Archives for life by design

Her Legacy

In 2012, we lost my mom just after her 63rd birthday to heart failure brought on by her Lupus.  She was diagnosed with Lupus at the Mayo Clinic in 1994 while in intensive care on a ventilator–they didn’t give her long to live.  But she decided otherwise! She was not one to back down from a challenge and was known for creating her own reality. I grew up in a very small town in Northwest Iowa called Alta, which at the time had about 1,700 people.  Growing up everyone’s moms were either teachers, nurses or moms.  And while my mom

What’s Your Story?

When my little guy was three, I took him to get his hair cut and he was holding it together until they sat him in the chair and tried to strike up a conversation with him.  In doing so, he turned to me, as he began to cry uncontrollably, and pummeled me with his little fists in a fit of rage.  The stylist assumed he was scared of getting his hair cut, so she tried to distract him with more questions and try to make him laugh, etc.  And I can only assume that ever onlooker (especially those that weren’t

Following Our Own GPS

Remember the days before we had GPS or even MapQuest?  When we used to use guidebooks, and maps and go to AAA for a really thorough TripTik?  I can’t even go into a store at the mall and go in the right direction when I come out.  And do even try to show me how to use a compass, I just don’t get it! I really don’t know how we did it?!?! When I still lived in Boston, I had walked from my apartment to my new doctor’s office, and I made it there fine, but on the way back I

Self…Meet Ego

Two years ago, Zain was in his first full length play at his elementary school–a hyena in The Lion King.  The drama program at our school is amazing and they go all out in their productions.  So when they called upon the volunteers to help, I couldn’t wait to sign up.  The choices ranged from costumes to t-shirt sales to concessions and everything in between to accommodate all the parents’ skills.  So I signed up for set painting and make up.  I had visions of bringing the Serengeti to the stage and even practiced my face painting skills on Mir

Self-Care or Self-Sabotage

In my Life by Design workshop the first exercise is to fill in a typical week on a planner and then we go through together and highlight each type of activity to see where everyone is actually spending their time.  We highlight everything from household activities, to commuting, to taxiing (there is a difference), to self-care, to faith and everything in between.  It’s amazing for folks to really see how much or little they do of each type of activity. In a recent workshop, one of the attendees colored in her entire evening, every evening, with the color for self-care. 

Will You Be Sued?

In my Life By Design workshop, each attendee does a check in on where they are at, and then through a series of exercises, they put a plan in place for where they want to go and how they can get there.  It’s a lot to accomplish in 3 hours, but you’d be surprised at how much one can assess when they are given the time and space to just think! But there is a lot of hard work in this process because we can not add to our life what there is no room for.  So you have to

Is Your Tire Flat?

Lean in my friends, I have a secret. Even though I like to think I have my poop in a group, there are times when I get stuck.  It doesn’t happen quickly.  Sometimes so slowly that I don’t even know I’ve come to a halt. I call this my flat tire. Can you ride a bicycle on a flat tire?  Not for long you can’t.  And that’s how we are in life.  We need to be in balance…to be whole…to be effective. So my sure fire way to get from flat to rocking and rolling is the spoke and wheel

Make Space and Breathe

Many years ago I had a friend of mine, who is a Feng Shui practitioner, come to my house for a consultation.  As a refresher, Feng Shui, (in Chinese thought) is a set of laws and practices as it relates to spacial arrangements that affect energy flow both negatively and positively.  The whole process was eye opening, even though I’ve likely undone any changes I’ve made over the past 10+ years, but there was one point that I won’t forget.  She said that if there is something that is bothering you or you are unhappy with, it will cause negative

Designed Versus Designer

My lifelong dream of becoming a designer came after graduating from the College of Design at Iowa State University a really long time ago! As an interior designer, I would get a lot of “oh so you are a decorator” comments, or people begging me to see my house! Aside from the fact that I was a corporate interior designer, not residential, there is a difference between a designer and a decorator (not that there is anything wrong with decorators…bear with me). According to the dictionary that comes up when you Google it… A designer is a person who plans