She was my friend.

We moved to the “big city” at the young ages of 20, with a 3 month old baby in tow.

I didn’t want him to grow up where I did.

It was a limiting town, ghost like, at times.

So, we moved.

We rented a new townhouse on the southside of town.

I’d never lived anywhere other than my hometown, so this was BIG.

My husband worked a lot, so I could stay home with the baby, as that was very important to us.

Needless to say, my son and I spent a lot of time alone the first couple weeks.

Then, one day, a cheerful, bright eyed lady came knocking at my door. It was our next door neighbor, Pat.

She and her husband were over the road a lot, but this route, she happened to stay back.

She had a plate of cookies in one hand and a friendship in the other that would last almost 2 decades.

I didn’t know the memories she would leave behind or the impact she would make in my life, until it was too late.

My friend passed away last week.

Suddenly and tragically.

I never got to say “goodbye”.

Or “thank you”.

Or “Do you remember when?”

And… worse, will she ever know how much I appreciated her?

I can only believe so.

The day that I heard the news, I rushed back into my messages from her, to see when we last communicated.

It wasn’t so long ago.

She was my youngest son’s Godmother. She couldn’t make his Graduation party this past summer, due to her mother’s passing, but in the messages, we agreed we would meet for lunch….. this week.

My heart broke.

I was too late.

Why didn’t we find the time?

It’s life, I guess.

Just a moment…. too late ๐Ÿ’”

I don’t know how to put into words what her strength and presence meant to me, so many years ago.

She was very involved with my children and I. She showed up when no one else could.

She babysat my babies.

Hugged me when I cried.

Showed up to all the birthday parties.

Cooked amazing meals for us.

Made me laugh.

Listened when I needed to talk.

And always, without a doubt, had my back.

But, time goes on and lives change.

She divorced, remarried and moved away.

I divorced and changed too.

Time marched on.

The kids got busier, life became more hectic and years passed us by.

I got to see her for my oldest son’s Graduation. She showed up….again.

He was her “monkey”.

They called her Aunt Pat.

We will never forget your smile, extraordinary light and amazing laugh.

We will never forget all you overcame and all you gave to those you loved.

We loved you, too.

Her name was Patti and she was my friend. ๐Ÿ’œ

Rest now, “dear one”.

Your life was well lived.

Thank you so much for being there.

I know I will see you Again…..and we will laugh until our stomachs hurt.

“I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just like getting out of one car and into another .”

John Lennon

Much love,


The Climb

It seems as though every time I go on a new adventure, I learn a different lesson.

I feel so blessed that my eyes are open and able to see things through the “eyes of love”.

May sound corny, but it’s true.

This time was no different.

My husband and I love to travel.

Our latest venture was to Las Vegas.

AKA Sin City.

America’s Playground.

Call it whatever you wish, it is full of energy and life.

We also learned of some of the hidden gems this last time…hidden in the desert.

To escape the hustle of the city for a day, we decided to rent a car and visit Mt Charleston and hiked to the top of Cathedral Rock. It was about a 30 minute drive out of the city.

We left Vegas, a sweltering 91 degrees and ended our hike at 53 degrees!

Quite a temperature change.

But, that wasn’t the lesson…..

Not at all.

The lesson was in the climb.

You see, I consider myself a pretty “fit” person.

I crossfit 4-5 times a week, along with other workouts and didn’t have any concerns about a 1.4 mile hike.

The 1.4 mile hike surprised me.

It was an hour long…one way.

We began the hike with excitement and energy, flirting and chatting along the way.

We stopped for photo ops, a quick glance at the view, all the while thinking this would take 30 minutes at best.

The air, as we walked, seemed to become thinner. We were increasing in altitude.

I could not get a full breath, which was making this “casual” hike feel more like a workout.

We joked that we could be champion box jumpers or win some kind of lunge contest when we returned to our gym, as our legs were on fire ๐Ÿ”ฅ.

Box jumps got nothin on us!

So as we hiked, I felt like God literally started putting fears in front of me.

On the path.

I’m finally getting acclimated to the air…now we climb higher and my air is depleting.

I’m comfortable with the twists and turns. Oh, don’t look down now?!

There is a huge drop off into never land!

And finally…we have to be near the top,right?

As some people were coming down, we asked them.

No where near the top. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

I wanted to turn around.

I was done.

This is not fun anymore.

This is vacation! I don’t want a mental challenge.

But, I must go on ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

I must have sounded similar to an 8 year old in the back of the car.

“Are we there yet”?

“How about now?”


And then, reflection… as my mindset came back around.

What am I internally complaining about?!

Like, seriously…wth is wrong with me?

How lucky am I that I GET to do this?

I get to be here!

At this moment. In this time.

My legs work. My heart is pumping(hard, I might add).

And I am able to see another masterpiece created by our God.

So I thought to myself…you know, this climb is much like LIFE.

We embark on many new journeys throughout the course of our lives.

From jobs to relationships.

Moves to illnesses.

Crisis to success.

And they all have the climb in common.

We start out positive, with a pocket full of possibilities and energy. Then, something goes wrong.

Maybe a slip on the rocks, maybe a fall.

Then we wonder why we started the climb up this awful mountain in the first place, am I right?

I mean, if I go back to the bottom, no one will know.

I was comfortable there.

Before I laced up my shoes, got into the car and onto the trail, my life was FINE.

I want to go back.

What if?

What if?

And now the air becomes thinner and it’s getting harder to breathe.

The symbolism there is the lack of money, security or trust.

We want the air.

We want the comfort.

But, think about this…

Do you want that more than the view at the top?

Some do.

And that is ok.

But, it wasn’t ok for me. (And I do mean that in so many ways)

So, I kept on climbing.

I will see the sun set over this mountain that I may never be able to visit again. And I will feel the euphoria when I realize my goal and that I had the power inside the entire time.

The fear tried to dissolve it, but the fire burned hotter.

The lesson in this story is easy, my friends.

It’s about the climb.

Keep looking up at your goal. Don’t lose sight.

You will slip on the rocks. You will get tired. You will gasp for air. You will want to turn around to go back to your car and slip off your shoes.

But guess what?

If you do,

And you may …

You will miss the joy of stepping onto the peak, where the possibilities are endless and the success is sweet.

Go get it.

Keep climbing.

The best advice?

Bring along a jacket and a big bottle of water ๐Ÿ˜‰

Much love,

Linda ๐ŸŒฒ

Anything is possible when you use the power within๐ŸŒฒ

I will never forget๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

I wake up on this day, each year, with a lump in my throat. Tears end up streaming down my cheeks and I have this intense need to help someone.

Today is no different.

16 years.

16 years have gone by.

I didn’t personally know any of the souls that passed on, but I still feel the pain inside.

I cry because I can’t imagine the pain of the people that did…the people that lost a loved one.

And I definitely cannot wrap my mind around the strength and faith it has taken to carry on …

I came across a quote last week that went something like this…

“If you lost it all tomorrow, what would you miss about today?”

It really made me think.

So many things for me.

And strangely enough, all the simple day to day things came to mind.

My warm cup of coffee when I awake. My family. My dog. My close friends. My cozy pajamas. Running water. Food.

And it gets more simple from there…..the air that I breathe, and just…life.

If it was all taken away….I’m not really sure how you’d go on??

Then, last night, as my husband and I watched a television show about 9/11, I began to think.

I wondered how that morning went for the thousands of souls that never walked through their front door again.

Was their morning ordinary?

A kiss on the cheek for the wife they would never see again?

The typical “running around the house” kind of morning?

The wave as your child got onto the bus?

I wondered what their last words spoken to family or friends had been.

I wondered if they had lived a life they were satisfied with.

It brought about so many thoughts and questions about how I am living this very moment.

Because none of us truly know when our last day here will be.

Had I said “I love you” enough?

Was my word golden?

Did I do the right thing then or there?

Has my life been a life lived to the fullest or just days crossed off on the calendar?

I find,sometimes, that in this busy world, it is easy to be the hamster on the wheel. Running as fast as we can, no end in sight, and not having a clue where we are headed or why the hell we are running so fast!!!

It’s days like today, my friends.

Days like today.

It’s time to stop running.

Stop running long enough to “SEE”.

The souls that we lost on this day lived LOUD.

The stories and witnesses have proved that. They were heroes….in every sense of the word.

They fought until their last breath.

They saved others.

They said their “I love you’s”.

They lived to the fullest.

They will always have my utmost respect for all they gave on that day.

So very much was lost.

Life, hopes, dreams, time.

But we ROSE. Literally, out of the ashes.

We rose and kept their legacies and memories alive. We rose by changing how we lived. We rose by how we viewed others. We rose because we survived.

I will never forget.

I wasn’t there.

I didn’t know each of you.

I didn’t feel your fear.

I didn’t have your courage.

I was at home, with my 4 young children when I heard the news.

I wept for you.

With you.

And because of you.

I DO know you left a mark.

An impact that will never be forgotten.

So, this morning, for the 16th year, I will bow my head to pray for your souls, your families, your friends.

I pray that your lives were examples for those around you.

I pray that the world will know peace.

I pray for healing.

And I pray that we will never forget what you gave๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Because, I will never,ever forget you.

Much love,


One is roots and the other is wings ๐Ÿฆ‹

Ahh…the first day of school.

The anticipation,the excitement,the nerves.

All so familiar.

I don’t know about you, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Getting up early to do my hair (leaving a cloud of Aquanet hairspray behind me)…I grew up in the late 80s, ok?!, trying on outfits the night before, wondering, not sleeping….the anticipation of a new beginning.

I also had to schedule in time to clean up after my parents, walk to the grocery store with Mom for another 12 pack of beer, and of course…break up any fights that may arise.

Truly, I couldn’t wait for school to begin.

It was my “safe” place.

Normal people, calm environments, and the one place where I could focus on just me.

I remember lying to my teacher in 6th grade, as I happened to be the only student without a backpack or supplies. Why? Well, “because my parents had been on vacation of course and had gotten back late.” NOT because they spent their money on alcohol and forgot I existed.

I remember one year, getting up early, getting dressed and walking to elementary school…not for any reason other than I ASSUMED it was the first day of school.

I didn’t want to miss a beat.

As I got older, I vowed that if I ever had children, they would never be without new clothes or supplies to start their year. I kept that promise… to this day. I also managed to make sure other children had what they needed for their success as well.

I must admit, I do go a bit overboard… but a few extra pairs of shoes never hurt anyone right?

Today I watched my youngest child walk out the front door, to her car, to drive herself to school. The school she will graduate from this June.

My last “leaf ” is starting to change color, in Preparation for her Fall.

That’s a pretty big thing to swallow.

I feel like my oldest just got on the bus to go to Kindergarten….a few years ago???!!

But, time has passed. And quickly at that.

From the hands to hold to the college dorms to move in.

I feel like summer has once again changed into Autumn without my permission. And once again, I’m not ready.

I was sitting under my favorite tree, in our backyard, enjoying a bonfire this weekend. The sky was clear and I swear the air was completely still.

I arched my back to look up above me, to see that beautiful tree.

And it hit me. Look at the layers of leaves. Every year that is has grown, a new layer of leaves, there seemed to be.

Imagine all the storms, the winters, the hot suns, the people it had provided shade to.

Imagine it’s journey.

And how many times did it’s leaves change and fall, only to grow and become even taller again?

It made me well up as my children’s faces came into my mind.

I could see the oldest with his airplane jumper on, running about.

He’s my Tall Pine.

Steadfast and true.

He remains the Rock for the family, yet cheers us on, watching us grow. He’s 23 now. And a man I am proud to call my Son.

My “Steel Magnolia” daughter.

I pictured her curly brown hair, dancing about with her little hands,eating raisins.

She is beauty.

The tree that stops you in your tracks, but has a spirit of steel.

She started grad school this week and is one of the most resilient women I know.

My charismatic dreaming tree.

The one who walks to the beat of his own drum, has a heart of gold and never gives up on his beliefs.

His potential is limitless, as well as what he will do for those he loves. He started college this month.

And my weeping willow.

I pictured her long, flowing hair, standing strong in who she is. Sheltered by her long branches on the outside, but always protecting those she loves, beneath her shade. When she sets her mind to something, watch out. She will become her dreams.

So, I sat there. Thinking of how fast their layers grew. I never realized how fast the leaves change, the seasons turn and time goes on….

Until I took a moment to sit with my memories today.

Time is interesting. It has a way of taking control. You think you have so much of it, until it’s gone. You think that day will never come and then it does. And it’s over, in the blink of an eye….kind of reminds me of a Midwestern summer.

So here’s to the first day. Of school, college, that new job, the start of the new relationship, the journey of life.

Every experience.

Every mistake.

Every day shines a new light through the leaves of the trees.

They stay grounded in the storms.

Their branches sway, but rarely break and when they do, they grow some more.

Like anything successful and strong in this world, it needs a solid foundation.

Deep roots.

….And wings to fly when the Autumn breeze beacons.

Let the leaves change color, as they will when they want and without our permission.

Let them fall down, only to be more vibrant the next spring.

And every once in awhile, take a moment to look up and see how amazing those “trees” have grown to be๐Ÿ’œ

This one is dedicated to the reasons for the breath I take each day when I awake and the reasons I always try to be a better me.

Love to my 4 souls.

Much love,


(And Mama,too)โค