A different perspective…

This photo is from a recent evening, right in my front yard. I heard there would be auroras visible, so we went outside. At first, it just seemed like lighter cloud streaks in the sky. Then I took my phone out to take a picture, and the magic dancing lights appeared. I’ve tried to take pictures of the moon before and those rarely turn out. For some reason, the northern lights like to have their picture taken. The greens and purples showed up on my phone just like I remembered them.

My husband and I started dating the summer after my freshman year in college. I was home for the summer near Fargo, ND and we started dating after a 4-H conference. When fall came, I went back to college in Grand Forks (80 miles north). I was a resident assistant my sophomore year. We continued dating, but that meant quite a few trips back and forth for both of us. Some of those trips back to Grand Forks were pretty late at night. It was common to see the auroras dancing across the sky as I drove back to my dorm. The greens and purples would ebb and flow like waves across the night sky. There was no city lights to get in the way.

The reason why the aurora looked brighter on my phone than in real life recently, is because the human eye cannot see faint colors at night. So last year, when my sister and I were driving all over trying to see them, we might have been able to if we took out our phones. It’s a different perspective. It got me thinking about how sometimes we need to change our perspective in our lives also. Taking a step back and looking at things through a different lens might reveal something beautiful.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May your “different perspective” bring you clarity and beauty.

The City that Never Sleeps?

NYC from Staten Island Ferry

I took last week off from writing since we were traveling. What started out as a request to go to Scranton, PA (due to The Office TV show) turned into a trip to NYC. I’m not sure the city never sleeps, but they are pretty quiet before 6am. We went to MSP early due to snow & ice storms. We got delayed due to weather going out there, but we made it. Luckily I didn’t have reservations for anything the day we arrived. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Times Square (thanks to IHG points!) It was a great location & allowed us to walk to most of the things we wanted to see. Our two Broadway shows happened to be next to & across the street from the hotel.

I chronicled our trip on Facebook. I felt a little bad about posting so many pics, but I knew my family would want to see what we were up to. Turns out that a friend from NYC liked to see it from a tourist perspective. One friend liked to see what tips we had for their upcoming trip. And, some liked to see it since they hadn’t been there before. Of course there are always comments of, “You sure do take a lot of trips,” but I’ve learned to not let that bother me as much. Time with kids at home goes quickly and it’s something you don’t get back. The trip was relatively inexpensive and we packed a TON of stuff into the time we were there.

Highlight of the trip? It’s hard to narrow down. Being on the Today show plaza, seeing the Tonight Show and Late Night in person, spending an afternoon in Chinatown & Little Italy with friends, doing a day trip to see all of the places referenced in The Office, freezing on the top deck of the bus tour, Broadway shows, and of course the food… hard to pick a favorite. My most favorite of all was getting to spend the time together. We navigated subways, taxis, Times Square, the Ferry and more. We went to a lighthouse museum and got a (long) personal tour from the light house museum guy. We didn’t get mugged or see rats (ha ha). It was cooler temps than we had planned, but we made it work. My husband, who is not a fan of musicals, was a good sport when we ended up in the FRONT ROW of the Chicago musical. We did a lot of walking, but I’m so glad we didn’t rent a car (other than the day trip to PA). I would not have liked to drive in the city and parking is expensive and tight. Plus, 20k steps per day burns off NYC cheesecake!

Since our youngest son modeled his show partly after Jimmy Fallon, it was cool to get to see it in person. The tickets to the shows are free, but they don’t release them until the month before. It’s quite a process of waiting to find out if you got tickets, then waiting to get checked in & waiting in the Peacock lounge before the show. Of course there are no pictures allowed in the studios, but they were much smaller in person than they seem on TV.

SNL tickets are more difficult to get, so we didn’t see it this time.

We (Cam) found the bridge from the movie Elf where they have a snowball fight in Central Park.

We didn’t take a horse/carriage ride, see the FAO toy store, the Intrepid or Botanical Gardens, but we did get to a lot of things on our list. It had been over 30 years since I was in NYC, and this was the first time for my husband & son. I was a little reluctant to go back, but I’m so glad we did. My feet were sore but my heart was full.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Life is short, I took the trip & will continue to do so.

Lights, camera, action!

This is our youngest son, Myles, as he prepared for his live show last Saturday. He started his YouTube show, “The Unspecified Show,” about a year ago. He wanted to do a live show with an audience for the one year anniversary. Of course he has help with some logistics, but he organized most of it on his own. My 16 year old son put on a comedy/variety show for around 120 people.

He wrote the jokes, planned the games, found the trivia, got the cast/crew he needed, promoted the event, ordered merchandise and more. To say I’m proud is an understatement. The show flowed smoothly. He even did a live call to wish his grandma a happy birthday. He modified “My Way,” and sang a finale song. He was hoping for a larger audience, but those who showed up had a good time. Some people in the audience were loud towards the end of the show, but kept his composure.

Some day he will look back at this event and say, “Remember when I did a live show?” He has big dreams. (I certainly wasn’t following my dreams at 16 years old.) Will he be the next Fallon? Who knows, but it’s not impossible. We are going to NYC soon, and hope to get in the audience of a few late shows. It will be neat to see how they run. We also will take in some Broadway shows and try to be on the Today show plaza (with Unspecified Show gear on!)

I’m thankful for the people who have encouraged and believed in him. I’m thankful to the people who helped with the show – before/during/after. I’m thankful for the people who watch the YouTube shows or listen to the podcasts. Having someone (other than mom) believe in you is powerful. I’ve had many people tell me that he will do great things. I agree. He already has, and that’s just the start.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Never underestimate the power of believing in someone. Never underestimate what kids can do. Check out his YouTube channel “The Unspecified Show,” and the podcast on Spotify, “Be Unspecified” podcast. His YouTube channel has a replay of his live show. Enjoy!


28 years ago, on a rainy March evening, Cam proposed. Have I told the story already? Maybe. We were still in college, I was just 21. He was working overnight and morning show on the radio station and finishing college. I was working at Red Lobster while going to school. He borrowed a tandem bike and surprised me with the bike and proposal (after I grumbled about going for a bike ride when it was misting/raining.) We skipped the actual bike ride, instead we went for a limo ride to my parents’ place and out for supper. We went to the same restaurant as our first date, TGIFridays. At the time, they had amazing thin onion rings and broccoli cheese soup. Perhaps this wasn’t the best “date food,” but it was tasty.

In 1995, we didn’t have social media or instant proposal announcements. I called (from my landline phone) everyone I could get ahold of, but several people weren’t home. I got to tell the proposal story on the radio show the next morning. We started planning an August wedding. Here we are, 28 years later – still together.

There are some things I’d like to tell my 21 year old self… not all related to marriage. Some of these I think or do, and some I wish I would/would have done.

  • You’re not fat. Seriously.
  • Yes, you should travel.
  • Actually have date nights, even when you get older.
  • You’ll be a good mom. Stop stressing.
  • Self care is not selfish, it’s important.
  • You won’t feel like a great wife, but you will make it work.
  • Your “Rice a Roni days” will give you an interesting perspective. You’ll get through it.
  • Vegas is a good idea.
  • Let your spouse make you laugh.
  • Your kids will be very different from each other, but you’ll love them endlessly.
  • You don’t need to justify your choices to anyone else.
  • Get chickens sooner, they will bring joy.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Keep reading stories.
  • Go for more walks & runs. Take in the scenery.
  • Forgive others, but also forgive yourself.
  • You’re stronger than you think.

We’ve been through a lot in the last 28 years. Hopefully we will have many more adventures together. Thanks for being with me on this journey, Mr.Frueh. Love you.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

The Speed of Life…

I’ve been trying to write on Wednesdays, but the “speed of life” has been pretty rapid lately. I finally realized it was Thursday already, and decided to write a quick post. (well, maybe not quick)

I remember (when I was a kid), the school year seemed like it would take forever. I remember thinking my kids would have never sleep through the night when they were little. Some points in our lives it feels like things are moving in slow motion. Then I blinked, and one boy is 20 and the other is 16. There are men in the photos that used to have little boy grins and buzz cut hairstyles. As nostalgic as I can be for the past, and how quickly it has gone, I’m excited for the future. I’m excited to see where life takes them. I’m their biggest fan (in my opinion), and I’ll be cheering them on through every stage of life.

We don’t see the playbook or the plan. We don’t know the twists and turns ahead… for them or for ourselves. I’ve often said that I’m not a fan of “where do you see yourself in 5 years,” because I never thought I’d be where I am. I also didn’t think our son would be in Montana and the other one would have a You Tube show. I’m so proud of them, and even though I have some regrets about my past, I’m excited for our future.

Last week, we went to Fargo for an improv comedy show. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. Right after that, our youngest went to the State DECA competition, where he was in the final round. He’s planning out classes for next year, all while starting track, thinking of a summer job, and planning his live show yet this month.

To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I think it depends on why it seems like it’s going fast – is it exciting? Is it stressful? Are you overwhelmed or just trying to add a bunch of things into your calendar? Can we be busy and happy, or is it one or the other? I think that’s up to you to decide.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Whatever speed your life is at right now, may you be happy and blessed.

Traveled down the road and back again…

Sorry I missed last week. Ironically, I didn’t write because I was learning more about writing. I’m taking a class in the evening and learning about writing copy. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a class with homework, but I finished my first assignment. I also got caught up on the lessons last weekend. I have great respect for people who go back to school (after many years) while working and still doing all of the other life things. It’s certainly not easy. It has sparked my creativity and excitement for something new. Anyway, that’s the long version of why I didn’t write here last week.

I was thinking a lot about friendship this past weekend also. Isn’t it interesting how we become friends as adults? Kids just go up to someone and start playing a game or give them a cool rock… that’s their new friend. Adults try to find someone they have a lot in common with. Maybe we meet online or through a mutual friend. Maybe we meet at a community event or our kids are in the same activity. Maybe we are neighbors or meet at a retreat. There are so many options, but the next step is also varied. Do you just visit at the common event or do you speak outside of that venue also? Do you text, call or follow on social media? How often should you communicate? What’s appropriate to share? When do you consider yourself friends?

I’ve had friends come and go. It’s not always easy to part ways. Sometimes it’s a move to a different city or a different job that changes your friendship. Sometimes it’s a different opinion or even a loss of that common bond. I’ve thought I was someone’s friend before, but they made it clear that I was just a client or just an employee. Sometimes it’s hard to accept if you’re not the one initiating the separation. I’ve heard someone say, “bless and release them,” and I try to remember this when I feel bad. People come in and out of our lives for various reason. It may be for friendship, for learning what we do (or don’t) like, or even for creating a connection with someone else. It’s interesting how many different communities we can be a part of all at one time. As I go through my certification course and learn more about writing and publishing, I will likely meet some new “friends,” and inherently we will have at least one thing in common – writing. I’m excited to see what connections form as a result. Even thought I am not super outgoing, I am welcoming this opportunity. It’s a good time for me to take these classes since my evenings aren’t yet spent outside. It’s also a step outside of my comfort zone.

Soon, the snow will melt and the garden will be ready to plant. Just as we plant the seeds for the garden, we can plant seeds for friendships and connections. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Thank you for being a friend.

If you give a mom a mission….

You’ve probably seen or read the books “If you Give a Pig a Pancake,” or “If You Give a Moose a Muffin,” by Laura Numeroff. There are at least 9 books with a similar theme. They are super cute and catchy. This past weekend they kept going through my mind. Why would I be thinking of random children’s books? Taxes. I was supposed to be doing taxes.

Since we have a side business, Frueh Market, and I am also a Norwex consultant on the side, our taxes are a little more complicated than they used to be. The idea of it being overwhelming prompts a kind of avoidance feeling… I want to do anything but that task. So here is my Saturday/Sunday version of “If you give a mom a mission…”

If you give a mom a mission (doing taxes), she will want to make sure she does a great job. Since taxes are overwhelming, she will look for some cocoa to drink while she does this task. When she goes to get the cocoa, she notices that some corn syrup spilled on the lazy Susan. She will see that it has made other things sticky, so she takes everything off the shelf. She finds some things she no longer needs, and some things that have expired, so she starts to throw what she doesn’t need. She sees the sugar container, and that reminds her that she has some red M&M’s left. She decides to make some cookies with them. Since the sugar was on the other shelf, she decided to clean off that shelf also. While she is cleaning off the other shelf, she sees cocoa powder, which reminds her she came into the kitchen to get cocoa. The cocoa will make her think of spices, so she will decide to clean her spice cabinet also. While she is in the spice cabinet, she sees some Italian seasoning which reminds her that she has a large Italian seasoning in the other lazy Susan. She will start to combine spices, and will see the red pepper flakes. The red pepper flakes will remind her of her chickens. So, she will go give water and treats to her chickens. Her chickens will remind her of the farm and the fact that she needs to do her taxes. While she is looking for some receipts, she will find some papers she no longer needs. She will decide to go through the stack of papers and burn what she doesn’t need. As she is throwing papers, she will notice her carpet needs to be vacuumed. She will vacuum her office and decide she needs to vacuum the bedroom also. In order to vacuum the bedroom, she will need to clean some things off the floor. While she is picking things up off the floor, she will remember she was going to put away some Christmas sweaters. Christmas sweaters will make her think of giving, which will make her think of donations, which will make her think of taxes.

On and on it went throughout the weekend. Tuesday night, I completed most of the tax prep and finalized it today. In the meantime, I got 4 shelves of Lazy Susan cleaned, the spice cabinet, my office, carpets, silverware drawer, medicine cabinets, closet and more. Some of these things I’ve held onto for too many years. It was a relief to get rid of some clutter, donate things, and do some pre-spring cleaning! If you came to my house now, you wouldn’t know I cleaned, but I could give you a cookie.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. And, if you want to get some projects done, tell yourself you’re going to do taxes!

Be fabulous…

This fabulous, tutu wearing, glitter crowned, dancing chicken hangs in my office. It’s a card I got for my birthday. It makes me smile and reminds me that we can all be fabulous. She reminds me of my chicken, Sesame. Yes, my chickens have worn tutus. In fact, there is a video of them running around with tutus and I was laughing so hard while filming that I literally almost fell to the ground in the woods.

How often do you underestimate yourself? How many times do you avoid something new because it’s scary? Fear of failure or rejection, imposter syndrome, lack of self confidence… all those things try to keep us small. We wonder if we are enough. We may miss out on life.

Our youngest son has a You Tube show “The Unspecified Show.” He started it last year when he was 15. He has adjusted and improved and now he has added a podcast (Be Unspecified Podcast). At 16, he’s more brave than many adults. He took a chance, and he’s fabulous. He has learned new skills, advocated for himself, met with businesses, had a float in the parade, is working on an adopt a highway section, and has grown his audience. I am so proud of him.

He has inspired me to reach further myself. I am working on self-publishing a book and starting a another project also. It’s going to be fabulous. I’m going to learn, grow and meet new people. Is it scary? Yep, yes it is. I don’t want to be left with “what if’s.” Life is short, make it great!

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Have a fabulous day!

Introvert super powers…

I was wondering what to write about this week, then it hit me. BAM 💥. Well, not really… but I was talking with a friend of mine who is much more of an extrovert, and a lightbulb went off. She was talking about her husband, who is more of an introvert, and what his “introvert superpowers” were. What a great way to look at it! I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an introvert is a curse, but looking at it as being a super power?? That sounds way more fun.

Society tries to make introverts into extroverts, but it rarely goes the other way around. In the spirit of embracing these traits, I thought I’d share. So, here are some of my introvert super powers.

I am always observing and collecting data. Ok, this is true aside from when I’m grocery shopping. Then I literally won’t see you because I’m focused on my task. But normally, I’m taking it all in. I scan the room to see where to stand. I observe the safest place to sit. Do I know anyone? Who seems the most welcoming? Do we have anything in common? What do they think of me? Can I see/hear ok without being up front? Can I escape easily if I start coughing or need to get out? It’s one of the reasons that big crowds make introverts so drained. This and 1,000 other questions and scenarios and data gathering goes on at an event with a bunch of people.

I am a giver. If you’re in my circle, I will gift you things, send you things or offer to do things for you. It’s apparently my love language and it’s a way of sharing myself (my time and talent etc). I’ll send a note in the mail or send flowers or drop off some cookies. I don’t expect anything in return. How great is that??

I’m a good listener. Many introverts don’t lead the conversation. We listen. We are good at asking questions to make you talk about yourself. We (I) will interject a personal story to show connection & that we are listening. We are not trying to imply our story is more important. It’s our way of relating.

I’m sometimes better at writing than speaking, but it depends. If you get me talking about something I love, I’m very animated and not very introverted. I will sometimes over share and immediately regret it. I will replay our conversations in my head over and over. I will analyze what I should have said if I’m in person. If I’m writing, there is always the delete button. I love writing.

I’m not opposed to meeting new people, I just have a selective circle. Although I despise ice breakers, I will do them. Occasionally, I will meet someone I click with. I will usually think I’m not good enough to start with, so I can be a little needy (needing reassurance that I’m accepted.)

I have a wealth of knowledge regarding movie quotes. I’ve watched a lot of movies and can quote many of them. It’s a second language in my house. So if you need me for trivia, movies would be my category!

I’m an excellent planner. Aside from sandpaper or electronics, I love to plan trips, parties, weddings etc. I love the organization of it and trying to make it a memorable event. (This is me flipping the “bossy” or “anal” trait into something positive.)

How awesome would it be if we started embracing our differences? If we looked at our limitations as super powers instead of burdens? How empowering! I’m thankful for my friend who helped me see the positive, wether she knew it or not.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you find your super power – introvert or not.

Everybody sleeps…

My cat was happy to be a “sleep model.” It’s something he excels at. Growing up in the 70’s/80’s, Sesame Street was frequently on after school. I can still remember the song, “Everybody Sleeps.” I feel like it was supposed to encourage kids by letting them know that sleep was good and normal and everyone had to sleep, even animals.

About a week ago, I started feeling crummy (fever, sore throat & cough.) I could hardly get out of bed. I slept all of the next day, was weak and had no appetite. Assuming it was influenza, but wanting to be sure, my husband took me to the clinic. A lovely nose swab later, I learned I had Covid. This is the first time I’ve had it throughout the pandemic (that I’m aware of.) I was pretty miserable for a few days, then mainly tired with lingering cough. For some reason, the “Everybody Sleeps” song went through my head a lot. Maybe it was a way of telling myself it was OK to rest. I kind of felt like a caterpillar in a messy cocoon. The days blurred together amidst dreams and thoughts. Most of this week I’ve been moving in slow motion. I’m feeling much better now and I’m glad to have more energy.

The illness forced me to ask for help, to say no to things I wanted to do, and to just rest. Everybody sleeps, but everybody gets sick or has struggles too. Sometimes we forget there are more things that we have in common than things that divide us. If you’re going through a caterpillar time, allow yourself some rest. It’s ok to pause. I only wish I slept as soundly as my cat.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough.