New Year, New Blog

new year

So I’ve decided to make the switch!  I’m moving to blogger! What a better time to do this than as we ring in the New Year!  I’m hoping that if you followed me here, you will join me  over at Blogger!

Heartbeats and Little Feet will now be located at:
http://www.heartbeatsandlittlefeet.blogspot.com

Stop by and let me know what you think!

Happy New Year!
Here’s hoping that 2014 is an incredible year for all of us!

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The Thankful Project: Day 15 – An Annoyance

I’m sorry vs. I Apologize…

I recently was greeted by an email when my alarm sounded at 5 a.m.  It was from an employee that was upset and irate with another employee.   She wanted me to be aware.  She wanted me to mediate.

The scheduling worked out and they were both able to meet on the same day.  I sat them down and we discussed the issue and the altercation that occurred in front of fellow staff members the night prior.  I felt as though it was a good discussion and it ended well.  Side note:  I always get nervous when I have to mediate.  I know it’s something I need to get over as a manager, but it just doesn’t get easier for me.  

There was a phase though that stuck with me throughout the entire meeting.  Each party kept saying, “I apologize…Yea, I know I was wrong…I apologize…I see where you are coming from…I apologize”.  Those words stuck with me.  I apologize. 

I found myself wondering if each party was really sorry.  It’s easy to say I apologize, but harder to say, I’m sorry.

It made me think about times that I’ve been wrong and needed to apologize.  Do I do the same thing?  I know that when Brian and I have upset one another, he is infamous for saying, “I’m sorry I made you mad.”  Let me be clear – that’s not an apology.  If I could rewrite the sentence, what I believe he’s saying is, “Sorry you’re a hormonal, mean, awful woman today and that everything I do upsets you.”  It’s not an I’m sorry.  Normally, it makes me even more upset.  I’m thankful that this doesn’t happen often in our house.

apology

I don’t know what made me hone in on this, but it stuck with me.  I will be more cognizant of my word choices.  Besides working hard to avoid circumstances in which I need to apologize, I will work even harder when I do make a mistake – to take ownership for what I’ve done wrong and to say…I’m sorry.

It means so much more.

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

The Thankful Project: Day 14 – A Blessing

You know how when you’ve lost a loved one, you search for signs that they’re still with you?  You hold on to those memories tightly, but during special events or times of uneasiness, you search for signs that they are there and that you are making the right decision?  Maybe it’s just me, but I believe in those signs.  It’s really such a blessing to feel so connected to those who have gone before us. I’m so thankful for these blessings.

After my grandfather died in 2004, any time I thought about him or missed him, I would see a yellow butterfly.  I laughed it off, but deep down inside thought of this as his special way of communicating to me.  That he was missing me too.

Well when my grandmother died a few years later, I would always see two butterflies.  Two little yellow butterflies together.  It was my sign that my grandmother and grandfather had been reunited, yet still wanted me to remember them.  Call it coincidence, but any time I am thinking about them, contemplating life, or wondering if I am making a good decision, I always see them.  It’s an assurance that I’m doing the right thing and that everything is okay.  I love my little sign that they are still here with me.

butterflies

It’s not just me that thinks this either.  Brian’s grandmother passed away a few weeks after we were married.  She was on hospice for a week or two.  The nurses kept warning us that the time was coming that she would pass, but she didn’t.  This went on for a few days.

She did eventually pass, on a cloudy, overcast, gloomy day.   The setting outside was perfect for how we were feeling inside.  Shortly after she passed, the skies cleared and there was a rainbow.  My husband’s whole family joked that it was her sign to us that she had made it to heaven.

Even on special events, she’s still with us.  There was a rainbow on the one year anniversary of her passing and even at my sister-in-law’s wedding.  The wedding was in Florida and a storm was moving in right before the ceremony.  Again, the skies cleared just in time for the pictures and the ceremony.  What was captured in the picture below is truly amazing.  Granny Irene was there with Erin on her wedding day as well!

Erin

I miss our grandparents.  I miss the holidays with them around.  I miss the fact that they aren’t here to celebrate the new ways that our family has grown.  Yet, I am thankful beyond words for the little blessings we experience that let us know that they are here with us!

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Where Were You…?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years.  It was one of those pivotal moments in all of our lives.  For my generation, it was the first of its kind. The first moment of history that occurred right before our eyes.  If you ask any of us, we can tell you exactly how the day unfolded and how the events played out.  Much like our parent’s generation, who could tell you exactly where they were when JFK was assassinated.   September 11th was our moment.  A moment that changed our world, our country, and millions of families lives forever.

When the first plan struck the World Trade Center, I was just beginning the day.  I was in my Sophomore year of high school.  I was in (very fittingly) my US History class with Mr. Randall.  Reports came out that a plan had struck the world trade center.  He saw it on the Google News headlines and reported it to our class.  At that point, reports stated that it was a small private jet that crashed.  Little did we know.

World Trade CenterSource

The bell rang and we changed classes.  Everyone was talking about it.  All of the lockers were a buzz with the news.  We navigated the halls to our next class.  I headed to Spanish.

Mrs. Kooistra was our teacher.  She was sitting on a stool in front of the class.  I will never forget the look on her face.  She looked distraught.   We all filed in and sat in our seats.  The room was silent.   Mrs. Kooistra began.  We talked, as a class, about what was going on.  She asked the class if we would like to watch the news, because more details were coming out.  A plane had gone down in Pennsylvania, as well.  We unanimously voted yes.  She turned on the TV.

Literally, we watched as history happened in front of us.   We watched the second plane hit.   We watched the news unfold of the Pentagon attack.  There were tears, silence and quiet sobs.  We watched as the 1st tower collapsed, then the second.  We watched in horror.  We saw the first hand accounts of people who had escaped, people who were running in the street and the desperate plea of those looking for their loved ones.  The teacher sobbed in fear that her husband would be deployed, fellow classmates cried out because they had family that lived and worked in New York.   I get goose bumps just thinking about it.  It is a moment that neither I, nor one of my classmates, will ever forget.

As a young 16-year-old, I remember that the world didn’t seem right.  Not that day for sure, but even days later. People you encountered at the grocery stores, at school, in church all looked sad.  They looked scared.  There was a look of despair.

Then something great came out of such a terrible tragedy.  American’s stopped.  They stopped the furious pace, the crazy work schedules, the forgetting about others.  They stopped, and they started.   They started caring.  They started helping.  They started to remember what was important.   Family became a focus.  There was abundant compassion for complete strangers.  The frenetic pace slowed.  Priorities shifted.  Pride for our country grew. American flags hung at almost every house.  A faith in humanity was restored.

Out of evil came tremendous stories.

Twelve years later. We are a changed generation.  We are a changed country.

September 11th Anniversary: TributeSource

Although the fight is not over, let’s use today to remember those who lost their lives that day. Those who served and are serving.  Those who defend our country daily.  Let’s be kind to one another. To stop and reflect on what today really means.  Let’s pay it forward…to someone we don’t know.  A random act of kindness.

To prove that September 11th did change us…for the better.