Monday, October 26, 2015

Train Wreck

I think I may have to take this week off from blogging. I have nothing nice to say. At all. I am livid about numerous things going on right now, and find that those thoughts are better left unwritten. In the mean time, here's an image to ponder.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Because I have nothing better to type right now...

Thursday, October 22, 2015


This is a throwback to one of the most peaceful moments I've ever witnessed. I went for a morning bike ride along Lake Shore Drive and stopped to fully watch the sunrise. I noticed some nuns sharing coffee and snacks while watching and couldn't help but wonder what they were feeling. I assumed they were happily taking in the morning warmth and beauty that their God provided and blessed them with. I silently thanked them for sharing the miracle with me too.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


The Cubs are totally choking, even with a home field advantage. This is so disappointing. I don't have another 100 years left in me. Fingers crossed for a miracle tomorrow!

And onto better news...

I won a $50 gift card at work for having the top score in a bags contest (who knew I was this talented?). Can't wait to go shopping!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Old School & New School

This past weekend I went away with my significant other and his family. We did a lot of festival and family activities and even took in a game at Lambeau Field. And while it was a blast, I must admit the weekend came down to one particular family moment that I enjoyed the most. 

We arrived at a local winery and due to it's over crowded status only us girls braved the shopping section, the men immediately  retreated to the back area seating section to avoid the swarms. Soon enough though, we were all together with newly purchased wines and cheeses in hand. We talked and laughed. And laughed some more. It felt nice to literally exhale, and to feel like part of the family. 

Friday, October 16, 2015


Just what I was asking for and needed. 
I found it in a long weekend and a coffee cup. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015


About this time a few years back I just completed another 5K, the Monster Dash. At that time, I more than likely added yet another bib to my bibfolio and another t-shirt to the stack shown above. I can happily say that I received news that my quilt, made of all the t-shirts you see here (and then some), is almost completed and will be shipping to me next week! Can't wait to finally see this 4 year old collection and project come to life in it's final product! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Me O'clock

Another Cubs victory last night and another Obedience class wrapped up. I'm ready for the next series in baseball, but not the next series of classes. I need a break. The work isn't grueling (by any means) but mentally and emotionally, I need some me time. Yeah, first world problems, I know. But I feel like I haven't replenished who I am for a while, whether it's volunteering, having a girls night out, or just sitting quietly with a book and cup of coffee. I need it to be me o'clock and I'm hoping my upcoming weekend getaway will provide just that. Silence, off the grid no cell service, relaxing, reconnect with nature, no reservations, just be, time. Can't wait. 

Monday, October 12, 2015


There's a Me and an E in the word team. This weekend my Team fed a 
giraffe, and decorated pumpkins!

Friday, October 9, 2015


We all struggle, or have struggled (I'm assuming) with relationships. What happens when you outgrow them? Typically with friends, you drift apart and life continues. You reflect on fond memories perhaps, but your world is not amiss due to their absence. But what happens when the people you outgrow are your own family, the ones you really can't ignore? Read on... 
"During a recent session, Becca (mid-20s) was describing a typical argument with her mother. She and her mom have a close but combative relationship; in their fights, Becca often feels frustrated at her mom’s immaturity. Becca’s parents have been divorced for many years and her mother has drifted from one low-level job to another, never fulfilling her early potential, largely because of impulsive or ill-considered choices that involved taking the easy way out. Since therapy began, Becca has worked hard to overcome similar tendencies in her own character and has done remarkably well in a difficult career.
Becca’s mother often gives unwanted advice that Becca finds irritating. “Look at what she’s done with her own life,” she told me in session. “Who is she to give me advice about how to run mine?”
“Maybe you’ve outgrown your mom,” I said to Becca. “You keep wanting her to be more the kind of mother you wished you’d had, someone you could respect, but the truth is, you’ve grown beyond her. You’re the more emotionally mature and successful person.”
Becca looked startled and unhappy. “That’s kind of depressing,” she said. It made her feel both sad and guilty, that she should be growing beyond her mother in emotional maturity. She didn’t want to accept that her mother would never grow into a person she could look up to.
Becca’s reaction and the rest of that session reminded me of a dream I had almost 30 years ago. Like Becca, I would have been in my mid-20s, and five or six years into my own therapy. It must have been around the time I decided to become a therapist. Here’s the dream:
I’m standing on a crude flat-bottom boat in a swamp or bayou, right at the shoreline. It’s one of those boats you navigate by pushing a long pole into the lake bottom; a man stands behind me and has begun to pole us away from the shore. The rest of my family stands on the shoreline. As we pull further and further away from the shore, I feel deeply sad. Guilty, too. I feel as if I’m abandoning my family and that I ought to go back for them. But I know there’s not enough room for them in the boat. Even if there were, their feet seem to be stuck in the glue-like mud. There’s no hope for escape.
I had only one association to the dream: its location made me think of squalid parts of the rural South where people live in ignorance and poverty.
Even though it’s been nearly 30 years, I have a vivid recollection of that dream. I well remember what my analyst said. He told me that after a number of years of our work together (he was the man behind me with the pole), I’d grown emotionally, to such an extent that I felt I was leaving my family of origin behind. As I became healthier, I left the illness and dysfunction behind me, on my way to something better, while everyone else in my family remained “stuck” in an emotional backwater of ignorance and mental illness. I felt saddened by this movement away, and guilty to be leaving them behind.
As I write these words, that dream still makes me sad. When I look at the lives of my nieces and nephews today, I see the dysfunction getting worse. It’s what I felt back then — so much pain and confusion, too many drugs, periods of complete emotional chaos. I’ve done well for myself and I’m grateful for the life I have, but at the point when I truly separated from my family and moved on emotionally, as it were, I felt sad and guilty about it.
For many of us who get therapy and truly grow, it often means leaving our families of origin behind. I don’t mean that we permanently break off contact, although with deeply narcissistic or toxic parents, that may be necessary. I didn’t stop seeing my parents, but I usually felt as if I were humoring my father and keeping my mother at a distance. I still loved my family, but in many ways, being around them made me feel how little we had in common. In later years, my sister, brother and I found meaningful ways to re-connect but I never again felt much emotional contact with my parents.
This kind of separation is different from the way many teens reject their parents or treat them with contempt. In such cases, they’re usually struggling to establish their own independent identity and feel they must separate forcefully; it’s often temporary, a “phase” as they say. The grief and guilt of outgrowing your parents also differs from the very normal way that children come to view their parents as quaint and out-of-date — to mothball them, as I described it in an earlier post. Separation and gaining independence are a normal part of development; a phase of feeling superior to your parents helps you to break free of childhood. Feeling grief and guilt because you’ve grown beyond a mentally ill family system is quite another matter.
Becca has just begun this transition. I think she’d still very much like to feel she has a “real” mother, someone older and wiser to be relied upon for guidance, rather than someone who seems more like a girlfriend most of the time. Because she’s not yet fully confident in her own “adult” abilities, Becca doesn’t feel ready to accept her mother for who she is, rather than the person Becca would like her to be. But that time will come. There’s more grief and guilt ahead for her."

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Throwback Thursday.
Seven years ago.
Short hair.
First Facebook profile pic.
Lincoln Park Zoo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


When the ringmasters bring their shit-show to town, you don't have to attend.
(And I didn't. Okay, I did kind of watch for entertainment purposes...)

Monday, October 5, 2015


Thank you again Michael at A Life Examined for providing me the Question of the Month for my Monday post. This month’s question is...

                     “Who would play you in a movie of your life?”

And the fact is, that's a really good question. I can only base my choices on who I think the actresses to follow actually are, because the fact is, I don't actually know them. Rather, to me, they are made up in my mind of the best parts of the characters they've played. So here goes. Who would play me in a move about my life?

I'll start with Kate Winslet. She seems to be a down to earth type of woman, and yet, seems to have a fiery and spicy side as well (think Rose from Titanic). I feel like she's an underrated gorgeous woman of Hollywood who hasn't sold out her natural beauty with injected lips and Botox. Again identifying with her character, Rose, I want to learn and experience all I can in this world, with a bit of sass and lots of confidence.

If for some reason Kate is busy, I'd have to reach out to Zooey Deschanel. She seems to play (and portray in life) a very individualistic styled nerd who, ironically, fits in everywhere. I see her as another down to earth, natural beauty who doesn't conform to the pressures of Hollywood. I mean, what bad press have your ever heard about Zooey? I highly identify with the nerd role, after all, yours truly has been called a nerd and has the glasses to prove it.

Sadly, I used to think being a nerd was a bad thing, but the older I get the more I love and identify with the title and am even proud of it these days. Zooey's character in the movie, "Yes, Man" marches to the beat of her own drum. She tries new and different things, not for any one person's approval, but because she enjoys them (photography while jogging, she's in a band and rides a scooter) and to me, that's sexy.

And finally, if neither of those ladies are available, while definitely not my last place choice, I would pick Melissa McCarthy. She is seemingly confident in her own skin, funny and smart. She can take on any role from that of her Bridesmaid character Megan, to more serious roles like that in St. Vincent. Either way to me, she exudes fun, sassy and even sexy. She just seems happy. 

So yeah, in a nutshell, I want a smart, funny, underrated sexy, nerd to play me because that is how I identify myself. Maybe I'm not all of those characteristics at the same time, but it's who and what I strive to be at any given time. I'm not always successful. There are days I'm a down and out crab, and feel as far from sexy as one person can get. But the fact is, that's not every day. And those days don't define me and won't stop me from moving forward, always trying to be a better version of myself. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cider Boys

Lake Zurich could learn a thing or two from the city on how to throw a beer tasting festival. Instead of focusing on how cold it was, or how poorly the space was used, or the fact that some advertised vendors were not actually on site and most beers were out of stock before I had a chance to try them; I'll focus on the fact that I had great company!

Okay, okay, it wasn't all that bad actually. I loved the Cider Boys, "Mad Bark" cider so much so that I went back 3 times for more samples! As for beers, the pink drink pictured was probably the most interesting beverage of the night. It's a Rhubarb beer by Not Your Father's Root Beer company and was pretty smooth and tangy. And though I'm not a pumpkin fan, there was a beer called Pumpkin Spice Latte that tasted exactly like it's namesake. 
While this wasn't my favorite tasting event of all time, I hope being only in it's infancy and second year, that the Lake Zurich Craft Beer Festival continues to grow and evolve. I do appreciate having been able to scarf down some yummy potato pancakes, try some new drinks that I would have been afraid to purchase otherwise, hang out with the significant other and new friends and even find a new favorite cider. Move over Angry Orchard, the Cider Boys are taking over!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


That's right, it's already October! Where has this year gone? Seriously, just yesterday it was June and today it's 50-something degrees and Fall. To welcome the month, I've been having fun decorating for Thanksgiving and Halloween, and can't wait to partake in the first beer-fest of the month tomorrow night. Also, along with a trip to Door County for their annual Fall Fest, a trip to Chicago's HofBrauhaus is in order! Nothing says October like a good stein of unfiltered beer and Weisswurste! I love that October brings jeans and sweatshirt type of weather, bright crisp days with colorful leaves and football! Now, if we could just stop the weather here for the rest of the year, I'd be set! What are you doing to ring in and Rocktober?