Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leaving the 20's

Today I am celebrating my last day as a 29 year old. Tomorrow will be a milestone, I will leave my twenties behind and enter the years of the thirties. I am told I am the most relaxed 29 year old on the edge of being 30. Not sure what that means, I guess I never understood what the big deal is about aging. To me a birthday (well at least my birthday) is just another day of the year. I have never felt young nor old, so in all honestly I really don't remember feeling any different turning 9 16 25 or soon to be 30. They have all felt the same. Just another day to celebrate being alive and well. Another year to reflect and remember the blessings this life holds by simply being able to live it. So I say bring on the dirty thirties, why not just another year to find reasons everday to LOVEthisLIFE.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

Its that time of year people. Christmas is HERE. So from the snowy mountains of Montana I am here to spread my holiday cheer can you hear it echo from the Flathead Range?? MMMMMMMMEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYY CCCCHHHHHHHRRRRRIIIIISSSSSTTTTTTMMMMAAAAAAASSSSSSSS. I hope your day is filled with love and laughter. May the gift of family and friends surround you and fill your day with utter joy. For its the simpliest of blessings that mean the most. So I hope you have a million of them today and always. Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome Amelia Millie Jean Schei

It must be the year of the babies. I am happy to announce the arrival of Amelia Millie Jean Schei 7 pounds 10 oz and 20 inches. Proud parents are Brian and my childhood best friend Emily (Just) Schei. It took forever it seemed for her to arrive but late Friday Dec. 17th (around 11:30 pm) she made her grand enterance. Amelia - I have known your mom since I was a baby. So I have really known her all my life. So I can say without a doubt that she has been looking forward to being your mother for MANY YEARS. She is one strong caring and kind woman. Who I know will fill your life with love- joy and happiness. You are one blessed little girl to have her as a mom and to be a part of the Just family. A BIG family that is strong in faith and has an endless supply of love to be given and received. Welcome Amelia! I look forward to meeting you soon!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome Chanceler James Schroder

I am proud to announce the arrival of Chanceler (Chance) James Schroder 7lbs and 2 onces born Monday, December 13th. Proud parents Shannon and Jeremy. And a very happy and proud big brother Hudson. I have been friends with Shannon since grade school. She's always been the kind of friend you are just happy to have in your life. For she's the friend that seems to never be changed - she's always the person you knew her as. As the friend that can pick right up where we parted. She's the friend you can count on in a heartbeat even if you haven't seen her in years. She's the friend with open arms - a positive attitude - a smile on her face and an inner strength like no other. They truly just don't make people like her often. Friends like her are few and far between. With the birth of Chance, I know brought much happiness and joy into her life. Thou his life will never place the life of Simon James the son she and Jeremy loss I know it will turn most of their days into great days in away just like and how the life of a baby seems to do. I am beyond happy for the Schroders, and so grateful that the little man Chance is health. To Chance, you are one blessed little man. You have two parents that I know will raise you to be a kind caring young man. I know your childhood will be fun, joyful and happy years filled with many great memories of love. I have first hand knowledge that your mom is one amazing gal who comes from an amazing- kind- understanding- caring- and loving family. For I know your grandparents and two aunts will spoil you with not just things and their time but most importantly their love. Welcome to the world Chance, I look forward to meeting you. And to you Shannon... maybe its with age as the years go by you realize the friends that well truly matter. The friends you knew you from the start... way back when you didn't even know who you were. Back to the days of pimples, glasses and the dork phases of life. Its those friends that have traveled this journey of life from the start til now you fully know will still be traveling it with you in the years to come. They are the friends you are left with no words to express your graditude of having them in your life all these years. For they are the holders of memories you forgot and the memories of what will be. How do you find words that speak from the heart on how blessed you are that some how you were lucky enought to be in the right place at the right time to grow up with them. Near or far - speaking or not... they are the friends that you hold tightly too. They are forever friends. Thank you for being apart of my life. I am so proud to be a part of yours. Enjoy your family Shannon Sue. May you be flooded with simple moments with your guys. that fill you right up with love and warmth. May they leave you breathless when you think of the blessings they are in your life. I wish you a lifetime of happiness and love with them and those favorite Blacks like know. For Shannon, happy and loved has always looked good on you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sometimes we need be reminded...

"AS become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you --- the first time around."

"Be thankful for what you have, you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never ever have enough."

"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."

"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."

"For everyone of us that succeeds, it's because there's somebody there to show you the way out."

"I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear."

"I have alot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly."

"It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down the spirit within - that you can begin to take control."

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher."

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams."

"The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude."

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the into the complete person you were intended to be."

"TURN YOUR WOUNDS INTO WISDOM."

"Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. USE IT. Dwell in possibility."

"What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine."

"What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come."

"When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes."

"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength."

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

"You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it."

"I believe that one of life's greatest risks is never daring to risk."

"I believe that everyone is a keeper of a dream - and by turning into one another's secret hopes, we can become better friends, better partners, better parents and better lovers."

"So go ahead fall down, the world looks different from the ground."

Sometimes we need be reminded of the gift of just living is. Sometimes we need be reminded of things we truly know but tend to forget - go un-noticed or we don't even think about it.Sometimes we need Oprah to speak it for us to realize it and know it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Moments

We all have those moments where we feel our hearts will burst open. where we find ourselves over come with emotions. Where tears form and we fight to hold back. Where we feel just simply grateful and blessed to live the simple everyday life that makes up who we are. I believe everyone has a story. And within that story lessons. And within those lessons a life that matters. To me those moments where we find ourselves in such a state its then that our heart is smiling and above all happy. It is in these moments where we hear oursevles thinking what did I ever do to become so blessed. What did I ever do to have all of this. What did I ever do to have such people in my life. It is in these moments where we say to ourselves thank for this moment. Thank you for this life. Thank you for this journey. It is in these moments to me makes life worth living. It is what makes life worthwilded. Simply Moments. When was the last time you found yourself in one. When was the last time you stopped and paused looked up above and whisper thank you. When was the last time you thanked those special souls in your life that make simple everyday moments special? When was the last time you felt your heart was going to burst? When was the last time you found yourself over come with emotions? When was the last time tears formed and you fought to hold them back.

This life is quite a ride isn't it. But it could be over in a moment. In a flash. In a second. So I wish to you to go out there and live as many simple everyday moments you possibly can with the beings who mean the most to you. I pray that you realize the blessing your life is. I pray that you realize that your being matters. I pray that you realize your story matters, your journey matters, your life matters. And I pray you realize that the simple people in your life matter to your story - your journey - your life. I pray you know the blessings in your life and when to speak thanks to those blessings. Don't wait til the end. Don't wait til its too late. For this holiday season I wish to you a simple life with simple moments with simlpe (important) people that will simply make your life complete.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Is...

Its that time of the year where we find ourselves thinking Tis' the Season and saying Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas and so on. We all have our own Christmas is and what this holiday means to our own life. So here is mine.

Christmas Is...
My Grandma Koch's butter cut-out cookies with homemade frosting.
Decorating the house and the tree with my Mom.
Shoving the drive way with my Dad and Brothers (ok me watching while they mostly shove.)
The family gathering at my aunt and uncle's farm-ranch west of Mandan.
My aunts and cousins singing Christmas Carols all night long.
Home made Christmas Stocking sewed by Grandma Koch.
The angel fruit cake Granny always baked.
The count down to Christmas my Mom always did and still does from my brothers and I.
Family gathering.
Mass at midnight.
Jumping over a bonfire in cold winter weather.
Driving to Mandan - Bismarck usually in not advised driving conditions for Christmas
A hot cup of friendship tea, apple cidar and hot cocco.
Lighting the Blessing Circle full of candles each holidng a blessing for that year.
Gathering for the holidays at 1003 Lohstreter
The massive Christmas Village that my Grandma started to collect and put up that now is displayed at my aunt's.
Baking cookies with my mom, Grandma, aunt and cousins.
Christmas mornings spent at 1703 Monte Dr with Granny and Gramps
A big family all gathered in a small room to open gift.
A wrapping paper throwing fight (that usually involved everyone throwing at Aunt Karla).
Christmas music playing 24/7.
Putting lights up in weather you swear will freeze your fingers off.
Watching my father try to find where my mother hid the Christmas Cookies.
Playing family board games and cards.
Eating a massive meal including a deep fried turkey (LOVE IT).
Watching Christmas movies... even the cheezzy ones on Lifetime and Hallmark.
Saying quotes from Christmas movies.
Trying to figure out which gifts are who's since my mother refuses to put tags on gifts til we open them.
Helping my mom make gifts using her crafty skills (I usually watch and try to help).

But mostly Christmas is to me Family. Whether it means being with all of those family members, just a few or being away but thinking about them. To me that is what the holidays is all about. Family. Thou I have missed last Christmas and again this Christmas it brings me joy knowing that they will all gather together. That somewhere all those things I listed up above are taking place. They continue on even if I am not there. For its tradition- Christmas and Family. And knowing that it all continues on makes missing it a little less hard. Because I know from 27 Christmases prior of the laughter, the smiles, the happiness, the joy and the love that happens when my family both the Goldmann and the Koch sides gather. And in the end Christmas is and always should be about family to me.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A woman of grace

Have you ever felt connected to someone you have never met. Found yourself saying I think we would be friends or we would get along just dandy? Has your life ever changed in a way by someone that never even knew you were well you? Most people would insert names like Kobe Bryant or Lady Gaga here (OR insert your person ). When I think of such people I think of Princess Di, Maya Angelou, and Elizabeth Edwards. These women have touched and impacted my life.

Two of these women I would give anything to meet no longer walk this earth. I remember just where I was when I heard that Princess Di had passed away. I was in shock and I cried like it was my aunt my best friend had died. I stayed up to watch her funeral live only to find out it was to re-play at a normal time (oh and I had a big basketball game that night prolli wasn't me best choice). But I had to, for this woman changed my life in ways I can't describe or in many ways even know. Without knowing her or ever meeting her yet she still found a way to change me for the good.

Today will be one of those days I will forever remember, at the age of 61 Elizabeth Edwards lost her battle with breast cancer. Now why may you ask would this middle age woman mother of 4 from North Carolina mean so much to me? How could such a simple woman change and impact my life? Maybe because when I first saw the Edwards I felt like they were the next Camlot taking over where the Kennedy's left. But the truth is it was just her grace. Of a woman who knew the truth to this life and had knowledge to share. Things she was saying were worth hearing and remembering. When I found she had stage four breast cancer I almost wasn't able to catch my breath and it had come back for good years later. When her first book Saving Grace hit the shelves I read it in a day. Um unheard of for me way back in 2007. Her book Resilience in 2010 was the same.

She inspired me by how she always lived. Thru the loss of a son, her husband's affair, a divorce, battling cancer and then kowing she would someday lose that battle with cancer. Thru it all she lived her life with dignity, compassion, humor and above all grace. She was a woman who often took the high road. Who always found the silver lining and faced life with a positive attitude. How many of us do that? She never lowered hereself than less of who she truly was. How many of us can say that? How many of us can say just that going thru all of that in the public eye? She was one who only spoke when she knew what she wanted to say. She waited to talk til she gathered her thoughts and emotions so she didn't have regrets. She was honest and was out to live her best life on her terms even with battling terminal cancer. She was a woman of grace. A woman we could all learn something from. A woman I am blessed to learn thru her life's journey. Thou not a perfect one but one that was worth living and now remembering. She was a woman that reminds me alot of my own mother who strangly also is battling stage four breast cancer. A woman who also inspires me and lives her life with complete grace. A woman who thinks before she talks and has much knowledge to share. A woman that takes the high road and finds the silver lining. A woman who is out to live her best life...That can't just be by chance? Right?

In the words of Elizabeth Edwards...I hope you live your life with three graces. "The grace of family, friends and faith." I dare you to live a life of grace honestly and dignity. I dare you to find the silver lining. I dare you to take the high road when you are faced with tough challenges and situations. I dare you to live your best life. I dare you to live life on your terms no matter what you are facing. I dare YOU. I end with quote from a song that she often said by Leoard Cohn "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." May the angels lead you into paradise and may Wade be one of those angels. Rest well woman of grace. Rest well.

Congrats Yolanda

I got this friend named Yalda who I simply call Yolanda. She's full of life, a smile is always on her face. She's out to live her best life possible. She's a a dreamer, an achiever, and a very smart and determined gal. So when she says she's going to do this or that... I believe her without a doubt. She's a gal who never complains. She's a knock out but doens't let it go to her head. She's a down to earth gal who is a true friend. She's a friend who lets' you be just you. She doesn't ask for the world but you know when the cards are down she's in your corner. She's a friend you can always count on. We havethis think where I say Loser and she says you meant a V not a S... (LOVER). She's a person I am glad grateful and blessed to have in my life. I am thankful to call her my friend....LOSER.

Well that gal just landed herself a pretty great job All that hard work is paying off. Congrats to her. I couldn't be more happy for you or more thrilled. You earned it YOLANDA. Here's to the ride may it take you just far enough for you to reach and live your dreams.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life is Good

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we gathered as a Family. Before we ate Brittaney said a prayer. After the prayer Paul decided to thank his family for the helping of getting ready and moving into their new house. He finished with saying thank you mom and dad - we did it all just in time because in May you are going to be grandparents. So we are thrilled and happy to say the first Goldmann Grandchild will arrive in May.

It has been a year of an unknown journey. We stared walking in this path of uncertaintly but have found blessings and things and people to be grateful for all along the way. We said our thanks for those special thoughts and feelings we hold in our hearts for the people who have touched our hearts and left us never the same. We have found smiles across our mouths, felt love in our hearts and tears of joy running down our faces. We truly have found many reasons to LOVEthisLIFE. And hearing the news that our family will grow by one only adds to the joy and happiness in our lives.

This child that will soon come (that I have named Mort til May) is already being spoiled. We talk about him/she constantly, gifts have already started to be bought and talks of plans dreams and things to do when he or she arrives have been talked about. Like everyone else we don't care or mind if its a boy or a girl because whatever which it will be Mort will be loved with an endless love by soo soo many.

Life is all about new beginnings. Nothing stays the same. Change is something that can always be counted upon. Some we struggle with accepting while others we fully embrace. The birth of the Goldmann Baby (Mort) is something we extend our arm out for and cant cross off the days fast enough. CONGRATS Paul & Shonna(Robert-O and Yanni)!!! I can't wait to be the wild crazy loving fun take too many pictures buy too many things spoil too much let you get away with murder Aunt Chelle. Life is good!

PS Not all are thrilled with the name Mort til May... but Baby just doesn't cut it for this Aunt. So I say that name filled with happiness joy and love.

Grandma Tillie with her daughters on Turkey Day.

Soon to be Granny getting a look at her Grandchild (Mort) with proud Shonna looking on

The Goldmanns and the Zanders with Grandma Tillie ... YES that is ME supporting the fohawk and the dark dark hair. WHY NOT I say. its only this length for awhile why not have fun with it. Not sure about the dark its sure a change from my golden blonde locks but time will tell what it will be. For now I love how it takes me a matter of seconds to get ready. And yes I am completely aware of the fact that I could pass for a 15 year boy. IT WAS WORTH IT and I would shave it in a heart beat if I had to do it all over again.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THANKFUL

On this month of Thanksgiving I am grateful for the air that fills my lungs. For the love that fills my heart and the warmth that lives in my soul from being surround by such amazing people. I am thankful for the life that I am granted to live. I am unsure when my marbles are up but I know this much for sure I have been given more than I have ever dreamed of having, more in many ways than what I ever should. I oray that I live my life that reflects the thankfulness that I carry with me. For I realize many have it worse than me. And I pray that kindness and love surrounds such people.

On this month of thanksgiving I am thankful for a million simple things that adds up to everything in my life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

True Heroes

When we embarked on this journey some five months ago we were left feeling terrified of the unknown. Most of us not speaking the fear that we held deep within in hopes it would just simply go away the phase 'out of sight out of mind' in our case it was 'out of mind out of sight'. What we didn't realize what was in store of us. We didn't see the gentle kindness, grace, strength and love we would soon feel. We didn't know that a hand full of people we have never known would come into our lives and bring with them the light of hope. They would be our healers and care takers to a woman who for so many years was just that to my brothers and I. These people who we never even knew existed, would soon change our lives forever. These people I am talking about are the Staff of Phoenix Mind & Body. Dr. Addo and his staff of top shelf girls (Stacey, Jackie, Brittany, Hayley & Tara). Our first chemo treatment there we weren't really sure - we were in a place that was unknown to us and battling something that we feared. But then they entered and started to lead. They take the extra step, they sit & listen and answer every question that might enter our minds. They give us gentle kindness and more importantly they are so gentle to the woman we hold so dearly to our hearts and so fiercely protect and love. When you find yourself in a situation like this you want your mother to not just be another face, she just can't be another person with cancer. You want her to matter be more than a patient. At Phoenix Mind & Body - she is. We know she is well taken care of by everyone that is employed there.

It takes a special person to do what they do. Not just everyone can do their job. It takes a person with compassion, understanding, kindness and just simply a gentle soul. And I believe each of them are just that and more. They have become not jut care takers and healers but friends and now part of our family. (THEY ALWAYS WILL BE TOO.) They understand our family's humor and they laugh when my father talks well how he talks. We were sure that they would love our top shelf lady but unsure how they would handle the rest of the crazies that lady calls her family, esp the goon, Mark. You see this place is a quiet and calming speak in whispers meditate and relax treatment center now imagine the crazy train that follows Paula. To be honest my family is a circus. We are not normal. We laugh at things we prolli shouldn't. Say things we prolli shouldn't and we are loud crazy and at times a bit out of control then add in the fact that we prolli ask too many questions - have too many concerns - and some of us it takes a while for us to get what they are saying. BUT this staff embraces us. They laugh with us, they sit with us, they answer, they understand, they joke, they smile, and most importantly they get my father's humor and crazy ways and best of all give it right back to him.

Knowing all this - and more - where do you begin to find the words to thank such people? How do you let them know just how grateful you are that they are in your life? How can you let them know the thoughts that lie in your heart? How do you speak the true feelings of your soul? For they are the ones taking care of the woman who always took care of everyone else. They are understanding and taking the time for the woman who has always done just that for everyone else. They are going the extra mile and taking the extra step for a woman who has always gone above and beyond for so many. They are embracing this woman with gentle kindness and strength in a way that is simply just like her. They are guiding and leading this woman thru the darkness and unknown just like she has always done in our lives. We say THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. For this woman may just be another woman to many but to three who call her mom - she is everything to us. And we know she is in the best of hands. We are grateful, this month that has Thanksgiving, for YOU. We are grateful you have all walked into our lives. We are blessed that our mom can have such an amazing place to go and have true heroes taking care of her. THANK YOU. You have made a difference in so many lives and we are blessed to say we are some of those many lives. May you continue to keep making a difference, for we know we aren't the only family that thinks you all belong on the highest shelf.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Long Live.

I say remember this moment, in the back of my mind." Life is full of such moments, that you find yourself saying REMEMBER this, in hopes if you do that moment will long live pass just that moment in time. As much as I can remember such moments oh how I wish I could remember more. The smiles the laughs the words the thoughts the feelings.
"Long live the walls we crashed through - all the kingdom lights shined just for you and me. I was screaming, Long live all the magic we made. And bring on all the pretenders... ONE DAY we will be REMEMBERED...If God forbid fate should step in and force us into a goodbye... When they point to the pictures.. Please tell them my name... Long live all the mountains we moved. I HAD the TIME of MY LIFE...with YOU."

To me life is made up of such long live moments. Moments you wish could go on forever. Moments you wished would never end. Moments you wish you could freeze frame and play (live) over and over. To me that is where the true meaning of your life is found.. in these long live moments that bring joy love happiness determination courage laughter strength hope faith understanding friendship growth ... LONG LIVE

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not just a House...

They were married in the fall of 1947. They were married for 60 years, had three children that they raised in the brick house on 1703 Monte Drive. It is a house that is filled with memories of growing up, birthdays, holidays and just everday Saturdays and Sundays. It just might be my favorite place to just be on this earth. For when you walk in the door you are filled with warmth, love and just security. Its not just a house. How could it be when Santa brought a puppy for Christmas? How could it be when endless games of wiffle ball and basketball were played in the yard? How could it be when we picked berries and feed the birds in what seemed like a paradise backyard? How could it be when we took over the basement and turned it into a 'little people' town? how could it be when we were woken up every morning by the sound of the chairs rubbing across the floor and the smell of maple & waffles? How could it be when we learned how to play cards, put together puzzles and played games at the dining room table? How could it be when we watched classic movies for the first time like Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Swiss Family Robinson, Sound of Music, On Golden Pond, Gone with the Wind, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the living room? How could it be when we helped make ice cream and popcorn in the kitchen? How could it be when the candy store was found in the basement? How could it be when the best meals you ever ate were cooked in the smallest kitchen? How could it be when we were read the best stories at bedtime? HOW COULD IT just be a house. For its the place that holds almost every single best childhood memory that not just I have but so many other family members. Its hard to just let go of a house like that. But we do to make room for a new couple to turn that house into theirs... and I know one day it will be not just a house to them. But some things will forever stay there a wooden swing, a bird book little hints of Granny and Gramps - my favorite the wooden sign that hangs on the front of the house that reads The Goldmanns est 1947... why you may ask would that stay... Because Goldmanns still live there - their grandson Paul (my brother) bought the house.

When we let Granny go - it was hard but I found my air when I could just be in that house. For she is in every room. You can't help but go there and just be at ease. This month came another change we moved Gramps to a place he can socialize and live with others around him. So its the end of an era in the Goldmann family. We are letting go - and finding new places for the treasures that were collected over a lifetime of 60 years plus. Sometimes I find its hard to throw to donate how could you when so many little things hold a memory. Maybe not to us but to the lives of Granny and Gramps. Many may see just shells but I see them walking (hand in hand) the beaches of Hawaii looking and finding those shells. Many will see just a serving spoon or dish but I see a lady that spent hours and hours in the kitchen cooking the prefect meal for her family. Many may just see souvenirs from somewhere but I see it as something that holds a memory of a trip to Hong Kong to Mexico, to Alaska, to this place and that. For I was told so many stories by two of the greatest story tellers of all and many of those stories were told as they held this or that in their hands. Thou I know the home holds many of those many may see things, we can't possibly keep them all. So we take the ones that holds the strongest memories. For me it was a writing desk that belonged to my Great Aunt. Its the place that my grandmother wrote to me, to my brothers, to my cousins, to my aunts, to my parents, to my distance relatives... A desk that is filled with complete memories of her which will now be my place to write and I couldn't be more honored. Side note it is also the new home for all those many may see items (thou I didn't take them all - some we just had to let go of but I took many that the rest of the family decided to pass on). So call it what you may junk - things you can go without - items that need to be thrown or donated but I see it as treasures that holds the memories of two of the greatest people I will ever know. It holds the love and happiness they gave. And I keep them in hopes one day I may have such a life such a legacy and above all a home to keep such things that will with great hopes be not just a house.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paula Power

We all met at the Women's Way on a beautiful fall evening (10.15.10). Most have never been to such an event, but we show up because of Paula, we stopped by all the booths, we chatted, we laughed, we smiled, we WALKED. We were quite a seen - hard to miss... We had PAULA POWER and by the end of the night many did too... Here are some photos of the night.
She's the Paula behind Paula Power!

Hugs from Shonna, Paula was so surprised not just by the shirts but by how many were walking just for her.


The candles lighting our way.

The Goldmann Family
Seeing such a sight you are reminded just how simple life should be.

The Mollman Sisters -Shonna and Margo with Paula (minus one, thou Amanda wore her shirt in Colorado with pride.)
Lighting Hope for a CURE.

Paula and Mark (my life's true teachers)

Paula with her boys, Jacorian and Paul

Going Pink for Paula Power the Goldmann Family Official Photo from the Women's Way Breast Center Event held 10.15.10

Paula with Karla and Mady. We missed you Brit and Brad.

Mark dressed in pink for his Paula.

Michelle with her Hero.


Paula with just a few of the Mollmans (Shonna's family). Bonnie, Greg, Margo, Kyle, Shonna and Mason more would have loved to be in the photo and take part in the event however the distance didn't allow. You were there in spirit.

Paula with Renee, Christie, Brian, Canyon, Callie and Emily.

Paula with Ross and Nicole Ford.

SISTERS (Mary Jane, Paula and Karla)
Paula with Shonna, Paul and Champ (even the dog was proud to wear pink).
Paula with Champ, Jacorian and Kobe. The pups were so excited to walk and of course wear pink.
The pre-walk photo of the PAULA POWER walking group.
The post-photo PAULA POWER photo.
Yes it was a first time event for many of us. And yes it was because of Paula that brought us there, but each of us changed a little that evening. Each of us grew from that evening. Each of us realized that life is precious whether someone is battling cancer, morning a loved one or just simply everyday living life is meant to be lived each day as a gift. Here is to HOPE for a CURE. Not just to breast cancer but to all cancer.

Since June.

Mom went from having nothing pink in her closet to having too much to chose from.
Our black lab, Kobe has become very protective of Mom, barking and not wanting anyone to come close to her on his watch.
We know how to speak in medical terms (fyi this doesn't fully mean we know what we are talking about).
We now look at the calendar in terms of how many chemo treatments are left.
We have felt the compassion support and love from people close far and half ways around the world.
We have found ourselves wrapped in warmth by such caring people while we walk in this unknown darkness.
Found out that Mom can sleep just about anywhere if she has a blanket and pillows (the boat, the camper, the car...just because she's sick doesn't mean she has to miss out.)
We now have excuses if we get pulled over for speeding ---but she has cancer... however this doens't work if she's not in the car with you.
We have a fridge that is never empty because of food constantly being dropped off.
Paula has gained control of the remote over Mark... this doesn't happen.
Thou she's sick with a fever my father still claims she can sit in a tree stand.
Three kids shaved their heads to lead their mother into the darkness in hopes their bald heads will reflect light to guide the way.
We no longer wait to live.
We take part in cancer walks events and runs (and have shirts that say Paula Power)
We cherish simple everyday moments we have with this lady we call Mom and Paula.
Paula has been told the meaning she has given to so many - some in this life never hear such things first hand.
We look forward to chemo treatments because its a social time to visit chat and laugh.
We have met such people like Dr. Addo, Stacey and the rest of the staff at Phoenix Mind and Body and not just think of them as friends but as family.
Paula and Mark have connected back in touch with friends and family.
We have learned to see the gift in today and not wait to say and do til tomorrow.
We have found ourselves walking in the darkness of the unknown but realize just how much life means now in this moment. We live with our soul now. We know the beautiful life holds especially in the darkness.

Most of all thru all the unknowns we wouldn't wish for a do over or a different path. We are growing and becoming as people and as a family. There's a meaning to this journey. There's a reason. And I believe its because since June (Paula) my mother has never been more beautiful and stronger. Since June life didn't seem like we were truly living it... Since June have found we finally have started.

King of Anything.

I have never been one for saying things should be done this way or that. I firmly believe we are all different therefore live different, think different and feel different. I don't believe that there is a certain way of doing things just your way of doing them. We all have a custom way of thinking and dealing with life. It is easy from the outside looking in to say you should do this or that was so not the right thing to do. Only one person can read your mind and know what your heart wants... That person is YOU. So drown out the noise and listen to the voice that counts. Don't be forced into thinking doing or feeling for anyone BUT YOU. Don't feel corner into thinking that you are wrong for thoughts feelings or actions. Don't be second guessing yourself because so and so told you this or that. I love the saying listen to the one that matters... The one meaning you. People love to put in their two cents... Let them, there's nothing wrong with that however don't let their voice their thoughts their action become yours. Live your own life. You might make a few wrong choices but you will accept them because you made them. For I know that the right decisions will out weigh the wrong ones.

Music always has a way of speaking to me, saying the things I just can't find the words to express... There is a song out there right now that speaks my true feelings when I am told by others on what to do, feel and think...

King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
"keep drinking coffee, stare me down across the table, while I look outside.
so many things I'd say if only I were able, but I just keep quiet and count the cars that pass by.
You've got opinions, man we're all entitled to 'em...but I never asked.
So let methan you for your time and try not to waste any more of mine, get out of here fast.
I hate to break it to you babe, I'm not drowning here... There's no on here to save...
Who cares if you disagree? YOU ARE NOT ME. Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be, who died and made you king of anything?
You sound so innocent, all full of good intent, swear you know best.
But you expect me to jump onboard with you -ride off into your delusional sunset.
I'm not the one who's lost with no direction, oh but you'll never see.
You're so busy making masks with my name on it in all caps.
You've got the talking down... JUST NOT THE LISTENING. (repeat chorus)
All my life I've tried to make everybody happy while I just hurt and hide.
Waiting for someone to tell me it's my turn - to decide.... (repeat chorus x2)

Its a Total Michelle song because if you haven't figured by now I test the limits on what is supposely called normal. And when people start talking like they know what is best for ME (thou if comes from the right spot with good meaning) I think of this song and I find myself biting my tongue not to say the last line in the song... "Let me hold your crown, babe!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You will always be, right there in my heart.

There's certain dates that will always come to mind, for they hold meaning beyond words. Some days are happy ones to remember births weddings and so on. However there also those of deaths and sorrow. I have come to realize thou that when such dates come I think of the day as a celebration of their life not one of sorrow. Oct. 20 was the day that Granny, left this journey for another. She was an amazing lady, and no matter how much I tell you or what I tell you it will never do justices and it will never be enough. She was my first best friend. She was a mother to me. She was a playmate, a story teller, a chef - a baker, a kind and gentle soul. She was my biggest fan. She was the one who always wrote letter after letter to me. She was the one that was never too busy to hear about my day. She was the one who was so happy to just sit and have a cup of tea. I miss her but know the gift it is to have all those years with her. To have all those memories with her. She brought color to my world. My childhood was filled with so many great memories because I was simply blessed to call her Granny. I hope where ever you are that you know how much I love you, Granny. I so very wish I could sit and talk. But know that my time spent here without you is meant to be lived to its very fullest so I will do just that for you. In your honor I will enjoy this cup of hot tea and think of all the memories that I lock forever away in my heart of you. For I know I will always keep you right there, in my heart.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just Live

Funny how things have a way of changing when your not looking or paying attention. Sometimes life can lead you into the dark unknown and you feel like it will never reach light again. Sometimes it feels like the heavyness you carry will never lift. Sometimes it feels like you will never smile or laugh again. Sometimes it feels like the sorrow has taken so much room in your soul you won't have room for happiness. What I have found that if you just live in the moment and not worry about when the change will happen life finds a way to do it when your not looking. All you can do is take what life has given you and make the best of it no matter what that might be.

There are so many wonders, questions and worries in this world. Will I get married, will I have a baby, will I have a family, will the house be approved, will I get this job, will we move here or there, will I pass this exam, will the retirement fund be big enoug, will it be brown or black, will I fit into this, will he graduate, will she will I find my way, will so and so be alright, will she die, will we have enough money for a vacation this year, will I have the gene that carries this, will I ... will we... will he... will she... The wonders, questions and worries can consume you, can take over your thoughts and mind. So I choose to just live, and let what happens - happens. I choose to focus on this moment now and let the rest work itself out. What will be will be, all you can do is just live.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He's the guy...

He's the guy that keeps us on our toes. He's the guy that is always making us laugh and smile. He's the guy that loves fall because it brings hunting. He's the guy that loves to spend his summer days fishing. He's the guy that is in heaven when his family are all packed into the Griz. He's the guy who is rocking out to Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. He's the guy that loves his crown and waters. He's a guy who spends way too much time at Scheels. He's the guy that would give the shirt right off his back from his family. He's a guy that is madly in love with my mother. He's the guy that can't sit still. He's the guy that makes everything so simple in this life. He's the guy that has more wisdom than humor believe it or not. He's the guy that makes our family complete. He's the guy who's birthday is today. He's the guy who we call Dad. Happy Birthday Daddi-o. Oh how blessed we are to have you in our lives. We love you, ya big goon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Really Lived.

One of the best movies I have ever seen was on the other night, Secondhand Lions... a movie that most have never seen or even care to see. But oh what a flick it is, filled with lots of laughs and a line at the end that makes the entire movie to me..."So these two men from your grandfather's stories, they really lived?... Yeah they really lived..."

To me thats what this life is all about... Really living... so when you get to the end of this life's journey someone will hopefully say she really lived. To me if I can live my life in such a matter and have that be the thing people talk about when I am gone I have done more than a couple of things right in this life. I know I am not going to strike oil or become big and famous BUT I know I will fill each moment of my life with smiles and laughter. I will always search for the unseen, I will always challenge myself to grow and to become. I will always push this life that I am living to its limits, I will reach pass the boundaries that it sets. I will be a little crazy, be a little wild. I will take the no shortcuts in this life. I won't back down from life's fears or sorrows. I will experience every single square foot this life has to offer. It won't matter to me if people call me a nomad or whatever else might come to mind. For I have a mission... I am going to really live this life. I challenge you to do the same. Stop worrying or stressing over things that don't truly matter, instead of being engulfed with work(thou we all have to work it doesn't have to be your life) be consumed by the people in your life. You only get this moment once... Once you have left this earth will they say... YEAH she/he really lived.

Monday, October 11, 2010

missing you, Granny

Tomorrow it would be your birthday. Oh how I miss you. What I would give to see a letter in my mailbox from you or have a hot cup of tea and just talk about life or nothing at all. What I would give you see you clap your hands and open your arms to wrap me in one of your hugs. What I would give to see you at the back steps waving me goodbye. What I would give to see that huge beautiful smile come across your face when I walk into the house. What I would give to hear that soft gently English voice speaking words of wisdom. What I would give just to spend the day with you. I hope you are enjoying your paradise, I look forward to seeing you again. Love You Granny, Happy (early) Birthday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There's a reason.

"This isn't what I want, but I'll take the high road. Maybe it's because I look at everything as a lesson, or I don't want to walk around angry. Or maybe it's because I finally understand. There are things we don't want to happen, but have to except; things we don't want to know, but have to learn, and people we can't live without, but have to let go."

We have no true say over the outcome of this life or the lessons-struggles-challenges and trials we have to go thru. Nor do we know the joys happiness and love it holds. We don't know what we have to face to grow and to become. We don't know what it will cost us to see what we have gained. We don't know our limits until we test our reach. We don't know our strength until we know our true weakness. The ride of life can be a scary rollarcoaster. We can find ourselves holding on with every ounce of our being and then throwing our hands up and loving every minute of the ride - screaming our heads off in terror one minute and the next with excitement. Sometimes we want to go again and again while other times we can't wait for the ride to end. Whatever ride we are on in this moment we endure. We carry on. For if I truly believe in anything in this life its that everything happens for a reason even if that reason takes a lifetime to understand. There's a reason. NO matter how long it takes to know this reason no matter if we find ourselves in the sunshine of happiness or the darkness of the unknown we must grasp this life right now and live it with every part of our being. For we are growing and becoming and that's truly what our lives are all about.

Monday, September 27, 2010

You matter. You count

"If anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindess and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will be the same again."

You see you do matter. Your being counts. Your life effects those that are around you now and those that have been. Whether its minor or major your actions your words effect the people around you and thus also effects the entire world. So how are your actions and words effecting the lives around you and the world? Make it a point to make sure its positive. Make sure you are bettering this world and the lives that live this world. Remember you do matter. Your being does count.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Sundays.

To me there's nothing better than a perfect fall day. When the temps are just right with an add breeze. Nothing like a fall day in Septemeber if you ask me, watching the football games with the windows open and feeling the sun shining in. Its one of my favs. Ranking just up there with summer thunder storms and spring rain showers. I was in awww of mother nature today. Grateful for her to grant us such a day to enjoy. And sometimes when life gets to be life. OR just almost too much to bare its these simple days we find ourselves living makes all the differnce. May we be granted another perfect fall Sunday next week. And an added bonus the Cowboys won. GO BOYS!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Looking great at 50

So Janelle turned 50 on the 22nd. I have been slacking at this blog thing alot this fall. And I should have posted this blog two days ago but life is well life. SO I will post it to day.

Just wanted to give Janelle a birthday shout out. Remember age is just a number and I believe your best days still await you. Your life has been quite a journey spent mostly climbing up hill getting knocked down but yet you carried on. You are an example of truly living and dancing in the rain. You don't wait for sunny days to find happiness you find it along the way in each moment of your life. You are teaching us by just simply living your life. You are strong. beautiful. sassy. hip. kind of a twit. thoughtful. kind. understanding. Someone you carries and believes in her faith. You make us laugh. You hold our hands. You dry our tears. You are constant when needed and even when not. You are better today than you were ten years ago. You are more beautiful than you were ten years ago... trust me I have seen the pictures and just remember myself. :)

So keep on living. Keep on smiling. Keep on shining. May your next 50 years be walking down the mountains you have climbed in these last 50. May you enjoy the view. enjoy the ride. enjoy the company that surrounds you. And remember near or far you are never alone in this life. LOVE YOU and HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Breathe

Life at times can be almost too real. too overwhelming. too much to bare. too much to take. So I remind myself to inhale exhale. inhale exhale. JUST BREATHE. Because thou it can be to hard to face this thing we call life. It can also be filled with moments you feel you heart could burst with excitement, happiness and love. Where you find yourself with a gut ache from the laughter and sore muscles from smiling. So when life just gets to be too much... breathe. And know this won't last forever no matter how hard it is or seems. It won't last forever. Like the old saying goes... Tis too shall pass.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Forgive

"Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat.... Forgviness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind or behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from jugdement, but without true change, no real relationshp can be established.... Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation...Forgiveness does not excuseanything... You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness." - William P. Young. (The Shack) Forgiving someone can be a task. Truly forgiving them takes alot of thinking and will power. Because forgiving someone you can't just half do - its an all or nothing sort of thing. You can't half forgive someone nor can they half forgive you. So you have to decide and follow through on your decision. If you are in no shape to forgive someone don't. Don't speak words that are untrue only to have to go back and say you didn't mean them. Decide to forgive someone and forgive - move forward from that day. Don't hold a gruge. Let it go. Be free and free that person who did wrong. But do this only when you are ready and can't fully commit to this, its an all or nothing sort of thing. "Sometimes honstly can be incredibly messy." Being honest, is well hard sometimes. Because often we are telling someone something they don't want to hear or have a hard time hearing. Many people take the offensive action. "I don't need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish, it's my joy to cure." If you feel hurt and the need to punish think of the quote above.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bridge

Today is my friend Bridget's birthday. I met Bridge my sophmore year at NDSU, and we became fast friends as we spent our years as Bison together as well as taking many of the same classes in the Teaching Education Department. She is a life long member of my Knitting Circle of Friends, she's what I call a journey friend...for I know she will be in my life years and years from now. You know how it is... just some stick around forever.

To help celebrate her day I thought what better gift than to hear just how amazing and special you are on your birthday. It would be easy to say that I know many, and I would prolli have to agree. However, thou I know many I don't speak words as such as these prudenly. Not just everyone has penetrated the walls of my inner soul to become one of my journey friends. I save that title for a select few, Bridge you are surely one.

At first glance you will be knocked out by her beauty. Some words like Malibu Barbie just may pop in your mind. She is in fact flawless on her looks. It would be easy to call her a Barbie Doll however if you took the time to know her or even just talk to her you would find that her inner beauty is even more beautiful than the blonde bombshell your eye first meets. She can be sassy, hip with fashion and speak her mind. She may tell you that shirt just isn't you or you need a breath mint. These are just a few traits of her... being her. Her strongest traits however is her gentle. kind. giving. loving soul. She is someone who gives of her time. She is someone who will wrap you in her warmth when you are having one of those days. She is someone that loves with every breath of her being. She is someone who will make you laugh til you cry. She is someone that carries that at home feeling with her because she makes everyone so comfortable being around her. She is someone that truly cares for you as a person. as one of her friends. She is someone that loves her little boy as well as the two children she now considers her own. Being a mom to Will, Tommy and Syd comes so natural to her. She loves with both roots and wings. Meaning she allows her children to grow and become with her love. She doesn't ground them with rules or laws. Such moms are rare to find. She is a gal that would rather have a budlight than a fancy drink. She is a gal that would rather have a backyard BBQ than a five star restaurant. She can rock a ball gown on a friday night as much as holey jeans and a paint covered shirt on sunday afternoon. So much a small town girl at heart (even thou she's always been a city girl) that loves the simple things in life. She is a woman that knows what matters. Her children. Her love(Dan the Man). Her family. Her friends. Her faith in life. She may not always agree with what she has been handed but she makes the best of it. She gets knocked down but always gets up and tries again. She is an example. a role model without a clue that she is. I know my life changed when she became apart of it. For in many ways she made me grow. I am grateful for the memories she has shared with me. The laughter. The smiles. The tears.

Happy birthday to my journey friend, Bridge. I hope its a great day. I wish more than anything that today you realize the gift you are to OOOh soo many each and everyday. Oh and by the way thou I have done many weddings... you are still one of my favorite brides as well as favorite weddings I have been honored to capture.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blink of an eye

Blink of an eye... a saying that holds some much life meaning. Yet you don't realize just how powerful it really is until you find yourself in a moment where you say my life changed in the blink of an eye.

How often do we go about our lives in a routine. We are use to doing this and then this... going here going there. Seeing so and so and then seeing someone else. We get use to life being well life. And we don't mean too but often find that we take for granted life and esp the people that are in it. Tomorrow is promised to no one yet we talk everyday like its a for sure thing. The truth is tomorrow just might not happen for you or for me or for so and so. When was the last time you called up the people in your life and told them the meaning they have brought to your life. When was the last time you made time out of your day for someone you love just to let them know how much you love them. We are busy. We have work. We have a to do list. We have a house to clean-supper to cook and child to raise. But if you stopped for one moment and thought about it...in the end it all doesn't matter. It all comes back to the people in our lives and the love we have for those people. Today...TODAY they are here. Today they are smiling laughing breathing and living...TODAY... and tomorrow well they just might not be. And usually we only discover such a life secret once its too late. Once that person is gone. The person we thought would always be there tomorrow. So don't wait til tomorrow what can be done today. Don't wait to see your life change in a BLINK of an EYE.

***My thoughts and prayers are with Jamie and Tom Petrie and their family...esp Grandpa Bob. I pray that you are granted the time to just be with Bob and fill his moments with lots of love.***

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Time

Sometimes the best moments and best memories are made by doing simple everyday things. For us we can escape to Paradise and its only minutes away. We put on our swimwear, some spf and pack a cooler and head out the door. We fish. We chat. We laugh. We tell stories and jokes. We make memories. We just hang as a family. We burn a little with too much sun. We take a few photos and just sit and relax. Its the way life is suppose to be.

Its easy to forget about life when you are floating on a boat in the middle of the water on a calm summer sunny day. Your troubles worries and stresses don't know how to swim so they are forced to stay ashore. I hope you are able to find such moments in your life. Today I am wishing you simple moments in your life that you can relax. enjoy. smile. and find yourself at peace.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

a new chapter

They always say you will remember when you reach a point in your life where you know it will all change. That life will never be the same as it once was. That the person who you once were is now gone and thou parts remain a new part of you forms. They say things sometimes have to fall apart to fall back together right. They say you aren't given more than you can carry. They say the strong will carry on. They say some have to be slapped across the face to wake up to see what life is really all about. They say that some have to struggle and suffer for others to learn life lessons around them. They say alot of things. And I agree with it all. But I have something also to add... Its just a new chapter of the book of life if you ask me.

My new chapter began when Cancer became apart of my family. You find yourself all around people who's story is changed by this deadly killer. But until it becomes your story you just don't realize how precious life is. You don't realize all that comes along in its carry-on... the worries, the wonders of what will be and the list goes on. Or sometimes you find yourself living this life that seems like its yours but its not. But thats just because it takes awhile to adjust to realize this is reality now. So what do you do when you find yourself in a new chapter...that you don't want to be in... You keep on living. You keep on loving. You keep on believing. You keep on hoping and keeping the faith. You keep on walking and climbing without knowing where you are going. You keep on laughing. You keep on smiling. YOU just KEEP ON. What I found to be the most touching and yet overwhelming feeling is that yes we all find ourselves walking in the dark unknown but never did I think we would find so many in that dark unknown walking with us. Its these amazing people that hold in their hands the candle of hope that will lead us into the light once again. And it will be then a new chapter will start once again. Thou now we don't know where this journey will take us we trust it will lead us just where we need to be.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Living this Life.

We all find ourselves wrapped in life. We get in our daily lives and sometimes it seems like there is a bubble protecting us from the real world. So we go about our lives trying to make sure that bubble doesn't pop. But what we don't realize just how easy it can happen and how fast it can happen. Life can slap us across the face at any moment and awaken us to its reality that usually comes in the form of change. And often this such of a change is not one we like to embrace or even show the smallest signs of welcoming it into our lives.

Life can change in the blink of an eye and open our lives up to a new reality. a new life. a new journey. Sometimes we plan for such things. Sometimes we welcome them with heavy feet that don't want to start the new walk but slowly we take the steps and soon embrace the new reality of life. And then sometimes we hide from life's reality and beg for it to not be. Whatever they be we carry on. We trust in life's journey. We trust that it sees things that we can't. We trust there is a plan and a meaning that if we embark on such a journey we will one day find it and truly understand. But for the mean time we take it moment by moment. Then day by day. Until what was once not our reality becomes our life.

We are truly amazing beings the things we can adapt to. The things we can overcome. The way we can live this life and the way we can carry on. Because the truth is if we don't life will be a waste. And who knows maybe the new reality that we don't want to face and accept just might be better than the one we are living in right now. Change is funny like that... how its so hard to embrace at first but then there comes a day where the change is just a part of you almost like that was the way it always has been. So ya life can change in the blink of an eye but maybe just maybe it will open up a whole new world we never knew was even out there or even possible to live in... I guess thats what we find out along the journey... I guess thats what we find out by living this life.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

LG

Today I wish you millions of simple moments of happiness. I wish that the glass of life is always half full. I wish you countless smiles and endless laughter. I wish you a life journey that takes you thru the ups and downs - happiness and sorrow - darkness and light so that you find yourself truly living each and every part there is to this life. I wish that you find yourself surrounded by supportive - down to earth people that will show you understanding and compassion during your life trials as well as celebrate along with you in your successes and happiness. I wish you a heart that is filled with love from others and for others. I wish you many more running miles on those stick legs of yours. I wish you life moments that will help you to learn to grow and to become the person that you now are and still will become. I wish that you find the beauty that surrounds you....ALWAYS. That you can see this beauty as much out your back and front door as you would in the places that you travel to see. I wish you a simple life that is filled with moments that you never would even dream of having or living.

Today I hope you trust your journey in this life. I hope you realize that you being just you is and always will be enough. I hope you find reasons everyday to LOVEthisLIFE... not just in moments of sunshine and happiness but in darkness and sorrow as well. I hope one day you will know the greatness that lies in your soul. I hope one day you will know of the difference and meaning you have brought to so many lives. I hope one day you will know just how loved and cared about you are.

Today we celebrate you, Lindsey Graham. Know there truly aren't words to fully speak my thoughts about you my friend. "Thoughts too deep for words." Sums it all up. All I can say is that I am grateful. I am thankful. I am blessed. I am lucky... to call you my friend.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

just watch me...

Sometimes I think of all the things I want to do. see. feel. experience. I think of the journeys I want to travel on. The person I want to grow into and become. I think of all the places I want my eyes to taken in. Of all the things I want to capture behind the lens of my nikon. I think of all the people I will someday meet and of all the people in my life that I want to see and spend time with.

It can get a tad bit overwhelming - thoughts of not being able to do this or that drive me completely crazy! And I will not allow such a thing like you can't do this or that cross my mind. And being told such things is surely a fast way to upset me. Instead to get by I think of the things that I will get to... In this life and the rest will just have to wait for the life to come. But don't think I won't try to do any many of those to do's that I want to do see feel and experience.

I am always on the go even when I am taking it easy I never fully just stop the truth is I find no relaxation in doing nothing. And if anything doing such a simple task actually is one of the few things that sparks stress in my life. So I run around with my head cut off tryin to do this see that meet up with so and so write this blog take this photo edit that one plan this dream of that drive here go to work clean organize and clean again call text laundry ski ski ski ski make a call to those I love and then think of all of the other things I need and want to do.

Its in my blood to never stand still. And if I reach the end of my days before the end of my to do's it will be okay. Because I will know I didn't waste a single moment. I packed as much as one ever possibly could in this life. I didn't limit myself to this or that I simply just did what I could do and not let such words as can't won't don't cross my mind or block my path. I am here to live! And trust me I will spend all my days on this earth living this life to the very depths of my being. Trust me when I say I will live my motto fully and completely... I will LOVEthisLIFE... Just watch me

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

to my Alaskan friend

I will never forget my thoughts when I heard she was moving to Alaska. Most everyone thought she was crazy and the rest didn't want her to go. I thought wow good for you - DO it!! Why not!!? Well that and minus the comment I made about moving cross country for a boy.

Whatever it took for you to make the move and now be in Alaska I am grateful for! You say you don't like change this may be true but you don't realize just how truly amazing you are at adjusting carrying on and living. You don't truly see your very own strength and just how strong you are. You are grounded in who you are and you know who you are yet you look right pass the greatness that lies in you.

Change is never something humans fully embrace no matter what kind of change it may be... Whether it be minor or major heartwrecking or the top shelf change we wish would always come our way. We look at it and say why! Well because no matter what change is in our path it forces us outside our comfort zone. It forces us to think live and simply be different than weare use to. But what we don't see is that with every change we learn alittle grow alittle and become alittle more. And what we once thought was our comfort zone just got a tad bit bigger... Until the next change comes along and repeats this action of events... Its never ending!

All I can say is now look back at the small comfort zone you once had soo very long ago... Back in the days you were just getting to know who you are. Back in the days of being a Miner. Thinking of all that has happened and all you have done to get you to where you are now. You my friend have always pushed yourself beyond what you thought were your limits. You challenged and pushed yourself to live outside your comfort zone. Moving to Alaska is case in point. Having friends like you in my life are a constant reminder to me that I am capable of living beyond the limits I see before me. You inspire me to soar in this life.

Thank you my Alaskan friend, for breathin the fresh nature air into my life and helping me realize there's soo much to this life to do see think and feel --- and most of the great stuff is found --- outside my comfort zone --- and in the result of change that never wanted to be fully embraced in the first place! That's usually how life goes. So trust your journey! Trust life... Its plans for you are even better than what you had in mind... And in order for you to get there you have to let go and yes my friend... Embrace change! I can only imagine what it has in store for you to come!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jack's Day

Today, 25 years ago my baby brother was born. With him my dreams of having my own real life baby came true... Until those crashing dreams came down when you was too chubby for me to hold and then when he became strong enough to over come me and not do what I wanted him to do. But I was a happy girl for the first 2 months of his life!

After that it was a love-hate relationship with the kid I call brother for most of my life. The best friend and worse enemy wrapped in one. My protector and the one I sparked a redheaded temper that turned my protector on me. Whether I love him or hate him... He is constant and always there. And I realize just how blessed I am to have such a punk as my brother.

Happy 25th Birthday Brother, Jac.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sky Angel Cowboy

www.youtube.com/watch?v=juEACGmrXC8

A 13 yr old with knowledge way beyond his years. We do have a purpose in this life as well as a purpose when we die. We just sometimes don't see it from the right eyes or choose to see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Need

"Half of the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need... I live more simply now and with more peace." -Richard Byrd

Wants are all around us. Everywhere we turn. Things. Places. People that make us want and want more. Our eyes focus and see the wants but pass over the need. I have come to know that when you down size and live simple just how simple life seems to become. I find that when I accept people for their faults and mistakes they hardly ever let me down. When I listen instead of speak the wisdom I tend to gain. When I understand life becomes less complicated. When I forgive I am able to breathe just a bit more easily. When I just BE I find an equal ground with life. Sometimes we want too much. And we don't realize that all we need is truly all we need in this life. For wanting is always followed by stresses and worries.

"To understand all is to forgive all." -Anne Louise Germaine de Stael

"They understand but little who understand only what can be explained." -Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Monday, April 12, 2010

A place to stay

I often find myself surrounded by new faces. I find these amazing people just walking into my life like as if they have always been in my life or as if they had always had planned on walking into my life. These people who start out as strangers just find ways to make me smile and laugh. They find ways to make it feel as if I have had known them all along.

I found such people working and living in Whitefish. And I realize just how amazing it is to find such people by the chance of a little luck. My everyday is filled with simple happiness because I find myself surrounded by good honest and kind people. Who can laugh and smile. Who love living as much as I do and are just happy to be. So tonight I thank those that started out as strangers in my life who I know call a friend.

Esp to my Whitefish friends who have helped this amazing place turn into more that just a town but my home. You are my reasons for always wanting to stay. You have helped me feel like I belong here and need to be here. My life is more because of you. Whitefish is more because of you!! Thank you Kali. Emily. Stacy. Nikki. Marti. Allison. Karen. Erin. Denise. Katie. Hannah. Lori. If it weren't for you this would just be like any other pretty place in the world. It is you that gives this place meaning. It is you that makes it feel like a home and a place you want to stay!!... FOREVER

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Being...

"The Life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt." --Frederick Buechner

I pray that my touch has done more good than ill. I pray that I learn from the ill I have caused. I pray for forgiveness in these people's lives. I pray that I am not less of the person I believe I am thou I struggle, fail, fall, hurt, and make mistakes. I hope that its through these trials and hardships and the ill that I cause brings me the lessons and growth to become more. I often don't think of all the good I have caused or been apart. I am blessed during those times and grateful for having them but the moments that I truly think back on are those that lessons were given. Where growth must occur to overcome. Where forgiveness must be granted to let go.

We are human so we aren't perfect. Our main purpose is to live and learn. Through love. friendship. career. and just plain life. And I feel that being a good person is who we are when all the chips are down. When all the eyes have turned and aren't focused on you. Who are you when it counts? Who are you when the only eyes that are there are yours? Would you befriend yourself.

I don't know of the true affect my life has on another whether it be for good or ill. I don't know the meaning and weight my life has on another life. But I can forgive when I have been hurt. I can understand when I don't agree. I can listen when I don't know what to say. I can embrace and open up my heart when I have cried and lost. I can find laughter and smiles where they long ago faded. I can love and live in this moment then think of the hurt of yesterday. I can stay instead of leave. I can believe rather than give up. I have no control of others thougths or actions but I can be the friend I would want to have when I mess up. when I hurt. when I disappoint. when I fail and fall. when I struggle. And maybe just maybe thats what trying to be a good person is all about.

Its about finding away to rise above the ill that you have done or that has been done to you and say hey we are human we make mistakes. To find ways to love. give. understand. support. encourage. listen. forgive. Not just when its easy but when its hard. To see with eyes that see the person you truly know and love that person in times when that person is less than the person we know they are... Whether that person is a family member. a friend. a co-worker. OR ourselves. To love that person when it isn't easy. To forgive that person when they have touched your life with ill. I have hurt others and sometimes I have found that that hurt in the end touched my life deeper then theirs. For sometimes its our own forgiveness and love that is the hardest to be felt and known. Sometimes being a good person is forgiving ourselves. Letting ourselves off the hook(only sometimes). And loving ourselves knowing we aren't perfect, knowing we are learning just like everyone else in this world. Sometimes being a good person is being the friend to ourselves that we are to others. And most of the time being a good person is just being... Trusting that just being you is enough... and all you need to be. All they need you to be.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful End

BEAUTIFUL END by J.R. Richards

Fate... We say goodbye on this day... A Potter's field angel lay... The sunlight fills from your grace... And so much love gives this place... The feel of warmth inside... I hear the words of your life... An angel gone... Move on...

It's a beautiful end to a beautiful life... A beautiful night to a beautiful day... It's a beautiful end to a beautiful life... A beautiful soul gone this day...

The flame... A candle burns in your stead... Roses line white and red... You rose up high above when we felt.. A strength pass through us then... Your body felt your bones... But not the love of your soul... Your love goes on and on.

Surrender, rest here Angel rest... Make us strong, and calm all the oceans.

It's a beautiful end to a beautiful life... A beautiful night to a beautiful day... November said goodbye... Rest Angel rest... Rest Angel rest...

A song that speaks to me and carries more meaning that I truly know. I hope one day it will be played for me. When I hear this song I am for a loss of words. For like music always does for me and to me... It speaks the words of my soul....

Two worlds

"You can kiss your family and friends goodbye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you." - Frederick Buechner -Telling the Truth (also from the book The Shack)

Did you ever stop and realize just how true this really is! Just how dead on this guy was and still is! We all find ourselves living our own lives. Some surrounded by all they know others off by themselves. But the truth is we all take a little of each other no matter where we are! Most days we do this without even knowing!! That's the beauty of love! Of touching someone's life and soul... Long after we are gone we still remain. We still are carried on.

I think of the lives that I am just away from. And I think of the lives I can no longer see in this life..but each are with me each and every moment of my life. For I know this much is true paths that cross will cross again! But until then they live in me. They are carried in my heart. My mind. My being. My stomach. Oh the beauty of love and friendship and the mighty impact it has and the imprint it leaves once you touch a life.

My goal in this life is to have so many imprints on my life you can't truly tell where one ends and the other begins. My goal is to have the world that lives within me just as important as the world that I surrounds me. Making one fold into the other and bringing the very best of both those worlds to the very best of who I can and will be!

Two worlds. That constantly remind me its not just about me! About what I can get. About what I want! But about what I can do and what I can give to better off not just one of those worlds but both of those worlds!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Waitin...

We all do it. We think of what our real life will be someday. What it will be like when it really starts. After college. When we have the job. When we have the future life we dreamed of having... What we don't realize often is...

While we are waiting for our real life to begin..we are missing out on our real life right now... We just have to be here NOW. We must live in this moment. Stop waiting for a future moment or a future day. We need to stop wanting to fast forward because we will never have a rewind or a replay of this time now.

I don't have the answers. I don't even come half way close to knowing it all. I am just a girl living her life on her terms. I am making mistakes. I am failing and falling. I am getting up and trying again. I am learning and growing. The best I can and doing my best to just be still and to live in this moment. I am trying not to wait for this real life to begin when I know it has already started.

Whether my now moments be flying high on life's rollarcoaster or being crashed down by life's waves. I refuse to not grab hold of these moments right now and live them for what they are worth. I refuse to let my life pass me by. I refuse to wait for my real life to begin. Above all I will take my path in this life. I will hold my life's reins and trust in my journey.

We have three options in moments of life...ONE to stand still- WAIT and do nothing. TWO to follow another's path. THREE to chose your own path. To take life in your hands. To not wait... What will you chose to do?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MY Easter Blessing

First thing is first...Happy Easter one and all.

I am surrounded by God's blessings and gifts everyday. In every moment of my being I see and feel these very things. In the lives that know me love me and care for me. In the lives that are right before me - in the lives that are far away and in the lives I no longer see. Sometimes the moment gets to me and I am left speechless. I find myself in such a way when I am with my family a lot. Everyone's family is sacred to a person's life. Mine is no different. They support me. Encourage me. Care for me. Love me for no other reason than I am Michelle. I am their daughter. Sister. Grand-daughter. Niece. Cousin. Godchild. Godmother. I am family. And I love them for the same reason. What a blessing that is. What a gift to have not just one's love in such a way but an entire group of beings. Who stand by you. Who have your back. Who share in your laughter. Your smiles. Your tears. Your heartache. Your life. I knew at a young age of the blessing I was given in my family.

Yet as the years go by I realize just how much they are each a part of my being. My life. And I find myself watching them (not stalker like) hearing their voices seeing their smiles and faces. I am over-comed with pride and love that they are my family. They are in my life. And they are stuck with me just as I am stuck with them.

So thank you for the blessing of Family. And the gift of each one whether they are a Goldmann or a Koch. My cousin or my uncle. My mom or my brother. My aunt or my grandparent. My sister-in-law or my dad. I am thankful and grateful not just on this Easter day but everyday of my life.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Sometimes I often wonder of the world to come. Of what it will be. Will it be like living like a Care-bear up in the puffy white clouds? Will it be choosin an animal to be so I can soar like an eagle swim like a sea turtle roar like a tiger? Will I get to choose a whole new look but yet everyone will know its me? Will it be a life filled with others or just a life lived in my own paradise?

They say somewhere over the rainbow...and I believe that is where heaven is found. And all things are possible there. And everday is like a saturday where you have no rush to go or place to be. You are always surrounded by peace and fulfillment of happiness-success and love. Its our best days in this life lived everday in the life to come. There are tears but only tears of pride - joy and love. There's laughter and smiles.

Somewhere over the Rainbow... Way up high...There's a land I heard of once in a lullabye...Skie are blue, and dreams that you dare to dream... Really do come true...Someday I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far....Behind me...Where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops...That's where you'll find me...Bluebirds fly...Birds fly over the rainbow... Somewhere over the Rainbow... That's where you will find me...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Too Much

Every once in awhile I will get wrapped up in life. I find myself short of breath when I think of the future that lies before me. The choices I have to make the places I want to go the people I want to see the things I want to do. And suddenly I feel like there's not enough time. Suddenly I find myself rattled with the fact that I can't do it all. Which drives me nuts. Life can be overwhelming can't it... And this is coming from a single gal living life in the mountains so I can't even imagine what its like to be someone who is a mother of three or a business woman working 60 hour weeks. Or in that case a college student a high school student. It seems like life's pressures escape no one. Matter what age what they are doing or where they are at. Even the simplest of people find themselves with such moments in their lives.

So what do we do... When life gets to be too much. When we find ourselves stressed. When we are surrounded by chaos. When we are overwelmed and simply don't know what to do... I had someone ask me what to do to handle stress. And the truth is there really isn't a how to guide that is perfect. The truth is we each have to handle life's pressures in our own way.

But what I do is take a deep breath. I inhale and exhale and just focus on my breathing. And I remind myself I can handle this. I was given this life because I am capable and strong enough to live it. That even though I feel lost or over my head I was given this to rise above. To learn and grow. And I think back to all those moments where I thought I never would overcome. Never succeed. Never finish... And remember that I did!

But what I find we all need is an escape. A positive healthy escape in this life. Some bake or cook. Some fish or hunt. Some read or sew. Some garden or build. Some play or workout. Some its found in the company of the ones they love. It could be one single thing we do or a 1000 little things. It doesn't matter. Its just a place stress worries pressures and racing thoughts don't follow us. For me its found when I am surrounded by nature. Its found when its just me and my nikon...alone. Prolli why I always venture off by myself. I have my time with others and love it but sometimes my escape is taking in the beauty of nature in silence.

We all have to recharge the batteries. We all just have to stop thinking sometimes and that's what having an escape is all about. For I have learned that sometimes the answers to our problems are solved by simply removing ourselves away from it...most of the time we just well think too much. Stress too much. Worry too much! We are simply doing too much of the wrong thing!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PS i miss you

There's a million people in our life. They walk in and walk out. Pass in and pass thru from the moment we first take our breath in this world and I am guessing will continue til we take our last. Neighbors. Teachers. Friends. Classmates. Teammates. Coworkers. The list goes on and on. Think of all the people your life comes in touch with just on a given Monday or Thursday. Some play minor roles others major roles yet some we don't even know have passed thru.

What gives a persons life meanin to our life. And why is it some have more than others? Why is it that others we never miss never notice while others we count the days til they walk into our life again?

I have been blessed beyond my years in this life! My life has been touched by some amazing souls. I have been loved my many. Yet I trealize that havin the love of one doesn't mean it replaces the love of another. I know humans have a heart big enough to find and make room for more love in their lives. And thou I am grateful for new souls in my life it doesn't mean I don't miss the ones who no longer are there.

I am glad I don't have to pick because if it meant having one or the other I am not sure what I would do. The past vs the present vs the future. What I trust in is the fact there's a meaning and reason for people to be in your life... And the when where and how plays a role in that too. But I still miss faces I no longer see. I still miss voices I no longer hear. I still miss convos with these people I no longer see or talk too... Yet my love remains. Whether they have left this world or just have left my life... I am grateful for the time I spent with you. And I am honored to have had you in my life. PS... I miss you!