Monthly Archives: February 2012

January 15th- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #24

January Fifteenth, Two Thousand and Eleven….

After spending the day with Mom in hospice, my daughter and I left for home.

A short time later, a nurse named Kathy, called to tell me that my Mom had just passed away.

At that moment, I felt like I physically moved out of my body.  I began receiving and sending actions and words in slow motion.

I was controlled as I told my older kids and my husband.  I was calm as I called my brother and aunt. I was strong as I put on my winter coat and boots to make the long, all too familiar drive to hospice.

I was controlled.  I was calm. I was sane. I was strong. I was alone.

My brother, my daughter and I gathered in my Mom’s room.  Mom was there.

I looked at her face, her hands, her still body under the covers. I looked at the room that we had spent hundreds of hours in, day after day.  I looked at the holiday cards, the get well cards and family photos.  I looked at the gingerbread houses that the kids made and Mom’s crossword puzzle book on the table. I looked out the window into the darkness.

After some time, the Pastor came in and asked us if we wanted to pray. We held hands and prayed. I knew my Mom would have liked that.  We carefully packed up all of Mom’s things to bring home.

Mom would have liked that too.

I wondered if she was there with us….Watching……

We left the room all together.  I carried Mom’s red winter coat that she had worn when she arrived and pulled her blue suitcase filled with her clothes behind me.  My brother and daughter carried her boxes of memories.  We moved down the hallways to the exit in slow motion.

We had walked this path dozens of times before and for an instant I realized that I had never once pictured this scenario.  The last time we would be leaving this building.

It’s crazy to think that in so many times in our lives, we are so aware of what’s happening……and yet so unaware at the same time….

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

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New Year, New Start- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #23

I love New Year’s!!!! Every year, it’s a chance to start fresh….You know, from scratch, but not really…..

Every New Years Day in our home, I eagerly anticipate the chance to sit down with my hot cocoa and make my new list of how I want me to be, how I want my time with my family to be and how much better I am going to do things this year than last etc etc etc….

I think it’s a blast to review my thoughts and goals from 365 days earlier. I like to check off successes and make plans for new challenges.

I have come to realize lately that this simple ritual is really a roadmap of how much I have changed over the years.  Gone are the weight loss goals, exercise promises, decorating ideas and lists of stuff to buy…..

These days, I’m older, bigger and much more mellow, I find myself with reminders to cherish my time on this earth, cherish my time with family and loved ones, to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to stay above the pettiness of negativity that can so easily invade our soul.

Each year I see progress. I see a glimpse of where I am on my journey and how far I have come.

New Year’s is not just a one night stand, but a reminder that every year, every month, every day is an another opportunity to start over…..

But not from scratch.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Santa Baby- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #22

This year for Christmas, Jim and I started our shopping for our little ones in October.   Every year we make the vow to have our shopping done by Thanksgiving, holiday cards sent by December 1st and all of the menu planning, food shopping and pre-prep done by a week before Christmas Eve…..

Hahahahaha…..Gasp……Hahahaha…..Gasp……

This year, we could not decide upon gifts for our older kids.  They really didn’t “need” anything.  We had each other……I know how corny and cliché that sounds…

As long as we have each other…blah, blah, blah……But it’s so true.

Losing our child and my Mom within 4 months of each other last year helps to put priorities in perspective pretty quickly….

Now don’t get me wrong, socks and PJ’s are nice, and we have certainly given our fair share of these gifts, but this year it just didn’t seem right when so many others are lonely, hurting, hungry or suffering……

Jim and I put together a list of organizations that give to others (Heifer International, local health clinic, local food pantry and other groups that help those in need locally and worldwide). Our gift to our older children this year was a gift to others.  We provided each of our adult children with a dollar amount that they could donate to a charity that we had provided information for or to one of their choice…..

Nothing to unwrap, no sizzle of anticipation, no squeals of delight… It felt different and a bit awkward at first….But then it felt amazing…..Better than I thought it would…The room was kind of quiet.  People were listening to what we were saying. It was a meaningful moment…..It felt right.

We knew that thinking outside of family this holiday would feel good…and we were right.  We were thrilled to find that the kids were enthusiastic, dug right into making their decision where they would like to donate their gift and didn’t seem to miss the traditional gift giving at all……

What a wonderful way to give and to receive.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

I Believe- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #21

It was a wonderful holiday…..Crazy, fun, noisy and full of holiday cheer…..Loved it!!

All of our kids were home for the holidays….With 11 kids and us we had 13 in all……a full house.

The big kids have always made a point to be here on Christmas morning so they can be a part of Christmas morning with the little kids.

Family togetherness is something I never get too much of…It fills me up…..It rejuvenates me….It reminds me how important our loved ones are….So much more important than anything else in this crazy world….

This was our first Christmas without my Mom.  Last year this time, we were hanging out a lot at hospice, spending every moment we could with her.  She was in her last weeks of cancer and this life.  Her goal was to make it until Christmas….And she did.

I remember Christmas together last year.  All of us present……Knowing it was our last together…..Trying to make it fun for the kids, but hurting so much on the inside.  At one point I simply sat by my Mom and began to cry…..This is so sad I said between tears…..I can’t believe this is happening…..We are all together and celebrating Christmas and trying to be joyful, but you are leaving us.

I let go of my deep sobs while in my Mother’s arms.  She comforted me as only she could do and we moved on with the gathering.

I cried that Christmas.  I cried when my Mom passed away. I cry today.

But it’s Christmas time…..A time for love, happiness and for being together even when we have to be apart.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

 

 

Santa Baby

 

– By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

 

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #22

This year for Christmas, Jim and I started our shopping for our little ones in October.   Every year we make the vow to have our shopping done by Thanksgiving, holiday cards sent by December 1st and all of the menu planning, food shopping and pre-prep done by a week before Christmas Eve…..

Hahahahaha…..Gasp……Hahahaha…..Gasp……

This year, we could not decide upon gifts for our older kids.  They really didn’t “need” anything.  We had each other……I know how corny and cliché that sounds…

As long as we have each other…blah, blah, blah……But it’s so true.

Losing our child and my Mom within 4 months of each other last year helps to put priorities in perspective pretty quickly….

Now don’t get me wrong, socks and PJ’s are nice, and we have certainly given our fair share of these gifts, but this year it just didn’t seem right when so many others are lonely, hurting, hungry or suffering……

Jim and I put together a list of organizations that give to others (Heifer International, local health clinic, local food pantry and other groups that help those in need locally and worldwide). Our gift to our older children this year was a gift to others.  We provided each of our adult children with a dollar amount that they could donate to a charity that we had provided information for or to one of their choice…..

Nothing to unwrap, no sizzle of anticipation, no squeals of delight… It felt different and a bit awkward at first….But then it felt amazing…..Better than I thought it would…The room was kind of quiet.  People were listening to what we were saying. It was a meaningful moment…..It felt right.

We knew that thinking outside of family this holiday would feel good…and we were right.  We were thrilled to find that the kids were enthusiastic, dug right into making their decision where they would like to donate their gift and didn’t seem to miss the traditional gift giving at all……

What a wonderful way to give and to receive.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Life Leadership: Old Flour by Sandra Beck for Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch.

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Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

By Sandra Beck

 

Recently I found this great brownie recipe online – the good kind from scratch where you shave the chocolate into bits and mix the ingredients from their original source, not from a boxed package.

 

I was so excited and since I had a lot of wonderful chocolate left over from the holidays I made a massive batch filling up 6 pans thinking I would share them with neighbors, family and friends.  I used this huge 5 pound bag of flour that I had removed from my mom’s house after she died. I didn’t check the date.  The flour was years old but I didn’t know that because the packaging was unopened.

 

The brownies came out like bricks.  So bad I had to soak the pans just to clean them.  They never rose to the occasion and the flour was stale.  I stood there in the kitchen so frustrated until I thought about the lesson here. Sure, use fresh ingredients got that.  But for us as women it goes deeper than that.

 

How can we expect to rise to the occasion when we are the same old stale self?  I realized with the brownie bricks that I was stuck in some of my old ways and if I expected my life to rise to the occasion I would need to use a fresh me and not the same old stale me.  I never did make any more brownies because the fresh me doesn’t want to get fat…lol…but I do show up fresh everyday so I can rise to the occasion.

 

Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio  and Motherhood Talk Radio.  She is the single mother of two boys ages 5 and 8, and the owner of Motherhood Incorporated.