passion for encouraging and teaching other moms how to not lose themselves in motherhood.

By taking what I gained from this life-changing purposeful journey and combining that with what I learned through my degrees in Family Studies (BA) and Education (MEd) I have developed a class to help other moms learn how not to lose themselves in motherhood.

If this sounds at all interesting to you - click below more information about the In Search of Me in Mommy class

The class starts in January and this is the CHARTER class - limited to only 16 moms - so, don't delay...sign up today!

:) Kim

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No. 53 - Put Yourself Out There

I am continuing to add to my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self. Number 53 is all about sharing yourself with the world!

Want to get the first 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free (and I promise not to share your information)!!!!
Right over here :) ------>

In January 2010, in the middle of a "Is this really as good as it gets?!!? life crisis, I decided to start my In Search of Me in Mommy blog. I was trying to find myself.  After being so consumed by motherhood for 5 years, that I no longer really knew who I was.  My reasons for starting a blog was two-fold. First and foremost, I wanted to journal.  Secondly, I had often said "I want to be a writer", so I figured that my blog would force me to practice my writing skills.

What I didn't think too much about initially, was that in choosing to blog, I would be putting myself "out there". It wasn't until I was ready to click "PUBLISH" after writing my first post, did I feel the butterflies and fear of sharing my thoughts with the world.

But, since I had told no one (except my husband) about my blog and that the chances of anyone reading it was slim to none, I swallowed the fear and butterflies and clicked away.

As time passed, I became more and more comfortable sending my thoughts into cyberspace.  Which, admittedly, was pretty easy, since I still had told no one about my blog.  And I began to wonder "what is the purpose of a blog if no one reads it?!!?.  So one night, with some help from a couple glasses of liquid courage, I posted my blog on my facebook page. 

Eek!  That was scary!  I felt so vulnerable.

What if someone didn't like what I wrote?
What would people think?
Who am I to write a blog?
What if no one cares?
A few friends read.  A few friends passed it onto their friends.  And, I even got some positive feedback <insert big grin>. 

And still, I know that some people have not like what I have written and that others may think that I have no business blogging and I certainly am aware that there are many who could care less about my blog. 

But, do you know what?  I honestly don't care anymore.

Why?  It is simple!  What I have gained by putting myself out there is way too valuable!

By putting myself "out there" I have...
connected with people that I never expected to,
learned more myself,
let others know that they are not alone,
found value in myself that I never knew existed,
plus so much more...

And all of that is... priceless!

When have you put yourself "out there"? 
What did you gain?
    

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Unexpected Gratitude


'Tis the season for Gratitude...and I have a LOT to be grateful for!  I am blessed with two wonderful boys, a husband who is a great father and partner, great friends, plus so much more.  This morning while taking a bath and reflecting on what I am thankful for, I found myself appreciative for a few items that I had not expected to EVER be grateful for!  So I thought I would share...

Today, I realized that I am grateful for...

The boys arguments.  Through these arguements, Alex and Owen learn anger and conflict management, negotiation, and relationship skills in the safety of our family.

Yelling at my children.  Sometimes yelling has helped my children understand boundaries.  Other times, after hearing myself, I have realized that my patience was too thin, and then purposely took time to re energize myself.  Still other times, my yelling at my boys, has prompted a good conversation with my husband about how we want to raise our boys.  These conversations, always leads to insights and great ideas of how we both can be better parents.

Alex's Low Apgar Scores and Owen's Emergency Ambulance Ride.  After both of my sons were born, we dealt with medical issues that were scary and no fun.  Alex was a barely whimpering grayish-blue baby at birth, due to the umbilical cord being wrapped tightly around his neck.  And Owen, seven hours after birth, stopped breathing and was rushed to another hospital.  During both of these situations I found a strength that I never knew I had.  Instead of wondering "why me" or "what if..." or having thoughts od doom and gloom, I tuned into my intuition and followed my gut feeling of "everything is going to be fine."  Every time, during those experiences, that I had those dark, unhappy thoughts I would quickly and consciously replaced them with "I am going with my gut...Everything is going to be OK."   By doing that, in those moments, I was able to be clear-headed and there for my babies.  Since those experiences I have continuted to tune into my intuition regularily.  It is an amazing skill that I am EXTREMELY grateful for!

My parenting mistakes.  My mistakes, like when I punished my son for something that I later learned he hadn't done, or when I accidentally shut the rear hatch of my SVU on my other sons' head (OUCH!!!! I felt SO bad!), has given me the opportunity be apologize.  I am grateful that my sons know that I am human and like them, I too make mistakes.

I must admit that feeling grateful for agruing children, me screaming, medical scares, and awful mistakes feels a bit odd.

But through each of these experiences, the lessons I have learned - both big and small - are invaluable! And, I am reminded of the fact that the flaws it life, are often times the most precious.

What are you Unexpectedly Grateful for?





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Living in Lack-of-Style Denialville

Is it pathetic that when I put on jeans, I feel like I am getting "dressed up"?

 Yep, I admit it...it is true...most days my wardrobe consists of sweat or yoga pants, and a casual (usually baggy) shirt.  So when I slip on my jeans...look out...it's a red carpet day!

Honestly, it was never my intent, as a stay at home mom, to slum around in my grubbies each and every day.  In fact when my boys were infants, I prided myself in the fact that, daily, I made time to shower and get dressed.  But, at first wearing clothes that were just one step above pajamas was simply pratical.  I mean, seriously, who wants spit up, snot, and other bodily fluids on "good clothes"??!!?  Not me!  But, now my children are 5 and 6 years old and, mostly, keep their excretions to themselves.  Still my apparel has not changed.

In my defense (and why I feel the need to defend myself about this, is beyond me...) while I do spend most days looking, errr, comfortable, this does NOT mean that I am laying around doing nothing.  In fact, my days are filled - spent with children, household chores, writing, and building/starting my business, plus much more.

Curiously, while I have been a mom for just shy of seven years (OMG!  How did that happen?) it is just now that I am feeling that my wardrobe needs a little help! 

But, I am feeling a bit out of my element...  I mean, I am not sure what my style is anymore.  And Lord knows that I don't have hours of free time to go shopping to try and figure that out.

So, I guess for now, I'll just be happy with the fact that I finally found my way out of Lack-of-Style Denialville.

Because acknowledging there is a problem is the first step, RIGHT?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

"I am sorry" - a 36 year old apology

Me, circa 1975
In 1975 I was an innocent five-year-old making my way through kindergarten, while our country was navigating through the after effects of the Civil Rights Movement.  Little did I know that a piece of this country’s strife would dramatically play out in my classroom.

It was a typical cold spring day when I arrived at school.  But, this day was different.  Instead of diving into our lessons on colors, or letters, Mrs. Kramer*, instructed us to gather on the rug in our “special groups”. 

“Today, a special new student will join us.” She explained.

As we sat on the rug, Mrs. Kramer implored, “Please be nice to our new friend when she arrives.”  She looked over to my group and said “She will join your group!”  I was elated!  I would surely have a new friend!

The room filled with chatter and much anticipation.  As I waited, I noticed that something was different.  When I was the “new girl”, just two months earlier, the other kids were not eagerly awaiting my arrival.  Instead, I remembered entering the classroom while Mrs. Kramer was teaching, being greeted kindly, given my seat, and promptly the lesson continued.  I wondered why today it was different. 

We heard the door open, as she and her mother entered.  Mrs. Kramer greeted them, helped the little girl hang her coat and then turned her toward us and said “Class, this is Sylvia.” 

To this day, I clearly remember smiling at her and admiring her beautiful red and blue plaid jumper.  She looked so pretty.

Meanwhile, my classmates were talking amongst themselves.  Abruptly, Brian*, another kindergartener, pointed at my group and loudly exclaimed, “You’ve got a blacky!”  Before long, other children began repeating his words, and steadily, the entire room became filled with five and six year old voices chanting “You’ve got a blacky!  You’ve got a blacky!”

Immediately, I knew that something was wrong, but couldn’t make sense of it.  I looked at Sylvia, and took inventory.  Her dress was not black, nor were her shoes.  Her hair was black, but determined that couldn’t be what they were talking about since many others’ in my class also had dark hair.  I wondered, “Could they be talking about her skin?”  Immediately, I thought “But, her skin is brown, not black.”

I was uneasy and confused!  “What was going on?”

All my classmates surrounding me were chanting.  I felt as if I were the only one who remained silent.  I did not know what to do. 

But, I did do. 

And, (to this day) I am ashamed to say, that I joined in on the hatred and added my five year old voice to that chant.

Tears roll down Sylvia’s face as her mother hurriedly helped her put on her coat and quickly steered her out the door. 

Afterwards, the students quieted.  Soon Mrs. Kramer began to teach and we returned to familiar routines of our school day.  The sense of normalcy calmed me.

I never saw Sylvia again.

I didn't speak about that moment, to anyone, until many, many years later.

As I grew and matured, I realized how ghastly that experience was.  I was mortified for Mrs. Kramer, angry at whoever taught such hatred to my classmates, and shameful of myself. 

I have often wondered about Sylvia and how that afternoon affected her life.  How could that moment have been different?  What I could have done to prevent such horribleness?

I wish that it hadn’t happened.  I wish that Mrs. Kramer would have done something.  I wish that I would have remained silent.  And, I wish that I could have been brave enough to do something - anything. 

But now, mostly, I wish that I could tell Sylvia, “I am sorry”.

*names have been changed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No. 52 - Doodle Yourself Happy!



I am continuing to add to my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self.  Number 52 is all about the magic of doodling!

Want to get the first 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free (and I promise not to share your information)!!!!
Right over here :) ------>

As I mentioned last in a previous post, I signed up for a 30-day Do the Doodle Challenge at melissaAnne Colors.

I signed up thinking that I would have fun coloring, scribbling and, of course doodling with my kids crayons, paints, and colored pencils.  And I did have fun!  But it was way more than just fun...  I learned so much about myself when I took a few moments every day to put color to paper (or in some cases, color to computer).

Who knew (other than the brilliant MelissaAnne) that simple little doodles could be so powerful?!!?? 

Let me explain...

This past Sunday afternoon, I was G.R.U.M.P.Y.!

Everything and everybody was getting on my last nerve.  Even I, was annoyed to be around myself!  I tried to get rid of the grumps.  Ignoring didn't work.  Yelling was not helpful (and made it worse).  Forcing a fake smile failed.  Even my husband's long hug and kisses from my boys did nothing to banish the monster grumpinator that had seemingly taken over my entire being.

So I sequestered myself in my home office, put on my ear buds, and doodled.

First, I doodled GRUMPY.

I still felt grumpy...but it felt more lowercase-ish. 

Then, I said to myself, "I need to turn this around."  So I doodled more.

Was I magically, instantly happy?  Nope.  But I could feel the tide turning...

I took a break from the doodles and went on with my day.

My was mood lifting.  By evening, I was smiling and feeling much better!

After the boys went to bed, I decided to doodle a little bit more...
And, I am pleased to report that I went to bed feeling uber happy and full of positive energy!

Was is the doodles that made the difference? 

I don't know...
But, it sure feels like I Doodled Myself Happy!


BIG NEWS!!!!! (Updated 11/4/2011)
Hey wonderful ISOMIM folks...I have good news for you! Melissa at melissaAnne Colors, kindly offered a special discount for you!!  So, I hope that you take advantage of her kindness.  If you sign up by November 7 for the next 30-day Do the Doodle Challenge you get
$5 off! 
 Just use coupon code "MOMMY" when you sign up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No. 51 - Stop Playing Small!


Today, I decided to start adding to my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, and number 51 is all about owning your greatness!


Want to get the first 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free (and I promise not to share your information)!!!!
Right over here :) ------>

Too often, when someone has thanked me for something, I respond, "Oh, it's nothing."

I truly think that I am being kind by saying it. 

But I am not.  Not to the other person - who is appreciating me for what I have done. 

Nor to myself.

In saying "Oh, it's nothing."  I dismiss their appreciation and disrespect them.
In saying "Oh, it's nothing."  I devalue what I have done and fail to recognize my impact on another.

I am playing small.

It's hard to not play small when the world tells us to not boast or brag or be too full of ourselves.  At times, playing small feels like the right thing to do.

I am realizing that it is not. 

I am realizing that I can be appreciated.
I am realizing that I do have value and that it is not boastful to simply acknowledge and recognize my impact on others.

So, now
I am learning to say "Thank You!  I appreciate your kind words."
I am learning to say "Thank You!"

and truly mean it.

How do you play small?
What if you tried to own your greatness?!!?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Be You...

A little video I created!  Enjoy!






Rainy Days


It's raining today.  And as I woke up this morning, I immediately thought - "Ugh, what a crappy morning."  And - guess what?!!?  It was.  Owen was whiny.  Alex was too "busy" to listen.  The school bus was due to arrive.  I was crabby.  And they knew it!

Luckily we made it to the bus stop, just in time.  My two boys hopped on the bus and I took a deep breath.  I headed back home. 

But, the rain cloud followed me in. 

As I started the rest of my day, the foggy gray-ness hung over me.  I tried to shake it.  I tried to ignore it.  I tried to fight it.  But it was still there. 

So I joined it.

I grabbed my pen, my journal, and sat down and wrote.  I let the gray cloud and rain exist. I let it run it course. I allowed it to happen.  My emotions exploded onto the paper and the attached feelings flowed freely.

Little had I known all that was bottled up inside.

Outside, I still hear the rain pitter-pattering on my roof.

Inside, the gray clouds are dissipating and my mood is lifting.  I can even see the sun peaking through the clouds!

How do you deal with your rainy days?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No. 35 - Create a Vision Board

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 35 is all about putting your dreams into pictures!


Want to get all 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free!!!! Right over here :) ------>

The other day I did an exercise about working through a problem with Coach Joelle.   I was instructed to picture an issue or concern and then envision a solution. 

My problem was, "How am I going to share my children's book, Moments to Savor with the world?

I closed my eyes and pictured this issue.  I saw my children's book manuscript in its current state - a file on my computer - neatly centered, double spaced, in Times New Roman 12 point font - just sitting there in a folder filled with 77 other documents.

Then I envisioned my solution and saw a hard copy, folded neatly together with a letter, in an addressed envelope, stamped and ready to be taken to the post office.  The picture in my mind evolved and I began to see an image of the cover of my book - and while the image on the cover was hazy (but colorful) the font (a very fun swirly font) and words were clear..."Moments to Savor by Kim Dettmer".  Milliseconds later, I imagined myself reading this book, both to my boys, and to a classroom filled with children.

Unexpectedly a huge grin spread across my face and a warmth filled my heart.  The picture in my mind was so clear that it felt like I could step into it and actually live in that moment!

So, in the spirit of a vision board, I decided to draw a snapshot of one of those images and hang it on my bulletin board and a regular visual reminder.


Will drawing this picture help me share this book with the world? 

Honestly, I don't know. 

But, what I do know is that, since drawing this picture and doing that exercise with Coach Joelle, six letters, with six manuscripts were folded neatly into addressed envelopes and taken to the post office and are currently headed to six editors.


What issue are you facing?
Why not envision your solution - and maybe even draw it?

No harm in doing that...right?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Women on Fire Day - WooHooies!


"You may have already set into motion, what it takes for
your dreams to come true."
~Janette Barber (keynote speaker, WOF Day 2011)

On Friday I attended Debbie Phillips' amazing Women on Fire Day in Columbus.  And all I have to say, is WooHooies!  It was spectacular!  I met women from their teens into their 80's who are inspiring, encouraging, supportive, and powerful! 

Women who want to create their best lives possible!

Women who are living the life of their dreams, and others who are just beginning to get a glimpse their dreams!

Women who are not catty, backstabbing, or competitive.

Women who truly, genuinely, want every woman to succeed and are excited to cheer each other on!

Women who authentically share themselves - the good, the bad, and the ugly - in a spirit of growth!

Women who are positive, optimistic, and not even a little whiney.

Women who are on fire about life!

Enjoy watching a glimpse of the day!
(video created by the amazing Jamie Eslinger)


It was a day that filled my soul with goodness!

What fills your soul?


Thursday, September 29, 2011

No. 8 - Color Your World

 
In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 8 is all about COLOR!!!

Want to get all 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free!!!! Right over here :) ------>


The other day I was mindlessly doodling.  Something I find myself doing quite often.  But this time, when I saw what I had created...  I realized that something was missing.

COLOR!

So I scanned my doodle into my computer and began to add LIFE (err,...color) to my ink marks.


For about 30 minutes, time stood still (you know what I mean - those situations when you are so engrossed in what you are doing that passing time is unnoticeable), as I COLORED MY WORLD.

The very next day, I saw that a facebook friend, Melissa McClain was offering a Do the Doodle 30 Day Challenge.  The Universe spoke.  What else could I do, but sign up!

I am SO excited to DO the DOODLE and add COLOR TO MY WORLD!

How do you add color to your world?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No. 42 - Write a letter to yourself.


In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 42 is all about getting in touch with your authentic self through writing letters.  Today, I wrote a letter to my younger-self.  (Shamelessly stolen from Ellyn Spragins at www.letterstomyyoungerself.com)


Want to get all 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free!!!! Right over here :) ------>


Dear 29 Year-Old Kim,

I know this year is hard for you!  You never thought that a simple number - your age - could ever affect you so dramatically, but, alas, it has.  And, that is OK.

You expected so much for your 20's - an education, a career (both of which you have) - but mostly, you expected love.  And that love, that you haven't yet found, feels like a gigantic empty hole of loneliness.

Thirteen years later, as a wife and a mom (who craves time to herself) it would be easy for me to tell you to embrace your alone time and to enjoy your freedom - but I will not do that.  I know that you have experienced life and enjoyed the opportunities that you have had because your are single.  And, you will continue to do so. 
Me, on a road trip, during my single days.
I also know that your desire to become a wife and mom is so incredibly powerful and that right now, it feels so hopeless.  Hang in there.  

What I will tell you is that your current lack of love, is NOT because you are not worthy!  Please do not waste the time to question that!  I wish that you could clearly see how worthy you are.  But I now know, although you have a hard time fully believing this, you do know your worthy of love - deep down!  Otherwise, you would have already settled, married and had children.

But you didn't! - You have stayed true to your worthiness. 
Do your realize how remarkable that truly is?

However, what you do not believe, that only now I am beginning to embrace, is that you are amazing!  I wish you would acknowledge and celebrate what you have accomplished! 

Stop saying that all that you have done in your twenties (finished college and grad school, found a career that is fufilling, moved 745 miles away from home, plus so much more) is not a big deal.  It is a big deal! 

Stop believing that anyone could accomplish what you have!  Just because they could (and that is debatable), does not mean that they have...  And YOU have! 

These accomplishments will serve you throughout your life.  And, while right now you feel a large piece of your life - love, partnership, family - is missing, know that what you have done is incredibly valuable!

You will look back to now, and remember your twenty-ninth year as incredibly challenging.  Because when your entire being feels like your life's passion is missing - it is hard - grueling even.

But you are persisting and staying true to YOU! 
And I, the future you, thanks you!

I am in awe of you!

Love and hugs,

(the 42 year old version)



 

What would you say to your younger you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No. 5 - Face a Fear

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 5 is all about being not letting fear get in the way of your dreams!


Want to get all 50 ways?...just subscribe and get it for free!!!! Right over here :) ------>

One morning, months ago, I woke up inspired!  I had a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) for a children's book. 

Writing a children's picture book has been a dream of mine for the last 20 years, but I always thought that it was just something I would dream of, but never do.  I have even started writing many stories from time to time, only to get discouraged, or sidetracked and would give up.

But this time, I was so inspired that I got out my computer and began to weave my words with thoughts.  Writing felt wonderful and I became very attached to each sentence.  So the thought of letting another person read it, even my husband, brought slight pangs of fear.  Inspite of that fear, I shared my first draft with my husband and he liked it, but had a few ideas about how I could change it.  I went back and made some changes and reworked parts.  Many drafts later, I got braver and shared it with my parents.  They too liked it, and also had a few suggestions.  More shaping, tweeking, and editing.

But, I knew that soon, I would have to get feedback from folks outside of my family, if I wanted to move forward with my book.  The thought of doing so scared the *beep* out of me!  It was amazing, to me, how vulnerable I felt.  What if they don't like it? What if they don't understand it? What if they laugh? What if they think I am crazy for thinking that I could author a children's book?  But, again, I persisted and asked a few friends, who have a relavent background, to look it over.  Again, I got feedback, and made some more edits.  It was not as hard as I had expected!

Meanwhile, I had been researching the world of children book publishers and found a small relatively-new publisher that I thought would be a perfect fit for my genre of book.  Furthermore, this publisher had changed their policy (the very week I inquired) and were now accepting unsolicited manuscripts submissions for children's picture books.  It felt like the stars were aligned, and that the Universe was telling me to submit my book.  That thought - the simple thought - that, maybe, I should send off my story to a publisher filled me with fear! 

I told myself that it was crazy to even consider sending off my manuscript so soon!
I told myself that I couldn't handle it if they rejected it!  
I told myself that publishing this book was just a pipe-dream and that I should give it up!
And then I told myself to FACE MY FEARS!

So I did.  I made my final edits, formated it to their requirements and in a click, I sent it off to the publisher.  At that moment, I bubbled over with fear, hope, and giddiness.  I grabbed the giddiness and hope, held it close, and did a little happy dance all around my house.  
It felt awesome! 

I would love to tell you that the publisher was thrilled with my book and immediately offered me a contract to publish. 

But, alas, that is not what happened.  A few weeks later I received a very nice email, which included suggestions for improvements, but also explained why they were not interested in my manuscript.  I was very disappointed!  And, yes, I shed a few tears.  The rejection was hard to receive. 

But, it was nowhere near as hard as I had feared!  

Recently, I was given advice to "not stop before the miracle" (Thank you Debbie Phillips)  So, now I move forward. This one rejection will not stop me.  My book is a work in progress and how it will come to be, I do not know.  But what I do know is that one day it will be shared with the world!

What fear did you face?
What did you gain from that experience?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No. 26 - Remove What Makes You Unhappy

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 26 is all about getting rid of the stuff that causes unhappiness!

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And today, I made another step toward just that!  I have always despised cleaning.  But yet, I truly value living in a clean house...and have always tried to maintain such a home.  I believe I do a decent job (although my overly-orderly husband might think differently), but I am never happy about doing it.  Often the thought of tackling it hangs over my head like a dark cloud of dread.

After much discussion, and negotiating, Jeff and I agreed to find someone to clean our house monthly and today is the first day!  I am THRILLED!

Yes, I am OH, SO pleased that I did not have to take the time to clean.  Furthermore, during the time it took her to clean our house, I completed two large projects.  Plus, over the weekend, I didn't have to take the time to clean the house and was able to spend more quality time with my boys and Jeff.

But, just as important (and perhaps more so), not having the DREAD of cleaning is incredibly freeing!  I am happier and incredibly appreciative!  And now, sitting in my uber clean house (which, btw, smells amazing) after having a wonderfully productive morning is better than I ever expected! ...I even did a little happy dance!!!!!

It is clear to me, that the happiness and time that I have received is SO worth it!
I am SO worth it!

What have you gotten rid of to honor your happiness, time, and ultimately, YOURSELF?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No. 18 - Take Time to Play with your Kids


In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 43 is all about PLAY!
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"And I don’t mean playing with your kids simply in the spirit of pacifying them. I mean, full out, completely involved, playtime! Find a game or activity that both you and your children enjoy and dive in!"

Since the summer is winding down and school is starting this week, during this past weekend, I made it a priority to spend some quality time to simply  P L A Y  with my boys.  Currently, they are into Lego's and since I loved playing with those blocks as a child I decided to hang out in the playroom with my boys and build!  It was a blast!  Time flew by and before I knew it, two hours + had past.  The boys made wonderful creations - a tanker truck, a front end loader, a police car, plus more!  I, on the other hand put together a simple, old-school, skyscraper.  So much fun!


During those wonderful hours, I realized that too often I get caught up in all the doings (laundry, cleaning, filling out school paperwork, making sure they brush their teeth and eat mostly healthy meals, and teaching letters and numbers, manner, and...) of being a mom, that I sometimes forget about being the mom that I intend to be.

What is your fondest memory of a time that you really played with your kids?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No. 43 - Spend Time in Nature

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 43 is all about the outdoors!
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I have found that I become more grounded, centered, and all around happier after I spend time in nature.  Today, Jeff and I and our boys spent the afternoon at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, one of the best zoos in the world!


It was a beautiful day and it was hard not to smile when the sun was shining, the boys were happy, and Jeff was taking the afternoon off to enjoy time with us.  Plus, how could I not feel wonderful when we were surrounded by...

Gigantic Gorgeous Giraffes

Enormous Elegant Elephants

Proud Polar Bear

 and Meerkat Mayhem!

But, my most favorite part of the day, were the moments we spent in the Butterfly Habitat!  After seeing mammoth elephants and long-necked giraffes, watching the butterflies was a delightful change-of-pace.  Each and every butterfly was stunning and beautiful!  (And, since I brought my camera with my new zoom lens...I was in CREATIVITY nirvana!)




It was a wonderful day!  And, for me, a huge reminder about how important spending time experiencing nature is for my happiness and well-being!

When was the last time you took time to notice the butterflies?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No. 25 - Define What Your "Happiness Is..."


In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 25 is all about HAPPINESS! 
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Do you remember “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” when the Peanuts gang sang about what Happiness is...?  Why not start your own Happiness is... List?

For me, Happiness is...
walking on the beach.
when my one of my sons reaches out to hold my hand.
moments of silence coupled with realizations.
creating.
giggles and full-out belly-aching laughter.
feeling an authentic connection with a new friend.
being a part of my child's Aha moment.
tears and difficult emotions that I know are leading me to the right path.
reading a good book.
building a sandcastle.
believing in the possibilities - even the ones that are fear-filled, and at times may seem impossible.
listening to my sons playing nicely with each other.
unexpected beautiful nature.
weaving words.
believing that I can and that I will.
love.

What's on your Happiness is... List?