Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Oh, 2014. You’ve been good and you’ve been bad. As far as I’m concerned, you can go ahead and get on out of here…

Last year, I chose Intuition to be my word of the year. I’ve worked very hard to trust my intuition this year. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s downright impossible, but when I’ve listened? It’s never led me astray.


2014 was a busy year, and unfortunately I didn’t share a lot of what we did in posts. But here are some of my favorite moments from the year.

January: I cut off all my hair and the entire metro Atlanta area shut down from #snOMG14. Auburn went to the National Championship and lost, Henry won a trophy in the Pinewood Derby and Henry and I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k.


February: Henry was asked to be in the Austin Chorus that would perform at the local high school. It snowed again. This time, like 6″. We had an amazing time playing in it for days and drinking iced snoffee! I started and completed the hardest weekend of my life, running 19.3 miles over the course of two days. It was stupid and amazing!


March: March was super busy with Listen To Your Mother stuff. We held auditions and planned, plotted, and schemed. I spent a full week traveling the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi area with my boss and coworker. I got to ride in the backseat of the truck the whole week and needed serious pain meds when it was all over!


April: In April, my dad tried to catch himself on fire by blowing up his lawnmower. He’s fine… now we just laugh. Henry spent several days camping with his grandmother and her friend at Stone Mountain. The girls I grew up with from the time we were born all spent a day together. We always have such a great time! Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta happened. It was magical!


May: May saw the end of third grade for Henry. Mom 2.0 was in Atlanta and I was fortunate to have been asked to be on the social media team. It was an amazing conference and I just l.o.v.e being able to see my friends… especially in “my” city! We marked Charlie’s 11th birthday without pomp and circumstance.


June: In June, I left my job at the wholesale nursery to do social media management full (part) time. Jason and I took Henry to New Orleans for the 70th Anniversary of D Day. We spent the full day at the National WW2 Museum, which I highly recommend to anyone and everyone. On this trip, after probably 6 years of being friends online, I finally got to give Leah a big hug in person!!


July: July was busy. We moved into a new house where we have a small pond behind us. Henry and his friend had a lemonade stand. He also participated in the GIANT Dunwoody 4th of July parade and went to Camp Winnataska for the 3rd year. I posted my 700th blog post on this here site.


August: In August, Henry and his first girlfriend Daria were able to get together. Our families went bowling and they were absolutely mortified to have to take a picture together (though later, I saw them playing a game standing about 1cm apart). Henry started 4th grade and I landed myself in the ER with a crazy reaction to a sulfa drug. Fun times, y’all! I also shared a recipe for the Georgia Cash Crop Cobbler. It’s seriously delicious.


September: In September, Jason and I dressed up and went out. It was to a wedding where we knew only the bride, but it was out. And fancy. Henry’s hair got to epic lengths and he looked like a teenager in his school pictures. Type A Conference was in Atlanta and I spent a few nights down in Buckhead with dear dear friends, old and new.


October: In October, I went to a few Auburn football games, hanging out with Kim and my #BelieveBitches crew! We went to the fair down in Perry, as usual, and celebrated Halloween with the Hollidays for the 5th year.


November: November marked Henry’s TENTH birthday. Double digits. He had a Game Truck birthday party, which was amazing! I highly recommend having someone bring a game truck to your driveway. You can drink while they play games and entertain your child! The Cub Scout Den went zip lining. What a blast! Henry was a narrator in his class’s patriotic program. If you want, I can have him recite his part in his Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. My friends got together for an unofficial 20th class reunion. There was much drinking and much Cards Against Humanity going on. 


We spent Thanksgiving Week in New York City.

This was by far the highlight of our year. Henry and I got to hang out with my dear friend Neil for two days while Jason worked in Long Island, and then we spent the next 5 days as a family doing amazing things, like the Intrepid Museum and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Yes, I’m going to recap the trip after the new year because there is SO much more!


December: In December, I turned 39. Yes, I’m staring down 40. We celebrated my birthday and our friend’s 50th with all you can eat catfish! We celebrated the holidays with Jason’s side of the family at the annual Anthoine Christmas Party, and of course, took goofy pictures of ourselves with our Christmas tree! Christmas was wonderful as usual, with my parents coming over for Christmas day lunch and then going to Jason’s mom’s for the weekend.



2015 is now upon us.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I hope 2015 is better than 2014. Not that it was horrible for my family or myself exactly, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ll be spending the next few days thinking about what I want in 2015 and I’m sure you’re going to do the same.

My big hope for everyone is that we can all find happiness and peace.



When things don’t make sense…

When things don’t make sense…

There are times when we realize that things just don’t make sense. But once we think about it, they make perfectly perfect sense.

We just don’t understand what it means.

Maybe we’re not meant to.

Three years ago, I took my niece to NYC for her 13th birthday. We spent several hours in the rain walking around the newly finished 9/11 Memorial. I wrote about finding Todd Beamer’s name and thinking back to his wife’s book and then…

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 11.39.35 AM


As strange as it sounds, I think of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas and her Unborn Child often. I mean, not every day, but sometimes I’ll hear a word and think of her. Coozie, Grandiflora (plant word), Lauren (my sister’s name)… They all spark a memory of that moment.

I don’t understand why, but at the same time, I don’t question it.

Thanksgiving week, while we were in New York, we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It was the first time there for Jason and Henry, and my first time at the Museum. Let me tell you. It’s amazing — a must-see when you’re in the city.

In the museum, they have a room that is lined with photos of all who lost their lives on 9/11/01. Faces are smiling up and down, as if they are actually looking at you. And you feel them. I wasn’t paying attention to names, just the eyes in the pictures, when a name grabbed me on a photo.

Yes, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas.

The one name that had grabbed me before, grabbed me again almost exactly 3 years later.

Sometimes what we believe as coincidence
is really just getting ourselves caught
in an angel booby trap. ~Terri Guillemets

In the center of this room, there was a small theater that ran on loop, videos about those who lost their lives narrated by people who loved them. There were no seats available, so I looked into the room and on the wall were the words Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. Of course I started crying because, WOW!  

I don’t know what any of it means, but I know that for some reason Lauren and her Unborn Child have a place in my heart. I know nothing about her except what I have seen in the memorial but I’m going to try to find out all I can about her. There may be nothing that ties us together, or there may be something.

I may never understand what it means. Maybe I’m not meant to.

A Collector of People

“She was a collector of people.”

This phrase has come up more than once in the last few weeks, strangely. The first and most moving time was at my friend Julia’s mom’s memorial service. In her eulogy, Julia mentioned her mother was a people collector and quickly it was clear she was  one of the most loved and admired women I’ve ever (once) come in contact with. She held her collection close to her and they very obviously lifted her up as she lifted them up.

I’ve known people like this. For example, my Grannie was like this. She liked to have people around. Family, friends new and old, children of her friends, grandchildren of her friends, nieces, nephews, neighbors… her door was always open. When she died, people didn’t know what they would do without her friendship and love.

I think I’m one of these people.

I think I’m a people collector. If somebody asked me to describe my “circle of friends” I wouldn’t know where to start.

The collecting of my friends has spanned my entire life. I’ve always been one who could jump from one group to another, I think, and that’s served me well.

But sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the people I’ve collected over the years. I want to know everything they’re doing and going through and help them through tough times. That’s hard to do, physically and emotionally. Facebook has made it easier, but you still only get glimpses.

I’m going to keep collecting those people. Friends from my childhood, high school, and college; the ones I inherited when I married; child loss sisters and brothers all over the world; my December’s Finest girls; blogging friends (too many circles to list); my cheese group (you know who you are); runner friends; people I feel like are my sisters and brothers; and honestly, those I’ve not yet met TO collect!

I only met Julia’s mom once, quickly at a brunch, but my friend Julia’s mother has shown me something through her untimely death.

One day we’re all going to die and it’s absolutely true that a life well-lived with love and grace is a life well-remembered. And if you’ve collected people on your way through that life, your life will be richer and so will theirs.



Yesterday, I over-committed.

See? I decided after seeing Laurie post about this “write every damn day in August” writing exercise, that I would sign up for it, too. Let’s be honest here. I’m in a rut. I need to kickstart my brain.

But I’m not good at these things. These “do this for 30 days” things. I fall off the wagon and fully expect to this time. I figure if I make it to day 5, I’ll be pleased.

But maybe I’ll surprise myself.


If you want to join, check out the 30 Days of Writing: Write Yourself Alive site. 

Now YOU Can Listen (and watch)

Yesterday, the 2014 Listen To Your Mother videos were released.

I’m not going to lie.

I hadn’t watched the Atlanta show before yesterday.

I had no clue what it looked like from the audience. I didn’t realize what a beautiful group of individuals we had on stage. Well, I did, but not as much as I did when I watched them all — confident, bold, brave, honest, and raw — share their story to hundreds (now thousands) of people.

Seeing it all happen face-first made it all really real. My co-director/producer Miranda and I invite you to take some time and watch our show, beginning to end. Your life will be better with these stories in your heart.

You can see all of our show, in order, by clicking right HERE. I promise it will be the best 86 minutes you’ve ever spent on the internet!

via Lyssa Sahadevan

via Lyssa Sahadevan

Again, a huge THANK YOU to our sponsors, LiviRae LingerieFirefly Loft, and From The Hip. And one more shout-out to our amazing cause, Just Heart Foundation! Thank you all for making the show at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre amazing!


Big thanks to LTYM video sponsor by T. Rowe Price! 

Watch the other 2014 videos on the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel or choose a playlist by clicking on a city below:

Atlanta • Austin • Baltimore • Boston • Boulder • Charleston • Chicago • DC • Denver •Indianapolis • Kansas City •Little Rock • Madison • Metro Detroit • Milwaukee • Nashville • North Jersey • Northern Utah • Northwest Indiana • NYC • Oklahoma City • Plumas County • Portland •Raleigh-Durham • Sacramento • San Francisco • Southeast Texas • Spokane • St. Louis • The OC •Twin Cities

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