Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015: Exciting News

Although I didn't make any New Year's resolutions for 2015, it will still be an exciting year of changes. First of all, I am honored and so very thankful to announce that I will be joining the Renee Rongen Speaking Team. I attended one of Renee's Speaking Summit conferences with my friend and fellow speaker, Tasha Schuh, last November. It was an incredible learning experience and I gained so much knowledge and confidence. I also created an amazing networking community with Renee, her team, and the other speakers who attended.

I am also launching tons of new media, including a new website, logo, and Facebook page. If you haven't checked them out, please do so! I will be closing down my old MWUSA Facebook page in a few weeks and keeping just my personal page and new, professional speaking page.

I am also beyond thrilled to announce the release of my book, coming Spring 2015! This has been a labor of love over the last decade, and the dream is finally becoming a reality. I will include some new head shots from the amazing Photography Layn, my logo, and a draft of my book cover. Fun times ahead!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I've been told I have a twisted sense of humor. I discovered long ago that one of the best ways to deal with disappointment is to try and see the funny side of things- even when that is difficult. For me, this attitude has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my life, and it continues to work for me when dealing with my own rocky times, as well as breaking the ice with others.

With the frigid weather out in force here in Wyoming, my list of one-liners expands exponentially. The cold can play a number on those of us dealing with paralysis, but I can't pass up the opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of my able-bodied friends. My favorite will always be, "It's so cold out here that I can't feel my legs!" Those who know me well just groan and roll their eyes, but it's always fun to see the shocked expressions on the faces of some as they teeter between wanting to laugh and deciding if that is an acceptable action. (FYI- if I'm the one making the joke about being disabled, it's okay to laugh...)

All joking aside, the winter months can be difficult when using a wheelchair. Trekking through the snow is not always conducive to quick travel, and once your hands get wet, you might as well forget it. Although I don't let much keep me from doing what I want to stay independent, some days, when the snow is blowing and the wind is howling, I would much rather stay inside and be thankful for my warm, accessible house. Here is my list of items that are a requirement for me for a cozy snow day:

1. A Blanket
I am very picky when it comes to blankets. I may sit short, but I'm over 6' tall stretched out, and I like my blanket to cover me from top to bottom. I also hate anything itchy, so I like soft, warm blankets. If you can afford it, nothing beats cashmere. It's luxurious, snuggly, and lightweight, so you don't feel smothered or weighed down. I have been known to go through fleece blankets like crazy because they are more affordable, but it's difficult to find them long enough. I went through a phase where I was making those fleece "tie blankets" for anyone I needed a gift for, and I loved them because you could pick your material and customize the length. I may also own a bright blue blanket with arms...

2. My Recliner
Russ and I stumbled upon a leather recliner a few years ago that allows you to go back completely flat. And I mean completely. To the point where you almost think you are going to flip over backwards, but in a good way. I love these recliners. They are perfect for stretching out in, especially if you have back issues and deal with your muscles tightening up on you. If you can't find me on a snowy day, look no further than my recliner.

3. A Drink
I go back and forth on this one. If I am beyond freezing, then nothing warms me like a huge tankard of peppermint hot chocolate. But if I am warm enough and just relaxing, especially around the holidays, I may feed my slight addiction to Welch's Sparkling Red Grape Juice. I don't like other brands, and I don't like other flavors. And yes, I have tried them all. Literally. Nothing beats the original. Thankfully, our local Walmart carries it all year long. For those of you who can only find it around the holidays, I am truly sorry. Yet another reason why Wyoming is the best state in the country.

4. A Snack
I am a junk-food junkie. I can trash a can of original Pringles without even stopping to breath. And don't even open a bag of chocolate/mint candy around me, unless you are wiling to share. The entire bag. Fortunately, I have a high metabolism, or I would weigh 84479 pounds and have a blood sugar to rival Buddy the Elf, but as I get older, that is slowing down, so I have to watch it a bit more carefully. My thoughtful husband understands my sweet tooth and keeps me well supplied, so I should probably speak with him about ending this cycle of enabling. Remind me to do that. In a few weeks. 

5. A Book
I love to read. When we built our home almost three years ago, I had custom bookshelves put in our office. Once I unpacked all of my books, Russ took one look at the sagging shelves and bought me a Kindle. At first, I felt like a traitor. I missed the feel of the pages and hated the technology. But now, I have to admit, it was a good call. I love being able to take so many books with me on one device, especially when I travel. I still have my paperbacks for when I need a tactile fix, but for the most part, I use my Kindle. And the buy-a-new-novel-at-the-click-of-a-button-with-immediate-readability feature? Perfection. Very dangerous perfection.

6. Reruns
If Russ is watching football and Addison is playing on her own, and everyone is fed and my laundry is put away, and the planets are aligned and the economy is stable, I am a sucker for re-runs of old tv shows. I don't like to get sucked in to a new show because I have trouble waiting in between seasons (or from week to week if truth be told). So I like to wait until the show is over, and then go back and watch it on Netflix or another site from my laptop. The entire show, every episode of every season, no waiting. Did I mention I have a problem with patience?

7. A Fire
I don't necessarily like a fire for the warmth, although that is nice. I do like the noise and ambiance a fire creates. When we built, we installed a gas fireplace in our living room. Ambiance? Check. Crackling noise? Not so much. Fortunately, you can buy candles that sound like a real wood fire burning. And without the mess of ashes and the hassle of having firewood on hand. Lovely.

8. My Family
This may be the last thing on my list, but it is definitely the most important. There is just something wonderful about snuggling up with my family. I am not married to a snuggler, and getting Addison to sit still long enough to snuggle is getting more and more difficult, so when I do bribe/cajole/blackmail my hubby and/or daughter into snuggling with me, my cozy day is complete.

What about you? What are your must-haves for a cozy day?