Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Balance in 2015

I'm still having trouble finding a balance between getting things done and making time for myself. 

My biggest issue is that I have to constantly remind myself that getting things done can't count as time for myself. In my mind, it absolutely counts! Why makes me feel good to get things done. So that should be doing something for me, right? Nope... I have learned, through way more trial and error than I would like to admit, that just because something makes me feel good or accomplished doesn't mean it has refilled my tank.

That's the difference.....refilling your tank when it's on E. My counselor has helped prove that to this hard-head Italian. All too many times when I'm mean and crabby and can't seem to kick it I can't name a single thing I've done for me. I can list plenty of things that I've done to make me feel better but they aren't things that necessarily "do it" for me.

I made a list with a few columns...things that I enjoy, things that I enjoy but don't necessarily relax me, and things that completely refill my tank. (Well that's a little more wordy than my columns were.) Apparently, I don't get my list out enough. I need to hang it on my fridge. And, as my counselor would preach to me, I need to schedule time for those refills.

That will be my goal this year. Finding that balance. I'm getting there. I truly am way better than I used to be. I'm definitely better at recognizing when I haven't taken time for myself. So that's one step closer.

Happy New Year! Here's to all of us getting one step closer to a better version of ourselves in 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

20 Things to Remember if You Love a Person with ADD


20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

Family Lifestyleby  

It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.

From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.
True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.

Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:

1. They have an active mind

The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.

2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said

A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.

3. They have difficulty staying on task

Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.

4. They become anxious easily

As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.
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5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional

If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.

6. They concentrate too intensely

When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.

7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone

And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.

8. They are unable to regulate their emotions

For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.

9. They have verbal outbursts

Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.

10. They have social anxiety

Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.

11. They are deeply intuitive

For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.

12. They think out of the box

Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.

13. They are impatient and fidgety

Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.

14. They are physically sensitive

Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.

15. They are disorganized

Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.

16. They need space to pace

When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

17. They avoid tasks

Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.

18. They can’t remember simple tasks

Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.

19. They have many tasks going on at the same time

Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.

20. They are passionate about everything they do

The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.
Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.

Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.

Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul.

Random thoughts...

Sports. I caught Drea watching ESPN the other day. Yes folks, on her own, she turned the channel to ESPN and was really watching SportsCenter. Andy is so proud.
Mice. Hate them. I'm a complete sissy about them. I have been having an issue with them trapsing around my kitchen. So I have had to set traps, kill and dispose. Wait a minute, my stepdad has had to set traps, kill, and dispose of the mice. I heard a trap go off the other morning before work, so I refused to even walk into my kitchen and made the very logical decision to find breakfast at work. He came to dispose of the ones that were caught and Charlotte was very upset that he threw them outside before she got to see them. So he took her outside and showed them to her and then she asked to borrow his gloves. She then proceeded with picking them up and visually examining them.
*On a side note concerning the two thoughts above, I have amazingly well-rounded daughters!!
Microwaves. How annoying is it that every one is so different and you have to be a brain surgeon to be able to use one that you don't use all the time.
Logic. Why is it when you decide on a new spot for something because it makes more sense that you would always look for it to be in this place, that the next time you go to look for you look everywhere but the new place....which again, you thought seemed like the most logical place. It just proves that just because something is logical to you on one day didn't mean it will be the same logic on the next day.
Fashion. I can tell I'm getting old when I'm in a store and I'm checking out a section of clothes that look pretty cute and then I slowly realize that I'm in the "older" woman section. Oh no. I don't know what is fashionable anymore. I may have to ban myself from shopping without the supervision of my 5 & 8 year old daughters.
Bunk beds. The girls have bunk beds now because a friend blessed me with them! I was contemplating getting it for them for Christmas and said it out loud and Judi just said I have some I need to get rid of. They are awesome and my kids have been enjoying every minute in them. I never knew I would be such a worry wort about them. But they make me so nervous. It doesn't help that my girls are like monkeys so keeping them from hanging over the edge and climbing all over the thing is difficult. But it has been a incredible blessing! Enjoy their picture session below.
Speaking of life has been overflowing with them! My Dad and Beth have me their Christmas tree!! It is beautiful and I love it. Mom and Bob have new extra lights and let the girls rummage through their bulbs. I love Christmas!!
Oh yeah, and this is a teddy bear that Judi gave to my girls too. Charlotte fell in love with it as you can see.

Christmas 2014

I'm SO enjoying this season!

Here are some goodies from Christmas/December....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Girls Night Art Party!!

November was such a fun (and crazy busy) month! I know we are half way through Dec but I didn't realize that I didn't publish this post so there are a couple to catch up on.

These pics are from an Art Party we did at the The Starving Artist. It was a girls outing and we had a blast spending time together and laughing....And we celebrated mom's birthday too.

Friday, December 5, 2014


(From Day 5 of No More Unglued Mama Mornings devotion)

What kept me from making changes with unglued mama mornings for so long was the feeling I wouldn't do it perfectly. I knew I'd still mess up and come unglued. Sometimes we girls think if we don't make instant progress, then real change isn't coming.

But that's not so.

There is a beautiful reality called imperfect progress. The day I realized the glorious hope of this kind of imperfect change is the day I gave myself permission to believe I really could be different.
Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace … imperfect progress. And good heavens, I need lots of that. So, I dared to write this in my journal:

Progress. Just make progress. It's okay to have setbacks and to need do-overs. It's okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again—and again. Just make sure you're moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck. Then change will come. And it will be good.

These honest words enabled me to begin rewriting my story. Not that I erased what came before, but I stopped rehashing it and turned the page afresh. Eventually, I started blogging about my raw emotions and imperfect changes. In response, I got comments whispering, "Me too."

"Being unglued, for me, comes from a combination of anger and fear," wrote Kathy. "I think part of it is learned behavior. This is how my father was." Courtney honestly admitted, "I come unglued when I feel out of control because my kids are screaming or fighting or whining or negotiating and won't listen. I like silence, calm, obedience, and control. When it's not going 'my way,' I come unglued and freak out and it goes quiet. And then the regret comes."

And the comments kept coming, all of them expressing the exact same struggle, the same frustration, and the same need for hope. So many women whose daily circumstances differed but whose core issues were the same.

I realized then that maybe other women could make some imperfect progress too. And a book idea was born from that simple realization. But I had to laugh at the irony of it. I had just published a book called Made to Crave that dealt with what goes into my mouth. Now I was writing a book called Unglued to deal with what comes out of my mouth.

This Unglued journey is about my imperfect progress. It's an honest admission that this struggle of reining in how I react has been hard for me. But hard doesn't mean impossible.
How hard something is often depends on your vantage point.

For example, consider the shell of an egg. Looking at it from the outside, we know an eggshell is easily broken. But if you're looking at that same shell from the inside, it seems an impenetrable fortress. It's impossible for the raw white and tender yolk to penetrate the hardness of the eggshell.
But given time and the proper incubation, the white and yolk develop into a new life that breaks through the shell and shakes itself free. And in the end, we can see that the hard work of cracking the shell was good for the new baby chick.

The shell actually provided a place for new life to grow, and then enabled the chick to break forth in strength.

Might the same be true for our hard places? Might all this struggle with our raw emotions and unglued feelings have the exact same potential for new life and new strength?

I think so. I know so. I've seen so.

Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." Make some small imperfect progress today and discover your potential for new life and new strength.


For the next week, write the words imperfect progress at the top of every day's to do list. If you have a smart phone, set an alert to pop up each morning of this week to remind you, "Make imperfect progress today." Then determine that making imperfect progress with your reactions is the most important thing you can accomplish today.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Just a note...

After my kids go to bed, I always imagine all the things I'm going to get accomplished. Before they go bed, I have lists going through my head. I set alarms on my phone, write lists on paper, and plan all sorts of ways to accomplish a few additional things to finish my day. Then I get the kids in bed and my brain goes to mush! LOL!

I'm sitting here getting ready to go to bed because the one million five hundred things I had planned to do once my children fell asleep have evaporated into thin air. Balancing the checkbook, making an event image for Ronin Fitness, designing business cards for Enliven Occupational Therapy, emailing Andy about Drea's birthday party and our schedule, designing Drea's birthday party invitations, taking out the trash, folding the towels I washed, getting stuff together so the girls and I can go to the gym tomorrow, and the list goes on and on. Now let's not discuss how this list is completely unachievable and these expectations are way too much to expect of myself in like an hour or two at the end of the day.....  We just won't go there. I know that I won't be able to do all of these things but I do hope that I may accomplish at least one or two of them. The problem is I often get to zero of them because I get in this stupid zone out mode and next thing I know it's 10:30 and I should get ready for bed before it's suddenly midnight. Yes, there's nothing wrong with zoning out at the end of your day but I'm there often and especially when the girls are with me.

Anyway, just a note on what is catching my attention about my behavior tonight.

P.S. - After I typed this blog, I did end up taking out the trash, folding the towels, getting our stuff together for the gym and cleaning up the kitchen from dinner....Oh and emailed myself at work to actually look at the to-do list in my purse that I made on Sun. :)

Oh, and the picture favorite kind of evening zoning out.