Sunday, May 31, 2009

Your Dash

"There'll be two dates on your tombstone
And all your friends will read 'em
But all that's gonna matter
is that little dash between 'em..."Kevin Welch

My Mom and I will see an extremely old cemetery and we'll stop at just to look at the dates on the tombstones. We will read the dates, look at how many family members are there, how long the children lived etc. I remember one family in particular. There were 6 or 7 small tombstones - obviously children, so I went to investigate further.

This Mother had given birth to several children and none of them made it past the age of 3 or so. I looked at her dates and she wasn't that old at all. I wondered if she died of heart break, especially since all of her children died so young. I wondered if she was ever able to overcome her pain of not being able to raise her children, see them go off to school or do many of the things the children in the neighborhood were able to do. I wondered if her husband was able to console her and help her through this horrible valley in her life, and then my mind drifts back to my own world and what am I doing to make my "dash" more meaningful.
Can I inspire others to make a difference where they are? Can I motivate and encourage my children to be givers without having them be taken advantage of? Can an average young lady, such as myself, have a "dash" that is full of love, joy, excitement, passion and the heart to bring it all together to make a difference?

Yes, and so can you. What are you filling your "dash" with? What will others remember most about you? If you are thinking about this (and I hope you are) and are not thrilled with what is in your mind, take some time to set some goals and make some changes.

Yes - your dash is very important. I hope you are taking the time to fill it with wonderful memories, meaningful relationships and new friendships.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keeping it Real about ME

I have a horrible problem. I do. When I'm on the phone with a help tech person or am "waiting" for someone to help me - I tend to ask questions. Seriously. I always want to know where the person is, are they near a beach (so I know if I need to be jealous or not) how old they are etc.

I just like to know these things - maybe it helps me to remember they are a real person with real feelings or maybe, just maybe it satisfies my curiosity problem. Either way, I like finding out things about people.

In honor of that, here are some things about me. I'm just keeping it real and they are totally in a random order. Just as they pop into my head. You might want to check back from time to time as I'm sure I'll add things to it.

1. I have frizzy-naturally curly hair.
2. I'm afraid of heights but will fly in an airplane in a heart beat
3. I'm addicted to sugar. Especially Krispy donuts
4. I want to visit and do something in all 50 states.
5. I adore small versions of the real thing. For instance - have you seen the key chain version of board games? Very cute.
6. I've wanted to meet Chuck Norris since I was 17.
7. I enjoy walking in the snow. Nothing like a fresh blanket of snow to destroy!
8. While I love spreading joy, I'm a horror flick chick. I love the suspense, the drama and the kill. Just as long as it isn't a horror movie about bugs, spiders, creepy crawlies...etc. I'm good.
9. I will enjoy being a size 16 again one of these days. Never thought it was a "happy" size before, but - it is.
10. I wish I scrapbooked more.
11. I want to capture a picture of a full moon when it is cheesy orange and appears to be sitting right on the earth.
12. I miss my Sega Genesis.
13. I adore my husband and children. Would give up the world for them.
14. Funerals make me sick to my stomach.
15. I'm not a morning person, but I'm at work most days around 6 am.
16. I'm the happiest when I'm giving and doing for others.
17. I love the rain. Love watching it, listening to it and don't mind getting wet as long as I'm not going some place important.
18. I hate pumping gas. I do. Really.
19. I go to the beach every single chance I get.
20. I almost always buy from kids.
21. Reading blogs saves me mega bucks! I love finding new blogs.
22. I think coffee just before bedtime is so soothing.
23. I can't wait to own one of the small itty bitty 8 inch computers. I must resist until they start putting more memory in them though.
24. I'm very random. Things just pop into my mind randomly and I must act upon them.
25. I love quotations. They inspire and motivate.
26. Stay up all night on most weekends. Usually average 4 hours of sleep Friday night and then again Saturday night. Can not make myself do that during the week no matter how hard I try.
27. I love books. Especially older turn of the century books.
28. I'd love to live in a loft type home - over looking the ocean. Can you imagine the view of the sun rise from that?
29. I love choices. The more the merrier.
30. I love monkeys. When I was little - there weren't monkey shirts, stuffed animals etc. Now they are everywhere....journals, pens, pencils - they are everywhere!
31. I think museums are such a fun place to learn. Helps us to remember what we've seen and learned.

What about you?
Please feel free to use the comment section to tell me a little more about yourself. If you are on Twitter - please tell me (and others) who you are. I am @spreadingjoy. (I like that way that sounds...don't you?) Come on - you know you want to tell us!
32. When I can't update this post, I think of 36 1/2 things to add to it!
33. I want to be spreading joy all across the USA and the world one day!
34. When I drive I look at shapes in the cloud. I know, not safe for those driving around me, but love seeing neat shapes.
35. I do not feel comfortable on bridges - especially when 18-wheelers are passing and shaking the bridge.
36. I LOVE singing in the car. I do. My kids don't appreciate my talent, but they do tolorate my gifts!
37. I don't want to grow up, I'm a toys R us kid!
38. I'm a persistant little booger!
39. I love talking, chatting (just ask anyone on twitter) and being with friends - but I really, truly L-O-V-E doing things by myself.
40. There is nothing like going to the movies and being the ONLY ONE in the theatre! Love that!
41. I am a Daddy's girl, but am proud to have "turned into" my Mother!
42. I love the sleep I get when I've just turned off the alarm and I'm supposed to get up. That is the most relaxing sleep ever!

Friday, May 15, 2009


The light isn't on but I'm still going to treat myself! Yummy! Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Spreading Joy - Making a Difference


My backseat is filled with yard sale items yummie brownies and posterboard. Has been a crazy day!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Spreading Joy - Making a Difference

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My brother is now 50! Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Spreading Joy - Making a Difference

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday - The Great Moms in My Life

I've been thinking all week about what to write today for my Thankful Thursday post. Then a wonderful friend of mine, Melanie, asked if I would read something she wrote for Mother's Day. It was awesome - and should she post it, I'll link to it.

It started me thinking about Mother's Day and all the wonderful women that have made a difference to me over the years. I realize that there is no blog that will hold the amount of writing I would have to do in order to properly thank every lady that has made a difference in my life. Today I'd like to touch on a few of them and reserve the right to come back and highlight a few more.

1st and most importantly, my Mom! My Mom is such a strong, wonderful woman. She taught us values, awesome work ethics, how to be givers and instilled in us that no matter what, family is family and you need to be there for them. Mom will be 68 in a little over week and still works so very hard for a living. She always has. Hey, she raised 4 of us to be self sustaining...productive citizens and personally that is by far the greatest accomplishment ever. I think I would have had to shoot the 2 middle children on most days - but she didn't. (What? Me...a middle child? :-)

Mom, thank you for all you have done for me. For your love, support and encouragement. For the freedom to be me - with all the silliness and sometimes meaness that is within me. You always have there for me to lean on when things were hard or to give me a much needed nudge, to get me back into the race. You have literally loved me through thick and thin and then back again. Even when I was at such an unhealthy weight, you were kind, but stern. You encouraged without killing the spirit and I'm so grateful for that. You always love us kids - as well as your grandchildren no matter how stupid we become at times, no matter if we don't call like we should and even though we probably don't see you enough. We know that no matter how hard life is or if we are basking in the glory of success that you are there for us, encouraging, motivating and wishing for the best for us. We know that you are there for all of us and for that I'm so thankful.

I'm glad that we share the love of the ocean. I look forward to our beach trips every year. I'm thankful that we share the love of so many things. We love horror movies, the beach, flea markets and just riding around. We love going to bingo. Even though we never win money, we walk away richer than we came because of the laughter we shared for the evening. Thank you for the never ending love, the laughter and the happiness that you've given to me all of these years. Thank you for your support and for always believing in me. Thank you for being one of my very, very bestest friends. I love you and appreciate all that you do and all that you are.

Next is my sister, Angie. Angie is one that I can talk to about anything at any time anywhere and trust me - we talk, text, email or facebook each other everyday. We love spending time together at the coffee shop or the beach! When she discovers something new on the computer, she shares and I do the same. I love the fact that we can laugh together, work together, sit and be quiet while enjoying each others company or just plain do nothing together. We have so many great memories as we've raised our children together - just years apart. I'm also thankful that she is one of my very, very bestest friends! One that when the times are tough - she will be there to help me through it. When I don't feel like I can make it, she will encourage me on. And when I need a smile, she always brings out the silly side in me so that I can carry on one more day. I'm also thankful that she will even go and pick up my wallet that I'd forgotten - even though when I told her there was a password, she immediately knew what it was.....she hates that nick name and I have NO idea where I got it from so many years ago. I love you and appreciate all that you do and all that you are.

The next person I'm thankful for is my very, very bestest friend, Jeanne. She loves me just the way I am - silly one day and so focused that I hardly have time for email the next. She loves my children like her own and is willing to walk through the valley with me. I'm so happy that we can just sit, relax and enjoy coffee together anytime. She has prayed for me, cried with me and has been honestly happy for my successes. She inspires me, reminds me and motivates me to continue on fighting the good fight. She loves me for who I am, just the way I am and for that I'm thankful. I love you and appreciate all that you do and all that you are.

And last but not least, I'm thankful for my Step Mom who loves me and my family as if we were her own. She came into the family and cares deeply for us. She isn't able to get around as much as she used to - but we still have fun together. I do miss the walks to taco bell in the snow, the movie watching all hours of the night and playing yahtzee - even though I always lost. I love you and appreciate all that you've done for me.

There are so many other women who have influenced me! They are strong, courageous and use their abilities to strengthen their families as well as those around them. I want to say thank you to all the wonderful Moms that I know and say - well done Mommie....well done!

Thank you for your constant sacrifices, your unconditional love, your laughter, your smile, your hugs and your shoves back on the right track. While we might not always like what you tell us (cause who likes hearing the truth when it hurts?) you always have the courage to tell us what we need to hear! THANK YOU for having that courage!

Happy Mother's Day!
Photo - My Mommie!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Refuse To Let This Recession Kill my Spirit of Giving!!

No, I'm not kidding!

This is hitting closer to home now. Since the beginning of the year my husband's job has been at 32 hours a week. Well, Friday he calls me and says that they are now going to an every other week schedule. OUCH! So what is a giving heart supposed to do?

Plan ahead!

Christmas is coming, birthdays are right around the corner. Even if it is $10.00 a week, start your list and go ahead and make those purchases. My goal is to have all of my Christmas shopping done before the end of September. I will let you know how it goes.

College is this fall as well. Thankfully there is a nearby K-Mart who still has lay away. Towels, wash clothes and anything else I can think of are on lay away so that those needed items won't break the bank upon entering college.

Graduation - If you are planning on giving a nice gift to that graduate of yours, start putting back now. This will allow you to tuck a nice little bit of "green" in your favorite graduates card.

Yes - A recession is the perfect time to give. You will motivate and encourage others to give. You will make a difference in the life of someone who probably needs it more than you could ever know. No matter how bad things may be for you right now - there is always someone who is in a worse situation. A recession is filled with opportunities to make a big difference and not have to spend a lot. How is that possible? Well, I'm glad you asked!

A recession is the perfect time to give because:

1. You will not have to look far for someone in need. There is probably a family on your street that could use a little bit of help. Instead of your family going out to eat, get a gift card - give it to the family down the road (even if it is for McDonalds) and enjoy a night at home with your family playing games and feasting on hot dogs. What about that co-worker that never, ever ever goes out to lunch. You know who they are...invite them to lunch with you. Tell them you are buying and you won't take no for an answer.

2. Your little bit will go a long way. Any "little" thing you do during this economy will be greatly appreciated! I always appreciate everything that comes my way, but if I know someone is pinching pennies - then that always means so much more! You know it is sacrificial and more importantly, it comes from the heart. Even the box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies that you gave out one by one - put a smile on the face of someone and made their day. (If you've never done this, you should try it! It is a great feeling to just walk up and hand out an oatmeal pie to a total stranger and simply walk away.)

3. Words of encouragement cost nothing but have the greatest value. Knowing that you are not alone with certain problems helps so much. It truly does. Why do you think support groups and online forums are so popular? We need to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and these types of groups remind us of that. When people are in different stages of the same type of journey, those that are "out front" can remind those that are behind that it will get better. Things do work out - you just have to be patient. We can see that there is hope just ahead. So, what are you waiting on? Send that note, type out that email - encourage someone today!

4. A positive attitude is contagious! Is yours worth catching? So many people are discouraged and are struggling just to make it through the day. Your positive attitude and helpful spirit can help carry several people through what just might be a horrible day. Even if you, yourself are going through a rough patch, you can still be positive and happy. Smile at everyone you come in contact with. Look at each new day as a chance to have a positive impact in the life of someone near you.

5. Giving what you have the most of - TIME. Many people in the Hollywood scene will donate thousands of dollars to their favorite charity (and let me say, I'd love to have a Hollywood Star have Spreading Joy Corporation as their favorite charity - I'm not even going to deny it!) but they don't often give much of their time. You may have the opposite problem - more time than money. So, give your time. Are you a quick book pro? Are you great with talking to complete strangers? Are you free for a few hours everyday while your children are in school? Think about how you can donate your time to make a difference.

Giving during a recession just makes sense. Many people (including myself) struggle with the fact that they can't make a HUGE difference and simply decide it is just not worth it. Just keep working through the recession. Keep giving something to someone every day. Don't worry about what it is, how big it is or if it will save the world. Just get yourself in the habit of giving and you'll be shocked at the amount of joy your heart receives back.

"The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving." Albert Einstein

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