Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy 40th Birthday, Ann!  

40 Reasons You're AWESOME! 

"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte.  "That in itself is a tremendous thing." ~E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

1.     Your unwavering friendship

2.     You are a devoted wife

3.     The empathy and compassion you have for animals

4.     World's Okayest Mom

5.     Cutest hair award

6.     Intuition to know when people are in need of any emotion

7.     Genuine happiness for other people's success

8.     Nothing fake about you

9.     Coffee and Conversation are your super-powers

10.   OMG, those brownies you bake 
11.    Athletic Genes

12.    You can sew

13.    You are a happy hooker...what, you like to knit

14.    Being vegetarian is kind

15.    Your love is unconditional

16.    You know when to call bullshit

17.    Always up for an adventure

                                                                                    18.    Innkeeper of the Year goes to YOU

                                                                                    19.    Volunteer heart 

                                                           20.    Prefers the simple things in life, never over the top

21.    Always willing to help a friend in need

22.    Not a basic bitch

23.    You have a dirty mind

24.    Faithful to your friends and family

25.    Dedicated to causes close to your heart

26.    Excellent taste in music

27.    You always make informed, 
          educated decisions

28.    The books you read are always awesome

29.    Brexton and Quinn 


31.    Most appreciative person when people do kind       things for you

32.    Cheap, but not selfish

33.    Cool tattoos 

34.    Secrets are safe with you

35.    Emotional AF 

36.    You get sucked into B-Rated movies too

37.    Ability to stand up for what's right, even if you   stand alone

                                                                38.    Kind, but not a pushover

                                                                39.    Honest, Respectful, and True to You

40.    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. 
           There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  ~Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Retirement Speech for Jon 4-1-2017

     Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  I am Jon’s slightly (emphasis on slightly) older sister, Jennifer.  Unbeknownst to Jon, I was asked to give a surprise speech in his honor.  Surprise, Jon!

    When sitting down to write this I asked my family, “Where do I begin?”  My husband, the less funny one, said, “At the beginning”.  My son, the class clown, said, “It was a dark and stormy night”. Writer's Digest described this sentence as "the literary posterchild for bad story starters."

Jennifer with her baby brother, Jon 2017
     Jon really was born on a dark and stormy (and VERY SNOWY) night, but I would not call him the posterchild for bad story starters.  In fact Jon’s best stories begin with, “Well, I was drinking and…”  All I wanted on the night that Jon was born was my mother’s comforting presence.  But apparently having a baby took precedent.  From that night on, Jon was Mom’s baby.  However he was, and always will be, my baby brother too.

     That’s how I became the older and, if you ask Jon, the bossier sister.  I like to think that I was, at an early age, setting Jon up for his military career.  In the military you do what you’re told, when you’re told, how you’re told, and you don’t argue or else.  That was pretty much what it was like having me for an older (OKAY FINE AND BOSSIER) sister.  I really think after all these years Jon owes me a “Thank You” for paving the road which the Air Force has led him down.  If I have taught you nothing else, Jon, I have taught you how to deal with leadership under pressure.

Jon's Enlistment Photo 18 years old
     I remember when Jon first enlisted in the Air Force.  On a trip home he told me how as part of his training the airmen were supposed to go on a camping exercise.  They cancelled because of rain. RAIN my friends!!  I laughed and called him a few not so politically correct names.  It turns out though, Jon learned battle does not wait for the weather.  He has gone on to fight many storms both personally and professionally.  While I like to think he toughened up from my name calling, it was many life lessons which made Jon the pillar of strength and determination that we admire today.

Ahhh, life lessons.  Like when you are a young airman stationed in England and you decide to get your nipples, BOTH OF THEM, pierced.  And, then infection sets in.  By the way, for a small fee, I have photographic proof of that life lesson.   The biggest life lesson though, for those close to Jon, was not one he needed to learn, but one he taught us.  At least it’s one I learned.  Without doing anything but being himself he taught those around him to never be afraid to be who you are on the inside, to stand up for what you believe in even if it makes you unpopular, to maintain your integrity, and above all else…not to pierce shit that shouldn’t be pierced!

     There were two occasions during Jon’s military career which left me frightened and breathless. The first, was on September 11th, 2001.  The now sacred 9-11 that none of us will ever forget.  We all know where we were that morning, but I didn’t know where Jon was.  He was, during that time, supposed to be arriving back to the US from England.  I had not heard from him so I didn’t know if he was back in the states, getting ready to leave England… or on one of those devastating airliners. So I calmy, and I use that word lightly, called our mother.  As casually as possible I asked if she had heard from Jon and she had not.  She had not yet heard the news, and suddenly I was a teenager caught in a lie trying to persuade her that I had no reason to be asking where Jon was.  I was not about to give her a reason to worry about her baby.  Finally, before she could turn on the news I tracked Jon down and was able to breathe again.

     The second time I held my breath was for roughly six months in 2006 when Jon was sent to Iraq. While I was hopeful he would return home safely, I was scared to death he wouldn’t.   For those who don’t remember, the US led a coalition into Iraq to topple the government of Saddam Hussein.  Just a few months before he shipped out our Mother had passed away.  Now, not all of you know about our Mother’s owl collection.  And, by collection I mean obsession.  Owls were her thing.  And, while Jon was on the base in Iraq he was followed by a single white owl.  His comrades caught sight of the owl, but never while walking with Jon. The owl never flew around him in the company of others.  It is our family’s firm belief that Jon was being protected by that majestic white owl. Was it Mom protecting her baby?  I like to think so.  When Jon FINALLY returned home safe and sound, my first thought was to take a deep breath.  My second thought was to call mom.

Ken, Dad (middle), Jon in their enlistment photos
    Unfortunately though, we cannot hold onto our parents forever.  We are going to grow up and go on to live life, sadly sometimes without them.
We lost our dad in 1997 and I wish he could have witnessed Jon climb the ranks from Airman Basic to Technical Sergeant.  Jon’s career in the military was preceeded by our Grandfather fighting in the Spanish-American war and our Father fighting in the Korean war.  They would have been so proud of you, Jon.  Tonight our oldest brother, Ken, a former Marine, is here to stand in for the military generations gone.  Ken, thank you for your service.

Jon with three siblings 2017

    Jon, myself, and all our siblings were raised by quiet and unassuming parents.  They didn’t teach us to get out there to see what the world had to offer, climb ladders, or be the one to change the world.  This did not make them bad parents, but sometimes it did limit what we thought we could make for ourselves.  Not Jon.  Jon left our sleepy-little town when he was 18 years old.  He traveled through Europe and the US to see what the world had to offer.
Through hard work, determination, and maybe a couple of failed PT Tests he climbed the ranks from Airman Basic, Airman 1st Class, Seinor Airman, Staff Sergeant, and finally retiring this year as a Technical Sergeant. I like to think he earned Staff Sergeant from all those years of learning how to boss like a boss from me.  Those titles may not mean much to us civilians, but to a kid who wasn’t taught to reach for the moon he sure managed to land amongst the stars.

     Jon is too humble to believe he changed the world.  But, for every one of us in this room tonight our world has been changed for the better since that dark and stormy night.  Jon, look around…every single person here tonight is here because of your love, friendship, and kindness.  Although the open bar might have kept them all here, they will always be at your side.  You absolutely HAVE changed the world.  The world is safer thanks to your dedication to the Air Force.  The world is kinder through your actions to those less fortunate.  And the world is more generous because of that big ol’ heart of yours.  You still have more changes to make, but as you go on from here don’t ever change who you are.

     Finally, let all of us join together by raising our glasses to Jon.  Here’s to one hell of a career, soon to be one hell of a night, and always to one hell of a guy!!  As they say in the Air Force, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win”.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wine Challenge Accepted

The other night my husband asked me why I was drinking white wine.  The obvious answer was, "because I'm out of red."  It was that night I knew I couldn't partake in the Love Your Spouse Challenge as it was like he didn't even know me anymore.  With that the wine challenge was born.  

Have to change this challenge up to nights; apparently day drinking is frowned upon.  (I'm not friends with any of those downers)

Wine Challenge day night 1:  Stray From Classy
1. I don't know who designed this glass, but did they really expect anyone, especially the likes of me, to keep it classy.  

As you can see I'm not fucking around here with a classy pour.  If you can't smart-assy with me, then you are clearly not a fun wine friend and that makes me sad for you. 

Challenge:  NEVER EVER NEVER let the glass become half-empty; stay smart-assy my friends.  

Wine Challenge Night 2:  Labels Schmabels

2. You must challenge yourself to be adventurous!  Labels don't always matter. That 50% OFF label mattered: SCORE!  So it's missing the name.  

It's red, it's wine, drink that shit up and consider yourself a mysterious sonofabitch.

Challenge:  I don't even care.

Wine Challenge Night 3:  Pairings 

3. Do not be afraid to try new pairings.  I have yet to find a wine connoisseur who knows what wine actually goes with Ramen. 

Listen, this was Valentine's Day and my husband was working.  Another reason his sorry ass isn't getting recognized in the spouse challenge.  

Wine & Ramen...challenge yourself to that romantic notion.  

Wine Challenge Night 4:  To Thine Own Self...

4. Stay with me here.  It is NOT drinking alone if your name is etched on the glass.  

You must challenge yourself to be alone.  Enjoy all that your wine, I mean that you have to offer yourself.  You can't get to know you unless you spend some quality time drinking alone with you.

Invest in a personalized wine glass!  It's not fucking rocket science.  If I can figure out me, myself, and I with a bottle of red I believe you can too.  With you.

Challenge:  Find yourself in a bottle glass.

Wine Challenge Night 5:  Buy Stemware

5. Repeat after me:  No amount of wine will ever make that song, "Red Solo Cup" sound good.  Also, stop drinking 50% OFF label free wine from plastic.  I take back my anti-classy stand and beg you for the love of grapes, buy some fucking glasses.  The only time this is okay is if you have a pool and NO GLASS BY THE POOL!  And, holy shit stop with that gawd-awful song.  Please.

Challenge:  Don't be a dumbass. 

Disclosure:  I may have written this over 5 glasses instead of 5 days nights.  Cheers!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Come Along Little Ducklings

Photo courtesy of Google Images
 My kids always lag behind.  I am constantly uttering the ugly phrase, "c'mon let's go".  Usually followed with an "already", a loud sigh, and an unsightly tap of the toe.

Sound familiar?  I'd like to think that it's because I'm some sort of great leader, or something even more profound; they are following in my footsteps. Ego boost OVER, it's neither!  My kids always lag behind because they are, quite simply, in no hurry to get to where they're going.  

When they were little, (because ages 8 & 10 are all grown up dontcha know) I taught them to line up behind me like ducklings.  I did this for safety reasons.  I know, I'd think that I had 6 kids to keep safe. Before I went all slacker mom on 'em I used to be overprotective mom (slacker mom cape is way cooler). They'd line up behind me like ducklings so no one got hit by a car while I was pushing an overfilled shopping cart, carrying a case of diapers, or texting while walking through the parking lot.  :-)

So, as I was about to give them the usual "c'mon let's go" spiel I just slowed down and observed.  Like I said, I realized they were in no hurry to get to where they were going.   They were chatting about their day, about where we were headed, cracking jokes, and picking on each other.  They didn't care what was waiting up ahead, they were in the moment.  They quite literally stopped to smell the flowers.  They had no agenda other than to just be.  I have always relished in just being; when I have the time that is.  

My little ducklings are growing up (way too fast).  They are going to learn the hard way that in this crazy, chaotic world they need to hurry up and wait.  They are no longer going to learn that from me.  I vow to get them out of the house and to their destination on time, (other people's time is a valuable lesson too) but I will give us enough of my time to get there at their pace.  I'll let them be great leaders.  I'll follow in their footsteps as they have a lot to teach me about this journey we're on.  After all, getting there is half the fun!  Now, C'mon let's go already as there is so much to see before we get there!!  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Exhaustion Aisle 9

Yesterday while out shopping I ran into another Mom-Acquaintance.  We exchanged the normal pleasantries in the middle of the grocery aisle and when she asked me how I was doing I replied, "I'm well".  Except I wasn't "well".  I slumped over the cart handle and with a big smile and sigh I uttered three words that most moms wouldn't be caught dead admitting, "Truthfully, I'm exhausted".  Something strange happened once those words spilled from my mouth.  My friend relaxed.  Her whole body language changed; the tension in her shoulders seemed to float away, her face showed that she knew what I was talking about, and she smiled and said, "Me too, I get it".

Moms tend to not admit how tired they are, how simply exhausting it all is.  Why?  I think it's filed under the same category as not asking for help.  Not only do I tend to not complain about being exhausted, I get really pissed when I hear my husband talk about how tired he is, how much sleep he didn't get, or how long the day is going to be.  Dude, really?!  It's not his fault, he can admit when he's tired.  I shouldn't expect him to not let his exhaustion be known.  I shouldn't expect myself to keep it all inside either.

I won't bore you the reasons why I'm tired.  If you're a mom you get it.  I will say that it felt good to be honest with myself.  To say it out loud.  It's not about finding ways to slow down and do for yourself.  It's about realizing you don't have to hide just how tired you are.  It's okay to admit it.  You won't be any less busy or any less tired when you speak those three little words, but you will be less stressed about holding it all together in the middle of the aisle trying to be well.  Try it, Trust Me.  Now, go take a nap!

Monday, November 25, 2013

For The Love Of Our Furry Friends Christmas Blog Tour

November 20th-30th
Best-selling authors Sharon Kleve and Jennifer Conner adore animals. That's why they collaborated on this blog tour together. To showcase their Christmas stories celebrating our beloved pets. They hope you enjoy reading them as much as they did writing them.

Book Title: Halo's Wish (Book one in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 9.13.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet
Book Blurb:
Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.

Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she's ever wanted.

Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.

Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both for Christmas?

She'd just placed another call through to Pemsky's office, which went straight to his voicemail, when the office door opened. Halo smiled and looked up into dreamy, gold-flecked green eyes, short sandy brown hair, a slight cleft chin, and full lips set in a hard line. Even with the stern look he had on his face, my hormones jumped into overdrive.
Mr. Dreamy cleared his throat—she must've been staring. In her most professional voice she said, "Good morning. How may I help you?"
He removed a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and unfolded the sheet.
"I was parked in front of the Beacon Hill Ale House and my driver's side mirror was sideswiped by one of Pemsky's Security's SUV's Friday night."
Halo loved the Beacon Hill Ale House. Every Saturday night the Ale House allowed local bands to jam together. That's where she'd met her last loser boyfriend. She'd had a lot of loser boyfriends. She's currently on a hiatus from dating, but she wouldn't mind jumping back into the dating game for this dream-boat.
He handed her the piece of paper.
"I wasn't able to get a look at the driver, but I got the license plate number of the vehicle that hit my car and drove away."
He emphasized the last part.
"I'm very sorry about your car. I'm sure Mr. Pemsky will be happy to cover the damage." Halo checked the company log and Pemsky's name popped up as the driver—she gulped.

Buy Links:

Book Title: Brenda’s Christmas Desire (Book two in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.20.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
Like any child Brenda Howser loved Christmas until her parents were killed by a drunk driver during their annual shopping trip.
Brenda went to live with her aunt, who blamed their death on everything that represented Christmas; the gifts, the tree, and all the decorations.
The festivities' Brenda once cherished became something she dreaded under the shadow of her parents death. She lived in fear of something happening to the people she loved during Christmas.
Christmas approaches and Brenda has to decide if she’s going to let the past hold her prisoner for another year or if she can finally enjoy what Christmas used to mean to her—love.
DEA agent, John Smith knows the significance of December fifteenth to Brenda, but when the head of the Nuevo Cartel escapes federal prison he's forced to let her face the day without him, but not quite alone.
Can Daisy, a golden Labrador puppy, a huge sale on decorations at the hardware store, and a gift from her aunt restore her love of Christmas?

December 2013
The weather forecast for the Western Washington area, specifically North Seattle, predicted a good five-to-six inches of snow. Brenda Houser watched the flakes float like cotton balls from the sky as she dipped a tortilla chip into a bowl of thick and chunky salsa and popped the morsel into her mouth. 
Her boss, Corny Myers, tapped her pencil on Brenda's reception desk to the beat of The Little Drummer Boy, which streamed from the Green Hornet Investigations Bose speakers.
"Hey, Brenda. I have bad eating habits but I've never started the day with chips and salsa. What's up?" Corny asked.
"You know how I feel about all the holiday hoopla. I'd rather stick my head in the sand and pull it back out in January."
"Do you really think Mexican food is going to make you feel better?"
"Probably not, but a couple margaritas might help."

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.
Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other's arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.
One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.
When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.

Social Media Links:

Book Title: Central Bark At Christmas (Book one in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.09.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in? And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?
Book Excerpt:
 “I’m happy this wasn’t your worst date ever, because I had a great time.” He lifted her chin with the tips of his finger. Slowly he lowered his head until she thought she would die of anticipation. He clamped his hands to her waist and gazed into her eyes. “You’re so beautiful…” There was depth and sincerity in the tone of his voice. She felt special. Desired. He dropped his head and kissed her.
Gentle at first and then deep. She couldn’t breathe. He’d sucked all the air from her lungs, but there was no way she wanted him to stop. As she brushed his firm lips to hers, she relished the feel of her blood simmering in her veins. Par slid his fingers through her long hair to cradle and position her head to kiss her even more thoroughly.
His lips pulled away from hers and he stepped back. She reached for the roof of the car to steady herself. Oh. My. God… could this man kiss.
“Not bad for a first date,” he whispered and then kissed her gently again.
Okay… so it was a date. After that kiss it turned into an ‘official date’ and she had no regrets at all.

Buy Links:

Book Title: Christmas Gift That Keeps Wagging (Book two in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.06.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
Julian Barrows has his hands full working full time and being a single dad to his kindergarten, special needs son, Gabe. Gabe’s teacher convinces Julian he doesn’t need to do everything on his own and introduces him to a seizure dog trainer, Hanna Acker.
Hanna and her sister grew up without any ‘Christmas Cheer’. She’s trying to get her sister through college and doesn’t have time to let anyone too close, especially the handsome single dad with a kid.
But, Christmas has a way of changing what we thought we wanted… especially when Santa and an adorable four-legged ‘elf’ are involved.
Book Excerpt:
“What’s this?” Hanna asked, as she ran a hand over the grocery bag wrapping paper. Julian took her coat and hung it by the door so she could follow Gabe into the living room.
“Daddy saw this in a store window and said that we had to get it for you. Open it!” Gabe said. “I wrapped it myself,” he added proudly.
“But it’s not Christmas.”
“No. This is a before Christmas gift. You have to open it now.”
She pulled off a half-pound of scotch tape and finally the paper fell away. Hanna stared at the gift in disbelief. “A Christmas sock… with my name on it.”
Julian came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “You told me that you’d never had a Christmas stocking of your own when you were growing up. Gabe knew  Santa wouldn’t know where you were if you didn’t have you sock hung somewhere.” He winked. “So you needed it.”
“You can take it to your home or you can hang it here!” Gabe shouted almost tripping over Cody.

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has over thirty short stories on ebook and three full-length books in print. She writes in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica.  
Shot in the Dark hit Amazon at #1 in Romantic Suspense and Christmas Chaos was #2 in the Romance category. 
Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests.  
Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book company Books to Go Now that resides in the Seattle area. Books to Go Now offers professional editing, cover design, multiple book format file creation, and most important--publicity. Their staff works to help make our author books a success one book at a time. 
She lives in a hundred year old house that she grew up in. Her semi- small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blow torch, (which relieves a lot of stress and people don't bother you).

Social Media Links:


Rafflecopter Giveaway Info:
  • One (1) Winner will receive a $25 gift card to a book seller of their choice
  • One (1) Winner will receive Sharon Kleve’s Book one and two of the Dreams Come True Series.
  • One (1) Winner will receive Jennifer Conner’s Book one and two of the Dog Tails Series.

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Direct Link:

Legal Information:
- Entering this contest means you have read, understood, and agree with all rules and regulations stated.
- Entrants must be 18 or older (or age of majority in your country) to enter and to win.
- No purchase necessary.
- Void where prohibited.
- All stated rules are subject to change without notification or reason given.
- Chances of winning vary widely based on the number of entries received.
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- Contest Starts 00:01EST September 15, 2013 and Ends 12:59EST October 16, 2013 and open to International participants.
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-Respond by date to collect prize is 14 days from notification date.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Giving Project

"Give.  Giving makes others happy."
~~A. age 9

That quote above is from my daughter.  I found it one day in her sketch pad.  My heart melted.  We taught her that.  We taught our kids to give selflessly, to spread kindness, to make others happy.  It is the ONE lesson I know I have not screwed up, it is the ONE lesson I never want them to forget.  The lesson goes deeper and I hope that will come to them with time.  The deeper lesson is giving unconditionally because it makes you happy.  Never with strings attached, never with stipulations, never with conditions.  

A while back my friends and I were discussing holiday and celebratory cards.  My friend asked me, "How can you mail the same person,  year after year, and know they are never going to send one back?   I'm not sending the card because I want one back.  I'm sending the card because I love that person.  I want them to know that.  I want to imagine they get the card and can't help but smile when they see who it's from.  I want to make their day a little more special.  So, every year on their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, or for no special day at all I send a card. Always just to show them I am thinking of them.  Never with anticipation of getting one in return.  "Giving makes others happy" (and me too).

This week I have a heavy heart.  So many things happened in the span of 24 hours that just left me heartbroken and feeling down.  Not everything was devastating, but the emotional ride was an exhausting one.  This morning I knew I had to do something to aid in healing my heart.  I thought about what my daughter had written and it hit me.  I needed to start The Giving Project.  

So I found some pretty stationary (those close to me know I have a thing for pretty stationary) and in a "coincidence or phenomenon" moment I noticed the name on the stationary box is, Reasons To Be.  Perfect for what I was about to do.  I set about copying my daughter's words down.  I also took some of the heaviness in my heart and put it to paper; explaining what I was doing, then I took off for a couple of drive through restaurants.  

I hope that my giving made someone else's heart happy today.  It definitely helped make my own heart happier.  My giving project has only just begun.  I can't wait to do it again, I can't wait to reel my kids into this project, to see how they will give.   I can't wait for them to not only learn the deeper lesson, but to FEEL the deeper lesson.  

I challenge everyone who reads this to start their own Giving Project.  Get out there and give.  Unconditionally, without strings attached, and never with anticipation of getting anything in return.  Although, by doing this I guarantee you'll get quite a bit in return.  

"Give.  Giving makes others happy" (and it just might make you happy too)