Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Finish

Five Minute Friday


I am once again joining Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.  I am sad to hear that Lisa-Jo will only host this one and next week and then she is “finishing” with Five Minute Friday, but I was glad someone (Kate Motaung at Heading Home) is taking over.  I have grown to love the Five Minute Friday writing experience!  This week’s prompt is “Finish”.  Here goes…

I am bad at finishing things.  I consider myself to be an idea person more than a producing person.  I have some great ideas, but I often don’t execute them too well…or at all.  I have big thoughts, but little follow through on a lot of things.  So, “finish” is a bit of an intimidating prompt for me.  But, as I spoke about in my birthday post yesterday, I am trying to show myself some grace and let myself off the hook for some of that lack of follow through.  Because instead of following through, I have just been getting through and that was all I could do for a while in my life.  There was a LOT to get through in the last five years.  And I haven’t been very good at giving myself time to just be in it.  Or to just escape from it, as the case may be.  So, instead of focusing on finishing things in this post, I’m going to focus on things I’m finished with.  (And yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition…I’m showing myself some grace and not going back and editing it.)

I am finished with feeling like I’m less than when I can’t please everyone all of the time.  I have a lot of people in my life who I have viewed as “making me feel guilty” about not being around enough or not doing enough at work, etc.  But, really, I need to realize that it is ME who makes me feel guilty, not them.  They feel what they feel, but I am the one who feels what I feel.  And sometimes I make mistakes or overbook or just think I’m going to be more social than I can really get myself to be.  I have to be okay with that.  And often, it is disappointment in the other person that makes me feel guilty, but instead, I should feel appreciated and gracious for having people who want to spend time with me and my daughter.

I am also finished with being mean to me.  I consider myself to be a kind person to others, but I am often mean to myself.  I am harsh on myself.  I don’t ask for help from others even when I obviously need it.  I often try to do it ALL – work stuff, home stuff, medical stuff, fun stuff, etc. and all of it just gets to be too much stuff.  I need to be kind to myself and say its okay to get overwhelmed and ask for help.  I always appreciate it when others admit their vulnerability and ask for help, but I don’t let myself do it with others.  I need to be nicer to me, forgive myself more often and ask for help when I need it.

Done…so, there you go.  That is what I’m finished with (among other things).  What about you?  What are you “finish”ing?




Birthday – mine and the blog’s


Well, today I am one year closer to 50 years old.  According to the cashier at Goodwill yesterday, I am looking a full five years past that age (seriously, STOP asking if I qualify for the senior discount people…).  I started this blog a full 365 days ago.  I can say that I’ve learned some things about myself blogging here and despite the fact that I got off to a rather slow start and had some periods of starts and fits, I am feeling a little better than I was a short time ago.  I am a little disappointed in my lack of ability to achieve any of the items on my list from last birthday, but I’m not giving up that easy.  I will continue to work toward making my life “more,” whatever that may be.

I have realized something.  The last five years of my life have been pretty much a pile of stressful situations and life interrupted (I might say sh#! if I were one to swear on my blog).  I had a baby almost two months early via emergency C-section.  I then lived through learning that the baby would need a heart transplant and multiple months of touch and go conditions in the hospital for that baby.  I then lived through the recovery from the heart transplant, commuting to work for three months from the Ronald McDonald House three and a half hours away.  I then lived through multiple bouts of pneumonia, snoring, vomiting, and so much more.  Oh, and while all that was happening, my mom had her cancer come back and needed to have her other breast removed, twenty years after the first one was removed.  Then came the chemo.  And more chemo.  Then they bumped my daughter’s heart valve during a biopsy and she had to have another open heart surgery to repair it – a summer of recovery, then tonsils and adenoids out.  While this was all happening, my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia and went downhill relatively quickly, but without a quick ending.  He lingered, in and out of the hospital, my mom (still going through chemo) struggling to care for him.  I was working full time, driving back and forth to my parent’s house when I was able to, and dealing with medical issues on all sides of the equation.  My dad died in January of this year, my mom immediately started radiation because she was out of chemo options.  Sometimes I think to myself that I am not doing enough and then I think about all I’ve been through and I can’t believe I’m still doing anything.  

So, this birthday, I’m giving myself a gift.  The gift of grace and forgiveness and understanding and not trying to do it all.  I’m going to focus on being kind to myself and others.  Some of that may entail some of the things I listed last year, but it isn’t going to be a list of “shoulds” its going to be a list of gifts that I can give myself.  365 days of gifting myself starting tomorrow.  Each day, small or medium or large, I will give myself a gift of self-kindness.  They will usually be simple, I’m sure – a hot bath, a new shirt that makes me feel good about myself, a pedicure, etc.  Everyday, at least one gift.  Something I do just for me.  And maybe after 365 of those, I will be able to feel a little more “happy” on my birthday than I have the last two (not that I’m sad…just not spectacularly happy and far from satisfied).  

So, there we are – #365selfgifts will be my hashtag, kindness will be this year’s word, and I am dropping the shoulds and embracing the grace.


11-Year-Old Chinese Boy Donates Organs to Save Others

Such a difficult decision to make, but this eleven year old made it willingly. The best birthday present I could and will ever receive is my daughter receiving a heart transplant just over five years ago. Please consider organ donation if you have not already registered. And please be sure to talk about it with loved ones so they know your wishes. Have a great day!

Kindness Blog

This 11-Year-Old Primary School Student from Shenzhen Donated his Organs Before He Died to Save Others


Liang Yaoyi from Shenzhen suffered from a brain tumor and shortly before his death, he bravely decided to donate his kidneys and liver.

He had previously said that if only he could have survived his illness, he would of become a doctor and tried to cure everyone else suffering from disease.


The photo above is after the operation was completed, when doctors brought him out of the operating room and bowed to Yaoyi and his mother three times.



Thank you so much.

Team Kindness Blog

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Monkeys, Math and More, Oh My! (A Giveaway)

As the mom of a girl, I am concerned about making sure she does not shy away from math and science early on in life.  So, when I heard about 10monkeys Math World Giveaway, I jumped on board to help promote fun ways of introducing or reinforcing math skills to children.  My daughter loves the monkey aspect and as a new Kindergartner next year, I would love to have some additional activities to keep her engaged on the math side of things.  Below, you can read a description of the product and a review completed by Emilee at Pea of Sweetness and enter a giveaway for the product sponsored by the makers.  The giveaway starts today (July 23) and ends on August 5!  So, get those entries in below!

10monkeys Math World Giveaway Sponsored by LLC

Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

10Monkeys Math World

10monkeys Math World is an online Math Program geared for younger elementary aged children around grades K-3. It has fun, eye-catching graphics kids love! 10monkeys Math World takes a progressive approach to learning Math. It uses what is referred to as the “high pedagogic approach,” developed together with top professionals and schools. As they progress, their skills are improving as well – and they’re having fun!

As a homeschooling mom, Emilee at Pea of Sweetness loves the progressive approach 10monkeys Math World takes and loves that her kids want to learn Math with 10monkeys Math World! Check out her full 10monkeys Math World math program review on Pea of Sweetness.

Whether you are a homeschooling parent, teacher, or parent (or grandparent) to young children and wanting to enrich their education, 10monkeys Math World offers a quality program anyone can appreciate! Three winners will each receive a one-year subscription to 10monkeys Math World (all levels) for one child. This giveaway begins on 7/23 and ends on 8/5 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open worldwide ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.

Disclosure: Emilee from both Pea of Sweetness and Deals of Sweetness received a code for the full version app in exchange for an honest review. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth – Kids Eat Free Isn’t Free and Other Money Truths


tuesday truth

So, tonight’s Tuesday Truth focuses on money.  I went to Applebee’s tonight with my 5 yo.  Mostly because it was kids eat for 99 cents night.  And, although that is a great price, and they have a face painter and magician and Wii and board games for the kids, I have to pay for my own meal.  And a tip.  And, of course, I needed an iced tea to get through the dinner.  So, it ends up not being that great of a deal in the end.  It is a great deal if you were planning on going to dinner and paying full price, but otherwise, it is costly.  I know these money truths deep inside, but I still get taken in by the “deals”.  I often have to remind myself of the truth behind the hype.  

Another example of this is couponing.  I’ve tried the semi-extreme couponing.  I would take HOURS preparing for a shopping trip, buy a bunch of stuff we don’t use/won’t eat in our household and then get those “catalinas” or “extra bucks” and promptly forget that I had them until well after the expiration deadline, meaning I actually spent way more money on a bunch of stuff I didn’t eat/use.  Sigh.  So, I’ve decided that I will only use coupons for things we usually buy without the coupon.  I feel like at that point, I am saving some money that I would otherwise be spending.  

Everyone always says there is no free lunch and although I don’t think that is true (I’ve won a few free lunches or people have paid for my lunch), I do think it is a good to question every deal to make sure it is really a “deal” and not a “take”.  I’m not very good at this myself.  Obviously, from my $16 dinner at Applebee’s tonight (after an additional 10% discount because of where I work).  I had plenty of food at home, but thought I could get out of there for $10 or less with Bean eating for 99 cents.  No such luck…But, she got her face painted and had a great time.  But, we could have accomplished that for free at the park.

Truth Taken…What is your Tuesday Truth this week?

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thought Sundays

This week’s Stray Thoughts Sundays, keeping in mind I was gone to my mom’s with only phone internet access for most of the week.

This week started with a drop in to the medical clinic for my daughter (ear infection on a Sunday – thank goodness for drop-in clinics that are open on Sundays) because we didn’t have enough medical appointments scheduled without that extra one.  So, I may have been looking for some light-hearted reading this week more than seriously compelling stuff.  Keep that in mind!

1.  Do you know who Nate Silver is?  He became a sort of celebrity among debate people when he hit it big predicting election results on his website FiveThirtyEight which has since been acquired by ESPN (he still writes for them).  He was a nationally successful debater in high school, a true nerd, and became this celebrity for doing cerebral things.  So, I, like most debate nerds, became slightly enthralled with him.  So, I thought this article in the Washington Post was funny and cute, but if you aren’t a nerd-obsessed debate person, it may not be as funny to you.

2. My hometown made an impressive list of places to visit via a day trip from Sacramento!  I love my hometown and I’m always happy to see that others recognize a lot of what I enjoy about it as well.  I don’t want to become the next Tahoe (I don’t want the traffic or the crowds), but I’m happy to have people visit intermittently to boost our local economy a bit!

3. So, I’m not really a reader of comic books and never have been.  I remember reading some Archie comics (which is getting national attention for its upcoming story line) and maybe some others at some points, but I didn’t follow any of them.  But, I must say that the big news of the Archie story line has taken a backseat to this OLD (1987) story line from Superman!  I mean…really?  Adult movies?  Weird.

4. On a serious note, a friend of mine who has traveled the world extensively, posted this article reminding us that sometimes food isn’t enough to guarantee proper nutrition.  In India, poor sanitation is causing otherwise properly fed children to suffer from malnutrition.  We worry a lot about feeding people, but sometimes we ignore the more systemic problems of infrastructure and sanitation.

5.  I don’t usually do any of the myriad of “which flavor soda are you?” or “which character from the Golden Girls are you?” (well, okay, I may do that one if I see it).  But, I was feeling nostalgic and did the “Which Original Star Trek Member Are You?”  I was not surprised when I was Spock.  I do have more emotion than he does, but I definitely relate to him pretty well.  I also noticed that the handful of friends who did the same quiz also got Spock.  It may have something to do with #1 on this list.  🙂

6.  In more depressing news, not only is corporate America running politics nowadays, but they are now keeping average Americans from having their day in court.  Read about it here if you don’t mind the depressing news.

7.  And in the learn something new everyday, did you know there are Fairy Fire forests that glow in the dark?  It is a Disney tale turned reality.

8.  This Make-A-Wish kid may be recruited by some MLB teams after this first pitch!

9.  And this husband/wife photo bomb may be the best ever.

And with that, I say good night.

Sleeping Bean

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #21!


This week’s Thursday Thumbs Ups are a potpourri of items  Enjoy!

1.  Frozen Chicken Sandwiches from Costco  These are some tasty, super easy chicken sandwiches that you just throw in the microwave.  The buns don’t get soggy, the chicken tastes like chicken and my finicky 5 yo seems to love them.  So, these are a definite thumbs up.

2.  Max’s Opera Cafe of Palo Alto  This place has been a staple in my life over the last five years.  We have spent a LOT of time at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and this restaurant is in the mall across from the hospital.  There are other restaurants that we’ve enjoyed as well, but none has a menu quite as comprehensive as Max’s and the ambiance is nice without it being too overly expensive (especially for Palo Alto).

3.  The Heart Transplant team at Lucile Packard  It has been five years now since my daughter received her new heart.  We started working with the heart transplant team even before that time, as we were being prepared for the transplant process.  There have been some personnel changes since then, but I can’t speak highly enough for the team there.  They have been wonderful!

4.  Season passes at Discovery Kingdom Six Flags This is the second year we’ve had season passes to Discovery Kingdom and it is well worth the cost!  We are lucky in that we are able to buy tickets with a group of other people which makes the discount on them even deeper.  We get a number of days when we can bring in people for free (so, I was able to take my mom for free on Tuesday), we get to park for free, and there are a bunch of other discounts throughout the year.  I was a bit afraid of it not being appealing for my 5 yo (and 4 yo) last year, but they have a lot of stuff for little ones and with the season passes, I don’t feel bad if she only lasts a few hours before getting too tired because I know we can go back many more times for our money.

So, that’s it.  What are your thumbs up being given to this week?