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."


"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


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.