Tag Archives: singer

Evidence

7 Jun

sky

I’ve recently become addicted to podcasts, being in sales I have lots of ‘drive time.’ One of the podcast series I could not stop listening to is called ‘Serial.’ This particular podcast covers a true story of a teen convicted of murder in 1999. The investigative reporter digs deep into the case, unravels all the twists and turns, and speaks to numerous friends, families, teachers, etc. Each podcast left me wanting more and changed my mind from guilty to not guilty to guilty and so forth based on the evidence presented. At the end of the series I felt unsatisfied with the results. Anyhow, you should listen, it’s fascinating.

We are a society that loves evidence; it’s rare that people take a leap of faith to believe something. God is real…show me, healthcare reform is right…why, immunizations don’t cause autism…give me proof, homosexuals are born that way…prove it. All hot topics and my blog is not a debate blog so just examples of various topics and responses. We want evidence for everything…except when it comes to gossip. Why is that? I have teens so gossip is prevalent whether I like it or not in our household and I am constantly asking if they know for a fact or if they are hearing and repeating. Again, what is the evidence? We are so eager to believe something about someone most of the time without knowing all the facts. We hear something, we make judgements then worst of all, we sometimes share that information as if it were fact. Whether it’s our own insecurities or just a boring life, it’s wrong. So what can we do? Again, look for the evidence. Who are you talking about? Why? Do you even know this person, I mean really know them? So you hear something juicy or maybe hear something you never expected about that person; what is the character of this person? What is the history of their actions/what do their current actions show you? Again, actions speak volumes. Who is the one saying things? Are they reliable? Do they know the person they are talking about? What are they like and what is the history of their actions? See what I’m getting at? We love evidence for everything unless it’s gossip that tears people down. Be careful. Whether something is true or false, there’s always a story.

‘These are the few ways we can practice humility:To speak as little as possible of one’s self.To mind one’s own business.Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.To avoid curiosity.To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.To pass over the mistakes of others.To accept insults and injuries.To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.To be kind and gentle even under provocation.Never to stand on one’s dignity. To choose always the hardest.’~Mother Teresa

Today I wear MAC Lustre lipstick in Hug Me which is a brownie pink. Can’t really go wrong with a good MAC lipstick. This one is easy to wear because it’s moisturizing and just gives you a finished look for daytime. I chose it mainly for the name. I love hugs. Cheers!

Love Letter

2 Dec

eastervid
This past weekend I did something that I never thought I would ever be able to do again…I was back on stage singing at all 4 services for my church. It wasn’t just in the choir, or singing back up for someone, it was a solo, a big one. From the moment I was asked to the second I walked on the stage with my one vocal cord and a bit of breathing difficulty, it was surreal, cathartic, and I cried every single time. It was such a miracle to me and a huge reminder of my journey, how far I’ve come, but most of all, God’s amazing grace and love for every single detail of our paths. Many people came back with tears, and I received texts and emails from those who knew my story. One of my very good friends sent me a link to the video that was shown at the church when I very first had cancer and it made me cry but praise God at how far He had brought me. The link to that video played on Easter 2008 is here

Many things have changed for me since the video; my cancer came back twice after that becoming more serious both times, and of course, divorce, but wow, has God been faithful. I have spoken of my faith in bits and pieces here and there on this blog, today I’m thanking God.

Dear God,

Thank you
I have been blessed beyond measure through every aspect of my life.
Thank you for the constant reminder that I need to trust you in all things.
You have been with me throughout this incredible life, holding my hand, carrying me, strengthening me.
I see evidence of you everywhere; in the eyes of my kids, family, and in the love and eyes of my friends.
Thank you for a life that I don’t deserve and the miracles I see everyday big and small (even on the not so fun days)

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ — Charles Dickens

Isn’t that life?
Thank you God for an amazing life.
Thank you for an epic story!

Love,
Your Daughter

This past weekend I sang Carrie Underwood’s Something In The Water and these particular lyrics made my heart swell:
And now I’m singing along to amazing grace
Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light
Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live every day, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed I am changed
And now I’m stronger

Amen and Amen!! Life hasn’t been easy and definitely not at all what I expected but what an adventure! Today’s lipstick? Dior Glow. What else? A lipbalm that brings out your own natural glow, yes to that!

Fear vs. Freedom

14 Sep

bridge
A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook the other day asking what people’s fears/phobias were. There was a variety of answers ranging from the typical snakes, spiders, clowns, all the way to the fear of an ex or of not being wanted. Can fear and freedom co-exist? Sometimes. Take the fear of moving someplace new; new school, new job, etc..but the freedom after the initial adjustment knowing that maybe it was for the best (or not). The fear of cancer coming back yet freedom with the knowledge that you’ve beaten it at least once and you have today to be alive. There is great fear, but the freedom you can feel is a choice that must be made yourself.

Fear is a monster slowly making its way into your mind. It’s blackness and its long tentacles wrapping around your brain creeping in like a sheer cloud of death. Trapping your mind and body with a blanket of insecurity which penetrates every thought of every minute forcing your body to respond. Slowly it takes piece by piece; your conscience, your confidence, and ultimately your freedom if you let it. It paralyzes you and twists your stomach, makes your heart pound and eyes dilate. There is no hunger, no sleep, and at times you choke at the very breath left stuck in your throat. Emotions raw, body weak, fear is a trap waiting for you to fall. Yes, I have felt this.Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation…. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.~Charles Stanley

Can freedom exist in the presence of fear? It has to. Resting in the knowledge that God is in control…Step 1. The exhilarating feeling of wind in your face, arms open, trying to capture the stars. The heat of the sun or even the raindrops reminding you life is always washed and renewed. Being alive is awesome, every moment precious and not worthy of wasting. Smart, strong, determined to break the chains of fear that bind you even if it’s link by link. Fear is powerful but none is more powerful than the human spirit touched by God’s grace. Every moment, every breath, make a decision to take life back. Who needs Superman to save the day when you have you? Be your own hero.Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.~Jim Morrison

Today I wear Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil which is a cool sparkling blackberry. Seriously, I just bought this and love it. It’s not too shiny or sticky, has lots of color and just kinda melts on your lips. Plums and deep berry shades are in for fall and this one’s great. Gotta love the name too, a dare devil wouldn’t have fear now would they? Cheers!

Heart or Paper?

7 Sep

Photo courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography. Thanks Leanna!

Photo courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography.
Thanks Leanna!


I think more than ever I have been in an internal conflict about purpose; what I should be doing, what I’m meant to be doing, and what I want to be doing. Part of it is age , and part of it is post-cancer putting an exclamation point on time. The average lifespan for females in Michigan varies from 77-80 years of age depending on which website you refer to, which means my life is more than half over. Sounds grim but the one thing we cannot change is that we all die at some point; and although many of us are committed to things which help us feel younger and look younger, we don’t actually get any younger. Anyhow, I listened to a great talk by a New York Times columnist and the question he posed was, ‘Should you live your resume’ or your eulogy?’ WHOA. What a question. As Americans, or maybe I’m just speaking for myself, we spend a whole lot of time working on our resume’ and making sure it looks good for the next job, employer, promotion, or even the public, but what do we want ‘listed’ in our eulogy? ‘She was in management’, ‘she got promoted quickly’, ‘she won president’s club several times’….I say no. We want (or at least I want), people to say I lived and I loved, I helped, and was a joy to have around, I made people feel things, and was a positive presence…

Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life~John Wooden

Here’s the conundrum…we all need to make a living, but at what price? Do we push ourselves to continue rising up the ladder, do we stay in a career because our resume’ shows we are good at it yet everyday wonder why we’re doing that very thing in the first place? A few blogs ago I talked about doing something you love or are passionate about every single day, even if it’s something small…that’s a start. It reminds you of who you are and who you are made to be. I guess I’m a bit confused (and probably really confusing to you), right now. My struggle is definitely not the resume’ and trying to achieve mega success by worldly standards, mine is actually wondering if passion and work can actually merge somehow or if the resume’ will continue to consume the passion bit by bit; what is written on paper vs. what is imprinted on your heart. Is it resume’ or eulogy? Eternal success in a finite world or eternal value, leaving a legacy? Can it be both?

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.~Billy Graham

Today I wear Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Revolution lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace. I know, I know, I did UD last time but I had to write about this one. So, you know I love the Urban Decay lipsticks but this one is a deep red. It has been 20 years since the movie Pulp Fiction came out, I don’t remember much about the movie except for the dance scene with John Travolta, but I do remember the lipstick on the black haired Uma Thurman. This is a limited edition and it’s smokin’ hot. Live passionately! Cheers!

About A Boy

25 Aug

AJ
My son just turned 17 and is heading into his junior year of high school. We were talking the other day about what the year has in store for him: ACT/SAT testing, checking out colleges, sports, and of course more immediate on his mind, The Homecoming Dance. He was talking about what he’d like to wear and whose house he was taking the ‘bus’ from, and when I asked him about a date he said ‘what?’. Ah yes, one of those dreaded ‘date’ dances where girls wait patiently for boys to ask them. If you recall, I was not exactly the girl anyone would ask to dances when I was younger (a little geeky, alot shy); I always hoped and waited, but didn’t actually get asked until my senior year, oh well, I’m over it. It’s alot different these days and I think it’s better, less pressure. Now, a bunch of people get dressed up, meet at a house, take pictures, and get on a ‘bus’ and go together…boys, girls, mostly all friends with very few actual ‘couples.’ Anyhow, he ended up telling me that a girl (who has liked him a long time) asked to match him…what? He said this girl asked him what colors he was wearing because she wanted to match him and get pictures taken with him (like they’re a couple), then, he wouldn’t have to talk to her if he didn’t want to for the rest of the night. WHAT? First I thought she was pretty bold for asking, then I thought, why would she want to do that? Settle for the crumbs? Just want a pic then you don’t have to talk to me?2014-04-09 23.52.39-1

Dear daughter/sister/mom/girlfriend, you are special. Someone will love you exactly the way God made you. No need to beg, cry, change yourself, pretend to like things you don’t; no need to settle for the crumbs or less than the respect and love you deserve. As women, we serve naturally; we are nurturers, caregivers and sometimes we feel lost without someone taking care of us. We are strong. When what you love, what you do, and who you are, are not enough, then move on because truly… they are the ones not enough for you. Love yourself and rest in the knowledge that the One who created you loves you more then you can comprehend.You are beautiful.

Today I wear Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Boy which is one of their all time best selling colors. This is actually my favorite formula in the Chanel lipsticks because they are hydrating and have just enough color. This is a very easy color to wear everyday; a pale pinky-brown…very neutral but not too nude if you know what I mean. I chose it partly because I love it and partly because of the name Boy. Is it always about a boy? Cheers!

The Gift

22 May

relaymom
Last weekend I walked in the local Relay For Life for the 4th year in a row. The first year I walked was the same year I fought cancer for the third time. It was a special time for me because I had just finished my treatment a few months before and I was asked to share my story and sing as the walk started. Every year has been special and emotional. Since I’ve been cancer free for some time now I felt pretty strong and confident starting the survivor lap. I was caught off guard at first by the change in t-shirt design. This year, each shirt listed ‘survivor’ or ‘in the survivorbackfight’ on the back. Looking around and seeing people of all ages (including kids) whose shirts said ‘in the fight’ really overwhelmed me, then hearing the applause from the people in various booths really threw me over the edge and I could no longer hold the emotion, I started to cry. During the survivor lap we are allowed to have a caregiver walk with us, this year, like the other years, my mom walked with me and it happened to also be her 70th birthday. I can’t imagine how she was feeling while her child was sick, I don’t know if I could be as strong as her. She was the primary caregiver for both me and my kids throughout my journey and I am so grateful.

It’s really strange, but for as much joy I was feeling about being there for another Relay event, I felt a little sadness. I was sad a little about how much my life has changed, and sad about some of the things cancer took away from me; no longer confident about my body, the difficulty breathing, the fear that cancer may come back, etc. I was also sad looking around at all the families affected by cancer, young and old; seeing the kids, then seeing the elderly woman who had ‘in the fight’ on the back of her shirt walking the slowest, being held up by her husband walking with her. I am incredibly thankful for my friends and family members that were always around to help; taking me to appointments, praying with me, the meals, the laughs, the care packages, even the lipstick…truly incredible people. Although cancer will always be part of my story, the Relay For Life is always a time I remember and reflect on all the events that continue to shape me today. Cancer seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. It brought back friends from the past plus even more friends, more opportunities, it brought the best out in most people. I saw kindness, generosity, hope. It gave me the gift of opening my eyes to a fragile life, the beauty of people and moments and stories; more passion for life and compassion for people. It made me more aware of my body and the various shifts and changes. It helped me focus on the positive things in my life as well as the things that needed to change. Cancer gave me the push to move forward with dreams and goals; less fear and less stress about the things that that truly don’t matter. Yes, cancer is that gift that keeps on giving. I would’ve chosen not to have cancer for sure, but we all deal with different things in life. ‘For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America’s hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest.’~J. Michael Straczynski Standing was hard but I’ve always wanted to be Wonderwoman!wonderwoman
Today it’s Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Surrender Dorothy. These lipsticks are creamy and moisturizing despite being labeled long lasting. I do prefer the Marc Jacobs glosses a little better but these are great too. This color red (more orange red than blue red). Life is crazy and can throw some curveballs…surrender. Cheers!

Moments

15 May

2012-07-02 11.07.09

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,how do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,how do you measure, a year in the life?-Seasons of Love, Rent

I really love those lyrics. I know I’ve used them in my blog before but they just never get old and it’s a reminder that life is short and time just ticks away. How do we measure a year in the life? I’ve been crazy busy the past few weeks with work and the upswing of kids activities that I really haven’t had time to think. As I sat to write a blog the thought crossed my mind that nothing significant happened this week, just a regular, busy week, but I really had to stop for a moment because that wasn’t true. Life happened this week. A friend’s dad passed away a couple weeks ago and I was able to meet up with him and give him a hug in person, my daughter was inducted into the honors society and got an award for awesome grades, my youngest son had a baseball game and pitched a no hitter for two innings straight, I met some fantastic new people through work, and I worked out and finalized plans to reunite with great friends once again in Chicago soon. Looking back, it was an ordinary week with extraordinary moments. Did you catch that? Moments. A smile, eye contact, a hug, a good night’s sleep…all moments that when put together make an extraordinary week if you open your eyes to see it. I spoke to another cancer survivor today who was told just recently that she was cancer free. She said that she’s tired from all the treatments and she’s nervous about cancer returning in the future but she’s ok, ‘it is what it is’ (recall I really don’t like that phrase, but it’s true some times). She is now more focused on quality of life instead of quantity of life…Amen to that. Do you measure your life in inches, miles, sunsets, cups of coffee? Take in the moments or you just might miss out. Each passing moment becomes the past!Anna166

Today I wear Laura Mercier Lip Glace’ in Wildflower which is like a hot pink/red. I LOVE these glosses! They are packed with color and are super moisturizing but not sticky at all. This color is great for spring and summer. Some of the colors are more sheer but this one is not and seems to be more long lasting on me but without the dry factor. Be a wildflower and seize the day! Cheers!

Flawed

4 Apr

zit (2)
I have a zit, a pimple, a clogged pore…right in between my eyes. You know when you look left or right, when something is in your peripheral vision? Yup, it’s right there, can you see it in the picture? I used to break out as a teen, then when I was pregnant, but it’s been awhile. Even my kids said, ‘Whoa, what is that?’ when they saw me. This week I met up with a friend who I literally haven’t spoken to for almost 30 years. We knew each other as kids and practically grew up together but after high school our paths rarely crossed again…until now. Tons of time had passed but we did not miss a beat, just threw all of our past and current struggles out on the table and wondered why it took so long to reconnect. Life usually gets in the way I guess but again, people come in and out of our lives at exactly the right time; whether it’s because we need them, they need us, or we need each other.

Here’s what I learned (because there’s always a lesson), no matter how we look, what we do, whatever life circumstances we may be in, we all generally want the same exact thing…to be loved and validated. I found it interesting to be looking and listening to a beautiful friend and great mom who was on a very different path then me over the past 20+ years and even now, yet the struggles at the core are still the same. The same holds true for others too; to be loved and validated, it’s that search for significance. Listening to her I realized we had been looking for the same thing but in different ways, for her it was in the ‘doing’, doing for others above and beyond to get that acceptance or even maybe being physically fit so people would accept the external. For me, it’s making sure others are happy around me, being positive, being that people-pleaser sometimes at my own expense, giving up what I truly want to make sure the other person is ‘pleased’, and to some extent ‘doing’ also. One of the many lessons I learned through cancer and life is that sometimes, no, most of the time, that is never enough. The same people you try to please or go above and beyond to ‘do’ for are the ones that will turn on you the next day. So here’s the deal, be yourself, love yourself, and get your validation from God because He made you exactly how you were supposed to be. If we seek significance, love, and validation from other people we will always be disappointed, I don’t waste my time too much anymore because I know life is fleeting.

So back to my zit. My friend said something to me that kind of astounded me. She said she has seen me from afar and has been reading my blog for quite some time. She said that she always thought I was perfect; perfect person, perfect life, perfect family, etc. No, no , NO!!! No one is perfect! We all have junk and most of it lies inside of us. We are all flawed whether it’s external like the pimple smack dab in the middle of my face for all to see, or the soul that constantly struggles on the inside that no one sees. Thank God we are all flawed, can you imagine? We are all less than perfect which is why our love, validation, and significance need to come from God. He knows us, He made us, and He already loves us no matter what. I’m constantly blown away by all the people I meet and talk to, the stories are sad, exciting, hopeful…’We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.’~Jimmy Carter

Today I wear my old standby Dior Lip Glow with Dior Lip Polish on top. LOVE the lip glow, it’s like a balm that brings out the natural pink in your lips. The Lip polish is like a gloss but it actually fills in the lines and plumps your lips a little. The two together are simply awesome! Cheers!

Passion vs Paycheck?

18 Mar

2013-07-03 04.44.07
There was an article I read years ago right around the time the Detroit economy took a dive. It basically shot out a statistic that 80% of Americans actually hate their jobs. The question at the end was ‘Do you pick passion over paycheck?’ The article added that without passion, people will be choosing between the lesser of two stresses: stress from being unemployed versus the stress of being in a dead-end job.

Lately I’ve met a few people who are doing things they absolutely love…and getting paid for it. They may or may not be the most lucrative careers but I see the joy and passion in their eyes of doing what they love. There’s my neighbor/hair phenom with her own salon, the make-up artist who views every face as an empty and beautiful canvas, the artist I met last week, the lawyer turned IT genius and loving it; people all around me doing things they love or switching careers to pursue passion. Every interaction I have with one of these people leaves me wondering about myself and what I’ve done to pursue the things I’m most passionate about. We all wonder if we’re doing what we we’re created to do, if we’re living our purpose, or just staying safe. I think there has to be a balance of course, you can be passionate but not gifted (think American Idol, X-factor, etc. they all think they’re great). I’ve been in sales my whole career life, am I passionate about it? No. Do I enjoy it? Sure. I look at it this way, everyday is a chance to talk to a bunch of people I otherwise may never meet, attitude goes a long way. As life continues to press on with all the stressors attached we tend to push our passions aside and maybe even forget what it is that makes our hearts beat faster. For me, it was always music, singing and dance. My heart still beats fast when I hear a great tune, I sometimes see choreography in my head too. I know I was good at one time but cancer has taken part of my voice and age has made me a little less flexible; passion for music will never go away for me. I do believe though that as we ‘do’ life new passions can arise. I now have new passions for being the best mom, for people’s stories, for writing, and of course, for finding or even creating the perfect lipstick! Billy Graham said,’The greatest surprise of my life is the brevity of life.’ So very true, we have one life and it is oh so short. So do we just quit our jobs and pursue our passions? It depends, we have responsibilities mixed in too, but I think we can do a bit of both, living in the now of what we have. And yeah, I still want to be a rockstar, who doesn’t?

Pretending to be a Rockstar

Pretending to be a Rockstar


Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.’~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Today I wear Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 301-Gio. These lipsticks are pretty close to perfect. Longer lasting, great color, and moisturizing. Clearly I didn’t choose the color for it’s name (hate when there’s not a fun name attached to a lipstick), but this color is FUN! Kind of a coral-ly/red…perfect pop of color for summer,ok,spring. LIVE EVERYTHING! Cheers!

Alone

12 Dec

2012-07-02 01.50.35
When I was in college I volunteered at a local hospital to help wherever they needed. I was assigned to the pediatric unit to basically ‘socialize’ with the kids that were there for long periods of time. It was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do and many days I would leave in tears. I remember many of the kids not actually looking sick, but then starting to cough things up without ceasing, or seeing the IV lines attached to them, there was even a child with HIV who they had in a back corner room because in the late 80’s/early 90’s, there was still a lot we didn’t understand about HIV. I basically was there a few days a week to read to them, play games, and even Atari. If you don’t know Atari, it was the original home video gaming system…black and white, totally fun. Anyhow, parents and relatives did come to visit on occasion but most of the time these kids were alone. Fast forward to my cancer journey and I remember after the first surgery I was given a very bad prognosis…essentially told I didn’t have much longer because my cancer was aggressive and it was all over the place. After staying in the ICU for a couple days I was brought to a regular patient room for several more days to recover. I had a few visitors, but for the most part I was alone…and scared. From then, my heart has had a burden for those stuck in their hospital rooms without any support. Granted, many people may have support who cannot stay with them 24/7 but it’s the in-between times that silence, fear, uncertainty, and sadness take over. I had a job a few years back which brought me to various floors in the hospital and when I would pass rooms with patients who were alone, my heart would break because I remember how it felt.

So where does that lead me? The other day I spoke to someone at a local hospital about the holidays and how hard it must be for patients who have to be there. I shared a little of my story and my passion for making sure people had less alone time and asked if there was something, even something small that I could do. We talked about my singing and how my voice was affected but still able, and then he asked…’would you like to come and sing Christmas carols to people in their hospital rooms?’ I got emotional immediately. First, it’s kind of a miracle that I can still sing, but to be able to share that with people to help them feel less alone over the holiday season? Of course. He asked if I would start in the cancer unit then move to other parts of the hospital….duh, yes. SO here’s the big picture, do we have to go to a hospital to find people who feel alone? I don’t think so, I think they’re all around us. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Today I wear Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Lovelight which is a peachy pink shimmer. Yes I love these lipsticks; highly moisturizing, great colors, and fairly long lasting. Lovelight on me just adds shimmer to my natural lip color so it’s easy to wear. I chose it today mainly for the name…show a little love. Cheers!

%d bloggers like this: