Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On The Threshold

On The Threshold - a memory | www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

We rode in the elevator in silence. My dad carrying the laundry basket; me standing next to him quietly, happily. I couldn't have been more than 3 years old. We got to the lobby of our apartment building and the elevator doors opened. My dad got out and headed for the laundry room. I started to follow, but then hesitated. I stood there for a moment, my foot poised to step over the threshold of the elevator. But I couldn't make myself take that next step. I thought, what would happen if I did nothing? If I just stayed here? 

My dad was now out of sight, the lobby was deserted and I was alone for what felt like the first time in my 3-year-old life. There was this weird feeling of pleasure. I wanted to be the "captain" of the elevator and push all the buttons without getting in trouble. I even reached out my hand to do so. But I stopped because the elevator doors were slowly beginning to close. 

I began to panic. What if I got lost? How would I find my dad again? Why was I just standing here, frozen? 

A couple entered the lobby and saw me in the elevator as the doors were still closing. I must have looked terrified, realization dawning on me that I was heading for the unknown - alone and frightened. The man quickly ran across the lobby and pressed the UP button. The doors reversed their direction to open back up. He looked at me with kind, concerned eyes. I was rooted to the spot, staring at his fringed leather jacket and his long beard, watching his lips move as he asked if I was lost. 

I stared for a moment more, taking in his kindness and his beautiful wife, with long hair down her back. I said nothing, and I ran out of the elevator and into the laundry room, barely hearing the faint cry of, "Wait!". I squeezed my dad as tightly as I could, flooded with relief. I don't think he realized what happened at the time as this flashed by in a matter of moments (though, I did tell him later). But he started the washing machine, and squeezed me back just as tight. And just like that, all was right in my world again. 

This happened over 3 decades ago, but I still think about that moment. Standing at the threshold, detached, yet full of wonder; fearful, yet steps away from safety. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Snapshot: We Don't Have a Song

Snapshot: March 20, 2017, approximately 7:15PM. Hubs and I chit chat as he gets ready for work. 


Me: "You know what? We don't have a song." 

C: "A song? Oh yeah. I never thought about it. I guess we don't." 

Me: "We should have a song. Don't you think?"

C: "Hmm." *does a Google search and then suggests the following songs*

  • Seal - A Kiss From a Rose
  • Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love to You
  • Bryan Adams - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
  • Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me
  • Backstreet Boys - I Want it That Way

P.S. Yeah... We still don't have a song. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Nurture: A Letter

Wow. Do you even know how beautiful you are? I see you. I see into you. Your gentle spirit soothes. Your giant heart welcomes. And that smile. The unexpected one that you can't hold back and shines like the sun. The sweet pain of life is made better in your presence. I'm so glad I know you.

But those feelings you have? You know, the ones that make you feel "less than"? They couldn't be further from the truth. You're wonderful. Is there a word that's better than best? And while I'm at it, I'll search for ones that tell you how much you matter. And how your voice, a dulcet tone, adds to the symphony of us all. You are enough. These invisible barriers and battles we begin in our minds - I still don't know the why or how of them. It seems pointless in the face of your shining light. 

Some say the grass is greener on the other side; some say it's green where you water it. I say, show me your bucket and I'll help you fill it up. Together, we'll nurture the meadow of friendship and laughter. 

Envy is a four letter word. Love is a better one. Which do you choose?  

Friday, February 24, 2017

When You Wish Upon a Star

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. 

T-minus 9 days until my birthday. I get so excited every year. I like to make it into a month-long celebration, because why not. Birthdays are special. It's a day to celebrate being born, being alive, being YOU. 

It's also a really great time to TREAT YO'SELF. :) I thought I'd share a list of things I've been ogling on the interwebz lately, because again, why not. Aside from diamonds, window shopping is a girl's best friend. And if you guys could do me a solid and share this with my husband, that'd be great. He's still in the dog house from Valentine's Day. But that's a story for another day. 

This mug is totally me. Besides, we all need a little more unicorn in our lives. 

Because pretty. And because they would look amazing in my bullet journal doodles. 

These things are supposed to have all kinds of health benefits. I don't know if that's true. But they frickin' look cool. 

Because I like books. And I like YouTube. And so books about YouTube = perfect. 

Don't you judge me. I love this movie. Dancing queeeeeeeeen... 

And finally, because I've never met a shiny new notebook that I didn't like. 

What's on your birthday wish list? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Say Anything

I hope you enjoy this installment of "Say Anything".

Me - xx years old
Hubs - 32 years old
Dom - 8 years old
William - 6 years old


William: MOM! Dom is on your phone. He keeps taking pictures of me!
Me: Dom, please stop taking pictures of your brother.
Dom: But Mom, I can't help it, William is such a majestical model.

Actual photo he took during this conversation.

Me: Ew, you boys need a bath. You smell like goat farts.
Me: Well, have you actually ever smelled a goat fart?
Dom: ....no. 
Me: Exactly.

Photo credit: Rebecca J. Imagery 

Me: William, your dad and I are taking you and your brother to the Natural History Museum this weekend. Doesn't that sound like fun? They have a bunch of interesting things to see.
William: Like what? Video games? Toys? 
Me: No, no toys. But really cool stuff like animal bones and fossils.
William: So we're just going to look at stuff? 
Me: ...yes. 
William: This is going to be so boring.

Photo Credit: Rebecca J. Imagery 

Hubs: We gotta get home. I have to go to the bathroom. 
Dom: Number 1 or number 2? 
Hubs: Number 3. 
Dom: That sounds bad.

Dom: I like Gigi. You can't like her, too. We can't have the same girlfriend. 
William: She's not your girlfriend. 
Dom: OK, but I liked her first. Plus, she's in 3rd grade like me. You're just a baby. 
William: Yeah, but I'm a cute baby.

Photo credit: Rebecca J. Imagery

Me and Hubby: *smooch*
Dom: Did you guys just kiss?
Hubby: Yes.
Dom: EW! Helloooo, I'm in the room!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Keeping Up Appearances

The rational side of my brain knows that there's nothing to fear. But the other side of my brain is under siege. It's trying to get the fuck out of there and doesn't care what kind of special reasoning you have. My heart pounds so fiercely that I can feel it reverberating in my throat. My eyebrows knot, my eyes squint, my breath quickens. I begin to sweat. My legs get restless. My head aches like a 1,000 hangovers. I gnaw my fingernails down to the quick. The more I try to calm down and think about something else, the worse it gets. 

Why is this happening? It's a refrain that plays in my head over and over. JUST STOP IT. 

It finally becomes unbearable and I close my eyes. And breathe deeply and slowly. In. Out. Just breathe. You've got this. It's OK. You're OK. There's nothing to fear. Keep breathing. 


That's what happens to me sometimes. I have generalized anxiety disorder (and depression, but that's another post for another day) and sometimes the smallest thing will set off a panic attack. It can begin and end in a matter of minutes, or sometimes it drags on longer, or it can come and go in an intermittent cycle of suckage. I can't control it or always predict when it will happen, and though medicine helps a lot, it's still not a 100% cure.

Sometimes I don't leave the house for days, other than taking my kids to school, because I think somehow solitude can prevent it from happening. Calls get ignored, texts go unanswered. It's all I can do to keep it together, to keep my balance in this precarious eggshell dance. Armed with my arsenal of comfort, I tune out the world. 


"Why don't we talk anymore?"
"Where have you been stranger?"
"Are you mad at me?"
"Anxiety? That's kind of a lame excuse, isn't it?" 
"How come I never see you?" 
"What is going on with you? You seem different." 


And sometimes I'm fine. I'm me. The clouds part, the sun shines. I feel good. I laugh, my eyes twinkle, I hum my favorite songs under my breath. 

It's a roller coaster - equal parts thrilling and vomit-inducing. But all I can do is hold on. Enjoy the climb, endure the fall. 

Sometimes my outer facade masks my inner turmoil. 

"Well, you look fine to me." 
"Whatever. You're just being lazy." 
"Making up excuses, are we? I can take a hint." 


Invisible illnesses are cruel afflictions. They keep up appearances, like slapping a fresh coat of paint on a crumbling interior. And those afflicted by them can only beseech you to try to understand, to be patient, to know that "it's not you, it's me" is actually a true statement. 

I can't control it. I can only do my best and surround myself with love. And remember that the good days outnumber the bad.

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Favorite Podcasts

One of my new favorite pasttimes is listening to podcasts. They've been around for awhile, but I didn't really pay much attention until recently and now I'm hooked. Here are some of my favorites, broken down into various categories.


- The Goal Digger Podcast: Jenna Kutcher hosts the live workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way. 

- BeYOUtifully Bold in Business Podcast: Nicole Hoglund and Samantha Johnston have entrepreneurs share their real and honest stories about how they are able to lead beautifully and boldly in business. They offer tips on how to stay authentic in a world where so much noise can cloud our better judgement. 

- Uncomplicate Your Business: Racheal Cook helps you to get excited about your business again by helping you to be less stressed and to create your business around your desired lifestyle. 

- Don't Keep Your Day Job: This is a weekly podcast hosted by Cathy Heller showcasing how creative people have made a living doing what they love. 


- Lose the Cape: Featuring busy moms and mompreneurs who are determined to make the world a better place. 

- Mother's Quest: For moms who want to live a truly EPIC life and become the hero of their own journey. 

- Coffee + Crumbs: Storytelling about motherhood and the beautifully hard work of raising children. 

- The Longest Shortest Time: A parenting show for everyone. 


- #createlounge: Creatives share their best advice for embracing everyday creativity. 

- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert: Liz helps aspiring artists overcome their fears and create more joyfully. 

- Roam + Golightly: It's your weekly pick-me-up filled with encouragement and insight to help you lead the adventurous, creative lifestyle you crave... even in the real world. 

Soul Work

- The Grit and Glitter Podcast: Your weekly dose of truth and inspiration. Features real, raw, soulful conversations about our own self-doubts and insecurities. 

- Dear Sugar Radio: Hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Offers radical empathy for the lost, lonely, and heartsick. 

- TEDTalks: Talks designed to inspire, intrigue, and stir the imagination from some of the world's leading thinkers and doers. 

- Sweet Stella's Guided Meditations: Self-explanatory, I think. :) 

- Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People: 1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical questions and shameless self-promotion, anything can happen. 

Politics or Political Satire

- The Bugle: Andy Zaltzman breaks down the news with comedians from all across the world. 

- The Axe Files with David Axelrod: A series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. 

- NPR Politics Podcast: Weekly roundups and quick takes on the news of the day. 


- Lore: A bi-weekly podcast about the dark historical tales that fuel our modern superstitions. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction. 

- Book Club Appetizer: A snackable podcast to help you kick off your book club meetings or enhance your solo reading adventures. 

- Stuff You Should Know: Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the stuff you should know about everything from genes to the Galapagos. 

- The Scot and The Sassenach: An Outlander Podcast: Dedicated to the Starz show adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander book series. 

What are your favorite podcasts? I'm always on the lookout for news ones, so feel free to comment below. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Looking Ahead

When untraveled paths are in front of you, wide open and inviting, which way do you go? There are no sign posts, no guidebooks, no flashing arrows. Just this thing called potential.

People always give "potential" a positive connotation. "Oh, you have so much potential." "You're so talented at [xyz], don't waste your potential." 

But you also have the potential to fail. So, what do you do? Do you let it paralyze you? If you don't do anything, then you can't do it wrong, right? But that's no way to live. That balance of safety vs. risk, failure vs. success, status quo vs. progress - isn't that the age-old struggle for all of us? 

In previous years, I remember January being a time of planning and hope and positivity. I would sit and make a list of ALL THE THINGS that I wanted to do and accomplish. And by the time December rolled around, I would have accomplished less than 25% of it. And I would feel like a failure every time. 

This year, I'm still planning and hopeful and positive. But it has manifested itself in a much different way. 

In 2017, I want: 

-to put my mental and physical health first. 
-to do the best that I can. 
-to be present for my family. 
-to know that it's OK to "fail".
-to know that I have friends and family to turn to. 
-to know that progress doesn't have to mean big changes - little things add up, too. 
-to remind myself that success isn't just about checking things off a list. 

What do you want for 2017?  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking Back

2016 was a roller coaster of a year for me. So many changes, so many lessons. It took me a while to process it all, to be honest. I haven't gotten into the 2017 mindset all the way yet, but I'm getting there. 

Cool things that happened: 

-I got to meet my friend Becca in person for the first time. 
-I started doing freelance copywriting
-I became totally addicted to podcasts. 
-I got to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Holl & Lane Magazine
-I went to NYC with the hubs for our 15 year anniversary and got to hang out with my lovely friend Andrea and her hubs. 
-I read a crap ton of books. And I also completed the ABC Reads challenge with Andrea. 
-I did my very first Facebook Live video. Eek! 
-I took the summer off to spend time with my kids and we had a blast! 

What are some things that you accomplished last year?