It All Comes Full Circle

Life is about changes. And plans. And changing those plans. It's about stages. Adapting. Or not. Some people live spontaneously. On the edge. Others plan. I am a planner. I like routine. As a teen, I planned out my life. Special ed teacher. Check. Married at 21. Check.  First child at 25. Check. Three to five children. Check. Physical issues stopped me at three (along with Gregger's objections). I would have gone for five! What I didn't prepare for were the unexpected bumps along the way. I planned. I prepped. I prepared. I never thought about the curve balls thrown along the way. I'd have to be ready to swing, catch, strike out, or hit a home run. I never knew what life was going to throw Read more [...]

A Letter to Myself…Lessons I’ve Learned

Dear 19-year-old Mikki, You have been knocked down. Flat face. You will feel like you can you never put two feet on the ground and run again. But you can. And you will. Faster than you've ever run before. Alone. Terrifying. Intimidating. Daunting. You will pack your bags and head to California. San Diego. And it will work. You will find a small place. Safe. Venture out into comfort zones. Meet people slowly. You will be overwhelmed by the warmth. Kindness. Compassion. You feel welcome. In a short time, it feels like home. And you will grow. Life becomes real. You will write. A lot. You will write about life before. And after. You will write about lessons. All that you've learned. You will write Read more [...]

A Letter to Myself…Life Changes

Dear 19-year-old Mikki, Your life will change in the blink of an eye. One minute you will be living the dream. Happily married. Loving life. The next you will be standing on a beach. With your kids. But you will be alone. For the first time in your life. You will be surrounded by strangers. You will be confused. You will not know what to do. Where to turn. You will cry. You will scream. You will be numb. And then you will be strong. For your kids. They need you. More than ever. You will move slowly. An out of body experience. You will think it is a dream. A nightmare. It's not. It's reality. And you must figure it out. You will have to do things. Things you don't understand. Phone calls. Read more [...]

A Letter to Myself…Celebrations and Endings

Dear 19-year-old Mikki, 2013. Your story continues. You will have a momentous year. A year of celebrations. Milestones. Surprises. Lots of surprises. "Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead." That's what you do. You are preparing. You don't know it. But you are. You are packing the year with joyous occasions. Love. Happy times. Family. Your heart will be overflowing. Bursting. Cherish that feeling. Embrace it. EVERY. Moment. You have. You will know why soon enough. You will surprise hubby for his 60th birthday. The first big surprise in 40 years of togetherness. And you accomplish this huge task straight from your hospital bed. He won't have a clue. This is more Read more [...]
letter to myself

A Letter To Me…And the story goes on…

Dear 19-year-old Mikki, After many years of building your family, business, and lives together, you and hubby start reclaiming your lives. Your kids will move on. They will move away. Across the U.S. One on the east coast. One on the west coast. One stays put. It won't always be easy. You'll want to visit. They'll be busy. You'll have grandkids. You won't get to see them as often as you'd like. Not the fairy tale you dreamed about. They have their own agenda. You wish things could be different. But they aren't. Someday. You will wait. But your heart will hurt. Be patient. "All things are difficult before they become easy." They may never become easy, but they will become better. Once again, Read more [...]
letter to myself

A Letter to Myself

I read a letter that Pete Sampras wrote to his "16-year-old younger self" the other day. He talks about how his life is just beginning, the difficulties he's going to face, the triumphs, the defeats, the rewards, and the appreciation of the journey. He reminds himself to "play hard but stay true to himself."  Reading this made me think about what I would say to myself as an innocent 19-year-old. Dear 19-year-old Mikki, You think you are heading to Washington University in the fall. Occupational Therapy program. Excited to be accepted. Anxious to start a new path. This is the right school. Third time's a charm! U of A. Bust! University of Missouri-St. Louis. UGH! Washington University. Here Read more [...]
Motherhood

Motherhood

Being a mom. The HARDEST job on the planet! While I wouldn't trade places with the top exec of any Fortune 500 company on the planet, being a mom requires all the grit, drive, motivation, sleep deprivation, and more to get to the top of the game. And just like any job, you start at the bottom and work your way to the top. You falter along the way. You stumble. Make mistakes. You're rewarded with LOVE. Make more mistakes. More LOVE. I was 25 years young when I became a mom for the first time. Loved being pregnant. Loved being a mom. My firstborn. A boy. I thought I knew it all. I was going to do everything the way I wanted. Certainly not the way anyone else told me to. Of course, it was the RIGHT Read more [...]
happy birthday

Happy Birthday

Heads up readers! I am doing my best to keep the positive spirit, head high, and super smile, but this is a TOUGH one! I have been trying to squash some incredible memories. I can’t stop the tears. Happy tears, sad tears, “I miss you so badly” tears. One of the GREATEST weeks of my life. My 60th birthday! A birthday I could barely believe I was celebrating. But leave it to Gregger. He made it over-the-top spectacular, never to be forgotten. As they say in the movies (well kind of), “Thank God we had 60!” One year ago. And in that short time, life changed. I want to go back. I want a redo. I want him here to celebrate. Gregger had a whirlwind trip in New York to make it home in time Read more [...]
the givers

The Givers

Gregger and I had a problem. And we fought about it. A lot. It was the silliest of problems, but we just couldn't seem to get past it. We were both GIVERS. Neither of us knew how to TAKE. So we fought over giving, giving, giving. It wasn't about giving things. It was about giving of ourselves. We both wanted to DO for the other. We wanted to do for the kids. We wanted to do for other people. We just didn't know when to stop. So sometimes it got in the way. We needed to take time, stop, and realize that we were TAKING time and energy away from each other by GIVING so much, too much. Knowing our birth order, it didn't always make sense. I was the oldest, Gregger the youngest. He should have been Read more [...]
happy_anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Tomorrow is my parent’s 54th wedding anniversary. Their marriage was always such an inspiration for me. When Gregger and I were going through some of our toughest times, I would spend time with parents to remind me what I wanted my life to look like in 50 years. It worked. Life wasn’t always easy for them. Is it ever? But they made it work. Five kids. Ten year span. Not a lot of time to be “just two.” But they did. Early bed times. Date nights. And when the nest was empty, they were ready. I watched. I learned. I’d slip, but I knew I’d always come back. We’d always come back. We’d be the ones to make it. Just like my parents did. They laughed. Had fun. Enjoyed being together. Read more [...]