Love, actually

Just this. And only this. But don’t watch unless you are prepared to feel all the feels.


Put on your perspectacles, a word which here means, the glasses you put on to see the world through eyes of  love–and watch for love today. Sometimes it’s sneaky, and hard to see. You may have to push aside some things for it to show up….but it’s there. ♥ And it’s the only thing that’s real.

Oh, and by the way? Favorite Christmas movie EVER.


Tapping, and I don’t mean dancing

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This post has been a long time coming. I can’t be sure if it’s because I was afraid of what people might think…if I actually put it out there, or if I was sort of enjoying being in the know, while other people weren’t? Sort of like being at a buffet and realizing that no one but you realizes there’s a tiny French chef in the corner with a torch preparing personal little dishes of Crème Brule’.

For whatever reason, I’ve kept this little nugget knowledge to myself, but now realize I just can’t. After all, we are all humans, doing this grand experiment of life, and we just can’t keep secrets that will help other humans in a major way…. can we?

I came to know of an amazing family, through one of my favorite, and most cherished mentors, Dr. Wayne Dyer. It’s the Ortner siblings: Nick, Jessica, and Alex. They’ve taken a technique, called EFT tapping, or meridian tapping, and brought it out to the world in the most non-woo-woo way possible.

psst! are you guys clicking when the text is a different color? If you click, it takes you to a website that explains what I’m talking about in detail!

But here’s the cliff notes for all of you NON CLICKERS….>>>>>>: girlthinking1

Dr. Wayne Dyer: Really cool guy, has since passed Earth School and has graduated to Heaven. Is probably the reason I don’t hate everyone who pushes my buttons or annoys me.. Has definitely changed to my life for the better through his books and meditations.
EFT, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a type of Meridian Tapping that combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology with startling results.
Tapping can help people overcome  many issues. From pain relief, to healing childhood traumas, to clearing limiting financial beliefs, to weight loss, body image and food cravings, to fears and phobias, Tapping is proving to be a powerful, well-researched and easy to learn and apply technique.
Tapping utilizes the body’s energy meridian points by stimulating them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.

So now I’ll tell you a little story, get comfy and gather round. Ever since I’ve learned about tapping, I’ve felt like a witch right out of Harry Potter with a magic wand. And like any magical person, why be a muggle, when you can be magic? jo.jpg

And so, I set out experimenting on anyone who wouldn’t say no all my favorite people. Quinn, my youngest, aged 9, developed a horrible infection in his hand, from the monkey bars at school. His hand started to puff up and streaks of red ran up into his arm. It was bad, and actually required a shot in his little patootie along with some strong antibiotics. Because everything always gets worse at night, he laid in bed sort of whimpering and not sleeping. There’s  only so much whimpering and not sleeping a mom can take, you know?

So, I tapped on the meridian points for Quinn, and just asked that he repeat my words. We acknowledged the pain and the swelling, along with the throbbing and the worry that all of this caused.( It’s so human of us to think that we will always feel horrible and never feel better.) And once Quinn seemed a bit calmer, I began reminding him that his body knew exactly what to do, much in the same way a body does not need to be told to beat a heart, or blink eyes, or heal a scratch. As I tapped on Quinn’s little face and chest I would say (with him echoing), I can go to sleep now, my body knows what to do and how to fix my hand. God made my body, and God energy fuels my body, so that same energy will heal me as I sleep.

Hand to heart my dear readers, Quinn began to yawn right after repeating these words, and couldn’t keep his eyes open. I covered him up, tiptoed out of his room, wondering how long this would last. You guys. Not only did Quinn sleep through the night, but his hand was so much better the next morning! And here were his delighted exclamations:

Mom! You know that thing you did to fix my hand? On my face and chest and stuff? It worked!! It did! It was like Morse Code for my body….or something!

I’ve since used tapping on many others, including myself, and found it to be one of the most amazing things ever. I don’t pretend to understand why it works, but I don’t really know how the internet works, either, and I use it 24/7 pretty often.

The thing I’m most interested in right now, being a former Early Childhood teacher, is how it has the power to change the lives of children, especially in a classroom setting. I can’t cliff notes this video, so just grab a Starbucks and watch:

Tell me you are not AMAZED. Just try. This is a thing. And it has been used with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, thanks to the Ortners, to deal with post traumatic stress and upset over the horrible ordeal the teachers and children endured. It is powerful magic in a very muggle world. I want to give you an opportunity to buy this book for your children, because how many times as a parent have you said, I just don’t know WHAT to do, or HOW to help my child? The power to change everything is quite literally in your hands.

Click here to shop

The world outside of our homes can be hard to deal with, and why wouldn’t you put a wand in your child’s hand if you can?



The thing about learning this easy technique, is that once you know it, you know it. It’s forever in your toolbox, along with anyone you teach it to.



Make Me Wear Waterproof Mascara

Tell me about how you used to think your two year-old would never sleep through the night. Assure me that I’ll get some sleep someday in long chunks of time as fat as a Twilight movie.

Help me to know that these heartbreaking fights I have with my teenager are normal, and necessary. When you tell me that, I feel like less of a failure.

You’ve worried about disagreements with your partner that seem to have no compromise, too? Tell me about that. It seems like everyone on Facebook is so in love, and are also soul mates, which is wonderful news for them, and sadly hard and overwhelming for everyone else. I want to hear about your struggles, because I actually thought you were one of those Facebook people.

I want to know the things that people don’t talk about above a sheepish whisper.

I want the 2 am digging into a gallon of chocolate chip with two spoons kitchen talk.


I crave your eyes filled with tears, that instantly cause my eyes to fill with tears….because then I know your words come from the very deepest parts of your soul.

Please don’t give me the story you give every other person who really doesn’t want to hear anything other than….I’m fine! We  are fine! All of us are so busy and SO FINE!! because I’m not that person, and I just can’t handle anymore of that in my life.



I don’t have that kind of time. And I’m painfully aware of it.

I’m what you might call a  serious earth schooler, devouring every piece of information that exists on living and dying well. I don’t remember how I got here, but I feel that I ended up in this place for a very important purpose. Now, I’m not going to change the political world, or end up the CEO of a huge company, or anything like that. I’m far too laid back love Netflix in an unhealthy way and not nearly interested enough in Math or exact facts. But I feel compelled to live a joyful life, free of worry and full of heart-rich moments that fill my whole body with a buzz so violent, it can be felt 10 miles away. I believe this kind of life can be lived, where one really can’t wear anything but waterproof mascara, due to the excessive amount of grateful tears leaking out of one’s eyes like bad plumbing.

People like Glennon Doyle Melton, Brene Brown, and Elizabeth Gilbert  are my very favorite authors because they believe that our real power lies in our shared stories of shame, failure, and vulnerability.

Someone once asked G, “why do you cry so much?” Her response:
Same reason I laugh so much. Cause I’m paying attention.”


there-must-be-thoseGive me kitchen after the holidays messy.  Level with me. Be vulnerable with snot running down your face. Help me to live my life and illustrate to me that I’m not an alien and so very alone in my thoughts. I feel insane levels of courage when I know I’m surrounded by others who have decided to tell the truth even though it may not have had a storybook ending or fit into an inspiring Facebook post or Tweet. I want to talk to you about what your strategy is, the same way two coaches have a meeting over beers about all that they are going to accomplish this season.  I want to hear about the amazing book or soul-filled concert that changed the way you think about everything.

I will get downright AMEN!!!and ALLELUIA!!! about the time you found God/Angels/Universe conspiring in your favor, when two seconds before you thought all was lost. And I’ll tell you about mine.


I am hungry for authentic earth school classmates who came here for the beautiful challenges of living a mysterious and unpredictable life. And nothing else will do.

Can You Read Backwords?


So my 10 year-old, Quinn, has been big into reversing words lately. It’s a phase, much like the eating only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches phase that all my kids have been through. Or the refusing to take a shower phase, not letting food touch phase, the Pokémon GO phase, or the not eating carbs phase. Wait. That last one was mine. Anyway, these things are all fleeting and are super fun and addictive for awhile.

Except the not eating carbs thing. That was a very dark time, friends.

I’ve been hearing all about words and their abilities to be the same exact thing, no matter which way they are read.

These are palindromes, and they are fascinating to Quinn. But he didn’t stop there. He decided to look at words backwards, and see what they spelled. When he went into that territory, I almost said, “Oh yes! Like Redrum!” but then I remembered that Quinn is 10, and doesn’t really need to know about films that include psychotic breaks and possessed children.


But then he came upon one that made us both stop in our tracks.


Quinn’s smile was slow like a train just coming to life on the tracks. I loved watching it gain speed. He ran to our dog, Frodo, and hugged him. “Yes!” he kept exclaiming. “YES!” and then he came and hugged me. “I like that, Mom! so much!”

I liked it, too.  When I think about the dogs in my lifetime, they’ve all shared the same qualities:

playful, joyful, wordless comfort, deep wisdom, innocence,loving, kind, protective, forgiving, humble, miraculous, faithful, devoted, loyal, insightful…..

And isn’t my list of God qualities the same? I think that’s the way truth feels-like the happiest slap across the face you’ll ever get, you know?

Children and dogs, dogs and children. I swear to you, they are my favorite teachers. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by Elizabeth Chase Allen:

Backward, turn backward, O time, in thy flight;
Make me a child again, just for to-night.

Watch this. Tell me that you can’t spot God in this place.

(P.S. for all my wordpress people, I’m really sorry about this new theme. It’s not set up yet, and I’m sort of over trying to figure it out today it’s bothering me, too. Bear with me! )

Oh Christmas Tree

And so I find myself back on WordPress, after a scandalous affair with Facebook. Yes, dear chirping crickets….it was wild. And at first, it seemed I had made a clever decision. So many readers saying, WordPress? Why do I have to go THERE? in the most heartbreaking tone EVER. And the traffic was fabulous. Like New York at rush hour FABULOUS. And then it wasn’t. Facebook became less friendly about promoting me for free (whatever facebook), and it turns out that I’m not much into writing Diary Style. As in, just for MYSELF to read.

Who knew?

I’m not sure what that says about me and my craft of writing, a term which here means,

1. understands the difference between two, too, and to.

2. is a voracious reader who probably is accidentally stealing other people’s words and ideas.

3. Loves the instant happiness that can only come from someone commenting, “LOVE THIS!!”

And so.

I find that I’m actually able to write better, simply because of the italics function. I’m a big stressor. I emphasize certain words, and “airquote” often when I’m doing the other thing I love to do, which is TALK. When I write, I’m really just talking. And without that little italics function, I’m having to ALL-CAP it, which leaves me feeling misunderstood, or like I’m from the Bronx or something. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not accurate. I’m from the world’s smallest town in Iowa, living in a similarly small town in South Dakota. I’m so italics, it’s not even funny.

The plan was to write to you about my Christmas tree, and I got a bit sidetracked. This is real life in the world of Lisa–so many topics, so little focus. It’s possible that I have some undiagnosed attention things going on, but who has the time for that. I’m sort of counting on my readers to be more clear-headed and able to follow my thought patterns that zig and zag.


This isn’t OUR Christmas tree. But I really like this picture.

(And by the by, thank you dear readers for your focus. Treasure it, we don’t all have it.)

As I walked by our half-decorated tree, that as it was being trimmed, had my children howling in laughter at some of the old decorations, I stopped to look at some of them. Some of them were funny. My middle son had at some point made a Santa decoration in preschool that looks more like an overweight octopus with a jaunty hat and eyes that twinkle. I’m a big photo-inserter of Christmas hangings, and so the little pictures of their chubby cheeks and smiles completely void of any sort of self-conscious vanity seem hilarious to the much older and wiser children who snap dozens of cool selfies (friend approved only).

They have a somewhat different effect on me.


The older and wiser children: (15, 16,and 9)

The three kids oh christmas.jpg

I suppose it’s terribly cliché and overdone, but the feelings I get from all this history hanging on one huge 10 foot Christmas tree that I pulled out all the stops to get (and by all the stops, I mean to say, I threw away every stitch of my pride and begged)–can be overwhelming.

As my dear friend said just this morning,

Man are we hard on ourselves. I mean, we have children who are well fed, have a roof over their heads and warm beds, plenty of clothes and seem somewhat happy.  And we did that! We are really doing just fine, aren’t we?

And isn’t she right? Somehow, despite all the doubts and dysfunction, we’ve raised these children who can go forward into the world with corny pictures of themselves, and stories of the time mom started crying because she really wanted a 10 foot Christmas tree, and family Christmases of Santa bringing anything from surprisingly large air hockey tables to plane tickets. We’ve done that.

There’s so much we worry about as parents. Maybe we should have fed the kids more vegetables and started juicing so they love kale? Should we have forced them to learn an instrument? What have we been feeding them that will someday be banned in every country-even the US? Do they do enough charitable work?

But staring at our Christmas tree full of the past, takes me down memory lane faster than a near death experience.  There’s a crystal clear ballerina with a pink tutu for the time Kinsey wanted to be a dancer, a coca cola bottle because it was Gage’s favorite (still is) , a pineapple for the first time we took the kids out of the country, and all those handmade ornaments that if you hold them up to your ear, you can hear a poor harried teacher sobbing in the background because of all the glue mishaps and complete bedlam that comes from attempting to turn out somewhat decent crafts (or at least as lovely as the teacher’s in the class next door.)

Maybe once a year, it’s ok to put all your accomplishments (as parents who may not be perfect, but sure do try hard)– out there in one not-so- convenient-to -get -Into -a-tree-stand and very large Christmas tree.


But just once a year. And I think we may need a slightly bigger tree next year to fit all the new ornaments from this year. I better get busy working on my tears.


oh christmas tree.jpg




Eating Art

maurice sendak

So, I just read a story of Maurice Sendak, the great children’s author/illustrator. He talked about the highest compliment he was ever paid as an author. A little boy had sent him a very thoughtful letter. It was particularly wonderful, and so Mr. Sendak drew him a picture, and sent it.

His mother sent back a thank you, gushing about how much it meant to her son. Her words, “He carried the picture with him everywhere he went. But, eventually, he just couldn’t stand it, and he ATE the picture. He loved it THAT much.”

Maurice marveled at how much that hand-drawn picture could have fetched if the family had decided to sell it. At the very least, it could have been framed and kept forever. But the very act of what this boy did showed his love and appreciation better than any of those more “normal” reactions.

I seriously love this more than I’ve loved any story in a long time. As I drink my morning coffee this morning, I pondered it. WHAT do I love about this so much? Which part?


I think that’s it. This little Art-Eater is ON FIRE about life. ON FIRE. When I walked the road this morning, I think I can understand, or at least come close to the feeling of ON FIRE. I understand loving what you see SO much….you want it to be inside of your body…you want to join with it.

If I could, I would eat the blue sky with the wispy clouds that make me think of a fancy dress. I would devour the tall wildflowers, and gobble up the rich earth that smells like God.

It’s how I want to live my life. Eating the ART that is everywhere I look.

The Prodigal Writer

No, this isn't MY SPACE. I tried every which way to take a SELFIE. I gave up. Resorted to ole' phone in the mirror trick.

No, this isn’t MY SPACE. I tried every which way to take a SELFIE. I gave up. Resorted to ole’ phone in the mirror trick.

Knock knock! Anybody home? I know I’ve been gone for a bit….where IS everyone? It’s like a ghost town around here!

Wow. I have some work to do. I need to go find my friends!!

I’m kinda scared.


FRIENDS!!! Yoooooooooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

To be continued in the following edition, entitled: Lisa returns, for better or worse.

Teacher Boy

Teach me how to do that.

To stand alone and face your fear head on. Continue reading

We Belong to Each Other

beautiful kids If we have no peace, it’s because we’ve forgotten we belong to each other. -Mother Theresa Continue reading

Be Still My Heart


Hugh as Wolverine. Super cool guy.

les misHugh in Les Mis. Like OMG.

hugh jackmanHugh’s words.  I’ve just fainted.

hugh jackman picHe’s off the charts for me now. OFF. THE. CHARTS.

Pay attention men. Watch and learn.