21 Steps Podcast

Coming Soon…

21 Steps the Podcast. For more information and to follow along follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

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Jumping Hurdles

It has been ages since I have posted and I know that.  I have been super busy doing that which I want to do most.  Being a mom.  What I hope is a really great mom.

I left behind a job, no a career, that I loved where I was doing something meaningful and great.  It mattered.  It mattered to me and it made a difference for others.  I loved it.

I made the really hard (for me) choice to leave my job, that I loved, to be home with my kids.  It wasn’t easy.

I soon found that I needed to make a living, and I needed to keep thinking and working.  That was for me and I needed it. Luckily I found a way to do that.  With that has come some great opportunities and I am so very thankful.

But today, something really great came along.  Something that I wanted so much to be able to do, and I had to say “no”. It hurt.  It made me wonder if I am still the amazing person that I once was.  The one that I saw in my future when I was young.  But I said no because it just wouldn’t work for me. It wouldn’t fit into the schedule of the times when I need to be there for my kids.  After all, I did give up something great, and promised myself I was going to be even greater at my new undertaking…being a mom.  So I made the hard choice.  The choice to start where I am today everyday and bloom where I am planted, hoping that the opportunity arises again.  And then I was reading this book that my mother in law sent me:  I’ve Been Thinking by Maria Shriver and I found this quote.  It helped.  It helped a lot.  Maybe…I can still be an amazing person that makes a huge difference in the world……at home…and then the world through them.  Maybe, just maybe.  So today that is my focus for me.

And for those who don’t live in a place with a “drop in daycare option” no siblings or parents near by, I hear you. It was such a small thing that if I had the option like that I could have done it.  And if you have that option…please tell them thank you today.  Realize what you have is truly a gift.

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A Mother’s Love

A Mothers’s Love

It’s not something that you see, they say, you’ll feel it in your heart

That may be true for some kinds of love but for some, that’s just the start

A Mother’s love is not the same as ordinary love

It’s a gift God gave to the babies when he sent them from above

I’m a mom myself, and so I know this to be true

But I also learned it from my mom in the things that she would do

Another great example of a Mother’s love to me

Is my sweet Aunt Rhea and her precious angel Nellie

I could feel that mother love as it flowed out from her soul

To that precious angel Nellie there’s no way she didn’t know

That mother she could show it though so even I could see

That mother loved her dolly and was as proud as she could be

It was in the way she spoke to her, or looked at her little girl

It was in the way she fixed her socks, or combed an unruly curl

It was how she understood her, no words did Nellie need

Her mother listened carefully with her heart and she could see

It was how gently that she moved her and helped her lay just right

It’s in the way she worried constantly and could hardly sleep at night

It’s in the way she fed her and always put her first

She was a mom, a friend, a companion and even was her nurse

She changed her life in such a way to make life better for them both

She always needed Nell to know that she always loved her most

She knew that Nell had favorite things and some she couldn’t stand

But one thing is for certain, Nell was part of the Casper band

She loved to play guitar, a tambourine, and sing aloud

So mother changed guitar strings, she smiled and was proud

 Nell loved to roll wheels on cars and other things that rolled

So mother picked them up and down, it never did get old

This mother I’m sure felt lonely sometimes in a quiet home

But she loved her girl, bigger than the world, and never was alone

Our Nellie was so very loved, by all who knew her heart

But none was bigger, than the love, she earned right from the start

Her momma loved her, so very much it made me truly see

That a mother’s love is endless as a mothers’s love should be

And it’s strong enough, I think, that even when space is vast

Like heaven and earth and farther still a mothers’s love can last

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Keeper of the Flame

This poem I wrote for my friend.  A friend who shared with me a most beautiful love letter.  A friend who has lost so much.  A friend I love.

I think of my mother so much this time of year, and this is so true for her too and I thought of her too, very much, when I wrote it.  Happy Mother’s Day mom.  I sure love you!

Keeper of the Flame

I’m the keeper of the flame, your flame, you left it here in me

So in your great big steps before, like you, I’ll try to be

You’ve been gone so long it feels, and yet moments only it seems

But you visit me, you whisper to me, and I feel you in my dreams


It’s hard to make the world remember, and I worry they will forget

and how am I to share your stories with those, you never met?

I try so hard and sometimes fail the flame it flickers black

Then I stoke it with your love, and mine, and the flame comes quickly back


Often in my quiet moments the flame it burns so strong

So I hide, and hover, tears on my cheeks, knowing I must be strong

For to your ash I cannot turn, for others still need me

And all this need I have for you, is that not what God did see?


But I tuck your flame in close to my heart and weather the angry storm

For it’s there I need your warmth the most, It’s there the flame was born

You passed to me a love so great and gave the best pieces of you

I’m thankful for those, and the flame I bear, but I miss you and it’s heavy too


Now I’m left reflecting on this very flame and the legacy left behind

The obligation you left for me, although it sometimes feels unkind

I know I’m left to share your tales and help our family to see

The fire that you left behind will always burn in me


I hope your heart swells with joy, my gift to you each day

That I share with others when I can, the kindness you gave away

I hope you feel proud of who I’ve become since you left your fire with me

You walked here first, I follow now, like you I hope to be


I’m the keeper of the flame, your flame, I’ll keep it burning bright

For you, for them, and too often now because I need your light

My love for you will never go out and all will know your name

Because for you, I now know my place, I’m the keeper of the flame



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2 Day Beach Body Plan

This isn’t the place you would normally turn for exercise tips and advice, but I have a 2 day beach body plan for happiness to share..and it’s a goody!

I embarked on this journey with upcoming beach plans and I decided to spend 2 weeks doing all things healthy in preparation.  I was so successful that I was able to condense the entire 2 week plan into just 2 days.  That’s right folks…2 days.

At the end of day 2 I realized something.  I wasn’t happy.  I was grumpy to my kids and my husband and I just wasn’t in a good spot. After only 2 days of this.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if that was my everyday.  How very hard.  I applaud those that are able to do so.

For me, I realize it is just as much about mental health as it is about physical health and it is just as big of a deal.  I read something the other day, author unknown, that made me laugh.  It said…”How to have a beach body… 1-Have a body 2- Go to the beach”

I’m going people…just as I am.

A couple of years ago I posted this article Getting Older in a Swimming Suit. Since that day I have done exactly what I said I would. I eat well (most of the time), I exercise, and I am strong.  I have completed an Ironman 70.3, 2 half marathons, many team relays, completed T25 all the way through,  I tried crossfit once, a full marathon, and literally climbed mountains. I can run up Guardsman’s Pass without walking (well I could probably walk faster than I ran but you get it).  Have I changed physically….probably…does it show in my jeans….no…no it doesn’t but here is the real kicker…. The most recent half marathon that I ran I also ran over 11 years ago.  In the best physical shape of my life.  I was a mental wreck however trying to get back on my own two feet.  What happened, I beat my time this year from when I ran 11 years ago.  I’m faster.  Can you believe that?  It’s because I am healthier, mentally and physically. I have a strong support system and I am happy and content just where I am.  I have a super strong beach body with plenty of nourishment to make sure I can live for a good week without food (or more probably). I enjoyed the run more too.  I actually had fun.  Last time, I felt miserable the whole time.

 It only took me 2 days to realize that the body I have is exactly the body I want to take with me.  I want to feel joy and be happy everyday, all day.  Not just when I am in a swimming suit at the beach or posting photos of myself online.  I don’t actually want to be super fit and in shape if it also comes with stress and anxiety that takes away from my joy.

So if you need a little support in loving yourself just as you are, or in allowing yourself to stop the stringent diet and exercise plan you are doing…I’m here.  I can be that for you.  My 2 day beach body plan for happiness is just what you need.  Eat well, exercise, enjoy the little things and in the end…it will all be okay. Many conversations with friends and family who feel just this way, and their encouragement for me to write this down is what brought me to this point.

As Audrey Hepburn said, “The happiest girls are the prettiest.”

Did I fail at a 2 week challenge?  No..I just did so well I completed it into 2 days.  I can do hard things like that.

I have a body…I’ll go to the beach!

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Cheers to the Mommas

Okay all you Mommas out there..or you lucky Stay at home daddy’s, grab a glass of wine or a bottle of Dr. Pepper..whatever it is that makes you relax and feel like a real adult and get ready.  Anytime I write/say the word cheers…take a drink.  Hopefully by the end you feel just a little better and more relaxed so here we go.

Wait..you are at work?  That’s okay…I’ll wait.  YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

To all the poop.  The poop in the diapers, the poop on the floor, the poop in the potty (Yeah!!!) that you then have to still wipe the poopy butt, and the poop near the toilet because they almost made it (I’m so proud of you) to the even the dog poop you step in because we love those furry critters too.  Oh and the pre-poop.  If you have a little boy you know, the air that passes before the poop (and after the poop and during the poop) and the laughter that ensues and the smell that follows. I don’t even have time to talk about pee or all of the talk about poop.  Cheers…..

To no sleep.  I mean who needs that afterall.  What I want most in the world is to be woken up three times a night because of scary puppies, sore legs, itchy ears, dry throats, sweaty heads, and stolen blankets.  Really…(Okay I do love them, I know these moments will pass but for the love of it all I just need a good nights sleep).  And when it’s time to go to bed, what I really want to do is get water because that H2O doesn’t fetch itself.  and that wanted doll..conveniently its always the one playing hide and go seek at bed time. And the questions..ugh the questions.  They hate me….they really do.  Cheers….

-To laughing. At their cute little stinking parasite faces.  To the funny things they say and the joy that they really do bring.  To the puddle jumping and the kitchen dancing.  To the fact that by their actual birth existence I actually have to watch the amount of laughter that ensues or make sure I use the bathroom 2194 times a day.  But they are funny.  Really, really funny.  I mean the knock knock jokes alone that make absolutely no sense but that they laugh and are so proud of is just about enough for me to call my entire life and parenting a success.  To laughing…poop covered so tired laughing.  Cheers…..

-To the Working Mommas. Whether you drop your kiddos off and head out to work, or work from home as a mom or with another job…that’s super multitasking ladies.  No matter which option you choose they are all hard.  You are Incredible.  In case you don’t hear it enough.  Go you!  So Proud!  To the juggling kids and jobs, deadlines and playdates, practices and meetings.  Hip Hip Hooray!  Cheers. 

To no means no.  But actually it doesn’t.  Apparently it means “mom please” or “in a minute”. Maybe it even means yes and we don’t even know it.  I’m not even sure what it means any more, but I think it means something between “Yes” and “You’re saying there is a chance.  Cheers….

To not being the yelling mom.  Nobody wants to be the mom that yells at their kids.  We all want to have a happy holistic approach to life.  We want them to grow up mentally sane and equal.  No therapy needed for my kid kind of life, but lets be honest.  There is only so many times you can say “please pick that up” before the voice eventually escalates to a level they actually hear.  Often times for me, it when I am laying on the floor after I have tripped over something.  I’ll try again next time not to be the yelling mom.  I’m sure they will hear me when I speak to them.  Or if I just take the time to put my hands on their cheeks so they can look me in the eye as they are cartwheeling past me at mock 2.  That’s when I will catch them.  Next time….I own this.   Cheers

Refill your glass….Not you?!?  hmmm…maybe a Cheers for being awesome then…now refill your glass.

To your bad ass dance skills.  You know you got ’em.  Or at least those tiny side kicks think you do.  Isn’t it the best ever when you are dancing and you see them doing what you do.  Then you laugh in your head and sometimes out-loud because you don’t have the heart to tell them to stop practicing that because it will never…ever….be acceptable in public.  nah….bust a move baby!   Cheers

To Story Time.  We all know it’s good for our kids and we do it.  That alone deserves a great big huge pat on the back.  Because if I am being honest, would I rather be reading llama llama or the newest Lisa Gardner I would be lying if I said it wasn’t Llama Llama with those cute faces..actually now I am lying it’s absolutely Lisa Gardner.  But I do it.  Because one day I want those big growing minds to grow up and read Lisa Gardner and then we can talk about it because I know in the future they are going to want to talk to me every single day about the books we read the night before.  Bammm….  Cheers.

To not swearing.  We are raising tiny humans and trying to teach them to become respectable adults.  But let’s be honest.  We all swear inside our teeny tiny heads every day and let them roll around in there for good measure.  If you don’t..I need a dollop of your patience….Cheers.

-To Books and Netflix.  The tiny escape that keeps your mind thinking.  Thank you text-to-speech on my kindle so I can move with my book from reading to listening in my car.  If only Netflix would default to my profile and remove that one extra click from the kids profile…is that too much to ask?  Cheers..

-To the health of it all. post here…where it all began. To the Netflix and treadmill or making time for yourself.  For understanding that your health is important to and for me, knowing when I make it happen I am an even better mom.  Referring to this  To the mom’s that make that time that still do that.  Your mental state means so much, and also helps you deserve this….Cheers. 

To Politics.  I don’t have time to even begin. You can’t fix stupid…and you know right now each side equally thinks the other side is stupid.  Agree to disagree and go about being a good human.   Cheers…Cheers….Cheers.  (need to refill after that..I know we all feel it)

In fact now might be a good time to just grab a straw and the bottle.

To personal space…Or no personal space actually.  To tiny minions in our back pockets.  To knowing there is not a single solitary space in your entire house that is just yours.  You can maybe slip in a closet or the bathroom for a moment, but you realize what a dream it is when you place your hand on the bathroom counter right into the middle of a big blob of kid toothpaste (Or your makeup that they were “trying” on without your permission).  They know the contents of your purse, your bedside drawers, your closets….They are like teeny tiny little spys.  You have no personal space.  Just get used to it.  Cheers….

To Amazon. I am all for the support of shop local, but if I can choose not drag the kids out to the store I’m all for the that.  Plus if I can purchase now rather than trying to remember to write it on the store list that I may or may not leave on the kitchen counter when I actually go to the store that’s another one.  Also I remember years ago discussion about the lack of mail being sent because of the introduction to email so the USPS was about to go out of business.. Amazon pretty much saved them. My sister works for the USPS so I feel I am supporting her. Using that as an excuse.  Cheers..

To the joy.  The pure and utter joy that the tiny humans bring.  The deliriously happy joy.  The heart full of gratitude that they are yours.  The overwhelming pride in every teeny tiny body fiber that calls out…Thank you.  Cheers to the little people!

To good friends. The friends and sisters that have already heard this and agree.  To friends who don’t judge.  To friends who come over when your in your pajamas and you don’t even feel under dressed.  Cheers….   Double Cheers….Cheers... to the friends who don’t have kids or have older kids and still let you come over with yours.  Who play with them and love them because they love you.  Thanks for those friends.  Cheers… Now buy them a bottle or a six pack and take it over and drink it with them.

-To the partners.  The awesome amazing partner who work their butts off to provide for the family.  To the true partners who know just how hard you work too and they lighten the load.  They go to the store, they help clean the house, and they pour you that much needed glass of wine.  Finish that bottle for them…Cheers!!

Bottoms Up! 

I bet you are feeling a little more relaxed about right now aren’t you.  Really we are all in this together.  Nobody is perfect.  “Aint nobody got time for that.”

Feel free to open another…you deserve it!


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It’s a dreary rainy day outside today.  So instead of being out adventuring we are inside finding things to do.  It makes me anxious.  It makes me miss my mom.  It makes me think about all of the Mother’s Days over all of the years and wonder…do I need her more today than I did before?  Is there a time that our needs lessen or do they just change.

As a child we are unaware of just how much we “need” our mother.  We take advantage of everything just being there when we want it to be.  We don’t realize the sacrifices made.  Yet we need them.  Every day we need them.  For the very most basic life-giving things, we need our mother.  IMG_3528

As a teenager we start to feel more independent.  Like we are actually an adult.  We act as if we know it all and we feel invincible.  We start to act as if we don’t need our mother.  As if we just love them but can make it.  And then, a small act of unkindness and we run filled with tears and fury to the one place that is always consistent, always there.  We need our mother.  Those feel like great big huge needs and they overshadow all of the adult actions we thought we were making.  scan0096

Then off to college.  We are on our own.  Truly.  Our basic needs every day, we take care of ourselves.  We don’t rely upon our mothers for life-sustaining needs.  At least not as we did before.  We are growing up. We are making our way in the world.  And yet, in the quite recesses of our minds when we make the big mistakes, the wrong choices, and even when we do something great or make the right choice, there is our mother in the back of our minds…cheering us on whether good or bad, moving us forward with love.  And again we run to her, in need of our mother.  Still not yet understanding how great her place is in our lives. scan0093

Then we are married.  We call our mom daily for advice.  Our girlfriends seem  to drift ever so slightly away and the calls to them turn, more to our mother than to our social group.  We find that being an adult is not what we thought it was in our teenage years.  We realize that all of those things we thought we could do, so independently are sometimes actually very hard.  In those moments we turn again to our Mother for love and support.  For the whispering of confidence and the outpouring of support.  We start to wonder if maybe she hid her fears and worry.  mwed

And then…It happens…We become a mother.  It is now that we truly understand.  It is now that we thank our mother with a true and honest form of gratitude that brings tears to our eyes and heartbreak to our soul.  Why did we not see this before and tell her everyday all along the way?  So we try to make up for it.  And in every action of our own for our children we see her.  We feel her.  We need her.  We are learning and she did it perfectly so it is to her advice we turn. It is to her we learn.  Our Mother. 100_1239

My story changes here.  I had just begun to tell my mother how much I appreciated her.  I had just begun to understand.  I had only started to say Thank you.  The true thank you from the bottom of my soul kind of thank you that she deserved.  I had only begun.  I had just started learning.  Learning how to care for tiny people.  Care for those people the way my  mother did for me, long before I could even remember.  I needed her so.  I needed her to help me bring my sidekick #2 into the world and I needed her there to teach me.  To help me learn to raise these little ones to be great, kind, loving big ones one day.  I need my mother.  I need her so much sometimes that I feel her void like an angry volcano in my soul.   IMG_3594

And then I wonder, as I watch those I love around me.  What will I do when I am older, my kids are all grown and the house is quiet.  I will surely need my mother then.  I will need her to help me fill the silence. I will need her there to share my love with.  I will need her to have the conversations and to help make sure my dress is just right when my sidekicks are walking down the aisle.  I will need her there to share tears of joy when grand-babies come to play.  I will need her then too.  If I had her then, I would have great big years of memories and won’t those memories just add to my love? Or do they add to the heartache and the missing of our Mother later in life?

I think it is this…we need our Mother.  No matter the stage of our life,of the time we got to spend.  We need our Mother from day one to our very last day.  Mother.

I wish I could tell you today just how thankful I am for you. I wish I could tell you that I see the sacrifices that you made me for me.  I wish I could thank you for all of the fibs you told me just to help keep me happy in a world that is so cruel.  I wish I could tell you I’m doing it right. I think I have this Mothering thing down….most days.  I wish I could tell you just how much you taught me.  I wish I could tell you that I want to be just like you and I’m trying.  I am trying really hard everyday to do just that.  You did good Mom.  You were the very best and I am so thankful for you.  I need you today. I hope you know that.  I need you every single day.

I love you!  Happy Mother’s Day (and Birthday soon!)gscan0115

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Baseball in Heaven

I just realized that I didn’t share this poem that I wrote for my Grandma Nina.  She was one more great loss in the year 2015. Sure miss that lady.  Her birthday just passed, and baseball is starting so I thought it would be a great time to check in.



Baseball in Heaven

I hope they have baseball in heaven

So she can stay up on her game

She’d talk about players their team and their stats

Their history, their strengths and their name

It’s hard to say who was her favorite team

Because it seemed the she loved them all

Whoever she talked to, their team was the best

And she knew them right down to each call


She watched every game no matter the team

No matter the time of day

New games, yes for sure, and old ones too

It didn’t matter, she’d watch them play

She’d talk and she’d laugh each time I’d stop by

About the latest call

I couldn’t remember the team or the game

But Grandma remembered them all


She was always so giving and always so kind

Her heart would show up on her sleeve

She was patient and caring and through all of this

A great blessing she gave to me

My Mary my step-mom this lady so kind

Who each day I am blessed to call mine

Was raised by this woman and it is in her

That I see how my grandma did shine


She passed on the traits of a person of strength

resilience and kindness shows through

She gave her the gift of love through it all

It’s the journey, and the kind things we do

She showed her that sometimes things will be hard

And unfair and not always kind

But by believing in good, and choosing what’s right

Love and happiness you will find


I’m thankful for her and for what she gave me

As selfish as maybe that seems

I wish I had more memories with her

As a child, or in my teens

All I have of her are as an adult

But I’m grateful for every one

She taught me to listen, and treasure the times

When family is together for fun


For it’s in those times that memories are made

And traditions are often begun

So embrace those moments and cherish the times

For it’s love that makes family one

So forgive and move on and be better still

Say a prayer and always be nice

And remember no matter the culture or time

Have sugar….but also have spice


My baseball loving grandma it’s finally your turn

I know you’ve been waiting so long

To return to the man in the frame on your desk

I know he’s waiting, arms open, in song

I hope that you know that you are so loved

and we will miss you every day

And I know we will see you, and it will be heard

“I love you,” that’s what I’ll say

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The Snow Shoveling/Exercise Balance

Piles and piles of snow.  That is what we currently have.


This leads to the following question…

“At what point does shoveling snow count as exercise?”

So I ask you…Is there a line?

For example…

Does one actually have to be the one shoveling the snow? (cause that looks like a lot of work)

And if sweating is a requirement…

Can one instead be in a hot tub with a Bloody Mary watching another someone shovel the snow and it still count?

Asking for a friend….who clearly needs a vacation…on a beach…with a Pina Colada…

I’ll tell her to do that…and maybe some yoga.

Thanks Guys!

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Dreaming of Beauty…

I look up to the woman before me. With wide eyes I see such beauty.  Her textured hands full of beauty and grace, the small black watch fitted over elegant lifted wrist bones. She smiles at me and it reaches her eyes.  The wrinkles in perfect form on either side of her mouth.  She laughs and it fills my soul. I know behind that laugh is beauty.  It is strength.  It is long searched for and missed in its absence.  It’s her eyes though.  The beauty and strength that show in each and every burst of bright wide blue light.  The presence of love in every tiny pixel.

It’s her hair.  Fixed or unkempt but her color makes me feel joy.  Even when the roots grow a little long, I don’t see them, I just see her and just how she wishes her hair looked every single day.  She has the perfect figure.  It’s soft at times but her hugs are magic.  Healing…happy..wonder. She is class.  She’s beautiful.  Like a magic star in a unicorn sky.  She…the most beautiful woman in the world.  One day…I hope..I pray…I wish…I believe…I can be just like her.

How I feel about my Momma.

How my daughter feels about me.

Genetics are strong…so is love….

Why doesn’t our vision stay the same, unmasked, untainted when focused inward?

Hoping to see what my daughter sees…for me…for my mom…for my daughter…to show her that today and always she is beautiful. A magic star in a unicorn sky.



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