A new experience…

Tomorrow morning I will be getting up to go to my first yoga class.

It seems a bit unreal to me. When I think of Yoga, this is what I envision:

And if it isn’t this….it might be something like this…..

And, I can tell you this, I am changing and growing and learning to be more nimble, but that I can not do….

So, why am I going to yoga?

I am going because this journey is about trying new things, living outside of my comfort zone and because I know  that my Mom loves yoga. She has come along side me many times in this wellness journey and adjusted her schedule to support me. I am realizing that while on this wellness journey, most of my days are focused around my needs. I feel like it is about my schedule, my food plan, my workout needs and my routines. I realize this is a season and I need to do much of that to stay focused and press ahead towards my goal. But I want to intentionally choose places every day where I set my needs aside and ensure I am looking to others.

I want to go to yoga to be with my Mom and experience this with her. To be the follower into the class and live through the angst I feel when embarking into space that feels quite foreign. And it is only a six-week class. If it isn’t for me, I don’t have to try it again, but I am pretty sure I will learn something valuable along the way.

So, as I pick out my yoga clothes and try to envision what the hour might be like, I keep thinking about the quote I know on courage….”courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” I will be going to yoga tomorrow with an attitude of courage, not the roaring courage, but the kind that says, I will keep trying and learn about myself along the way!

And maybe in May, when I reach my goal weight and hit the Biggest Loser Season 11 Finale in California with some of my Fitness North friends, I will share a yoga  pose and post it for you…just maybe…because I have learned to never say never!

Tribute to livi lou


Dear Olivia Grace,

I can’t believe today you are 14 years old. I love your heart, your passion, your compassion, your drive, your smile, your energy, your positive thinking, your ponytail, your creativity, your athletic ability, your courage, your laugh, your love for your family and your interest in helping those who have less than you do.

God has gifted you with a big and sensitive heart and I believe you will make a big difference in the lives of others. I love how you are curious about your faith and that you want to experience God in your everyday life. I am so very thankful that God chose me to be your aunt and my life is enriched by you. It is my hope and prayer that you will continue to learn about your amazing beauty and that you will be loved, cherished and adored even more than you love, cherish and adore others!

And so Livi Lou, continue to stand tall and lead your friends in amazing ways. Continue to learn new things, risk in new ways and make bold decisions! Take time to be kind to yourself and know it is ok to enjoy a day of doing nothing at all. Ask for what you need and remember I love you so much and hope and pray that this year will be one where you feel fully alive!

I love you tons and tons….forever and ever!

Aunt Trish



How badly do I want it…

I have been struck lately by all the factors that must come together at the same time for me to reach my weight loss goal. I am more and more aware that this journey is less about the scale and more about the shaping of my body, heart and soul. I am learning about my self-control, self-discipline, self motivation and so much more. The need to set a goal, outline a plan, plan for the plan, stick to the plan and adjust the plan as needed is an amazing process. I am learning that the focus and energy required is something I must regularly recommit to.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am doing well since my return from Fitness North. I am consistently losing weight and learning about my new routines and habits. I realize it is difficult to push myself as hard as I worked at Fitness North. I realize it is easier to choose not to work out than to work out. I often think of the message from Fitness North…DEVIATION FROM THE PLAN IS NOT AN OPTION. And yet I make it an option. I am going to recommit to that today. To not deviate from the plan, because I have my eye on a prize. The prize I am longing for is to be fit, healthy and active. I am closer today than I have been in a long time. I am happy to say that, but I must stay focused and committed. I must stick to my plan.

I wonder if you have set a goal you are going to reach in 2011. O’Neal Hampton reminded us that a vision without a plan is an illusion. Does your vision have a plan? Does your plan have action steps that you can take? Have you asked a good friend to hold you accountable. Keep your eye on the prize and start moving in that direction. I would love to celebrate with you. I plan to have lots to celebrate this year. And celebration is always more fun with others!

Ask yourself “how long am I going to work to make my dreams come true?” I suggest you answer, “as long as it takes.” (taken from The Human Spirit)

Does it really make us smarter….

I read a headline today that a school in Oregon is giving their third graders Ipod Touches and their fourth graders Ipads. Word has it that this will make kids produce better test scores. I can’t help but wonder if this is really true? http://www.macnews.com/2011/01/03/oregon-school-district-gives-ipod-touches-all-third-graders

It seems  at some point everyday I struggle with or wonder about the consumption  of technology in my life and I am a fairly discerning 41-year-old woman. I just spent this past weekend with my nieces and nephews who all have their own phones and iPods and texting and headphones are a real risk to the relational time we enjoy. I watch people around me everyday distracted by texting and cell phones and all this modern technology that has changed our world.

As I thought this through today, I wish I could write a curriculum that would teach technology etiquette and how to ensure relationships are not lost in the midst of modern tools. I would love to facilitate family therapy groups that work with families who are willing to live in no technology zones for a portion of every day to ensure that their family units stay strong.

But this is not about the third graders in Oregon or what I would like to do some day. How does this affect my life? I was sharing with my co-worker Laura, that I am committing to choosing the phone before email in my work day when appropriate. Often email is easier but I don’t want to choose easy, I want to choose relational. I am also choosing to limit my texting and spend some time each day off from Facebook and to return to reading my paper Bible as opposed to my Bible on-line. These are some of the changes I want to make in my own life to ensure I have a proper placement of these networking and communication tools in my day-to-day.

I do fear that all this access to these amazing tools is going to bring about a crisis of the lost art of relationship. People of all ages who have lost the ability and even worse, the desire, to communicate and spend time together. It is my hope that no matter how old we are, we will always believe in the power of looking one another in the eye, learning about another’s heart and passions by spending time together….not because of status’ posted….but because of words shared.

Every day is a mystery….

This morning was the start of routine again after the holidays. I was looking forward to refocusing on my health and wellness goals, getting to the gym, eating my planned meals and snacks, drinking a gallon of water, working on my 2011 Visiting Angels Marketing plan and having a sense of knowing what I am setting out to accomplish and accomplishing it.

About mid day my friend and co-worker Heather received a call that her Grandpa was being taken to Trillium Woods Hospice Home. His condition had changed and it appears that his life expectancy is down to days. I was out and about an hour later and I was passed by two fire engines and an ambulance. This evening I saw a bad accident and I realized the irony of my morning thought that I could plan my day. Of course it is good to have a plan, but I also want to live keenly aware that I entrust each of my days to my Creator.

I want to live intentionally this year, sharing my heart with those I love. I want to say the kind words that offer hope and encouragement. I want to ensure that I say “I am sorry” when I need to, say “I forgive you” when that is important, say “I love you” every day to someone who is dear to me. I want to live with a plan and a vision. I believe God has my days numbered and until He calls me home, I want to live fully, but if he calls me home sooner than later, I don’t want to end life with words not shared. And if he takes someone I love, I want to ensure they also know of my heart for them.

I am praying for those who woke up this morning with a plan and happen to be ending the day in a very different space. Heather lived courageously today, joining her Dad to advocate for and spend time with her Grandpa. She navigated difficult space by leading the way for her children to spend time with their Gramps and to say good-bye in the event he is not living in the morning. I am proud of how she is living in the midst of the pain and I am so touched that her Gramps was alert enough for a short moment to speak his kind words to her.

I hope and pray that each day will have an element of routine, but when my days are met with tragedy or loss, it is my greatest desire to be able to say that I can confront the ache of my heart with a sense of peace because I know, without a doubt, that what may be a mystery to me, is orchestrated by my Lord.

I will eat whatever you make me…

I have had a great day today with Johanna, Isaiah and Peter.


While in the car Isaiah and I were talking about what to make for dinner. It went something like this.

I asked “what would you like for dinner?” Isaiah quickly and cheerfully responded, “homemade pizza.” 

“Hmm,” I responded, “how do you make that?” He walked me through the steps (quite logically) and asked “do you think you can make that?”

 “I think I can,”I responded, “if you have ingredients. What would you like if you can’t have pizza?” He thought and said “Mac and Cheese, but I only likes the elbow kind”

Hmm, I thought, I really am not sure Suzi has mac and cheese. I started to try to think through what else I might be able to get him to consider….

Then he cheerfully looked at me and said, “Aunt Trish, I will just eat whatever you make me.”

I was so touched by his conclusion to the question I asked. I asked a big question to initiate conversation and it was really a bigger question than I could follow through on. I had no idea what was on the shelves at Suzi’s and realized I was hoping he might say something like peanut butter and jelly or something simple. I was fortunate that he did not set his 4 1/2 year old mind on something that I could not produce. He very much enjoyed grilled cheese and some potato chips.

I wonder how often I ask questions that I don’t really consider what might be required of me. I want to be aware of the questions I ask this year, questions that I am willing to follow through on, especially if I initiate the question. And perhaps when I screw up in this area, which I am sure I will, the person I am conversing with will be as gracious as sweet Isaiah was with me.

Making Memories…

I had a great time out to breakfast this morning with my nephews Andrew, Ryan and Noah and my niece Olivia. I have so enjoyed my nieces and nephews at all ages, but am so pleased how pleasant they are as preteen and  teenagers. We had good times over the last few days which included late nights and new years eve middle of the night pizza delivery, good conversations and quiet moments. The time was short, but the moments were good.

Olivia (age 14) and Noah (age 12)  were telling me a story ~ they often share in their story telling ~  finishing each other’s sentences and filling in the detail of the scene they are recreating. They were telling me about a time they were in a small grocery while on a family vacation, and Noah knocked over a display of watermelons. Olivia and Noah were in a bit of a panic, trying to clean up the mess and an older lady walked by and said, “are you kids making memories?”

What a great response to a moment that might have drawn many other thoughts if you or I were walking by it. I loved hearing the story and was struck by their perspective on what a kind response this was from this older woman. This story really has me thinking on this New Years Day of 2011.

I would like to be a person who lives with the motto that life is about making memories. I would also like to nurture and encourage this in others. I don’t want to be someone who just does this on special holidays or scheduled events. I hope that 2011 will be a year where I can make memories in many situations. I hope that I will value memories made with many different people as well as moments that will hold special memories just within my own heart.

I look forward to 2011 and all it might hold. I imagine I will journey to the mountain top and deep into the valley. Living life fully and honestly will bring me to both extremes. Much of the days will be somewhere in-between. It is my hope that in it all, I will remember God’s goodness to me and trust that He has a plan for my life and all it holds, even if I don’t see or understand it right away. And so, I do believe one of the best things I can offer to myself and others, is to create, make and enjoy the memories!

Life is not about learning to survive the storms, but rather learning to dance in the rain!