#38 of All the Things-Fish In A Tree

Hi everybody, I have this one post ready to go and then, I’m actually going to take a longer break than I anticipated.  I’ve gotten a promotion at work but still working part of my old position until we hire and train whoever will take over.  Things are kind of crazy, I’m learning lots, working extra, and feeling some pressure so the blog will have to go to the back burner until I can think straight again.  I hope you all are doing well!  Until then, enjoy this great book with a kid in your life.



How can a smart and talented kid think that she’s a loser or slow? When somebody has trouble reading or writing, it can surely be a challenge and can cause all kinds of problems.  A Fish In a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a powerful story about a girl named Ally as she fights her way from school to school until finally in 6th grade, her struggles come to a head.  An extradordinary teacher and a couple of kids turn into allies and together they change the dynamic in the classroom as Ally’s life changes for the better.  It’s an inspiring story for all who have ever struggled to feel like they belong.   Continue reading “#38 of All the Things-Fish In A Tree”

#34 of All the Things- Listening to Shame

Nobody wants to talk about things like shame but wouldn’t it nice to find the antidote to shame?  Wouldn’t it be refreshing to learn how to let shame go?  Brené Brown’s TED Talk Listening to Shame is a great place to start:


I learned a lot from this talk:

  • Vulnerability is not a weakness, it’s the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change.
  • When it comes to shame, we have to walk through it and find our way around.
  • The difference between guilt and shame.  “I did something bad” vs. “I am bad.”
  • Shame feels the same for men and women but it’s organized differently.  Women feel the need to “do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat.”  Men feel the need to “never be perceived as weak.”
  • Empathy is the answer.
  • Secrecy, silence, and judgment makes shame grow.

You can learn about Brene’s books and her powerful TED Talk on Vulnerability on #17 of All the Things.

Brené Brown  was also a guest on my favorite podcast, Magic Lessons.  You can check it out in #5 of All the Things.

Thanks for visiting.  Please subscribe on the bottom of the page if you’d like an email when I post. Comments are like gold to a blogger and shares are like diamonds.   A growing blog makes a blogger happy.    New here?  Check out my About page to see what this blog is all about and to learn more about me. Click to follow me on FACEBOOK.  Click to follow me on TWITTER.

All the best,




#33 of All the Things- Headphones


Did you know that 360 million people have a disabling hearing loss? Many of those could be helped if they had enough money for hearing aids.  Matt Nathanson joined with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and traveled to Peru to help offer the gift of sound.  The video for his song Headphones tells the story and it’s beautiful. Grab a tissue and check it out. Continue reading “#33 of All the Things- Headphones”

#32 of All the Things- Broadcasting Happiness


We are all broadcasters.  We are projecting out into the world our thoughts and feelings, even when we aren’t saying a word.  Did you know that the world is actually safer than it’s ever been?  Our constant access to media skews our thinking and makes the world appear to be much darker and dangerous than it actually is.  I used to think that the only answer was to hide from the news and to stay uninformed because it was all so depressing.  I recently listened to a book on Audible called Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan and I’m so happy that I did.    Continue reading “#32 of All the Things- Broadcasting Happiness”

#31 of All the Things-To This Day


“We are the graduating class of we made it!” That statement gives me goose bumps and teary eyes when Shane Koyczan declares it in his TED Talk To This Day… For the Bullied and Beautiful.  It is funny, compelling, and emotional.  Shane speaks about his history, how he was taught to hide to save himself from a broken heart, and his search for the answer to the question “Who am I?”   Continue reading “#31 of All the Things-To This Day”

#30 of All the Things- Part 2 of Gabriel’s Story


Tomorrow is Gabriel’s due date so I thought I would share more of his story with you today.  To read the first part of his story, read #18 of All the Things.

After the Ultrasound

The weekend after we received the news that the baby I was carrying had Anencephaly, I cried a lot. I devoured the book they gave me, A Time to Decide, A Time to Heal; For parents making difficult decisions about babies they love. I read about all of my choices and what others did in my position.  My heart broke over and over again as I read each sad story.  Little did I know at the time that I was truly lucky to have all the choices I had.  In some countries and even in some states, parents don’t have all the same options. Sometimes they are forced to make a decision not their own.

I read about parents that decided to continue with the pregnancy and about parents that decided to interrupt it. I learned about those that decided to have a D&C and those that decided to induce. I never judged any of them in their decisions because I knew that this was probably the hardest decision they’ve ever made and I know that it was not taken lightly. I learned how you can make the most of the little time you have, taking pictures and making memories.

On Monday morning I took a deep breath, picked up the cordless phone and called the clinic. “Hi. I’m…”  I stumbled along, suddenly not knowing what to say.  “I’m supposed to call because I had an ultrasound on Friday and found out that my baby has” I paused, I still wasn’t used to saying the term Anencephaly.  Later, it would roll off my tongue.

“Is this Marcie?” She asked.

“Yes” I said surprised.  How does she know it’s me? I thought to myself.

“We know about your situation and were expecting your call.  I’m so sorry.”  She said tenderly.

“Thank you.”  My voice cracked as I was trying to keep it together, but failing.  “We’ve decided that we want to induce.”

“Okay, when would you like to do it?” she asked kindly.

“As soon as possible.”  I said.

We made an appointment for that afternoon to start the process.  We went in for a short visit and then they sent me home.  They told me I should call in the morning to make sure they had a bed available and the next morning they did.  It was all going according to plan.  The new plan was falling into place.

As Jeffrey drove me to Fairview Riverside in Minneapolis, the morning of December 5th, I asked him “Do you want to listen to music or anything?”

He said “You can listen to whatever you want.”

I turned on the radio and just then I heard the song “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King.

Tears sprang to my eyes and Jeff said misty eyed “How very appropriate.”  He grabbed my hand and we held on tight.

At the hospital we were given a room and we began the inducement at 9:00 am.  I met the on-call midwife.  She explained things to us as we went and she was so sweet and kind.

Our families and friends came that day while we were waiting for things to progress.  I knew this was the only chance they had to meet him.  It was now or never. Plus, I’m the kind of person that feels best when surrounded by a room full of people.  They kept me company and we alternated between being sad and laughing.  We told stories and spent a lot of good time together.

When evening came, our families left.  It was all taking much more time than I had thought it would.  I told my mom that she should go, and that I’d call her when it was getting closer to the time.  I know how badly her heart hurt to see me like this.  My mother-in-law ended up staying with me and Jeffrey.  She was a natural at nursing and did a great job of taking care of me.

The process was very long and I wasn’t prepared in the least for the amount of pain I would have to endure.  The baby was smaller than he should be so I didn’t think labor would be as big of deal.   But contractions hurt no matter how small the baby is.  My mother-in-law kept telling the midwife that I needed something for the pain but she said she couldn’t give me anything unless I consented.  Medication often affects me in a weird way and I was very concerned that if I took something, I wouldn’t remember much and I knew this was the only time I would have with him.  So I suffered through. They decided that I should try to sleep but I was suffering so much by that point I couldn’t.  Sometime in the wee hours of the very early morning I gave in.  My body and my heart felt as if they were being beaten black and blue and I needed some relief. I thought hopelessly, This is all for nothing.

I don’t remember what they gave me first but every time I closed my eyes I saw a kaleidoscope of colors and I didn’t enjoy it at all. It also didn’t help the pain.

At last, we decided I needed something else. They gave me an intrathecal injection into my spine.  I had to sit on the edge of the bed and lean forward until I felt like I was going to fall off the bed.  The midwife was in front of me and she held me up.

“I love your necklace.” she said to me. It was made of blue and white beads and the center was a creamy white stone that had a figure of a woman on it.

“Jeffrey made it for me.”  I told her.  I paused as I felt another contraction start to build.  I blew out a long breath and braced myself as the contraction peaked and gripped me hard and strong from the inside and made it impossible to talk. Finally it eased. “My sign is a Virgo.” I finished weakly.

“It’s really pretty” she said.   She was keeping me distracted until the anesthesiologist was finished and even though I knew that was what she was doing, I was grateful.

Soon after I felt much better, physically at least.  I was hoping to finally be able to sleep.  I started to drift off, as I rubbed my thumb on the creamy white stone.  I needed the rest.  I was about to do the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, give birth, and leave the hospital without my baby.

To be continued…

Here is the video of the “Circle of Life” if you’d like to watch it:



I’ll be back on Wednesday with a compelling and thought provoking TED Talk.

Thanks for visiting.  Please subscribe on the bottom of the page if you’d like an email when I post. Comments are like gold to a blogger and shares are like diamonds.   A growing blog makes a blogger happy.    New here?  Check out my About page to see what this blog is all about and to learn more about me. Click to follow me on FACEBOOK.  Click to follow me on TWITTER.

All the best,


Question of the day.  Have you lost a child?  I’d love to hear your story.  I’d like to make a page dedicated to angels.  If you want to add yours, let me know.





#29 of All the Things- Make It Okay


Have you ever struggled with a mental illness?   Has anybody said something that really made you feel worse?  It’s a hard topic to talk about for some people.  Some people don’t really believe that mental illness is even a ‘thing’ or it might just make them so uncomfortable.  When I was listening to the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe, I heard about this great website called Make It Okay. Continue reading “#29 of All the Things- Make It Okay”