Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Next up...Buffalo...

Last weekend was a very busy and productive family weekend in Iowa. Our goal was accomplished.  Quality family time and focus. 

This coming weekend will be no different.  In fact, it will be even more excitement, more family focused and it will undoubtedly provide us with another chapter in the new beginning for the Bauth, Bridgeman and Wingert families.

As I have said, we are very excited and filled with joy and anticipatiion as we head for Buffalo early Thursday morning.  This is certainly one of the biggest milestones I have ever experienced in my life and one we are looking forward to and embark upon with an open mind and heart.  Everyone and everything thing involved leading up to this trip has been filled with love and genuine excitement

As I have blogged over the past several months, these life experiences have been 52 years in the making (the most of  those years all unknown years to me).  Regardless, I cannot change the past or even understand the decisions that were made for me way back then, but I am focused on the future now and I am very excited  to meet all of the members of the Bauth and our extended families. From all of my varied conversations with family over the past few months, all systems are go for this visit and everyone involved is very much looking forward to sharing the experience together as a family and taking it to the next chapter.

My search  for my 'dad,' over the past several years and especially the new experiences with him and my 'new family,' leading up to our visit this weekend, has reminded of the quote from George Moore; "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it." It is right on the mark regarding all of the emotions and other elements that have been experienced and encompassed what 'home' means to me.  They were all a very important part of my search and ultimate discovery.

So, on to the next chapter in this discovery, which is a very inspirational message and story for everyone, all on its own merit. This family discovery reminds me of another quote, where I will leave you today;

"Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter." -- Brad Henry

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Main Thing...a Family Focus

Another busy week at the day job and home life kept me from blogging and I have missed it.  I had to shift my free time focus to family, as they are the ones needing it most these days. 

While we are in excitement mode for our Labor Day trip to Buffalo to reunite with the majority of my newly discovered family, our focus over the past couple of weeks and mostly the past week has been on our family in Iowa.  We will be loading up the SUV up this afternoon in downtown Chicago and heading to Iowa to see Steve's family.  His dad is not doing all that great and we need to ensure our love and focus is for them this weekend.  As with most of us during these types of situations you want to make sure your loved ones know that the time is htere and I need to be sure that Steve knows that too.

When all of us are together in the car, the road trips are usually a hoot as we drive and explore through 8+ hours of rural countryside.   So my inspiring message this weekend for myself and hopefully others will include the need to maintain focus on family when they need it most.  There will certainly be the time to do it.  Of course I adore all of my family and I believe they know that, so it will be fun too.  The reason for focus for myself is that sometimes it is hard to maintain a focus when there are so many important things and events (present and future) that are on the horizon at the same time.  Regardless, I will be to keep Steve and the kids motivated and positive on future family life as we make the long drive.

So, how do we maintain focus on something when there is so much other stuff going on around us?  I ask myself that on a routine basis these days.  I know that it is not about multi-tasking, because that would not be maintaining your focus, but splitting it up and believe that defeats the purpose and others needing your focus will know it too.  I believe that you must put all of the things around you down and make sure your undivided attention is focused on the most important target.

I am fully aware that it is easy to get distracted and loose focus of a your surroundings and maintain the new day of positive thinking for the moment with the amount of distractions that can get in our way (radio, TV, phone ringing, etc.).  What I attempt to do is to go back to my goal. I will shut off and down all the distractions and remind myself of the moment of life where I am at, needed and about the atmosphere that I am trying to create. I also think about what it is that I hope to achieve. Because it can be easy to drift and lose my focus and attention, so I try to live in the present moment only, let one person talk at a time, listen and pay attention.  I will be doing it with care and to the best of  my ability.  As cliche as it may sound, I try to remember that my immature mind hops from one thing to another; and my mature mind seeks to follow through. That usually gets it done.

I often use my private quiet time to assemble my thoughts and remember the important things that are on the horizon and the other things that I need to get done but when I need to make sure my focus is where it needs to be, I do my best to present  in the moment 100% and I will do that for our Iowa family this weekend.

There is an old and very quaint German Proverb that I think about during times like these, which says, "the main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing." And remember; if you find yourself being overwhelmed, it will be time to remember the 'main thing' and regain your focus.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

It has been a couple of days since my last entry.  The Power of Positive Thinking has taken me in a new and unexpected direction recently. 

I had an extraordinarily very busy and productive past weekend for myself and my Blog.  I was blessed with a gift and was selected for an interview with Symphony's "Making a Splash" sponsored by Blog Radio regarding the positive messages I write about on a daily basis.  Symphony is an organization that reports on regular people sending out positive and uplifting messages to people all over the world. The story of discovering my family also got the attention of this broadcast. It was truly a gift to have been selected.

This recent interview made me realize what the years of positive thinking have done for my life time and why I do my best to share that on a daily basis with people, for the most part, I do not even know.  It became crystal clear to me that, much like myself, many people grew up with or experience negative environments on a routine basis.  What I realized, during the unrehearsed interview, was that while it may have seemed to me and yes, even been both daunting and difficult experiences for me as I went through those events in my life time, that I chose to find and project a positive message from them for myself.  Not only that, but I found a way to ensure that I found and shared some form of a 'bright spot' in all things, good, bad or indifferent that have embraced my life.

While I believe that I subconsciously knew it, it finally registered with me that I did this because I knew that negative thoughts will produce negative results and positive thoughts will produce positive results. The result being that the more we focus on a particular thought or emotion the more it tends to manifest and influence our mind and our particular life situation.

This may really seem over simplified way of looking at it, but assure you that it was not as I was going through those experiences.  I don’t think it is a leap of faith to accept the truth about thinking positively and filling our thoughts with those things that we would like to see manifested in our lives. There is just the need to accept that by using positive thought that we will find a way to transform our lives and our circumstances as we go through life.

I believe the key phrase I continued to use throughout the interview was that I never gave up "believing in myself."  No matter what the circumstance, I kept persevering through it. It was that power of believing in myself that really got me through my first radio interview, as I am really not that great at being able to 'brag' about myself or the things I do in life, for myself or for others. I just do them because I enjoy them and they make me feel good.

I have learned that it takes a strong will and commitment to remain positive under all circumstances we are confronted with, in a way that will effectively make a change in your life.  it takes patience; because as we all know things generally don’t happen over night. It isn’t impossible but expect to be in it for the long haul.

We are always in a state of change and these will change as our goals and desires are fulfilled. I know that I as a direct result in maintaining a positive outlook and always believing in myself that I have experienced many wonderful things in my life and I look forward to experiencing many more.

We are divine in our very nature and are entitled by this very nature to have and experience anything we want. To have this, I believe that we must accept ourselves, as truly deserving special beings and the world will be ours for the taking.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Making A Splash A Smile Goes a Long Way w/Mark Bridgeman 08/21 by Symphony Of Peace | Blog Talk Radio

Simply Amazing!

Join Seph Dietlin, Creator of SYMPHONY (A Global Humanitarian Project http://www.symphonyofpeace.com/ ) as he empowers you to “Make A Splash” in the world by “Making A Splash” in yours. SYMPHONY’s goal it to bring you inspiring people who uplift humanity. Whether it is the green and sustainability movement, self empowerment, or the quickly expanding world of heart centered enterprise, we wish to inspire YOU to realize YOUR potential and in so doing make an important improvement in the world. In this episode we have the exicting opportunity to get to know Mark Bridgeman, Father, Ex-Military service and author of the blog "Believe and Inspire." ( http://believeinspire.blogspot.com/) Mark has overcome cancer and other adversity in life to discover a passion for inspiring others to believe in themselves, which he expresses through his blog. Join us for inspiring and insightful wisdom from a man who lives to tell!

Listen to internet radio with Symphony Of Peace on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hope is faith...

Hope; I'd venture to say that we all have it in our hearts and desire to maintain it in our lives.  So what is is, really?

I believe that hope is a desire for something to happen, while expecting or being confident that it will come true. Hope also implies a certain amount of perseverance, believing that something is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary. Hope may be directed toward something minor or towards something extremely significant in our lives. "False hope" to me would be hoping for something that is extremely unlikely or unrealistic.

Like all of you, I have hope, faith and believe in my family's incredible future that lies before us, that all of our children will all find and achieve their place in the world that they have dreamed of all their lives  But through it all, I maintain the courage necessary to comfort any disappointment.  Why courage? It is quite simple really; courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.

I try to keep the hope in my heart alive, my dreams realistic and my fear to a minimum. I believe that each of us start each day out with a very strong desire or 'hope' that how we want or plan to have the day or event happen for us, our families, or at our place of employment, will become our reality. What I have to remember for myself is not to despair over an event that does may not go my way. I have to remember that hope helps us see the invisible, feel the intangible and if we believe strongly enough, it can achieve the impossible.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Some near and dear to me called me "a brave man" today because I stood up for my family, my principles, and that I was sincere when I wrote in a letter that I believed in myself. 

From my own experiece, as well as that of others I am close to, when it comes to finding meaning in life nothing fuels us more than standing up for what we believe in. Far too often people let themselves get bullied into submission, sway to popular opinion, or let the ignorant rant of one person force them to question their own beliefs.  I had to ask myself, does it really take someone to be 'brave,' to stand firm in their beliefs?  I was quick to realize that because of the ways of our society and the teachings of the world, there are times that it really does take bravery.

When something matters, when something needs to change, I have learned that there will always be some kind of opposition, or someone in opposition along the path. Some may truly be surprising. What I realized over my lifetime is that the only way to make change is to 'steel the wool,' is to be honest and deal with adverse opinions head on. I believe that you will never get anywhere in this world unless you stand by your words, enforce them with your actions, and be willing to have those hard conversations.  Keep in mind that those hard conversations may be with family, friends and perhaps even some of your greatest opponents. Without dealing with them and facing it head on, you won’t earn the respect of your supporters if you don’t.

My 'bravery' was a simple letter letting someone I love know that. I am who I am and that no matter what they or society may believe in their hearts to be " right," that I am faithful and loyal to my partner, family, the special one that we have created together and that they are my life.  I shared my views on mutual respect in all things that can be challenged by the other and that what really mattered in the end, was love.  Without love, none of us in our family would be here today to enjoy the miracles that we are blessed with today. 

It was a simple message of love and respect, but a very difficult one to put into words and share.  Difficult because we all have dreams and with our dreams always comes some level of risk that our dreams may not end up where we may want them to be.  This is reality, but a dream come true nonetheless.  A dream, because of the bravery we possessed in order no not surrender our principles and belief in ourselves, no matter the consequence, and to do it out of pure love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Best Friends...

Today's Blog is for all of the friends of the world.  I am very honored to have such wonderful friends in my life.  They have been there for me through thick and thin.  I do my very best to return the favor as much as humanly possible and to be there for them whenever and wherever I am needed. 

As  write this I am reminded of something I read when I was younger, "Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go." These are very simple words, but none that could more true. The friends I have made over my lifetime and loyal and the manners my mother taught me speak volumes about who I am as a person and friend.

With all of the Hallmark holidays we have in the world, I wonder how many of you knew that today was Best Friend's Day?  Who knew? What I have learned through my life about being a good friend cannot be that much different than anyone else.

I've learned and truly believe that it is about being reliable, kind hearted and thoughtful. If you're willing to be there through the hard times, stand up for your friend and to share your thoughts and cares with a friend, then you'll develop and maintain a friendship that endures and is reciprocated in kind.

I've also learned that having a good friend isn't about who you knew the longest, but who never left your side.  Someone that understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.

One of the most amazing experiences in my life was becoming a parent and a becoming a friend for them to confide in too.  I know that many of you will agree with me when I say that there are times that you must put the parenting aside and provide a good ear, a friend's ear, in order to hear your kids out and be sure not pass judgment on them. There is a dual reward in it for you.  I believe that not only will there be less stress in the situtation for you, the parent, that you will look at the situation through a different lense.  A lense that allows you to see part of yourself live within your children. I also believe and have learned by doing so, that our kids will learn to have more self confidence with this approach and end up making more enriched and well thought out choices.  Not only that, but we have taught our children the true value and meaning of friendship.

Nothing in life is easy and it isn't given to most of us on a silver platter.  We have to learn our way through each process.  Being a good friend is no different.  So, as we celebrate friends of the world today, I would like to suggest three things for all of us to stop, recognize and make part of this process.

Live by the golden rule. Always treat a friend as you would want to be treated. Don't do or say anything that you wouldn't want done to you. Be there through thick and thin as long as that is how you feel as a true friend. Don't begrudge everything as a favor that has to be repaid immediately. 

Don't use your friends as a measure of your worth – you have value.

Seek to deepen your friendship over time. The more you are with one another, the less you idealize each other and the more you accept one another for who you really are. This is what being a truly good friend is really about – caring deeply for each other, warts and all.

Your own behavior can model what makes a good friend. When others, including your own friends see you being loyal, caring, and thoughtful to all of your friends, it can only solidify the importance to them what it means to have you as a good friend.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Faith; The Puzzle of Understanding it and Maintainig it...

Faith.  A word that has several meanings to all of us and for many different reasons. For example, faith in God, faith in family, faith friends, faith that all things are possible and faith that all people are genuine and good.

In addition, for myself, faith is not only about my religious beliefs and feelings, but about maintaining faith in something or someone, despite the potential of obstacles that may end up in our way.  Those can even include someone else and/or their own belief system and faith.  Regardless, from my own personal experience, faith it is definitely something the courageous focus on daily.

I blog about faith today for myself, as well as for every member of my family, near, far, old and new.  I think we all need to keep our focus of faith clear.  No matter how you look at it, we all want and need the same things.  Getting there may be different for us, but in the end, it is about having faith.  However, today, I know that I need to maintain my focus for them and myself, but more for myself.  I know that I was brought to the date and time for a reason. Part of that reason belongs to my persistence, belief and faith in myself.  So, I admit that Ifind myself really focused now, so that I do not veer off course.

In a series of calls yesterday evening and early this morning, there was news of unfortunate family ill health, stress and strain. While certainly no different that any other family, some of these seemed to involve issues of our own creation, perhaps because of what was said, or even that personal faith may have been misplaced at that moment.  Regardless, stress created from ourselves about 'unknown' road blocks that we allow to get in the way, will only result in more distance and difficulty in maintaining both personal, as well as family joy and happiness. 

From time to time, I find that I need to dig deep within myself to maintain my faith, in almost all personal areas I described above.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Not only did I have to work hard to keep myself on course, I had to talk others off a bridge, at the same time I needed to maintain believing in my own faith. 

I found myself reaching out yesterday to the memory of a very wise and my wonderful mother.  I wondered what she would say to me about all of these things, as well as my feelings about them.  Despite her faults and secrets, we all have them, she was a woman before her time.  She was a very fair and open minded woman, and she could always see the "bright spot" in any situation.  She always had a reason to share as to why her kids must find a way to persevere, whether it be through a puddle, or a full on ocean of pain and despair.  She was the best example of a woman who fought until the bitter end in what she believed about in her life.  Those thoughts and memories worked.  I was able to not only stay on my own path, but I believe I  believe I might have found a way to talk the others off their bridge of confusion and despair.

As in all things we do in life, there will be uncertainty that we will face in order to get where we are going.  That very wise mother of mine once told me "never find yourself worrying about those things, people, or the 'whatever,' that you know nothing about...: What I always surmised from this philosophy of hers was to just let life happen and deal with the pieces of the puzzle as you know what they are, so you can then put them in their proper place.  So, while not an easy path, I know; I've never chosen the easy path, I intend to use her wisdom more often, especially as I go forward into the unknown this month and into the beginning of next.  Along with this, I will maintain my faith in all things. Including, God, myself, family, that all people are good and that things are possible as long as you believe.  All I can ask of all of you, is that you do your best to do the same.  No doubt we will all be much better people for it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Confidence in Self

Self confidence is a very simple thing for all of us.  All you have to do is believe in yourself and be yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt's famous quote "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent" has resonated with me since I first read it several years ago.  I carry these words with me in everything I do each day. In reality by being ourselves, we put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. All you have to do is truly believe that.

For some near and dear to me, I know that their daily work lives are filled with negative comments and even being told that they are inferior at what they do.  Having been there once or twice in my day, I know that hearing it over and over again can begin to make it easy to think that there might be some relevance to it.  I say do not give into it.  You may have to hear it, as it is said in your presence, but that does not make it real. If you really stop to think about it and rationalize it, the real issue is not with you, but with the person who is saying it to you.  From my own experience, I believe when something like this happens, that it is evidence that their own self confidence is being tested, or even completely absent and they believe that projecting it on to you removes it from them.  How wrong they are.

The very reason I started this blog nearly two years ago was for me to find a way to project positive inspiration into my world because it seemed to be lacking around the various corners I would turn.  As I mentioned above, when you start to hear more and more of it, no matter where you turn, there needs to be a way or outlet to devalue it.  This was my way for myself and my hope for some others too.

Norman Vincent Peale once said; "People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.

I challenge you to be as remarkable as you know you can be, by just being who you are.  Don't change a thing about yourself, unless it is something that you know you need to do for your own personal growth or ongoing improvement as a human being.

And always remember that  "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting through the Storm...It is all About Attitude

Attitude!  I keep a good and positive one most of the time.  However, I picked up the paper this morning to read on my commute and it was loaded with very negative, sorrowful news and stories of hopelessness.  With the press sensationalizing all of the negativity going on around us, it really is difficult to keep a smile on our faces, hope in our hearts and a positive attitude with each and every day. 

Many of us find peace and tranquility in a prayer, focusing in the good and always the promise that tomorrow will be a better day. No matter what, we need to conscious of our attitudes for they are contagious no matter how you look at them. 

Throughout my life, and I'm not even sure why or when it happened to me, I realized that by having a positive mental attitude is was my way of asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done. Unfortunately, the later was something I heard on a routine basis growing up.  I never gave into it. I may have succumbed to the predicament, but I never believed that was how I would believe throughout my life.

So, today, with the news of more stock market challenges, more loss of life on foreign and domestic soil, some of these lives were lost fighting for our very own freedoms, I blog because my hope is that it will help all of some of you to keep on believing in the promise of a better tomorrow and to not to give into it.  Yes, undoubtedly, we have to work extra hard at keeping our attitudes positive though all kinds of stormy weather like this, as well as through all the challenges we will experience in our lives.

So I challenge you to believe that there is nothing that we face in life that we cannot get through. We have to learn how to remain positive when negativity is staring us down and being sensationalized in the news. For those of you that want to know how to do that, let me share this thought with you. There is really no secret to it. There is no easy path to it. It is something that you have to work at daily. It simply requires that you use positive affirmations, prayer with your faith, as well as having the love and support of family and friends that will support your positive attitude.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Living in the Moment

What a whirlwind of a weekend.  Seems like I just left the Friday night commute when I woke up this morning and then much to my dismay learned that it was Monday all over again. There I go, not living for the moment.

There seems like there is always something to do at home to improve it, work in our yard, the basement remodel, spend quality time with family, play with the pets, oh and yes, that thing called rest too. I don't know about you, but somehow there just never seems like enough time for which to get everything you want done or complete and through the process of getting it all done, can we keep our focus on living in the moment?

The weekend was awesome, don't get me wrong.  There were many great moments and I lived in them and enjoyed them all.  I was able to check in with all of the kids in one way or the other, spend  time celebrating birthdays with our neighbors and friends, Mark and Sarah, share a great dinner and time with good friends, Dave and Alan, paperwork in my home office is filed away, banking and its reconciliation (not my favorite thing to do) done, pets were exhausted from all their play with me time this weekend, and the yard and house look incredible from all of love and labor. 

As I sit here on Sunday night, Brian is still here visiting with us for the night (we love these moments in time when the kids are home), we've had a great meal, prepared by none other than, Mr. Steven,  Now,this is my time to check in, write and prepare my psyche for the chaos and claims of Monday morning.  I'm convinced that we bring the negativity about and not liking Mondays all on our ourselves.  Regardless, I am doing my best to just be living in the moment.  This moment is mine to clear my head and let my thoughts be free to flow to paper or to my keyboard.

I know for myself that living in the moment can be a difficult task for me.  Not about enjoying the moment, but about not wanting to get to the next one right away.  Unfortunately, like so many in the world, I tend to be creature of needing, okay and wanting immediate results.  I know that this has not been such a good thing to need or want, because I usually need to have immediate physical proof for those results. 

I have been working over the past two years now to just experience the moment, not the next or the one just before it, but that moment.  There is so much to be said for the true experience, especially when you do not let the small stuff get in the way.  Easier than said that done on some days, but working nevertheless.  I have learned along the way that writing helps me with ensuring that I truly experience the moment.  Probably why my blog has helped me put focus to my thoughts and life.

If you are abe to, please try to read my Inspiration Quote Page today.  Finally, I read this quote one day, loved it because it resonated with me.  As I end today's thoughts, I thought it appropriate to share with you today.  "Try to keep in mind that if you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow,  that you're going to be cockeyed today." - Unknown

Friday, August 5, 2011

Watering the Garden

Now, this may seem a bit odd as a blog today, but relevant with so many meanings for us.

We all know that to have a healthy garden, or to keep our plants green that we must occasionally water them, give them light, feed and care for them (all a part of love) and for myself, I must talk to them.  I really believe it is the secret to having such a beautiful and healthy orchid and vegetable garden at home.

I am going to use my orchid garden to make a correlation in this blog with my family today, because of the delicate handling necessary in their care.  I believe we can all agree that the same delicacy applies to loving and caring for our family too.  You may find this a bit odd, funny, laugh at it (I hope it does make you laugh), or that I may have lost it, but I assure you that have not lost and interestingly enough, I handle the care  or my "gardens" much like the care I find that I do with my family. 

When I first started caring for orchids years ago, I could not keep them in bloom.  No matter what I did, they were losing their blossoms and their color faded and their was no cooperation on their part, or so it seemed.  You following me here?  Regardless, I worked tirelessly at developing my knowledge of orchids, what helped in their growth, development, what their likes and dislikes were and what type of light and food they needed to thrive and stay in bloom.  I have always talked to my houseplants and it seemed to work.  Of course I have always enjoyed doing my best to having weekly conversations with every member of my family and I saw how the family thrived and grew as a result of that ongoing communication, no matter how big or small the connection was, there was always growth.

Despite my lack of experience with this as a small child growing up, I somehow have always known that it was important to make time for family conversation, to talk and share with them, provide them with routine messages of love and the small little things that I like to call "watering" Therefore, while not always in the beginning, I have now made it part of my weekly routine; daily routine if I am able to do so, in order to be sure to convey in a small message of love, which may be in the form of either a text, an e-mail, a phone call and most importantly and preferred, if at all possible, an in-person hug, with the statement, "I love you...," or "Thank you for ....," or that I appreciated them in my life and let them know that my life is a better place because of them. 

Ok, I certainly have the caring for my orchid garden mastered, so I better reassure you that obviously the content of my conversation with my orchids or vegetable garden are vastly different from that with the care and love of my family, or you would be correct to think me a nut case, but I am sure you can see that the idea is the same.  A little water, a little conversation, motivation and love can really go a long way to growing your gardens, no matter what you are trying to raise or grow. I believe I now have it down for my family too.

Funny how something as silly as the health and vibrancy of my orchid garden (pictured above) could resonate with  me and offer a correlation with the importance of loving and watering my family, but for whatever reason, it did this week and I made absolutely sure that I reached out to each member of my family to share with them a little "water" and TLC.  I hope all of you are able to make time to do the same.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The WB Kids; Amazingly Creative, Respectful and Adventurous

I know that sometimes our kids don't like being called 'kids,' but they always will be to their parents no matter what.  I know that you will agree with me.

I wanted to blog about all of them today and how I personally appreciate, respect and adore their respective creative minds, responsible traits, the fact that they have impeccable manners, that they are very open minded, believe in themselves and are not afraid to take a risk or explore new things. Each one of them have their own strengths in each of these areas and as a parent, it is so amazing to watch them and yes, even learn from them as they go through their lives and these various experiences.

Chenin is the oldest and she is well versed in every area and more that I blog about.  Since I can remember, she has enjoyed crafts, i.e, scrapbooking, planning incredible events (her wedding was amazing) and being the organizer of all things.  I wonder where she got this from?  An impeccable student and person. When she was about seven years old she got involved in Students Against Drugs, etc.  During one summer, on her way to see me, she was sharing this involvement with one of the flight attendant's and she thought it was so amazing for a young person that they let her speak on the airplane microphone to share her thoughts on why it was important to her that she supported Students Against Drugs, etc.  Regardless, she was a hit.  I heard about it the minute the flight landed.  It is no wonder that she does what she does now.  More importantly, she has an amazing free spirit.  While she has her own set of beliefs, which I immesly respect, she is also very respectful of diverse walks of life and a live and let live philosophy too.  Chenin and her husband, Sean, recently were reassigned to Portland, Oregon, a gorgeous place to visit.  Moving is very stressful, let alone for a newlywed couple. Chenin made us very proud of her willingness to embrace their new adventure and to savour every moment of their new beginning together.  She made it an adventure and shared it with all of us via her amazing photographic talent.  Now, this was huge for her to go out on a limb like this and she should know that I took a few notes myself.  Well done, sweetie!

Meghan is a very creative artist in so many respects.  She not only can paint like nobody's business, she is an awesome writer too.  We have some of her pieces hanging in the house and I look at them in amazement of such an incredible talent.  She too is willing to take risks and literally move on a moments notice to make her world a better place.  For instance, she graduated this year from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Art History and then was accepted into the graduate program and UIC fro Museaum Studies, et.al.  That meant that she would need to take a risk and move to Chicago, away from everything she has known for a very long time.  While not far, it was the change and adventure that she did not fear.  While she had a little bit of help with finding it, she interviewed for a new job in Chicago and nailed the interview and at the same time, she found an apartment, loved it and got it all in the same few days.  This past Monday, she, her brother, Brian, her boyfriend and other friends moved her lock stock and barrel into her new place. She did not collect $200 when she passed go, she just went for it.  No fuss and no muss there. Wow!  Certainly a lesson in it for me there. Regradless, so excited for her new beginning too.

Brian is a very talented cook and writer.  He has a very creative soul with both.  I received a letter from him one Christmas that I still have saved to this day, that brought me tears of joy.  I had never read the likes of such poetry before. From his own creation came "Wingert's Wings." A very tasty and secret sauce I'm sure for this very popular and tasty treat every year at summer.  Brian is also very bright too. He takes on very challenging classes at Marquette University, now in his junior year.  Those classes include writing and speaking in Chinese and difficult math classes that I cannot even imagine how I would get through today.  Brian is another with a wonderfully contagious free spirit.  Brian is accepting of all things and very low key about intense things.  Very little really seems to bother him for too long if at all.  Now, I could certainly learn a lesson or two here.  Brian is getting ready to study abroad this summer in Ireland.  He has been looking forward to this trip and place for as long as I have known him.  I know the family can't wait to join him over the holiday this fall.  Brian, you need to know how very proud I know that your parents are of you too.

So, I took some time to blog and boast about the WB kids.  So deserving each of them in their own way.  We are proud of them all the same.  Love what you are all doing with your lives and I sure love you guys...very, very much!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Gift from My Dad...

Life has been intensely busy the past couple of days and my blog posting has taken the hit.  I try to prepare my blog post the night before at home (after the myriad of chores) and them attempt to post them the next day on a break.  I speak about it today, because I wanted so badly to post yesterday about the wonderful call ' the gift' I received from my dad on Monday evening and there just didn't seem to be the time in the day to give it the justice it deserved.

Yes, such an awesome call from dad on Monday night.  One that I was certainly looking forward to along our journey of getting to really know one another and our respective families.  As I have blogged over the past several months and as with any family, I have mentioned that there are some differences between what we believe about 'choices' in our lives and my  view as to whether 'choices' is even the right phrase to use. Regardless. I do not mention it because I view this as a problem, or that I am critical of these differences of opinion from either of us, in fact, I believe that these kinds of differences are what makes the world a stronger place.  I respect that my dad and I and our respective faiths may come from different view points in some areas and of course we both come from a different time and place too.  They are all relevant, no matter how you look at them.

What made this call a 'gift' for me was how he began the call.  He made a point to want to know how my 'special' family was doing.  That was a first since we have been reunited and it meant a great deal to me that he opened the door for me to share how Steve, the kids and I are all doing.  All very important as we prepared to travel to Bufallo to meet everyone very soon, as I want them to know who Steve is too. It felt good to feel that freedom and to not limit the content of our call.

This made me realize even more that my dad is not only a pretty great guy, but despite our differences, including our respective opinions on certain things, our faiths and our beliefs that we are really making great progress about our willingness to set aside these differences, so that we can know more about each other and our respective families.  Without any doubt, this made me realize that dad is still trying to understand all he can about me because of his love for me.  I completely respect that he may not agree with some things or approve of others, but because he is still trying to learn all there is to know about my life, my partnership with Steve and how I became the man that I am, I view this as a incredible progress as we work through these differences to make the families whole.

I share how I ended in a letter in response to my dad's letter, where I wanted him to know how I give thanks for this incredible gift we have been given. 

... Because of my own faith, I truly believe that God did not bring us all on this path together today for any other reason than these are his collective answers to all of our unanswered prayers, his love and understanding for us and that we were ready for this gift now. We will never know for sure until we meet him, but I embrace it with open arms.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Power of a Positive Attitude

The power of a positive attitude is amazing. 

For the most part, I'll bet we all decide at the start of most days that the goal of the day would either be to have either a good day or a great day and to maintain the positive attitude for the entire day to be able to enjoy it.  For myself, I do whatever I am able to not even allow the possibility. or the thought that something may get in the way of my positive goal.  So, for the most part, I start out to only strive for great days. 

Of course we are happy to set our sights on that positive goal and do what it takes to stay on course.  However, sometimes for all of us, due to the attitudes that may possess others, the delivery of an unexpected letter, the uncertainty of all of the aspects involved in the making of the great day for us and the people in it, can ultimately be the reason that we lose sight of maintaining our positive focus and all that is a part of it.  That I know is called, harsh reality!

Yes, no matter what you do to prevent it, from time to time, there seems to be that one 'real' thing, no matter how big or small it may seem to us at that moment, that can get in the way of us having the good or great attitude or good time with one another. 

As recent as this past weekend, I nearly allowed the bad day of another and a letter. while both real mess with me.  However, after talking them through with others, I ultimately realized one I could not own and the other were honest.and loving words to consider and were all part of my new beginning.  So, I did the right thing, maintained a positive attitude and worked it out, but my point is that 'll bet I'm pretty right on when I say that we've all been there.

Having a positive attitude doesn't just happen; you don't decide that you will have a positive attitude and that is it, forever and ever. We must first make small changes in the way we react to our daily circumstances.  We must learn to consistently choose and apply certain patterns of positive thought, which with time lead to encouraging and maintaining a steady positive attitude.

From my own experience, faith and growth, I believe that it is with the power of our thoughts, our words and our actions that we create the positive life forces.  All of which we need in order to fuel our hopes and dreams. Choosing to have a positive attitude, included having to own some of the responsibility when we face a problem or difficulty and deal with it head on.  We should talk about it, work it out, try not to complain about it and not get stuck in it. Rather, look for ways to move forward, and try to find the opportunity in it for all involved, or the lesson we can learn from it. I guarantee there is always one lesson that can help you move on with your day.

Moving on is very important to keep a positive attitude and to not lose sight of your goal or dreams.  We should not get stuck on something someone said, shared with someone else, or that you may think you did wrong or didn't go as you expected. There is so many other wonderful things in life for all of us that we end up losing out on when we allow ourselves to have a negative focus or attitude.

Learn to see and recognise the bright spots and the good things in your life on a daily basis.  Enjoying a positive attitude is something I believe we should put into practice daily, when things go rolling and when they don't; when you feel like it, and when you don't. Especially when you don't.

If we learn to see the bright side of life when we are surrounded by difficulties, we will be building our positive attitudes fast. The more we practice having a positive attitude, the easier and more natural it will come to us. The point is to overcome it in the best possible way for you, and then to face the next thing that goes on in your life without missing all of the good in between.