Monday, December 31, 2012


When 2012 began I had a broken foot.  I laid on the couch for a couple months unable to care for myself, my sons, and my husband.  I tried not to wallow in self pity because of the situation.

In January I made a vision board of all the things I wanted in my life.

I attempted to stay positive and I resolved to make life better once I could start moving.  Something had to give.

And it did.

And I had no control over how it came about.

And it's been so beautiful.  My life's current transformation is absolutely mind blowing.

Some of what I have learned is:

To be aware.  I now look at everything as a learning experience.  When I am around people, I listen.  I listen to what they are saying, and how they are saying it.  I have learned so much from people recently.  I opened my ears and my eyes have opened.  Maybe not immediately, but shortly thereafter.

To forgive.  I forgave myself for the trials with my baby and not being the mom I knew I could be.  I forgave my parents for the ways I felt they wronged me.  I then forgave myself for not realizing until becoming a parent just how hard they did try.  I forgave myself for not always being there for others.  I forgave medical professionals for emotional and physical scars that are now healing.  I forgave myself for sharing too much information with people I shouldn't have and for them gossiping.  I forgive myself and others regularly now.  Forgiveness is so important.

To be at ease with myself and to trust my instincts.  That I have to answer to myself, my husband, and that's all.  I am getting rid of self doubt.  I am learning that some bonds are truly unbreakable.  And to respect those bonds with my entire being.

As I said, the personality transformations above were not forced.  I asked for and wanted positive changes.  And those are the changes that happened (are happening) to me.

Something as important as wanting positive changes in my life was to not focus on the negative.  If I was in a negative environment, I would remove myself.  If I couldn't remove myself, I would try to neutralize it by going inward.  I typically say something to myself like "Please help me to stay silent instead of say the wrong thing.  Help me understand that this may not be directed towards me but may be this person's way of venting. Give me guidance to do or say the right thing."

I think we all want to get rid of the negative habits or situations in our lives.  We want to be better people.  We want to live longer and healthier lives and find true happiness.  We don't need resolutions for this to happen.  We just need to really want it to happen.  Set the intention and become aware of opportunities presenting themselves to you.

Happy new years to you and your loved ones!  I intend to make 2013 a year of happiness, beauty, and sincerity.

Monday, December 24, 2012


I got sick last Saturday and went full speed until I cracked on Tuesday.  I told my husband he didn't have to take me anywhere for my birthday on Thursday, I just needed sleep.

Wish granted.  I fell asleep at 9 pm Wednesday and annoyingly woke up at 1:45 am.  From 1:45 am until 3 am an entry attempted to write itself in my head.  When I finally accepted that the entry was not going to let me go back to sleep, I went downstairs and wrote it.  I ended up falling back asleep from 5 am until 10:30 am.  When I woke up my throat was still kind of itchy but I felt like the 5 day sickness was over.

I was back to my chipper healthy self.  Until late last night. During a party we hosted for an out of town friend I could literally feel the same bug from the previous week take root in my throat while talking.

From Thursday morning until the itch returned last night it was obligation after obligation.  I don't know what I could have done different.  All of the obligations were fun get togethers with people I don't get to see often.  I didn't want to miss seeing some friends because I had plans to see other friends and knew I could possibly burn out.  Was there any way to foresee the thing I shouldn't have done to insult my immune system?  Honestly, it was all of them.  Even though I had great times I would trade one, or all, of those events so my attitude and personality wouldn't be compromised for the boys on Christmas morning.  Trust me, I will do my best not to be a sick and cranky butthead when we are up at the crack of dawn.

My immune system was struggling and I rewarded it with repeated exposure to the elements, late nights, early mornings, stress and tears (formal Toys r Us boycott is in the beginning stages), anxious people and situations, and crap food.  My immune system generously thanked me with a mucus filled foggy brain with a raw throat for the second time in 9 days.

You may be thinking I could be sleeping now instead of writing this, which is what I thought too.  This is happening because mama doesn't want to be up at 2 am on Christmas Eve writing.  On that note, I'm out.

P.S. Merry Christmas to all of you love bugs, I hope it is very special (and healthy).

Thursday, December 20, 2012


As I mentioned in my first insomniac post, last December 3 I broke my foot.  It was just a couple weeks before my 33rd birthday.  My birthday celebration was at our local watering hole and my insides were warm with Percocet and red wine.  It was a short lived event because the thought of putting my pretty pink cast on the public bathroom floor gave me the heeby jeebies.  Mama could handle drugs and juice but throw in balance issues and forget about it!

A lot of our friends that came to my party didn't know about my broken foot.  I'm not on Facebook and didn't think to send an email.  What for?  To make people feel obligated to reach out?  What if no one cared or responded?

One of our friends, who ironically presented me with a pedicure gift certificate, seemed genuinely confused that we wouldn't reach out to her or her husband, who my husband has been close friends with for decades.  I wrote it off as "I could have told you to let me know if you needed anything" sentiment.

Looking back, I'm glad we didn't tell her about my brokenness because I learned just how special and kind this particular duo is.  A few days after my party they delivered  Christmas gifts for the boys and a handcooked dinner.  Not just dinner, but they purposefully brought enough for a couple left over meals.  After they prepared the plates for us, they kept saying to 'simply ask if we needed anything' during the recovery to *literally* get back on my feet again.

It wasn't until I got a phone call from this girl that it all clicked.  'I'm at Safeway by your house.  Do you need anything?  I can leave it in front of your house if R isn't home.  That way you can get it the next time you go to the bathroom.'  Bam!  A real, life altering, act of kindness.  After a long day of work, she was getting groceries for her, her husband, and her 2 year old son and thought about how my family and I were doing.  She knew the house, and my spirits, were probably wrecked so she gave me the out to just leave it at the door.

She didn't post it on Facebook.  She didn't ask her husband to text me.  She offered something helpful that could be delivered immediately that only her and I would know about.  In August I told her that offer was the nicest thing anyone has done for me.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  The statement does sound crazy, especially since I couldn't verbalize at that time what I meant.  I hope this gives her a better understanding.

I was raised to believe that people only do things for others to get something in return.  And, more sobering, you can't rely on anyone but yourself because others are only concerned about themselves.  I have been retraining myself, thanks to examples from all of the many beautiful people in our lives, to believe that there is good and there are genuine caring people out there that want to help.

I now fully grasp the importance of one small act of kindness and intend to pay it forward til the day I die. Dramatic, but true.  My birthday wish (you only jinx it if you say it while blowing out the candles, right?) is that everyone do something kind today.  If you are like my girl and normally do really kind things all the time, I hope you give someone else their Aha moment today.  That's 2 wishes...say something!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Platinum hair
Crystal blue eyes
Pink soft cheeks
Red full lips
Gentle and nurturing

Curly blonde hair
Piercing hazel eyes
Chubby round cheeks
Chipped front tooth
Strong willed and impressionable

You make me feel peace.  You give me hope.  You help me believe there is good.

Your dad and I promise to protect you while you are in our grasp.
We will keep you innocent and unaware of human evils as long as possible.
When that day of sadness comes, we will do our best to make you feel safe again.
We prepare for this day now because, unfortunately, it is inevitable.

My wish for you both is to learn from each tragedy.
To learn to respect life.
All life.

Please remember to be kind and be good, my amazing and beautiful sons.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


It wasn't until I had too much human touch that I realized how important it actually is.

I will start with the 'not enough' touch phase.

The most depressed time of my life also happened to be when I had the least amount of human touch.  Ah, those terrible teenage years.  My three sisters and I had serious personal bubbles and one of our most frequent comments was 'don't touch me!'.  My dad would hold our hands as girls (he called us his little flowers, tear) but around puberty it got weird like I think it does with any dad and girl when she starts to experience experiences (hows that for vague?).  There were guys I dated but it was always very awkward and there was very little physical touch.  I think the most physical touch I had was with our family dog.

The 'too much' phase started during both boys infancy.

The seed was planted

I absolutely hated breastfeeding.  It was painful.  I couldnt produce enough milk.  It kept me tied to the house because the ginormous babies wanted to eat every 3 hours on the dot and I am not the breast feeding in public type.  When I was nursing the boys it was my body, but it wasn't mine.  It was needed for their survival (in my breastfeeding brainwashed mind).  I had no control over my bizarre and dark thoughts, my body wasn't my own, and I wasnt contributing financially to our home.  I had absolutely no ownership over any aspect in my life.

and kept growing

My husband would come home from work around 8 or 9 pm and want physical touch and I would recoil.  I'm not talking just sex.  Sitting next to me, holding my hand, scratching his back, giving me a hug.  I'm not talking regular recoil either but super offensive recoil.

and growing

Our 4 lb dog would curl up on my lap and I would promptly scoop him up and place him a couple feet away.

until it punched me in the face

I was reading the big one 'Oh the Places You'll Go' at bedtime and he cuddled up to me.  I snapped and told him to get away from me.  It was mean.  I was mean.

I needed to figure it out.  Thankfully I was able to.

Once I felt my job for the day was done I wanted the rest of the night to be just me. No movement.  No touching.  MY BODY!  I needed to own something.  As soon as I recognized what the issue was, it got easier to deal with.  It also helped immensely to think back to those no touch years and how bad they were.  

Since figuring all of this out I set a true intention to improve my closed off ways and it is working!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Beastie is a label I coined for my very special friend.  Because of our mutual love of the Beastie Boys this label seemed more befitting than the usual bestie or bff, and it is like super clever.

My girl moved out west with a boy about 13 years ago.  Since then we have both been married.  We became mothers the same year.  And we both now have 2 sons.

She bravely came across country with her boys and stayed with me for a week over the summer.  Me, her, and our 4 boys under age 4.  My husband was also here but his summer work schedule keeps him away about 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

It wasnt until the day she left that I realized just how important she is to me.

As soon as the car pulled away my eyes welled up with tears.  I'm horrible with goodbyes and cry all the time but this was way more intense.  My boys were at the door with me and I tried to keep it together long enough to put them in front of the tv.  I got in the shower and had a full blown break down.  You know the one.  When a boy breaks your heart and you are crying so hard you sound like a wounded animal.  You keel over because you cant catch your breath and feel like you are going to throw up.

After I cry my face off I start thinking how strange it is because I have never had that kind of physical and emotional response to a normal farewell before.   It's not like I will never see her again.

I tried to figure out what it was that upset me so much.

It was everything.

The immediate feeling of loneliness after her leaving was hard because I had no idea when we would see each other again, and under what circumstances.  I was saying 'see you whenever' to one of very few people that I can be my true self with.  I can say anything to her and she wont judge me or be condescending.  She knows the real me and I know the real her and they are very similar girls.  I also cried because of her patience with her sons.  To see her be so gentle and nurturing to her kids was admirable.  I'm sure I lost it on my boys a couple times and I was in my own home and on a normal sleep schedule. Doh!

I also loved the mutual excitement we shared for something as simple as a couple unexpected hours together without kids.  Seeing her relax and thoroughly enjoy a piece of cake while she got me hooked on Big Brother (really, 14 seasons and then you get me...oh, and the chocolate bars!) which took hours to watch because we kept chatting.  Real chatting, about real life.  Not reminiscing, but talking about our current lives.

We have been through so much together and have changed our lives significantly to create healthy and loving homes for ourselves and our families.  I am so proud of the wife and mother she has become.  Well, that we have become.  I am forever grateful to be able to experience and grow through all these phases of life with a genuine and inspiring friend with such a beautiful heart.

I love you, girl.  I cannot wait until February! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


My first pregnancy we didnt find out the gender.  From the start I was certain we would be a holding a baby girl named Mary Lenex.  I convinced myself it was a girl because I didnt want to be disappointed if I thought for a second it was a boy and then we ended up having a girl.

During my pregnancy I would think about her bloodline and feel guilty for passing down depression and anger.  I would wonder how could I possibly raise a well balanced girl if I couldnt even handle myself.  I was also ashamed of possibly being jealous of sharing my husband with another girl, even my own daughter.  All of those pregnancy thoughts made the idea of female offspring not just unappealing but very frightening.  

But I decided to deal with those fears head on, before she was never born.  

Delivery day came and I blurred out a lot of the delivery but do recall my husband saying 'It's a boy!  It's a boy!'.  I didnt believe it until the doctor said it.  We found out our second son was a boy at the 12 week ultrasound.  

Shortly after our decision of 'two and through', the magnitude of what I will be missing set in.  I will never get to see my amazing husband experience the father daughter bond that some families are lucky to have. I will never see him hold his baby girl's hand or play with her hair.  I will never get to be the mother of the bride.  I wont be able to bond with my own girl the way my mom and I finally bonded when my first was born.  I wont be able to pick up the phone and say I'm going to drop by and see her kids.  Not that any of these sitches were guaranteed to happen, it's just the picture I painted in my mind.  

Since becoming a mama I now know whoever we ended up with we would have grown and done our best.  As we are doing now.  

Monday, December 10, 2012


This is a site geared to providing visitors with entertaining encouragement through observing my thoughts and actions while I live my life.  I have my beliefs and will relay some of these to you but please understand these are being shared as a way for you to get to know me, not to influence or persuade you.  However, if I write something that deeply resonates with you, I hope you will be moved to pursue it.

To keep this blog pure for me all of the books, products, places, etc. that I write about will be my personal opinions and thoughts provided for you without any financial gains.  I will not advertise products or have paying sponsors for this blog.  Should I participate in speaking events, write for other websites, or write a book then I will decide if accepting cash monies seems appropriate.

The majority of my posts are positive but some of the entries will be dark and uncomfortable and I apologize in advance for making anyone feel awkward.  My promise is to be sincere and genuine to the subjects that I am compelled to write about.  This was the intention when I began this blog anonymously and remains the goal although I know some of you.  As Ive said in person a thousand times, my life is an open book.  I guess now I should say, my life is an open website. Respect and privacy for my family is very important to me so if you ever need to discuss anything written, please do so with me.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me at givefelicity(at)gmail(dot)com.  I look forward to growing even more while sharing my life with you.

PS If I ever get my act together enough to learn how to make this a functioning website this Mission Statement will have its own tab!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I have learned, through practice, over the past 8 months that all I need to make some serious changes is to start with a genuine intention.

In the book Quantum Wellness, by Kathy Freston there is a section where she asks you to envision a plate of your favorite fruits and vegetables.  Never being much of a participator in experiments like this from books, or public speakers, I actually complied.  I'm not sure if it was because of how much I appreciated the book or if it was because I was very hungry.  I closed my eyes and thought of my favorite meal from Mike's American Grill and adapted it to be just fruits and veggies. On one of our large wedding plates there were roasted red skin potatoes and asparagus covered with a red sauce and mango, strawberries, and kiwi...mmm... That vibrant, delicious and nutritious image helped jump start the cleanse I went on that you can read about in the Habits entry or by selecting the Cleanse label.

In addition to improving my eating habits, I also improved a part of my marriage, started giving in a selfless and unexpectant way, removed some clutter from my house (it's a process people!), and found a fulfilling outlet just for myself (I love  you bloggie!).

All of this just by setting a serious intention and letting it happen.  I didnt push or try to achieve these things.  When I recognized something needed to be changed I thought to myself, wouldnt it be so relaxing to sit in my living room and not look to 3 corners and see piles of stuff.  Then when I had the opportunity I would sort through a pile. Not all at once so I could burn out or feel overwhelmed.  Little here, little there.  As mama said (about my pregnancy weight), you didnt gain it all at once so its ridic to think you can lose it all at once.

Looking back, I guess the only thing isnt just the intention.  There also needs to be patience and gentleness.  We need to be kind to ourselves.  If we wont be, who will?  Everyone deserves self respect and love.  It helps, I swear.

Intention + Patience + Gentleness = Goals

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I remember sitting in CCD (aka Sunday School for Catholics) the first time I heard about the master('s) plan.  My instructor said, 'God has a specific plan for each of us.'  There I was, an impressionable tween just minding my own business when unexpectedly this lady rocks my world by telling me (my interpretation) that no matter what I did I would end up at the same place.

I didnt like it. It was too mysterious and left me with too many questions.  Swarming questions that I was unable to immediately verbalize to the instructor.  Back then I didnt think my parents ever took me serious or would pay attention long enough for me to get the questions out.  I also didnt feel close enough with my sisters to ask their thoughts without the response being 'stick it'.  So I was stuck inside my mind for the first and only time ever (sike!).

The more I thought about it, the more negative the lesson seemed.  Was God a juiced up Santa Claus that could not only see everything I did but actually put the thoughts in my mind and motion in my body?  Was every decision, action, and mistake that I would ever make already predetermined?  Was I going to live until an exact moment?  Then there were more upsetting and discouraging thoughts.  If there were going to be obstacles in the path to help me get to a certain spot why not remove them?  Or, just never put them there in the first place?  That's not nice.  I'm a good person.  I shouldnt have to be torn down by making mistakes all just to learn from them and then build myself back up.  That was then.  Thoughts as a child.

All those questions were hibernating in my brain for a couple decades.  It wasnt until  earlier this year I read 'Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential' by Joel Osteen that I connected the dots.  He talks about us each having a divine destiny, which I do believe.  He also says that we will keep experiencing the same lessons until we finally learn from them and our plan comes into light.  I like that he said sometimes the goal is never reached because some people resist and refuse to learn and grow from life's lessons.  

Reflecting on my past, and the choices I have made that have repeated the same lesson over and over, reassures me that there is a plan for me and that I am getting closer to living it.  I feel like the entries Goodness and Giving relate to this.

When we learn and grow from our mistakes it makes us feel good and encourages us to make others feel good.  I hope you will look inside and attempt to learn from any repeating lessons.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


It's 4 am and I have been up for an hour now.  Sometimes  a story just wants to be told no matter how exhausted a mama might currently be, or fear to be when the kiddies wake up.

Before falling asleep last night I realized it was exactly a year since I broke my foot.  Helping me to remember this was reading a fellow blogger's account of her and her daughters broken bone experiences.  The universes subtleties never cease to amaze me!

It was the afternoon of December 3 and my parents had just arrived for the little one's baptism the following day.  We walked to our local Safeway for some beers and on the way home my mom and I got into it about whether my neighbors lights were solar or electric powered Christmas lights.  I had to get away from her over our disagreement.  As any mature 32 year old would respond to a mother's nagging, I Phoebe sprinted (I hope you have seen this episode of Friends) away from her.  Had I not been pushing my baby boy in his umbrella stroller I probably could have passed the sprint finish line in a more gracious way than rolling my ankle and landing all 170+ lbs on the sidewalk while peeing myself on impact.

One of my neighbors was headed to his car and saw me on the ground with my mom hovering over me and asked if he could help.  I said no.  Because of my weight, because of my pee pants, and because I was processing everything that happened.  This was the first of many times over the next couple months that I would say no.

Unlike my kind neighbor, luckily for me there were some loved ones that wouldn't take no for an answer.  I am forever indebted to my husband, my in laws, my sisters, and my friends.

I am also thankful for the experience.  Had it not happened I wouldnt have done enough drugs to realize sobriety was necessary, I wouldnt have become unstoppable once I was able to walk again, and I wouldnt have recognized all of the love and beautiful people that my husband and I have in our lives.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I read the following in the "Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life" by Cecile Andrews: 

I love it.  I believe it.  It makes sense to me.

Of course I read this and couldn't agree with it any more and then there was ... blankness.  I had a couple good post ideas in the past week but neither were clear enough to actually write.  They will float around upstairs until they are fully formed and can be presented to you.

Writing is what gives me energy and makes me feel alive.  It always has and I forgot, or never fully grasped it's affect on me, until recently.

After reading that excerpt it was six days before I had the opportunity to write yesterday's entry.  It felt like a month.

Since starting this blog, and recognizing the benefits of feeding my passion, it has impacted a lot of aspects of my life for the better.  It has provided clarity on the importance of my relationships (including my own with myself), improved my oral and written communication skills, and encouraged me to read more.

All just from bloggy!?  Who knew it would be so beneficial in just 3 short months?

If you have a passion that makes you feel complete and lifts you up I hope you will take the time to explore it and hone it and grow from it.  My wish for you is to do something that makes you feel as good as I do when I hit publish.  Unless that thing is drinking and/or drugs.  JK!  But seriously, I'm being serious.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


When I opened the blinds this morning there was a car in our spot.  It's the same color, maybe make and model, of my neighbors moms car so I assumed it was hers.

On Tuesday of this week I received an email from my neighbor that the car in my spot was her sisters and to call her if I needed her to move it.  Then this morning I see a car in our spot again.  Ah hell nah!  I didn't even get the courtesy of an after the fact email to let me know why someone may potentially inconvenience my husband if he needs his own spot.

From 9 am until 1 pm I stewed about this car.  I wrote a note to my neighbor's mom but didn't put it on the windshield when the boys and I headed to the playground.  When we got home and the car was still there I sent the husband a text that said to park in our neighbors spot.  Oh, it was on.

The husband calls me later to tell me he is on his way home and I ask if he saw the text and he says, "Oh, that's Will's car".  Really!?  What a joke.  All that wasted energy and negative thoughts.  For what?  The spot being used by a friend who was with my husband.

Now that I look back on the past few hours I recognize the irony of it happening while I'm reading a book (Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life by Cecile Andrews) about community and loving your neighbor.  Because of that book, when I saw a bunch of people arrive at my neighbors house last night I thought to offer her our spots because both our cars would be gone.  But I didn't because I'm still not sure what to think of our relationship.  She was the person the Askers entry is about.  I like her and her family but I really don't want to get into the habit of being put in an awkward position because I can't say no.  She has asked for things that I wouldn't feel comfortable asking a neighbor for but I honestly can't tell if she is just assertive and thinks I would say no if it was something I was uncomfortable with or she knows I can be a push over.

So, now I am wondering if the universes little joke on me this morning is a lesson to love thy neighbor or an epiphany that the underlying emotions are telling me to keep a distance.  Or, maybe it is suggesting I pull up my big girl britches and set some verbal boundaries? 

Writing and reading this seems petty but it's weird with neighbors.  Messing up a cordial acquaintanceship for a real friendship seems risky.  Especially when I'm unsure if there are motives for conveniences like child care, borrowing our suv to move stuff, package handling, etc. which have all been asked for in the past.  In her defense, she has made genuine kind acts like she mowed our lawn once, brought in our newspapers, and gave me flowers and cake that would have spoiled while they were on vacation.

Thanks for being my sounding board.  I reread the Grudges entry after the emotions died down and had a peaceful talk with my husband about my insecurities and it really helped.  I hope rereading this will also help guide me where to go with this.

P.S.  While writing this I got an email asking if I can bring one of her packages in while they are away at the end of the week.  This I am cool with, because it was asked for in advance, not assumed that I would do it.

Neighbors...can't live with them, can't live without them....