mother’s day 2014

Baby A’s gifts



Baby B’s gifts



C’s gifts






a to z: l is for liebster award


I was pleasantly surprised (read: shocked) the other day when Sam over at thatsawesam’s Blog nominated me for the Liebster Award. Although I started this blog on 12/1/13, I never really got it off the ground until mid-March when I finally started blogging vs. only thinking of blogging. So being that I’ve only been blogging (for real) for about a month, I’m honored and grateful for this award. Thanks, Sam!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award for newish blogs with less than 500 1000 200 200-1000 followers given by newish bloggers. It’s a way to recognize other newish blogs in the community and, in turn, keep spreading the love. Being the researcher that I am, I came across many variations in the rules and decided to merge some of them together to make them work for me, hence the strikethroughs.

Rules for the Liebster Award

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate 11 5-11 other blogs with less than 500 1000 200 200-1000 followers.
  4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.

The 11 questions I was given (and my answers):

  1. If you could make the most ridiculous show what would it be about? A left-brain heavy professional seeking rich right-brain balance. A Mommy to a very thoughtful son and rambunctious identical twin girls (one sweet and girlie, one book-smart and intense), wife to her high school sweetheart, and self-proclaimed wannabe hippie geek, Liane believes in researching everything (literally) and trying her best to practice less is more, the three r’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), lifelong learning, and personal growth with meraki. Oh wait, this most ridiculous show sounds familiar, doesn’t it?!? 😉
  2. If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be? Umm… maybe one of my kids? It’d be interesting to see life through their eyes. And make sure kids are nice to them and their teachers are teaching them.
  3. If you could have an all expense paid trip to anywhere in the world where would it be? Definitely Japan. Been there once and would love to go back again.
  4. One word to describe you? Creative.
  5. If you had to change your url/ username to something completely not yourself what would it be? wildextrovertedrapper
  6. If you could be vocally gifted in one music genre what would it be? Opera for the range merged with Rock for the stress-relief.
  7. If you could have your own shop what would you name it? What would you sell? NaturalLi (get it? “Natural” plus my shortened name “Li” for “Liane”) and I’d sell… natural (duh?!?) products like homemade bodycare products/cleaners, baby products, clothes, and handmade jewelry made of natural stones/crystals. And, of course, everything would be packaged all pretty and with cute labels.
  8. What’s one of your funniest memories? Trick-or-treating with my BFFSFG (best friend forever since first grade) when we were in Intermediate school and going up to get candy from what we thought was an ugly fake farmer dressed in overalls (holding a bowl of candy) only to realize he was real after he made his hair move, threw his bowl of candy up in the air, and came chasing after us screaming girls running up the hill. We went from happy lil’ trick-or-treaters to scared shitless lil’ trick-or-treaters to laughing-so-hard-we-almost-peed-our-costumes lil’ trick-or-treaters.
  9. If you could make a terrifying creature to scare away annoying people what would it look like? Well, now that the ugly fake farmer dressed in overalls (see #8) is stuck in my head, I think he’d be quite terrifying and scary enough to keep annoying people away.
  10. If you had superpowers what would you want them to be? Definitely mind-reading, if that’s actually considered a superpower.
  11. Do you know any funny, but dumb jokes? Do one and answer it. No. I am THE.WORST.JOKE.TELLER.EVER. Seriously. I forget punchlines, I forget the joke, I forget how to tell it, and I even forget jokes people have told me (I’ve been known to hear a joke (again) and laugh like it’s the first time (again) that I’ve ever heard it (again).)

My fine print addition:

I apologize in advance if you already have 1000+ followers (yay you!), was already nominated (yay you!), don’t like these kind of things (I understand), don’t have time to participate (believe me, I understand), or just plain ol’ don’t wanna participate (no worries). Sorry if I didn’t nominate you and you wanted a nomination. Sorry if I did nominate you and you didn’t want a nomination. Participation is totally optional and no offense taken or meant.

My nominees (like many of my lists, these are in no particular order except alphabetical by blog name… oh, and if you can count, which I’m sure many of you can, I nominated 13 blogs since I couldn’t just stop at 5, 8, or 11… call me rebellious):

*** Edited to note: As I’m going through my nominees’ “About” pages to let them know that I have nominated them (you might wanna check out their “About” pages BEFORE you choose your nominees), MANY of them were already nominated. If this is you, please don’t feel obligated to participate. I know how much work it is and I wouldn’t want this to be one of those not-fun pains you put off until enough time has passed that you hope it/I disappear. ***

A Little Typical

Alien Aura’s Blog

Between Madness & Euphoria

The Long Winding Road to A Diagnosis

Okaasan’s Blog

Put The Kettle On


Salty Spring’s Blog

Somber Scribbler

Tea & Knee Socks

U Be Cute

Under the Pecan Leaves

Willow’s Corner

11 questions for my nominees:

  1. What is your favorite smell?
  2. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Why?
  3. Name one word to describe you.
  4. What song is stuck in your head right now (or what was the last song that was stuck in your head)?
  5. When was the last time you were nervous? Why?
  6. What top 3 characteristics would your ideal boss have?
  7. What’s something you hate doing? Why?
  8. Name a movie or book whose main character and/or storyline represents you or a time in your life.
  9. Which store would you choose for a shopping spree?
  10. If you had to change your username/url to something completely not yourself, what would it be?
  11. How do you know when something/someone is totally right for you?

Phew, I think that’s it. Have fun! 🙂


daily prompt: singing the blues

I was in the process of composing this post (dementia + cancer = hearing the diagnosis for the first time (again)) when I discovered that it fits with today’s daily prompt: We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

Here’s my advice (with a story to preface it)…

I’m currently working with a patient who has moderate-severe dementia. Although Speech-Language Pathologists “treat” dementia, I’m working with him to improve his weak swallow. I touch upon cognitive tasks but it’s not my focus as he was referred for swallow therapy. Impaired swallowing is so dangerous in that it can lead to aspiration pneumonia (lungs fill with fluid and bacteria due to food/liquid/secretions going into the airway instead of the stomach) which can be life threatening. It also decreases one’s quality of life. Two weeks ago, I noticed a decline in his overall affect…increased lethargy, increased fatigue, delayed processing, and decreased cognition. I spent one week away for Spring Break and upon my return, I noticed his skin looked drier and he looked frailer, like he had lost a few pounds. After our session, his caregiver delivered the news…his previously localized lung cancer was probably spreading. And they have elected comfort measures only, which means no more testing and no more treatment.

Even more heart wrenching than the news itself was my patient’s reaction to the news. He slowly looked up at us and the one word he uttered pierced me straight in the heart… “Cancer?!?” I positioned myself behind my patient and mouthed to his caregiver, “He doesn’t know?” with this look of utter shock on my face.

Due to his dementia, my patient seemed to not remember the cancer diagnosis he received back in 2009. So hearing this news was like hearing it for the first time (again).

The look on his face changed from questioning to confusion to disbelief to fear. His caregiver consoled him, “You’re okay.” I rubbed his back.

I will never forget the level of emotion I felt in those few minutes. As a seasoned Speech-Language Pathologist (going on 11 years),  empathy and compassion are second nature. My heightened level of awareness and observational skills contribute to my ability to determine when something isn’t right. I’ve also been around death and dying. But this moment was one I had never experienced before and it left a lasting impression on me.

Today’s daily prompt asks how we combat the blues and asks for a tip to share that always lifts our spirits. As a therapist, I’m exposed to a lot of good and a lot of celebrations… but along with the good comes some not so good. One could feel emotionally drained from the daily exposure to pain, disability, hardship, disease, frustration, death, etc. Or one could learn from it and be humbled by it and realize that there are other people out there who would give anything to have what we have. The “small” things that can sometimes drag me down are really nothing compared to the medically complex diagnoses some of my patients are dealing with. I can be a source of joy for them, someone they look forward to seeing, someone who listens, someone who understands, and someone who genuinely cares, wants to help, and hopefully does help.

However, little do my patients know that what they give to me is so much more valuable than what I give to them. I am the privileged one they are allowing into their lives.  Among a list of things, they teach me gratitude and grace, they teach me perspective, and they humble me to the point of realizing that my own blues are actually blessings I should be cherishing as they indicate a “normal” life. Each and every time I interact with my patients, my spirits are lifted.

The amazing thing is that you don’t have to be a therapist to experience this spirit lifting. You just need to be a compassionate human being. And if you feel you don’t quite know how to be one yet, just being around others and listening to their stories and allowing yourself to be humbled by them should be enough to start putting everything into perspective. Even if you’re not the social type, reading blogs and watching the news will expose you to others who are in more desperate situations than yourself.

Oh, and on a high note and as an upside to moderate-severe dementia… when I saw my patient yesterday again (after the heart wrenching experience two days prior), he was back to his “normal” self again. No cancer confusion. No cancer disbelief. No cancer fear. Just my patient being present in the moment, laughing (again) at the mouth exercises I was reviewing with him (again) as if it were the first time he was seeing them (again).

daily prompt: singing the blues

to the real bullies of the world (mom bloggers)

Perfect post re: blogging mothers + insensitivity = judgmental bullies. I was never as aware as I am about sensitive issues/choices and opinions prior to becoming a Mom. As Mothers, our parenting choices are constantly under scrutiny. As we research and attempt to validate our choices, the more opinionated and confused we become. Instead of believing in ourselves and supporting each other, we either ignore those whose choices are unwavering (for being so black and white) or fall into a circular pattern of confusion by experimenting with everything that everyone else is doing. We need to trust that we know what’s best for our families and support each other during this journey.

Jane Eyre Likes Cupcakes


0. Cover & Gateways.indd

You are part of a blogging community that rivals, if not exceeds, the size of my own: indie authors. I’m not going to lie and pretend that I make a point of reading very many parenting blogs. If I happen to know the author, or there’s a really interesting hook, I’ll devote the time to it. But I’m not a mom, and I don’t plan on ever becoming one.

“So what?” you might reasonably ask. “You aren’t a lot of things, but I’ll bet you still read about them.”

While I’m not entirely certain I’m comfortable with you arguing with me on my own blog, it’s a fair point.

But I have another reason for avoiding most mom-themed blogs: They tend to be overly judgmental. Bear in mind, that this is a newspaper editor and wanna-be indie author saying this. I’m…

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the power of being a guest contributor

photo taken by and posted with permission from Liane's friend, Melissa

photo taken by and posted with permission from Liane’s friend, Melissa

A couple of months ago, my Facebook profile picture (cake at left) appealed to one of my friends, leading her to ask if I’d like to be a guest contributor on her blog, Holoholo Girls.  Unbeknownst to her (and pretty much myself too, as I had only just begun to scratch the surface of this blogging world), I had my own blog and a New Years Resolution to join this world of blogging.

Being asked to be a guest contributor of a reputable and thriving blog was truly an honor and THE driving force behind going beyond just creating this blog and actually writing posts, the heartbeats of this blog.

I’m not fully versed in the etiquette of this blogging world yet, but I’d like to thank Carolina and Kainoa over at Holoholo Girls for including me in their lives and for not only helping me maneuver my first guest post, but for really giving me the priceless push I needed to begin this journey as a blogger.

I’d encourage you to visit Holoholo Girls.  Stay a while and engulf yourselves in the lives of these amazing wāhine (women) on the go.

Oh, and while you’re there, check out my new beginnings post too!

who’s who – entitlement

What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.

Brené Brown

Ever notice the very ones accusing others of entitlement are really the ones with entitlement issues/decreased gratitude themselves?  When I offer up or ask for anything, whether it be material items, words, or gestures, I’m usually doing it with the best and most gracious intentions.  Not everyone may positively accept them (or me) every single time.  But the least one could do is show gratitude and respectfully decline.  All interactions are privileges.  Treat them as such and be grateful for the interactions others choose to share with you.