There’s Just Something About That First-Born

Yesterday, my youngest decided to sign up for her first triathlon. She’s 9 and feelin’ sporty! Her big brother and sister did tris for years around this same age, so she’s ready to have her go at it. And, she figures she has three (including ME!) built-in coaches to help her train and prepare. I might add, just to be on the safe side, she chose a race that’s still four months away…nothing like preparation!

So, after her first official training run, we did some stretching. My oldest son–the cyclist who is just about the sweetest big brother any little girl could ever have–told her he’d teach her how to massage her legs to keep them fresh. It was dinner time, so they didn’t jump right into that, but just as our little sports girl was ready to crawl into bed, she realized they hadn’t done this, yet, and it couldn’t wait another moment! (she’s very literal)

Even though my son was already settling in with his own evening routine of reading cycling news on his phone and reading about cyclists in his books, he stopped everything to do what he promised his little sister he’d do.

As I stood there watching my son take as much time on his baby sister who had run less than a mile at an average pace she could have walked the entire course in, taking such care and telling her why to massage these muscles this way and those muscles that way, etc., I did what I tend to do when I realize how old my oldest is getting…I got choked up. Dang those motherly hormones and sensitivity! I get choked up because I’m so proud of the young man he has become, because he’s still growing and maturing, and not yet a man but certainly no longer a boy.

wp-1465564028173.jpgI got choked up, and although I thought I was keeping it reigned in pretty well, my daughter saw the tightness of my face and understood immediately what I was thinking. Then, the sensitive youngest got chocked up…and didn’t worry with the annoyance of keeping it held in. She went from relaxed bliss to bursts of tears and hugs. She cries because he is going into his senior year and will be going away soon to pursue his own dreams. She cries because he’s her biggest ally and is always willing to drop everything for her. She cries because, like my step-sons who have gone before, my oldest son will move on with his life, building a family of his own some day and their relationship will change. She cries because she doesn’t like change.

And, what does my oldest son do but take it all in patient stride!

He takes it in stride when we’re crying over him getting older. He takes it in stride when he’s drowning in estrogen, surrounded by sisters and me! He takes it in stride when his friends are being crazy, angry, aggressive, competitive, or just plain silly. He takes life in stride, which is probably the quality I am most proud of in my son.

So, here’s to your senior year of high school, Morgan! May this year hold so much possibility, not just for what’s to come this year, but for the ways you’ll continue to learn, grown, and develop for the lifetime to come. Expect more things you will need to take in stride…but I know you will with the same confidence and care you do, now. I am so proud of you, my oldest!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 28, 2016

It’s graduation week here, last week of school, celebrations everywhere, at all moments. Who has time during this time of year to focus on anything BUT the school kids? It’s been a great week for me, my little family, and friends as close as family. So, for something a touch different this week, I’d like to put this week to music:

FIELD DAY w/ my Little Bit13248563_10209569232491923_2143438404320452081_o

Although this song is no longer new, the kids at my youngest daughter’s school are still completely obsessed with this song, so any event features this song endlessly and the majority of the kids are up on their feet dancing, so full of smiles and happiness. It’s completely adorable!

WISHING I COULD BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCEwp-1464444917866.png

A year ago, I was living life with little to no sleep, squeezing the absolute most out of every hour, as my time in Wisconsin was coming to a close. These four girls, my co-workers at the neatest little coffee shop I’ve ever come across were with me every step of the way. I treasure these four ladies beyond words. This week, they’re doing the same without me, as one more of our tribe opens a new chapter in her life. I am incredibly excited for her, but it’s so bittersweet to miss them so, and know I am not there with them right now. LOVE YOU MEAN IT!!!!!!!!

EVERYONE GETS A YEAR OLDER AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEARwpid-img_20150502_120750.jpg

Birthdays are one thing, but one time of year all school-aged children get a year younger…and that’s on the last day of school. I have one who is now a senior, one now a junior, and one now a fourth grader…and I really can’t have this thought without choking up a bit. The end of the school year is a mental aging. It’s a beautiful, painful thing, as we celebrate the accomplishments and growing up of our amazing kids!

GRADUATION VIBES13308514_10209603835116967_7326999077241083041_o

Last night, one of my oldest and dearest friends’ oldest graduated. She is a lovely young lady, destined for a beautiful life. Sitting up in the stands, watching these young people 20 years my juniors graduate high school and turn that tassel was so fun.

Then, I saw that their class graduation song was…


…and I had to take a moment to mentally send them good vibes that do NOT speak “stressed out” over their futures.

IT’S SUMMER, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jade Wilkins Graduation 05272016 626 2

This is going to be a busy, beautiful summer for me and mine.

I’m sending YOU all smiles and dancy-good times with this, my official song choice of summer by JT.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Love/Hate Relationship With Summer Vacation

This is the last week of school for my children, and although in many ways they are excited…there’s a flip side to their excitement. You see, each year as school winds down, I ramp up with my “GREAT MOM IDEAS” to keep the kids active, alert, and learning throughout the summer vacation.

Work, chore, and learning opportunities abound! wpid-fb_img_1430702899892.jpg

Projects and family-fun activities make my eyes brighten!!

Daily family fitness and “active play” ideas fill my mind!!!

…My kids hate this…

They’re not against doing stuff, but their Mom has a tendency to over-schedule their three months that are (to their minds) supposed to be a break from schedules.

So, once again I have busted out the notebook and been sprawling endless lists and schedules and time tables of what kinds of things we can be doing when, where, and how allllll summmmmmer long.

Oh yeah, kids…get ready! Momma’s got the summer well planned.

“Get up! There’s no sleeping in in summer!!!”

“I’ve been up since 4…it’s time to get up and have a great day!”

“I have the best idea for today! Remember how we talked about how great it would be if the garage were completely cleaned up and reorganized?!?!?!!!!”

“Let’s start running together, every day, as a family! How about getting up early before the summer heat sets in!”

“Math workbook time!”

Yep, they’ll love it ūüėČ

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Focus on Your WHY, WHAT & HOW

 

You may be thinking right about now, “Really, Marilyn? Two posts in a row about making comparisons?”

To that, I respond with a simple, “Yes.”

Hang with me a moment…

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see other people posing with their new cars or in front of fancy houses or sharing news of landing their dream job with the accompanying insane salary and bennies…do you EVER think, “that could have been me,” or “I work my booty off every day and am stuck and struggling, everything they touch turns to gold,” or “is she EVER going to age?”image

It’s one thing to see completely unattainable and unrealistic Photoshopped magazine covers staring at us over our overflowing grocery carts; we don’t know the celebs smiling back at us. However, when it’s our friends, our family, or our classmates sharing perfect snapshots of their perfect jet-setting life with the perfect kids, still married to the perfect high-school sweetheart and more in love than EVER…It’s a little more difficult to resist the temptation of comparison. Am I right?

Making comparisons in the business world is really no different. If you have an innovative idea, a new spin on an old idea, or anywhere in between, comparisons can kill your biz buzz. If you focus on what the other guy is doing, you’re focusing less on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re going to focus on the other guy, just go ahead and let him do the business and you be his customer. If you want to take off and soar on your own wings of innovation, then setting your own path is a big part of the flight plan. Comparison–so it’s said–steals your joy, but it also kills your creativity.

Resist the urge to give a care what the other guy is doing. Resist making comparisons. Resist social scrolling.

You! (…yeah, I’m talking to you…) Do you!!! You know what you do and who you are and what you have planned better than anyone. Focus on doing, being, and creating all that and more!

I believe in you. Do YOU believe in you?

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

P.S. I am still reading Simon Sinek’s START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION. Everyone from stay-at-home mom to CEO’s would benefit from this one. So good!

Weekly Wrap-Up: April 23, 2016

Who can believe it’s already the end of April? I’m pretty sure the ball just dropped in NYC three days ago…

Binge Watching

The kids and I have about 30 minutes every school day when we have nothing to do but sit in a parking lot and wait. We fill that waiting time binge watching Netflix, and this week we’ve been zeroed in on “Malcolm in the Middle.” For old-school me, it’s like a more recent version of “Rosanne;” so wrong but still so, so funny!

Book Love

This week, I got a surprise in the mail from a sweet friend, Jennifer Paddock’s A Secret Word. I am looking forward to diving into this new-to-me (published in 2004) read, as the author is from Fort Smith, Arkansas. My family and I spent eight years living in Fort Smith, so the reference points in the book will be familiar and fun.

Prince & Other Music

Who isn’t listening to Prince this week since his passing on Thursday? I feel for you, I think I love you!

Prior to this hard sucker-punch to the music and arts, I was soaking up the sounds of Punch Brothers. Such diversity in sound. Such great lyrics and musical range. Once the world gets beyond Prince’s passing, I’ll be back to PB!

In Honor of Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb

Post From the Week I Most Want YOU to Read

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is winding down, but our passion for preventing sexual violence, rape, incest, and the like cannot pass with the passing of the month. Please check out my post: HEROES IN TEAL, and please watch the videos, and be inspired to knowledge rather than depressed. Let’s tackle issues like this with a survivor mentality over a victim mentality!

 

Me First

Dear readers and friends, please prepare yourself for the most controversial thing I have ever published. Instructions that go against what we are generally taught to do. But stick with me, there is rationale behind this belief that, I promise, will come full-circle and not seem so stinking evil.

Primed? OK, here it goes.YouAreSuchARockStar

You are #1. Really.

Put yourself first and you will be so much better equipped to love, serve, and care for others.

I understand this goes against all conventional thinking and what we are guilted by society to believe. It can be a message that falls somewhere between a hard pill to swallow and a total mind-blower.

Putting yourself first does not mean that you neglect those around you. It does not mean that you no longer treat others as you would like to be treated. It is not even selfish, not when you take in the bigger picture.

You are going to have a hard time playing with your young kids or grandkids outside if you do not first take care of your own physical health, exercising and staying active. Getting winded kicking the soccer ball around or while tromping around the neighborhood park is not because you are older or because you have already had a long day. You are getting winded and tired playing with the kids because you have not put your own needs for good physical stamina at the forefront.

Going to work and doing your job day-in and day-out may get to feeling tedious and like you are on a constant cycle of being overworked and underpaid if you do not first feed yourself and feel satisfied before you ever hit the office door in the mornings. Spending some high-quality YOU TIME before it is time to start the jam-packed schedule will do wonders for your well-being. Taking time to meditate, study or read, sit and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, and maybe even watch the sun rise will, in turn, energize you for the day ahead. You will get more accomplished once you get going and you will feel better about what you are accomplishing, too!

When you make sure that YOU are healthy and happy, you can care for and serve those you love better than ever before! By putting your needs first, you eliminate the bitterness and resentment that comes with the busyness of parenthood, spousehood, employeehood, serving on every board and committee and still trying so hard to fit in time to take a shower in peace.

Place yourself, your health and your mental well-being at the top of your to-do list and watch how fulfilled and ready to pour your improved energy and enthusiasm on those you love most! You will serve others better by first taking the best care of yourself!

Go get ’em, ROCK STAR!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn