Thank you Jillian

Tonight I was able to go and see Jillian Michaels speak.

I have to go to the beginning.  The friend that I was originally going with was unable to go because she came down with a sickness.  That said it is important for me to point out how she asked me to go with her because it warrants being noted.  While at my house for a jewelry party, my friend came up to me and asked if I would go see Jillian with her.  She was trying to think of a friend that was on a motivational kick and she thought of me.  That in itself was such an honor.

I had talked about going to see Jillian with two other friends on Thursday so when my friend let me know she couldn’t go I asked these friends and one of them was able to go with me.  It was such a great night.  My friend that went with me is such an inspiration to me.  If she didn’t know it before she knows it now.  As we had dinner before the show there was great conversation and lots of laughing.  I believe that we need friends that can do one of the following: 1) make us laugh no matter how bad of  mood we are in 2) make us laugh so hard we fight spitting or actually spit liquid back at them 3) pick up after not talking for any period of time and it seemed like it was just yesterday 4) motivate us 5) better us in at least one part of our life.  This specific friend did #1,2,4 AND 5 before we event left where we met to have dinner.  No matter what Jillian actually had to say, it was going to be a win for the night.

Jillian is known as being a hard ass on the show “the biggest loser.”  In her speech she talked nutrition and exercise and that was good to hear but I was more focused on the motivational part of her speech more than anything.  She gave us “homework” for the next two weeks.  I loved it but for the life of me I cannot remember anything she asked us to do.  The one thing she did ask us was to identify our “why.”  Mine is easy.  Aaron.  Aaron is why I work hard emotionally and physically to move forward in this journey and in this life.  He is why I get up every morning.  He is why I challenge myself every day to make this life worth living.  I found myself thinking about my life and this journey a lot while listening to her speak and I felt an energy I haven’t felt in a long time return to me.

What hit me the hardest is when she told us we were all awesome and we were all miracles.  She is right.  Tonight was a good night…thank you Jillian.


So I believe in the thought of not recreating the wheel.  If something is created and works…share it.  The following song “Let it go” by Idina Menzel is just that.  DAMN good lyrics.  And after watching the video I realize I need to purchase the movie “Frozen.”  LOL!  I’ve heard the song many times in the car and streaming on Sirius XM radio online and it was becoming a song that played during the “right” times when I needed to hear it.  Yes it is probably being overplayed but I believe music is what speaks to me.  It always has.  It was important to me at Jay’s funeral to play the Iowa State fight song as well as our song “Swayin’ to the music” and “Good Riddance (time of your life)”.  The meaning had to be there.  And ever since music has helped me in ways I cannot explain.  It has helped me cry, it has helped me stop crying and most importantly it has helped me break walls down and dance like no one is watching.  It has helped me move forward.

In the last couple weeks I have let go of a few things that were holding me back and I have done things I never thought I would do and the more I do this the more free I feel.  After seeing a picture of Aaron the other day when he had been sneaky and got on my parents table and seriously looked like he was kind of the world, a very close friend of mine commented “That looks so much like your inner child in you these days!” Maybe she is right. 🙂  Below is a link to the video on youtube and the lyrics written out but before I leave you for the day let me give a little advice.  If something is holding you down…if someone is keeping you from being happy…if you are in a place that is not where you want to be then let it go.  So although doing so may feel cold at first, it is officially Spring so you won’t stay cold for long.  🙂

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight

Not a footprint to be seen

A kingdom of isolation,

And it looks like I’m the Queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside

Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see

Be the good girl you always have to be

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know

Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go

Can’t hold it back anymore

Let it go, let it go

Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care

What they’re going to say

Let the storm rage on,

The cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance

Makes everything seem small

And the fears that once controlled me

Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do

To test the limits and break through

No right, no wrong, no rules for me

I’m free

Let it go, let it go

I am one with the wind and sky

Let it go, let it go

You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand

And here I’ll stay

Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground

My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around

And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast

I’m never going back,

The past is in the past

Let it go, let it go

And I’ll rise like the break of dawn

Let it go, let it go

That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand

In the light of day

Let the storm rage on,

The cold never bothered me anyway


Taking out the trash

Most of us have a weekly ritual of taking our garbage to the curb.  On a pre-determined schedule, the city waste management goes from house to house picking our bags up and takes them away.  A couple times a week we may gather the garbage throughout the house and put it in another container in the garage or outside.

In a small way it feels good when you go through and get it out of the house and when the garbage truck picks up your garbage from the curb.  It is out of sight.  It is gone. 

Why am I talking about garbage today?  I have a reason…I promise. 

So my example above is literally what we consider taking garbage out. We throw away the things that we have used that day or week and they are not reusable and then other things may be broken beyond repair so we throw them away.  Lately I have been thinking about how to get rid of the negative crap…the garbage…the thoughts and things I no longer need from the day or week.  Then I thought about taking the garbage out.  Brilliant!!

I think too many times we don’t take this garbage I talk about out to the curb.  We let it sit in our house…even in the garage or right outside our house.  What also brought this thought to my mind was the spring cleaning I have been doing in the house.  It felt amazing the other day to open the door to the deck along with a window at the front of the house.  Fresh air is sometimes the BEST medicine.  As I sorted through Aaron’s clothes…things from my office…cleaned out the fridge….my kitchen cupboards I had this feeling of relief.  My house looks great and it feels amazing having the clutter out.  Why in the world would I not want that amazing feeling within myself?  Guess what?…I do. 

Negativity…things broken beyond repair…the things I no longer need…I’m putting them on the curb…not just with a season…not just weekly…daily.  Daily I promise myself to take out the trash.


My day

Today is my birthday.  I turn 35 years old and I could not be happier if I tried.

Aaron started the day off right by asking for a hug and kiss right away when he woke up.  He is my gift I wake up to every morning.  Some days that gift is a little cranky but most days he is full of energy and smiles.  This morning he started the day right. 🙂

The hugs didn’t stop there.  I went to the spa to get my facial and my girl there gave me a hug and wished me a happy birthday.  She does not know it (until maybe now) but it totally made my day.  Hugs and words cost you nothing yet they are the single most important gift you can give people.  She knows my skin better than I do.  We solve the worlds problems and my face feels amazing afterwards.  These are all very good things.  I went and got my nails done.  I love my nail girls.  I had lunch with a good friend of mine.  A two hour lunch.  It was amazing.  I never have enough time catching up with this friend of mine.  2 hours still wasn’t enough.  Maybe we need to have lunch more often.  It will go under consideration. 🙂 I had the day off from work so afterwards I went home to rest for a bit.  I picked up Aaron from daycare, got home and then my regular babysitter showed up at the house.  She brought me flowers.  I have amazing people in my life.  I then freshened up a bit and around 5:20 or so a friend of mine picked me and another one of my friends up for birthday dinner.  Sushi.  It was awesome.  By the time I got home, my little man was sleeping.

I am exhausted from my jam packed day but it is a different exhaustion from last year.  It is a good exhaustion.  I spent the day being pampered.  I spent it with great friends.  I received more messages than I know what to do with.  I am so blessed.

Today is also Ash Wednesday.  A day of reflection as I see it.  A day to decide something to give up or something to give to others.  I have decided to give up negativity.  Not just for 40 days…for life.  What do I give to others…my undivided attention…my friendship…not just for 40 days…for life.  That is something that I can do for lent.

Through parts of the day I found myself thinking about the fact that  I had declared 2014 the “year of me”…that my 35th birthday landed on Ash Wednesday and that as I ventured through my day I truly do not believe I have felt this good about myself and my life in a very long time.

Could I be angry because my life is not the way I planned it would be on my 35th birthday?  Sure.  What good would it do me?  Not much.  So what do I want out of 2014….out of my 35th year of life.  It is simple.  I want to be happy.  So I will be…happy.  Will I be perfect?  No.  Will life be have struggles?  Sure..  Do I want to continue to build relationships with people…live life…have fun…and continue to work towards continuing to be happy?  Yes.

I spent other parts of my day reflecting on the last 35 years of my life.  I have graduated high school and college.  I have created a career for myself.  I fell in love.  I got married.  I have traveled.  I have had a child.  I have been witness to indescribable loss.  I have lost.  I have survived.  I have found myself again.  And I have found happiness in the purest form.  In my 35th year of life, I don’t look back…I look forward…I move forward.  As I said to one of my friends today…it is going to be an epic year.  My name is Alyssa Taber…I am 35 years old today and that in a nutshell was my day.

The book

Writers block be GONE! 🙂

Between songs I have heard lately and a few posts on FB that I’ve seen I decided to talk about the book.  What book you ask?  The book of Alyssa’s life.

There was a quote on FB that said something like you cannot read or write your next chapter until you turn the page.  I read it and then something someone said to me last week rang in my mind.  They said “Alyssa…last year at this time I wasn’t sure you were going to snap out of it.”  This followed by a smile and something like “I’m glad to see you have.”

“Turning the page” is not easy right?  The song “Place in this world” by Michael W Smith hit me hard the other day….the song starts off with the following lyrics:

“The wind is moving
But I am standing still
A life of pages
Waiting to be filled
A heart that’s hopeful
A head that’s full of dreams
But this becoming
Is harder than it seems”

So in 8 lines of lyrics I can tell you the three things that crossed my mind as I heard them. The first: The world continues on no matter what is going on in your life.  You can choose to stand still and watch the world continue to move without you or move with the wind in a deliberate way and LIVE.  The second: I have SO many more pages to write.  Life is written in ink…not pencil.  Once written it cannot be erased…unwritten.  You cannot erase ink once on paper so do not waste your life trying to do so.  Keep writing on the page in front of you.  And when you are finished with that chapter…turn the page.  There is bound to be something amazing written on the next page.  And lastly: The first and second thing are NOT easy…but necessary.

Recently I have come to understand that I have spent too much time in my life trying to erase the ink in my life.  Try in some way to make things that have happened to not have happened.  I have stayed too long on a certain chapter…living with fear of turning the page.  So I see these posts…I hear these songs and I could wallow and think “whoa is me…life handed me a raw deal.”  And a year ago I may have done that but now I have such a different outlook on life.  Instead I read…I listen…and then get out my ultra fine point purple Sharpie permanent market pen..turn the page and continue to write in the book.