Archive | June 2012

If You Never Try, You’ll Never Know

Fear has stifled many a dream. Just imagine what you could experience or accomplish, if you didn’t let fear keep you from doing certain things in your life.

We have all been there; whether it has been a split-second decision that we’ve had to make, or a more difficult decision that we’ve pondered – perhaps, even stressed over – for a long period of time.

Fear of the unknown, has held every one of us back, at some point or another: relationships, job opportunities, new experiences, etc.

No one wants to fail, be embarrassed or hurt. It is very easy to stay in our comfort zone;  however, being stagnant is very detrimental to one’s growth. Not everything you attempt will work out – but, that’s life. It is filled with failures and successes, but, not trying stifles many wonderful experiences that could be on the horizon. Believe in yourself and live your life with no regrets. Remember, nothing beats a failure but a try…and, the first step is always the most difficult.

*** If you’ve had an experience that turned out well, because you tossed your fear aside, or fulfilled a dream because you stepped out of your comfort zone, please share below.

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.


Much Better Now

The short video below is so subtle, but, says so much. The end shot brings it all together and is a great metaphor for life.

Much Better Now from Salon Alpin on Vimeo.

A bookmark is stuck in a forgotten book that is one day knocked over by wind. It experiences its environment by surfing the pages that turn in to ocean-waves, enjoying the ride of its life. As the book cover closes light reveals new challenges.

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

A Perfect Match

By NILS KONGSHAUG | Good Morning America 

Caitlin knew she was in love, but giving her heart to Jonathan was not an easy choice. Because Jonathan needed more than a heart; he needed a kidney, and his prospects of finding one were close to zero.

He faced a bleak future. But in the end, Caitlin turned out to be the perfect match not only for his heart but also for his health. And today they are heading into a future far brighter than the one they imagined on their wedding day last October.

Jonathan and Caitlin Woodlief met three years ago at seminary school in Dallas. Soon after they began dating, his health began to deteriorate.

“Dating was really difficult,” Caitlin says. “You’re trying to figure out how much to put your heart on the line, like any dating situation. But now I have to decide whether or not to go with him to chemo treatments. It’s scary and intimidating dealing with a big disease.”

The disease was lupus, and it was the second time around for Jonathan, which made the stakes much higher.

When he was 18, Jonathan had his first kidney transplant. The donor was his mother. It is very rare for lupus to return in the donated kidney, but just as Jonathan and Caitlin were falling in love, that’s what happened.

It is far more difficult to find a matching donor for a patient who has already had one transplant because the body has built up new antibodies.

Fewer than one in 100 people could provide Jonathan a kidney his body would accept. Doctors told him he would probably spend the next 15 years or more on dialysis, waiting for a match, his health deteriorating all the time.

“It was a rough year for us,” Jonathan says, “and a tough decision.”

Jonathan went from “superhealthy” to increasingly being in the hospital, sometimes for long stretches. He was in the hospital when he first met Caitlin’s parents.

“That was humbling,” he says, “me wanting to be a man who could provide and love her, and being insecure about my health.”

“There were days that really take your breath away,” Caitlin says, “when you think about the weight of the situation … just how sick he was.”

“One thing helped,” Caitlin says, as she wrestled with whether or not to tie her life to a very sick man. “He would have done the same for me.”

A month after the wedding, Jonathan went on the transplant list, which meant the search for a donor could begin.

Caitlin went with some of their friends to be tested. One by one they called to report they were not a match.

Then, at the end of January, the news no one expected: Caitlin herself was a match.

“It’s like hitting the lottery,” said transplant surgeon Dr. David Cronin. “Practically speaking,” he said, patients like Jonathan have almost no chance of finding a matching donor.

After more testing, and still more testing to be sure, the newlyweds went into surgery on Tuesday at the transplant center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

In the prep room together, Jonathan, the old hand in hospitals, reassured his wife, who had never been under anesthetic.

“I was pretty nervous,” she admits.

Caitlin went into the operating room first, and an hour later they called for Jonathan.

Caitlin is back at home already. Jonathan joins her there today and they can begin planning for the healthy future they didn’t think they would get.

“Swimming and jumping and running and playing basketball,” is first on the list, Caitlin says. Jonathan is a big basketball player.

“Further down the road, we’d love to start a family,” Caitlin says. “That was on the back burner until all this came together.”

But Jonathan and Caitlin, now graduates of that Christian seminary school, are not just thinking of themselves.

“A lot of our story has been shaped by suffering,” Jonathan says, “so we want to work with other people who are suffering.”

Jonathan is thinking of ministry, maybe overseas. He spent a year studying in China and his good health makes a return there possible. Caitlin trained as a music therapist and wants to incorporate that into her career.

“We’ve had a big detour here,” Jonathan says. Now, thanks to his perfect match, they are back on track.


Don’t Rain on Their Parade

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the children’s song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”. The title is self-explanatory. It’s a song about showing the world how happy you are. It’s a wonderful concept…however,  unfortunately,  sometimes, the response to one sharing their happiness or good fortune with others, is not met with an equally happy response.

A couple of days ago, a Facebook/Twitter friend of mine shared touching photos on Instagram. She had been away from her boyfriend for 7 weeks, and when she returned home, she was greeted by a trail of red roses, which started on the street, to the elevator, to her front door. When I saw the photos, I thought this expression of love was beautiful, and said such in my reply. Apparently, not all were moved by the gesture. I was perplexed when I read her status update on Facebook, which was in response to some of the  feedback she received. I was given permission to share it:

“I would NEVER boast like my relationship is all perfect and what not, but when my baby does something that is worth writing about I WILL…WHY? because it took me 9 yrs to find someone who didn’t make my love for them overshadow their love for me…It feels right, and we love each other the same way behind FB as we do on it. PLUS, it helps for some people to see statuses that PRAISES love instead of… always talking about how miserable one is, or what “he” or “she” did/or didn’t do that gets 40 likes and 100 comments of ppl saying “F” em’ !…If my love helps you believe, then GOOD and if it points out the negatives in your relationship, then it is time for you to do some soul searching…or better yet, search for the “unfriend” button, but I will not downplay my relationship or love for ANYONE so that you can be alright! #BlessandBliss to everyone…esp those that want to find TRUE love! ♥” T.C.
I agree with her 100%  and cannot comprehend why some people take umbrage when others share a happy moment or event – whether it pertains to being happy in love, or happy because of any other special moment(s) in their life.
This is the third instance – on Twitter/Facebook – that I have seen a high-profile person have to defend their excitement over a happy event that occurred in their life. Within the past year, one person that I know and the other that I know of,  expressed their happiness over major accomplishments they achieved. Due to those accomplishments, they were lauded and received major media attention. The increase in their notoriety, brought them new experiences, as well. They shared these experiences with their followers/friends.  (paraphrasing) Some of their tweets: “I just performed with a legend!”, “I can’t believe so-and-so just told me they were a fan of mine!”, “This is my first time on a private jet!”, “I’m going to be guest of honor at a major event!”…  They were both accused of bragging, name-dropping, getting a big head, etc. How is this bragging, name-dropping, getting a big head? Anyone would be excited to meet a living legend, let alone perform with them; how is it name dropping? Should they have said, “I performed with a great entertainer” and left the name of the person out? How is sharing an exciting moment in your career getting a big head? Trust me, I can vouch for how humble and down-to-earth this person is .
Those in the spotlight aren’t the only people who are subjected to negative reactions for their good fortune or accomplishments. I shared with T.C., that for years, I would downplay any positive experiences that I had, because of the fear of negative feedback.  It’s happened quite often over the years, but the two that stand out the most, were from two people who one would think would be the proudest. The first, was the time I won a spelling bee in school. I came home, told my mother and her reply was, “So, I guess that means you think you’re smarter than me?”  The second, was when I was promoted to Program Manager for a TV station I worked for. I shared my excitement with my husband (at the time lol)  His response was, “So you think you’re important, now, huh?” Not only didn’t my husband share in my happiness, he actually tried to sabotage my new position, by hiding my pager, so that the station couldn’t contact me, in case of an emergency.
None of the people above – including myself – were exclaiming, “Look at what happened to me! My life is better than yours!” They were simply trying to share a special moment in their life with those they thought would be happy for them.  It’s a sad commentary, that some people would rather rejoice in the misfortune of others. Some may not be happy or even care, but, on the other hand, why even take the time to respond to the good news of others, if it’s going to be in a negative way? The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps certain situations did not occur in their own lives, and their mindset is, “If it can’t happen to me, I don’t want it to happen to anyone else, either”.  As T.C. expressed above, why should anyone have to downplay their excitement/happiness so that others feel better about themselves or the situations they are in?  If you revel in the happiness of others, that’s wonderful…but, if not, keep your negativity  to yourself and don’t rain on the parade of someone else’s happiness.
And, to T.C. keep sharing – I am POSITIVE that there are more people than not, who are sincerely happy for you and celebrate your happiness…and, LOVE

Have you met the love of your life? Had a once in a lifetime experience? Received an acknowledgement of your talents? SHOUT IT from the rooftops! Everyone deserves to be happy; so, If you’re happy – SHOW IT ! Don’t let the insecurity or envy of others,  stifle your joy. 🙂

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.


Director Misko Iho Cinematographer Juge Heikkilä Colorist Timo Luomanen

Misko Iho – Smile from Hudy Group on Vimeo.

Smile though your heart is aching
smile even though it breaking
when there are clouds
in the sky you’ll get by
If you smile with you fear and sorrow
smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll find that life is still worth while if you

Light up your face with gladness
hide every trace of sadness
all though a tear my be ever so near
That the time we must keep on trying
smile what the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worth while if you just

That the time we must keep on trying smile what the use
of crying you’ll find that life is still worth while

Always be a Friend

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you need is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~Oprah

The best indicator of a true friend is if they are there for you when times are bad, as well as when times are good. If things are going great, or if you have something to offer or share, it is inevitable there will be a lot of people who will profess to be your friend, or act the part. However, if and when misfortune strikes, the friend list may dwindle a little…or a lot. It is during those times, you will discover who is truly there for you through thick and thin.

When two people marry, they take vows to love, honor, comfort, keep in sickness and health and be true to one another. There is no vow for friendship; you either are a friend or you’re not. Some value the meaning of the word…..


               1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
               2. a person who gives assistance; patron, supporter.
               3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile.

…..and, unfortunately,  some do not.  If someone is going through a bad situation, this is the time they need their friends the most. If you call yourself a friend to someone, but, turn a blind eye when they are going through a stressful situation, then that is what is called a “fair-weather” friend.

Always be there for those you call a friend; reach out and offer assistance. You may not be able to offer assistance financially; and, due to distance, you may not even be able to offer a hug – but, in any way you can, make it known that you care and will do whatever is in your capability, to help with their situation. It sometimes may be just as simple as a call to say, “I care and I’m thinking of you.”  Just be there in “good times” and “bad times”. You would want your friends to do the same for you. ♥

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Paralyzed Teen Fulfills Vow to Walk at High School Graduation

When I read stories like the one below, I am thankful I don’t wear makeup, because the tears are inevitable. With so many negative stories in the media on a daily basis, inspirational stories like this one, should give everyone reading it, hope – that if  you push through, you can accomplish miracles. Congratulations on your graduation and meeting your goal, Patrick!

BTW, I uploaded a video about his service dog, Ricochet, to this blog back in March 2011 🙂


By KATIE KINDELAN | Good Morning America 

A dream 17 years-in-the-making came true for a California boy when he got out of his wheelchair and walked to accept his high school diploma.

Patrick Ivison, a senior at Scripps High School in San Diego, was just 14-months-old when he was run over by a stranger’s car while walking with his mom, Jennifer Kayler. The September 1995 accident left Ivison with a spinal cord injury so severe he was paralyzed from the waist down.

After six weeks in the hospital, Ivison was sent home in a wheelchair. The family’s life was changed forever, but they kept their spirits high.

“I was just grateful. I was grateful he was with me,” Kayler told local ABC affiliate ABC10. “I was grateful that I get to hear him laugh and the fact that he was going to be in a wheelchair didn’t matter.”

Ivison kept the same attitude as his mom and transformed his disability into a capability. He learned to kayak, ski , hand-cycle marathon-length distances, play rugby and even surf, using adaptive equipment to ride the waves. His passion for surfing took him to Costa Rica twice to film a surf documentary and to the competitive U.S. Open of Surfing for five consecutive years, according to his family’s website.

Three years ago Ivison focused in on another goal, walking across the stage to accept his diploma at his high school graduation. He spent as many as six hours per day in intensive physical therapy in a California-based rehabilitation program called “Project Walk” to build his muscles and increase his coordination.

“I’m actually pretty nervous. There’s going to be a lot of pressure,” Ivison said in the weeks before the big day, as reported by his mom on the family’s blog.

On Tuesday night, in front of a cheering crowd of his classmates, teachers, friends and family members, Ivison had nothing to worry about.

Video of the ceremony shows Ivison standing up and, aided by his trainer and a custom-made walker, walking to accept his degree. Also walking next to Ivison was his service dog, Ricochet, who received his own special award for helping his owner through high school.

Ivison, who graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average, plans to attend the University of Southern California’s film school, his “dream school,” in the fall. Don’t be surprised to see another story about him in four years.

“Maybe do like jumping jacks at college graduation or something like that?” he told ABC10 of his next goal. “I don’t know… let’s not put that for sure because I can’t commit to that one.”

Watch Patrick’s testimony about the accident that paralyzed him, his challenges and the importance of checking the “blind zone” on vehicles, before backing up.