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Showing posts from May, 2015

Mr. Wilson and Me: The Journey Toward Greater

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My life hit its lowest point in September 2014.A relationship that moved me 2,600 miles ended. My career brought me into a new line of business, leaving me struggling to learn a new way of life. At 40-years old, I lived out of suitcases and off the grace of my brother and his wife. I needed something to believe in – my confidence was shaken and my insides were raw. Back in my once hometown, I was poor, lost and desperate. My brother’s wife’s family graciously included me in their weekly ritual of watching the Seahawks. This, it turned out, would be my saving grace. Not the game, not the wins - but the loss of the Super Bowl and a guy called Russell Wilson.How could a devastating loss save someone? Because in life, we lose and break. That doesn’t make us losers or broken. Makes us human.

The details of my relationship failed mirror the Super Bowl loss in such a way that I can write one phrase and it applies to both. It has taken months to gather the courage to write about this.
A risk ta…

IKEA + Pinterest = Allison Fail

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For weeks I’ve wanted to convert the spare room into a study.  Like most social media savvy teens, I took to Pinterest for ideas.  The one that jumped out was taking a countertop from IKEA and marrying it to shelves from Target. It was as if my two favorite stars were hooking up and creating a Super Child that would cure cancer and win The Voice. Along came Friday night. With the weekend ahead of me, this would be the perfect time to create my new office, which would help me launch my writing career.First stop:IKEA.Or is it Ikea?Let’s go with IKEA as I feel the all caps adds an excitement factor. If you had asked me to list off the reasons I moved back to the PNW, IKEA was on my top 15 list.It’s heaven for people like me – poor, ambitious and blind to our own (in)abilities.Upon arriving at IKEA, I circled the 10,000 acre parking lot only to see that I’d be relegated to the farthest parking stalls.The closest available spots were for family parking.While I am my family, this totally …

Oh The Places I Went

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Original publish date:  May 9, 2013
Oh The Places We Went Along the hall in my home the words, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” hang above art and posters representing the places I’ve gone. From the Great Barrier Reef to the edge of America’s West Coast, the places I’ve traveled are memorialized on my walls. It is, of course, a nod to the Dr. Seuss book about life and its many adventures. When it came time to return to Huntsville from my 18-month stay in Gulf Shores, I began the desperate search only a perfectionist/procrastinator can make. The perfect piece of art to join my hallway collection had to be found. Visits to off-the-beaten-path galleries were made. I flipped through pictures and marveled at paintings. Nothing struck my fancy. Nothing that could encompass angry people, grateful athletes, fresh seafood, musical events, lonely weekends on the beach, sand in everything, tennis, and the great fight was found. The wholeness of my beach life was too complicated to be put in a frame. As s…

On Being a Dog Mom

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It’s just after 7 on Saturday morning. The sun’s light brightens the room, signaling that it’s time to rise. I turn over and without pause, Jake Ryan grunts. In hopes of throwing him off, I freeze. It’s too early to get up. Dogs know no difference between today and yesterday. They know they have to pee and would like to eat or be petted. They know I’m the ticket to getting all three of those needs met. He grunts again. I sigh in response and throw off the covers and place my bare feet on the cream carpet. Poncho is motionless. I rise and dress. We’re out the door within minutes.    The boys, now 8 and almost 9, tear down the hall toward the elevator. Five dings later and we’re in the lobby. Out they go – pulling and whining with excitement. I no longer discipline them. The years ahead of us are less than the years behind us, as such my forgiveness is greater. My duo waters the plants, sniffs the shrubs, and barks at the birds. We continue on our morning ritual, touring the streets o…

I'm a Street Walker

Today I had a dentist appointment, it’s a half a mile up 4th Ave from work.  I walked – because I’m a city girl now.  As I trekked under the overpass, past the park, and up the slow grade that is 4th Avenue, with its busy cross streets and hodgepodge of people, I realized that yes, in fact am a City Girl.  A year ago, my ass would have driven a half a block for tacos.  Now, I’m a City Girl.  And when you’re a City Girl, you’ve got to adapt to the city streets.  Here is how to survive:      1. Earbuds.  Play your music loud enough to drown out passerby’s conversations, but not so loud you can’t hear a roaring fire engine tearing down the street.  Play tunes that transport you, because even when you love the city, it’s not always pretty.  My favorite is “Come with Me Now” by KONGOS or the basassery that is“All I do is Win” by DJ Khaled. You should see my hand gestures to the line “My hands go up and down like stripper’s booties go”.  It’s precious. Truth be told, Eminem’s “One Shot” gets…

My Mother Wears Combat Boots

Originally written:  November 3, 2005             Not many 30-year-old women are on the receiving end of panicked phone calls with bombs blowing up in the background as their mom yells, “Don’t worry, I didn’t get hit! Call Nanny and tell her I’m fine. Talk to you later.” While countless mothers across the country watch their young children fight for freedom, I am among a small group of adult daughters who watched their mother head to war. But it wasn’t always this way.             For nearly two decades she was a good wife and a wonderful mom. During the earliest years of our family’s life, mom stayed home and raised three children who would grow into people she “not only loves, but truly likes.” Fast forward to the late 90s and you have a single woman in her early 50s; her three kids nearly done with college. Inside she believes that there’s something more. She could have put in a few more years at her unchallenging job and sailed to retirement. Instead she bought a map, nailed it u…