Looking Back: My First Year
June 19, 2017
“Hold your soul still
look upward often.”
I know they say you shouldn’t look back, but this week I can’t help but to “hold my soul still” and reflect a bit on these past 12 months of writing.
Yes, that is right…this week is the 1 year Birthday of FHB and Me! What??? My mind is still having a hard time wrapping around this fact, but I remember the day well. On June 22, 2016 with more faith than fear, I hit the publish button…giving birth to my baby: FHB and Me.
I then headed to the back porch with a generous glass of bubbly to reflect a bit on what I had just done.
“Breathe Keri, just breathe,” I thought to myself while raising my glass into the air, “We did it Frances!”
I couldn’t wait for my friends and family to finally read the words that had been wandering about in my heart for so long…so I took this selfie and texted it to them saying…
“Guess who launched her website
and blog today? This girl!”
You can still see the lingering Bell’s Palsy in my face…which seriously threatened to derail the project completely. But thanks to the amazing friends and family who surrounded me with encouragement, it only delayed the launch a little more than a month.
What a year ago seemed so unimaginable…is now something I can’t imagine my life without. The clicks of the keyboard, the warmth of the coffee, and the words in my heart…all came together each week and filled my cup(and I hope yours) to the brim!
Below is a look back at the 52 Blogs…just in case you missed one along the way. Simply CLICK ON THE COLORED TITLES to read each one.
Thank you all for your love, support and prayers for me and for this project. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds, as I begin work in earnest on MY BOOK!
XXOO and Giddy Anticipation,
Are you really listening to your friends, kids, spouse, employees, or even to the sound of your own heart? We can HEAR sounds without engaging in them, but a whole new world opens up when we really LISTEN.
Are you doing your DREAM? When I was 10 years old, my DREAM was to sing and be discovered by Michael Jackson himself. I would give a concert every night in the shower, belting out the latest and greatest from Whitney Houston at the top of my little lungs.
I was convinced, that my mother, upon hearing these nightly concerts, had stashed a tape recorder in the air vent in the bathroom to capture her talented daughters voice. I just KNEW that she had plans to mail these secret recordings to Michael Jackson…who would then ask me immediately to be one of his backup singers.
Sometimes the treasures in your garden, life and relationships aren’t found on the surface. It’s only when you dig a little deeper that you find the good stuff buried below. Are you digging deep enough??
How many of you have let that voice of fear stop you from doing something BIGGER than you thought you could be or do?
Who will you CHOOSE to Listen to Today?
Have you ever seen your own (not so flattering) reflection in the actions of others…or even worse…in the actions of you very own children? I find it hardest to parent in those moments.
My 5th grade daughter was recently called out by her physical education coach because she wasn’t participating in class. She has always been an excellent athlete, so he knew something was off. Instead of being the leader of runs and the first across finish lines, she was suddenly spending more time lingering at the back with the walkers and chatting with her friends. She was coasting.
Spring is my FAVORITE time of year. Oh how I have planned and plotted out each and every box in my garden, waiting patiently for the perfect time to plant. Frances loved gardens and planting things from an early age, but I haven’t always been one to love playing in the dirt. In fact, had you asked me 5 years ago if I was a gardener, I would have told you emphatically, “Nope, not me, I kill things. My mother is an amazing flower gardener, but sadly that green thumb skipped a generation.”
But when my kids began to grow up a bit, needing less of my time and attention, I felt this tug to nurture something calling from deep inside me…or perhaps the calling was really from the OUTSIDE.
Words are powerful. They get inside our hearts, shape us, build us up and can even break us down. Some words stay with us for years and years. The same is true with books. Some we read, enjoy for the moment and toss readily from our memories never to be recalled again. But others touch us so deeply that they becomes a part of who we are and their words can come seeping out of us at the most surprising moments. These words live forever in our hearts. And for many, The Secret Garden is that book.
At our house, March means SPRING cleaning. Last weekend, we tackled the garage and outdoor spaces, hauling a full trailer load to the recycling and dump. Energized by the garage victory, I began to tackle my office, a space that I have started to avoid because the stacks of books, papers, and nick-knacks have become just too much to bear for this already cluttered mind of mine. While sorting through this self induced chaos, my eyes landed on a brand new, never been opened Gratitude Journal.
My mind is always “chewing” on something…an idea for a blog, how I need to make dentist appointments for the kids, what I am going to cook for dinner, whether or not this Bell’s Palsy will ever really go away…and more. Which means that too many times, when I am with others…I am not really ALL there. DO you ever get so up in your head, that you AREN’T REALLY PRESENT?
Eight year old Sara Crewe, the main character in FHB’s classic story A Little Princess, knew that in order for others understand, you have to speak in a language they know.
But what happens when someone doesn’t “know” your language?
There is nothing like being knocked on your butt by fear to remind you that this life is a precious GIFT….and something we GET TO DO just once.
The best stories in life typically come in the CHAOS, not the perfection. And somewhere, some of us got lost in our pursuit of Happiness and confused it with Perfection. Because the truth is, you don’t laugh for years about when everything went right, but about the times that so much went wrong, but you still somehow survived. We become connected when we tell the whole truth: the good, the bad, and seriously…did that really just happen to me… funny.
What if this year we decided that we ARE worth the TIME, EFFORT, or MONEY and finally ASKED for what we really want in life?
Perhaps we are past the age of asking for things to go under the tree, but it is time we finally give ourselves the gift of asking for what we need throughout the year.
Are you good at being intentional and actually asking for what you want or need in order to be your best self?
Fear…It can be paralyzing. While some fears prevent us from falling off cliffs, other fears can keep us from jumping into that very thing in life that we were made for— if we let the fear take hold.
Have you forgotten how to play?I think I forgot somewhere along the way to being a grown up. Frances didn’t forget and would spend hours playing actively with my grandmother. Read more about it in today’s blog: Permission to Play: The Year of YES
My First 35: 2016 in Review
As 2016 came to a close, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was the year I CHOSE TO BELIEVE in my dream and jumped back into writing feet first. Did you miss any of them?