Saturday, March 10, 2018

Where everybody knew her name: lessons from my grandma

I love that Barks and I listen to books together. 

This one has a special place in my heart. ❤️My grandma gave me her copy when I was just in high school when facing some “mean girls” and critical teenagers. I rolled my eyes thinking it made no sense. “How to Win Friends and Influence People?” Ugh. What was she thinking? I had no control over how they treated me. 🙄 

For those who knew my Grandma Margarette you probably are smiling just thinking of her. 😄 (she had that effect on people!) Her striking outer beauty; bright blonde hair and bright lipstick outlined a smile that lit up her face and made her light blue green eyes sparkle. It was no wonder she didn’t know a stranger. A trip anywhere with her was stretched by the relationships built a long the way. 

One day, i ran into her at a local nail salon.  A new driver it felt so nice to have gained the independence to do these things on my own . She introduced me to all of the technicians noting some tidbit about them or their kiddos and even some of the patrons. Each expressed such excitement to meet me and glowingly said how lucky I was to have such an incredible lady in my life. Strangely as many visits as I’ve made to get my nails done this remains my favorite.  💕 as she finished up, she treated me to my service and the owner gave her a special “Margarette” discount. 

After, I stopped by her house to thank her. “What a great place! I had no idea it was even there! Is this where you’ve always gone?” 

“Oh no honey, they just opened 2 weeks ago.” 

That was her. Instantly loved because she first loved on them.  

While the first time I read this this book I was a teenager,  i have since read or listened to this book several times and I love that it continues to find me in different places in life, in business, in friendships and teach me something new. Simple concepts of sharing a smile, listening to them and selfless genuine love for others were the benchmarks of her personality. 

A beautiful reminder of the power we have over how others feel and how our kindness, positivity and love often bounces back.  

The older I get the more I understand, “it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” 

Thanks, Grandma. I hate that you’re not here, but know you and your impact is with me always.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Oh my Soul

I'm HERE!   I love blogging.  I do.  It's therapeutic and it's a chance for me to log our life, to look back, to reflect.  I'm big on that.   I want to get back to this.   There's so much that has been missed.   So many drafts of blogs never finished, never shared.

Here's one I found from several months ago.   It's me.  Raw.  Honest.  And really gave rise to so much of what the word that was chosen for me for 2018 has done: brought me out of the spinning, the crumbling, the chaos to find the joy in the everyday.   I'm not perfect.  But I'm me.  Just a mom, a wife, a small business owner just trying to figure it all out.   And that's everything He made me to be. 

And wine is proof He loves us and wants us to be happy.  Right? 

September 2017

I haven't blogged in a while.  Too long.  But feel the need to start again. 
If you're looking for a happy, quirky, silly one.  This isn't it.   But...   

We have all have those days. Life spinning in every direction. Kids falling apart at every turn. All the planning in the world crumbles as the fits begin. I hate being the "bad guy." My parents from 3 hours away made a surprise visit and after a night of no sleep, the spoiling, the heat, the overstimulation... it left us all spent. I longed to have such a nice time with them and felt I had failed it. I hadn't been able to make the most of that precious time. I had failed.
Like all visits, it was too short. And as they left I felt raw. There's so much my parents are facing right now. Health concerns, financial ruin, uncertain future. My heart aches for them, seeing the pain in their faces, the worry they try to hide from me and yet through it all I have prayed and believed God would see us all through. But in that moment, my faith faded. I doubted.
I went through the motions throughout the evening. Caring for and giving to everyone in my home, in my business, my friends, continuing to spin, avoiding the quiet, yet feeling empty.
After bedtime for the kids, I felt the nudge. I'd been feeling it all afternoon, but I pushed it aside. Not wanting to let go. But I decided to listen.
I grabbed my keys and jumped in the car, unsure where I was going or what I was doing. Just knowing I needed to get away.
I turned on the car and drove out of the neighborhood and turned on the radio, not wanting to be silent in my own thoughts.
But He knew. He knew I needed those thoughts. I needed to hear Him. I needed to feel Him. I needed to KNOW. The song, "Oh My Soul" played on the radio. It stopped me in my tracks. Literally.
And so I pulled over. Listened. Cried. Prayed. And felt that wholeness once again that only He can provide and I was still.
I am NOT in control of this life. He is. And I needed that reminder to be still and feel Him take control again.
Thank you for this page, for this place to share.

Just one YES

It’s no secret we’ve been struggling with sleep with the Chach. Last night may have been the worst yet, so when an excited boy tapped my sleeping self on the shoulder and said, “mommy, I made breakfast” the last thing I wanted to do was remove myself from bed. The very last thing. I felt another nudge. I wanted to ignore it. I tried to. But, I said yes and got up.
A beautiful spread awaited me with a special cereal picked out for each of us (the other two are still sleeping 😉), he made place cards, and carefully set out spoons. He even cleaned and put away everything after he prepared.
He’s always been the softie. He’s always been the one who just as he said, “wanted to take care of his mom and dad because they do so much for him”
There’s so much I would have missed by saying “no” and staying in bed (aside from the obviously extra hour of snoozing😘)
I would’ve missed this spread. He would have eaten here alone, waiting on his family. I would’ve missed the stark contrast of the little boy that would make such breakfasts for me since he was 3; the wiped down table, the clean countertop, the milk and cereal boxes neatly put away. I would have missed the blush and sparkle of a proud heart knowing he touched someone else’s. I would have missed him pulling out my chair and sitting politely and waiting for me to take the take the first bite. I would’ve missed the conversation just he and I. I would’ve missed him sharing some not-so-nice things on the playground, some hard lessons of “friends” not being kind and boys trying to be “cool.” 😢 I would’ve missed lifting him up with positivity and sharing that there will always be “naysayers” but I will forever be his biggest “yaysayer!” I would’ve missed him taking my hand, taking me to the couch and cuddling and giggling in our uniquely quiet house. I would’ve missed all of these moments, these memories.
Maybe I’m extra sensitive because Hud and I drove to Lawrence to watch my nephew’s last basketball game of high school last night, but even with that. I know. These moments fade too fast.
Grateful for each one of them. Grateful for the “yes” that brings me to them. Grateful for health and happiness and freedom that allows me to appreciate this time. Grateful for a renewed perspective that pulled me from that bed to experience this instead of grumbling how “tired” I was. Instead of complaining this cereal wasn’t on my “eating plan” or seeing soggy cereal or the amount of milk “wasted” instead of the intention that was put into it. Isn’t it amazing how different perspective can transform the same situation into something beautiful? How many of these I missed before, and I know some are bound to slip by. I’m not perfect.
But I am Grateful. blessed. Loved.

Monday, November 23, 2015


I wrote a note to him very similar last night. (Eh, whatever. I wrote a TEXT, because really, isn't that the only way to communicate these days?!) After I sent it, I wanted to "save" it, to remember this day, these feelings and this pride. And so, here it is- wIth some tweaks for privacy. 
Being an aunt is so much like being a mom, but yet, so different, too. I love each one of my 5 nieces and nephews for being their very unique, silly, happy, respectful, talented selves. 
To my nephew on his almost birthday, 

So.. It's the eve of your 16th birthday. Really?! Seriously?! Nope. I'm not THAT old! Right?! 
You were my first nephew, the first time I ever thought- "hey, I guess kids aren't so bad" (before you I'd vowed id never marry or have kids 😉) but you, C, you made me see life a lot differently. Your intuitiveness, your intelligence, your compassion and determination has astounded me from a young age and it continues to with each chapter you begin. 
I know I was a lot better aunt before I was a mom, but even though I can't just jump in the car and take you trick or treating, see your school program, make it to your bowling birthday party, or bake cookies with you, (man, I missed a lot of class to trek from Lawrence just to see you!) it doesn't mean I love you any less than I always have. 
I'm so very proud of you. For the man you have become and the amazing adult I know you will be. You make me proud to be your Keeks. 
And yes, you tower over me, but I will forever be your Aunt KeeKee. 

Happy 16th! I can't wait to see what this year brings! 
I love you, 
Aunt KeeKee, Keeks, Keekers

Friday, November 13, 2015


So what is with all this talk of "Plexus" and "pink drink" all of a sudden?  I know you're wondering. What on earth is this girl up to now? Well, here you go.

An attorney by education, we decided when my son was born 5 years ago that I would leave my job and stay home with him. Then, about a year and a half ago my mom introduced me to a product I adored and an opportunity to go into business with 2 of my best friends, she and my sister. "Working with 2 of my favs? Yes please!"  

We started our Nerium business as a group and for fun. Little did we know the huge opportunity Nerium held! We had tons of fun traveling together, meeting new people and sharing the fantastic products, and making money! Life was good! 

Then, last fall, I got shingles. Yes. Shingles.  It covered the right side of my face, scalp and eyelid. The itchy red rash hurt and was awful to look at, but even worse was that it affected the trigeminal nerve of my face.  This caused electric shock-like excruciatingly painful pulsations through the side of my face. There wasn't any treatment that offered relief. Pain medication barely touched it. Anti seizure medication helped buffer the shocks a bit, but left me groggy, unfocused and unable to function with active then 2 and 4 year olds. 

After about 6 weeks, the pain subsided and I was excited to have my life back. But, I was quickly sidelined once again. I remember taking this picture in the waiting room at urgent care on New Year's Eve. I was frustrated, trying to make light of the situation and hopeful that this too, would pass. 

Blood work and X-rays confirmed pneumonia. More medications were started, antibiotics, steroids, cough medicine and an inhaler.  

For the next 6 months, I went through relapse after relapse. I would finish one course of medication only for pneumonia to return. I was frustrated. I was depressed. I was anxious, and I didn't recognize myself. The steroids had made me appear puffy. I had gained a lot of weight. My skin was dull, my eyes sick and sad. I tried to put on a smile for my children, for my husband, for the world, but inside I was defeated. And scared. 

I didn't understand why my young (ok so relatively speaking here) my young-ish body was failing me. I was doing all the doctors instructed and yet... I couldn't get well. I was convinced there was something very seriously wrong with me and I was fearful to dig too deeply. 

While I wasn't actively working Nerium, I was so very thankful for it during this difficult time. I had the freedom to work as I could, to continue to share and still receive my residual income. It was a huge blessing, but as I battled with my health I felt my passion for the business fading.  

While I felt better through the summer, I battled lingering consequences of my poor immunity. I developed an intolerance to some of my favorite foods, my allergies were constantly troublesome, my anxiety reached a high, I couldn't sleep and yet that's all I felt like doing. I took sleep aids to rest, and woke up even more tired. I was battling with extra steroid weight, a diminished self worth and a lingering fear something was very wrong. 

Then, in August, I decided to again reach out to a sorority sister. Emily and I had communicated almost a year prior and both as successful women in network marketing. She tried Nerium and I tried a 7 day trial of Plexus. 

At that time, a year ago, I remember thinking how great the bust of energy felt that I gained from the pink drink. My head felt clearer, less cluttered. My sugar cravings had subsided and I found myself naturally making better nutritional choices. I wanted to try for a longer period, but as many of us do, I was pursued by other friends with other businesses and other products promising similar results. In an effort to support their passions and budding businesses, I went on to try another product that only left me jittery and anxious. Then, well, the "season of sickness" began. 

But this time, I jumped all in. I explained my struggles and it was recommended I order the Triplex. (This contains the Plexus slim "pink drink," biocleanse and probio5).  And after looking at pricing, I opted to become an Ambassador; not to create or start my own business. That was the last thing I needed! I joined for the discounts and potential to earn free products by sharing with my friends and family. 

I was hopeful. But I was very skeptical. 

I started drinking the pink drink daily and just felt better. I noticed my coffee needs decreased, my naps disappeared and my productivity increased. I slowly added the biocleanse and then the probio5. And slowly as the weeks progressed, I found I no longer needed my inhalers. My IBS is gone, my intolerances disappeared. I don't "need" coffee throughout the day. I fall asleep easily and awake refreshed, something I haven't done in years. And while it wasn't my direct intent to lose weight, I found that within the first month I lost 15 pounds effortlessly. 

My body feels in balance. I finally feel like the truest version of a healthier me. Weight loss is still something I'm working toward, but unlike any other time in my life, that is not my focus. I have realized the importance of whole body health, of gut health, of blood sugar stabilization and for me, with those things in place, weight loss follows.

And so, when you see my posts sharing Plexus, my friends experiences, stories and testimonies, that's what it's about for me. Money is always nice, but a sick, tired, anxious person can't enjoy any of it. 

With only 2 months on Plexus, I won't pretend to understand or know all the facts of how the products work, or why. But if you reach out, I promise,  I'll find out whatever I can to see if Plexus can help you, too.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Red birds

Today I am thankful for red birds. No one can ever convince me you didn't have a hand in finding our new home for us. Every day I drive by red bird st. And Hollis lane and today as the littles ate breakfast they talked to our red birds in our tree. Thank you for the signs you are forever with us. I love you and miss you more than words could ever express. Sending you sugar and a hug around the neck. Happy birthday, Papa bear. ❤️❤️❤️

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Not sure why this one never posted. Oh well... 

Wow! What a night! Good friends, good drinks, good food, good laughs and GREAT baseball! It's an incredible time to be in KC and I couldn't be happier we chose here to anchor our life. I am so very grateful for our happy new home, our adorable neighborhood, walking trails and the lake. We are so happy here and although we've only lived here 2 months and our garage is still full of boxes, I feel so very at home here. 

I love our community! School was cancelled tomorrow! They are calling it the "blue flu" and the kids, I and some friends are headed downtown first thing in the morning to celebrate with the rest of this great city! 

Be Royal! 

I know.. The camera on my phone is pretty awful now. :(  

Friday, November 6, 2015

This guy

Today I am thankful for this guy. The heart on this kid astounds me each and every day. He loves everyone with all that he has. 

He had a rough start to kindergarten. He was being bullied, and it broke my heart for my sweet boy to be hurting so badly. 

Each evening he would get out his art supplies and draw a picture or have me help him write a note. I would mutter under my breath as he would ask to spell those same names I had heard just moments before had hurt him, but I obliged. Each day he would take a note to a different student, come home and do it all again.  I shook my head, tried to convince him this wasn't a good idea as I feared the rejection he was faced with as he gave these notes. 

But then, day by day, I began opening his backpack to find kind notes and pictures from friends here and there, and then lots. One particular evening he piled the notes to take them to his room then turned to me with that dimply smile, "see mom? My friends are the nicest friends ever." 

They are, sweet boy. But you are the one who saw it there all along. 


Here's a little tidbit I shared on the FB earlier... 

Today I'm thankful for her. So when everything fell apart and I missed my haircut appointment and a sweet little raspy voice said "let's get me ice cream?" We did. 
She had her red star Popsicle and then ate lunch. Yep. Lots of red 40 in that thing, and to accompany it? Fried chicken strips, French fries, and ranch dressing. Totally quality nutrition right there. Yet, none of it mattered. 

We sat together, giggled and talked about her day, and right there nothing else mattered; not my greasy, poofy, a month past due for a cut hair or my dashed plans of "feeling pretty." (Because all you mamas know that's sometimes the only thing that helps!). It didn't matter. Nothing did, because her happy is my happy.

 I love her smile. I love her laugh. I love my Charli Brooke. ❤️

And I am thankful. 


It's that time of year. I'm pretty certain I recognize the same "kind" of things each year, but I like doing the exercise. It's good practice for me in the sometimes hard, overwhelmed heavy weight of life to see the happy. And when I start... It's incredible how much happy I see. 

I'm a lucky girl. I am thankful.