Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How many great loves do we get in life?

I love gangster movies.  I think it’s the Gemini in me  - I have a little bit of a gangsta alter ego!
Anyways one of my favorite Gangster movies is the Bronx Tale. There is part where Sonny is telling the kid about love:
You gotta do what your heart tells you to do. Let me tell you somethin' right now. You're only allowed three great women in your lifetime. They come along like the great fighters, every ten years. Rocky Marciano. Sugar Ray Robinson. Joe Louis. Sometimes you get 'em all at once. Me? I had my three when I was 16. That happens. What are you gonna do? That's the way it goes, you know? Tell you right now. See this girl? Maybe this girl, she put wind in your sails. Maybe she's your first great one.
Which leads me to the Three Great Loves Theory! I’ve heard others say it and I believe it. I think you get three great loves in your life.
For some people they find their first one and are lucky enough to make that one work for the rest of their life.
I am not so lucky…. My first love will always have a very special place in my heart. I met him when I was 18 and moved away my family for him. I grew up with him. I learned so much from our love. But we drifted apart and at the age of 24 we went our separate ways….
For some people the second one is the ONE… My parents for instance. Both married previously before marrying each other. They are true soul mates and are amazing for each other.
I am not so lucky…. My second love – Has been my hardest life lesson. I truly believed if I loved him enough I could save him from himself – I could love him enough that he would love himself…. WOW! What a mistake. But he gave my greatest gift in my life… my beautiful son.
And for others the third time is the charm…
I hope I can be so lucky….Don’t get me wrong I am REALLY happy where I am in my life right now.  I am not looking for love… not now BUT I would be lying if I said I never wanted to find love again.  I am a Gemini and the opposite of my gangsta side is the hopeless romantic.

So I ask you… How many great loves do you think you get in life?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Love My Thirties!

The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. -Hervey Allen
Next week I will be 35! Time really does go faster as you age. In many ways I feel like I am 20 still, but luckily I am NOT!
Don’t get me wrong I had a good time in my teens and twenties but I prefer my 30s!
I finally have good confidence! In my teens and twenties I would second guess myself.  If you look back at my first job performance reviews, there is common theme, the need to show more confidence! I would often sit in meetings without contributing to the conversation for fear that my ideas may not be well received.
Now I know better! I am a bright woman who is an asset to any meeting and has lots to contribute! I walk with me head held high and my shoulders back.
I have to come to terms with my body and appearance and have learned to appreciate it. I’ve always been my hardest critic when it came to my body image. I have let that go! I appreciate what attributes I have and I don’t care anymore about my imperfections, because those make me beautiful too!
I found a career. The first half of my twenties was spent working and going to school. The second half was spent looking for a career and a good fit. Now that I have a career that I love and excel at a major piece of my life puzzle has been put in place.
My relationships are deep and meaningful. As I have gotten older I’ve weeded out relationships that bring drama and “steal energy,” therefore my life is more enriched.
I’ve stopped trying to “Save” everyone. I have wasted so much time and energy trying to help those who won’t help themselves.  My failed marriage taught me some major lessons and this one being the biggest.
I will make mistakes, and that is O.K. Mistakes are a hard pill to swallow for someone who is somewhat of a perfectionist. But if my 30’s have taught me anything is that mistakes will happen and you need to make them to learn.
Finally, I have I have learned enough to know that I know nothing! That’s why I will look forward to my 40s, 50s 60s and so one because I will never stop learning.
And with that I leave you with another 30’s quote
To my eye, women get sexier around 35. They know a thing or two, and knowledge is always alluring. -Pierce Brosnan

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Road to Motherhood

When you’re told at 18 years old that you may never be able to conceive, you are not sure what to think.  
I still remember that day well. I had just recovered from surgery that confirmed I had extreme Endometriosis. One of the most extreme cases the physician had seen for my age. I was still in the anesthesia fog when Dr. Stalter spoke with me and my parents about what he had found. Stage 4 endo throughout my uterus, ovaries, bladder and colon. He had lasered much of it off during the procedure but it was just a matter of time before it all grew back again. “You may never be able to conceive”
I was in my freshman year of college and although I knew I wanted kids one day, it seemed so far off that I really didn’t worry about infertility then.
Well the years went by and I fought viciously with Endo. Sometime the disease would knock me down for days. I went through more surgeries and even medical induced menopause to try to stop the endo but it kept growing back.
As soon as I was engaged to my now ex husband, we decided we better start trying to conceive. We knew what we were up against so we wasted no time.  That was early 2005. In March 2006 I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it! We had conceived naturally! I was over the moon.
12 weeks into my pregnancy I miscarried. My obgyn assured me that nothing was wrong but that it was natural. She encouraged me to immediately try again.  Well a year later when we hadn’t conceived again we sought out answers. Not that I really needed any, I mean three different doctors had told me that I would have trouble conceiving.
After many tests on me and my partner and more laparoscopy surgery, we conceived naturally. It took over three years from when we initially started, and those where some of the hardest years I have ever endured.
Hunter John Hartwell was born on October 14, 2008. All of the heartache was erased as soon as I held him in my arms. He is a miracle in my eyes. He is my greatest gift. I thank God everyday that I was blessed enough to have an amazing little boy.
Motherhood is something I never take for granted. I won’t lie that some days I am exhausted and the little booger can drive me crazy, but I would rather be tired and crazy then without him.
With Mother’s day around the corner I can’t help but think about all the woman out there who want to be a mommy so bad and for whatever reason can’t. Life seems so unfair sometimes.  What is so easy for some is also so hard for others.
Being a single mommy to a four year old means I won’t get breakfast in bed or fancy jewelry instead I will spend the day playing with my little man and appreciating the fact that I AM A MOMMY!

Monday, April 29, 2013


As you can tell from the name of my blog one of my goals is to achieve balance in life.  This is important to me for many reasons. For starters I tend to be a TYPE A personality and can get over focused on certain aspects of my life. Second, the more balance I achieve the happier I am. Finally, but most importantly, I think it’s important for Hunter to learn balance and the best way to teach him is through my life.
I thought I would outline how I attempt to achieve balance in my life. Balance in your life may be different.
1.       Take time everyday (almost) for yourself – For me this is working out and yoga. I work out 5-6 days a week and its all for me! I also disconnect from everything during this hour. I leave my cell phone in the car and for one hour it’s MY time!
2.      Nurture relationships – I think it’s very important to nurture relationships outside of work and/or your children. I don’t have a significant other, so for me it’s nurturing my friendships.  It’s important to have support network, people who love you no matter what and who you can share your highs and lows with. I am very fortunate that I have family that is also my friends.
3.      Give back – There is nothing that will put life into perspective than helping others who need it.  Two years ago volunteering was a HUGE part of my life. But with the big transition of being a single mother and moving across the country I haven’t spent much time volunteering. But it’s time again. I am looking into some options in Humboldt County.
4.      Connect with your spiritual side – For me this means lots of things. Sometimes I can do this through yoga, sometimes I attend the Unity Church for this and other times its just getting out in nature.
5.      Be Here Now – This is a quote by Ram Dass that essentially means live in the moment. This may be the hardest one for me. I am not one to dwell on the past but the TYPE A in me tends to focus on the future. I am always amazed how well children live in the moment.  So let’s learn from them and be present!

Some days I achieve balance with grace! Then others days I fail miserably! With a demanding career and everyday duties I feel like I have no balance at all. All I can do is try again tomorrow.
Here is to finding your balance!

Friday, March 29, 2013

What my "first baby" taught me

I had grown up having dogs a part of my family. When I left home one month shy of my 19th birthday the first thing I wanted was a dog. I felt empty with out a loyal companion. But the realty of making it on my own it me hard and fast and I decided I better wait until I was able to feed my self before I fed a dog too.  After about a year of being away from home, I felt confident enough to take on the huge responsibility of being a dog owner. My parents had taught me that dogs are a part of the family and no matter what your circumstances you must take care of your family. So I knew that when I got my first dog there was no changing my mind or giving it away, that dog would be with me as long as it was alive.
I decided I didn’t want just any dog, I wanted an English Mastiff! I still remember my father’s reaction when I told him what breed I was going to get. “Why do you have to get a dog that big?” I wasn’t exactly sure why, I had done research and the breed fascinated me.  My mom kept saying “you better train that dog well, because a dog that size CAN’T be out of control.  But I had made my mind up and there was no changing it now.
So I called a local breeder in town and scheduled time to go see the litter. I knew I wanted a female and I had already picked a name, Gaea, the Goddess of Earth! When I got to the breeder she brought out a dog that she felt like would be good for me. This puppy was the runt and was much smaller and passive than the other puppies. She handed me the female puppy and immediately the puppy found comfort in my long hair and got the hiccups. I knew it, this was my Gaea! On the drive home panic started to set in, she was mine, my responsibility. I had to get her shots, potty train her, teach her obedience and feed her! What if I failed? This was a test for me. If I couldn’t take care of a dog, how would I ever be able to be a mother? I felt the pressure from my parents, waiting to see how this turned out.
The first couple months Gaea required so much attention. It took her a while before she couldn’t make it through the night with out going outside. She chewed on everything, phones, walls, shoes and so on. She hated the leash. I would literally drag her around the block to get her use to the leash. Oh, and the food, she ate so much. I remember during one period she gained 5 pounds a week for like 6 weeks straight. Soon though she was house trained and walked right next to me whether she had a leash on or not. I spent so much time with her. She filled my heart with joy.  People would stop us in the park and ask “Where did you take her to get trained” I would reply, “I did it my self!” I was proud of how she was turning out. She gave me confidence that I could handle responsibility. She also turned into my best friend. 

For ten years Gaea had been with me through heart brakes, break-ups, college graduation, moving, marriage and a baby.  She helped me grow into the woman I am today. The bond we developed goes beyond words.  Gaea lived for me and I for her. There have been so many times that I have thought-“Why can’t more people be like Gaea”- loyal, sweet, smart, and pure. The lessons she has taught are invaluable. Even in her final days she is taught me a lesson.  The lesson of letting go… even though you want to hold on so tight. The lesson of doing what is best even if it is the hardest thing you have ever done.  Gaea will always be with me…. Until we meet again!
Now I am fortunate enough to have another blessing, Athena, who is not only teaching me life lessons but also her buddy Hunter!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rules for staying healthy!

I always get questions on how do I stay healthy. While I do work out 5 – 6 times a week, my diet is the most important part of my regiment.  I have put together some Rules for Staying Healthy. I hope this helps!
Rules for Staying Healthy:
1.       Eating is 80% of your weight and health. I always say you can’t work out a bad diet. If you’re eating right your 80% on your way!
2.      Eat Clean! Eating clean means eating foods that grow or are raised. So stay away from things that are packaged. Eat things like fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and lean animal protein. Next time you go to the grocery store notice that the “clean” foods are on the perimeter of the store. Packaged foods are down the aisles. Stay away from the aisles as much as possible
3.      Don’t drink your calories. So many people are drinking drinks high in calories and sugar and are not accounting them in their total caloric intake. I drink one cup of coffee a day and drink water all day long. I personally would rather splurge on chocolate rather than a soda!
4.      Eat 5-6 balanced meals a day. A balanced meal consists of lean protein, a complex carb, and a healthy fat.
5.      Eat 4-5 servings of vegetables a day.
6.      Avoid Bad Stuff in your food. The Bad Stuff  I suggest avoiding are:
a.      High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
b.      Trans Fats – Do not but anything that has the word hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated
c.       Preservatives
d.      Nitrates

I hope this helps! Here’s to staying healthy!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nap Time Please!!!

One of my favorite things about Italy (besides the great food, art and history) was that most businesses shut down every day for an afternoon Siesta or nap. Shops, restaurants and museums would close everyday between 3 and 5 pm. Siestas are a Latin tradition that we all should adopt.

Research has shown many health benefits to an afternoon nap. Psychological benefits, productivity and alertness and decreased risk of heart disease, to name a few. In fact in one study showed that regular napping decreased a person's risk for heart disease by 37%!!! WOW!

I LOVE naps and crave them. But lets face it - its rare when I get to squeeze one in. Most people do not have 20 - 30 minutes during the day to sleep. With that being said, I bet you have five minutes?! Take five minutes everyday to unwind and disconnect. The best time to do this is after lunch when our biological clocks actually signal us to slow down. Go outside, in your office or even your car and turn off everything - yes even your cell phone. Take five minutes to try to quiet your mind. Any thoughts that come to your mind just push them out. Focus on your breathing and relaxing of your body.

One easy way you can try to achieve balance today - instead of reaching for that coffee try a nap!