Posts Tagged ‘family’

THE PROPOSAL

Everyone loves love and I have shared this video with so many people, PLUS, there were about 150 people there to witness it anyway…I wanted to share the proposal.Chiropractor Fenton Michiagn - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabody

If you are wondering what I am talking about, check a few posts prior to this one.¬† ūüôā

Let me set the scene…

I grew up on an apple orchard just south of town called Peabody Orchards.¬† It is no longer a functioning apple orchard and hasn’t been for quite some time.

My family still owns a good portion of it and along with the property came a rusty old crane-like piece of equipment.  My brother is an adventurer and he and a buddy of his had an idea if they erected some telephone poles, braced by the crane, wrapped them in chicken wire and put a sprinkler system at the top, they could farm ice and then climb it.  This is currently a fully functioning business called Peabody Ice Climbing, sort of like a rock climbing gym only for ice climbers.

Every winter for the past 10 years or so, Peabody Ice Climbing has been hosting people from all over the region for regular ice climbing and even some competitions.  For his loyal customers, my brother throws a huge party called Ice Fest and it is a riot every single year.  Through the years he has gotten bigger and bigger sponsors to help support his efforts and the party.

It takes a lot of people to get the party started and keep it going.  AChiropractor Fenton Michigan - The Proposal - Dr Erica Peabodys a family member, I always show up to enjoy the celebration but also help in any way I can.

Little did I know the plan was on me this year, and everyone there was in on it…

At the end of the day the ice climbing portion shuts down and it is time for dancing and a little bit of cheer.  The after party goes to the wee hours of the night and, although tiring, is super duper fun.

It kicks off with a raffle for gear donated by the sponsors.  I always help with the raffle to be sure everyone get their stuff and all the gear gets into the right hands.

This year was no different…until Mike grabbed the microphone and proceeded to tell our story.¬† It went like this (be sure to watch until the end).¬† It starts with me kneeling down near the floor figuring out the raffle items:

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So there you have it!

Everyone loves love and through this relationship I have realized that everyone relives their own little love story out along the stories I share.  Since there were so many people there to witness it anyway and it was recorded on numerous phones, I thought I would share the proposal with you all.

 

 

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THAT’S INCREDIBLE!

The most incredible thing is happening today and I am positive by the end of this post, you will be saying “THAT’S INCREDIBLE!” too!

Many of you remember the post I made about My First Best Friend back in April. ¬†My cousin, Danielle, who also happens to be my very first best friend in my life, her husband had a sudden brain bleed. ¬†At the moment it happened, it was beyond belief, “things like that don’t happen to people I know” was my initial thought.

But it really did happen and it has changed the course of their lives forever.

You may have remembered a couple months after that initial post, I wanted to give you an update of their status, and posted A Smile.

Today, this morning, 6 months and 2 weeks to the day‚ĶScott is coming home. ¬†THAT’S INCREDIBLE!!!!Fenton Chiropractor Incredible

They have transferred to many different places and for the past few months have been over in Grand Rapids, a little too far for me to travel regularly to visit with them.  I have done what I could to let her know I am here with her every step of the way, and mostly through text message.  Although text seems impersonal at times, I know their days are filled with therapies and when she was not there with him, she was driving back home to Durand daily to take care of her home and her boys.

Here is a little snippet of the past 6 months between her and I.

 

Me: ¬†“Sending you love. ¬†How are you guys doing?”
Danielle: ¬†“I am hanging in there. ¬†It has been tough but I know he is going to come through this.”

Danielle: ¬†“He started moving his hands and playing with my wedding ring today!”
Me: ¬†“Awesome! ¬†THAT’S INCREDIBLE!!”

Danielle: ¬†“He is blinking his eyes and seems to be able to focus on things.”
Me: ¬†“Good. ¬†I am so relieved. ¬†THAT’S TRULY INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“I finally got him to smile. ¬†It was the most wonderful thing I have ever seen‚Ķ”
Me: ¬†“Wow! ¬†That is totally awesome!!”

Danielle: ¬†“He mouthed ‘I love you’ to me when I left today.”
Me: ¬†“Oh my goodness! ¬†THAT’S INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“He was able to speak some words out loud today.”
Me: ¬†“Wow! ¬†THAT’S INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“His memory is good and improving every day.”
Me: ¬†“That guy is amazing! ¬†THAT’S SO INCREDIBLE!!”

Danielle: ¬†“He held an instrument and started to play some chords today.”
Me: ¬†“THAT”S FREAKIN’ INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“He was able to eat solid foods today.”
Me: ¬†“THAT’S INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“We got to go on a drive today.”
Me: ¬†“I bet that was amazing. ¬†So INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“He is being accepted to a program that only takes success cases. ¬†They expect complete recovery.”
Me: ¬†“OH MY GOODNESS!!! ¬†THAT”S INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“He stood up today. ¬†I almost forgot how tall he is.”
Me: ¬†“THAT”S INCREDIBLE.”

Danielle: ¬†“He is walking with a walker today.”
Me: ¬†“THAT”S INCREDIBLE!”

Danielle: ¬†“He is walking on his own with minor assistance.”
Me: ¬†“UNBELIEVABLE!!! ¬†THAT”S INCREDIBLE.”

Danielle: ¬†“We got a release date for him to finally come home!!!”
Me: ¬†“Holy cow!!! ¬†That guy is AMAZING!!! ¬†THAT”S INCREDIBLE!!!!”

 

When I would respond to all of these things that he was able to gain back after losing everything, my usual response truly was, “THAT’S INCREDIBLE!” because it was and is. ¬†She would always reply back to me with “Yes, he is truly remarkable.” ¬†or “Yes, he is just incredible.”

Every bit of the recovery he has made has been incredible. ¬†When doctors change their tone from “he is not going to make it” one day, to “Wow! ¬†We didn’t expect that to happen!” and “He is not doing what we normally expect in this situation.” the very next day‚Ķit was incredible.

It is not over, their journey is still going to be long and winding and there is a lot of work to do.  He has come so far but please keep praying and sending healing thoughts towards them.  She is an angel and deserves a lot of credit.  I have never seen anyone love so much, push so hard, encourage so much, learn so much, fight for someone, support so gracefully, get so involved and be so strong.  She has a gift.  She is a gift.  He is a gift.  And the love that exists between those two is a gift to this world.  It truly is incredible!

 

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MY FIRST BEST FRIEND

I had no idea when I was born, that my first best friend was already here waiting for me.

My cousin, Danielle, is 6 weeks older than i am and we pretty much grew up attached at the hip any chance we got.  Neither of us had sisters so we became that to each other.

My house was right next door to my grandparent’s home and so every time she visited them, which was quite often, I got to see her. ¬†We did everything together, from barbies to cabbage patch kids, from building sand castles to playing in tree forts, from blazing trails through the woods and carving trees to making

Fenton Chiropractor Best Friendup stories as we spent hours out playing in the apple orchard.

We talked about our hopes and dreams and made plans for our lives. ¬†I was always so jealous she got to go to Girl Scout Camp every summer…but she made up for it by teaching me all the songs she learned when she returned. ¬†In fact, that radio in my head that plays music non-stop sometimes gets locked on that channel and as a 30-something…those songs stuck on repeat are more annoying than cool.

To this day, we make time for each other. ¬†She is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and although she doesn’t allow many to cheer for her, I am one of hers. ¬†There seems to be a length of time, that if we go past too many days without having time to sit down and catch up with each other, we both go a little crazy and make time in our schedules right away.

I sent her a text message on Friday morning about how excited I was about going to the Water Hill Music Festival in Ann Arbor next weekend, and although I knew it was still another week away, I was stoked to have some time to hang out.  I had just seen her 5 days prior as her and her husband, Scott, along with a group of my nearest and dearest, spent the evening celebrating my birthday at my home.

On Friday, she didn’t respond back to that text message right away and after a few minutes she called. ¬†She doesn’t ever call, we don’t need to talk on the phone, we already know what each other is usually thinking so text and email are our norm.

Her voice was cracking. ¬†She was seriously shakin’ up. ¬†Then she proceeded to tell me that Scott, her husband, had a brain hemorrhage and is in the hospital and asked if I could come up. ¬†I had a couple obligations that day and headed up as soon as i could.

I have spent the past 2 days with my heart breaking right along side her, and I feel like these days are just the beginning of a long road.  She is one of the strongest and bravest that i know.  She has had her share, plus some, of adversity and challenge in her life.  She keeps her head up through all of it.  She plugs away and she always comes out on top.  She is one incredible woman and I know those who really know her feel lucky.

Her and her husband have the most beautiful love story, reconnecting after so many years and blending their family, his 2 kids and her 2 kids.  They have a really sweet love that is palpable when you are around them.  They perfectly compliment each other.

Right now she spends her moments sitting at his bedside, and only leaves to close her eyes and sleep on an uncomfortable pull-out/fold down chair thing a couple rooms away.  She talks to him, dodges all the tubes and medical apparatus to kiss him, loves on him, plays music for him (he is a music man) and holds his hand for hours on end.

He has shown signs of improving. ¬†Will he come out of the state he is in? ¬†We don’t know. ¬†Will he return to the Scott we are used to? ¬†We don’t know that either. ¬†How long will it take? ¬†We all wish we knew that answer but we don’t know anything at this point.

What I do know, what I am sure of is that she will be ok.  There are going to be moment to moment, hour to hour, and day to day ups and downs.  She is the strongest and bravest that I know of.  I will not be able to stand with her all the time during this process as I have obligations in my life I need to tend to, but I leave my heart with her when I am not there.

I am writing this blog from the rawest place in my being.  My heart has been ripped out of my chest these past 2 days and i want to share this story because my family needs all the praying, meditating, affirmation-saying people we can get.  I am sending out a request to all the troops to please help lift up my first best friend and her husband.  They could really use your help right now.  Peace.

 

 

 

 

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“HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!”

“HELLO! ¬†HELLO! ¬†HELLO!” is such a familiar greeting in my childhood. ¬†“Mom, why does grandma say ‘Hello’ three times when we walk in?” my 7 year old self would ask as we walked into my grandmother’s home who lived just one mile down the street from where I grew up.

I just heard that familiar greeting as I am sitting in the living room at my grandmother’s home in her golf oasis in Florida as a few of her friends arrive for a visit. ¬†I have been here all weekend with some other family members as my grandmother moves nearer and nearer to THE final destination. ¬†Yes, she is dying. ¬†Not today. ¬†Not tomorrow. ¬†Not this week. ¬†Probably not next week or the week after. ¬†Within a month or two she will leave this earthly plane but in the meantime she is alive and living the best that she can and we are here to experience some of that.

I feel fortunate to be privy to some of the stories that are shared in such an intimate setting.  I always knew my grandmother was strong, powerful, full of life and opinionated.  However, as I sit and listen the stories this weekend (and of course stories I have heard over the years) she is also a real person with real life experiences, has had many ups and downs, has shed a lot of tears, has found love and happiness and has the most contagious, roaring laugh on the planet.

My Mom is here, a few aunts and uncles, with other neighborhood friends of my grandparent’s stopping by during the days. ¬†Grandma is spending most of the day relaxing, reminiscing and resting. ¬†We have done a lot of sitting and talking, literally hours of sitting and talking. ¬†We have all shed tears, shared stories, asked questions and done a ton of laughing. ¬†In fact, the first morning I woke up here, I thought to myself how great it is to be awakened from sleep by roaring family laughter, especially considering these circumstances.

During this time, we have drawn out the family tree. ¬†My grandmother birthed 10 children. ¬†My grandfather, who isn’t my grandfather by blood but has been “Grandpa” to me for close to 30 years, has 7 children of his own. ¬†There are layers of grandchildren and great grandchildren and the total count of immediate family comes to 96 people total. ¬†WOW!!! ¬†Isn’t that an absolute monstrosity of a family!!!

“It’s a myth that a big family is always happy. ¬†We have our share of tears, but there is a network support system that always goes into gear in time of need. ¬†My children were the reason I got up in the morning” a direct quote from my grandmother back in 1981 when she was voted “Mother of the Year” by the local Fenton newspaper at the time.

That “network support system” has always been a central idea to how our family was run and I see it in my generation, especially when it comes to my own siblings and nearest and dearest. ¬†That theme is a powerful part of what my life was built around especially considering my dad was one of his own natural support network of 9 children.

There is nothing like family, absolutely nothing that can replace these blood connections. ¬†When family gets to these numbers, there are good eggs and bad eggs, however we are all connected and always will be connected in a way that runs strong and deep behind the scenes…and largely due to the ideas of the amazing matriarch that started this show.

My grandmother is a legend and one of my heroes.  I know she will never truly grasp in this lifetime the extent of her extraordinary life and contribution to this world.  She will never realize what an amazing person she is, her beauty, her strength and how much good she contributed while she is here.  But her faith is strong and I know she will figure that out as soon as she sheds her current failing body.

When she leaves this earthly plane, she will travel effortlessly to wherever she believes Heaven is and I know God will know when she arrives because he will hear her roaring laughter and her infamous “HELLO! HELLO! ¬†HELLO!”. ¬†May peace be with you in your process of transitioning, Grandma, and thanks in advance for watching over all 95 of us from the other side.

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GRATITUDE TREE

Through the months of November and December this year, we had a “Gratitude Tree” here in our reception area. Every time someone would come and get adjusted, they had to stop by the “Gratitude Station” and fill out a leaf and put it up on the tree. ¬†Since we are into the New Year, the tree has come down however I want those gratitude thoughts to live on so I want to share them with you.

“my family, naps, resilience, hugs,communication, sun, the ability to communicate with loved ones who life far away, I am grateful for how much Erica is in touch with her Innate, ninja turtles, my children, my friends and family, love light and laughter, a healthy family, my husband, butterflies, saving grace, abundance of health, holiday parties, my body and its ability to heal itself and for chiropractic for helping it along, my amazing connections with people, my friends, my family, the Cafe, for the people in my life who inspire me to go beyond my own boundaries and fly, my cat Izzy, being able to wake up on a Monday and feel excited to go to work I LOVE my job, laughter, my dog he makes me smile every day and bring a lot of joy to my life, I am grateful for my loving family, all the people in my life, the lessons I’ve learned, the gift of love, I am thankful for my family friends and Dr. Erica and staff, flow let it flow!, my wife and kids, music, my physical mental and emotional health, I am grateful for time with people I love, family friends and good health, family and health, warm cozy sweaters, Jesus, my awesome LIFE, my back, a fun and happy place to visit…the Cafe of LIFE, my daughter graduating from WMU this week Magna Cum Laude from Honors College, sunshine, a healthy family, grateful for Erica and my health, my nephews, my son, family, my children Ashton and Lorilei, I am grateful for people who grow organic produce, Bloody Marys, having an “easy” pregnancy and the love and support of my wonderful husband, I am grateful for my Mom and all that she does to love and support me as I evolve and grow in this lifetime, being able to work on and overcome my challenges, fall, hot cocoa, friends family and community, I am thankful for God’s love, family, LOVE, Thankful for good health, happiness, prosperity and EXCELLENT chiropractic service, unconditional LOVE, my children-grandchild Paul and health, I am grateful that I’m still breathing, I am grateful for ANGIE!, patience, I am grateful for all the amazing people that come to the Cafe everyday I love being able to serve you!!!, Innate Intelligence and the body’s ability to heal, I am grateful for Angie Bucsi and how much light she brings to the Cafe everyday, I am grateful for a really amazing man that has recently entered into my life and I look forward to the journey, I am grateful to be blessed with an amazing job and people to work with, the strong women I know and love, God’s favor, being in this community, abundance, I am grateful for my LIFE sometimes I forget how BIG, opportunities, I am thankful for the wonderful family that surrounds me, hunting season, Happy Holidays for all and good health and blessings, I am grateful for my LIFE!, health, I am grateful for unanswered prayers, friends who love me, memory, my sister she is my best friend, I am thankful for my husband-my friend and confidant, cake!, I am grateful for the ability to serve this community!, family and friends, the life lessons I’ve had the opportunity to learn from, health, my kids, I am thankful for my puppy Ava, smiles and laughter from my family and friend (and strangers who have happiness to share), my pets, my son Nathan, people who hire housekeepers, espressos and free puppies, able to pay bills, a healthy body, language and communication, health food and clean H2O, I’m grateful for my new baby daughter, Jeff Sheila and Stella, wine, sugar-free lattes, family, peace, sobriety, my awesome husband, the ability to read, I am truly grateful for my daughter Sandra, happiness, LOVE, my blessed life with my family and those who choose to still be friends, my cousin Nathan, knowledge, babies and grandmas, video games, I am thankful for Dr Erica and her calming soothing presence, I am grateful for good health, my wonderful family, I am grateful for my 3 amazing brothers and their wives and children, family makes the sun shine brighter, my daddy, able to live life happily, LIFE, being in my 40s life is good, Sam passed her driver’s test look out Fenton drivers, for my husband’s family, family, I am grateful for my book club, my support group that has supported me and helped me through a time of transition I am now a happier and healthier person, my dad boys sunshine sleep and wine, my 3 sons and husband, for my lovely wife and Cafe of LIFE, family and friends, thankful for my mommy, music, hope, book club, chocolate wine and my Integrity peeps, my beautiful family my health and my friends oh and Cafe of LIFE, abundance, my hubby, my life, gratitude, nice weather, my freedom, people who are positive, sunshine, Obama, family Jesus and friends, I am thankful for LOVE, I’m grateful for my grandma’s cooking, I am thankful for Skype and airplanes!!!, my adjustment today, God’s love, ice cream, book club, cousins, good health, Jesus Christ, family and friends who care, I am thankful for my nieces and nephew, the amazing staff and students at EKLC, chocolate and wine, us, pork chop lamp chop and cupcake, LOVE, I am grateful for the opportunity today to take one step closer to being open to divine light and energy, pets, Erica and Angie, for LIFE, that the cutest little boy I know calls me “mommy”, my children, fresh AIR, the sun shining.”

One of the things that Angie and I noticed the minute we put the tree up is that the mojo in the reception area shifted significantly. ¬†When you start putting energy into things you are grateful for, more of that stuff shows up. ¬†There is so much to be grateful for. ¬†Please take a few moments and recognize something you are grateful for every single day or make your own “Gratitude Tree” at home! ¬†Thank you for sharing with us!

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FAMILY WEEKEND

¬† ¬† ¬†On a daily basis I feel blessed to be born into this family. I have 3 brothers that weren’t always my favorite people, but over the years have evolved to be some of the coolest cats around. They are great friends to me and 2 of them have married some pretty amazing a wonderful women that I get to call sister-in-laws. Between the two that are married, there are 3 children…and I may be a biased “Aunt E” but I have to say they are some of the brightest, most wonderful children I know. It is awesome to watch them learn about the world and fun to see them put pieces of the puzzle together. ¬†My third brother is dating one of the sweetest girls I have ever met and I look forward to seeing what their future holds.
My mom is one of the greatest gals on the planet and has married one of the most amazing men that anyone could ever know. My 3 brothers and I are so grateful to have someone like him in our lives. He comes with 2 boys that are older than us and a daughter that is younger. ¬†All of them are such a blast to hang out with. The guys are feisty, the most obnoxious U of Michigan fans but so much fun. They are both married and have 3 children between them. I feel like I have gotten to know the 7 year old son of the oldest one the best. This kid happens to be one of the coolest 7 year olds you could ever meet. He loves being around kids and equally enjoys spending time with adults…and the greatest part is he adds so much to either scenario. ¬†It absolutely amazes me. My step sister lives a bit of a distance from Michigan and we enjoy time spent with her and her husband though it seems far between visits due to location.
Now imagine this group of super cool people all hanging out in “up north” Michigan at an awesome house on the river, camping in the back yard, bonfires, walks, long runs, bike rides, college football, meals, music, dancing, duck races, reading, exploring, fishing, laughing, and telling stories. That is how my last weekend was spent.
See why I feel blessed?  Have you counted your blessings lately?

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WHEN AND WHERE IS THE NEXT TRIATHLON?

I DIDN’T¬†DROWN!!!¬† I am grateful for all your kind words, prayers and postive energy that you sent my way.¬† I could feel the support and I want to say thank you and recap the event.

We¬†arrived on the scene Saturday night to survey the course and see what we were in for…admittedly mostly just to check the swim out.¬† I had done a super sprint triathlon with a 300m swim a year ago and I saw the same big orange buoys out in the water and made the assumption that they were marking the course.¬† The course was an out, over and back style.¬†I was relieved in my mind because it didn’t seem like¬†the distance¬†was out of my league.¬†¬†It seemed simple, my mind was settled,¬†we had a

great meal and got a good rest that night. 

Arriving¬†back in that same location for gametime the next morning was¬†so exciting.¬†¬†Part of the challenge of doing a triathlon is¬†to make sure all the gear is in the right¬†place.¬† I set up my transition station, put my wetsuit on, grabbed my goggles and swim cap¬†and headed down to¬†watch as the first¬†wave entered the water to begin the swim.¬† There was a guy¬†with a megaphone¬†breifing us on the course and explaining how everything was going to work.¬† He was talking the course through and said “the orange buoys can be on either side of you but make sure the yellow dorito-shaped buoys are on your right.”¬† I thought to myself “What¬†yellow dorito-shaped buoys?¬† Wait, WHAT?!?!?¬†¬†THOSE ONES WAY OUT THERE?!?!?!¬† HOLY MACKERAL!!!!¬† HOW IN TH HECK AM I GOING TO EVEN GET THERE?!?!?!”¬†¬†It turns out the¬†orange buoys (that we thought were marking the course) are just the sight buoys¬†so you know what direction the yellow doritos-shaped ones are since they are so far it is difficult to see them. The orange ones marked about the¬†half-way¬†distance¬†of each¬†side.

Panic set¬†in and I almost lost it.¬† I thought all my training was for not because there was no way¬†I could¬†make it¬†that far.¬† Half mile swim…just seconds away…and all I can think of is I want to curl up in a corner over by the rocks and cry.¬† My¬†Aunt Patty was standing with me,¬†and with a little “You got this!” from her (Thank you Aunt Patty), I took a deep breath and settled down enough to make my way to¬†the start.

I don’t even know what they said besides “Go” and the¬†water was filled with people splashing and kicking and arms and legs¬†flying as a sea of pink caps flooded the water.¬†¬†I thought to myself “all I have to do is put one arm in front of the¬†other and keep kicking and breathing¬†like¬†I had been doing in¬†training and I will be fine” and I found a tiny bit of peace.¬† I¬†passed the first sight buoy with so much negative self-talk going on about how¬†“I can’t go that far” and “I can’t do this” until a moment happened when I realized that¬†I WAS DOING IT!!!¬†…and…I was doing a¬†OK job at it and I was even staying ahead of¬†a¬†few pink caps.¬†¬†Then I¬†remembered all of you out there and in my head, I began to review all the words you had shared with me leading up to the race. ¬†I pictured all the faces of the people who wrote to me and were standing by me.¬† It brings me to tears just thinking about it.¬†¬† Half way between buoy 1 and 2, I found a rhythm.¬† I would freestyle for 10(ish) strokes and¬†side-stroke for¬†3-5 and catch my breath.¬† I remember finally¬†finding a groove¬†and realizing how beautifully navy blue¬†the water is, how warm and wonderful it feels and how powerful my arms are as I watch them cross¬†through my visual field.¬† It was not easy, the distance was no joke but I found myself¬†rounding¬†the second buoy and was heading towards shore.

If any of you¬†have ever been in the water with me, I freak out when weeds are in or around my body and my heart skips beats with the sight of them.¬†¬†My Mom would always say, “They are just bushes underwater” to try to help me deal with them.¬† In the navy blue abyss below me, I could¬†faintly start to see the beginnings of the bottom…and weeds were¬†EVERYWHERE!!!¬† Do you know how grateful I was to see those weeds because that meant¬†I was so close to shore!!!¬†¬†KEEP GOING!!!¬† There was a severe drop-off from the shore¬†and when my foot hit land I was in knee deep water…which meant I could run¬†and that I MADE IT!!!!¬†¬†There was quite a crowd of people standing on both sides of the swim return area¬†when I finished and I know not one of them¬†really knew what it took¬†for me to get to that point…but they cheered anyway and¬†were part of my fan club, or so I pretended.

I finished.¬† I made it.¬† I didn’t drown.¬† I kept going.¬† I swam 750m!!!

Oh yeah, and then there was the 12 mile bike ride and the 5K run and the finish line.

I have a friend that was sending me motivational quotes the day before the race and at the very end of the evening, just before I went to sleep, he sent this:

“Life shrinks or expands exponentially in proportion to ones courage.”¬†

So so true.¬† Life is really, really good.¬† “Strength isn’t doing something that you know you will succeed at, strength comes from doing something you thought you never could”.¬†¬†I finished the entire race and¬†besides the HUGE silly smile on my face and a cheesy thumbs up picture to post to facebook, I thought¬†“When is the next one?”

I don’t know…maybe I am sick…¬† ūüôā

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LIFE MOVES ON

This past weekend I felt very blessed to reconnect with some good friends of mine after years of being apart.¬† As many of you know, I got married when I was 19 years old.¬† I know, I know…what on Earth was I thinking, right?¬†¬† I sometimes laugh when people tell me they¬†get the impression that I have my life together.¬† All I have to say to that is you should have seen me when I was 19!!!¬† The difference between then and now is that at 19 I didn’t have¬†anything figured out and I thought I did, and now I still don’t have anything figured out and I know and have accepted that its possible I never will.¬† Life is an amazing teacher and the more we live, the more we learn, or at least I can only speak for myself.

On Saturday I got to spend some time with my ex-husband’s family.¬† He, and they, were part of my life for 10 years.¬† He was not there¬†this weekend but his sister, whom I was¬†pretty¬†close with,¬†was home visiting family.¬† She called ahead of time to let me know her, her husband and their NEW BABY¬†were going to be in the area and that¬†it would be great to share a meal.¬† It¬†worked out that we¬†met at¬†my ex-in-law’s (I¬†really do not like that phrase)¬†home¬†and sat around the table with her parents and ate lunch.¬†

It was a wonderful couple of hours as there was so much to catch up on.¬† Being in someone’s life for that long, really gets¬†one intertwined in all of¬†the family’s life happenings.¬† We caught up about family, extended family, life events, work, dreams for the future, and of course I got to meet her new baby.¬† The time spent was wonderful, priceless and I feel so blessed.¬† These people were a very big part of my life from the time I was 17 to the end of my 20s.¬† Those are some impressionable years and in¬†each their own way, they helped shape me to be the person I am today.¬† I am forever grateful for their love, support,¬†genrosity, compassion, reliability, entertainment, fun, teaching and connection.¬†¬†They are all near and dear friends of mine though our lives don’t allow for the¬†“near” part of that equation much anymore.¬† ¬†

My divorce was very amicable and after being best friends for almost 10 years, we had promised to keep in touch as LIFE MOVES ON.  That has gone to the wayside as he is busy with work, a new family and a new baby of his own and my life is busy as well.  I am forever grateful for all the adventures we had and all that we taught each other and learned together.  I am forever grateful to his family and feel blessed to reconnect from time to time.  

LIFE DOES MOVE ON.¬† I still do not have anything figured out though I feel blessed to have these and other¬†angels come and guide me though parts of my own personal journey.¬† My heart overflows with gratitude.¬† Thank you…you all know who you are.¬†

 

 

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THE FIRST OF 19

Over the past week, my family and I have been¬†mourning the loss¬†of my aunt.¬† Have I told you that my Mom is one of¬†ten kids and my Dad is one of nine?¬† So to say I come from a HUGE family is a slight understatement.¬† My Aunt Lisa was the youngest of my Mom’s siblings and¬†she is¬†also the very youngest of all 19 of them.¬† She died of a heart attack and it was shock to the entire family and everyone in her life at a mere 50 years of age.¬†

Being from such a large family, when tragic things happen, everyone pulls together.  We spent 4 full days together talking about the incident, her life, her contributions and where the family will go from here.  The conversations were sprinkled with bouts of crying and fits of laughter.  We are not short of comedians in our family and the mixture of the humor and the sadness does an interesting thing to the physiology and helps things to process.  I am sure you have found yourself in an intense moment that was interrupted by a shift created from laughter. 

I learned a lot from sitting around and listening to the stories that were shared.  Two important lessons have surfaced from it all that I wanted to share with you. 

LESSON #1 :¬† SHOW UP!¬† My Aunt Gail, one of Lisa’s sisters said one of the things that came to mind when she thought about Lisa was that “She showed up.”¬† It is so true…whenever there was something going on, or someone needed something, Lisa showed up.¬† She showed up for family functions and parties.¬† She showed up for her husband and 3¬†children.¬† She showed up for¬†her own friends and friends of her children. ¬†She showed up for the family.¬† She showed up at work and for her co-workers.¬† She showed up.¬† This concept makes me look at my life and ask the question…”Am I showing up?”¬† And furthermore, “How am I showing up?”¬† and “Am I giving it 100%?”

LESSON #2:¬† PLAY FULL OUT!¬†¬† If life was a game, Aunt Lisa played full out.¬† She always had a good time.¬† She celebrated a lot and was usually in the middle of any conversation that was happening.¬† If she didn’t start the conversation but wanted to be in it…you would her her raspy voice say,¬†slightly under her breath, “What are you guys talking about?”.¬† If she was around in the room, you probably could hear her laugh.¬† Somewhere in the Callard¬†lineage there is a gene for loud laughter, and she expressed that gene strongly.¬† After the funeral on Monday, I heard someone say, “You know, she was only 50 when she passed, however she lived more in those 50 years than others do who live into their 80s or 90s.”¬† What a great awareness and awesome perspective to have on what seemed to be a life cut short.¬†

My first real memories of Aunt Lisa were when I would babysit for her children.  At the time, she happened to be living in the same subdivision where I currently live and though the house is no longer there, I have vivid memories of being there a lot.  Over the past few months I have spent quite a bit of time running the roads around my house, passing that location twice per run and of course, like I do a lot, thinking about life. 

With the¬†sudden passing of Lisa last week, and¬†her funeral¬†just a couple days ago, along with my regular morning runs and thoughts about life, that particular location has¬†new meaning to me.¬† I will forever hold it as a place during my runs where I turn inside and remember to SHOW UP everyday and in every way in my life and PLAY FULL OUT!¬†¬†What better way to start the day than with reminders like that.¬† I haven’t dealt with much death¬†up to this point in my¬†life, and am of course dreading the idea of the other 18 passing, however there are always lessons to learn about LIFE from both living and dying…and for that, I am grateful.¬† Thank you Aunt Lisa for those¬†very important¬†lessons and¬†may you rest peacefully.

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BROTHERS

I have told you about my brothers before but I don’t think that I have told you lately how much I love them. We have such a fun, unique relationship now that is pretty rare to find in the world these days. I didn’t always feel this way mostly because while growChiropractor Fenton Michigan - Dr Erica Peabody - Brothersing up, I found myself on the short end of 3 against 1 on almost a daily basis. We have all faced challenges, have lived full lives and somehow along the way became really close. I think it also helps that 2 of them married some of the most amazing women which have also helped to grow our relationships.

Last night was a celebration of family…well a celebration of the winter season and ice, with a huge helping of family on the side. The four of us balance each other really well. We make each other laugh, help each other out and have a real strong appreciation for what each of us brings to the table. There is a loyalty that is like nothing else on Earth. We all feel really lucky that we have made homes within 10 miles of one another and this lends to some good times together. I am glad we are on this journey together, and though I didn’t always feel this way, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
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