Sunday, January 12, 2014


I remember at a very young age, being so jealous of my baby brother.  One particular memory of this emotion was my birthday.  I think I might have been turning four.  My Aunt had brought gifts for me, naturally it was MY birthday, but what the hell?  She brought a gift for Georgie?  Why does baldy get gifts on my birthday?  I vividly remember to this day the feeling of absolute distaste of this  thoughtful and innocent gesture.  Georgie was two years younger than me and quite possibly the cutest two year old you ever laid your eyes on.  I watched everyone in my family dote over him and it killed me.  Little did I realize I was doted on quite a bit too being the first grandchild on both sides of my family.  However, at the innocent age of four I wasn't noticing that.  I was only seeing the hugs and kisses being given to Georgie.  I was "perceiving" he was loved more. 

per·cep·tion (definition via

noun \pər-ˈsep-shən\

: the way you think about or understand someone or something
: the ability to understand or notice something easily
: the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

My senses were telling me my little brother was receiving more love than me.  Obviously this is a ridiculous idea.  I mean I understand some of us play favorites, but there is no way my mother and my father, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents felt in their hearts more love for Georgie than for me, but that sure was what my mind was conjuring up through what I was seeing and hearing.

"The more I see, the less I know for sure." - John Lennon

Which leads to my what point do we ditch perception and realize what we see and hear is not necessarily what is felt with the heart.  It's not the core of who we are.  Our heart.  Our soul.  I see the four year old I once was in my daughter, who right now is a vivacious little sassafrass of a girl.  She is very jealous of her new cousin JJ. I see that four year old in myself still to this day at times.  I see this four year old in most of my peers whom are all on the other side of 35 for the most part.  Perceiving and protruding "perceptions" of who they are. 

Again here lies that question I keep asking myself.  How much of what I am seeing and hearing is real? Real to the core of who that person may be or real to the core of who I am.  Truly felt from within the heart.  What is this need so many fall prey to, including myself, to share a perception through certain social media outlets that isn't or is true to who we are as people.  Why do we need validation of who we are from anyone else other than ourselves and a select few loved ones?  What are we fulfilling?  It makes sense to me that if one is at peace or centered with oneself completely this needy behavior would not exist.  I would imagine more time would be spent fulfilling your heart and mind with love and wisdom through true experience.  Real living.  Living and breathing the present moment.  Moving forward this new year of 2014, I plan to make a conscious effort to stop perceiving and start being present.  Using my senses as tools of the heart which is where I want my mind to be fed from.  Believe in myself and what my heart feels and tells me.  It's not living otherwise.  At least not for me.  My heart doesn't lie to me.  My mind may try some tricks, but my heart I can trust.  She has been broken and torn apart, but she still beats the undeniable truth.  She's brutal sometimes, but she does not lie.  She still beats love and hope.  I believe in her.

I deleted my Facebook page a little over four years ago.  Within this past year I started and deleted two Instagram profiles.  I deleted my second and final Instagram profile over a week ago.  It was difficult to do.  I'll miss many sweet smiling faces, but it has been such a freeing experience for me at the same time.  It's not for everyone and I admire people that can separate what is real and not real with no inner effect.  I have a hard time doing that, therefore, I don't belong a part of either.

"What people in the world think of you is really none of your business." - Martha Graham

By the way my beloved little brother.........I love you.

"Through the eyes and I sparkle, Senses growing keen
Taste your love along the way, See your feathers preen
Kind of makes makes me feel sometimes, Didn't have to grow
We are eagles of one nest, The nest is in our soul"

10 Years Gone ~ Led Zeppelin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paleo Granola

I was in such a hurry to get the Paleo ice cream recipe posted a few weeks back that I didn't get to make a couple things known.  First off, I AM NOT A PALEO GURU.  Secondly, I DO NOT EAT PALEO 100% OF THE TIME.  I eat this way I'd say 75% of the time.  Sometimes that may even be stretching it, but I do make a conscious effort, daily, to make food choices that are consistent with the Paleo way of living.  My reasoning?  It's simple.  Simple as in the delicious way Mother Nature intended.  At least that is my interpretation of it.  I was introduced to the diet through the CrossFit world.  Many people have different views on why to eat this way, but the more I read about it the more I understood it as getting back to the days of when one knew and could pronounce what they were eating.  Meat wasn't injected with hormones, fruits and vegetables weren't sprayed with pesticides but rather grown in your own backyard, and food was sweetened with nature's gold, raw honey.  It all goes back to the earth for me.  Not weight loss or any sort of vanity insanity.  I want to feel and be healthy for me and for my family; mentally and physically connected to the simple, but great pleasures this beautiful planet provides. 
Not to say that I don't indulge in a brownie or two here and there throughout my week.  As a matter of fact my latest weakness has been these delightful crème filled maple leaf cookies my boyfriend (yes I have a boyfriend, his name is Robin, more about him when I can dedicate the time) brought home from Trader Joes.  They are absolutely divine and smell like a maple syrup dream.  I find personally if I allow myself to fall off the wagon here and there I tend to stay on it longer and more consistently when I get back on.  I call it a "nutrition get away or vacation".    In my opinion we all need time off from a lot of things other than work, so as to not get burned out on be it the gym, a hobby, or our kids for that matter!  Right?  Too each his own of course. 
Anyway, I came across this recipe for granola when looking for a cereal substitute.  I tweaked it a bit and found it to be pretty delicious, so naturally I thought I would share.  I could dominate the crap out of some cereal, especially Lucky Charms, but oh the horror of those ingredients.  Not to mention the sluggish, unmotivated self I become after demolishing a bowl or two.  Here's the recipe my ready for your house to smell like honey and maple syrup heaven. 

Paleo Granola

2 cups of sliced almonds
2 cups of pumpkin seeds (shelled or not your preference, we like shelled)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of unsweetened dried fruit of your choice (blueberries, cranberries, or dates)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of raw honey
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Turn on and turn up your stereo.  (Music of choice for us with this recipe was Zeppelin)
2.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
3.  Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
4.  Add liquid ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
5.  Spread evenly on cookie sheet.
6.  Bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Let cool then used spatula to break apart.  Store in air tight container.
8.  Eat with almond milk like cereal, sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt, OR eat it by the handfuls leaving Hansel and Gretel trails all through the house like we do.

I buy all the nuts at Trader Joes.  The unsweetened coconut I buy by the pound at Wholefoods.  I've found that the freeze dried fruit Trader Joes carries (no sugar added) works nicely, but it seems everyone's favorite in this household is dates.  Remarkably, you can find dates in any grocery store without sugar added.

"Then as it was, then again it will be.
An' though the course may change sometimes 
rivers always reach the sea."
~ Robert Plant
Ten Years Gone, Led Zeppelin

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Well it's been a while since I've been on this guy!  This was a place I came to in my random free time throughout the first couple years Miah Jane was born to share the beauty in my life with her in it.  That beauty never stopped of course I just needed some time to learn how to balance.  I was slowly realizing there was a person before Miah Jane that I hadn't paid attention to in awhile.  In finding her again (me) I found who I was before with a sprinkle of perspective and a dash of new passions.  I will be honest this enlightenment was not all positive.  I had a very difficult time figuring out as a single parent how to balance it all.  Of course my beautiful family and some very amazing friends old and new came to my rescue and helped me fill in the gaps.  Next thing I knew I'm burping, cleaning, snatching, eating like a caveman, and I'M AN AUNTIE!
My Lovey, My Boo, My Nephew
Jordan James Poppa
Born January 9, 2013
Ok. Let's get to the ice cream recipe shall we?  That's what you're here for right!!  Those of you that know me know I digress like a mother trucker.  I can be hard to follow, but bare with me.
Paleo Chocolate Toasted Coconut Ice Cream


  • 1 can (14 fl oz) coconut creamer ($1.47 a can at Trader Joes)
  • Up to a 1/4 cup raw honey (the idea is to limit sugar so if you can go with less do it)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of pure organic cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup of toasted unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Kings of Leon  - Only by the Night album
  • Cute assistant (this human may vary depending on your needs)


  1. Turn on and turn up your stereo.  MJ and I found this Kings of Leon album worked nicely, but to each is own.  ALWAYS incorporate music if you can.  Your experiences soak into your soul better that way in my opinion.
  2. Heat coconut milk and honey in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  3. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. Temper the egg yolks by adding a small ladle of the warm honey and coconut milk mixture at a time, stirring continuously until completely combined. 
  4. Refrigerate mixture until cool.
  5. Blend cooled mixture with cacao powder, toasted coconut, and vanilla in a blender on high for twenty seconds.  
  6. Follow the directions on your ice cream maker and enjoy!


Voila!  Yes, I realize my child looks like a ragamuffin, but a friggin' cute ragamuffin.  Summer is upon us, so "hot mess" whether we like it or not is "in" this season.  Hence the ice cream recipe.  I eventually would like to get into detail about some things in regards to Paleo eating, but for lack of free time I just wanted to get this recipe posted.  A couple quick things though, make sure your honey is raw (Trader Joes) and your coconut is unsweetened (Wholefoods).  I'll try to elaborate soon.  I also want to share some variations of this recipe too.  Not everyone is a chocolate lover.  Weird, but some of you are out there.
"I like to dance all night and some of the day....."
~Manhattan, Kings of Leon

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Baking with Mama

Could there possibly be a cuter assistant?!

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gymnastics! Day One!

Summer is here!  School is out!  Time for summer fun and summer camps!  For those of you who so kindly allowed my child to jump on your couches and ottomans with a nervous smile....I finally enrolled the girl in gymnastics!!  A warehouse full of bouncy trampolines!!  My little lady is so in her element every Tuesday morning at 10:15 with her buddies Devin and Lexi this summer.

I don't know what do you think?  Does she seem to like it?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Moving Forward

"Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving."

~ Albert Einstein

My Dad recited this quote in his speech to Jeremiah and I at our wedding.  Little did he know how much it would mean to me as life kept and still keeps moving.  I love you Dad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flower Girl, Love and Stuff

Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.  In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels. Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection.

Countless times throughout the last two, almost three, years people tell me they "don't know how I do it".  I can understand from the outside looking in why this thought would cross so many people's mind.  However, it never really crossed mine until recently.  I have three answers to this perplexing thought so many seem to have.

First and foremost I think the most obvious answer is Miah Jane.  My little band aid.  My sunshine.  My little wing.  One of my most favorite quotes of recent is "You don't realize how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have".  This isn't just my life anymore.  The moment I became a Mom I had to adjust to that and it helped me tremendously.  The focus is no longer on just me and what happened to me.  This happened to Miah Jane too whether she realizes it now or not.  Jeremiah's death happened to a lot of people.  Which leads me to my second answer....

Answer two, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you.  Once again focus.  Sadly, there is an insurmountable amount of perspective in the world to draw from.  It affects my heart in such a way that I truly can not watch the news or much TV for that matter.  It's easy to get lost in your own swirling world I understand that I catch myself all the time, but I have found it's just as easy if not healthier to step out of my own skin and notice the great big world around me. 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  ~Plato

Answer three has been my favorite to think about these days.  Not that I don't eat, breath, and sleep answer number one.  However, answer number three has catapulted me to somewhere I haven't been in a very long time.  Happy.  I am blessed by an enormous  amount of LOVE.  Be it my life line of a family or life raft of friends.  It is incredible and so powerful.  Every stretch and reaching act of compassion or love that has been extended to me and my daughter I grasp onto pulling myself closer and closer to the person I once was but better.  Every card, letter, comment, discussion, hug, and kiss fuels me to reach for one day after the next; just as the excitement of a love at first sight moment, the birth of a child, becoming newlyweds, or the realization of a best friend creates the euphoric sensation of conquering the world.  In my experience, love perpetuates love my friends.  It is not in my nature to preach.  I don't like telling people what I believe they should think or feel.  I am simply speaking from my grateful stitched up heart.  God is Love in my house.

To love is to help and encourage

with smiles and sincere words of praise

to take time to share

to listen and care

in tender, affectionate ways

To love is to make special memories

of moments you love to recall

of all the good things

that sharing life brings

love is the greatest of all.

May I present to you.........

Mr. and Mrs. Scott Rauch

To love is to share life together

to build special plans just for two

to work side by side

and then smile with pride

as one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to have someone special

one who you can always depend

to be there through the years

sharing laughter and tears

as a partner, a lover, a friend.

~ Kellie Spehn

Thank you Briana and Scott for my tanker load of fuel!!  Your wedding was one to remember!!
Crying happy tears is one of my many favorite things to do and I got to do it a lot last weekend.  Once again thank you for the experience.  I love you both so much.

Thank you to everyone who has to contributed to my mending heart, soul, and life.  I hope you all know who you are.  Please take note that you have helped someone and her daughter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kimmy Day

There are actually a few things I vividly remember from the day Jeremiah died.  I don't think there's much sequence to my few flashes, but there are two that stand out in my mind significantly.  The phone call was one and the moment I realized my child was not going to have a father he or she would physically know.  In that moment I remember looking my Dad in his dark brown sad eyes and telling him "I don't want Bean to be screwed up".  How am I going to explain this to her?  How am I going to make her feel like she's not missing something? Better yet someone?  Someone so special.  I suppose I just love her and the rest will fall into place?

With age comes more decisions.  More intelligence and personality.  With her 2nd birthday quickly approaching (now has come & gone) it felt like it was time to make a big decision.  Is it time to put her in some sort of preschool program?  Obviously she is my only child.  She is extremely attached to me and Gama.  By the way she's back to sleeping with me in "our" bed.  It's a long story and I don't want to digress too far.  Anyway, I was beginning to feel inadequate.  Am I meeting her needs?  Structure, activity, socialization.....all these things swirling in my head and no Jeremiah to bounce them off of.  Yes I have my sister, Jordan, my parents, but I needed Jeremiah.  Her father, the other person who was supposed to share this responsibility with me.  Let me tell you it is one thing to take on the duty of parenting with a partner, but it is a whole new ball game when it's only you. Me.  The sole person who in the end is responsible for this child, her life, and her father's legacy.  HELLO PRESSURE!!!!!! 

I don't really remember how I stumbled upon Shining Stars, but I did, and in that weird meant to be way we are two months into enrolling her in this program and I can say with all honesty I am confident in my decision.  I bounced back and forth between a couple Montessori schools, but upon my first tour of Shining Stars something about it felt right.  At one point during a observation of the class I looked up at the door of the classroom and on it was the quote "Every Day is a Gift".  Damn right it is.  Words I have learned to live by.  Gold Star!!!!  Upon my second interview with the teacher Mrs. Kimberly (Miah calls her Kimmy) I explained our story.  Through my watering eyes as I spoke I could see something familiar in Mrs. Kimberly's blue eyes.  She too had a story.  One very similar to Miah Jane's.  Mrs. Kimberly's father died when she was two and her mother was seven months pregnant with her brother.  Okay.  I think we are done here. 

Miah attends "school" Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Sometimes she calls it "school" and most times she calls it "Kimmy Day".  The first couple weeks were absolute torture.  Miah cried the entire drive there and Mrs. Kimberly had to basically peel her off of me so I could leave.  ABSOLUTE TORTURE!!  What was I doing to this poor child?!!!!  I thought I would give it one good solid month and go from there.  Well here it's November and girlfriend loves her some school!!  Each week got easier and easier and we now have a groove.  The team effort Mrs. Kimberly and the other teachers provide is incredible and more than I thought was possible.  I've been given reassuring phone calls, emails, notes, and best of all pictures as proof of what my Dad told me early on.  She's going to be okay. 

 Some of the Shining Stars!!

 On a particular rough day Mrs. Kimberly surrendered her desk to MJ and let her watch a slide show of pictures from her birthday party to comfort her.

 A little one on one time with the VERY loved "Kimmy" aaand I think a guinea pig?

 HOW THE HELL?!!!  Magic in those four walls I tell you!!!!

 Hamming it up!!  This means good things!!

I YI YI child what Mommy would or wouldn't do for you.

Thank you Mrs. Kimberly, Mrs. Evelyn, and Mrs. Julie!!!
You made such a hard decision so easy!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surfboard Growth Chart

Along with the fun traditions a birthday brings I have decided to have Miah Jane's picture taken annually with her Daddy's long board.  One of my favorite ways to keep Jeremiah incorporated in our lives.  Especially during such a special time of the year when we celebrate the blessed day MJ began to heal all our hearts.

Monet Layton  you are incredible.  I had absolutely no intention to be in these shots, but Miah and Monet had other plans and I am so glad they did.  Once again Monet, THANK YOU!  Job well done!

The money shot.

Hello light at the end of the tunnel.  There's a lot of these if you can train your eye to look for them.  Undeniable (to me) someone is at the other end waiting to take your hand.

Undeniable that she looks just like our someone in this picture.

It's not the traditional family portrait, but we are all here in some capacity.

Very instinctive this little one.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

-Mary Elizabeth Frye

My Uncle read this at Jeremiah's funeral per my request.  It's also the reason behind my one and only tattoo I decided to get at thirty-three years old.  Thirty-three years old.  That's how old Jeremiah was when he died.  Thirty-three birds for thirty-three years of his life.  Jeremiah would hate this.  I've contemplated tattoos with him a time or two and wow was it always shot down.  Lucky for him there was never anything I wanted on my body permanently anyway.  Permanent has a nice ring to it now.  Jeremiah is a permanent mark on my body, my heart, and my soul.  When the time is right I hope I can convey this to Miah Jane.  I'm sure it's going to be a tough one, but I've got a lot of those ahead of me.

And Babe, if you don't like it you should have been here to make sure I didn't get it.  At least that's how I justify it to myself.

Miah Jane's Sountrack

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