Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Apology: Long Time...No Post

It is with great shame that I begin typing this blog as I have not written here in a few months. After my Father-in-law passed away, every time I started writing I found myself unable to write about anything other than loss. Business stopped for about two weeks, and during that time I often tried to write something, but it never seemed worthy of anyone else's eyes. I was not ready to move forward, so I just levitated in a pained state while I nursed my family's fresh wounds.

Once the kids were done with school, I fully expected my normal summer months of leisure. All my previous years in business, the summer months always proved to be very quiet. This year, however, I found myself busier than ever before. My mother-in-law watched the kids on my workdays, and when I wasn't working out of the house, I did the best that I could at being the same mom that I was years before. Not only did I not have the time to wallow in my sadness, but I could literally feel my wounded heart being healed with the work of helping others through their circumstances. Although I was busy from dawn until dusk, it was an incredibly satisfying summer.

Now I find myself at the beginning of the school year. My sweet babies are growing up way too fast. Juliet is in the 7th grade and Dylan is now a First grader. As the kids get into their new routine, I find myself kicking back into my old routine. I promise (okay, "promise" is a pretty strong word)... to try (the word "try" will bail me out of the "promise" word) to be more diligent with the musings of my life that are tucked into this blog. As for now I can assure you that I am happy and hopeful. In the scheme of life, what more can I ask from myself?

Until I blog again, (I promise to try to make it sooner than later)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not all change feels good

I did not expect the inevitable to happen so soon...

On May 22nd 2010 my beloved father-in-law passed away. 
Passed away...
Passed away...
How can this be?

He received the devastating diagnosis just this past fall.  Stage 4 esophogeal cancer.  I am a google info hog, but when I started reading the prognosis I stopped googling. The information was so bad, so lacking of true hope.  Even the good stories contained such horrendous information.

I am not terrified of death.  I have great faith in the promise of a wonderful afterlife.  I am, however, saddened to the core about losing those around me.  Its a shame we can't get an occasional visit, phone call, or even a postcard from those who have passed before us.

Over the past month the inevitability of the situation became more and more apparant.  I tried to ignore the signs my brain was trying to signal to my heart.  Instead I told myself, "Please no... just shut up... I don't want to hear this!"  But then something happened, I started seeing what life would look like if we kept him around for our comfort, despite his deteriorating health.  He was not getting better... each day he was suffering more and more.  I changed my pleading prayers for healing to pleading prayers for peace.

"He just went to sleep," this is what I told my children when they asked if I was with him when he passed.  It is a much glorified version of what happened in that hospital room his final hours, but it is what I am going to change as my reality.  He fell asleep here painlessly, and woke up healed in heaven.  I can accept that.

Now what?  How do I make sense of this all?  How do I take what happened and turn it good?  Is it possible? 

For now I will just try to turn his legacy into learning lessons for my children.  I have been confronted with the frailty of life, but as a result it just seems all that more precious.  I apologize to my children that death seems to have cruely stripped away their beloved Pappy far too soon for their comfort.  His absence will be an open sore on all the happy times ahead for them for quite some time. 

Until we meet again...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Slipping Through My Fingers"

This morning was like many other mornings at my house. I woke up at the same time, wandered around the house, made my hot tea, and then went upstairs to wake up my 11 year old daughter Juliet. Through our sleepy eyes we did our morning exercises together. We laughed when we bumped arms into each other and giggled at our awkwardness. This girl is such a joy!

After breakfast, and after she and her 6 year old brother Dylan were ready for school, I loaded them up in the car and took them to the bus stop. After a tight hug and sloppy kiss, Dylan ran to the bus with the same burst of energy that drives him every day. He stomped all over the worms that were scattered out on the road due to the early morning spring rain. Juliet took a bit more time to walk to the bus. Her long curly golden blonde hair drifted over her face as she looked back and me and smiled.

I let out a long sigh of relief and gratitude that she looked back. It does not happen that often anymore. Her life does not revolve around mine anymore. Her absolute adoration for me has now been replaced with friends, boy crushes, and dreams for her future. Oh, I know that she still loves me, but it is not the same.

My love for Juliet has never changed. With each step she takes, I know she needs me less and less, but that does not mean that my love has wavered. In some ways I think I appreciate her even more. These days are quickly slipping through my fingers. I am trying to hold tight, but I cannot stop the hands of time no matter how hard I try. As each chapter ends a new one begins. This chapter is full of fun things: girl movies, make-up, and shopping. But I can’t help to flip back through the pages of the last chapter and feel a sense of longing and regret. Did I realize how special each day was? Did I hold her enough? Read to her enough? Did I stop housework to listen to her special little stories enough?  Did I do enough to place her on the path to the person she is supposed to be?

I hope she and I can continue to grow a bond that time cannot take away. May my life weave through her, so that long after I’m gone – she and I will still be a special pair, and may she look back at these days with even a fraction of the fondness that I have for them. Yes, I see her slipping through my fingers. I feel her emotionally growing away from us, and looking forward to the person she is going to become. I have full faith that person will take good care of her. Until that time, I hope that I can continue to focus on the grains of her childhood remaining in my hands, rather than focusing on the ones slipping through my fingers and blowing gently away, forever gone, in the wind. 


Friday, March 19, 2010

Training Wheels

The time has arrived that one of the last toddler items in our home will soon be cast away.  My 6 year old son Dylan is ready to ride his bike without his training wheels.  He has become quite the bike rider with his training wheels; whizzing up and down our driveway like an expert biker.  It is going to be an adjustment when he realizes that those little noisemakers were really giving him extra balance.  But, without taking off his training wheels, he will never learn to truly balance and trust himself.

This poses a question for you, what training wheels do you still have firmly attached in life?  Are you using something as a security blanket?  Is there something or someone that you are leaning a bit too hard on, so that you don't need to trust and balance within? 

Many of my clients have found themselves immersed in clutter as a result of bad habits.  They often do things, collect things, save things, shop for things, and even sometimes hoard things because it is what they have always done.  Those things seem to prop them up, give them security as they ride through life. 

What will happen if they kick off those training wheels?  Much like my son, they will probably fall flat on their face a couple times.  But the real strength comes as they hop back on the bike.  Soon, they will begin to trust in themselves and not the annoying noise-makers that used to slow them down and hold them back.

My dear friends, I ask you to give a thought to what is holding you back today.  Let me assure you, that you don't need the clutter in your life that seems to give you the comfort.  You will be stronger without it.  The more you let go, the more you will learn that you are so much more capable than you have given yourself credit. 

Take off those training wheels and ride like you have never rode before...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wonderful Signs of Spring

I can't say this has been the worst winter I remember. We had a mild November with a few days that did not even require a jacket. Not bad for Pennsylvania! My family had a wonderful vacation in December followed by a perfect Christmas. A nice start to the 2009-2010 winter season.

It seems the evil tide turned sometime after the New Year. We seemed plagued with days upon days of nothing but frigid temperatures, dreary skies, and icy weather. The snow in February was fun... The mess the snow left behind was ugly. After awhile even my kids started to get annoyed with going outside in the snow. We all started acting like caged in animals, desperate for some roaming room!

This past weekend the warm-up began. My friends and family were all rejoicing over 50 degree weather. Scott and I took the kids for a bike ride and it just felt good to breathe in non-stale air. There were piles of snow everywhere, but the hope of spring was under it - and the reality of that was incredible!

I can't say that spring was always my favorite month. I actually found it quite boring as a child - no sledding, no swimming, but now... (((gasp))) it is so much more than that. It is life; it is new beginnings, a rebirth of everything around me that had hid itself from the crippling grasp of winter. Even the springtime air smells different - new, fresh, and alive.

Oh the wonderful awakenings that I am so anxious to see in the upcoming days. I have heard (have yet to see it for myself) that the flowers are starting to come out of the ground. I would love to chat longer, but I am going to open up the windows, grab a sweater (it is only 50 degrees mind you) and go sit outside and soak up some good old Vitamin D!

Make sure you take a moment in your crazy lives to go outside, tip your chin upwards, and allow that beautiful sunshine to spread all of your face.

Keep it simple,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The day has finally arrived. I took Juliet, my 11 year old daughter, to the Orthodontist to get her braces put on her teeth this morning. From the time her perfect little baby teeth were all still firmly in place, we knew this day was coming. X-rays showed problems that were completely hidden to us. As the baby teeth fell out, the adult teeth became showing up in all the wrong places. In the back of her mouth she simply does not have the space to fit all the teeth that are there, let alone the ones that still have yet to arrive. And then in the front she has space between each tooth. As much as we wanted her teeth fixed, we had to wait until certain teeth fell out. And now the braces are on the teeth, but the gaps she so anxiously wants to see closed will not be fixed first. The first step is to make the teeth straight and then they can focus on making things look nice cosmetically. This process can take anywhere from 3-5 years.


As I was driving home I started thinking about patience for my organizing clients. As a result of not only their own despair about their situations, but also television shows that can completely transform spaces in under an hour, my clients want their jobs done FAST. Although I do pride myself in fast results, what I am truly more interested in is results that last. Much like the orthodontist, the cosmetic issues are often not the aspect that needs the most attention. The foundation; the broken systems, bad habits, and low self esteem often have to get corrected first. The beauty of my job as a professional organizer is that I get to help others fix their foundation while beautifying their space, but it takes patience.

How do you combat impatience? The most important words of wisdom and experience I can share with you is to enjoy the process. Celebrate each step of the way with gratitude and pride. Simply stated, just enjoy the journey.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes


Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Clean Slate

Happy New Year 2010!

The Kramer family has been very busy the last few weeks. As much as I absolutely love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the hustle and bustle can completely overwhelm me. There is something very exciting about the new-ness of the new year. My kids are back in school, the house is back to its pre-holiday order, and the promise of a better year has just been born.

I must apologize for not writing down all the blogs I have composed in my head. There is a good reason, as I have a lot of exciting things happening with the website. The new one should be ready for you to check out very shortly. I love the look and feel of the new website and am so excited to share it with you all. Please check back often as it won't be long! Although the home will be different, the address is stil the same! :)

Thanks to all who have purchased my book, "Me Simplified.' Your support has been so wonderful. I plan on having the second book published by the end of 2010.