Category Archives: Inspiration

Let That S*&% Go!

Let That S*&% Go!…

What I am about to share may seem surprising considering I often riff about the fact I tend to hold on to things and over analyze.

However, in my journey of over analyzing I’m learning there is a whole lot I need to let go. I’ve talked about this before. Now that I’m actually doing it, it’s been kind of amazing the difference it’s made in my life.

Less stress for starters.

I have also started speaking up. Putting space between myself and things that aren’t working for me. People included.

Stress is a silent killer and it’s amazing the things that can help it creep in. It’s sad who might hold the door open.

It is also sad the things I have let get to me. It’s taken some very frank conversations with some people I love and trust a whole lot, to realize sometimes I feed into my self doubt and insecurities. I assume the worst. I listen to the voice inside my head and sometimes the voice of others who I absolutely should not.

Rather than take a moment and stop and think about what is upsetting me.

I believe the worst and for awhile there I had a team of cheerleaders agreeing with me.

Not to say there have been things that have happened that definitely have caused me to put the barbed wire up around my heart sometimes and unfortunately scrutinize things I just shouldn’t.

However…

Not everyone in my life is going to hurt me. Just because someone else did.

Not everyone is going to lie to me just because someone else did.

Not everything is going to fall apart.

Not everyone is out to get me.

I am lovable even when I don’t feel like I am.

This is whole thing, life it’s not a competition.

People who love and care about you should never make you feel like it is.

I should never feel like it is.

Because it isn’t.

It really is a journey.

A crazy, bumpy one with some serious twists and turns but at the end of the day it’s mine and as long as I’m happy and G is happy,the rest of it…

Well I’m letting it go.

I hope when you have those moments, or days you can too Mommas.

Much love.

<3Caprise

No Stuffing Please

No stuffing please…

When our hearts are vulnerable or wounded, feeling weak to the temptations around us, hurt from something that brought us to our knees, or just plain old SAD….. This is not the time for stuffing the void with nonsense,  It is not the time to go clothes shopping nor is it the time to peek our nose into the pantry for something delicious.  It is not the time to call an old beau or wallow in self-pity or go for a quick fix.  A false action taken to remove the feeling we are feeling will only mask the upset, and fill the hole temporarily.  Just like a slow leaking drain or a puddle after the rain… the water that was just there will soon be gone.  Oh sure, it can be filled again… but only to empty again.

A more permanent solution…. rather than stuff ourselves up with physical ME pleasure, worldly delicacies and self -loathing we can fill it slowly with kind gestures, positive actions and self-love.

This would be a good time to sit quietly and reflect on what is really going on.  It may be the time to open a journal, the Bible, or that great book on the coffee table.  It may be the time to call a friend, to do something good for ourselves.  Find a new craft to take on, start to bake those amazing cookies for the Christmas Cookie swap, detail your car or learn a new makeup technique from an online video.

It is the time for healing, adornment and wonderfulness.  A time to treat ourselves well.  A time to be good and kind and loving to YOU.

Stuffing is fantastic on Thanksgiving and even better the day after, but stuffing oneself with bad choices which only leave us feeling empty tomorrow… is NOT the way to go.

Choose to fill your heart with the things that bring you joy and sit happily with that.  🙂

 

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams..

“We’ve buried dreams, laid them deep into the earth behind us. Said our goodbyes at the grave, yet everything reminds us. God knows we ache, but he asks us to go on… how do we go on?”

~Ellie Holcomb

I’d been wandering through the same leaves, the same graves… struggling to remember exactly where he was. It had been years since I’d placed my hands on the earth that held what remained of a brother I never got the chance to know.

The caretaker must have seen my wandering. He gently approached me and asked who I was looking for. I couldn’t help but notice the kindness in his eyes… his voice. He didn’t ask me what grave I was looking for, he asked me who I was looking for. I told him my brother’s name and he gently led me over to his grave… mere feet away from where I was standing. And isn’t that the thing… so often when we feel utterly lost, we’re closer than we know to finding what we need?

I traced his name with my fingers, brushed leaves off his grave. Funny how we want to tend and take care of things for people we love who are gone. I think sometimes these small, tender acts simply remind us of what once existed, remind us of what’s been lost.

I never used to visit the cemetery. When they put up a memorial for children who’d died in a local park and my brother’s name was etched into the stone, I didn’t want to attend the ceremony. Who wants to feel the weight of that loss again and again? For many years, I’d it pushed down, held it at bay, the pain and grief of loss. I thought that maybe if I held it down, swallowed it deep, maybe I could avoid the crushing ache of it.

And for many years… that worked. Or it worked as well as it can when your body is holding onto an aching sadness. Because the thing is, you don’t just lose a person, you lose the way it feels like your life should have gone. You lose what you thought would be your life. And you can only hold that for so long until it comes busting out.

25 years after losing my first brother, I lost the only other brother I’d known. And his loss was sudden, traumatic, and crushing. What was the last thing I said to him? Did he know how deeply I loved him? Was there something, anything I could have done to save him? That loss sent me reeling, and yet I quietly pushed it down. How do you put words to grief that shakes the foundation of what you thought you knew?

Three weeks after losing him, two surgeons took out my womb, and my hope for carrying more children ended more abruptly than I was ready for.

Although, who is ever really ready to bury a dream?

And in the months that followed, it felt like I dug a grave of loss so deep I’d never climb out.
I buried a brother, then the dream for more babies, a job I loved, a place I loved, a marriage, the life I’d known for the last decade of my life. All buried in quick succession. And in burying those dreams you bury other things. You bury relationships, spaces, and places that you once fit, things you used to be sure of, your sense of worth and belonging.

And again, I pushed it down, held it at bay… Until I couldn’t anymore. One morning several months later, I woke up and the tears came and wouldn’t stop. They bubbled over until my body trembled at the weight of what they meant. I was fully feeling the loss. And they’ve been coming ever since.

And at first that scared me. I felt ashamed. Was I falling apart? Was I weak? Why couldn’t I keep it together? Why couldn’t I just put my chin up and move on? Life is hard for everyone, and my trauma is small in comparison to other people’s. So why was it a struggle just to get out of bed and face the day?

The caretaker told me there was someone with the same name as my brother and asked who he was to me. I told him that was my grandfather. I thanked him for helping me find my way and watched him go about the care of a place that holds many buried dreams. My eyes scanned the sea of graves and I wondered… How much care and compassion must he have to know the names on gravestones? My breath caught at the nature of his work. But more than that my eyes welled at his kindness.

I knelt next to the grave, raked my fingers through the ground, rolled up my sleeve and laid the tattooed ashes of one brother alongside the grave of another. And my heart broke at the beauty and devastation of that moment.

It had taken 27 years… but I was fully feeling the loss. I was acknowledging that it mattered. Sometimes we need to say their names. We need to speak about the broken places. We need to dig our hands in the earth where our dreams have been buried. We need to allow grief to be part of our story instead of trying to move forward as if we are the same. Because we aren’t.

I ran into a dear acquaintance at the grocery store recently who looked into my eyes and genuinely asked me how I was. The care and compassion on her face was evident. And as we embraced she said something I will never forget “I’m on your side… no, there are no sides… I’m in your corner.” I looked at her and nodded “No, there are no sides…” I repeated. She told me how she’d read an article recently about how no one brings casseroles to people going through divorce. And she reminded me that it’s okay to gather up your people and weather the storm with them, without explaining where you went. She reminded me that sometimes the places and spaces we so desperately wish were a safe place for our pain, simply aren’t. And that maybe the beauty in all of this is that we can be a safe place for someone else walking a similar road someday. Because there is nothing quite as healing as knowing you aren’t alone.

So how do we go on…? How do we put one foot in front of the other in this life that now feels new and unfamiliar? How do we make sense of the loss, acknowledge it, feel it, and yet still move forward? How do we live it and not lose ourselves in it? My deeply insightful answer is this: I don’t know. I don’t know how to do this well. Maybe none of us do. There is no manual for this. No one can tell you how to bury dreams and carry loss well. We just find our way, wrack our hands through the dirt that carries our loss, and attempt to wrap our arms around people walking a similar road… letting them know they aren’t alone.

And cemetery caretakers and women in grocery stores may just be balm to our wounds, if we let them. What I find deeply beautiful about pain… is the way it brings out compassion.

So might I say something? Today, be the cemetery caretaker and help someone who is a little lost find their way…. Be the woman in the grocery store and stand in someone’s corner without needing to know the story. Be the balm to someone’s wounds. Err on the side of compassion and write the note, send the flowers, make the casserole, pay for the coffee of the person behind you, wrap your arms around someone. Give them the balm of your kindness, help them find their way. Or, kneel next to them in the dirt, ask them how they really are, and trace the pain of their losses. It’s what will help them go on.

Death, loss, divorce, the estranged family member, illness, childlessness, financial crisis… the list goes on. We’ve all buried dreams. We’ve all racked our hands in some kind of dirt and whispered “this wasn’t how it was supposed to go.”

I sat there for awhile, arm stretched out, brother next to brother, fingers etching a grave, hands feeling the dirt. And then I looked up to see the caretaker tenderly digging in the earth. I don’t know why. I do know it felt an awful lot like love watching a man carefully shovel dirt and tending to loss in such a profoundly intimate way. Maybe we could all learn a thing or two from the caretaker who spends his days carrying losses and helping people find their way.

-Michaela

Hey Gorgeous, Let’s Talk The Truth

Hey Gorgeous!

Ya you.  I’m talking to you.

Hello gorgeous.

Do me a favor…no wait… do YOU a favor.

Repeat this sentence 5 times:  “”I am gorgeous. I am lovely.  I am amazing.””

Go ahead.   5 times.    Later you can do it in front of a mirror.

Every. Day.

Because you are.  THAT, my friend, is the truth about you.

TRUTH.

Now maybe somewhere along the way, you may have believed a lie.  A lie that someone said to cut you down, to make themselves feel better about their awful life, or maybe you endured some pretty tough bullying, or hate mail, or stalking or something that took you off Beauty Avenue, Glorious Street or Captivating Road.  Did you?

And where are you now?

Wherever you are and whatever road you’re on, it’s not a Dead End and it doesn’t say No Outlet anywhere.  It’s a road that connects to another road… to a different neighborhood, to a different town and to a different state. It’s a road with opportunities, blessings, new realities, rewritten stories. It’s the road you’re on right now, doing what you’re doing and if you keep walking and keep believing and keep digging deep into your soul to shine your brightest light, you will end up in a beautiful place.  As you tell yourself, Every Day, that you ARE beautiful and lovely and amazing, and you journey forward, around the culdesacs, through the barriers, down the hills and beyond the twisty turns, you will see what lies ahead.  You just have to keep going.

When you get tired and it’s too messy to see and everything seems to be stacked against you, remind yourself WHO YOU ARE.  The Truth of you.  The deep down, raw, babygirl truth.   Because when you come right down to it, that’s all that matters.

Add some more words of your own to your daily mantra.

Wonderful, Magnificent, Stunning, Delightful, Marvelous, Smart, Outgoing……whatever you can add about your Truth….add it proudly.

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

 

I Want To Thank You

I want to thank you…

Last week I dipped my toe in the pool and shared with you all the reality of my marriage.

Believe it or not I am a pretty private person. So even though every week I share pieces of me here. I have people in my life who are still trying to piece together if I’m married. No.  Or dating… I will say this.  Maybe lol.

But that’s not what this is about. It’s about the aftermath of putting such a big piece of me on a platter.

Full disclosure last week I read every last comment  on my post right before I had to pick up my daughter, I got in my car and sobbed. Heavy, shaking sobs. First my heart was breaking that so many women understood. Second, my heart was breaking because complete strangers understood when the people I loved and trusted had not.

I can not put into words how much I appreciate all the messages and kind words.

I didn’t share my story for support, I shared it in hopes of letting other people know they’re not alone. I shared it to show it can happen to anyone. I shared it because it’s important to share it.

Again and again and again.

Even though its incredibly hard to admit it happened. I have always been a strong person I still am. But even strong people can get hurt.

I was asked by someone who I care about immensely after they read it, two things:

Why I let this happen

If I am bitter

It’s like I’ve said. Sometimes you get so far in, you believe all the words. You don’t know what to do.

Becoming a Mom dug me out. I don’t make that a secret. G deserved to see what a happy Mom looked like.

Am I bitter? No. Am I guarded and private and quirky as all get out? Oh my goodness yes.

I strongly feel I just chose poorly. I also know I don’t make it easy for people to know me. I still believe in being married and someday maybe again.

But I have very high walls.

I also still live with the worry my ex will somehow see these. Which shouldn’t matter. But I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you, he still makes me nervous. What he might do.

My hope is that someday I won’t.

My last and final share here is I am happy. It’s taken a while and things aren’t perfect but the fact that I can share any of this. The fact it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, means I am finally taking me back. And you Mommas have helped me.

Thank you

<3 Caprise

Press Reset

My recent move across the country has not only given me a beautiful home with a peaceful back yard but a reset of my priorities and sense of ease,self-assurance and finding space to overwhelm my soul with the things that bring me joy.  It took great courage to pack up everything I own, say “goodbye til I see you again” to everyone I know and trust that there is something more for me with my life near my son.  It took being brave in the face of ridicule and doubt, it took perseverance to endure in the middle of being tired and doing it alone, It took great strength to endure when I was afraid and wanted to change my mind.  But here I am, on the other side.

In the middle of the “hard”, there lived a peaceful-joyful feeling deep, deep inside.  And every problem that was in front of me was solved, every messy situation was cleared, every door was opened and with every step I took it got easier and simpler and happier.  It kept working out.  I now know I was supposed to be here.  It all turned out well.  It is well.

When I set my eyes on God’s will and not my own…. I remember this truth “You are my daughter whom I love; with whom I am well pleased.”  Pleased not because of what I do, but because of who I am.  I am relaxed in myself.  There is no fast-paced life to run in, there is no keeping up with the neighbors, there is no comparison or competition or need to be better.  I am already better.  I am already beautiful and amazing and wonderful.  I don’t have to prove anything.  I get to Just Be. Living a simpler life in a slower community helps, bet the reset of ME is where it had to start ….choosing to reset.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy XOXO

Why I Wear Pink

There is a reason why I wear pink in October…

“It’s cancer, but I’m going to be okay”, she said as she moved around the kitchen making dinner.  My brother and I stood there speechless.  In typical fashion, my brother went on about his business of the night, while I, being the emotional basket case I am, immediately burst into tears.  My mom came over, wiped my tears, hugged me tight, and like a true mom does; comforted her daughter when in fact she was probably the one in that moment, who needed comforting.

My mom was 46 years old when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  The original course of treatment was for her to have a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatments.  After the lumpectomy, the doctors realized that the margin zones were too wide of an area so plans then had to change.  My mom then had to undergo a mastectomy and opted to have tram flap reconstructive surgery, where they took tissue from her abdomen to reconstruct her breast.

During her surgeries, treatments, and hospital stays, my mom was the epitome of strength.  I don’t recall ever seeing her cry, complain, or ask anyone for anything.  Throughout it all, she continued being…well, our mom.  The questions kept coming.  How were my classes going in college?  How were things going with my new boyfriend?  Was my brother doing his homework or going to his job?  Had someone, anyone, washed the towels or done a dish?  In true mom fashion, she was still more concerned about us than herself.  Friends and family came to visit and she would ask about their days or their lives; never focusing on the fact that she was sick.

Some people get a diagnosis like breast cancer, accept that they are sick, mope, or get angry at the world.   Not my mom.  She worked hard and did what she had to in order to become strong and healthy.  She researched natural healing, dietary changes, and exercised even more regularly.

I don’t know where she drew her strength from. Maybe from watching her own mother, my grandmother, be diagnosed and beat the same disease just a few years before.  Wherever it came from, she was an inspiration.

My mom has been blessed enough to have remained cancer free for 13 years now.  After her diagnosis, she became an active volunteer in the breast cancer community, and has spent even more time working with these organizations since she retired a few years ago.  She works with the American Cancer Society working at events like Bark for Life or the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk.  She donates her time to work with two local cancer organizations in our area, Hope Club and CRAAB; whether its performing administrative work, helping a cancer patient choose and get fitted for a wig, or just sitting with someone while they receive chemotherapy to provide comfort and moral support.

Almost four years ago, the cancer returned and yet again she fought like a warrior to beat this nasty disease and triumphed. My mom accepted her diagnosis both times and fought her illness with grace, dignity, positivity, strength, and determination.  During it all she continued babysitting her two small grandchildren and helping me, her single mother daughter, deal with my own breast cancer scare. Knee replacement and a broken femur followed later that year and again, not once did she complain or whine. She fought, worked hard and did whatever was necessary to get better as soon as possible all while taking care of her family and putting all of us and our needs first.

I urge everyone out there, young and old, to perform self-exams regularly and get their annual mammogram.  Know your family history and know your body.  Early detection is one of the best ways to fight this disease until we can find a cure.  Breast cancer is a terrible disease.  It doesn’t discriminate.  It can affect us all, young, old, black, white, rich, poor, etc.. It affects mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, friends, etc… But it can be treated and you can fight against it.

My mom accepted her diagnosis and fought her illness with grace, dignity, positivity, strength, and determination.  She is my hero.  She is why I wear pink.  My mom didn’t just beat cancer and get better…She kicked Cancer’s butt!

-Chrissie <3

Snowball Effect

Hey everyone, I want to apologize for my month long absence. A lot of things have happened over the last month or so and I am still trying to pick up all the pieces, the snowball effect.  I took a month long mental health break from writing to take care of myself.

 Everything started with one of my grandmothers unexpectedly passing away. By a miracle and some caring people, I was able to get a plane ticket to go to the funeral. Unfortunately,I still wasn’t able to make it.

It was the first time in years I’ve been on a plane due to flight anxiety. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until the take off of my first of two flights. The second we took off, my anxiety turned into a full blown panic attack and at one point I fainted from sheer panic. Once we touched down in Denver, I kept trying to convince myself to get on to my next flight. This lead to hyperventilation and being unable to speak. After speaking with my mother, we decided it was best for me to just catch a Greyhound home. I still am disappointed in myself for not making it to my grandmothers service.

 While serving bills started piling up, and I couldn’t find reliable childcare for overnights. I decided to go back to school bus driving and work toward my CDL A so I can get a job with the state.

With all the struggles going on I am finding gratitude everyday and realize even through the snowball effect it is preparing me for blessings. The worst times in our lives are meant to direct us and prepare us for the best.

 During this time of trials for me I’ve still been finding away to bless others. One of my friends recently left a toxic relationship, she had no bed and was sleeping on the floor with her son. I seen a free bed on Facebook and brought it to her. The lady also took the opportunity to bless her more. It really helps me to see that I can be a vessel of blessing to others in my life even when things are tough.

 I’m working things out little by little, I just want to thank you all for your patience with my posts during this fire season.

 Blessed

Ali

Beautiful You

Beautiful you…or is it Beauty Full you?  I’ll take both. Won’t you?  I am beautiful and I am beauty.  Full.  From the bottom of my feet to the top of my head.  It is there.  Thriving. Expressing. Living.

I can not will it away.  I can not wash it away.  I can not talk it away.  It is there, always has been and always will be.  Okay so it took a long time for me to understand it, embrace it and believe it.  And now it is who I am. Without question.

What about you?  Beauty is part of everyone from birth.  It resonates in our bones, our flesh, our mind.  It is part of who we are.  Whether we like it or not, it is in our DNA.

It’s what we do with it that either helps it grow or hinders it hibernate.  Just like a seed….it is going to be a plant.  When it is cared for and watered and given sunshine and protection from bad weather… it will be the plant it is meant to be.  A flower, or a tree or a vine or even a weed.  The seed will become.

And so will you.  When you are taken care of, drink plenty of water, take in healthy foods, get lots of sunshine and protected from evil… you will be the woman you were meant to be.  A teacher, or a manager or a clerk, or even a nurse.  You will become.

How amazing is that?!  To not have to wonder anymore if you are beautiful.  But to know.  Already… since day one, since breath one, heck….since the moment you were conceived you were beautiful.  You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to act a certain way, you don’t have to dress a certain way.

You just are.  Oh BEAUTIFUL,   BEAUTY   FULL   YOU.

xoxo

Your God Girl,

Tracy

What I’m Fighting For

What I’m Fighting For…

I’ve heard the worst of the worst in my 40 years of life.

“We found a mass. Quite honestly, I’m concerned.”
“It is malignant.  You have a 10 cm tumor.  There are also 2 spots in your left lung.”
“It’s stage 4.  Our best guess is you have a 10-15% chance of living the next 5 years.”
I’ve now been battling stage 4 colon cancer for 3 years. I’ve had 27 radiation treatments, 22 chemo treatments, more surgeries in the last 3 years than most have in a lifetime. I’ve somehow had such bad Sepsis that I was within hours of death.
Twice.
There is a looming fear that I have about 2 years left. That my 8 and 5 year old children won’t have their mom by their side as they start middle school and grade school. I try not to worry about that. I try to make every day the best I can for them. I want them to remember when I taught them to ride a two wheeler. And that I practiced their spelling words with them every single morning. I want them to think of fun zoo trips and every single Muffins With Mom event at school.  I pray they will remember what I went through for them. But not so much that they remember how sick the chemo made me. I want them to know that as sick as I was, it helped me be with them even one more day.
I’m fighting.  I’m fighting every single day.  I never want my kids to think I gave up on them. On life. As hard as it is, my will to live is for them. As I gear up for another round of 12 treatments, I worry about telling them. But I hope they’re proud. I hope they see what courage and strength there is in fighting Cancer.  I hope they remember that strength and courage when I’m at my weakest. And I hope they remember the light on the other side. When I can tell them, “The chemo worked.  The cancer is gone. No more chemo for a while.”
Because while the bad has been very bad, the good has been SO much better. We appreciate everything more. They don’t know my time is limited. They just know that I do what I do in order to be able to do the fun stuff later.
And while the Cancer fight is hell, it’s sure as hell worth it in order to take one more trip to the zoo next year.
-Kate