Gratitude & Happiness

Be Grateful, DammitThis is a topic on which I have written a gazillion times. But every time I do, there’s a different reason why.
This time is no exception.

Life is a funny thing. One day you’re skipping along and everything is hunky-Dory. The next, life is shit and you just gotta get out of this place. When these feelings hit it is easy to get all wrapped up in thinking you should be happier.  Maybe if I moved I’d be happier. If I wasn’t in such a stressful situation I might be happier. If my relationship was different maybe I’d be happier.

Once we start thinking like that we forget about the awesome things we have in our lives. The great food on our plates, our health, the love that surrounds us. Our jobs. Our family. Beer. We get so wrapped up in thinking we need x, y, or z that we completely miss A-W right there in front of us. Like the amazing person we are spending our time with.

Looking at everything we don’t have creates a negative outlook. This negative outlook affects how we think about our relationship. Not necessarily a “the grass is greener” scenario, but in a “could I be happier” thought process.

Of course, we could be happier. There is always room to escalate our happiness. But that doesn’t mean looking outside our bubble to do that. I’m not going to rehash a bunch of stuff that I wrote about a week-ish ago. I’m just going to remind you to be grateful. Being happy is a mindset and one you have complete control over. Finding gratitude every day increases your chances of being happy with what you have ten-fold.

Be grateful. Be happy. Love hard.
xo c



Song of the Day – His

I forgot about my Song of the Day post until this morning. I mentioned that to JFTP. In the interim, I posted, Song of the Day – Mine. But when he did respond, this was what I got. I wasn’t sure what version to post, but chose this one since we are going to Anthrax on Friday! 🤘🏻

Great, GREAT song. He’s not, though. He’s amazing. And I love him.



Pork. Stuffed with Pork. Wrapped in Pork.


I made JFTP dinner last night. And I nailed it. To be fair, I usually do, but this was something special. Pork tenderloin stuffed with hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, and spinach, wrapped up in bacon. Yeah. Just. Like. That.

Want more? Here you go.

Pork. Stuffed with Pork. Wrapped in Pork.

Or the Pork Trifecta.

  • 6-8lb pork tenderloin, trimmed, filleted, and pounded out to 1/4″
  • 1lb Italian sausage (I used hot, use whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 12oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 5oz carton spinach
  • 5 oz parm, shredded
  • 1lb bacon

Pre-heat your oven to 350 to get that party started.

Start the sausage over medium heat in a large frying pan. Break it up with your spoon until it’s in medium crumbles.

When it’s about 2/3 done, toss in the chopped onions and mushrooms, cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft.

Throw in spinach and cook until all liquid has evaporated.

While you’re waiting for the stuffing to be done, lay out the strips of bacon and place your pounded out tenderloin on top. Sprinkle with your shredded parm.

Spread the pork/shroom/spinach mixture over the tenderloin…

And roll that mother up.

Let it cook until it’s done. This here isn’t my strong suit, but as long as you’ve got a meat thermometer you’re golden. It’s at least an hour, if that helps. I always turn it up to 450 at the end to crisp up the bacon.

It should look like this:

Let it rest for a good 10 minutes and eat the shit outta that mutha 😃



Song of the Week

Oh the music we hear!

I don’t know about you, but music is a huge part of my life. No, I can’t play, not like my amazing guys, but it touches me to my soul. I can feel it throughout and it can bring down the tears, put joy into my heart, give me faith and take away the pain. It’s a wonderful thing.

While we were on our adventures in Milwaukee we stopped at music stores and he played. And played. And played some more. Then we picked up the boys and hit up Heid music in Madison for some more playing. *see the awesomeness below*

He played Cream. As soon as I hit my desk Monday morning I was all over that. Yeah buddy ❤️




Become Positive (or die trying)

I like to think that I am generally a positive person. I have learned many different ways to overcome negative thinking. 2-to-1 breathing (exhale is 2x as long as your inhale), affirmations, prayer, and laughter. Writing and reading and talking it out. But you know what? Sometimes we all fall down. I used to think that it was something wrong with me. I learned that humans are hard-wired towards negativity. Did you know that it takes more than 12 seconds for a positive experience to be stored in our short-term memory, yet our brain absorbs and holds on to negative ones? Furthermore, worry is the brain’s default reaction. Lovely, no?
Rather than dealing with the negative in the moment,  what can we do to get ourselves into a habit of Positivity? I have a few ideas…

Make Positive Your Default
Robert Cialdini has something called the Consistency Principle. In a nut shell it says that from the moment we say or do something our brain wants to continue to do and say things that are consistent with that first thought/action. So if we are positive, we will want to be more positive.
Believe in Possibilities
Not only does believing in something give you an instant positive mindset, but it supports success. And succeeding at anything is a positive thing!
Talk to Yourself Positively
When you look at things with the mindset that you can’t do it, it won’t work out, or there’s no chance, you are destined to fail. Look at those statements. They all have a negative connotation.
Acknowledge Successes
Even the smallest successes should be celebrated. When you learn to see what you’re doing right you are less likely to focus on what you’re doing wrong.
Take everything and find something positive in it. Build the habit into your life so that it is a seamless part of your thought process. It will become something you don’t just do but a part of who you are and how you live. 
How do you live a positive life?

You’re Not Alone

Sometimes you can’t help but feel that you’re swimming out here in this great big sea all by yourself. That the experiences, both good and bad are yours alone; no one has felt quite like that before. And in some cases, you might be right. After all, you are you.
But alone you are not.
I’m not going to get all Bible banger on you, but if you believe in this sort of thing, you always have Jesus. No matter what happens to you there is a love that will never go away.
He’s not all, though.
I cracked a little bit last Friday with JFTP. I announced that sometimes I thought it might be better if we weren’t together. That I feel like I am a mess and my life is a mess and no one should have to deal with that. It didn’t go well, we are forging ahead.
After this conversation, I felt alone and scared that I had ruined this beautiful thing. I thought no one I knew would understand why I would say such things to someone I love so. Until I told my mom about what I had done.
When she and my Papa got together, I was a runaway. Missing all the time, scared that I was the body found in a Milwaukee dumpster or in the waters of Green Bay. When I resurfaced I had my girls, I was barely 18, far away, abusing drugs and being abused. My mom was a nervous wreck and dealing with health issues because of the stress. And she questioned Papa why he stuck around to watch it and deal with it all. But he did. And still is.
I’m still terrified. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have someone you care about tell you you shouldn’t be in their life. Even when they have the best of intentions. How do you come back from that? I can only pray and believe that we can. It’s been almost 20 years that my Papa has been “dealing with” my mothers’ mess, AKA me.  They are in love and happy. And this gives me hope.
You are not alone. Sometimes solidarity is found in the most unexpected places. Share your story and believe.

Song of the Week


2 more days and JFTP and I are going on our first weekend getaway 😀

For Christmas, I got him a pair of tickets to August Burns Red in Milwaukee. I made a list of music stores, record shops, and comic book stores, and together we found art galleries, brewery tours, restaurants, and our hotel. It’s going to be AWESOME!!

I was listening to ABR the other day while I was lifting and this song came on. Love love love.


What’s the Plan

If I could go up there and talk to God, that would be my question.

Faith can be a finicky thing. Some days I feel like I have all the faith and trust in the world and other days I cannot hold it together, wondering why life has to be so messy.

It is human to doubt and wonder, to wish we knew what was going to happen tomorrow or next week or next year. With technology giving us more information than we could absorb in a lifetime in the palm of our hands, it feels unnatural to not be able to know whatever it is we desire to know.

And if doubt and wonder are human, then it only makes sense that it is Christian to have faith and believe that we don’t always need to know. But being a faith-filled follower is much harder than simply being a human that exists.


As life has been throwing some heart-breaking punches at me lately, I have to find ways to keep believing that He will not let me fail at whatever job it is he has tasked me with. And that no matter what that job is, living a Christ-centered life is where it starts.

So what do I do? Well, here’s where I am starting:

  1. Pray. And then pray some more. Talking to God is never a bad thing. I remember the last time I gave it all to Him. I ended up finding the man of my dreams. So I fall to my knees.
  2. Be Grateful. When I see what I have I hope that it will help me focus on what He has given me, instead of what I think should be different/better/easier.
  3. Breathe. When I am overwhelmed, sad, or scared I need to breathe. Take a minute to get out of the moment and into reality. God is in that moment.
  4. Talk. No matter the problem there is someone in my life I can talk to, be it mom, JFTP, a counselor, or Fr. Matthew. And these people remind me that there is a plan for me to believe in.
  5. Write. Get it all out. Not here, no, but from my heart to my journal. Those entries are prayers, too.
  6. Attend Mass. Hearing the word and the Glory of all that God has done for me helps me to remember that His will be done, not mine.

Do you struggle with the faith that He knows what He’s doing? How do you overcome?