I am humbled.

By the response of so many.
To the thinks that swirl in my brain.
And make me feel crazeballs.
Instead of amazeballs.

Writing my crazy thinks down.
Is scary.
And posting them.
To the world.
That can receive them however they want.
Is scarier still.




These are some of my craziest thinks.
That I’ve never shared.
And you might not want to read them.
And that is okay.

And if you do.
You might want to feel sorry for me.
Or you might want to feel judgy.
Comment if you think it will be something helpful.
I make no promises to post them.


How do you tell someone something you knew they’d never understand?

(Loosely taken from Déjà vu– ah.  Denzel.)


Can I be honest?
We open tonight.

And I have the worst cold I've had in...ever.
Save the pneumonia of Chile 2012
I'm not nervous at all.
Vitamin C me.
Netty Pot.

We'll get it done.
And it will be beautiful and magical.

At this very moment I'm knee high in thank you notes.
Small-ily  blessed by the fact that there are some families in the show :).

And I had a memory.
I wanted to share.
It takes place on the Williston Campus Theater back in the early 90's.
To be fair.
I have no idea why I was there.
I bet one of my moms worked with someone who knew someone who needed help.
I really can't recollect.

But I was in the wings of their theater.
During a one act competition.
And did some stage managery type stuff.
I had a stop watch for the one act and everything.
It was legit.

And while I have no idea why I was there.
I do remember the feeling.
Of this big, wide, real theater.
And how very small I felt.
And privileged.
To be there.

Because - you know me and helping.
I love that.

And I also remember the vivid SENSATION of - this is as close you get.
The sensation of that is so real.
"You'll never be an actress, ugly girl, never."
"And you can't sing."
"And you can't act."
"And don't get too close to the talent."

Yeah, that sensation is so vivid.
And untrue.

The tangled stories I've told myself over the years to feel comfortable.
To survive.
To never let anyone see the sadness and uncomfortableness.

Standing in the wings last night, during our final rehearsal.
There was barely a trace of that feeling.
I mean, it's not completely gone.
It's almost gone.

I'm going to be allowed to play Eponine.
That is going to happen.
And someone believed I could sing.
And act.
Some people still believe that.

And so, I want so terribly to hold onto this sensation.
The one that says.
Not ugly girl.
Not you can't sing girl.
Just you.
You've got this.


And I will.
With the cast of all casts.
The most amazing group of people I've ever met.
Bar none.
And that's saying a lot because my Extreme Fam is pretty amazeballs too.
But this group.
This crew.
This posse.
They have every inch of my heart.
KILL it tonight.
Because you can.
And we will.

And on a total random thought.
First think.

Second think.
"Much better version of my Senior Photo, thanks for the chance to do that over again."

Third think.
"Head Shots."


Know when you have a cold.
And your eyes and nose are runny.
And silly thinks bring tears to your eyes.

That's me.
And I'm suddenly nostalgic for my kids.
Indulge me.
While I remember my kids.
And the top 10 things I miss from teaching:

Daily Flight Plans:
 Stars of the Week
 Silly Glasses and Class Photos
This Ode to Mario Brothers during free time.
Yeah.  That's KINDERGARTEN.  Bam.  Oh Gabriel.
 A good morning message.
An Interactive Math Word Wall.
Those are on magnets.
And yes, you can take them to your seat to use.
 Our Science Investigation Wall
After we observed and brainstormed together.
 Parent Teacher Conferences!
 Build a Rainbow Behavior Boards!
Epic Open House Nights


I promise.

I promise, not all I have to talk about is theater based.
But in this, the season of Les Miserables.
It's on the brain.

As we rehearse.
And I struggle.
With accepting that this is happening.
And that dang epilogue harmony.
And self-acceptance.
(I mean, we go up in 2 days and I still think most of the cast thinks I'm miscast.  Which is just my own very crazy think because no one has ever said that.)

Crazy Thinks.

This post is about promises in another way.
Promises we make to ourselves.

I can't remember how many times I promised myself I'd start tomorrow.
Or lose 20 pounds in one month.
Or run more.
Or eat less.
Or drink more water.
Or not give up.
Or this time would be different.

And then it wasn't.
Or I didn't.

And as I learned what smart goals were.
And tried to make reasonable commitments to myself.
It got easier.
Mostly because they weren't huge commitments.
Even now.
I haven't made it Crossfit all week.
But I kept moving.
I may have done an 18 mile run.
On accident.
(Read: Running from my inadequacy - 'cause you can totally do that, right?)

A year ago.
I said something out-loud.
On video.
For Extreme Casting.
And over the year.
I promised myself.
I'd make that commitment.
That I said out-loud on video.
Come to fruition.
Come heck or high water.

And while I didn't make my 90 day milestone challenge (on purpose) and never made it to NYC to see a broadway show or dance with my favorite broadway star.
I did keep this promise to myself.

And to go back now, in the middle of the tech week and listen to something like this.
Keeps me motivated.
And sure that I will learn On My Own.
And stop saying Changes in the weirdest way possible.
No seriously, I annoy MYSELF with that.
And that dang epilogue


^ That girl.
Is standing beside Jean Valjean and Javert.
And actually has a waist.
Not a "Hey I'm Samantha Barks" Waist.
But a waist.
Light coming through both sides.

The Madness.

Set the scene.

Sprawled across the L couch on the chaise, shoulder supporting my head.
And you seated across, using the chaise as your foot rest.

We're those kinda friends.
Haven't always been.

We are.

And I, as is usually the case, am having an anxiety attack.
My chest is tightening.
And I feel hot.
Like I need to cry more.
But I don't want to.
Not about this.
Not with you.

And your voice, as it had many times in the past.
Trying to calm it before it explodes.

And perhaps - for the first time in our friendship.
You understood me.
Before I understood myself.

"For the first time I think I get this.  I don't understand it, but I get it.  You aren't actually afraid of sucking.  I mean, YOU think that.  But more than that.  You're worried that everyone in that room will hate you.  Which is in the first place, ridiculous.  But in the second, you have zero control over it.  Let's for a minute pretend EVERYTHING goes perfect and the cast is Epic.  Everyone in that room could still hate you.  Everyone in that room could think you did the worst.  The best.  You have no control over that.  And trying to ensure you do - only drives YOU bonkers, because you are alone in that thinking.  We can't help you.

However, it seems to me that if you stop focusing on who might hate you.  And start to love what YOU'RE doing.  And loving it when it's great; when there are mistakes; when you screw up so bad you think there is no coming back; you stand to be successful a lot more often than not.  Because you get to define your success.  Did I just Chris Powell that?

That happened."
*To the very best of my recollection.  The Kryptonite part - totally real life.

You did just Chris Powell and Therapy that.
And helped define my Madness for me.

How can I possibly ensure that everyone is happy.
With the show?
With the performance?
With my singing?

I can't.

I'm going to TRY and focus on what will define my success.
And to be fair.
I don't exactly know that right now.
But I know that doing my absolute best is going to be a big part of that.

And sleep.
Lots of sleep.
And good foods.
And lots of hugs.

That just sounds like taking good care of me.

Great Groups | Best Friends

Les Mis.
Is going up in a week.
In fact.
This time next week.
My head will be in a toilet some where.
And I will be praying I keep food down.
And remember my lines.
And if people hate my performance, they are nice enough to say nothing :)

You are NOT Fat Anymore Part Deux.

I didn't realize.
My crazy thinks.
Were thought.
And responded to by so many.

"You are not fat anymore."


The person who said this to me the other day, has since moved on with his life.
His day.
I'm sure.
I have no doubt.
He's a busy dude.

And yet.
The moment
He said it.
Time stood still.

Slow mo-ed.
All around me.

Life had crescendo-ed.
And all of the air and sound.
Removed from the theater.

Time went forward.
Moved at normal pace.
A few minutes later we stood to practice the Epilogue.
And I tried not to suck it up on stage.

But time.
In my mind.
In my inner self stood still.

And lots of thinks rushed to the tip of my tongue.
In the moment, I looked at him.
And then laughed.
And redirected conversation, even as time around me stood still.

And while it was said in an off the cuff, we're friends, I can say this kind of way.

It was singularly:
The nicest thing anyone has yet to say.

It was firm.
He was right.
We weren't arguing.

He's a dad, and I thought, as time slowed down, if that's what my own dad would have said after this year on Extreme.
"You are NOT fat anymore, kid."
I don't have a dad.
So that's just speculation.

And my inner bonding, little girl self came running out of the basement where she usually languishes and asked my facade self:

"We're not?!"
And it took everything in my facade to answer honestly.

"No.  We are not fat anymore."
"But down there, in that sad place, I feel fat every minute.  Every second!?"

"I know."
"But if you KNEW, if you knew we weren't fat any more, why didn't you say something?!"
"Because why?!"

"Because you'd just have other questions.  Like, if we're not fat, are we skinny?  And if we're not fat, does that mean we stopped being ugly?  And if we're not fat, are we liked?  And if we're not fat, are we cool?  And if we're not fat, are we loved?  And I don't know if I can handle the answer to those questions right now."

"I can't answer those questions for you now.  SO it's easier to think we're still fat."
"Are we?"

And as time sped up and the Epilogue music began to play and someone pushed me forward to sing more up front, I looked at my little girl self, and her sad eyes, and the tears as they welled, and sighed, a deep sigh.

"No, little one.  We are not fat anymore."
And she slowly stepped away and went back to the basement.

And I sang something about taking my hand.
And in the very deepest part of the pit of my stomach.
For the very first time in my life.

I knew something about myself I never thought I could know, "I'm not fat anymore."

B.I.G. Night One.

The excitement and suspense are killing me!
Yes.  That is also my Les Miserables face.  Same excitement.  And terror ;).

Asking for Help.

Now, before we begin.
This is not, in fact, a post asking for help :).
It's a little bit of, "Hey, thanks for the help."
And a little reminder that it's OKAY to ask for it.


This post has two things to be humbled about.

B.I.G. and Bob Love

Bob Love.
Bob Brenner.
Kelly Brenner.
Thank God and thank you for blessing so many with your lives this year.

Two of the most incredible people I will ever meet.
Bob, for saving my life when I couldn't walk.
And Kelly, for finding my Aunt Bea as hilarious as I do. :)

In our lifetimes we will be blessed to have so many enter our lives for whatever period of time they do.
And no matter what, my life has been forever changed by the Brenners.
I can't wait to read your book.
And watch the next chapter of your journey unfold.


And NOW.

We Matter is proud, excited, encouraged, delighted to present:

Body Image Group

The What: A small Life Group that meets online once a week for a 6-week hour long session.  Each member of the Life Group will receive a package of materials needed to participate.  Discussion topics will include team builders, self esteem builders, and weekly check-ins.

The Why: I loved getting together for live chats during the Extreme Weight Loss Season, and now that the year is coming to a close, I’m looking to create a reason to come together.  I also am working on dealing with my own body dysmorphia and would love to be in a supportive group.

The Who: Matterers who apply and are approved (up to 10 each session).  You would need to be interested in sharing, opening up, growing, and supporting.  You’d also need to have the time available during the 6 sessions.  Our group is simply a Life Group, and the important distinction needs to be made that this is NOT a therapeutic group run by a therapist.  Just a fellow matterer.

The When: Tuesday nights from 8-9pm.  We’ll log into the hang out by 7:55pm, and begin discussion and work for the night promptly at 8pm.  Someone in the group will also be a time keeper, and give us a 15 minute, 5 minute and final notice.

The Where: We’re going to try a google hang out.  If it works, great, if not, we may go back to a live chat format.  For now, we’re hoping everyone has access to a laptop or webcam. 

If you think you’re interested in this round, just fill out this form.  You have until Friday night @ 9pm to decided if your interested.  If more than 10 friends apply to join the group, we’ll have a random lottery.  If you are not selected for this Life Group, then you will be given first choice of the next group, running in 6 weeks.

I can't wait.
To work together.
On loving ourselves.
And to send you some goodies.
It's good if you're nervous.
Or anxious about joining.
I AM too.

September. All. Ready.

Oh matterers.

Bed deliveries.
Friends giving of their time.
Farmers carry of 50 gallon water jugs.

As I sat on the bottom of the steps at my beautiful condo one last time, I thought a lot about the symbolism of moving.

Moving on.
Just moving.

This year of Extreme has been a lot of fun.
But, I'm ready to keep moving.

One place I've already gone, is over to
I can not explain to you how lovely Renee is.

You know - I know - that God places people on our paths precisely when we need them.

And there was Renee.
With kind words.
And an offer to share her latest and greatest work.

Which just happens to be something I'm working on.
Forgiving myself. :)

And Matterers, Renee is SO awesome, that I had the chance this past Sunday to guest post.
About suicide.
And living.

And I want to pass along some of the kindness Renee has shared.
We're giving away a few copies of her book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me!

And Matterers.
As amazing as Renee is.
This book.
It's even Amazing-er.

Yea, it's that good.
It's a workbook.
And a soulbook.
And an I matter book.

And I can't wait to get you your own copy.
You can enter in a lot of ways, from now until Sunday.
Enter daily, for your chance to win!

And I get asked adorably, a lot - "If I know you in real life, I shouldn't enter, right?"

OF COURSE you should enter!
My goodness.
Enter away.
(Except you, Mom (love ya'), because you can borrow my copy, don't be greedy.) ;)

(And YES.  You do have to have liked both Devotional Diva and my Extreme Page first!  Sorry, some things are just required! :) )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Along with this giveaway, I hope a lot of you entered Jacqui and Mer's Dietbet:

And that you'll be back in just a few hours to Live Chat the finale of Extreme Weight Loss and Celebrate one Mr. Bob Brenner's success!  Love you, brother!