Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fewer Tears, Sadness Still

I struggle with writing today as I'm still so sad. I'm crying less but just because the tears aren't falling doesn't mean I'm done grieving.

Here's why I'm struggling; I don't want to be writing about my heart break and sadness incessantly, it's so personal and though you all love me, you're not feeling the loss like I am. I can hear you all telling me it's okay, that you understand, but do you really want to keep reading how sad I feel? I don't think so.

The flip side is that I am real, and that means real in joy and in grief. Many of you have commented over the years about how I paint my life picture so rosy and there's a hint of can it really be that good all the time? in your voice. My answer is, "Yes, it really is that good." Sure, I see the bright side so I don't always acknowledge the hiccups and when I do, I make light of them. I decided to write this because I am real, and I'm really soaked with sadness right now. I'm still crying, my chin quivers when I talk, my voice all but disappears when someone asks me how I am, and I miss biting my Riley every morning. I can't help but think this would be easier if he were 15 years old and his time had come. 7 was just too young.

With all that said, life is made up of so many things, one of them being sadness. The cutting, uncontrollable emotions will get easier and the good will soon outweigh the sadness. Bear with me while I get through this. With love.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When There's Loss

Many of you know that I lost my beloved Riley last weekend. Riley was not just our family pet, he was my closest companion. Closer than Dave and Mason if you count the physical contact we made every day. If I was home, he was with me; at my feet in the kitchen, on my lap on the couch, within arms reach sitting at my desk, or sleeping in my legs or spooning with me in bed at night. He even slept on my new pillow before I did! Please don't misunderstand, I am acutely aware how fortunate I am to have Dave and Mason safe and sound, I just don't know how I would cope if I were to lose either of them. Nonetheless, Riley was a bright light in my life, one of the brightest I have ever known. That light is dimmed right now with my grief and sadness. I didn't know my body could produce this many tears and this kind of heart break. Any break up with a man in my past doesn't hold a candle to the way I feel today.

The up-side is this; I would rather have seven years of pure joy with Riley than a lifetime of nothing special. If this heart break and pain is the price I have to pay for the seven years Riley loved me, and was there for me to love, I'll take it. Having Riley in my life and my heart has changed who I am and makes me a better person.

When there's loss, the only thing I know how to do is feel what I feel. I mostly feel heart broken. I'm crying in waves as the emotions overtake me and I know there will be a hole in my heart for a very long time, maybe until the day I die. You can't pretend you don't hurt, and not crying when you need to, is never the right thing to do. I believe the pain will subside and I will be able to remember the happy times with Riley without realizing the pain that comes with knowing he is not here anymore. Until then, Intentional Winning when there's loss is all about authenticity. Feel what you feel, let it be, and get through. There is no around, under, over...just through. I will get through this, with Dave and we will have another puppy to love. When we do, you'll be the first to know!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Natura Pillow Review - Week One

The big box arrived with two brand new, very different pillows in it. Julia also added a wonderful pillow-blanket and a bottle of Re-Groove-N-8 Mist. The pillows we received were a large, heavy pillow called the Dream Mate, and a smaller, lighter pillow called the Perfect Pillow. Dave immediately grabbed the big Dream Mate and though I would have likely given it to him, it made me want it, too! I put fresh pillow cases on our new pillows and found that I had a difficult time putting my favorite pillow aside.

When we got into bed, we looked like a couple of puppies fluffing our bed. Pushing, squeezing, and fluffing new pillows that clearly didn't need it. As we both lay our heads down we started to giggle. What now? My Perfect Pillow seemed too low, like I wanted to fold it over and make it taller. That right away got me thinking I should have fought harder for the Dream Mate. We both noted that the pillows smelled new, maybe like the plastic they came wrapped in. That's where the bottle of Re-Groove-N-8 came in, it's a lovely green tea and aloe fragranced spray that you can use on pillows, linens, and even your body! A few spritzes and the new pillow smell was gone.

I woke up after the first night and found that I had slept on my back most of the night. That's not normal for me. I was well rested and comfortable but I still wasn't sure what I thought. The next night we switched pillows. Big mistake! The Dream Mate was way too big for me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stiff neck and grabbed my old pillow for the remainder of the night. We switched back for night number three. Dave was really unhappy with the thinner Perfect Pillow, as much as I was with the bigger one. Clearly, the differences in the pillows and our bodies matter!

After the first week, I'm liking my new pillow but I'm still not sure it's perfect for me. Dave however, loves his new pillow! He said that it's longer than most pillows, is big enough around that he only needs one pillow, and it has the right amount of fluff so it's supportive, but also gives so he feels like his head rests comfortably on/in it. Julia, you might be right, you just may have set us up with a pillow Dave loves! I'm going for week two to see if the solid pillow can make me as happy as my old trusty broken foam pillow did.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Friday!

Not much to say today but Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, do something fun and come back and share with me next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mason!

It was yesterday but we celebrated on Saturday, again yesterday, and hopefully for many more days to come! Why not? After all, I am so very grateful to have him in my life. He's a beautiful combination of Dave and I, the best of the best I hope!

Mason teaches me that I still have so much to learn, that sometimes I sweat the small stuff, but mostly, he reminds me to be the human "being" that I really want to be. A human being present to notice how intently he does a puzzle, or how he can play by himself in the lot for hours. I want to always be present to notice when he's trying to fib, or clean his room by throwing all of his clean clothes in the laundry. And most of all, I want to be present when he wants to cuddle or share what he feels with me. I know there is a teenager on his way who may not want to be so close to his mom, but I'll always know my little boy loves me and our time.

Happy Birthday Mason! You light up our lives like the sun on a summer day and the moon on a harvest night. You are pure light my sweet, sweet boy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday Cake Adventures!

Mason wanted a Star Wars birthday party and being a professional cake decorator in my younger days, I thought, Why not? How hard can it be? From the looks of R2D2 in the picture, all was coming along beautifully. The next morning, I woke up to a pile of cake on the platter. I'm not going to bore you with the details but the cake fell to pieces. I thought I could pull it apart and put it back together. After more than 3 hours and still no structural stability, I let Mason do it himself.

Mason used our cookie icings and some Star Wars figures and Viola! The birthday was saved!

We are a family of Intentional Winning thinkers, whether it's good communication, bringing a product to market, or birthday cake. We keep looking for the bright side or the lesson and make the best of all situations. In the end, it's a great story and a fun memory!

Now all I have to do is reconcile that he's really six! Where did that time go?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good Sleep

Dave and I have had an ongoing battle to find a pillow that Dave will sleep on through the whole night. I've purchased dozens of them and frankly, there hasn't been a single one that he's loved. From cheap to rather pricey, he's not easy to please in the pillow department. I have the same pillow I've had for years and I love it still. It's filled with broken chunks of foam and it's my favorite.

While we were in Las Vegas I met Julia from Naturaworld ( The plan is to write a review over four weeks, one a week starting next Monday (10/26). Tell me, do you have a favorite pillow? What makes a pillow comfortable and perfect for you? I'd love to know what your experiences are and if you think your pillow is important.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Responsibility and Consequences

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” Josiah Charles Stump

Monday, October 12, 2009


We all make them, but how do you fix a mistake. There are certainly different answers for different situations, but taking responsibility has to be the first step to changing anything. If you don't take ownership for what went wrong, you then have no power to make it right. Stay in control, take responsibility and you'll see that solutions come so much easier! What do you think?

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Would You Do?

We all make agreements with the full intention of keeping our end of the bargain. What would you do if the company you made an agreement with kept changing the terms, in their favor to cost you hundreds of dollars a month? Credit card companies are doing just that!

I have a credit card with Citibank and they are really pushing me to the edge of my financial ethics. I know the economy has everyone struggling and I know in the fine print of all credit card agreements it says they can change terms anytime, just because. That doesn't mean that I can meet the new terms of the agreement. If you can't meet it, what choice do you have? I've called to talk, tried to reason, and flat out explained that the additional $250 a month with the 29.99% interest rate is just not something I can afford to pay in addition to the $330 I'm already paying as per the 14.99% interest rate I already had (didn't like, but could make the payment).

So what do I do? If I don't make the full $530 payment, I'm in default and fees pile up. If I don't make a payment at all, I'm feeling terrible about defaulting and my credit is being marred. Dave called one more time and was told every one's rates went to 29.99%. Interesting that the new credit card reform takes effect in January. Do you think there's a connection? I do. We don't have the resources to pay the balance off so we either work with them, pay what they want, or we don't. I know what we are going to do, but I'm interested to know what you would do?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Great Quote

"If necessity is the mother of invention, then frustration must surely be the father!" As muttered by Dave Partak while trying to put snow gloves on Mason's hands. Hence, ZipperBack Gloves were born.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Fall!

I love, love, love this time of year! Here are a few of my favorite things that fall brings:

  • Shorter days. I love the way it gets dark earlier. It makes dinner around the table as a family more inviting.
  • The colors of the season. I've never met a single person who doesn't appreciate the wonder of Mother Nature's paint brush.
  • Apples. I love our annual trip to Apple Hill. Everything apple is part of the fun, but the day together with Dave and Mason is the best. We walk through the orchards choosing the perfect apples to pick and then we (really "I" because Dave and Mason think it's silly) take a moment to give thanks to the Harvest Gods. I take a bite of a fresh apple and give thanks for warm sunshine, plenty of water, and a bountiful harvest. Though my boys think this ritual is silly, they make sure it happens. Smiling.
  • Boots and coats. My hiking boots and my green wool hooded coat are my favorite things to wear. For some it's knit sweaters or heavy socks, no matter what, there is something comfortable about winter clothes.
  • Flannel Sheets and down comforters. "Nuff said!
  • And my favorite thing about the fall season is how we all come home. The summer months have us all over the place, up late, and away from home. September brings back the routine of school, early nights, hot meals, and a sincere sense of family.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's going to be snowing in Lake Tahoe....snowing,, la, la, la, la, it's going to be snooowwwweeeeiiinnnnggggg.....I'm singing, it's going to be snowing!