Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Cooper!

The last 18 months have been some of the most difficult of my life thus far. I've had every emotion and every range within its spectrum. I've had my heart broken, found new love, got married, lost one pup but gained another.

As of this week, I feel like I am finally on firm and HEALTHY footing for the first time since July of 2011. It's been a long time coming.

Part of that footing comes from the fabulous place I enjoy working, and the people who make it so great.

The other part of that is welcoming a new furry child to our family.

Meet Cooper!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I was reminded...

Why Hello Blog.

 It has been a few months since I have paid my visit here. Sorry about that. Life has kind of taken me for a whirlwind the last several months.

 I'm back. I promise.

The clearing to the haze that was 2012 is here, and by FAR my favorite day this year was the day I got hitched to the wonderful man I was enjoying my 6 month anniversary with the last time I posted.

See what I mean about life being a whirlwind?

Our lovely photographer Minka Barnard took the following shot:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Long time no post!

But I wanted to share a new favorite picture from a favorite comic of mine called Exploding Dog:

Now picture this with the Beatle's Song Good Day Sunshine playing in the background, and you have a recipe for a fantastic morning ritual.

What has been up in the last 2 months... many many things. Some Good, some interesting. Some Growing Pains.

I have a very special man who I continue to learn new things about every day, and who made me breakfast on Valentine's Day - also happened to be our 6 month anniversary. Where has the time gone???

Another more up to date post will be coming. I promise. This is more a drive by post to remind myself I gotta keep things going.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Breaking Radio Silence

What a long couple of months.

I'm still alive.

And somehow strangely, despite all the events that I've not spilled out into the public space called The Internet, this year is ending on a high note.

I will have to do some updating later today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breaking Radio Silence

It's been a little while since I've written. There's some big changes in my life right now that just aren't appropriate for public space, and so I've refrained from writing for a while since it was simply not a good idea.

Fall has come. I've already pulled out my Fuzzy socks and put them on my feet, curled up in a blanket, and read till I fell asleep. Happy September!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Monday morning, I was leaving my house and I was looking at the mailboxes as we were walking out the building.

Most mailboxes were either blank for empty apartments, or they had the names typed on a label that fit in the indented space on the mailbox.

And then there was mine. A ripped off edge of an envelope, with my last name written in Purple in letters three times the size of the others.

And you know what... it's a great reflection of me. I'm memorable.. whether its just a mailbox or out in life. And I'm sure to get my mail!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hiking Adventure Challenge!

I have taken on a new challenge to complete every hike in Ted Villaire's 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Chicago. I've emailed Ted about my challenge and my commitment to blog his book and the trails. He was gracious enough to have his publisher send me a copy of the book to help me along in this. Thanks TED!

One of the things I am most excited about was that in emailing with Ted, I discovered that he does not have a car either! Lack of transportation has been my biggest supposed hurdle in getting outside of the city limits. In his book, if there are public transportation options available, they have been included on the directions to get to the trail. SWEET!

Ted's website is here:

Book information and details to purchase here:

Last Sunday I had planned do to trail #12 in the book, the Lake Katherine Trail. 2 hiccups occured. The first was the weather forecast - heavy thunderstorms before 10am, and my friend S and I were going to be smack in the middle of the trail.

The second was the transportation options. In the book, it was said to take a PACE bus route from Midway to the site. I was going to have a ride there, so just needed a way to get home. When I looked up the route for the time table, it turns out it doesn't run on Sundays. GOOD TO KNOW! This is a M-Saturday trail only if taking that transportation route. There is a metra station nearby that I looked into as an alternate. The Metra station is also only M-Saturday.

Now I know.. to complete this trail it will need to be on a day other than Sunday. I'll be selecting another trail to do this weekend. Stay tuned!

Quiet Place

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Landmark Education - Advanced Course

Where to begin...

I felt a little more relaxed walking into the Advanced Course having spent the weekend in the Landmark Forum which is set up in similar time style. 12-13 hour days,and now I know the break structure and that it is in fact possible to make it through the weekend.

We started off in a MUCH smaller group than the Forum - down to a quarter of the size. There were some familiar faces from my March Forum, and also from my Integrity Seminar.

Walking in, I knew the things that I was struggling with since the Forum that wouldn't quite willingly take the back seat. I was still very very angry, upset, and emotionally invested in the fact that I could not obtain my Boat Crew certification with the USCG Auxiliary that I so desperately wanted. It has been a difficult summer in that respect since I am trying other activities within the Auxiliary and before I even begin I'm writing them off because they're not what I really want to be doing.

The Advanced Course takes 3 main missions that are the structure for the conversations within the course. One of those is true Mastery of Reality. This is what sunk in with claws and never let go. This came up for me on the tail end of Friday, and continued thru Saturday and Sunday.

At the end of Saturday, I had really really come face to face with this resentment I had. And I had a choice. I had the choice to accept that this story of what was happening was adding to my inability to move forward and to accept it as it was - nothing more, nothing less.

Looking back, Of course I wasn't feeling empowered and able to inspire people. I was attempting to do that (or so I thought) and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum I had made myself out to be the victim of something beyond my control. This dichotomy was completely ruining my ability to be effective.

The moment that has changed my life forever came Sunday afternoon, just before our dinner break. The conversation had started to talk about the power of language in our shaping of the world, and our relationship to other people. I felt moved to speak and got up to share.

I shared with the group a lesser known fact of the suicide rate of deaf male teens in their college years, and the source of that suicide rate. Being deaf puts an entirely different meaning on the power of word and language.

When you have sign language, it is only effective when you have others who can speak the same language. This is not the case for the large majority of the world. When you spend your day in and day out existence in a world that you can't communicate with, your sense of existence deteriorates. You feel invisible when you look out and you see a world talking back and forth with each other and interacting. You see this and when you try to reach out and capture it, you are either ignored or left confused because you lack the pieces of the puzzle to provide meaning to the exchange.

I took my hearing aid out to give a visual representation to the group. A Black and White, Language and No Language world. I explained how when it didn't work,I feel like all of the sudden I have no meaning in my life to communicate and share myself, and my ideas.

I had no idea my sharing of this would move so many people. I had the instructors of the course telling me that it had left them speechless. We left for our meal break and I had felt like I was having an out of body experience - I couldn't feel my hands, feet, and they were tingling. My brain was just quietly frozen, sounds passing before me but a sense of subtle disattachment.

People would come up to me and address me and thank me. It blew me away that being me, EXACTLY AS I AM, no more and no less, was able to provide this breakthrough connection for people. If I had been more deaf, I would not have the ability to function at the level I do and even be in the space. If I was less deaf, I wouldn't have had the issues that made me feel so strongly about this.

When we had our Tuesday night session that was open to past graduates and guests, I shared a summary. I shared a summary that I walked in with my condition of being hearing the something that the biggest obstacle in my way to being empowered and making a difference in people's lives. I shared the point where I had the realization that in fact my burden was actually a blessing beyong belief. And how it had felt to have that realization, to speak it into the world and give it intention and a declaration that I AM AMY AND I AM ME.

I am signed up for the Self Expression and Leadership course that begins in August and part of this course is to take on a project. Not only am I taking on a project, but I think I have found that BIG PROBLEM that is worth dedicating my life for. Something that will impact my life every day for as long as I live. Something that gives me passion beyond anything I thought I was capable of containing.

I didn't get my life back through Landmark Forum. I got a new life that is capable of anything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm still alive, I promise

Lots been going on, in a good way.

I'm officially a graduate of the Landmark Education Advanced Course, which is part 3 of the Curriculum for Living. LOTS LOTS LOTS to say about that. I need more down time to do so!

but for now... here is a pretty view... take time to stop and smell the flowers. Even when they are on the other side of a chain link fence in a gravel parking lot.


Friday, July 8, 2011

So.. that thing

So .. you know that thing.

Where you have someone to make you breakfast. Or dinner. Or barter in exchange for doing the dishes.

Someone to give you a shoulder rub just because.

Someone who says its absolutely not at all a hassle to pick me up from the train so we can spend time together.

Someone whose love of ice cubes in water may in fact surpass my own.

Someone who can kick back a salad one day, shake and burger another, sushi yet another, and homemade mexican to round it off. And above all loves COSTCO!!

Oh. And someone whose toes I can make curl if I hit some spots exactly right.

Yea... That. I've got it. It feels REALLY REALLY GOOD. *does a happy monkie dance*

Sunday, July 3, 2011

off the ground!

Today I had my first for hire ceremony...

Mexican weddings are a lot of crazy fun. The bride and groom showed up 2 hours later than the time they had told me they'd be getting there.. which left us about 10 minutes trying to coordinate all the last minute details before getting the wedding started.

But those who know me.. things start on time if I have any say. and I did. We started at 5:31 - for weddings that is a darn good accomplishment.

Oh. and I guess this is news.. I now have cats. Yes.. 2. and NO! I'm not turning into crazy cat lady. I promise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have this on a sticky note on my work computer:

"POWER: The Ability to Translate Intention Into Results"

I was just given this definition of power yesterday and it has been on the forefront of my mind since then. I used to think I was in a power struggle with my boss, but the kind of power I thought we were wrestling over was nothing like this.

This is the kind of power that actually gets things done.

This is what EMPOWERMENT is focused around. This is what I want to give to the people in my life.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Culture Shock

I've been back to Arizona numerous times since moving away, but today was the first time in Arizona where I have really interacted with a variety of folks and felt the urban vs suburban culture shock.

Housing Prices. I pay for my 1 bedroom apartment what a good friend pays for the mortgage of a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, BRAND NEW, model 3,000 square foot house. The garage on the house was about 85% the size of my apartment.


Distances traveled for work/ commute times/commute methods.

Sheer Diversity in the population around us.

I feel like I owe it to my future kids to expose them to as much as possible about the amazing thing that is the human race, and I just personally do not see Arizona as the place where I can in full confidence do that.

So Phoenix. the heat has been absolutely wonderful. Being in the pool, heavenly. But you'll have to be a memory I carry with me forever, not a place to come back to.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Making Promises

For a long time, I always said I would only make promises I could keep. We know the things we can "keep" based on our current expectations and constraints, with no extra effort required.

I was challenged this week to instead ... MAKE MORE PROMISES!

If you are committed to living a life that is true to yourself, and you can honor your word and your commitments which align with the "to thine own self be true" mentality... then not making promises is a copout.

An excuse to hide behind instead of embracing a chance to challenge yourself and actually make an effort at living a life that is unreasonable but one that is absolutely yours.

I want to be someone who can be counted on, who can make a difference. In order to make a difference, you have to shake up the status quo.

And that begins with the only person who's state of being I have control over: Me.
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