Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…

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I will find my grove tomorrow but today…is today

I know this feeling well….it reminds me of mornings when I would drop off my husband as he was setting out on his deployments when he served all those years in the Navy.

In a little bit, our day will start…I will get out of bed, shower and start fixing breakfast. It is the first day of school, so I probably won’t have to wake them today…the little one is a little nervous to be starting first grade and the older one is excited to see his friends again. As a fifth grader, he is “ruler of the school”.

I will make lunches and pack them up. Tim will sneak away from work and come see them both get on the bus. I will kiss them goodbye and tell them I love them and will pray the sun is out so I don’t look foolish for wearing sunglasses. I will fight back any tears until the bus is out of sight. Tim will put his arm around my shoulder and give me a sideways hug and then head back to work. I will head back into the house…alone. And that is the feeling of which I speak. Immediate aloneness.

Today I will just be, accepting the change to our days and being grateful that it is only hours and not months until I see them again. I will find my grove tomorrow and start developing my new routine then. Today…is today.

I never had a tradition when Tim would leave, each departure was different. In turn, I don’t have a tradition for the first day of school. I have one friend who takes a long, warm bath on the first day of school. Another friend shares a beer with her friend on Skype. For a few years when TJ first started school, I met some fellow moms for lunch or breakfast. But as our kids have grown older, some went back to work, some went for a run…a tradition never stuck. Maybe I need a tradition.

I have plenty to keep me busy today; a call to my mom, a trip to the bank, dogs to walk, emails to write….all things to help the new routine take shape. I’m never without plenty to do, but today is today and I don’t need to accomplish all I didn’t over the summer by 3pm.

Today is today…I’m happy, proud, sad, nervous, excited, anxious and watching the clock all in one. They drive me crazy, just yesterday they got in trouble. I ran out of creative energy by mid-August. We’ve watched too many movies and played too many video games these last couple of weeks. They’re in need of school, of the routine and to fill those brains up. I’m ready too.

But today I will miss them.


1st day of school!

1st day of school!

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Not Me Monday – it’s about Google Me

Since yesterday was a Holiday, here is Not Me Monday – Tuesday Edition!  

Over the Christmas break, my insomnia was in full gear.  So much so, I was able to clear my DVR of all my recordings and I had to resort to my watch list on Amazon Prime. I had forgotten about a documentary that I had flagged.  The name of the film is Google Me.

What a charming little film this is.  It will really be worth if if you watch the trailer.  

So, today’s questions – have you ever Googled yourself?  (I love how Google is now a verb too.)

My guess would be, that you have, in fact, Googled yourself.  I admit it – I have.  I have searched both my married and maiden names. I’ve been curious to see what came up on me personally, but also to see who else was out there who might share my name.

In Google Me, that is exactly what filmmaker Jim Killeen did – he Googled himself and others, then set out to find and meet anyone who shared his name.

He set up parameters for his search and his film.  For starters it had to be the exact name – not Jimmy or James.  He goes by Jim.

The funny thing – he found many and actually met six other Jims. One was a retired police detective from New Jersey, one was a priest in Ireland, one was an executive in Australia.  I don’t want to give the whole film away – but, Oh – there was also a swinger in Colorado!

And after contacting them and them agreeing to meet and be on film, he flew out to meet each one in person.

And then he got them all together in Killeen, Texas to spend a few days together and meet each other. I can only imagine what they were thinking throughout the process. But now – they’ve met each other and have a connection that only they share.

It was a really sweet story and I was so happy for all of the Jims.  I would recommend you giving it a watch.

Do you think you would do the same thing?

If you found someone who shared your name, would you reach out to connect with them?  Would you go as far as to meet them?

I have a friend who did.  Her name is Gretchen and I was immediately reminded of her while I was watching this film.

I remember her mentioning it on a Facebook post once – so I asked her about her experience.

Here is what she said:

“I contacted her first, back in May of 2008. I think I was just goofing around and searched my name on Facebook, and there she was. Having a very unique name, I felt pretty confident that she would pay attention. I’m thinking I just “friend-requested” her, really. Then we sent a few messages back and forth.  As I mentioned before, Speerstra is her married name, and she has since divorced her Speerstra husband, so may move on to another last name at some point.

Back in those days of Facebook, we used to write statuses in third person (do you remember that?). Our name would be at the beginning, like the beginning of a sentence, and then you added the rest (i.e. .Gretchen Speerstra….is eating a plate of nachos!). We had fun commenting with stuff like, “I am?” And then our friends would be amazed there were two of us. I received several friend requests from people who were clearly trying to friend request her. It was kind of funny, because sometimes we’d get all mixed up reading each other ‘s statuses, at first thinking they were our own. We even accidentally tagged each other in our own photos.

She has since added her maiden name along with Speerstra, so it’s easier to tell the difference. Now we mostly just send birthday greetings to each other. Our birthdays are only two days apart (different years), which makes it even more fun.

We’ve never met, but I always think there’s a chance because she’s originally from Montana, so gets up this direction (from Atlanta) every once in a while.”

Super fun!

What’s your experience?  Please share it in the comments.  I’d love to hear about it.

And thanks for sharing your experience, Gretchen(s).

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!


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Tips 16 & 17 – 28 Days of Reducing Distractions

Tip 16 – Don’t take the kids

I have to be really judgemental here, but why do people take their kids to the grocery store?  I totally understand that sometimes you just don’t have the choice, but given my druthers – I never take my boys to the grocery store with me.  They run around, ask for all sorts of things, always need to go to the bathroom when I’m on the other side of the store.  Don’t take ’em, I say!  They are a huge distraction!

Stock photos crack me up with their fantasies.

Stock photos crack me up with their fantasies.

Tip 17 – No toys at the table. 

Having trouble getting your kids to eat or concentrate on their dinner?  No toys at the table is one of our rules and it helps.  It never fails, if we let it slide and allow a toy at the table, that meal will take twice at long.

Notice all the toys NOT on Norman's table.

Notice all the toys NOT on Norman’s table.

Happy Sunday, Everyone!


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Tips on Tuesdays….change your clothes

How many times does this happen to you….

You wake up, set your workout gear aside and tell yourself “I am going to workout this afternoon.”

Then you go to work, come home and say “I’ll workout after dinner.

Then you sit down and say “I’ll workout after this one show.

And then you go to bed and say “I’ll workout in tomorrow.

A whole day has passed and you didn’t get your workout in.

How can you change that – – change your clothes.

The first thing to do if you have an afternoon workout planned is to change your clothes.

By changing from your work or daytime attire into your gym shorts and sports bra, it sets you up for your workout.   It reminds you that you are planning on going for that run or that walk or that pressing play on that DVD.  It motivates you to stay focused and  then there is one less step to getting yourself out the door.

This really works!

In fact, I’m sitting here at 5:20 this morning as I write this.  My normal routine is to get up and read and write blogs for about an hour and then workout before it is time to wake the boys and get rolling on our day.  The days I change into my workout clothes (and even put my shoes on) are the days that it is much easier to transition from working to my workout.  But on those days when I stay in my PJ’s and work and read….it is much harder to get that workout in, instead I typically work too long and run out of time, and I find myself saying “I need to go change….”

Give it a try.  Do it today.  Report back tomorrow – did it help get that workout in?

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!


PS – we’re half way through my May challenge of selling 100 copies of my eBook, Making Time for Dinner.  Won’t you help me – buy your copy today.

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Not Me Week – Your Thrusday’s Take

Happy Thursday!

Ahhh…my vacation is almost over.  Spring break is ending and soon we’ll be back to our old routine.

I was curious to hear what your take was on this week’s guest bloggers?  Some really good advice out there.

I hope you enjoyed the vacation from me – but never fear, I’ll be back next week….refreshed and ready to jump right in it again.

Until then – Happy Thursday!



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Thursday’s Take – I’m on vacation

Happy Thursday!

As I write this – it is actually Monday morning and I’m getting set to head out on a week’s vacation (we leave mid-week).  I’m taking my two sons home to Texas for their spring break and to also celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday.

At the moment I am writing this, I am a little stressed and feeling like taking a week off is really the last thing I need at this very moment.  I am working hard to remind myself that taking time off will clear my mind and provide a much-needed break from the routine and will leave me feeling energized and refreshed.

Because I know me, I’ll still check email while I’m gone, but this is more to stay on top of things so I know what to expect when I get back.  Plus, I’ll be able to weed out all the daily things I get and won’t feel overwhelmed when I get back at the 300+ emails to read.  I’m not taking my laptop, so I won’t have any files to work from – so I actually won’t be able to work…even if I wanted to or even if I found the time to do so.

All in all, I’m excited to see my family and friends, to feel the warmth (literally and metaphorically) of Texas…of “home”.

Next week will be “Not Me Week”.  I’ve found a few articles from guest bloggers that I hope you will find value in.

“Vacations are necessities, not luxuries.”

~Linda Bloom, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married

See you soon!


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Word Up Wednesday – Advertising

Happy Word Up Wednesday!

A couple of weeks ago the Wednesday word was “Marketing“.  One part of your overall marketing plan is promotion.  In a word – advertising.

AdvertisingThe activity or profession of producing information for promoting the sale of commercial products or services.  


We all know what advertising is – we see it everywhere.  On TV, website banners, those sidebars on Facebook, on the side of a city bus, in your shopping carts.  Advertising is everywhere.

The important thing to remember about advertising, especially if you are a small business owner and on a tight budget, is to advertise where your customers  will see you.

This goes back to the all important task of “knowing your customer”.  If you truly know your customer, you will know where they are and what they are doing.  By knowing this,  you will know where to place your advertisements to catch their attention.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • A massage therapist might place an ad offering reduced services to marathon runners.
  • A cleaning service might place some signage right outside a gym so people see it right as they are driving away.
  • A cardiologist could place an ad in her church bulletin.
  • A dog walker could advertise on a ferry or a train to catch the eye of busy commuters.

There are many sorts of advertising too.  From guilt, to “in-the-family”, to pleasure.  This gives me an idea…I’ll work on a collection of the different sorts of advertising and present them to you one day.  Once we know what sort of advertising we want to utilize, then we create the ads.

Questions?  Send them over…I’d love to chat about them.

Happy Hump Day!