National Infertility Awareness Week

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week to help bring awareness to an astoundingly common situation. Women all over the country are fighting a diagnosis of infertility.

Many of you may not know but I am infertile. During my first marriage I got pregnant twice and lost both pregnancies. My doctor says I could spend thousands of dollars if I wanted to have a baby but I had friends that did that and that was not to be a part of my life. My children, had I not lost them, would be 12 and 14 years old and if they had become a part of my life, my life would be very different then it is today.

Being told by a doctor that you are likely never to have a baby brings up all sorts of feelings. It is very similar to a grief cycle. There is rebellion aka denial, “How dare you tell me I can’t do something. Just you watch!” There is anger, “Why not, damnit!” There is bargaining, “Well maybe if I just… maybe then it will work.” There is depression and a deep sense of failure, “Why am I broken? Why can I not do the one thing a woman is put on this earth to do?” Then there is acceptance, well I guess there is supposed to be acceptance but I don’t know many of us that got that far and most of us still have the anger or denial or many of us are just always bargaining.

I have lied to a great many number of people and just said, “Well I didn’t want a child anyway. They change everything.” But the sad reality is that is a lie that started out as a protective mechanism. It has in the end become more of a true statement but I can say with absolute honesty that I did want a child, actually I wanted at least two.

When I was a teenager a friend of the family lost her baby and I remember thinking that this had to be the most horribly painful thing that could happen to a person and in the end I was right.


When I was a teenager I was a nanny for a beautiful family. I gave those children my entire heart and they loved me back in a way I had never experienced before. I was laughed at for years because I would tell people that because of those two little girls I wanted 12 kids of my own. The love they give was just simply intoxicating. I realized, as I got older, that 12 might be a bit excessive so I settled on 2 or 3. I was one of 3, well 6 actually but 3 were grown and moved out before I came to be. I felt like 2 or 3 would be perfect. I wanted a boy first and then a girl because I wanted my little girl to have a protective and loving big brother just like I had but I would have been happy with any child if I had had the luxury to have one. Instead I have the vague memory of those few months I was given to hold my belly and dream of the life that would never come to be.

If you know someone with infertility be gentle and love them. And for God’s sake if you have family that have not had children STOP ASKING when they will have a baby because you may not know how much they very much want one and the private struggle they are going through.

My Grandmother



Hazel Mae Gilland was my grandmother. She was truly an amazing woman. In her younger years she knew how important education was and fought for the Head Start learning program in her area. She was a huge history buff and loved tracking down her ancestors long before the cool websites came out we spent many hours searching public records.  Most importantly, to me, though she was my grandmother.

This time of year was where she truly shined. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas was at her house and no matter where I lived I almost always made it home for the Holidays. My grandpa was an amazing man but we truly lived in a Matriarchal household. She would cook for days and always provided an excellent meal. She was a very traditional person and we always had the typical turkey and sides but we also always had some of the individuals’ favorites. She truly knew how to make people feel loved and special.

I was very lucky that from birth to 12 I lived within a short drive and was able to see her very regularly. The first 8 years I lived within walking distance and spent almost as much time in her home as I did in my own. She always had immaculate landscapes at all of her houses because she loved plants. She and my grandpa owned nurseries and tree farms their whole lives. From the Gardenia tree outside the front window that bloomed and brought the beautiful perfume into the house on a beautiful spring morning to the bleeding heart vines that lined the walk there were always beautiful flowers everywhere.

She had four children each as opposite from the other as you can get. She must have had many adventures on the farm with them growing up I know I have heard many of the stories but I also experienced so many of my own. My mother and her sister Kathy tended to battle. I remember one day at the nursery Kathy grabbed a hose to battle my mother and my mother grabbed it too. Right at that moment with the hose squirting into the air my poor grandmother stepped out to stop the bickering and got the full force of the hose up her nose.  I can only imagine how many sibling arguments she ended up on the wrong end of in her 89 years.

The amazing support she always showed for family really came to a head when her husband, my grandpa, became truly ill with his ALS and Alzheimer’s. She supported him every moment through the toughest times. He was a WWII veteran and I am sure they had many difficulties because of his PTSD from the war. She had been through so much towards the end of her years. She lost all of her friends and her husband, sister, and even a grandchild and daughter-in-law.

Through everything she was always a pillar of support and she made the best chicken and dumplings.

Depression Sucks-sorry this isn’t my typical sunshine and rainbows post

I’d like to talk about depression for a minute. Anyone that knows me knows that I am generally sunshine and rainbows and butterflies but that is not always the case. This is one of those topics we often choose to ignore because it’s not a happy thing. It’s so hard to understand. Why would someone with an amazing life, with amazing family, and that is totally blessed have any reason to be depressed? This is something I have wondered before I dealt with depression. I think it’s a pretty fair question when one hasn’t had to deal with it because you really just cannot begin to understand how it feels until you have.  I know a lot of people felt this way and asked these questions with the recent celebrity suicide and with some of the celebrities that have ODed on drugs in the past. Why would they do that to themselves?

So many different things can cause depression there really is no rule. It can be low Vitamin D, it can be lack of sunlight and light therapy can help, it can be because of overwhelming grief that you just put aside until you just cant put it aside any longer. It can be problems within your digestive tract. There are just so many things that can cause it but the one thing all these things have in common is how it can make a person feel. It can even just be a flat tire when you already have so much stress that can be that piece of straw to break the camel’s back.

You can feel like no one cares when loving people surround you. It can make you feel like nothing matters even the things you love most. I can go to Disney World and not even really care that I am there. I can spend an amazing day with friends and family and rather be at home hiding under my covers.

The cycle of depression is almost endless too. You get to the point where you aren’t sleeping well which then means you start craving more sugar and convenient foods that then make you feel like crap which then makes you not want to do anything like the running that used to help with the depression and stress. Once you stop being active you completely fulfill the cycle and basically you become a lump that doesn’t want to do anything at all, doesn’t care about much of anything at all, and just wants to sleep which you can’t do restfully anyway so you just end up eternally tired and unhappy.

Then one day you realize that your temper has grown shorter, your mood is just unreasonable, and you haven’t been out of the house or showered in several days and you don’t really care but you realize that you cannot live this way. To be honest if Bill wasn’t here with me it could have taken me years to process this instead of just a few months.

People wonder how people end up gaining so much weight they cant fit through the door or their house, well I can tell you that a lot of it may be due to depression. Once you fall into the pit it takes a while just to recognize you are in the pit and then you have to figure out a way to get out of it and when you are overweight I think the depression weighs on you even more so because you hate yourself in other ways as well.

One of my biggest issues is I don’t like to ask for help even once I realize I need it. So many people around me have “real” issues. One friend is battling cancer, another had a miscarriage, another has a beautiful child with severe mental issues, another has a child that is beautiful and wonderful but because he has emotional issues he cant find a group that will accept him. There are friends dealing with parents sick or dying. There are so many people with problems so much bigger then mine that I feel like a horrible person when I wallow in my little problems.

In reality though everyone’s problems are real and big to them. My insensitive mother once told me “Your problems are so little what do you really have to whine about.” While the overall message was likely true at the time the fact that it deemed how I was feeling was not okay. My negative feelings, as a child, were never allowed to show outside the house. Everyone at church or school must think I lived in a perfect family with a perfect life. If I talked to anyone in the church about my true feelings and it got back to my mother she would make my life hell. I think this has something to do with why I always feel like my problems are so small I should just Get over it.

So tell me. How do you get over it? You have to start eating right, you have to take care of your body with exercise. You have to move towards what will help, but when you are in the pit you can’t always just do that. Some days it’s just a struggle to get out of bed. It’s often just a struggle to eat the easiest and closest thing to you. So at some point you realize you have to ask for help. You have to find someone that can help you get out of bed. You have to find someone to hold you accountable for your exercise and you have to have someone to help because sometimes no matter how much you want to you cannot help yourself.

This is not a woe-is-me post. This is a shout for help. I know where I am and I know I don’t want to be here. This is also a post to let you know if you are depressed and you need someone call me. We can help each other. Please know that what you are feeling isn’t wrong. It is just what it is. You don’t have to be there and you can do things to help. You just might need someone to help you. If you don’t talk to me talk to someone, your doctor, a therapist, there are help lines you can call. I am blessed in so many ways to have some amazing friends that I will talk to. I am also blessed to have a husband to kick me in the butt when I need it.

Depression sucks. It can take over your life if you let it and I have recently let it. Now it is time to make steps towards moving forward and to stop allowing it to control my life.

Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon

So when we knew we would be presiding in the great northwest this year we decided we really should run some of the local races. We looked around and found that the Rock N Roll Race Series does a few races that are in easy driving distance so we signed up for Rock n Roll Portland and then joined a Team in Training group to run the Rock n Roll Seattle.

A few weekends ago the Rock n Roll Portland was held and so Saturday morning we drove down to Portland to pick up our packets and bibs. We got to the Expo about 2pm and grabbed a few items and then headed off to dinner with some of our new northwest running buddies.  I had not had a chance to pick up the makeup I needed for my costume so we made a quick stop by Sephora, which was conveniently located within walking distance of the restaurant where we had dinner. Then it was off to bed for a somewhat early morning.

I woke up an hour before my alarm. I had a costume that required some makeup to be applied and since I am not a makeup person I knew I needed to give myself ample time to apply it in case I needed to reapply it if I did it wrong. So I rolled out of bed since I wasn’t sleeping anyway and started getting ready.

Once we were both ready we drove over to the starting line. The race started at 8am which is just lovely compared to the Disney 5:30am start. We rolled in about 7:20 and explored the area around the finish line while we waited for the race to start. It was misting a little but the weather did not call for rain until later in the morning so we stood under a tree to keep as dry as possible.

Portland RnR 1


The time came to move into the corrals. Bill was in 18 and I was in 23 the last corral. The cutoff time for the race was 4 hours and I know I can beat that so there was no stress but there was the ever present pre-race jitters. As we stood in the corrals it took about 45 minutes for everyone to get started and as we stood there it started coming down buckets. Luckily for me I had a ponch in my Camelbak pack so I pulled it out and put it on until the rain lessened right before my turn to start. I got the poncho stuffed back in the pack a few minutes before it was time to take off.


Now I have only run Disney half marathons and I was very excited to see how the RnR events compared. Many of my friends have enjoyed them. We started off and the first 5 miles are an out and back through some Portland industrial area that was not very impressive. About mile 2 there was a DJ playing music and trying to get everyone into a party mood. He was in a location where you would see him at mile 2 and 3.5 so it covered a nice portion of the course. We ran through the city and then across the bridge and around northeast Portland which is an area I am fairly familiar with having visited my step-daughter when she went to Reed which is in southeast Portland. While I ran I made friends with other people going about my pace. I had a great time meeting new Running Ohana (family). Every few miles there were cheerleader groups or dance groups dancing and cheering and bands playing and drummers drumming.

It was so fun seeing so many people out. Once we got into the neighborhood areas in NE Portland there were people sitting on their porches cheering and parents and kids standing on the sidelines. I knew there were only about 20 people behind me so my guess is they just came out to support everyone, which is totally amazing.

Portland is it’s best self in spring. The flowers are all in bloom and scent the air. Portland in Spring is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever experienced. Portland is called Rose City and it is very aptly named. That being said I had to stop on the course and smell the roses.



Towards the end of the neighborhood areas there was a group of young ladies out dancing on the corner. I am fairly certain they were not officially part of the race but just out showing off their stuff.


My race went very well. Lately I have been training my long runs with Team in Training which means I have been walking with some of the lovely ladies in my group but I haven’t really done a long run at my pace so I had no idea what to expect. I haven’t seemed to become particularly faster over the last many months but in reality I have. Jeff Galloway, a trainer I follow, says that your training runs don’t need to be particularly fast in order to be effective and as usual he is right. I ran 6 minutes faster then my best time from January and that was with having to stop for a couple minutes for traffic a few times. All in all I loved the race and would absolutely recommend it to friends and family.

Portland RnR 2

Then of course since we were in Portland we had to stop by and grab a couple donuts.


Send Out Cards is changing my life

I have often been told that I care too much for people. Many times this has been a determent to my income potential when working in a cutthroat office or other similar jobs. I have never really wanted more then to help people. This has more often then not landed me in dead end jobs working for peanuts. Because I am persistent many times I have been promoted to jobs where I excelled except that I hated them. These jobs took me away from meeting people and getting to know people.

Many years ago I read, “What Color is your Parachute”. The book helps you find what you are good at and what job might work best for you. It told me I am a people person. I am meant to work in a position that puts me in regular contact with customers. Customer Service in this country has become an afterthought for so many companies. They are the lowest paid job in spite of the fact they are one of the most important commodities. So in order to not make poverty level income I forced myself into positions at companies where I could make enough money to survive but my soul was never in them. I never thrived except when I was a convention coordinator and traveled around the world meeting new people but unfortunately the economy crashed and with it the one job I could love was no longer available.

Then I found Send Out Cards. The way to thrive in Send Out Cards is to love people. In order to succeed you must want everyone around you to succeed. This is one area I have the most strength and prior to now has been a weakness. Now I just love people and I make money. Now I just share this amazing gift with people and I can thrive. Now I found the thing I was meant to do. Who doesn’t want to work for a greeting card and gifting company? It truly is becoming a dream come true. If I was put on this earth for one thing it was to care deeply for those around me and now I have finally found a way to do that.

If you would like to experience this gift of Sending Cards and making other people feel special let me know and I am happy to share it with you. If you think you might be interested in making money by making other people happy I am your girl. Give me a call or send me an email and I will show you the best gift I have ever been given.

Not only that but next year our company convention is at the Happiest Place On Earth. How can you not want to be a part of this Revolution of Kindness? Watch closely as this changes my life because it already has but I have just scratched the surface on where this ride is going to take me. You know that roller coaster of life I am on? Well I just reached the top of that first big hill and I am ready to ride!