Write Now

I always thought I would be a writer.

There I said it.

I didn’t grow up to ” be what I wanted to be”.
Don’t get me wrong I have stacks and stacks of note books with rhymes and poems and jottings about what I thought was meant to be, stories of struggle and victories, words lined uniquely up to make something painful-
appear beautiful….but none of them are paying the mortgage.

There were endless hours in college writing classes where I envisioned myself publishing a book, a children’s book, a book of poetry, a story or two of childhood, but  I have yet to publish anything more than a few Blog posts.

I recently began to wonder why I stopped.
Suddenly.
Writing.

The list of excuses was long, so I decided to skip over that, and go right to making
no more excuses
and start.
Right.
Today.

 

love is here. love is now

This is a post for me.

Celebrate where you are

Today.

Right now

Stop waiting

Until you acquire or become everything

Media says you need to have or be.

You are made perfectly, for this very moment by God.

Celebrate today.

Celebrate .

Today.

 

Stop waiting for thinner

For enough

For a vacation to that place you’ve never been

For a clean house

For less pain

For the week after that.

Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, nor the week after that.

Stop waiting for peace & quiet

For a day off

Or half off or a dance off.

What you are doing today is what you were meant to do

Right now

With joy, with happy, with love

Before and After

On December 10th 2008,
Lucas and I bought our first home
one of my biggest “before and afters”
ex. “before we lived here, after we moved in”.
 
In my before/after stories, some of those big ones include
before I knew Santa wasn’t real,
after I fell off my new bike,
before I discovered my love for poetry.
after my mom gave me a paint brush
before I realized who the bullies were,
after I had a best friend, and another
before my dad took me fishing
after I tried eating fish (yuck)
before the internet & cell phones & blogging
after I got my minor,
before I graduated high school
after my first car accident
before I choose my major, and then chose it again
after I worked at summer camp & residential life
before I owned a camera
after I owned my own business
before I fell in love
after he fell in love with me
before she made me a mommy
after my son was born
before December 10th 2014
after December 10th 2014
before I knew what grief does to people
and after my mom passed away.

 

Plan C

Dear Josiah
One day you’ll grow up to be a man and i pray you’ll lead by example. I pray you will be good and kind and humble and compassionate, just like your father.

Dear Olivia and Ellie
One day you’ll grow up to be ladies and I pray you’ll lead by example. I pray you will be stubborn and hard working and have integrity, just like your mother.

Dear Kids,
Today is a Election day and before the poles close, I want to share with you that you have a voice. No matter how little you are, or what the media tells you, When you’re old enough to vote, Your vote matters. Your vote counts.

I have prayed and stewed and cried and laughed and got crazy emotional over what candidate to put my little x by (your little x by). So then I prayed some more.

My sweet kids,  I wanted to tell you who I didn’t vote for. I didn’t vote for someone who has made people feel bad and said horrible things, who is reckless and rude. I know sweet Olivia how much that hurt your heart to hear (everywhere) what he’s done. Try as I might to shelter you, you still heard it. Kindness is a choice. Kindness wins.

I also didn’t vote for the popular lady on the ballot simply because she was the first women to ever be on the ballot. I did not vote for her because her policies don’t align with my heart. They likely would not align with yours. flag

I voted for a third party. A person you’ve never heard of and the media says very little about, because of the way our elections are run. I voted for campaign reform, I voted against the norm because I pray by the time you’re 18, it won’t be an “either-or” choice. I voted to say we need something different. I voted to say my kids need something different. I voted to say kindness matters in my home.

Dear Olivia, I voted “plan c”. I know you voice your “plan c” all the time. It drives me bonkers….to know we are so much alike. It warms my heart…to know we are so much alike.

I voted against the norm, despite the media, and friends and relatives telling me my third party vote won’t count-at all. My vote counted, and kids-your voice counts too. I put my ballot in the box just like everyone else and got my red sticker. My vote counted, even if they won’t mention it tonight on Fox news.

I want you kids to know that with all the crazy things that will happen in your lifetime, there’s always a plan C. Sometimes its hard to find, sometimes it seems like the nation isn’t with you, sometimes you won’t fit in, but keep your chin up. Be open to hear all sides of the issues and practice kindness to everyone’s plan and then…and put your x where ever your heart tells you. Then pray kindness wins.

 

 

 

The ugly list

I love lists. I enjoy the feeling of crossing things off & getting stuff done, feeling accomplished.

Most of my lists are simply what I need to do as soon as possible. Tonight, on the eve of my thirty-fifth year,  I began making a metal list of year 34. It wasn’t pretty, in fact, It was pretty ugly.

mother’s death. lost family cat. relative drug overdose. car accident. lost car keys. grandmother’s death. less snap shots. cancer. family drama. no late night phone calls. parental challenges. physical pain for me & spouse. debt & more debt.favz0078

I noticed that list had nothing to do with feeling accomplished, not one of them were things I actually wanted done, none of them felt right crossing off

but.

Its what makes a year a year. its what makes a life a life. and it’s what makes a person strong(er). The ugly list.  It’s not going anywhere. That list is part of me.

now.

It’s time to exhale. Its been a year of waiting for…something, trying to fill my hours with hustle & bustle & never fully letting myself simply exhale, but always working on my to do list, holding my breath for the next. big. moment.

a moment of joy. There was a pretty list this year too.

new niece. celebrations of life. camping party. kids accomplishments. weight loss. concerts. vacations. loving husband. reading. writing. beautiful business. supportive community. love and outpouring of friends. giggles. games. new friendships. lots & lots of miles moved.favz0075

perseverance.  

some of the best advice my daughter ever shared with me “Yes, Mom, perseverance, when you keep trying even after your mommy dies”

cheers to 35. no matter how ugly this list will be.

favz0080

 

 

48 days of Disciplined-Self

People have asked me to share how I lost 20 pounds & 15 inches in 48 days- if that is you, here you go. (I also went from daily knee pain, headaches and numbness in my hands, restless sleep, to all of those things vanishing-today I feel great)

Proper Diet, Exercise Dedication & Real Food:

That’s really the secret, there is no secret pill, or potion,  I didn’t use shakes or diet pills- it is simply discipline with real food and real work outs.

“Discipline is the difference between what you want NOW and what you want MOST”

Here are details of what the last 48+ days looked like- “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”

    1. I set goals– detailed goals- short term and long term- food, workout and weight loss goals & shared them with people
    2. I eat clean: the first 24 days-I followed the food suggestions of Advocare cleanse(if you want to more about Advocare message me)- No sugar, no dairy, no simple carbs(white bread-rice, potatoes), no processed foods (lunch meat), no fried foods. It was NOT easy-nothing new is. Days 25+ stayed pretty much the same, I allow myself cottage cheese, & potatoes, But I now find I don’t want the bad foods like I used to-
    3. Water water, everywhere: Proper hydration is ½ your weight in ounces- I gave up soda, kool-aid, milk, ice tea, no alcohol, no fruit juice and went to 100% water all the time, everyday-
    4. I count calories- Every. Single. Thing. that I consume I track with My Fitness Pal Ap. The handful of times I go out to eat, we go to restaurants with menus online, look up what I am going to order, so I know the nutritional facts and commit to eating clean.
    5. I make calories count: I strive to prepare only meals I will eat long-term
    6. I have great support: my family eats the healthier meals I am cooking(my daughter asks for salad), and my husband supports my daily 5:30am workouts by getting up with my early risers.
    7. I move every day: It’s not always hard core- I started slow. Initially it was walking on an incline for 30 minutes, now I can run 4 miles before breakfast- I also track the calories I burn and I do not eat them back, (ex I run 400 calories- but I don’t’ allow myself the ice cream bar at 9 pm-every night)
    8. I weight lift 2-4 times a week for 30 minutes: One session a week is with Jo Ann at Jo’s Fitness Garage– the others are basement workouts.
    9. Before and Progress Photos: I have my “day one” photo hanging in front of the treadmill-to remind myself it’s a daily process- (progress photos and measurements every 2 weeks)
    10. Meal & Snack Prep: I keep fresh veggies and fruit ready to eat every day. We grill a bunch of meat on Sundays and use it for lunch all week.
    11. Pray and Be Grateful: God gave me a life and a body to use for His good, The better I feel, the happier I am to serve. The happier I am to serve, the better I can be for my family, friends and clients at Inspired. He’s gifted me a family to take care of and friends to support. I acknowledge His blessings every morning.
    12. Forget Excuses: I didn’t know what I could do, until I did.You don’t know how strong you are, until you have to be. It’s one day at a time-in fact one meal at a time.

 

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The big and hardest change: For me it’s really about the food choices:

The Food: It’s become pretty simple for me but to understand what has made the difference you need to see where I came from

Old Sherry ate these foods often: (I used to eat until I was painfully full and never measure anything)
Breakfast: cereal (fruit loops) with milk, eggs with white toast & butter, pop tarts, Donuts, or nothing at all, orange juice
Lunch: Fast food, frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets, fruit, grilled cheese, canned soup, summer sausage, cherry coke, white rice, Chinese buffet, spaghetti’os
Dinner: Hot dogs on bun, chips and dip, baked beans, french fries, breaded everything, cream of mushroom soup on everything, lots of pasta, white bread,  ice tea, spaghetti, noodle hot-dish, french fries- everything dipped in sauce
Snacks: Ice cream, chips, cheese sticks, fruit
New Sherry eats primarily from these foods, (I measure calories or grams and eat until I am satisfied-not stuffed-rarely seconds)
Breakfast: oatmeal, eggs with whole grain toast and peanut butter, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, almond milk, egg bake, cold chicken breast, water
Lunch: Salad or Tuna on whole grain, Blts, veggies lots of veggies, water
Dinner: chicken tacos, hamburger no bun-mustard only, homemade soups, chili, chicken breast and veggies, pork loin, water, steamed veggies, turkey, roll ups,
Snacks: carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, ½ can of tuna, cottage cheese, grapes, berries, kettle corn, a spoonful of peanut butter, salsa and corn chips

 

I would be happy to talk one on one with any of you- I am no expert, but we all need support toward making our goals become reality-start today!

work out day 48 back work out day 48 copy

 

Good Grief

My wake up call came literally in the middle of the night. For several nights in a row I would have to sleep sitting up, because the pain & numbness in my hands, arms, elbows and shoulders was unbearable lying down.

The quick fix was the option I was looking for, but what takes several years to develop, will take several more to repair. sigh.

I could no longer work at my computer at the job I love efficiently. For years I claimed a high tolerance to pain, but I had officially met my match with the pain I felt in my hands Spring of 2015.  My days consisted of drinking as much ibuprofen as I could swallow with my Cherry Cokes, and sneaking fast food in the van between meals to bury my sadness.

Several people tried to offer advice, sympathy, relief, but until you admit you have a problem any advice is wasted. I was told I had carpel tunnel, or thoracic outlet syndrome, bad fascia, poor posture, over weight, over worked, shoulder injuries, bad circulation etc. Each new diagnosis for me shouted loudly “Sherry, You are broken”

Good Grief.

What a indescribable journey for me. Grief. For the gal who doesn’t cry in public, for the women who doesn’t ask for help, for the mommy trying to be a roll model, for the business owner striving for success,  for the child who lost her best friend & mother to Cancer. Grief looks very ugly on me/

Grief had a hand in breaking me and I am ok with that, it should have, I loved that lady with all my being.

17 days ago, I began a new journey- one to being broken for good. One that says grief can be good. I once read a quote that said “If you’re going through hell, keep going”

I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

64+ Miles of Grief

It’s been months since I’ve went for a run. For weeks I’ve walked past that darn treadmill starring me down. I’ve tried not to make eye contact with it, I’ve covered it with stuff, I’ve pretended it was there, terrified to step back on my old friend.

Nothing makes me feel as old as the first few days back to running again. Feeling the ache in my muscles, my bones, my every breath, but that’s not what has had me so scared.

It was all that time to think.

All that time alone. All those minutes on the treadmill, remembering. I knew the thoughts would come flooding. The memories, the moments in my head, the endless Grief,  would overwhelm me.

feetYesterday I caved & wearily took the first steps forward. Yes, the memory of my Mother’s final months, last days, completed breath, came rushing in, and I couldn’t stop them. Regardless how loud I played my music, or starred at the wall, my moment alone provided an open door, and everything came flooding in..

Today it happen again. Physically exhausting but more emotionally draining, I ran those 3 miles, each step thinking of my Mother’s life. The waves of sadness sandwiched in between all of the joy that was her.

I concluded today to turn my running into something more. I promised myself to run the next 64 miles in her honor- once for each year of her young life.  It’s not big news, no money being raised, just something I am doing for myself and for my mom. (and for anyone who stumbles on this blog) I know I can’t change what is, but I know she would want me to put one foot in front of the other. 59 miles to go.

I had no idea what missing someone was like, until my mom passed. (that’s a whole different blog post) The grief is real, and will be for as long as I live, but for the next 64 miles my mission will have a small purpose.

There’s a real life lesson in running through grief and not away from it.IMG_5393

 

Embrace the disconnect- Surviving cell phone free

I looked around & looked around & didn’t see one anywhere in the entire convenient store. Finally I asked the manager on duty at the local “Fast stop-Gas station”,
“Where is your pay phone”
she laughed out loud & then suddenly stopped when she caught my serious glaze
“Shoot, we haven’t had one of those for years” she quickly responded.

 “What if someone needs to make a call, what if someone has an emergency” I asked
To which the honest reply was “They use their own cell phone

cell phone

ahh, There is was, the first time I went into & then back out of “Fast stop-Gas Station” completely empty handed. I stood on the side walk longing for the days when it was normal to see a line of people waiting to make a call at the payphone booth.

It’s been over two years now since I stopped my cell phone service. My family & I were (are) short on cash & looked for ways to make ends meet. So I said good-bye to my cell phone & hello to a few extra dollars a month in our pocket. (yeah right)

GREAT BIG WIDE EYES and “How do you do it, Sherry” …..the two main responses when people find out I don’t own a cell phone.  and WHY?

I simply do the math for them,  in my 34 years I’ve lived many more years without a digital device, then I have with one &  because I am a little bit weird…..The first cell phone I received as a gift in 2000 I returned to the store & bought a guitar with the money.

tracfone_2acoustic_guitar_by_ktostam25-d486zxg

I had owned a cell phone from 2002-2012($11,880 Later) & honestly- I thought after a few months of going without,  I would save money & go back & buy that data planing, all knowing smart phone & feel So. Much. Better. However 24 months of this disconnect & I can’t force myself back to the cell phone. ($$)For a few main reasons

#1. I’ve survived without it. YES you can! (Get a land line at home, plan ahead, be safe, bring a friend & talk to each other, when it doubt stay home with your family)

#2 the cost- its absurd what some data plans cost-(see math above)

#3 the face down humans it is creating (I walk pass people every day I would actually like to meet & have a conversation with-but they don’t even know I am in the room)

#4 the complete lack of verbal communication (text messages/emailing is breaking real relationships daily. It has become a weird way to confront people without feeling remorse or accountability)

I am still search for the local Mankato gas station who supports real phone calls & is willing put up a  pay phone or two for public uses, for emergencies. If you know where one is in  Mankato, please let me know I am doing business with them tomorrow :)

p.s if you’re motivated to toss out your cell phone today- I can help= Step one look up from your screen now!

 

Red Lights & Round Abouts

“Ahhh Yes, another red light”, I thought to myself as I carted the kiddos across town this past week, taking a much needed breath of relief.

red light

How long does a red light often last? Approximately 3 minutes I would say, Oh the things I get done on average in those three precious minutes. I am able to turn around in my seat to get the fallen shoe, lost kitten’s mitten and unwrap two suckers with my mouth, divide them between kiddos and smile. I can check back to the light, still red. I then catch the eye of the driver next to me as we both rock out to our radio, I nod and smile back at the other mommy.  We both may have just caught our breath for the first time in days.

Then green light.

The rushing of the next to do comes into light and I am driving through this life at a speed too fast to slow it back down. As the volume level increases in my back seat, I look for the next red led to stop, turn around and address the same issues again. Thank you red light. You are a blessing.

Enter in. Roundabouts.

Roundabout_aerial

What’s missing, my precious red lights.

Yes they seem to be popping up everywhere in my home town of Mankato, MN, with more on the plans to be built soon. People may say they are for the safety of the vehicles on the road and they allow for less accidents. I say…..

“the world up and got itself in a big dam hurry”  Brooks-from the Shawkshank Redemption

Where am I am going to stop for a breathe now? When I am going to pick up all the lost articles of clothing abandoned on the floor, while the babies scream with urgency. “MY SOCK, You need to pick it up!” Those red light minutes are precious to me and the safety of my family.

I would think Red Light minutes are probably precious to you too, you just don’t know it yet.