Monday, January 13, 2020

Moving Forward, I'm Looking Back

Moving forward, I'm looking back and goals and aspirations from my past and it's very interesting to me to see how long I have had many of the same goals. On one hand, it makes me realize that I am not doing enough to see some of the simpler things all the way to fruition. On the other hand, I can also see how far I have come personally and how far we've come as a family. A couple of nights ago Dave and I went to bed as we usually do, watched the news and then snuggled in to fall asleep. Typically, Dave is sound asleep in seconds and it takes me a little longer to quiet my mind and actually fall asleep. Not this night, I tossed and turned, the dogs were bothering me being on the bed, I could hear Spencer breathing like he was panting right in my ear, and I just couldn't get comfortable. I stayed in bed trying to talk myself to sleep until I just couldn't do it anymore. I was thinking about my next career as a speaker and that I have my subject matter all wrong, at least my introductory subject matter. I got up and started digging into my old ZipperBack Gloves and Intentional Winning blogs and guess what I found? A post from 10/22/2010 that read -

Yep, It's True...I Have Doubts.

While talking to my friend Alice this week, I admitted to her that I have trouble telling people my dreams and aspirations. I could feel her bewilderment across the phone line. I went on to explain that in junior high and high school I tried out for cheerleading every year and never made the squad. I never told anyone about the tryouts, or really talked about it at all, but I went ahead and tried out never really believing I could make the team. Guess what? I never made the team. Some of my girlfriends that did make the squad did nothing but talk about try-outs. Everyone knew they were practicing, creating routines, and couldn't do this or that because they had to practice for try-outs. I just couldn't bring myself to tell people I wanted to be a cheerleader as I thought they would think I wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough, or who-knows-what enough!

Fast forward to today. My dream is to make my living as a Speaker teaching my Intentional Winning concepts, sharing my journey as an Entrepreneur with ZipperBack Gloves, and right now educating folks about loan modification. As I speak up (pun intended!) and share with people that I want to speak, as soon as they ask for my resume or ask for samples of my work, I cower. I find myself right back in that 15-year-old girl’s body feeling like I'm not enough. I know I'm enough! I know I'm a dynamic speaker with wonderful, useful things to share.

My point to all of this is that no matter how self-assured one is, there is always room for doubt. The trick is to send it on its way as soon as it pops up. When I recently had someone ask for my speaking resume, I waited to reply. I waited to let my knee-jerk, insecure reaction subside so I could send a reply that depicts the real me, me that is qualified to speak on their radio show. I sent them an excellent reply. I didn't get the gig, but I didn't back out either, so to me, that's a win!

It's okay to have doubts and feel fear as long as you can also feel sure and confident when faced with the former. You can, I know you can because I can and I'm no different than you are. We are all magnificent and more than enough!

Here we are 9+ years later and only last year did I make significant strides toward that goal of being a paid speaker. Yes, paid! It's time this year for me to make my dreams a priority. I've set Mason up to be any kind of success he wants to be, it's now up to him to create the forward momentum. That's true for Dave as well, he's now retired and in the driver's seat to steer his dream-machine wherever he wants to go. It's a strange feeling to be standing here at this point in my life and realize that nobody really needs me, I can do the things I want to do, for me. Don't misunderstand, our family is tight and of course, we need each other, but not in the same dependant way it's been in the past. 

Today I am not going to be that insecure young girl, I am going to not only talk about my dreams and aspirations, but I am also going to take the actions that move me toward them. While I was reading back on my life, I was also feeling inspired and making notes of the things I can do right now to make those dreams not come true, come true. Does that sound familiar? That is the very premise of Intentional Winning in Life, sharing with others that there are things one can do right now to start moving in the direction of their dreams. It's 2020, it's time to start taking my own advice and walking the walk. Just watch me make this happen!

Monday, January 6, 2020

A Recap of 2019

Happy New Year! I’m really excited about 2020 and I’m already off to a great start. I’ll share more about that momentarily, as I want to reflect on last year and the clear theme that made it’s way through my life in 2019 and that is Reunion.

I found significant relationships from my past come back around to be active in my life again. All three of the people I’m writing about are very special to me but none as much as Micheal J., the child I gave up for adoption 29 years ago. I’ve shared the story of how this came to be in earlier posts so you can see details there but Michael was the first of what would be 3 reunions last year. Our relationship has been growing and I’m so happy to say it’s been very easy. We’ve talked openly and continue to work toward a relationship that is more normal than weird, LOL!

The next reunion was with who was once one of my best friends, Elli. Back in 1998 I did something that hurt her immensely, so deeply that she severed our friendship. I was devastated and I wasn’t sure what I could do at the time to try to make it right. I certainly learned a number of lessons but the price was high, I missed this woman so many times through the years. It’s no surprise that we have mutual friends and occasionally I would see her in social media threads and this last September, I sent her a private message asking if we could be friends again. She was incredibly gracious and agreed to have a conversation with me. I may have had just enough tequila to give me the courage to send that original private message but I’m so glad I did. We made time to talk on the phone and it felt as if no time had passed at all. I am so sincerely grateful for her willingness to let the past be in the past and welcome a new beginning in the present.

Finally, our family recently reunited with our longtime friend Mike B. Mike wanted to reunite a year ago and I just wasn’t ready. It wasn’t until our anniversary in November that I was watching our wedding video and watched the footage of me speaking to why it was significant that Mike gave me away when I married Dave. It made me so sad and mad that I reached out to him via text. That lead to a conversation, and then a meal with our family, to Mike joining us at our annual Friends Thanksgiving. It was really nice having him there, but it will take some time to heal wounded hearts. There is finally a willingness (on my part) so that means there is hope for a new normal, it will never be the same but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be good.

I’ve said it many times through the years but never lived it quite to this degree, Don’t put a period where God has intended a comma. It’s hard to imagine sometimes when relationships end, or people hurt us that there could come a time that we could make amends and come back together. I’m grateful for being forgiven and I’m very willing to forgive, I think this is a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome 2020.

As far as the new year, I’m off to a great start. I’ve already co-produced an event, moderated a panel of speakers, sent in two applications to speak later this year, and wrote my first real estate offer for 2020 - and it's only January 6th!  I have big plans to really figure out what is going on with my health (is it menopause or something more?), I’m super busy with real estate and it’s possible we can be debt free before June 1st, and I plan on booking at least 3 paid speaking engagements this year. Oh, and I’m going to get my book written, come hell or high-water I’m making it happen. What’s on tap for you this year? Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year Tradition - Peppermint Whipped Cream Cake

Happy New Year! Welcome, 2020. We ate cake! My traditional white cake with peppermint whipped cream & crushed candy canes and new this year, chocolate cake with peppermint ganache and whipped cream. I’m not exactly sure that this tradition was intentional but I do know that the first one was for the new year 2014. I baked it because I wanted to make something light, bright, and energizing and there was no other flavor that could fill that order except peppermint. Whipped cream keeps it light, and the candy canes, to me, are bright. This cake is not really sweet at all, in fact, it may disappoint some but I love it! You can make it sweeter if you want by simply adding more sugar when you whip the cream, but I like it light and bright. Want the recipe? Here you go, consider it my gift to you to say, “Happy New Year!” This photo is actually the very first peppermint new year cake I made in 2014.

Kathy's New Year Peppermint Cake
1 box white cake mix
4 eggs (whites only)
1 1/4 C milk
1/3C oil
1 Qt Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4C sugar (more to taste)
8-10 Candy Canes - crushed
2-4 TBS Peppermint extract

*Mix and bake the cake to package directions making the changes I note below. I add an extra egg (whites only if you want your cake really white) and use milk instead of water as it gives a box mix a more homemade flavor. Bake the cake to box directions. *Once the cake cools put it in the freezer for at least an hour, overnight is even better. 
*Whip heavy cream with 1/2 - 3/4C sugar, and 1 TBS peppermint extract. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. 
*Crush candy canes, set aside. 
*Slice both rounds in half and start stacking them on a cake plate. Spread a layer of whipped cream and then sprinkle crushed candy canes on the whipped cream and continue doing this until you put the top of the cake on. Ice the whole cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle the rest of the crushed candy canes on top or wherever you want them. 
*I have silver star confetti that I use for my New Year cake because it makes me happy, but it's pretty with just the candy canes.

Modifications -  You can add 1 to 2 TBS peppermint extract to the cake mix if you want more peppermint flavor overall.

*The cake is easier to handle/ice when it’s frozen and it actually makes the cake more moist when it’s time to eat. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

It's the Eve of New Years Eve

Another new year is upon us, and I know they must really be going faster when my now 16 year old son is noting how fast 2019 went. Christmas was a whirlwind and it was less fun than years past because it seemed as if there was all the same amount of stuff to do only not as much time to do it all.

Of course I knew this would be the case when we decided to take a 15 day cruise from December 3rd to the 18th, but I don't think I really knew how much there would be to do. More so is the pressure I tend to feel because I am the only one in my family who does not truly enjoy all the store bought gifts that make up the bulk of the holiday for most people, including Dave and Mason. All of you who know us, you know Dave is a shopper, Mason is a kid (Christmas = gifts), and I would rather tap into all the feels of the season. Some of those feels can be a gift, but more so for me it's the baking, the decorating cookies, making ornaments, decorating the tree, watching the Hallmark Christmas programs, and trying to find a gift or two that will really touch the recipient, maybe even evoke some real emotion. What happens is, we gather around the tree on Christmas morning and there are easily 5 gifts for me, 5 for Mason to every 1 gift for Dave - it feels awful! Dave says he doesn't care but a day or two later he will talk to the dog (with me sitting right there with them) and say, "Papa didn't get any candy in his stocking..." Grrrr! He says he doesn't care, but he does.

I made it clear a number of years ago that I just financially cannot keep up with the gift-giving rivalry and that I didn't want to even try. Mason gives us a list and more often than not, one gift will wipe out the gift budget and there likely is not money to buy 2 or 3 of his suggested gifts. I stopped hounding the boys to not shop for themselves after Halloween (for fear that I already purchased a gift and then they would purchase it for themself and spoil my gift come Christmas) and told them that I would buy them something if it really spoke to me for them or I would give the way I want to give... and sometimes that gift may be the gift of nothing. Yes, it's a real gift!

I can't tell you how many times I've purchased fun little things for Mason only to find them in his garbage can or the box to donate to Goodwill a few weeks after Christmas. Really?! The last two years I bought Dave really thoughtful gifts, things he had mentioned on numerous occasions he would like to have, one was a metal detector and the other was for his birthday the following June, 2 fishing poles. The metal detector didn't come out of the box until after his birthday, and that was when I gave him the fishing poles. He has not used the metal detector yet (Mason took it out of the box), and the fishing poles are collecting dust in the garage. He will argue that he doesn't have time to use them but it's common knowledge that we all have the same 24 hours in a day and Dave no longer works full time. Does this hurt my feelings? A little bit, but it more so validates that we don't need all the things and in fact, we don't even really want them. We think we want them, but truth be told, what Dave spends his time doing is socializing with his friends, he spends his time at Pete's watching football with the other fans, and the same when Football is not in season and NASCAR is on. We have a full bar at home with a kegerator and the NFL ticket. He's hungry for the social time, the comradery, and even the rivalry between teams and or drivers.

Isn't it ironic that I want to celebrate Christmas with my people doing the things that we have come to love about the season (holidays) and he wants things, though he doesn't use the things because he wants to spend his days with his people sharing the things that they love about the season (football/NASCAR)? For the record, Dave gets really meaningful and thoughtful gifts, he just typically gets so many of them! LOL! This year he bought a recreation of my favorite dog Riley... it's strangely awesome. I went to WalMart and bought Dave 5 boxes of Mike N Ike Sours and even though they weren't in his stocking, he seemed pleased to have his own candy. It's a small price to pay to make my man happy and now we can put Christmas away for another year.

In other fun news, the film Mason shot over 2 years ago has finally been released in theatres across the country, APParition is a thriller based on the true story of the events at Preston Castle in Ione, CA. Seven boys went missing and Mason played one of the boys in the reform school. We've been able to see it in a few early premieres and it's really something to be proud of. I don't think Mason will keep working in the film industry, but this film gave him a real taste of what that looks like. I'm glad he got to have the opportunity, it was fun for all of us.

I wish you a happy new year and smooth roads to whatever goals or resolutions you may see for yourself. I know I have big plans for myself in 2020 and us Partaks have some pretty exciting things on tap as well. I'll share more about all of that in January. Welcome 2020!

Monday, December 23, 2019

It's the Eve of Christmas Eve

This has been the craziest holiday season ever! Having been gone December 3rd -18th has left Dave and I only 5 days until Christmas Eve, only 5 days! I would like to have been more prepared prior to December 3rd, but no, work schedules were just not allowing for time to prep for Christmas. I was literally working up until we got off the Bay bridge in San Francisco to be dropped off at the pier to board the ship. Thank goodness for hot spots so laptops work in the car.

The Hawaiian cruise was lovely, but truth be told, it was too long. Maybe I feel that way because it was the two weeks before Christmas, or it may be that I am not a Sailor, I don't love being on the water for extended periods of time. I have friends who live on a sailboat, others who vacation every year on sailboats in the Caribbean, and of course those who love the cruise industry. We did a Disney cruise a number of years ago and I loved it! It was only 4 days so there was just enough time to really discover all the things to do on the ship and then we were back in Florida ready to do a little more Disney with our land-legs. In any case, I'm glad we went, being on 4 islands and all 4 beaches in 4 days was bliss. The 5 days back to the states created forced relaxation for Dave and I, we slept late, watched movies, read magazines and books, and even napped during the day if we felt like it.

Now we're home, the tree is not all the way decorated, my cookies are not done, I still have shopping and wrapping to do and who knows if it will get done. I'm feeling the pressure of our differences in what Christmas looks like, Dave and Mason love our traditions (as do I), but they love the gifts aspect of Christmas way more than I do. I don't buy gifts out of obligation, I want to buy a gift that speaks to me for you... not a candle or a bottle of body wash because I can't show up empty handed. Let me show up empty handed and let my gift be my presence, our time together. I know it's the gift for me, to get to spend time with you.

So here we go, I am doing some baking today even though I know I won't be able to decorate my cookies before Christmas. It's okay, I'll decorate them between now and the new year and it will be just fine. And with that said, let me share a cookie making tip with you all, I can't believe it took me this long to figure this out! Merry Christmas...

If you like this tip, subscribe to me on YouTube and follow me on Instagram for more useful information coming in the new year. Big smiles!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Mason Made Desserts for Dutch Bros. Holiday Party

I couldn’t be more proud of Mason! He did the desserts for the Dutch Bros holiday party tonight, he did it completely on his own and did the Dutch gingerbread as a bonus gift to Heather. I love that she trusted him with something so important, I hope she was happy. It all looked great and though I’m not home to taste any of it, I know his truffle recipe because it's the one Dave uses that originated with our friend Theresa. Finally, the orange-cranberry cupcakes are my recipe so I know they are good. He even sugared fresh cranberries!

Though I'm sorry I'm not home to help Mason with his Dutch Bros order, I've had the time of my life on this trip with Dave, Lisa, David, and Lisa's mom and her husband. I'm so inspired to make 2020 crazy amazing along with Jennifer Smith Taggard. It's time to see some of those bright ideas to fruition. With that said, I am ready to be home with Mason and the dogs and enjoy the rest of the holiday season as we see 2019 off and ring in 2020. What about you, what are you looking forward to in the coming weeks?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Our Hawaiian Cruise

We made it on the ship and ready to set sail! I have worked so diligently and hard for the last two weeks leading up to set sail today. If I could work like that every day, can you even imagine what kind of life I could be living? LOL! Frankly, if I worked every day like I’ve been doing, I would have no time to enjoy my life and my people. Not to mention the pace I was keeping was grueling. I’m not sad to be through that almost impossible list of things to do. It did remind me however what I am actually capable of. In any case, we are here and I’m ready to have some fun and get to vacationing.

The first 4 days on the ocean, we were rocking & rolling pretty constantly since we left San Francisco and I'm not talking about music. Jules would have been in heaven while I would like a break from the Princess (Cruises) Ride! I didn’t get officially seasick, but I was eating Dramamine a bit like candy. I should have planned better and purchased it at less than $8 for 6 tablets. 

We did have plenty of fun participating in the activities and games on the ship. We not only played music trivia, but we also gambled in the casino, we both played in tournaments, Lisa and I played in a slot tournament and Dave played in a blackjack tournament, and of course, we saw some shows. We’ve won two of the music-trivia contests, the 80s and Country Music. There's more than one way to drink free on a cruise! #freechampagne #prizeisabottle The Anderson's have been our partners in crime winning the trivia games!

Coming into port early morning at sunrise, I was so ready to feel my land-legs! 
Most of the sunsets were spectacular! This photo from Oahu has no edits or filters. The iPhone 11 Max Pro is amazing! In fact, I tagged Princess Cruises on social media and they asked to use the photo on their social media, website, and marketing, how cool is that?! I’m loving the camera on my new iPhone 11 Pro Max, seriously it changes the phone-camera game. 

Then there was the fall that made my already “not pretty” legs, even more, “not pretty!” Talk about embarrassing... my pride hurt more than my leg. Oh, and for all of us parents that tell our kids peroxide doesn’t hurt, LIAR!! LOL! And yes, it’s been washed with soap twice and the dirt and gravel are ground in for now. I’ll wash, scrub, and disinfect several more times while drinking shots of tequila.

*Island hopping was the best part of the trip and frankly, 15 days was too long for the trip. The 5 days it took to travel from the mainland to the islands and back was just too much time at sea for me. Sailing is not my idea of the ultimate vacation and our Disney cruise was so different than the Princess trip. In any case, I loved the time with the Anderson’s and celebrating Lisa’s and my birthdays were epic. I love those people so very deeply and as some of our very best friends we just don’t get as much time together as I know Lisa and I would like to have. 

*Updated after returning home so the trip is documented in one place, for the most part