Fairy Tale Mom

I spent my weekend with a tap dancer. That means I carried tap shoes, provided plenty of water and managed to get to three separate call times on time. I win dance mom. However, long days with my dancer often means that I sit and watch rehearsal, then the show. Then, I carry the things back home again to repeat the next day.

This weekend I changed things up a bit. While I usually hit the gym on Saturday and Sunday, this weekend, I got to walk around my beautiful city to get my 10,000 daily steps in. I found the most interesting things on Massachusetts Ave. I walked to my favorite book store. I walked past a pipe organ manufacturer (I was way more excited about this than I should have been). I saw an art gallery. I walked past one of our local theaters and I covered a few of the local war memorials.

While my girl rehearsed, I walked. I was front and center for show time, but I realized a few things on my walks through the city. I made a choice to get active. I can make this same choice every day. I mapped out a quick mile that I can walk in my neighborhood before I go to work in the morning. While I’m no morning person, I’m sure I can find 15 minutes, or less, to cover a mile.

My pace is a little off when I don’t have the gym equipment to keep pace, but I’ll be getting the steps in daily to get me closer to that 5K in 19 days.

McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free ONeAmerica 500 Festival or Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

Theoretically, this is actually week 7 of training. That is how long I’ve been spending 4 days a week at the gym. That is 7 weeks of moving 200% more than I had been. 7 weeks of drinking more water and watching what I eat a little (a little tiny bit) more closely than I was. I realized that I had to get in better shape if I wanted to avoid some of the genetic maladies that have been passed on to me from my parents. So, I’ve been going to the gym.

It was this week that things changed. By “changed” in no way do I imply that I gleefully skip off to the gym and merrily work my way through 3 miles on the treadmill. Things changed in that everything started hurting in all of the wrong ways.

It was spring break, so I took some time off to spend with my girl. She and I had many things planned, mostly just being together. I had decided to go to the gym daily. After 5 days I realized that this was a giant mistake. This body hasn’t moved that much in a very very long time. So, after my gallant efforts, I’m in pain. My knees are killing me. My left hip (yes, just the left) is on fire. I’m like an old lady the way I’m gimping around. A cane actually sounds like a mighty good idea.

I am still determined to get to 10,000 steps daily. My fitbit monitors my progress and I keep a close eye on the activity levels. Except for the last 2 days, because I’m in pain. Did I mention the pain?

I am still determined to complete the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Finish Line Festival 5K. I’ll be walking the 5K portion of this event, with several friends and my girl. I am determined to get to the finish line, but not really keeping track of the time quite yet. My goal is a 13 minute mile. And walking with Michelle, should get me there with no problem. Her long legs force me to take 4 steps to her every one.

I’m grateful to have my fitbit to keep me motivated to move and this great partner to help keep me focused on a bigger prize, my health. McDonald’s may seem like an odd choice for a get moving campaign, but they have really done a great job at getting the focus on the moving and not the eating.

McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or Finish Line 50 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

When I was forced encouraged to start using social media, my bio was easy to write. I lived with a pirate, a fairy and the princess, so Fairy Tale Land was easily created. I haven’t lived in Fairy Tale Land in a few years. I’ve tried to update my bio, but I can’t find words that suit my name and my location at the same time.

I refuse to use any words about princes of any sort, let alone charming. I still have the princess and our loyal steed, er dog. I just can’t see the new kingdom as a Fairy Tale. Maybe that’s more telling than I initially considered.

So, I struggle to find the words. Maybe you can help? Let’s rewrite my bio

Love For Shaundi

Love For Shaundi

You know that song, that says “We are just one phone call from our knees”? Well, it’s true. Except sometimes it’s a text. And you stop everything that you are doing, everything that you considered doing in that moment, to pray. And you find yourself hugging your child and through your tears telling her to pray too.

Because, nothing at all that you had planned for the evening, was ever going to be. Praying for a friend becomes the most important thing in the moment when you get a text that takes you to your knees.

I’m glad that the first thing I did was pray. And, I’m glad that my dearest friends did the same. These women that I am lucky enough to call friends, we all got the same text. It was haunting. It was scary. And it meant that we needed to do nothing more than support our Katy, because she was going through hell.

We spent the next few days making sure that we could support her in her time of grief in any possible way. And, I spent my time realizing that some of the things that I thought mattered, didn’t. When all you know to do is love the people that surround you, that is becomes the most important thing. And, it remains the most important thing.

Standing by Katy, as we sent our prayers to Heaven, our Love for Shaundi was strong – remains strong. I continue to pray, I continue to be glad that my friends pray with me. Even more, I’m glad that I know this group of people that rally their love when it is needed.

Thanks to @mooshinindy for putting together this amazing video from the service.


In my quest for perfect beauty products, I was spending my lunch hour with my most recent fashion magazine. While I realize it will never be “perfect”, I’m super happy to try new products and read about what Drew Barrymore is using on her face. (Even though I totally know its photoshop and airbrushing creating that glow.)

I love reading this stuff. I love looking at clothes I can’t afford (and shouldn’t wear in most cases). Still, it makes me happy. I’m going to keep doing it, judge if you must.

Here’s my issue today: inside the cover of this wonderfully enjoyable magazine is a list of what the Editor in Chief keeps in her makeup bag.. Even without the $88 fragrance, it’s 9 products at $300! Maybe I’m the crazy one, but that seems like way too much to pay for an eyeliner ($22).

Now, I’ve recently chosen a foundation that is a bit out of my comfort zone at $30. But, even with that luxury item, may daily routine products are $91. That includes moisturizer and cleanser. From making my face clean to covering it all back up, with 9 products, my total is 1/3 of hers. Maybe that’s in part due to geography. In her job in the industry there is a greater expectation than of me in the Midwest. But, can a $30 mascara work THAT much differently than my $6 version?

I could have this all wrong. Maybe those luxury purchases make all the difference in the world. My budget tells me that I’m going to have to figure it out for the Midwest price.

If you were curious, I’m reading Lucky today. It’s one of my favorites. While her makeup bag is outside of my price range, the magazine is a perfect lunch time treat for me.

I let myself get talked into a magazine subscription at the makeup counter last month. The deal was I would get it once, call and cancel the subscription and move on with life. Except, I got the magazine and absolutely, positively fell in love with it.

I’m not a fashionista, but only becaus

Magazines, Connaught Place

Magazines, Connaught Place (Photo credit: prolix6x)

e I don’t have the budget. But reading that magazine (cover to cover including all of the beautiful glossy ads) made me realize that I had stopped taking care of myself. I had begun to settle for lesser products. I stopped buying shoes like I once had (and I love shoes, I mean love). This one magazine sparked in me a desire to take care of myself again. I want to try all of the fancy creams and new makeup techniques.

I want to wear pretty clothes that don’t involve mom jeans or practical shoes. I want to drink in every single word on those pages and take those hours all for myself. Then, I want to go back to being a mom. But, I want to do it with dewy, smooth skin and very pretty shoes.

It’s not as though I had forgotten how much I enjoy pretty things, I just quit prioritizing them. Well, no more friends. I continue my quest for the perfect skin care products and I’m back to shoe shopping. It may be on the sale racks, but I’m shopping.

That magazine brought me back to a joy in fashion and pride in my appearance. Those hours I spent reading that magazine (possibly more than once) are the best present I have given myself in years. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Ulta, yes, again.

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Here’s the thing, I am vain. Not quite like Carly Simon needs to write another song, but I want to look pretty nonetheless. I’ve been thinking a lot about my skin care and makeup lately. And, I’ve been talking with a coworker and friend, Bethany, about it daily. She and I are in search of the perfect, age defying, price appropriate skin care and foundation. We search reviews; we read articles; we look at comparisons. We may be obsessed.

Yesterday, we began our quest at the nearest Ulta store. (I will not deny my love of this mecca of all things beauty.) We had an hour and were looking for a BB cream. This BB stuff (beauty balm, I know you wanted to ask) has gotten tons of hype lately. Bethany chose one and gave it a try for the both of us.

It should be noted here that we are both fair (like nearly glow in the dark fair). She is an oily skin mix. I have normal to dry skin. The use of glitter in products is our favorite and we both want coverage. Bethany, very much unlike me, uses very little base or foundation daily. She uses an under eye concealer and an all over bronzer. I prefer full coverage, near mask like foundation. I use a moisturizer and bronzer. The rest is too detailed to mention.

Today she came in wearing Too Faced Airbrushed BB cream. The coverage looked great, almost airbrushed. Her skin tone match is “vanilla” something. While I was impressed with the look. She was not impressed at all with the feel. By the end of the day she was complaining of feeling greasy and shiny”. The product started to feel heavy. After a bit of research, we learned that this particular cream does not rate well with other users either.

The price point is a bit much for my liking at $39 . This isn’t a product that I’m running out to pick up. But, I will say that the coverage looked good on Bethany today.

The quest continues for exactly the right stuff for me. I’ll keep you posted on what I try and what works here. Maybe I’ll even go so far as to document this search with photographs.


The opinions expressed here all all mine and in this case completely second hand. Except for that of Ulta; I really do love that store. No one has provided product or compensation for mention here. I’m including

Ulta Beauty, 928 Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor, M...

Ulta Beauty, 928 Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, Canrbrook Village Shopping Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a link to the product via Ulta. You may check out further details there.


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gratitude. =)

gratitude. =) (Photo credit: camerakarrie)

Do  you know that feeling of being completely average? I’ve had that feeling most of my life. I’ve never considered myself to be spectacular or special or amazing in any way. I have a few redeeming qualities, I’m not oblivious to my talents. But, mostly I just kind of fly under the radar, don’t make waves and generally blend.

I’ve had two occasions in the past two days that made me feel down right special. How I got so lucky to have these events happen so close together I will never know. But I am more than grateful for people who took the time to say words that meant everything to me.

The first story starts with a sad event. My favorite professional mentor is moving away, like States away. This person  has been available to give advice about growing the business, motivating employees and finding the perfect song to lift the mood in my office. His counsel is always appreciated, his time is precious to me and his guidance is valuable beyond words. To hear that he wouldn’t be in close proximity was nearly devastating. I like knowing who I have in my corner should I need to seek advice, I knew he was in my corner.

When I asked the question, “are you really leaving?”, I was so relieved to hear the response, “I’ll always be available”. Ok, so now I can go on knowing that I still have someone to turn to for answers and advice. Whew. I felt better. Still sad, but better.

The very next day, I was in a meeting where my mentor also happened to be in attendance. I didn’t go fishing for compliments (I don’t do that often). I, again, expressed my gratitude for the help that was provided so freely and wished my mentor well in the new location. The response I got Made. My Day (like stupid grin on my face for the rest of the day kind of made my day). With no hesitation, and complete sincerity, this person looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m proud of you”.

Four tiny words. Really, just an instant in time. No one else heard it. Yet, that is one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. I hope someday you know the elation of having someone you respect pay you a sincere compliment. It’s better than a good wine buzz. It makes you believe that you can do better. It was amazing.

The second story ends with me feeling equally as special. The day after those words of encouragement, I was doing what I do, helping people that walk into the office. Since that is my job and all, I was more than happy to oblige. It was a pretty big day for them. I helped them to complete their task (let’s just say they will be celebrating eliminating their biggest monthly expense by going to ITALY). I took pictures, congratulated them and made it a big deal. When they were leaving after their 45 minutes with me, the gentleman looks me in the eyes and says, “Before we walked in here, we prayed that we would find a kind and genuine person to help us. You exceeded our expectations. You were an answer to our prayers.” An. Answer. To. Their. Prayers.

I teared up in front of them. I don’t know that there has ever been a bigger compliment than that one.

Two great compliments in as many days? I don’t know that I earned them, but I will definitely take it and pour that energy into getting better at what I do.

Sometimes we use to many words to say absolutely nothing. And sometimes, using few words makes the biggest impact and means everything.

What is the best compliment you’ve received? I’d love to hear all about it.

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I was in a meeting today, I commented to someone that the speaker was saying many words, yet very few of them actually had meaning. This got me thinking, how many words do I  speak aloud every day that are absolutely meaningless?

I deal with the public. People come and go from my office all day long. Invariably I spend my time saying things like “Thank you for doing business with us” and “I’m so glad you came in today”. An unfortunately small percentage of the time do those words bear any weight at all. I am trying to be genuine. And, I certainly don’t mean to imply that it isn’t appropriate to be polite or exchange pleasantries. But, I also can’t tell you that I’m entirely full of joy to see each an every person I interact with daily.

Maybe this theory extends further. Even at home I say things that don’t mean anything. When I ask “how was your day?”, the answer rarely makes me stop and listen. I think it has just become a way to greet each other at the end of the work day.

A set of metal types

A set of metal types (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Polite words like “thank you” and “please” are often used as examples for children, not expressed with any real reverence for the mannerisms that the words should convey.

So, I do all of this talking (and I do a LOT of talking), but how often am I actually saying something? Is it enough that by taking the time to gently speak my empty words that I am conveying a message to you at all? Maybe it is. Maybe by showing you that of all of the people in the world that I could be saying nothing at all to, I chose to speak to you.

I hope I’m not the only one who speaks empty words. Tell me how you use words to say nothing.

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The second assignment from Writers Digest is to create a character with the personality traits of someone you love with the physical attributes of someone you don’t care for. This is a little difficult for me as I generally am more concerned with someones personality than I am their appearance, but I’ll give it a try.


She is a willowy wisp of a girl. Her bones all jut out in an angular fashion, nearly extending beyond her very thin frame. You could count her ribs and trace her clavicle easily. She wore clothes that clung to her bones, almost like she was trying to highlight them. When she walked into the room it wasn’t possible to miss her, despite her slight stature. While she looked all sharp and pointy, she was entirely the warmest person in the room. She drew people in to the warmth in her soul. It wasn’t always reflected in her empty brown eyes, but her light permeated every corner of the room. Her biggest secret was her great love of humanity. She loved all people and all creatures. Her patience never wore thin and her own needs were always secondary to the greater good. Oh, she was good. From the first time her words wrapped them selves around a person they found themselves comforted like they were buried within a down comforter on a cold winter morning. She was brave and kind and gentle all in this firm and defined package.