Browsed by
Month: January 2015

Packing List for Super Bowl XLIX

Packing List for Super Bowl XLIX

Seahawks PackingHeading to Arizona this week to watch Super Bowl XLIX? Well, I’ve got a packing guide to keep in mind as you fill that carry-on bag. Yes, there are some critical items you need to cram between your Seahawks jerseys, #12 flag and underwear in order to make the most of the trip.

deodorant1Item #1 – Deodorant! (the stronger, the better) I’m a rabid Seahawks fan, but this game is shaping up to be a real nail biter. We’re playing a New England Patriots team that has everything to prove to the world as they step onto the field. Can they redeem themselves after #DeflateGate? I’m sure the team hopes to erase all doubt Sunday with a win. But, my Seahawks play with a chip on their shoulder every week. They approach every game of the season as a championship game. So, come Sunday, every down, these two teams are going to smash helmets and fight for yards. Swipe on two layers of that industrial-strength deodorant and smell like a daisy well into the fourth quarter, okay?

If you haven’t packed one of these beauties, it’s not too late!

Item #2 – Air-pump. No really. You think I’m eluding to eleven underinflated balls, but not so! You’ve got to get to the big game, maybe on a shuttle, a bus, a car or bike. All these things have tires that can deflate. That might keep other fans from arriving at the gates on time, but not you. You’ll have planned ahead and packed an air-pump with you to handle flat tires. Way to go! Click here to link to and purchase NOW!

Item #3 – Disposable camera. Yes, most of us carry cell phones equipped with cameras these days, but technology can fail miserably when we need it most. This is a game for the ages, a bucket list opportunity, you’ll want to document this experience. Take a few minutes to buy a disposable camera at airport newsstand. It’s a fail-safe you won’t regret having.

If it’s good enough for elite athletes, it’s sure as heck good enough for Super Bowl spectators

Item #4 – Adult diapers. Consider wearing adult diapers to the big game. After all, it’s the freaking Super Bowl. You can’t slip away for ten minutes during the game because you’ll risk jinxing your team, or you’ll miss the turnover/play that crashes the internet. Halftime is also a no-go, because Katy Perry promises to deliver an eye-popping show. And if you don’t relieve yourself at some point during the game, then Monday you’ll be forking over a co-pay to some medical clinic to diagnose that burning bladder infection. Do what countless marathoners already do, and wear adult diapers. Yes, you’re welcome.

71luLqnFQiL._SX522_Item #5 – Instant portable phone charger. I’ve linked you to so you can add this handy item to your cart asap. It’s not only you that’s going to Super Bowl XLIX, every family member, friend, co-worker and frienemy you left behind is living vicariously through YOU. They’ll be texting hours before kickoff, I promise. I know this because I plan to pepper my own dad with texts the entire day. He’ll be sitting somewhere behind the goal posts and I’ll pester him for pics and updates. I’ll want to cyber-celebrate TDs and turnovers with him, and expect him to answer me at least a couple of times. Your batteries, like my dad’s, will drain fast. So, think ahead, and bring along an instant charger. Keep those lines of communication open and your acquaintances happy.

We were there to witness the NFC Championship in person
We were there to witness the NFC Championship in person

So, there they are, the five items you need to add to that suitcase. The weekend will fly by at lightening speed, but try to savor every moment. Travel safely home and if you happen to be a 12 like me, you better scream yourself hoarse on Sunday. Go Hawks!



Get Pumped for Seahawks vs. Patriots Baby!

Get Pumped for Seahawks vs. Patriots Baby!


This is the best highlight reel I’ve seen of this amazing season. Can’t wait to see how my ‘Hawks match up with the Patriots on February 1st. Are you all in? We are!

We were there to witness the NFC Championship in person









My doge meme I made before last year's Super Bowl game. Boy, that sounds so sweet!
My doge meme I made before last year’s Super Bowl game. Boy, that sounds so sweet!
Cat Bite!

Cat Bite!

He doesn’t look like a blood-thirsty monster, does he?

Never one to use an alarm clock, I peeked out from a pile a blankets and saw 5:05am blinking in red. I had an hour left to linger in the warmth and comfort before waking. I fell back to sleep and soon felt our cat, Romeo, nuzzle into my side. He tucked himself into the crook of my left arm and purred. Between the warmth and companionship, we both settled into Dreamland.

Then, a scream, a burst of pain and a mad scrambling cat; all of it happened at once. Romeo vaulted off my chest onto the nightstand, knocked over a lamp, a stack of books, a cup of water and two angel statues. Two.

My husband startled awake and raced out of the room – apparently chasing down some imaginary thief in his half-asleep state. I clutched my left hand and ran to the bathroom. My thumb felt like it was on fire as I scrubbed it under the water; then it began to tingle in a bad way. I was afraid to know what the damage was, so I kept the lights off and continued to scrub. I went through more than four rounds of the “A-B-C” song I always made my kids recite in the name of good hygiene; something my youngest called a, “stupid parenting tip.”

After a handful of minutes, I wrapped my hand in a towel, clutched it to my heart and turned on the bathroom lights. Gently, I peeled back the towel and found four giant puncture wounds; two were deep and the others were super-duper deep. Gone, down the drain with a steady stream of blood, was any hope I had to become a hand model.

Romeo, our pet of eleven-years, is a Maine Coon. The cat world loves to call his breed, “gentle giants.” That’s normally true with Romeo. He weighs in at close to fifteen pounds, has a huge personality, gravitates to people – both family as well as visitors – and knows more tricks than our dog, Cooper. Romeo sips from a drinking straw. He opens drawers and cabinets. He sits, he stays, he high-fives. This cat is something special. That’s why we keep him as an indoor-only pet, he’s smart – but not street smart. In fact, he’s got the street smarts of a Quaker toddler.

This text thread happened during my urgent care visit and we were only joking, I swear!

A few weeks after moving into our new house, Romeo slipped out the back door and was gone. After three days of searching, we received the call we’d been hoping for; someone had found Romeo. Yes! Somehow he had managed to climb a three-story brick building, the masonic temple building in fact. The building has no ladder. There is no external staircase. How he clawed his way to the top, we’ll never know. But, a woman passing on the street heard him caterwauling from the rooftop. She later admitted to me that she’s deathly afraid of heights, but in that moment her inner-Mama Bear kicked in; she tracked down a maintenance man. She climbed the loaner ladder and she carried Romeo fireman-style down, down, down to safety.

Soon after, his rescuer called us, we entered her office. Romeo was working the room with his spins, high-fives and other fancy tricks. Every face in the room registered disappointment at the sight of us, Romeo’s family. His rescuer joked, “Oh, we were hoping you wouldn’t show up. He’s a really great cat.” Yeah, he is.

In the weeks that followed, I became friends with his rescuer. She runs an advertising company and does amazing charity work. She invited me to a fundraiser for a pediatric hospice, the place I later joined as a board member and volunteer. Romeo did all that, he brought us together to do good.

Back to that day when I was bitten, I slathered liquid bandage on my wounds and used the blow dryer to slow the bleeding so I could drive my daughter to school. I worked a full day, then picked up my daughter, got both kids ready for fencing, then drove through rush hour traffic to attend a pediatric board meeting. My hand throbbed red and hurt, but I ignored it. My fellow board members though, they didn’t. Most of our board works in the field of medicine, no surprise. And as soon as they heard the words, “cat bite,” they made me promise to check into urgent care after the meeting – which I only did to appease them.

IMG_4821The next day, I couldn’t use my left hand. But, two beloved members of my family were traveling into town for a long planned visit. The fridge was chocked full of the supplies I needed to cook meals each day, basically spoil them rotten for three days. But, I limped to the airport and before we’d even driven halfway home, they made it clear that they were going to take care of me. They cooked. They tidied. They reminded me to sit and rest. They made me laugh. And even though accepting help makes me squirm and sweat, I survived. In fact, I thrived. The kids had an amazing time with their grandparents and I soaked up every minute of their loving presence. By Monday, we marveled at how something so awful had morphed into the best visit we’d ever had.

Sometimes we don’t see how the bad stuff leads to something better, but I see it with laser vision now.

In the days since Romeo bit me, I’ve had to remind myself of all the love and good this little cat has done and will do in the future. Now, on my second round of strong antibiotics and with a markedly less puffy hand, I take time each day to stroke his back and say, “You’re a good cat, Romeo. I forgive you.” I’ll continue to repeat it until the words ring true, because yes, even cats deserve more than one chance. Especially Romeo.




Taking one from the Playbook of Russell Wilson: Take Advantage of THIS Opportunity

Taking one from the Playbook of Russell Wilson: Take Advantage of THIS Opportunity

seahawk dogeWhether you’re a teen, a young adult or older still (like me), there’s something to be learned from Russell Wilson, star quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. As he prepares to play in another NFC Championship game, you may assume his road to the pros has been easy, greased with natural talent and a dose of good luck. Baloney. He’s created his reality with a keen sense of purpose, hard work, humility and grace. It’s worth studying the habits of Mr. Wilson if you’re working towards a goal.

images-1Lesson One: Russell Wilson makes his own good luck He prepares every day to achieve his dreams. He studies his opponents, hones his own skills, connects with his teammates and coaches to prepare for the game. Takeaway? Make your own good luck. No matter your goal, work today to make it happen. As a writer, my favorite saying on achieving big goals comes from Anonymous, “A novel is written one word at a time.”

Yes, no doubt your goal seems too big to wrap your arms around, but break it down into small bits. If you’re striving for better health, start simple. Cut back by one cigarette, substitute one carb for a carrot, park a smidgeon further away from your office building. Take one small step. Then tomorrow, do it again. Pretty soon you’ll find you are making real progress toward that goal. You are creating your own future.

Thanks for this!

Lesson Two: Russell Wilson doesn’t think any goal is out of reach  He’s put duct tape over the mouth of his inner governor. Yes, that same irritating voice all of us have in our heads that tells us we can’t, we don’t deserve it, we won’t.

Well, our takeaway? Hush that negative mental thinking. It won’t happen overnight – because this bad habit took a lifetime to develop. But, we can retrain our minds. It starts with awareness; notice when you hear that negative thought. Replace the words you hear with something else, something Pollyanna positive. Sure, it’ll feel ridiculous, but keep on trying. Replace the negative with something better. Pretty soon, you’ll start believing the good stuff. Why not you?

imagesLesson Three: Russell Wilson uses rejection to motivate his success  Chances are (and this is specifically for my teen readers) Mr. Wilson wasn’t offered a scholarship to his dream school. In fact, football wasn’t even his favorite sport, baseball was. But, his opportunity came to play both sports for a smaller college, and boy, did he? Yep. Look him up on Wikipedia. He took the opportunity and made every other college regret their decision to look him over, took Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl and broke school records. He might not have developed as a player or person the same way if he’d gotten a full-ride to say, Florida.

Takeaway? Well, if you currently have a job, an internship or a seat at a school, maybe it’s not your dream place, but it is where you are at right now, so say thank you by giving it all you have. Work hard. Be positive. Give something back to the place that gave you a chance. It’s the beginning steps to making something special happen.

thLesson Four: Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.  Mentally, physically; start right now. Prepare for your goal to come true. If you want to write a novel, tuck a notebook and pen into your bag so that you’re ready to jot down that idea or phrase whenever it hits you. If you want to teach kids, ask your local elementary school if they need student tutors. Start now. Be bold and ask your role model to be your mentor. Bring people into your dream. Tell them what you are preparing to become. Own it. And then, when you’re tired from your efforts; keep preparing.

Lesson Five: Russell Wilson does all this for God.  Yes, every success and setback, Russell Wilson gives thanks and praise to God. He practices hard and plays to the best of his abilities not only for God, but for the guy playing next to him. He does everything for others, not himself. Takeaway? Well, speaking from my own experience, when I do something for others, it becomes greater than me, exponentially. Yes, I write fiction books – I’m not a pediatric neurologist – but I am mindful as I write that I want to evoke a response from my readers, maybe help them to see the world in a different way for a few hundred pages. It makes my writing better when I aim to create something that will resonate with others, not just fill up my computer screen for a time. So, whatever you’re working on, let it be for others. Bring us into your goal; maybe we’ll help you raise the bar higher than you ever thought possible.


Want to get inspired by Russell Wilson in real time? He unveiled his new website yesterday at Super Bowl 49 Media Day. Here’s the link!