Saturday, October 31, 2015


Seasonal Affective Disorder - basically, you get sad at the same time every year. (Click on the link for the real definition)

This term bothers me.

First of all:  Affective - I think they just wanted to come up with an acronym that worked.

Why would it be Affective? It's A MADE UP WORD!

Of course, it is a made up word. Made up by people whom need to tell us something is wrong with us.

Nolan is taking a Psychology class. He was reviewing different disorders: alcoholism, addiction, depression, SAD, etc

We were reviewing them for his test.

We got to SAD and he said: you have SAD.

I replied, "what makes you think that."

"You get sad during the winter."

"Explain", I say.

"You aren't the mom you usually are."

"Do you think this from your whole life, or did it start after Hawaii?"

"Oh, it was definitely Hawaii." "You love your life here, but you can tell, you love it there."

"Still?", I reply

He just smiles at me. Tilts his head and nods.

Hmm, I think. I thought I was better at hiding things.....

Friday, October 30, 2015

Set your eyes on a goal

On Tuesday, I was invited to a luncheon.

Lunch with a bunch of people I would have not normally had lunch with. It was a "Women's Event".

Where did all these women come from? was all I could think. Society women. Women from family money. Women from a nice background. Women with husbands whom did really well or came from some good money.

No - I'm not being "stereotypical". I did not know ONE person there at another table. I've lived in Denver for close to 20 years. I should have known ONE person there.

This was not a business event.

This was a "luncheon" to raise money for underprivileged children to attend private schools k - 12. An opportunity for them to at least level the playing field. They organization does not give full scholarships. The family must meet in the middle.

The average income for the scholarship recipient's family is $35,000 - for a family of 4.

A scholarship recipient spoke. She spoke how her mom had the drive to do better and make her kids do better.

I could relate.

At one point in my life I would have qualified for that scholarship.

There are SO many opportunities out there in life. People don't know they are there.

A couple of years ago, I was carpooling to a wedding. One of the women in my car went on and on about how the girls don't know there are resources at their finger tips.

I corrected her - no one knows. My sons have NO idea how to make this college thing happen. It's something that is just "going to happen".

But, nothing is ever going to change if you don't have the "fire in your belly" to keep you going.

Missy Franklin (4 gold medal winner) spoke at the luncheon.

What I came away with from the lunch with Missy:
  • She could have cared less if she was the best. 
  • She loves/loved to swim
  • She made the point of telling us how much fun she always had
  • She told us about the opportunities that believing had taught her
Her parents couldn't afford her private school education. Her Aunt paid for it. She found her faith in high school (who the hell can say that?)

Her goal?

Can I do what I love and make things better for other people? 

I remember a girl I knew who loved to swim. She didn't know it came with swimming and the chance to shine.  And I miss a little girl whom should be swimming with you, next year Missy. 

Her dreams weren't that big. Mine weren't either.

We are here for you. No matter the goal.

We all need heroes. Hometown heroes will always be the best. 

Thanks for being our hero. 

See you in Rio. #Gomissygo #misssyfranklin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The single best decision

We all make decisions on a day to day basis.

Every day. Every moment. Every second of our lives.

Even without realizing we make decisions. Turn left. Turn right. Send an e-mail. Don't send an e-mail. Return a phone call. Stop by for a visit. Don't return a call. Say "thank you" to a random stranger. Pay life forward. Or don't acknowledge anything at all.

Each of our actions, cause another action. Or reaction. Or causes a moment to stop.

I will take full blame/credit on deciding we needed to have a CCI puppy in our lives. Of course, I blame this on my good friend I met at the club whom had raised two.

She caught me in a moment of weakness.

For some reason, at that moment, this sounded like a good idea.

Let's train a puppy until it's a dog, then let it become a service dog.

You are hearing this from a woman whom has a cat. Whom gave her two dogs away when life became too much. I used to love dogs. Now I look at them - not longingly, more like "Oh, you are a lot of work"

This puppy though. This mission we are on. This has been the single most best decision I've made for my sons and I in a LONG time. (In fact, I would rate this up there with the decision to move to Hawaii for the summer).

I have the boys back that were trying to earn their wings. And they should, they should go on with their lives. They should test their boundaries. They should go on.

But before they go - they need to learn:

  • Make sure you let the dog out
  • Has the dog been fed?
  • Has the dog spent anytime training today?
  • Did he go to the bathroom?
  • Did you pick up the poop?
  • Can you imagine if you had a baby right now? This is SO much easier than a baby.
  • The dog provided you a look no woman will ever give you (other than the dog and your mom?) PS the dog is boy!
  • Are you willing to give something so much love and training and willing to receive NOTHING in return?
  • did you have a puppy in your childhood?
  • Were you loved?
If you can answer all these questions, then, well, you have learned. Lived. Flown.

You may go now.

They come home after school to see the puppy. The friends are all hanging at the house once again.They are still complaining they don't want to walk/pick up poop/etc again (i.e. meaning ever).

The single best decision we've made in a while.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Really in charge

Please let me know when you are tired of hearing puppy stories! :-)

We have a cat. He's around 13 years old. He's an indoor cat. He weighs probably 15 pounds. He's great. The new puppy is smaller than him.

Cats are easy. In fact, they usually like you better if you ignore them.

I do understand how people "don't get cats". They can be quite odd. In fact, other people's cats seem quite odd to me.

As a pet though, they are easy. You can leave them for a couple of days with food and water. They don't require being let outside or for a walk.

Brodie (the puppy) arrived here last Wednesday. Since that time, Ozzie (the cat) has been hiding in my bedroom.

Ozzie's food had to be moved to my bathroom. Ozzie has been under the bed. He's slowly come out. He has slowly grown tired of the bedroom.

The last couple of days, Ozzie and Brodie have sniffed noses. Then Ozzie runs off to his sanctuary.

Then today happened. I guess Ozzie had enough.

Ozzie was in the kitchen when Nolan brought Brodie upstairs. Brodie ate breakfast, went outside and then was ready to play.

The boys were getting ready for school.

Brodie had followed Ozzie down the hall. The next thing we hear:

"Yelp, Yelp, Yelp" followed by Brodie running down the hall. Through the living room and into his kennel in the family room.

Ozzie poked his head around the corner of the hall.

We told Ozzie "Good job buddy". It was about time you quit hiding in the bedroom. (Ozzie has no front claws). (The only thing we can figure out that happened is that Ozzie hissed and made a swatting motion).

Brodie spent the day hanging out in his kennel - with the door open.

Ozzie laid on the floor in the dining room all day.

It rained all day. It was cloudy. I didn't get out of my sweats.

No one went for a walk.

We know who is really in charge around here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future Day

In 1985, a movie came out called Back to the Future. They went back 30 years, to 1955. In the sequel, they went forward 30 years.

Forward 30 years from 1985.

The day they went "forward to" was October 21, 2015. Today.

I remember seeing the first movie in the theater. I liked the movie then. I was 16 the summer it came out.

About 8 years ago, the kids and I were at Disneyland in Southern California. We rode the "Back to the Future ride". Our friends from Southern California were at the park with us. We all rode the ride together.

I remember talking about how old the kids would be on the "future date" - how they would all be driving. One would be done with high school. My two almost done with high school.

Around here, we've all seen all THREE movies hundreds of times. They really are good classic movies.

30 years ago seems like yesterday.

My oldest has had this day marked in his calendar for months. He had a reminder set on his phone. A reminder that "this was the day Doc, Marty and Jennifer" (characters from the movies) arrive.

Of course, everyone is talking about today being the day.

Somehow, I think he really thought for some reason - they (being the characters) were really somehow going to appear.

We talked about the fact that "Springfield" was the town. That the crew was PROBABLY NOT going to appear at Denver East High School.

But, the truth is, his "hope" has made me smile for a least a month.

Many times in life, we think we are all grown up. We quit believing in make believe.

Then there are moments, moments like this. Moments that are simple. Simply not real, but give us hope that make believe still lives in our minds and hearts.

Don't ever lose that. Anyone. Especially, you my boys.

See you in the future kid.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It will be so hard

In the past 4 days, I've heard at least 50 times, "It's going to be so hard to give the puppy away."

Yes, it will be hard. But let me tell you why it will be a good thing.

This is no ordinary puppy. And we will not be "giving away our dog."

This puppy was born to do this job. His parents were bred to have him and his litter mates. They were chosen to be born to serve.

In orientation, they told us to "Start with the end in mind."

We have been picked (or offered) the opportunity to train Brodie.

We get to teach him 31 commands and show him how to go help others.

We get to send him to advanced training so he can learn even more.

THEN, we get to fly to San Diego (hopefully if all goes well) in about two years.

We get to present him to a person who needs him. A person who cannot complete their day to day tasks without him.

We are not giving our dog away. Brodie is going to help someone.

Then, it will be hard to come home. But just like children, they go do something bigger and better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Best Laid Plans


Something I like to do. Something I'm good at.

Planning is actually an art.

If you plan too much - you almost become controlling. Things - anything - needs to go a certain way.

It's great - almost expected - for things to go as planned. Down to the last detail.

I believe earlier this summer I wrote: I'm done planning. I'm letting it all go.

Only, it's not in me to let it go. I like to have a plan.

I also realize, I just like an idea of what is going to happen. Not every little detail needs to be made. That's where we disappoint ourselves.

We don't realize all the "perfection" already in the making - we look at the one imperfection.

In June, we signed up Nolan to be a CCI puppy raiser. We went through the whole process. We got our call. Ambrosia was headed our way.

Ambrosia is a black lab/retriever mix. Female. Born on 8/22/15.

I had requested a blonde male.

As we know though, life doesn't always give us want we want.

"Rosie" was set to arrive today. We were ready. Had all her supplies. Her name tag. Everything.

Only, I get a call this morning. A frantic person calling from the executive offices of CCI. There had been a mix up.

My heart sank.

What was I to tell Nolan?

The handlers put the female black puppy in the other shipping crate and the male in ours. Was a male okay?

I laughed. I told her I had wanted a boy all along.

What's his name? Ambrose. - Ambrosia's brother.

That's a horrible name. I thought this immediately. The boys both said the same thing.

I told her it was fine. We are happy with any baby. It's funny though how your head totally spins in a different direction. We got something we were expecting. Something we were expecting taken away.

She called the other people after us to make sure it was okay with them. I did tell her, will you please connect us to the puppy raisers of Ambrosia, as now we need to know the other side of the story.

We picked up Ambrose - "Brodie" at 1:30 this afternoon.

Everything is going to be alright. As we know, sometimes life works out even better than planned.....

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Once upon a time,

There was girl whom fell in love with the "start-up" dream. Not to mention she usually fell in love with the "start up guy".

You know:

The guys that had all that potential.
The guys with the ideas.
The the dreams.
The places they want to be.

Same for a start-up company. The start-up guy.


We know. Life is not a start-up.

It's a "start-now" situation.

We all fall in love with the dream.

Several years ago, I was one of those girls. The girl in love with the dream.

Only, I was loving working for a start up.

Long story short:

I bought in

I believed in the start up.

I got screwed.

I didn't get any money.

Two weeks ago, the personal assissant to the man with all the money sent me an e-mail.

Information needed was sent.


I received an invitation to attend a luncheon with an Olympic Swimmer. I'm going. At the end of the month.

I can't wait to "run into her in Rio"

Karma is a bitch

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We Bought A Zoo Too

I'm a sucker for those heartfelt movies. The sleeper hits. The ones that make you cry - a happy cry.

A sucker for the movies that are a little sappy. Those that touch your heart in funny little ways you can't explain to people.

For whatever reason, the movie, "WE BOUGHT A ZOO" continues to stalk my life. Or randomly appears in tiny little places to let you know you are on the right track. Or continues to let me know life is filled with magical surprises.

There is a Duncan in the movie. There is a Lily in the movie. There is also a Rosie.

On October 14, 2015 at approximately 1:05pm, Ambrosia II comes to live at our house for a year (or so).

We are going to call her "Rosie"

There are very strict instructions on how we raise and train "Rosie".

The eldest son is refusing to participate in this "concentration camp of a society". He is thinking we can't possibly have any compassion. (This from a kid whom thinks his mom doesn't know anything).

I always knew these last few years were going to be challenging.

I think we are buying a zoo.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

When you meet good people

Sometimes, you can see a person in the middle of a crowd. They don't even have to look directly at you. There is aura about them.

You can tell. From across the room - this is person I need to know.

Or I person I need to steer clear. All from a look across the room.

My senior year in college I dated a guy 11 years older than me. He had come back to school to finish his degree. We met on Valentine's Day. I graduated in August.

The first time I went over to his house, I met one of his roommates. He lived with two girls - sisters. Identical twin sisters from outside of the Dallas area. Their birthday turned out to be the day before mine.

My bff tells the story: She came home and said "well, he's a good guy, but I really like his roommates."

The rest is history.

One of the roommates was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

We've never lost touch with each other.  Yes, time passes before we connect, but there has never been a "loss".

They are part of the weave who makes the fabric of me.

Something I don't think I even realized until this past weekend.

Girls weekend. A reunion. In theory, it was a reunion with an old boyfriends former roommate. We meant to stalk him. Find him on Facebook. Send him a picture of all of us.

We never got around to it. Actually, after the first discussion, I'm not quite sure we mentioned him.

As that is not what really mattered.

The people in the room mattered.

When you meet good people, hang on to them.