Category Archives: Universe

I started a virtual vision board last month.  Continuing on the theme, and adding to the list, I give you the Vision Board (continued).

1. Mumford & Sons – my latest music obsession.  I really want to see them perform live.

2. Bonnaroo – another “new” discovery of mine (yes, I’ve been living in a cave).  Also where, through the help of the NPR Music app, I discovered Mumford & Sons.

3. Running – I really really want to get in shape.  My brother is an amazing runner (Boston Marathon under 3 hours!).  I don’t know that I will ever have the passion he has, but I would love to be able to run a 10k without dying! (and no … not me in the picture!)

4. Sunflowers – Isn’t this a beautiful picture?  (photo credit: Louise Gale)  After seeing it I immediately decided I want to grow something beautiful like this.  I planted Peonies earlier this summer that will hopefully present something beautiful next year.  (if I can manage to keep them alive!)

5. World Cup 2014 – after spending probably too much time watching World Cup the last few weeks, I find myself really wanting to experience it live.  Since it’s in Brazil in 2014, maybe I can add in a side trip to Machu Picchu to knock off another item on my vision board.  *fingers crossed USA qualifies!*

6. The world is full of people who will go their whole lives and not actually live one day. She did not intend on being one of them. – I love the phrase, the art, and the store it comes from.  By far one of my favorite stores – The Happy Woman Store.  The name just kind of says it all!

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Or as my friend Nikky says – “I’m going to do these things or die trying!”

I started this vision board a few weeks ago, then realized today it’s silly to wait until it’s done to publish it as it will never truly be finished.  I’m posting this today, and will go back and add and update as needed.  I’ve almost got one knocked off the list – I ordered my new MacBook Pro on Tuesday (should be here Mon or Tues next week).

1. This gorgeous rental house in Italy near Camaiore – I WILL be staying here on my dream trip to Italy.

2. Happiness! – I’m happier than I’ve been in years, but will always continue to strive for happiness in my life.  (Happiness Group Rocks!) … Which reminds me, I should probably write a post about Happiness Group — adds to to-do list.

3. Vernazza Italy – Part of the Cinque Terre and one of my dream destinations.  A few years ago, Heather Hunter (aka This Fish), traveled around Europe for a writing gig.  She visited Vernazza and took some amazing pictures which she posted to the blog the company set up for her to write at.  (I can’t remember the name of it, and not sure if it’s still online, but I’m checking)  Ever since reading her posts and seeing the pictures, I’ve been dying to visit.

4. MacBook Pro – Check!

5. Digital SLR camera – I love taking pictures, but have never had a really good camera to take them with.

6. Machu Picchu – My brother’s friend spent a couple months in South America recently.  As he described some of his travels, my first question was “Machu Picchu??”, to which he replied “Yes!”  He ended up taking quite the interesting route to Cuzco (nearest city in Peru) and definitely enjoyed the experience.  He did say that the site is far more touristy than you expect from the pictures.  I would love to look on it with my own eyes!


I ordered a MacBook Pro a few days ago.  This is a huge step for me as I’ve been a confirmed PC person for years.  However, my mom bought a MacBook and I have a few friends with them, and they are just so much …. nicer? better? faster? funner? …. than my PC.

Apple has a deal running right now for students (thank you Grad school).  If you purchase a new MacBook Pro, you can get a free iPod Touch (8g).  Whoo hoo – the kids can play with that instead of my iPhone!

The first package arrived today from FedEx.  This is the package with all the extra stuff.  Apparently, 2 day shipping means something different in China, because the computer shipped yesterday, but it won’t be here until Tuesday next week??  Anyway …. I opened the package with the iPod Touch and the neoprene sleeve, and the Parallels program (to run windows program on the Mac for work).  Low and behold, there’s this really heavy box that’s supposed to be the iPod Touch.  I open it up to discover they have sent me not 1, not 2, but FIVE iPod touches!!!

I am getting the first one for free, and apparently they thought I deserved four more because I’m such an amazing person.  They’re absolutely right of course, but I had a sneaking suspicion there was a mix-up somewhere.  I checked the packing slip to make sure they didn’t charge me for five.  Nope – only 1 shipped!

I then texted a friend saying:

“OMG!!! I ordered 1 free iPod touch and they sent me 5 … Seriously”
“$1000 worth of iPod touches on my desk”

Her response:

“I so get one!”

My response:

“I doubt they will let me keep them, I’m calling now”

We then went back and forth on the merits of calling versus not calling.  Her best argument “you could get someone fired if you call them on this!” My argument, hopefully no one will get fired, but they certainly need to know if someone is fulfilling orders with 5-pack boxes of Touches instead of one.

This all happens on the day with the highest call volume to Apple.  As I heard the message “we are experiencing abnormally high call volume” my heart sank a bit.  iPhone 4 release day.  Ugh.  As I sat on hold I will admit to a moment where I wondered how long I would have to wait on hold before I could consider it a good faith effort to return the product I didn’t purchase.  15 minutes? 30 minutes? Would I feel obligated to try again tomorrow if it ended up being too long?  I also started thinking about how nice it would be to not hear the kids fight over who gets to use the sole iPod touch in our house.

All that being said, I waited on hold for about 15 minutes and spoke with a very nice gentleman named Chris who sounded a little shocked that they sent 5 instead of 1.  He thanked me very much for my honesty and advised he would send out a shipping label for the extra four.  When they get them back, they will credit my store account with $75 for being so honest.

I’m really trying hard to think how cool it is that I get $75 of Apple Store credit ….. but those iPod Touches were really really pretty.

* My co-workers may not speak to me for awhile! 🙂

** I really hope returning these four doesn’t screw up the rebate for the one I received for free!!  A condition of the rebate is I can’t return the item under question – if they only have record of sending me one and I return them will it cause problems?? ***


I realized this morning that I’m constantly rushing.  When I leave the house or the office I’m always in a huge rush to get where I’m going.  It’s completely self imposed, because 9 out of 10 times I’ve planned very well and have plenty of time.

This morning when I took the kids to Kids Camp for the first time this summer, I realized I usually charge across the grass to the building saying “hurry guys”, “come on guys”, “lets move it!”.  This time I decided to walk on the path …. that path that takes maybe an extra 30 seconds to get to the building.

This isn’t quite a “stop and smell the flowers” post, but it is a “you don’t always have to be in such a rush” reminder.

It’s very timely that I’m starting the Dream Lab from Mondo Beyondo.  It’s all about rest, kindness, and play this summer.  This could be really good for me!


I am feeling completely overwhelmed and completely behind on everything I’m supposed to be doing and I HATE that feeling!

I ended up staying up until around 1:30am last night trying to get caught up, but am still hopelessly behind. (and now exhausted too)

My lateness involves a combination of playing catchup on homework (grad school), school ending for the summer for the kids (no child care until next Tues), a completely messy house (which drives me nuts), and only having 2 1/2 days in the office this week.

If you see a woman running around an insurance agency in Northern Michigan ranting and raving and pulling her hair out —- it may be me.  At least, I hope it would be me …. I would hate to think this is contagious.

Any suggestions for getting control (or at least feeling like I have control)?


As I turn(ed) 35 tomorrow a week almost two weeks ago, I decided to list the 34 highlights of last year. (it’s taken me awhile to put these all together).

  1. I helped create a Happiness Group with three other amazing women.
  2. Which has grown to nine other amazing women.
  3. I started grad school (gasp).
  4. I finally saw New Orleans (most amazing cabbies ever!). *eta and got a tour in the front seat of an ambulance (can’t believe I didn’t include that originally!)
  5. I took a family trip, just me and the kids to visit family in DC & the LAKE!
  6. I filed for divorce after 1 1/2 years of separation (I’m both sad and happy).
  7. I continue to maintain a healthy relationship with the father of my children.
  8. I started my Mondo Beyondo list.
  9. I helped plan and host the First Annual Happiness Retreat. (oh lord was that fun!)
  10. I read over 150 books through 2009 (link shows 110 when I stopped counting).
  11. I received (in conjunction with my board) the first ever Outstanding Young Agents Committee Award for MAIA.
  12. I watched my son finally click with reading.
  13. I won a 46″ flat screen LED TV in a raffle drawing.
  14. I won a makeover from Connecting Women in Business.
  15. I won a dinner for four from Whitecaps (which I turned into a Happiness dinner for 10).
  16. I surprised my dad for his 60th birthday (with my mom’s help).
  17. We hired a photographer to capture the first all family vacation.
  18. I finally painted my bathroom (it’s been primed for 10 years).
  19. I created a vision board.
  20. I participated in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5k in Detroit.
  21. I challenged the establishment and lost, but found out I enjoy being outside of it better.
  22. I had surgery on my elbow (Cubital Tunnel).
  23. I realized pain is tolerable when there’s an end in sight (pregnancy) and not so much when it’s just pain (surgery).
  24. I started planning my dream trip to Italy (let’s see how long it takes me to get there!).
  25. I uncluttered my house ….. which I kind of need to do again!
  26. I experienced New Moon mania (movie with the Happiness girls, then midnight DVD release).
  27. I taught a class on Social Media to my peers. (at Garland Resort – BEAUTIFUL!)
  28. I received my first ever speeding ticket …. and then my second ever a month later. Ugh!
  29. I discovered and made new friends via twitter.
  30. I was asked to participate on an insurance company’s technology committee and agents advisory board.
  31. I was asked to participate on the AMS Education Committee again.
  32. I realized some of your least favorite people in high school can become some of your closest friends when you grow up.
  33. I decided not to take myself too seriously
  34. I’ve formed some of the closest relationships I’ve had in my adult life with some of the most amazing friends in the whole wide world!


This is the first picture I clicked on in the Messages from the Universe Flickr group I found through a blog post today. It is laugh-out-loud timely, but not something I should do …. So I’m posting it here to inspire someone else instead.