When our hearts ache…

Uncle Mark,

Lives have been forever changed, simply because you were a part of them.SCHUTZ_Mark_oval

Your smile, was something that could always be counted on! Whenever you greeted us, there was a rush of joy mixed with guilt, like you just busted us being up to something. And it was either we were up to something and you wanted in on it, or you were disappointed we weren’t up to something and we should be. After this feeling of love and guilt, came some form of education to make sure we were living our lives to the fullest.

Whether you were teaching us about sprinkler systems, the direction water flows, the many uses for duct tape, how to properly plan out a firework show, how to Shanghai a loaf of bread, or a number of other topics – there was no getting out of the conversation before we too were an expert on the subject matter.

You were particular about the way things were done.  If you were going to do it, you would do it right.  You would measure, draw it out, and then measure again. I am confident you spent more time designing the layout of our sprinkler system than our builder spent on the whole house!  You would only use the highest quality, because when it comes to things like dirt, average wasn’t good enough, you needed to have “good dirt”.

You were the perfect mixture of love and grouch.  Anyone who truly knew you, would know that caring, loving, gentle, sports (of all sorts) loving side of you.  But heaven forbid you were a hockey ref or a place like Younkers, who wouldn’t honor the coupon you had and if given the chance you would put them out of business.

You individually tailored conversations to the sports that each of us were interested in.  Whether you were talking about your Rangers or Yankees, asking about our kid’s games or trying to convince us to buy a race horse you were knowledgeable about sports.  And hockey, your love for hockey will be carried on for generations!  Your grand nephews will lace up their skates, grab the sticks and proudly wear jerseys that have formal names like General Grant and Sir Charles on the back.

The great outdoors was the back drop for so many of our memories.  Camping, walks along the river, the smell of a charcoal grill, the horse track, backyard ice rinks, the golf course, and sitting around a campfire help paint the scene of our Mark memories.

You were with no doubt a Schutz. You loved ice cream, could turn a thirty second story into a half hour, and jimmy rig any contraption with duct tape making it an ingenious invention, while being the most dangerous thing at the same time. And you were most proud when any of us had strong crepitation contest entries.

To you, the role of a spouse is to keep their loved ones out of trouble.  Of course, you would blame the girls for keeping the boys too busy, I believe this was your fatherly way of telling us we were doing a good job.  And in return, you would constantly remind the boys they had us girls to keep them out of trouble, which was your way of telling them how blessed they really were.

And we all might as well start petitioning now for the 4th of July to officially be changed to Mark Schutz’s holiday.  Year after year, you brought family and friends together to eat featherbone ribs and watch fireworks in your backyard.  You planned and prepared for months to make sure each year we were blessed with an amazing show.  Safety was important, kids don’t light fireworks with punks, they use blow torches!

I know I speak for all of us when I say,

When my heart aches
But I hear God’s whispers

When you will be missed
But your suffering has come to an end

When I feel it was too soon
But it was part of God’s plan

When there is no good time to say goodbye
But we know you were ready to go home

Uncle Mark, May you be welcomed at heaven’s gates with the greatest fireworks display of them all. We will sit back, watch, enjoy the show and always remember No Drunkin Buffoons around the fireworks.

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Health Bet is Back! Are You In?

I am willing to place a HIGH STAKES bet.

tape edges.pngNot on a football game, not on the roll of the dice ~ but
on YOU.
Not coincidental that Beachbody is putting together their second ever Beachbody Health Bet starting on January 9th. Coinciding with that time of the year that EVERYONE is making the commitment to their health and fitness. And they are making it sweet – pledging a pot that can hit $3,000,000. THREE MILLION DOLLARS. Jackpot!

And it is so simple.
1. Commit: You were going to do that anyway, right?
2. Workout, drink a shake, and log your activity on our kick-
ass app.
3. GO ALL IN on your health and fitness with a group of others who are on your same path, with your same goals, and who will be YOUR accountability to kick off 2017 right.

Because the holidays are approaching and I need firm commitments for this group NOW, I’ve created an application for those who are willing to invest in themselves to claim their spot in my challenge group. I am limiting this group to TEN (10) women and men. And to make things sweeter, the first 3 to commit will get a bonus incentive.

THIS IS IT GUYS. 2017 is here and its time to get moving on our health and fitness for the new year. It can be that “New Year, New You” bullshit we tell ourselves every January 1st OR we can actually put our money where our mouth is and OWN IT.

What Do You Need to Join?

  1. I need to be your official Beachbody Coach.  If you don’t have a coach, sign up HERE for a free Team Beachbody membership.  (If you are already working with a coach please reach out to them.)
  2. A Challenge Pack which is your workout program bundled with Shakeology.
  3. A smart phone to access the My Challenge Tracker app.  (Works on IPhones and Android – I’ll send you the link to download the app.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get it right and get paid in the process.
Apply Here: https://lovelaughandsweat.wufoo.com/forms/r108hnn40x5gd3e/

Official Contest Rules

Carrying On a Legacy From My Miscarriage

It was tough. It was painful. It was hard to understand. I spent time grieving. At the end of the day, I decided God was telling me that I cannot control everything at a point in my life when I was attempting to do just that. Seeing pregnancy announcements or families with newborns, I immediately reach for my belly. I still think about how, right now, I should be just a month away from having a baby.

While everyone’s loss, heartache, and story is different, the baby we never met turned into our blessing. I have thought a long time on how to approach this post, and if I should even share it at all. But, as we approach the due date of our second child, I decided it was time.

This is my story.  Visit Her View From Home to view the rest of my story.

Life Lessons Learned While Moving My Best Friend

Life creates learning opportunities all the time. We may not realize it in the moment, however if we take time to reflect back those lessons present themselves to us.

I recently got to spend time helping my best friend move.  Their housing is related to their employment, so a recent job promotion meant moving to a different house.  During my 6 hour drive home, I had plenty of time to reflect back on the weekend and what I could take away from it. Three main lessons (that aren’t just about how to make a move go smoothly) presented themselves – lessons that can apply to anything in life.  Here they are:

Priorities Change

Over time priorities change and this became apparent as we were digging through the “items” that had accumulated throughout the house.  Things that were once high priorities were now at the bottom of drawers or the back of closets, and other things had replaced them. The new priorities are the items sitting out more readily available.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this happening.  Over time we change, we grow, and situations become different than before. It causes us to reevaluate how we spend our time and what our priorities are in the here and now.

“If this was put here when we moved in 2 years ago and I haven’t used it since, is it worth still keeping.” Well, I guess that all depends on who you are asking and whether it’s a priority any more.  I am a firm believer in “if you haven’t used in recently and wouldn’t miss it, then it needs to go”.  Take the time to reevaluate your life. What are your priorities now? What are you trying to hold on to that no longer fits?

Planning is Necessary

Moving all of your belongs (especially if you have a family) is a large task.  Packing everything up, coordinating help to move, cleaning the house, arranging rides between houses, feeding the help and yourself – there is a lot to think about and there are many lessons that could be learned here.

The biggest lesson that I learned was we have to take the time to plan. If we don’t take the time to plan and remove those things that are no longer important to us, we continue to throw the “items” in boxes and move them with us.  This could be mentally or physically. In this case, it was mostly physical items that, because of the time crunch, we threw in and took along to the new house.

This could easily apply mentally as well. How many times do we hold on to unimportant thoughts, or the “how it used to be” ideas in our heads making us cluttered and feeling like we don’t have enough time?

Mindset Matters

Being (mostly) an outsider in this situation, I was able to look at things more objectively.  Change is hard, no doubt about that. In every situation there are multiple ways to look at things.  This move was part of a tough decision for my friend and her family. There were pros and cons.  There was a lot of discussion and prayers that went into making their decision.  While asking various people related to the situation for their thoughts on the move, there were mixed emotions. This all brings me to the next lesson I took away, which happens to be something I struggle with at times, so I totally understand where they were coming from –  your mindset matters!

This is definitely easier said than done, but we have to learn how to speak to ourselves in a positive way!  When something has potential to line up with our current priorities, and especially when it requires change, we have to pump ourselves up about it.  Once a decision is made, the tone that you use in your head absolutely will affect how the new situation plays out for you – positive or negative.  Start out with a positive thought and the chance of ending the day on a positive note is much greater, same with the opposite.

This trip was energizing for me. It was a chance to step out of my own normal routine to help out a friend, have some good laughs, and learn some valuable life lessons.   I came home refreshed with new perspectives. Life can be tough, change can be hard – take the time to learn from everyday situations and never stop growing as a person.  What can you do to make each day be a little better than the last?

 

 

Beachbody Health Bet: Get Paid To Be Healthy

This non-betting girl is willing to take THIS bet, how about you?

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What is the Beachbody Health Bet?

Beachbody is betting that you will fall in love with getting healthy!

Starting September 5th through October 2nd, 2016, anyone who meets the requirements below will win an equal share of a $1 million dollar pot funded by Beachbody!  As a BONUS – for every Challenge Pack sold from July 27th – August 31st, 2016 Beachbody will add $5 to the pot up to a $3 million dollar pot!

The Health Bet Focuses on Building Healthy Habits.

Workout with a Beachbody program three times per week and drink five Shakeology shakes.  That’s it.  Log it all in the Beachbody Challenge Tracker App and you win!

How Much Will You Win?

It all depends on how large the final pot will be (minimum of $1 million and maximum of $3 million) and how many people participate.  Regardless of the final dollar amount you win, you will be a winner in that you have created healthy habits, you will be a stronger and more vibrant person than when you started.

What Do You Need to Join?

  1. I need to be your official Beachbody Coach.  If you don’t have a coach, sign up HERE for a free Team Beachbody membership.  (If you are already working with a coach please reach out to them.)
  2. A Challenge Pack which is your workout program bundled with Shakeology.
  3. A smart phone to access the My Challenge Tracker app.  (Works on IPhones and Android – I’ll send you the link to download the app.

Official Contest Rules

Who’s Ready to Join Me!

 

Marriage is no lazy river, Welcome to the Love Roller-Coaster!

 

Can we talk about marriage for a minute?  Anyone who tells you marriage is easy ALL the -time is a liar!

Please Note: I am not a marriage counselor or expert, these are just my opinions after 6 years of experience.

Love is crazy but can make life so much more interesting and exciting.  While you are learning about the ins and outs of your partner you are learning about yourself in the process. Similar to most things in life, it can be compared to a roller-coaster.  There are days in marriage that you feel on top of the world. Everything happens exactly as you imagine – you glance over easily seeing the sparkle in their eye and all things that originally attracted you to them.

Then there are other days – days that you wonder if you have anything in common, if you can do anything except push each others buttons, and if it is possible for two individuals to actually live in the same household. These days are the flat stretches after having gone down a thrilling drop and now all you see is a HUGE climb in front of you. With each clank of the track, you feel like you will lose hold and fall backwards.

A major career change happened for me recently and I found myself pulling the arm of my husband to go on that thrilling ride with the short line, the one that everyone else feared.  Not stopping to allow any fear to sink in, the adrenaline from the previous ride carried me.  I got buckled in the seat and was ready for an adventure all while he was scared and didn’t know how to show it. It wasn’t until part way through that I stopped my screaming to look over and see that he was white knuckleIMG_1878[1]d.

My reaction at first was anger and disappointment. Did he not trust that this ride would be a great one? He had gotten in line with me and said he was on board – what changed? Maybe there were a few surprises early that we weren’t expecting, but doesn’t he see those amazing loops coming up that will be awesome?  In all of my excitement, I had forgotten to reach over to grab his hand. I forgot to make sure he was ready and as excited about the ride as I was.

The important part to remember, especially on the tough days, is that it is not about just you. It is about the “us”.  As hard as it may seem at times, put your partner first and show them genuine kindness.  Fear and the unknown are what have caused the tough times in my marriage. But, I am learning to sit by and hold the hand of the passenger next to me in the car as we climb up each scary hill.  Once we make it to the summit safely and are at the point of a thrilling drop, then we can throw our hands up and enjoy the adventure!

An alternative ride to choose in the theme park of life would be the lazy river – flat and relaxing, but lacking excitement, growth and adventure. While it may sound exciting to have the same routine and do the same things day in and day out, after a period of time that routine becomes boring.

Life happens during the ups and downs. Being able to reach over and grab the hand of your partner is much more exciting than riding the lazy river or going it alone on the roller-coaster!  Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a ride!

Originally posted on Her View From Home

 

 

Pursing Your Life Vision

VISION WITHOUT ACTION IS MERELY A DREAM.  ACTION WITHOUT VISION JUST PASSES THE TIME.  VISION WITH ACTION CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.   — JOEL A. BARKER

Do you have a vision of what it is you want in life, for your family, for your health, etc? THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION. Don’t put it off any longer – stop to think about it right now.  Check out these three simple steps to pursuing your life vision.

Step 1) Bring your Vision into Focus

What is it that you want? Who does that impact? Is it something that you are willing to fight for? If you couldn’t fail, what is it that you would be doing?  Picture all aspects, how would you spend your time, where would you live, would you travel, etc.

Step 2) Take Action 

Once you have a vision of what you want, the next step is to put it into action. Think about your priorities. Do your current priorities align with your vision?  Does something need to go to free up time?

If your vision includes a health aspect have you previously pushed fitness and nutrition to the bottom of the list? Does that need to change?

If your vision includes a financial aspect, are there expenses that can be eliminated in the short term to free up cash to put towards your long term vision?

Is your vision worth getting up an hour earlier, is it worth turning off the TV or logging off Facebook to work on, is it worth researching to learn more about?

Step 3) Surround yourself with Support

Next step surround yourself with people who will support your vision!  You must be willing to share your vision with others.  Be proud of your vision and find those that have a similar vision to hang out with. Lean on them for support. Find out what it is they do.

And most likely during the process you will become uncomfortable and fear will kick in.  So remember what Theodore Roosevelt said about that “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.  The next best thing is the wrong thing.  The worst thing you can do is nothing”.

If you are willing to share, I would love to hear your visions for life!