Introducing: The Incredible Kimmy the Wonder Pup…

In mid-July my husband and I expanded our family and adopted a pup named Kimmy. Little did we know that she was facing a life-threatening illness after we brought her home from the shelter. Within the first 48 hours of her life with us she faced parvo, an upper respiratory infection, and a deteriorating immune system. With supportive and knowledgeable vets, loving parents, and determination she survived.

Today she is thriving, chewing, playing, licking, cuddling, talking, and loving life. Sometimes the best things in life occur when you least expect them to do so.  Today she received shots and the knowledge that she is now 29 pounds, a great improvement from the mere 12 pounds a little over a month ago.

The Incredible Kimmy the dog is a Plott Hound, Retriever Lab mix with… maybe a little Great Dane, or Pitbull, who knows?! But this we do know: she has become a part of our hearts and we are eternally grateful for this new life. ❤

 

Stop. Just breathe.

Stop.

It’s a four letter word that has power. It holds the opportunity to communicate a clear, yet simple message.

So why is it so hard to say?

It is the one word I use when a student is being inappropriate, a boundary violator, or seeking my advice as to what to say when someone bothers them.

Say, “Stop.”

What is it about all this noise around us today? It seems to be a spinning vortex of information, misinformation, communication and miscommunication. It is nestled into every moment of every day.

Stop.

Are you listening?

Do you listen when someone speaks, or do you wait to respond? Sometimes I do both. It’s a work in progress.

Do you ever find yourself oversharing or emotionally vomiting with words?

Stop. Just say, “STOP self.” And do just that, stop.

No one needs to be the bearer of your misinformation, your quandaries about another, or the oversharing bulldozer of what is unnecessary data.

Hanging in my classroom is the following poster below that has the word THINK written vertically. It was made into an acronym for a few concepts.  I saw the idea online a long time ago, and I made my own poster. Consider the following before you speak, share, or “share” through social media…

T-is it TRUE?

H-is it HELPFUL?

I-is it INSPIRING?

N-is it NECESSARY?

K-is it KIND?

All too often we are not provided or providing the possibility for communication that is quality, confidential, and kind. Listening to my friends, my loved ones, my colleagues, my acquaintances, often times I see my reflective behavior in them. My energy level shifts, my mood can fluctuate, and can be a barometer at times unless I truly concentrate on what the person is saying, before I allow my emotions to come forth.

I have practiced something with my students this year called, “problem solving mediation.” Now, it might sound simplified and silly, but it is the same elemental principles in having a crucial conversation as an adult. It can be challenging, but with continued practice, it can work.

Instead of saying, “YOU this, you that, you are, you did that….stop and think.” What impacted you as an individual? The, “I, me, my, mine of the issue.” Start with an I statement, breathe, and proceed providing adequate time for the other to share and communicate when they are done.

Now, it does not always solve every issue, but I do feel that learning the basic techniques of communicating your personal perception, emotion, concern or question is essential for little and older people alike. Start with the I, use THINK, and then communicate. It is better to attempt to work it out, then ruminate on a negative vibe or feeling that festers with time.

If I have learned anything from my losses this year it is this…

Life is too short. Don’t waste it with, “I’m going to….you should’s, or he that’s…” speak up, enjoy it, work on it, make progress with the simple steps you take every day.

If you need to take some steps backwards for grounding then do so.

Quit apologizing.

Stop agonizing.

Get up, get moving, and start doing.

Do for you, do for Debbie, live and enjoy what you are offered today, and simply be grateful for the opportunities that are presented.

As challenging, as uncomfortable, or as difficult as they may seem.

Face it. Live it. Love it.

Breathe.

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Love, Life, and Laughter

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“When an introvert meets the right soul magic can coincide.” My words of wisdom ~RAB~

My soul mate sister and I met twenty seven years ago. We were surrounded by glitter, kindergarten hugs, and high fives.

My spaghetti-o eating, longest haired girl, gymnastic jumping friend met the quiet, imaginative, and loud laughing friend in me.  Little did we know that when we were in our 30’s we would still hold hand prints on our hearts for each other.

She has seen me at my best, and at my worst and in between….and vice-a-versa.

You know those human beings that fill your heart with joy, make you feel content, and happy just breathing the same air? That’s her.

Only a few humans know the truth of what has happened to me in the last month and I am ok with that for right now. At some point I may change my mind and speak all my truths, but for now, they remain in the presence of those that I trust and love deeply.

Memories run deep, so do wounds, especially those that only the heart can see and do not meet the eye.

Thank you to all my friends who have supported myself, and my family. I feel so grateful for the relationships that are tried and true through the waves that we ride in this life.

Here is a small glimpse into the moments of beauty that transpired in the last 48 hours. ~All photos are the property of myself Rachel Ann and my friend who is the beautiful photographer, Katie.~

My sentiments on this weekend’s reminders of love, friendship, and one of life’s greatest joys: Laughter.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” 
― Audrey Hepburn

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” 
― William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

TIHS kind of day (use a mirror)

For lack of a more interesting beginning: I’m exhausted. 

     Over the last 3.5 months I have been rehearsing for a Christmas musical a friend wrote, working full time, working out 6 days a week, stressing about family, worrying about health, planning, driving, organizing, talking, singing, practicing, and walking that balance beam we call life.

Sometimes I just want to throw all the pieces up into the air and scream while I watch them all fall back down and turn into glittery confetti…if only.  The current positives that are milling around in my mind proceed as follows:

  1. I am three days away from winter break from teaching. You know all those crazy memes of teachers running for the doors screaming? That’s me right now. I’m done. I’ve had it with attitudes, misspellings, sighing, requests x 27 and then some, repeating myself, filing paper work, making copies, making phone calls, writing emails, responding to emails, giving band aids, mending wounds both physical and emotional, mediating, locking and unlocking doors, searching for items, listening to demands, entering grades, having paint all over my hands, being sneezed on, being coughed on and glared at when I ask them to cover their mouth, wiping down tables, reminding for courtesy and the amount of general lack of gratitude. My bucket is not filled at work right now people I need recoup time.
  2. I wrapped the Christmas show and made new friends. I was grateful for another musical experience that pushed me as an individual, but I have to admit it was hard. It was challenging for me to force myself to drive across town the last week for rehearsals. It was not that I did not want to be there or follow through, it’s just that I am emotionally drained.
  3. My body tells me when it has had enough, and I generally listen. Like tonight when I stepped out of the car for dance class and my foot cramped and hurt immensely, I stopped and thought, “I think that’s a sign that you need to go home Rachel.” So I listened, and I did.
  4. Small glimmers of hope with my sister’s recent PET scan were also dashed and then thrown against more frustrating new growths in an already ravaged body, which made me want to yell into the wind: FUCK YOU CANCER. I should have been a scientist.
  5. I watched part of my birthday present from my sweet guy tonight, “Cinderella,” helped me lose myself in the fairy tale.
  6. I have a fluffy quilt, a couple pillows, and a bed to sleep in after writing.
  7. I had yummy home made pasta, and chocolate to wash it all down with.
  8. I realized after this last birthday that I could feel an emotional shift of ,”not caring,” about what people think of me slowly slipping away. See the meme below for my current feelings.
  9. I have a wonderful set of friends, family, and humans that I love and who love me. ❤ Case in point, my bff, Resa.Resa's bday party 2015
  10. I saw an amazing meme that sums me up.  That is my life update for this evening.  I’m going to dream land and will wake up and do it all again tomorrow. Enjoy the meme and one of my favorite Hollywood legends, The Norma Jean, aka, Marilyn Monroe. ❤ (PS I don’t know who created or posted the original meme below, I don’t own it, nor do I intend to pass it off as something I created. Rather, I appreciate it and am sharing it. Thank you.)Marilyn quote meme

I’m feeling 32…

birthday 32

My mother said that the night before I was born she had a conversation with me in the womb. She told me it was time for me to come into the world. She had stayed in bed for nearly 8 months in order to bring me forth into the world and that it was finally time. 

I generally follow directions, but I definitely march to my own drum beat still to this day thanks to my mom.

I followed the plan she laid out before me, but I arrived with a bang before my father even had time to arrive that early morning. My mother had her best friend Ann with her.   I like to think that she lives on within me, inside my heart, with my middle name and hers being the same. 

Friendships run deep in my life. Clearly from the first moment I breathed life, friends were surrounding me. 

I am a loyal human. I may kick, and I may scream my way through situations, but I will remain by your side. Much like my childhood likeness. I was the type of friend who would steadfastly watch their best friend branch out with other people and friends, but stay rock steady when they returned. I sought no comfort in constantly seeking other’s approval. I knew who I was even as a little one, and I loved my friend even from afar. I never looked at friendships as an, “end all be all per say,” but rather I cherished those whom I felt made a lasting hand print on my heart. 

The last 32 years have brought forth many recollections when I stop and consider the life that I have lead thus far. 

A few things hold true: life will always ebb and flow. It will continue to test you. No matter how prepared you might be, you can never prepare for the change that will set forth when you least expect it. 

I’ve found within the last year that spontaneity, pushing my limits, and testing my boundaries and also the human’s within my life makes my vision become clearer with this life.

We are given a gift to wake up and face each day for all that it will bring into our lives. 

I have watched those closest to me fight a battle of cancer.

I have seen love and loss.

I have experienced the unimaginable. 

I have discussed.

I have cried.

I have written. 

I have sang.

I have acted.

I have performed and put on a mask to make the smoke and mirrors reflect what they should from the stage. 

I have gotten up each day. Taken many deep breaths and washed away my sorrows through sweat and tears combined.

I have found solace in the arts.

Ultimately I have danced away carefree in those melodies and sparkling lights. 

I have worked towards relinquishing my desire to control. 

I continue to struggle with many things. 

I have found love, and shown kindness whenever possible. 

Life will always be challenging, and yet, I am anticipating what lies ahead.

The small, simple moments bring me boundless joy.

Cheers to you my blogging friends. Here, where readers and writers unite. 

I applaud all of you for sharing your quandaries and quests. May we all bring forth a flood of words to wash away our tears, and the anguish that our world is pulsing with. 

Peace, love, and sparkles is my wish on this, my 32nd birthday.

 

Sagittarius Birthday Eve…

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My husband should blog. Poem courtesy of him.  Thank you to all the amazing fellow bloggers through wordpress. It’s been wonderful to connect, write, and inspire one another. I am so grateful for this community. Sparkle on friends.

I leave you with a few of my favorite things on this 32nd birthday eve:

How To Succeed in Life…

How To Succeed in Life…

“Another curtain rises, and falls. Another door opens and closes. I turn toward the lighted pathway of new opportunity just ahead.”

Over the last three months I have been part of the creation and fruition of a summer musical in Oregon. “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” knocked on my door in February of this year. Auditioning, hoping, waiting, receiving that email offer, and accepting gave me such thrills and great things to look forward and now the curtain has fallen on this show.

When I was a little, tiny girl my love for entertainment began. I would plop on my tutu slip, the kind that had a silky undershirt connected to a large goofy tulle skirt. I’d skip throughout our bedrooms, I would slide across the hallway wood floors, and burst into song just for my mom while she cooked. Her loving patience and applause would greet me after every heartfelt rendition of, “Wee Sing Silly Songs,” or Peter Paul and Mary’s, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  There is a cassette tape floating around somewhere in the midst of our homes with me dedicating this very same song to my sister.  However, I digress… The point of this trip down memory lane is this:  I loved to perform. But mostly, I loved to make people laugh, to see a smile, and to connect through song and action.

Skip to a few years later, ok maybe 23, and here we are in the present of August 2015.

Life provides opportunities, moments in time that you either show up for, take a risk or a chance with, or you don’t. My dad told me once, “Life is about showing up kid, so do just that, show up.” So I did.  I had showed up years before 2015 to the very same theatre company.  I had been so hopeful and excited about the prospects of auditioning for my ALL TIME FAVORITE MUSICAL, “Fiddler On The Roof.” I walked in, I smiled and I sang my song confidently, I don’t remember what I sang…and then I left. When I did not receive an email or a phone call I was rather heart-broken. But that’s showbiz kid, so get used to it. I kept my chin up. I continued to practice and I auditioned again.

There is a word or phrase of sorts in Yiddish, “Beshert,” which roughly translates to, “It was meant to be.” (I know for some readers I’ve touched on this word before.)

And that particular production my friends, was not beshert.

However H2$ was.

Thank you to all the friends and family who were able to attend the performances. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to see a live production and your support does not go unnoticed. I feel like my best two performances were on the closing weekend when my sister and my parents attended. Having my sister in the audience meant THE WORLD to me on Saturday night. I cannot begin to express how special it was to have her there front and center after all these years working towards performing on stages and having her across the sea in Hong Kong. Thank you for always believing in me and being such an adoring advocate of my musical endeavors. Your support and encouragement have always brought me so much joy.  I love you to the moon and back Debbie.

Life is a funny thing because really, perhaps in theory, but more so in my mind it is all too similar to a play.  We live our lives out in stages, in acts it would seem.  We see times when the lights are all too bright and somewhat glaring, and others glistening sparkling beams that kiss our cheeks. There are times when there is hardly any light shining at all, dim and some what unkempt with a foggy mist. We are met with applause, we are also met with silence, and all of these things help us continue through each part of our lives.

Life is never predictable, much like live theatre and live music. You never quite know what might be beyond the curtain, who might be in the audience, or who you will connect with on that stage.  A few things remain certain though: being present, engaging, and believing. If you believe in your ability to connect with others, if you give yourself completely to a moment with that one or one hundred other people, you’ve succeeded. That’s what life is really about. Count not the tangible successes or trophies you will receive or the applause you will or will not hear, but rather seek out the connection you can make with one another, for that is what succeeding is really all about.

*Sparkle on friends.*

HT$pic

Yellow Herbie Day 15

There are ten years between my sister and I.  I was always keenly aware of this age difference for the first eighteen years of my life, as I’m sure my sister was as well. Although, to be the little sister is quite different than the elder. For one thing, I was given the opportunity to have a mentor and role model, where she, was given a sweet little shadow that wanted to emulate her every move. 🙂 Adorable at times, but annoyingly awkward and over involved at others.

One such occasion was the summer mom went to Israel. She was graduated and working an office job for the summer and taking care of me in the morning and evenings. I remember being dropped off at summer camp at my elementary school.  She’d pick me up at the play ground and I’d run to you and think, “That’s MY sister.” Oh I loved it so much. I felt super cool that my big sis would come get me and drive me home. Teeheee…you never knew eh Debbie?!

Then entered the boy crush for that month. He had a pony tail, and a yellow herbie or volkswagen. I think he also had a pierced ear, what a babe and a rebel right?!

All I remember of him, was the one evening you were helping me wash my hair out and you were on the phone with him.

Man I love thinking about that gray, plastic, cordness/portable telephone. I yelled for you from the bathroom and you popped your head in. “Aren’t you going to help me wash my hair out?” I called.

I could hear his voice come through the phone as you sat down to help me with my long tendrils. “How OLD is your sister, she can’t wash her own hair, woah…” The conversation commenced and you continued to help me. I was covering my eyes with a wash cloth as you poured water over my head. “You know Rachel, you could learn how to rinse out your own hair…” and that was the moment that I knew I was growing up.

As silly as it sounds, it was true though.

She always gave me good advice, she taught me how to do countless things, but in that one silly hair washing moment, I felt a shift, a change, and that sense that, “Huh…I’m not three years old any more.”

Thanks for pushing me to take a baby step forward, and for also helping me with my long knotty hair that summer. I love you! And as for the boy, he wasn’t so great after all. But the yellow herbie car was cool. 😉

xoxo. Have a sparkly fantastic Friday!!

ari and i flowers