Welcome Home

Welcome to First One Foot, my personal blog.

I hope that you find something here that will inspire you. As I have been inspired by others. This blog is here to share my experiences, insights, wisdom, happiness, struggles and everything in between. My life has been a whirlwind, filled with blessings and trials, and truly wonderful people. At times my family has been on top of the world, and others, we have been one step away from homelessness. Whether you are at the top, clawing your way out from the bottom, or somewhere in between, Welcome.

Now that you’re here, you’ll find that no matter what, your goals, dreams and better days are within reach. It all begins with one little step.

First One Foot, then another.

“I will follow the upward road today; I will keep my face to the light. I will think high thoughts as I go my way; I will do what I know is right. I will look for the flowers by the side of the road; I will laugh and love and be strong. I will try to lighten another’s load this day as I fare along.”

Mary S. Edgar

We Are Family? !

Or at least we used to be…

Growing up, my father’s side of the family always had get togethers. Holidays were spent with extended family, and everyone came. It was something that was expected, and not really optional.  Even after my parent’s divorced we still went every holiday.

Ten Years ago, I moved across country from my extended family, after a falling out with my Mother. I moved back home last year, and while my Mother and I are able to find some common ground, nothing is the same family wise.

There is no longer an “extended family”.  It doesn’t exist anymore.  It’s like when I left, and my Grandfather on my father’s side passed, the family disappeared.  No holidays are spent together as a family.  No one sees each other for large get together’s.  Trying to get people together is like pulling teeth, and often the excuse for not coming is something stupid, like , I have to get my car ready for inspection.

I’d like to say that this doesn’t bother me, but it does.  My immediate family, Hubs, Princess, Spiderman, Sweet Baby and I are extremely close.  We do nearly everything together.  We have instilled in our children that no matter what, family comes first.  Our older two children are best friends, and always have each other’s backs. They take turns entertaining the youngest child, if I’m busy cleaning or cooking.


They know that no matter what, Holidays are spent with our family.  Even if our family is just the five of us.  It’s hard to instill in them this sense of priority, and family duty, when my family doesn’t have that.

Recently on the phone, my mother told me that the family doesn’t exist anymore.  Not just my extended family, but for all American Families.  That killed me.  How is that frame of mind possible?! How does one feel like it’s ok to just throw up your hand’s and say, ok, well I don’t care about spending time with people that are my family?

I call B.S.  I know for a fact that modern American family get together’s aren’t dead.  They are alive and well, for others.  My husband’s family, the family I was lucky enough to marry into, is very close.  Both his Mother and Father’s sides are extremely close.  I regret that we don’t spend more time with them.

After the conversation that I had this weekend, spending more time with my husband’s family has become a very big priority.  It’s so important for my children to see that not all families are as F’d up as mine has become.  They need to see that real families hold it down, and are there no matter what has happened between them.

So, to my family, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that somehow along the way we all allowed ourselves to give up on something that was essential to who we are.  I’m sorry that we don’t realize that what we are together is greater than what we are apart.  I’m sorry that my memories of happy childhood get together’s will only be stories I tell my kids about, rather than them experiencing it themselves.

To everyone else out there in internet land- I say SCREW THIS.  If family is important to you, no matter the size, makeup or anything else, stand up for your family.  Stand up for other families.  It’s too important to just look the other way, and let your family fall apart. Our Sum is Greater Than Our Parts. First One Foot.

Pinteresting use of time

How to get nothing done while feeling like you’ve accomplished something

So, lately I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest.  I usually am not on my laptop for frivolous reasons, but to work on my blog, or social media.  Lately though, I’ve needed some great low cost ideas for diy furniture and decorating ideas around the house.

As most people know, Pinterest.com is a great site for finding all kinds of creative, inexpensive DIY ideas for anything you can imagine. The problem is, there’s too many great ideas.  I can’t decide exactly which problem to tackle first.  Should I hang new curtains and curtain rods?  upstairs, downstairs, the patio, the screened in porch? Should I attempt some DIY outdoor patio seating? Build a new bookshelf for the living room?  I don’t know where to start. Check out this beautiful DIY shelf by Anythingology.com.  Her house and decorating ideas are so gorgeous.

Awesome Shelf by http://anythingologyblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/diy-industrial-shelves.html

My bookshelf/toy storage for the living room?

My budget is also a problem.  I can’t do them all at once, even though most of the ideas I like are very inexpensive, my budget is pretty tight, and doesn’t allow for spending on stuff like this.


Great Seating Solution for my outdoor space by behappybeme.com

I’m pretty crafty though, and I’ve got lots of good luck at finding stuff for free that I need.  It’s kind of like, think positive thoughts and good things will happen? You know? So, I’m going to cut myself off from Pinterest for a little while, and see what I can accomplish.  I’ll update as my projects are completed.

I think the DIY bookshelf (she uses it as a buffet) by anythingology.com and the DIY outdoor seating by behappybeme.com will have to be the first projects for me. They are both reasonably inexpensive, and will provide the biggest impact.  I’ll update on how both of these projects went later.




Brand New Look!

Here on the First One Foot Blog we just got a whole new look.  I think it’s a little easier to navigate, and I like the shorter preview of each blog entry with the coordinating picture.  I hope you enjoy our new look.  Leave us a comment, and let us know what you like or don’t like.  Thanks!

An Untimely Death

What have you always wanted to do?  Who have you dreamed of being?

Me?  From my youngest memories, until after I gave birth to my oldest daughter, I believed I was going to die young.

I believed death was coming for me, before I graduated from high school.  There was no talking me out of it, or getting me to believe that any other end result was possible.  I was going to die. 

 In kindergarten, when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I copied the girl next to me and said, “Ballerina”. It was the first time anyone had ever made me really think, what do I want to be when I grow up.  From then on, I didn’t really give it much thought.

My childhood therapist would tell me that it was because I was asthmatic. I never believed that. After learning about anxiety due to Spiderman’s issues with anxiety, I have come to a few realizations.

For one thing, all through out childhood and early adulthood, I suffered from severe anxiety.  It was never diagnosed, treated or even discussed as a possibility.  I don’t know why.  I was seeing a therapist pretty regularly.  My mother insisted, since she and my father had split up when I was about eight or nine.  How is it possible that such an extreme case can go undiagnosed and untreated for so long?

It turns out that all the times that I would get so worried that my heart would palpitate, and my palms would get sweaty, I was having an anxiety attack.  All the times the blood swiftly drained from my limbs, and I got the shivers, I was having an anxiety attack.  It seems so obvious now.  Even my belief in an untimely death confirms for me that I had some serious anxiety issues.

I thought it was just a fact of life.  I thought, I’m a worrier.  I’m a nervous person.  That’s just who I am.  It turns out that I am a worrier, but that’s not my only issue.  I’m dealing with my anxiety now, head on.  Now that I know it’s there, I’m able to face it, and battle it.  I can’t fight what I don’t know is wrong.  I’m learning ways to calm myself, learning to trust in fate, the world, and serendipity.

I’m trying new things like yoga, tai chi, meditation. After feeling like I’m in a real life final destination movie for years and years, trusting in these things is hard though. 

It is not easy.  I’ve spent more than thirty years being an anxiety ridden person.  I’m working on it though.  Month by month, it gets a little easier.  I still slide back into my anxiety attacks sometimes, but they’re shorter, and are easier to recover from.

Having anxiety isn’t something I’m proud of.  My anxiety has prevented me from doing so much in my life, and experiencing so many things, because I was too scared about “what if?”  I’m living my life more everyday, and allowing myself to find out, what if.  It all begins with one little step.  FIRST ONE FOOT, then another.

Stepping On The Beach (do do do do)!

It’s amazing what being near large bodies of water do for my soul. What is it about the water that pulls me? 

When I was young there were very few times I saw the ocean. They were rare happy occasions when I didn’t worry about my divorced parents. Money wasn’t an issue for once. It was just the beautiful ocean, lots of food, and sunshine. 

Once we went for a few days to Hampton Beach. Other times my father took me to Martha’s Vineyard where we stayed at the Youth  Hostel. 

When I had my own family we ended up on the Gulf Coast, and we were just twenty minutes from the beach.

Now we’re living on a large lake in New England. I can be having one of the most difficult days of my life, but as soon as I see the water, I’m at peace.   

 There’s something about the water that makes me feel small. In a good way. Like, no matter what my problems may be today, they are tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It replenishes my faith. 

So, if you’re having a hard day, or just at a loss, get yourself to water. The ocean, a pond or your bath tub. See if it works for you. As for me, I’m at the Lake. 

The Loudest Voice

What is the most important thing in achieving your life goals?  I’ve heard people say hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, tears, good luck, and many other things.  Opportunity, is definitely key in achieving your goals.  I believe that it starts before then.  It takes one thing.  It takes belief.

The belief can come from many sources.  It can be a parent, a friend, a partner, a coworker, or sometimes, just yourself.  Just as this belief can positively influence your ability to achieve goals, so can disbelief.  Those around you, or yourself even, can be your most difficult stumbling block in getting where you want to be.

When I was young, in high school, trying to decide which direction to take for college, career and others, I was influenced by those around me.  I loved psychology, anthropology, sociology, and other similar fields.  I even thought about becoming a social worker.  The loudest voice of influence around me at the time, was that of disbelief.

Whenever I was excited about a new opportunity, a new field, a direction for my life to go that would influence my goals, and my choices, I heard the voice of disbelief.  The weather is too cold to go to that college.  You’ll never be able to get a job in that field, you can’t emotionally handle being a social worker.  These are all things I heard.  I made a huge, life changing mistake, and I listened.

After high school graduation, I applied to a culinary arts college, that offered a four year degree program.  I was accepted, and received enough financial aid, that they paid for everything.  Again the loudest voice of influence told me that I’d never be able to handle it.  I did myself a huge disservice, and listened.

I never did go to college, and it was a huge regret in my life.  I never furthered my education, and it is something that I feel very sensitive about.  When I’m among peers, I feel insecure, as if I am not on their level, due to my lack of education.  When I fill out an application, I check off high school as highest level of education.  I could have gone back, I still could go back.  It’s been almost twenty years since I graduated from high school, and I never went back.

  If I could do one thing different, I would tell that loud voice of influence, to shut the hell up.  I would.  I would tell that voice that the only thing holding myself back, is myself.  My doubts, my insecurities, my excuses , they would all be told to shut up.  The tiny little insecure voice in my head, that whispered, maybe it could work, again and again, before finally dying out, would be magnified, and put on repeat, so it would never occur to me that accomplishing my goals were ever impossible.

The Next Jim Henson

Who inspires you in your life? It’s easy to be inspired by famous actors or athletes. Who around you every day inspires you?

I’m inspired by the Next Jim Henson. Who is he? He’s my son, Spiderman. Spiderman has developed severe anxiety after the harrowing last year we had. It’s slowly improving but it’s still present every day.

I don’t know how he manages it all.  He goes to school and deals with being a teenager with anxiety. It must be overwhelming. Spiderman also struggles academically and is very nervous in social situations.

The only time I ever see him calm, happy and focused is when he is creating. He will create amazing Muppets. When he breaks out his sewing machine and fabric, he is in the zone. His face is so peaceful.


“Puff” An original Creation by NAB Puppets.

When he shows me one of his finished projects, he shines with pride. I get actual real smiles from him. They are too rare.

Spiderman has created several Muppets, all his own original design. He’s also created masks and prop weapons. He wants to get into sculpting in order to begin to learn special effects.

When I think of what this anxiety riddled teenager is capable I’m amazed. He is dealing with so much. Yet he continues to amaze me with his creativity and determination.


Another NAB Puppets Original

My son is very lucky. He already has found what most of us struggle for.

He’s found his PASSION. His own personal meaning of life. It must be incredible to be so young and have such a wonderful passion. What better purpose than to make the world smile.


So , World , meet the next Jim Henson.  

My son. 


FIND HIM ON TWITTER- @nabpuppets
YOUTUBE NABPUPPETS. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC12MhGKbCMQOIIkc4bgLRkA

Also on Facebook and Instagram   


Pushing Against Myself

For many of us that struggle, we are struggling against circumstances beyond our control.  The world around us is preventing us from moving forward, or moving up.  It seems that everything is working against us.  What if what you are struggling against is being caused by your own actions?

What do you do then?

Really what do you do?  It feels easier to fight something that is outside of myself.  I can rise up, and feel powerful fighting an exterior foe.  Now when it comes to a problem I’ve caused myself, I feel powerless.  I don’t know how to kick my own ass.

I’m not really great at self discipline.  When it comes to taking responsibility, I’m not always good at following through.  I really need to be better at it.  I’m great at making excuses, or allowing myself to slip up.  I recently slipped into a bad old habit of being financially irresponsible.

After a year of surviving without any income for a family of five, I’ve gone on a financial binge.  We finally have steady income, and disposable income even.  I should be the most tight fisted person you’ve ever met when it comes to finances.  Considering what I’ve been through it would make sense.  Instead, I’m the opposite.

I want to be more responsible.  I’ve got the best of intentions.  Just when Hubs gets paid, it seems something always comes up, and the money never goes where it should.  I may be strong, resilient, and lots of other great things.  When it comes to being responsible financially, I’m not so great.

I know my own weakness though.  I know what I’ve got to work on.  I know that I need guidance to get my act together.  That’s the most important thing.  

Knowing what I’ve got to work on, and then taking the first step. 

 It all begins with one little step, First One Foot, then another.

Baby Godzilla Attacks

So it’s been a few days since I uploaded all my blog posts I’ve had sitting on my laptop for a month.  I’ve taken a few days to get my Facebook Page and my Twitter feed going.  Trying to do all that with my toddler running around is a little difficult sometimes.  To make it easier, I like a lot of parents, end up in the children’s room in the local library.

My son, Sweet Baby loves to play with the Thomas the Train Table, and the Doll House.  He spends hours playing with the trains.  His interactions that he has with other children that come there are always interesting.  He’s still learning the rules of playing with others.  A lot of times he learns what NOT to do by observing others.

Yesterday, Sweet Baby, another child and I set up a large train track on the library’s train table. After a few minutes of playing it was time for the other child to leave.  I swear his mom had E.S.P.  because right away, she says “Don’t do it J! Stay away from the table!” Apparently, “J” has the tendency to go Godzilla on the train tracks when he leaves the library.  IMG_0648

Here comes J, otherwise known as Baby Godzilla, and single handedly takes out the whole entire track assembly that we’ve just put together.  I look at him, not knowing whether to go into MamaBear mode, or to laugh, because it’s just so darn funny.  Sweet Baby is looking at me, to gauge my reaction.  He’s learning how to respond to times like this, based on my response.  I decide it’s funny, but don’t laugh.

J’s mother is too overwhelmed for me to laugh yet. She tries multiple times to reel him in, but he’s too wiggly and continues to rampage the train tracks.  Sweet Baby is still in shock, and watching me.  Finally J’s mom gets him laying on the ground, and tries to put the tracks together.

I laugh, not at her, but at the situation.  I could totally MamaBear this moment, after all she’s messing inadvertently with my youngest child.  Her Baby Godzilla is totally out of control.  That’s not what J’s mom needs right now though.  What she needs is a friendly smile, and some humor.

I let her know the tracks are no big deal, and that we’ll just make a new one.  She looks at me, sighs, runs her hand through her hair.  She tells me, ” I woke up feeling terrible today.  So I came here, to get a break…” This sets me off, and I can’t help but laugh.  “And now this is how it’s going!  Doesn’t it figure” I wish her luck, and hopefully patience with the rest of her day.  I have a feeling she was going to need it.

There are so many times in life that we can respond to adversity, in different ways. We can’t change the fact that we are facing a difficult situation.  We can only change HOW WE RESPOND  to the difficult situation.  That’s what I was teaching Sweet Baby.  If you face your challenges with patience, humor, and empathy it will go just a little bit easier.