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Shiny New Penny- Week One Check In

New Years check in week one.

Whew! I developed some tarnish. And after only a week. So much so I had to go back to last week to see what I promised myself. My goodness! Look at me last week, all bright and shiny.

Like anything that takes work, reminders and repolishing are important.

Those who have followed my story know that my beautiful brother has been deeply impacted by mitochondrial disease. Those who know my brother know what a great skier he is and how much he covets his space in the mountains. Brother has three boys; my lovely and active nephews.

Me, having spent my 20’s teaching skiing, I have vowed to teach those nephews how to ski.

In the process, I have discovered that skiing with young children is complex and can be a tad stressful.

On Thursday I met this complex, lovely crew at the park-n-ride. I stuffed my skis and boots in the back of the minivan, jumped in the driver’s seat and we were off.

That’s right. Minivan.

Loveland Valley was a little nutty for a Thursday but all was good because Brother has a a disabled parking placard.

Brother has this because he needs it.

Did I mention that Loveland was nutty for a Thursday?

I pull into the parking lot with the ginormous minivan to find all of the disabled spots taken.

Queue verbal reminder…….I am a shiny new penny, I am a shiny new penny, my words create my reality, my words create my reality. 

I have found that nutty times can lead to compromised decisions for people. Decisions such as ‘I am an able bodied person but I can park in the disabled spot for 5 minutes while I unload gear. No one will notice’

Having used a placard and observed this behavior, I automatically doubt the validity of everyone in those spots. Yes, this is a weakness of mine and something I am working on as a shiny new penny.

So, being slightly stressed in the ginormous minivan and given my history of doubt, I roll down my window and ask a young dad unloading his SUV in a disabled spot if he is parking there for the day.

“Sir? Excuse me. Are you staying in that spot?”

No answer.

“Sir?” Perhaps he didn’t hear me. Perhaps I should talk louder.

“Hi! Are you parking here?” 

Mr. Sir turns to me with the stink eye and a gruff tone. “I have told you three times I’m an staying here.”

Shiny new penny, shiny new penny, shiny new penny!

“Oh. I didn’t hear you.”

“I told you……three times”

And a million snarky responses came to my head, a gazillion arguments. But instead I yelled in an indignant tone, “Well, you just have a nice day!!!!” 

That’s go to hell in shiny new penny speak.

Another car rolled out of a spot and we were able to secure our space. Boys tumbled out of the van, Brother navigated variable terrain and my dad joked about the meaning of have a nice day.

But I was bothered by this interaction.

The boys skied and mastered their perfect pizza wedge. Brother did great but needed to return mid-day to our house-on-wheels to take a nap. Stupid mito.

We finished with a celebratory hot chocolate….and maybe a beer.

As we packed back up, gathered stray gloves and stinky ski socks, I saw Mr. Sir doing the same for his family.

I walked over to him.

“Hi. Listen, I am really sorry. I didn’t mean to insinuate anything or insult you. I was just looking for…….”

He cut me off, “yeah, I’m really sorry too.”

“Things get a little crazy with these spots.”

He laughed. “Yes, yes they do.”

I shook his hand, “Thank you,” I said, “Have a good day.”

And this time I meant it.

Week one under the belt.





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Well Hello New Year

I love this day. I really do. New Year’s comes in like a bright shiny penny, full of expectations and hope. Last year drifts off into the sunset leaving me with reflection. What could I have done better? What could have been so much worse?

We are settled into our house on the 20 this year. There are a bazillion projects that need to be completed which will take a bazillion years. But I love this place that Hubs built. And I love him for building this place.

And like our house on the 20, I feel more settled.

And I shudder as I write that- I really do. Years of trauma has taught me to brace for what tragedy might be next. I state the words, “We’re okay, we’re good,” and then make a cringy face and search around as though the next tragedy is lurking in the corner.

Perhaps it is.

Perhaps this is something to work on in 2019.

There were parts of 2018 that were fraught with doubt- more so than other years. Maybe because I didn’t have a move, a sick child, or was silly sick with grief, that left room for doubt to move on in.

Ironic, huh?

I think during those doubtful times, you start to believe lies that you tell yourself; ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I should work harder, why are my pants so tight?’

I am letting go of my lies.

I started my lie purge in September. I am purging old lies from my thought process. This purging will continue through the new year. I am removing the words from my head.

My words create my reality. I want a really awesome, amazing reality; not a pants too tight reality.

I will turn 48 this month. When I was 20, 48 sounded old. Heck, 48 still sounds old.

It sounds old, but it doesn’t feel old.

It feels promising. I see this promise in some of my friends, friends who a venturing out with their own careers, embracing health goals, taking this notion of living a gracious life seriously.

Seriously because this is work. It takes work to dispel your lies. It takes work to not engage in drama. It takes work to live your best life and believe in your awesome, amazing reality.

What is my best life? Heck if I know but I feel like if I talk about it more, it might start to reveal itself. I might even Pinterest a vision board…..take myself on down to Michaels for a glue gun.

So that’s me today. New shiny penny. I hope you feel shiny today too.

Happy New Year.

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How Very Grateful

I have just finished Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. And I recommend. It’s an easy read, a funny book and I keep quoting her.

She talks about the lies we tell ourselves. The lies we believe and repeat to ourselves. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

As a grieving Mama, I thought ‘what lie do I tell myself?’

‘I should be beyond my grief.’

‘I should be beyond my grief.’

‘I should be beyond my grief.’

Truth is I am no. Heck no. Nope. No sireeee.

And when I believe my lie, my real feelings fester and my voice is subdued. Sometimes my voice is all I have and fester is such an ugly word.

This weekend, a dear friend sent me this gift; the video below with the wish that Samantha would have been in the Super Power Baby Book.

I sat in a coffee shop with non-lie alligator tears streaming down my face embracing my Christmas blend. Vulnerable, raw, honest.

Thank you dear friend for helping me live in my truth.

Watch here.

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The Kids are Alright

I have been looking through quotes to find the right words.

I have looked through George H.W Bush’s repertoire to state how I feel. RIP 41.

And I found the quote about broccoli. But I like broccoli.

And then as I started to write this post, Hubs put on The Who and the song The Kids are Alright came on.

The Kids are Alright. And that is it.

ethan santa

Miracles for Mito hosted a Christmas Party today. It was a great day! We were at the Anchor Center for Blind Children which is an amazing place. Samantha was a student there and everytime we host a party, I feel a tad nostalgic. My nephews joined us today. They ran up and gave me a hug.

“Isn’t this a cool place?” I said. “Samantha went to school here.”

“She was so lucky! She had a ball pit!” Said one of the Phews.

And that got me all teary.

But the Kids are Alright.

nat and santa

Today every kiddo got a present. We had amazing food compliments of Angela and Matt. Our docs talked about what we are doing here in Colorado. And really, we are doing some cool things

austin pic

Here is our doc talking about current research. I love this community.

I MAY have been related to Santa and Mrs. Claus today. Jim, my stepdad stepped up to be Santa and he was amazing. Mama Judi was Mrs. Claus. We talked about being Santa last week.

“You got this,” I said to Jim. “Just be Samantha’s Santa.”

And he was. He went up to every kiddo in a wheelchair who could not come to him. He talked to them, held their hand….Missy Moo was proud.

And The Kids are Alright

kiddos santa

It is hard to put into words……this devastating disease, this strapped community, our own  personal grief……and come out on the other side with hope, love and and overwhelming sense of gratitude.

But thats how today was. My heart is so full. You all are amazing. And if we have nothing else, I guess we have each other, and tonight? That is enough.

This Kid is Alright

Thank you. Seriously. Thank you





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Dodie’s china, tarnished silver and love

Lordy. Today was a good day. We hosted 24 people. The table clothes were wrinkled, the glassware didn’t match and the silver needed a good polish.

I didn’t polish the silver. In fact I only found the silver last night in a desperate attempt to find more forks. We still have some unpacking to do.

Nevertheless, two beautiful turkeys and an impressive ham made its way into our bellies along with a little grape and a lot of laughter. My grandfather at 91 and my nephew at 2 1/2 adorned the table along with the rest of us, all between the spectrum of youngest to oldest.


This is what life is isn’t? These moments around a meal; a piece of pie, breaking bread, pulling out my grandma Dodie’s china, toasting the beauty of being together.

Perhaps that is what creating a legacy is about. Tiny moments that weave into bigger stories. The comfort of being surrounded by unconditional love and mashed potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving sweet friends.