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Showing posts from February, 2016

February 29, 2016: Spotlight is On (Days 83 and 84)

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10:03 p.m. Monday, February 29, 2016 (Leap Day)

I now officially have under a week left of my unofficial 90 days off. Today is Day 84 and I am ending this day sitting in my favorite chair, fur blanket on lap and fuzzy slippers on floor, with the only sounds in the house those of a popping fireplace and a teenage son's heavy footsteps in the room above me.

The animals are all tuckered out and snoozing upstairs. Not a peep from them. They had appointments at the vet's office that wore them out. A day in the life of a house pet. Cookie, the dog, loves car rides and trips outside the house. Abby, the cat, hates them. This is clear by her hissing in picture above. She did not want to visit our kind veterinarian today. Not at all.

Yesterday was a warm, but windy, Sunday. Ben and I went to the last home Creighton game of the year. I have always loved Sunday afternoon basketball games at the Century Link. This afternoon was no exception. The Bluejays won big and the conversations and…

February 27, 2016: Quickly approaching Day 90...

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As I have found in life, the days fly by. Regardless of whether I am working or not. Such was the case last week. In the blink of an eye, I went from the mountains of Utah to the Denver Rockies. And then back home to Omaha. Yesterday's 70 degree Nebraska day offset the lure of the mountain views.

A good week.

In recap...

Day 77 (Monday - 2/22/16)
Monday was a day of legal work for us. Never underestimate the worth of a good attorney. This isn't a new realization for me, but an insight that has served me well both personally and in business over my years.

And by 'good attorney', I mean much more than seasoned and smart. It means high integrity and ability to steer clients in the right direction, even if it isn't what the client wants to hear. Barring all attorney jokes, I have had the blessing of working with the best. Monday was no exception.

Logically we went from attorneys to margaritas. Monday was National Margarita Day. After doing our domestic duties in prepar…

February 21, 2016: Days 75 and 76

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"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it." - William Feather
Last weekend marked days 75 and 76 of my 90 days off. I have quickly become aware that 90 days isn't as much time as one would think. It is going by fast for me. Too fast.

The weekend was spent visiting friends in St. George, Utah. Craig has been a long-time friend of Garrett's, and Craig's girlfriend, Kim, a new friend to both of us. But as always seems the case with happy and fun people who naturally exude this disposition, it now feels like Kim is another 'old friend' as well.

First let me point out that St. George, Utah is beautiful. I had never been there. The February weather was in the upper 60's. Mountains spiked our every view. And sunlight was abound.

We traveled to St. George from Kingman on Saturday morning and spent two days sharing life with Craig and Kim. We enjoyed a patio lunch, touring th…

February 19, 2016: Day 74

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Day 74 was full of sunshine in beautiful Arizona. Mom, Dad, Garrett, and I kicked back and enjoyed exercise, activities, and lots of great conversations.

Mom and I started with an early Silver Sneakers class at her gym. Kip led us in a strength-training class with a group of about a dozen. With some hyped-up oldies music, we got our strength on. Dad got in his many walks for the day and Garrett and I both found time to enjoy a run in the Arizona sunshine.

Health is very important to my parents. They have their daily activities that keep their bodies fit and eating habits exemplify clean living. I often remark that my mom has always been ahead of the pack in understanding the good and the bad on the health spectrum. She defined 'clean eating' while we were all consuming mounds of processed, fat-free foods in the 90's.

In the 70's my mom was 'uncool' at the pool, wearing a floppy hat to cover her face while we were all slathering ourselves in baby oil. Her skin …

February 18, 2016: Day 73

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"Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated."

A friend shared this quote in mid-December and it has resonated with me ever since.

Just coming off a life change in leaving a job very abruptly, my feelings were many and mixed. The remaining December was a bit of a blur for me. As the CPU in my brain went into overdrive, over-analyzing the details of my departure, this simple quote kept coming back to me.

I lost sight of this quote as my 90 days off became an adventure over the last month or so. But after spending a day observing and listening to my parents and husband, the importance of these words couldn't have come across to me any stronger. So simple, but so true.

Is a relationship ever fulfilling when you feel tolerated and not celebrated? The answer is never. I run into this far too often with people staying in the same organizations or in the same relationships for far too long. And it really is all about relationships in both our work and personal liv…

February 16, 2016: Day 71 (and 72)

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The bliss of home life and warmer weather has set in for me. A little routine and sunshine goes a long way. We will be on the road again tomorrow, so I have soaked in my short-lived downtime in Omaha.

Meetings on my listening tour continue. Each refreshing with great takeaways. Tuesday consisted of a lunch with a philanthropic leader. I learned about many great initiatives taking place in Omaha. Other meetings over the last two days included many great people I have worked with over the years. From healthcare attorneys to CEO's, I was all ears.

I would be remiss to not talk about my kids. My silence in relation to them as of late isn't because they're not around. In fact, they are very much around and I am very much present. A great gift of my 90 days off. I think Grant has warmed up to having his mom around the house a lot. We have gotten into a very nice rhythm.

Ben isn't typically physically present, but we have reminders of him every day. With missing clothes out …

February 14, 2016: Day 69 (and 70)

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Although Garrett and I spent Sunday apart, I was surprised with this beautiful bouquet of flowers greeting me upon my arrival home on Monday. Two cards were delivered in the mail as well. Both sweet and very thoughtful. But like the flowers, very unexpected.

Thoughtful words and gifts, out of the blue, are always special. Genuine acts of kindness.

A Valentine's Day forgotten became a Valentine's Day remembered.

Sunday, Day 69 of my 90 days off, was the big V-Day. I was in Chicago finishing my Girls' Weekend. Garrett was in Denver preparing for a Monday on the ski slopes with his son. Other than a text back and forth, V-Day was an afterthought for both of us. We both knew this when we made plans for the weekend and didn't think the worse of the other. No expectations.

As I read through FaceBook posts on the holiday of note, they were filled with words of love and pictures similar to the one above. But one particular post on a friend's tim…

February 13, 2016: Day 68

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Saturday, Day 68, I joined some of my high school friends in Chicago. Just coming off of our 30 year class reunion, I was very excited for this hurriedly planned weekend (at least for me). I had meant to blog about our reunion weekend in Remsen last September, but as was common for me those fall months, time slipped by with no posted story.

I will give it a short summary as I believe it's never to late to share.

The reunion was fantastic. A night of sharing friendship and life with the people I grew up. Fast forward thirty years. Before leaving Omaha to make the two hour trek to Remsen for the reunion, I went to a baby shower. An older lady at my table asked what I was doing for the rest of the day. When I told her of my reunion in my hometown, Remsen, I loved her enthusiastic response on my trip.

"The 30 year reunion was the best! You will have a ball. No one cares about so-called success milestones of the past....kid accomplishments, schools, cars, jobs. No bragging becaus…

February 12, 2016: Day 67

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(realization from yesterday, Day 66, that was left out of my blog…)
(90 Days Off realization #8: Treating people with dignity weaves its way into every facet of life. Regardless of our impression of someone’s level of neediness or our impression of them being ‘deserving’; all people deserve this level of respect and human right as they carry out their daily lives.) ________________________________________________________

On to Day 67…
A Friday in Denver. Still warm and we enjoy the day at a relaxed pace. I do believe this day demonstrated the recurring theme that I continue to feel as I walk through my 90 Day Journey. I am patient. I am relaxed. I am able to enjoy life and take in all the little details that surround me.
Many years ago, as I passed by a church outdoor billboard while stuck in traffic, I read a message that sticks with me to this day. I think of it often while I wait in lines; losing patience or feel my blood pressure rise as I fall behind the timeline dictated by my Outlook…

February 11, 2016: Day 66

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Warmth.

I felt it as I walked off the plane. No chill in the air or need for winter jacket. Not in Denver at least.

Day 66 included a morning in Omaha and then a Southwest flight brought us to Denver in early afternoon to finish our day.

Although our travel schedule seems confusing to most, Garrett and I handle it with ease. Not only are we both organized, but we are both adaptable if plans change at the last minute. And that does happen more often than one would think.

Case in point. The plans for this weekend.

Two weeks ago our calendars showed Garrett and I together in Denver with Garrett's kids. Then I received a message from a childhood classmate, asking me to join my high school gal pals in Chicago. It took about five minutes for Garrett to say 'go for it' and me to answer my friend with a thumbs up. And so we changed our plans to accommodate.

Our ability to relax and make decisions on the fly is a great benefit of my 90 days off. I would highly recommend it.

My mor…

February 10, 2016: Day 65

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Day 65 was one of sharing life with an increasing awareness that there is no such thing as normalcy. That is a facade.

Quote for the day....

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" ~ John Lennon
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The morning...

The listening tour continues, but only after fulfilling parenting responsibilities for my youngest son. My day started with a meeting at Skutt Catholic High School before their school day began. I am always greeted with a smiling familiar face when walking the halls on these frequent encounters. A great way to begin my day.

(90 Days Off realization #1 - Being present for young adult children is just as important now as it was they were little. Bigger kids may mean fewer problems, but the problem-solving involved typically carries higher magnitude in long-term impact. (i.e although packing diaper bags, planning naps, and choosing activities are important to the life of a thriving toddler...c…

February 9, 2016: Day 64

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Catch phrases of the day: Human Identity and Relationship Depth

The night ended with a great win by Creighton with success over 5th ranked Xavier on the basketball court. I have been a Creighton season ticket holder for over thirteen years. Over this time period, I have watched some great ball players from the Kyle Korver era to Doug McDermott days of late.

The years and seasons are identified in my mind by the great coaches and players that represented each year and by the success they brought to the court. Some successes are defined in wins and other times by player accomplishments.

Many of my favorite players, like the big-hearted and wide-grinned Josh Jones, warmed our hearts with their level of effort. Josh, and many others like him, were not the high scorers but were just great athletes of character that helped mold their winning teams.

With each passing year, there is a last home game and senior night with a group of the players graduating and moving on to their post-college y…

February 8, 2016: Day 63

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Day 63. A delightful and enlightening day.

I couldn't sum it up any better.

It is now 9:29 p.m. I started the day with Garrett leaving in the wee hours to catch an early flight back to Denver. By the time I was in route to start my day with breakfast with a dear friend, the picture above, with accompanying text, arrived from my husband. He had just completed his flight to Denver and was greeted with this morning glory.

Yes, Garrett Brucker, even God loves orange and the Broncos. And no one can convince me that Peyton Manning doesn't rank high in the Big Man's books. A class act indeed.

Post-Super Bowl, I envy Garrett being in Denver without me. How incredible would it be to be a part of the city's celebrations, greeting the championship team back home to the mile high city?

Omaha did prove to be a worthy second though. My calendar was close to overbooked and it did not disappoint.

Breakfast started at Louie M's on 17th and Vinton. Eggs, sausage, and glorious coffe…