So Long, Farewell

Until we meet again

Goodbyes are never easy. At least, not for me. Especially when they’re shared with loved ones, people I’m fond of, places I enjoy being, or blogs to which I feel a connection.

I guess you can see where I’m going here.

It’s my final blog on the Peanut Butter on the Keyboard site. I haven’t been a PBOK mom for very long, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The camaraderie, the shared insight and advice, the comfort in hearing from other women with similar issues. Whether we have kids or not, have toddlers or adolescents or young adults, whether we’re married or single, whether we’re writers or not… we’re all women, striving to do our best, give our best, be our best… in a world that is ever changing, ever challenging, ever hectic.

There are times we want to fix everything, accomplish anything and feel like we’re SuperWoman. And there are moments when we just want to curl up on our couch, cover up with a warm blanket and take a nap.

We’ve shared celebrations, tragedies, family traditions, and posts about ideas or organizations or injustices we feel strongly about and staunchly support. We’ve questioned ourselves, our kids, our parenting, our actions—and in return we’ve received guidance, pats on the back, reassurance, tips, “hang-in theres” and commiseration.

I’m sad to see our time here come to an end. But the rose-colored-glasses, wide-eyed optimist in me refuses to think of this as “good-bye” but rather “FAREWELL!” Until next time. On the next blog somewhere on the internet. On the bookshelves. At a conference. In the grocery line. In spirit.

I wish you and yours a life full of peace, joy, health and love—much much love.

So, in the spirit of my musical theatre-loving family, I leave you with a song, a little dance, a little laughter and a fond, fond farewell.

If you’d care to share what movie or TV show farewell is your favorite, I’d love to hear it.

I watched many sad farewell videos before I selected this one. But seeing as how I prefer to close on a happier until-we-meet-again note, I close with this classic.

Until we meet again my friends…

<a href="[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU&w=560&h=315]” title=”So long video” target=”_blank”>

Change Can Be a Good Thing

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There are numerous platitudes meant to help people push through rough times. Or to help you find the positive in what could be considered a negative situation.

Sayings like:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Challenging times strengthen you.
Some of the best things in life are mistakes.
When God closes a door, He opens a window.
When one door closes, another opens.

Some are words of wisdom from famous people. And they become daily mantras to strengthen our character and drive.

“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Jim Valvano
“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Lou Gehrig
“Failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.” Hank Aaron
“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky.” Dr. Seuss
“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

Sometimes, when a good thing comes to an end, we struggle with accepting the situation. Wanting to hold onto that something, even if the wise decision might be to release it.

So, it’s with a heavy heart that the PBOK moms have decided it’s time to close the blog. We all have different reasons, but there’s one major reason we have in common—lack of time in a busy world.

I’ll admit my first reaction to rally the troops. I’d set a 2015 goal to take a more professional attitude with my writing, making sure I dedicate a specific amount of time to writing every day. Without fail!

The blog has been an amazing way for me to combine my writing life with my mom/family life. What a blessing!

So why would I want that to end?

Well, because in 2015, my writing time needs to focus on doing whatever I can to make a strong push toward publication. I’m not getting any younger. For years I’ve let my writing time slip by the wayside in the wake of other responsibilities. And let’s be honest here, other “fun” activities.

I’ll miss stopping by the PBOK blog to see what my fellow moms have posted. I’ll miss sharing my thoughts with all of you. And I’ll definitely miss the camaraderie and friendship between us.

But my wish for all of us is that we finish 2015 able to look back over the year and find accomplishments we’re proud of, despite the changes or sacrifices we faced.

We’re all strong, wise passionate women. Change can be good. If we face it with the right mindset.

I’ll be back in two weeks for my final PBOK blog. For now, I’ll close with a question I hope you’ll feel inclined to answer:

What do you plan to accomplish in 2015? Personally or professionally?

And just in case you could use a mantra for the day, the week, the month or the year, here’s a little something one of my daughters shared with me:
76c2906838f537eb29392213bcb32938

When It's Cold Out, Special Memories Can Warm You

It’s a BRRRRRRRRRR kind of day here in typically sunny Florida.

Okay, so I know there are people snowed in up north. Kids are off from school. Some offices and businesses are closed. Folks are already skiing or sledding or building snowmen.
Florida Winter
But down here in the Sunshine State—land of sandy beaches, waves lapping the shore, seagulls drifting on the wind—winter jackets don’t make it out of the closet too often.
winter-in-florida
So, when I say it’s a “bitter 41 degrees” outside this morning, that bitterness is relative. I’ve got friends in the northeast corner of the US who’d love it to be 41 where they live as they bundle up and head out the door. Another friend lives in New Mexico and she’s posting pics of her snow-covered house doing a darn fine impression of a scene on the front of a Christmas card. I got shivers just looking at her post.
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But while this Florida girl isn’t too keen on living in a snowy, icy, bone-chilling place, I do think it’s fun to play in the snow. And I wouldn’t mind spending a day on the ski slopes, then heading back to a warm cozy lodge for hot chocolate and a blazing fire in the fireplace. I’ve been known to plop down on the snow and make a snow angel or two. And my family has risen to the challenge when our neighbors pounded our door with snowballs—a definite call to arms initiating an intense, laughter-filled snowball fight in our front yards.
Buddy-and-Michael-in-a-snowball-fight
With Thanksgiving around the corner and December holidays not far behind, my nesting instinct starts kicking into high gear. Baking, gift buying, gift wrapping, family get-togethers, gingerbread house building, carol singing, mugs of hot chocolate, old memories shared, new memories made.

Can you tell I’m a big fan of the holiday season? Not because of the shopping and present buying, though I do love to gift giving and bringing a smile to someone’s face. But because it’s a time for families and friends to spend quality time together. A time for fun, frolic and smiles.
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I won’t ask about December holiday traditions—that’s an entire blog for later—but instead, I’d like to know what’s the one thing you’re looking forward to the most during the Thanksgiving holiday?

In this high tech world of social media and tweets and Snapchats and Instagrams and all the other apps I’m not cool enough to have heard about yet, there’s still nothing that can beat the feel of two hands held together in greeting. Or two arms wrapped around you in a welcoming hug. Or two lips pressing an I-missed-you kiss on your cheek.

For me, I’m most looking forward to when my family and I’ll gather around the table, clasp hands, and give thanks we’re all together. That’s when I’ll close my eyes, take a deep breath and give the hands I’m holding an I-love-you squeeze.
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And even if it’s just for that briefest of moments, all will be right in my world.

So what’s your special moment, memory or tradition this time of year? I’d love to hear what you’re excited about!

Wishing you and yours many many many blessings! And a warm place to snuggle with your loved ones. ☺
couples holding hands.

Veteran's Day, Every Day

Today is a special day.

A stop-and-contemplate-the-sacrifices-others-have-made-for-you day.

If you aren’t aware of it: Today is Veteran’s Day.

The day we remember those who served our country and those who continue to do so.

The day we should take a moment to thank a veteran.

The day that, as Americans, we need to recognize the sacrifices others have made so that we can do things like:

run into Target for some cool new gizmo we probably don’t need but want,

swing by the mall for an outfit that, as a woman, I might not be able to wear
in another country,

stand on the side of the road waving a sign proclaiming our candidate of
choice,

gather in front of our President’s residence and voice our opinion,

send our daughter’s to school knowing they won’t be persecuted for it!

The thing is, I think every day should be celebrated like it’s Veteran’s Day. Every time we see a veteran we should stop and thank him or her.

I grew up as a Navy “brat.” Was an Air Force wife for over two decades. Prayed for and continue to pray for active duty family members.

So I ask all of you, wherever you are, when you see a military member, please make a point of letting him or her know you appreciate their service. Whether or not you agree with a specific military operation isn’t the point. The point is that American men and women fought, served, died so that you and I can live as freely as we do here in the US. Their bravery, their heart, their blood, sweat and tears were given for the rest of us.

Today, everyday, we should be thankful.

So, to
dad navy
DAD,
Jackie military
JACKIE,
JD military
JOE DAVID,
Jeanie military
JEANIE and all the other military members in my family, I am beyond proud of you and awed by your bravery.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

What's Keeping You Busy?

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My question of the day is: What’s keeping you busy?

Like most weeks, my calendar is pretty full. But, it’s mostly full of blessings.

Sure, there’s some stuff I’d like to erase from my “To Do” list, a few things I’m not looking forward to dealing with, but I strive really hard to remind myself that those not-so-fun To Do’s will only serve to make the really fun things that much better.

So, I thought it would be fun to take a look at our calendars and share a little about what we find filling them up.

With mine, you’ll find that I tend to spend a lot of time with my family,
family-pic_opt

my girlfriends,
girl-time

socializing with friends,
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and exercising (this one needs to get on my calendar more often).
you-need-to-exercise

There’s also rarely a week that goes by when I’m not attending some type of volunteer event or meeting.
volunter

But I also try to remember, amidst the hustle and bustle of my life, take care of myself.

Time to regroup, listen to my thoughts, enjoy a good book.
alone-time

Which is why I try to add a little quiet or alone time to my calendar.
time for what makes you happy
Some weeks I’m better at this than others.

And at the end of the day, when I’m snuggling under my blankets in bed, after racing along checking things off my To Do list, I really hope I don’t forget this mantra:
love urself

So, what’s filling up your calendar this week? Something fun you wanna share? Something important you’d like us to think good thoughts about for you?

I hope you have time to stop by and share!

USA TODAY BEST SELLING AUTHOR

Represented by Rebecca Strauss DeFiore & Company

rebecca@defliterary.com

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