Simple Gifts


I was blessed with an early gift for Christmas.

It wasn’t wrapped in shiny paper or tied with a bow.

It was a simple answer to a simple question.

I’d asked it casually, resisting the urge to cross my fingers behind my back.

“Wanna to go to yoga class with me?”

She twisted a clump of her long blonde hair around her first finger, leaned back on the kitchen loveseat and yawned.

“No, big deal,” I said, retreating to the kitchen sink and breakfast dishes. “Only if you want to.”

I hardly heard her answer over the running water.

“I’ll go,” she’d said.

We rolled out our mats side by side.

Her eleven-year-old body so long, so graceful, so poised.

In downward dog, I heard, “Mom, Mom.”  When I turned to look, Andie asked, “How’s this?”

I smiled and nodded my head.  She smiled back.

We stood side by side in tree pose, arms waving in the studio air.  We wobbled at the same time, our hands coming together, fingers clasping in an embrace, holding each other up.

Balance restored.


May moments of joy, light, love and simplicity fill your home this holiday season.

XO Kasey

Being Me Part II: The Book Update


NYCThe Big Apple

After telling you all about the Smoothie Explosion I was prepared to share the outcome of that story and update you on the progress of the book.

I planned to remind you of the loooooooooooong journey the book has been on.

How it all began with the birth of a tiny baby, and the fleeting idea that blew in on the breeze 7 years later: Write your story down.  It will help people.  

How a year (or three) later, I had a newly finished manuscript (made that sound painless, didn’t I?) ready to find a home with a publisher.

I was going to jog your memory of the indie publisher who loved the book, slated it for publication in November of 2011 (yes, last month!) and then fell into financial crisis and was no longer in a position to publish the book.

Then I would have told you how I decided to pursue the path of finding a literary agent, sending out 10, 20, 30, 40 query letters and receiving 10, 20, 30 + rejection letters.  How I’d held one agent in line as my number one choice, you know, Her, from the Smoothie Story, the one I traveled to New York City to meet.

Which would have led us to a table for two at a cozy Thai restaurant on the Upper West Side, where I sat across from my literary agent in a brand-new, non-smoothie covered, dress.

This is where I’d ended the story last week.  Where I’d left you hanging, wanting to hear all about the meeting.

And this is where I’d planned to tell you that the literary agent was just as gracious and elegant as I had imagined her to be.

But this is also where I’d tell you that she was really worried about the current state of the publishing industry, and I would have used words like fearful and negative.

I would have told you how I spent an enitre week trying to make sense of that meeting, that I wondered if I should work with someone who seemed so uncertain.

How I tried to convince myself that I had to because she was a NEW YORK CITY LITERARY AGENT!

And then I would have told you that after going back and forth and realizing all the amazing light and love and support that already surrounded the book, I couldn’t choose a path that didn’t feel just right.

I would have told you how after hitting send on the email thanking the agent for the opportunity to work with her but that I was going to pursue a different path, I’d sat back in my chair and thought and what the hell other path might that be? 

And there my book update would have ended with a hopeful sigh.

I would have told you that one way or another, I would get that book into the hands of the people waiting to read it.

And then (insert a month+ here) my phone rang.

Then a one-woman, force-of-nature, literary agent entered the story.

She loves the book and talks so quickly and so excitedly about publishing houses and newspapers and magazines that I have to ask her to repeat herself just to make sure I’ve heard her correctly.  We get on the phone and laugh and swap stories until one of us fianlly realizes we’ve been on the phone for over an hour.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my new friend and literary agent (book designer and author, as well), Dede Cummings!

I’ve known her for all of a week.

And in that week, I’ve realized that Dede Cummings is the giant smoothie explosion of positive energy and enthusiasm this book has been waiting for!

brattA Northern Apple – Brattleboro, VT

And as comfortable as I am traveling down to New York, you know, The City, Dede is in Brattelboro, Vermont, which works just fine for me!

Thanks for being a part of this journey!  I can’t wait to hear what you think!


Being Me (aka – The Smoothie Explosion)

120811-1Remember when I told you about my trip to New York City?

I’d had my hair straightened?

Turns out, I was on my way to meet my literary agent.

The literary agent I had hoped for from the get go.

The literary agent who’d written about consciousness and authenticity on her website.

The literary agent I’d perused for over a year.


I’d spent days picking out just the right outfit.

A sleeveless short navy dress with a long matching jacket.

“Cityish, right?”  I’d asked my husband.  “Just be yourself,” he’d replied.

Big help.

“Shoes or boots?” I’d asked my sister-in-law once I’d made it to Connecticut.

“Definitely the shoes.  They’re fabulous.”

“Do I look ready for New York City?”

My brother chimed in.  “Kase, don’t say New York City.  Just say ‘New York’ or ‘The City.’”

“Right,” I said.

His advice at the train station the next morning,  “Just be yourself.”

“John,” I gave him a knowing look.  “Be myself?”  Here I collapsed my knees in a buckling motion while simultaneously throwing my arms in the air and accidently hitting myself in the head with my bag.

“Right,” my brother said looking around the station, taking a step away from me.  “Just be you, toned down and contained a bit.”

When he asked if I was sure I knew where I was going, I pulled the notepaper from my bag, flapping it in front of his face.

An hour later I was in The City, standing in Grand Central with two hours to make it to the Upper West Side.

Bathroom.  Hair still straight. Check.

Outfit smooth and stylish.  Check.

Hungry.  Check.

Smoothie stand.  Check.

Ginger-Mango.  Check.

Notes from brother.  Check.

Up the steps.  Check.

Michael Jordan Steak House.  Check.

To Vanderbilt Ave.  Check.  

Cab to Central Park West and 61st Street.  Hmmm.

No cab.

Phone out.  Call brother.

“Where’s the cab stand?”

“What cab stand?”

“Outside Grand Central.”

“Kasey, there’s no stand.  Just step in the road and put your hand in the air.”


“A cab stopped!” I yelled into the phone.

“Good.  Get in it!” my brother yelled back.


I opened the cab door.  My first thought was, “Wow, this cab is immaculate.”

I stepped forward, trying to get my bag into the back seat first.  I was fumbling to hold onto my phone.  Then I watched as the lid of my smoothie caught on the lip of the cab door.

It was an explosion.

A Ginger-Mango Smoothie Explosion.

It took me a moment to realize what had happened.  Smoothie dripped from my eyelashes.  It fell from my hair.  I could feel it traveling inside my left ear.  When it hit the ground it splashed up between my legs.  The front of my dress and jacket were covered.  COVERED.

The back seat of the cab was sloshing with smoothie and suddenly the street was full of honking cabs, waiting for us to move.

I stood frozen, clutching the roof of the cab.

“Um, do you have any napkins?” I asked the cabbie.  He threw a bunch my way.

I wanted to close the cab door and tell him to have a nice day.

But I got in.

The smoothie moved like a giant yellow blob as I pushed it across the back seat.

“Um, do you have any more napkins,” I asked.

More napkins came my way.  I tried to wipe the front of my dress and ended up with white napkin lint on top of the baby-puke colored stains.

“I don’t know if I should laugh or cry,” I said to the cabbie.

Another wad of napkins fell in my lap.

And then I laughed.

I laughed and laughed and laughed all the way to the Upper West Side.

I called my brother from a park bench in Central Park.

“Kasey Mathews you did not.  Please tell me you did not do that.”

“I did.”

“It’s like Glee when they get slushies thrown in their faces?” he said.

“Exactly,” I said.


“Ok, don’t panic,” he instructed.  “There are dress shops all up and down Columbus.”

And he was right, there were.  Only each dress shop was teeny-tiny, filled with a select few teeny-tiny dresses that cost like 500 dollars!

My “city” outfit and jacket had come straight off the clearance rack at TJMaxx.

I was running out of time and not sure what to do. Wear what I had on?  It’d make a great story, but seriously, it wasn’t an option.

Then I saw it.

I’d come upon Shopping Nirvana.

A three-story discount designer store called Century 21.

It was like TJMaxx on steroids.

Serious steroids.

As soon as I got off the escalator on the second floor, I saw it.  It was Calvin Klein and looked like I’d had it made to match my shoes.

50 Bucks!

When I came out of the dressing room the attendant said,  “Girl, you looking way better then when you came in here.”

And she was right.

I was.

I was feeling smooth.



What about you?  Any embarrassing story you’re willing to share.  Please? 

Next week, Part II – I’ll tell you all about the meeting with the literary agent and give you a full update on the book!

Maureen Simon’s Virtual Book Tour Day 8

120511-1Last week, it became official – I’ve been at this blog business for an entire year!  I’ve certainly had a lot to learn and still find myself marveling at the wonders of this new virtual world!

Case in point, my participation in the Virtual Book Tour of Author, Maureen Simon!

Maureen is the author of Awakening The Essential Feminine Claiming Your Influential Power ~ For women who know that their feminine gifts are needed now and for women who want to know more! Maureen’s book holds a missing piece for women’s empowerment as it identifies 9 areas of life and 26 attributes that women are predisposed too based on our brain biology and socialization.
120511-2Maureen Simon is the founder of The Essential Feminine Company™ (TEF). A lifestyle and business design company that supports women through the process of creating successful powerful lives that incorporates their uniquely feminine attributes and gifts. Her company provides learning environments and products that assist women in claiming, living and leading with their natural strengths and talents.

Today we visit Maureen’s beautiful Northern California garden for a Video on Conscious Choice  Maureen shares her thoughts on the power of living authentically.

As a gift to you Maureen would like to personally invite you to join in her complimentary monthly living room holiday teleseminar, Wednesday December 21st – Maureen’s monthly live living room events are for women who want to look more closely at key issues that affect their day-to-day success, happiness and overall well-being in a highly supportive environment…The Essential Feminine Living Room is a global networking community that meets virtually on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

Maureen’s special guest in December is Alyssa Aubrey the Founder and Program Director of Medicine Horse Ranch, an experiential learning center incorporating horses in human self-development. Her entrepreneurial spirit invites others to engage life ‘on purpose’ and inspires a deeply connected reach towards authentic expression and contribution. Alyssa considers her EGL program horses to be partners, healers, teachers and guides in this powerful, cutting edge process leading people to greater self-awareness and personal growth.

Sign up for Maureen’s free gift here.

The second to the last day of the tour makes another fun stop at The Organic Blonde.

Be sure to visit Jacqueline Rizk’s website, The Organic Blonde, to read an excerpt from Maureen’s book about communication.

After several years of battling inexplicable fatigue, hormonal disturbances, skin allergies and other health issues that were just not normal for someone her age, Jacqueline decided she was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time.

She became passionate about what went into her body, and what she used on her skin and in her home, even what she fed her darling pets. She wanted to take her passion to the streets. The Organic Blonde is that passion!

Visit Maureen’s blog Women Influencing Now for full virtual book tour details and a list of all the wonderful virtual book tour hosts. Each host has something special to share with you. It may be an interview, podcast, video or excerpt from Maureen’s book.


What does Authentic living look like and feel like to you?  Please leave a comment and let us know!  

Birthdays and a Book Giveaway!

120111-1-224x300This year, Andie needs 10 fingers and a toe!

In all the excitement around my daughter’s 11th birthday, I overlooked another birthday of sorts!

My Blog!!

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve been at it for 1 year now! My 1st entry announcing Andie’s 10th b’day!

Happy Birthday Blog!

And thank you, thank you, thank you wonderful readers!

I ventured into this world afraid and uncertain.  But as you shared your own personal stories, memories, advice and thoughtful comments, I quickly discovered the pure joy of sharing my weekly musings with an online community!


My 1st entry announcing Andie’s 10th b’day!


I’ve decided as a thank you celebration to try something I’ve never done before.

Drum roll, please…

A Book Give Away!

No, not mine.  That is still in process with an update coming soon.

Instead, I’m looking to give away a book that had a huge impact on my life.  It’s a book about worthiness and boundries and love and shame and so much more!  It’s called The Gifts of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  The author, Brene Brown (please put a little thingy over the last e in Brene because my computer won’t), calls it a guide to wholehearted living.
120111-3I can’t say enough about this book.  Nearly every line of my copy is underlined and almost every corner of every page is turned down!

I wanted everyone in my family to read it and ordered 5 copies.  When the rather large box arrived, I was a bit surprised.  When I opened the cardboard box and found 12 copies, I was even more surprised.  When my husband and daughter theorized that I must have started with one, decided to order 2, and accidentally created 12, I just nodded.  Mentioning that I’d actually ordered 5 would have simply confused the situation, right?

Well, if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know I’m a big believer in the guidance of higher powers. So rather than try to make meaning out of this considerable order, I figured I’m supposed to give the book to 12 people who need it!  So far, I’ve come across 11.

Are you the 12th?

I’ll post a few of my favorite passages from the book and let you decide!

If so, simply leave a comment and tell me what you liked, how it moved you or even the title of a book you’d like to recommend!

I will draw a name at random after midnight on Saturday, December 10th, using the tool at and notify the winner by email.

Passages from The Gifts of Imperfection:

Brene opens the book with the following:  “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”

In regard to shame, she says, shame is “the fear of being unlovable,” and “the birthplace of perfectionism.” She also writes that “shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story.”

What I love so much about the book is how Brene shares her own personal stories.

“I always been prone to worry and anxiety, but after I became a mother, negotiating joy, gratitude, and scarcity felt like a full-time job.  For years, my fear of something terrible happening to my children actually prevented me from fully embracing joy and gratitude.  Every time I came too close to softening into sheer joyfulness about my children and how much I love them, I’d picture something terrible happening: I’d picture losing everything in a flash.”  Me, too! I’d written next to that passage.

She wrote this on courage.  “Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism.  Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

It was so hard to pick just a few out of all the wonderful passages, but here’s one more.

“Joy is thorny and sharp as any of the dark emotions.  To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain.”

Check out her Ted Talk

What do you think?  I can’t wait to hear!

An Announcement

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Sunday, we celebrate Andie’s eleventh birthday!

Yesterday, I received an email from a woman who’d been born at 28 weeks, thirty-six years ago!  Her parents had been told there was little hope their baby would live.  Today, she’s earning a nursing degree and hopes to work in the NICU, helping preemie babies like herself!

How’s that for full circle?

When Andie was born I had been so uncertain of so many things.

Do we grieve?  Do we celebrate?

I knew for sure I didn’t want any photos taken of her in those first few days.  I’ll be eternally grateful to my sister-in-law for convincing me otherwise, allowing her to bring in a camera and take just a few.

Those photos are so precious to us all.

They helped me see that yes, we should celebrate our daughter’s arrival.  That she’d come, not when we expected, but still, she deserved the same welcome we’d given her full-term brother two years prior.

The photos inspired us to make a birth announcement.

Lee and I wrote it together.

It was our holiday card that year.

Many friends report that they still pull the card out every year and wonder at the memory.   One friend still has the announcement hanging on his refrigerator!

I’d been so scared, so uncertain about everything.  But writing that announcement brought a certainty I hadn’t felt until then. It was a way of saying, Our daughter has arrived and she’s really something! Look out world here she comes!  And believing it was true.


“From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank all of you for your overwhelming love, support, kindness and prayers.  It has been simply amazing.  Andie’s early arrival certainly came as a shock to us all.

To our question ‘Why?’, we have been offered few medical explanations.  Yet, we have found many reasons that are so clear to us.  We have discovered:  how much love, kindness and support exists in our world; that no matter how much we try to plan and control our future, much is out of our control; that prayers and positive thoughts really do work; that a baby born at 25 weeks can grow into a healthy child; and finally, that angels reallydo exist!  We continue to learn new lessons each day.

The next few months will be the same roller caster ride we’ve experienced in the last few weeks, full of ups and downs, yet we are very hopeful about Andie’s future.  Her doctors project that she may be able to come home sometime in March or April.  That is a long time to wait, but at the hospital there is a saying:  ‘Be patient, God and the NICU staff aren’t done with me yet.’

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and please continue to keep Andie in your thoughts and prayers.”

The card was meant as a way to thank all those supporting us and properly announce Andie’s arrival.  Looking back now however, I see that we were setting our intentions and declaring to the world that our girl was here to stay!

How about you?  Have you ever celebrated something that you felt uncertain about?  Did you send out an announcement when your baby was born?

The Breath of Life (or Growing a Sequoia in NH)


Eleven years ago I gave birth to a baby who needed machines to breathe.

Which is why I can’t wait to tell you this story.

It all began with a tree…

It was a silly purchase, really.  The nursery was having an end of season sale.

It was 75% off, but still, we should have known better.

“A Sequoia?” my friend asked. “Don’t they grow like a thousand feet?”

Not 1,000.  60 maybe.  I know, silly next to our house, but the kids got all excited…

“Do they even grow on the east coast?”

Turns out, they do.  But just for a little while.  And then they start to die.

We gave it a couple of years, but this fall my husband and I decided to finally dig up our California Dream and put in something more suited to our yard and east coast climate.

It was after dinner one night, I was washing dishes, he was digging up the tree, when Andie came flying through the kitchen door, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Daddy’s digging up the Sequoia,” she cried.

“Oh honey, it’s nearly dead,” I said.

“No it’s not,” she said, wiping tears from her cheeks.  “I’ve been bringing it back to life.”

Way back in September, at the beginning of the school year, Andie’s class of 5th graders had been given the choice to learn to play the soprano, alto, tenor or bass recorder.  Andie chose alto and had been practicing everyday out in our backyard.  Turns out, she’d been playing to the tree.  And in fact, upon further investigation, the tree was coming back to life.

“I thought I was only planting one tree tonight,” Lee said heading off to help Andie choose a new spot for her tree (by then under moonlight!).

It was only a few afternoons later that I was at school picking up the kids, when Andie’s teacher approached.

“I thought you’d want to know…” she began, and went on to tell me that the recorder teacher had asked every 5th grader to pick up their instruments, choose one note, take in the biggest breath they possibly could, and play that note until they ran out of air.

“I watched as the breath slowly seeped out of every child and they set their recorder down on their desk,” she paused.  “And then I saw that Andie was the only one left.  The only one still holding her note, long after the rest had stopped.”

I had to take hold of her arm to steady myself.  I didn’t even try to stop the tears.

I thought of all the years we’d given Andie kazoos and whistles, straws to blow feathers across the table, balloons to blow up… and to hear those words.  And to see the image of her holding that long, clear crisp note.

A dream come true.

Here is a short videoof Andie playing to her tree.  Her visitor is Meg.


116111-1-1024x680 116111-2-721x1024

Dear Pediatrician


I wonder if you remember me?

We met almost eleven years ago?

I was that one with the really preemie baby.


She had an ostomy bag and a scar on her back from a heart/lung surgery?

I carried her in a soft pink fleece and was a little shaky having just brought her home from the NICU?

Do you remember me?

Well, I remember you.

I remember your charcoal-colored cashmere sweater and matching thick-framed glasses.

I remember the glossy photo of your three beautiful children hanging on your office wall.

I remember the shiny silver pen you used to record your notes and how you never looked up when you said my daughter would always be small.

I remember you did look up when I said, “No,” and how I had to explain that I meant No, she wouldn’t always be small.

I remembered how you chuckled, and mumbled something about denial.

But I remember knowing that I was Not in denial.

I remember the deep knowing I felt within my being.  The knowing that my girl would not meet your expectations, but mine and the expectations of those who loved and believed in her.

I remember wondering about the other preemie parents you might meet and what would happen if they believed Your Truth.

I remember promising myself that someday I would tell you just how wrong you were.

Well, someday has arrived.

My daughter, her name is Andie, in case you don’t remember, is turning 11 at the end of the month and had her annual check-up yesterday.

I just wanted to let you know that she’s bumped up a little on the growth charts.

She’s still in the 75th percentile for weight, but is now in the 90th percentile for height.

I did promise myself I’d say it, and I’d like to, but instead, I think I’ll just say… Thank you.
110911-2 Thank you for your certainty in all the things our daughter would not be and your certainty in all the things she could not do, because without your certainty, perhaps I would never have found mine.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go,

only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” ~ Karen Ravn


What about you?  Have you ever experienced someone else telling you what will or will not be?

I’d love to hear your comments!

RSV Article and Video


Andie at two-years old

Chances are, if you don’t have a preemie, you’ve never heard of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).

But if there’s a preemie or vulnerable child in your life, you know RSV, and you know the fear that accompanies it.

When Kelli from Hand to Hold asked me to record a video segment describing Andie’s bout with RSV, I readily agreed, never imagining how difficult it would be to speak that story into the eye of a camera.

It took several weeks and many failed attempts until I finally sat down and made it through the entire story.

The process made me realize just how deeply the trauma of RSV still lives beneath the surface of my skin.

The article Now I Know begins:

On Friday morning I sat down on my yoga mat and the tears instantly began to flow.  They journeyed from my eyes, down my cheeks, to the edge of my jaw line, dropping in little puddles on my mat. 

Looking at the tiny pools, I wondered what the heck I was crying about. 

And then, in the next moment, I knew.

I knew why on Monday, I’d screamed at the man who pulled out in front of me as the traffic light turned green.

I knew why on Tuesday, I’d snapped at my son when he’d forgotten his homework at school.

I knew why we’d eaten takeout three nights in a row and why I’d had to drag myself out of bed each morning.  I knew why my lower back throbbed and why I hadn’t walked all week.

I knew why I’d forgotten my dentist appointment on Wednesday and why after a lunch of coffee and cookies on Thursday, I still hadn’t mustered up the energy to return phone calls and emails.

As the tear puddles grew and my teacher began class, I remained still, sitting crossed-legged on my mat, absorbing the realization that all week I’d been stuck back in time, nearly nine years ago when my daughter had contracted RSV…

Click here to read more.

The video accompanies the article, but is also on youtube.  My story begins around 5:25. The squinty eyes are a result of crying all through yoga class and sitting in the drizzling rain to finally record the story!

love and appreciate your comments over here and know they would feel the same over at Hand to Hold!

Thought You Might Like… (apple peeler)

Ok, here I go again… shouting from the roof tops about another somethin’ I thought you might like...

Remember when I thought I wanted to be a farmer?  Well, still no chickens or cows in our backyard, but I did buy this handy fruit-picker, and we’ve been pulling apples down from the tree in our own yard!


(Love this, but it’s not what I’m all excited to tell you about!)


11111-2-680x1024 11111-3

Yet all that apple picking fun, leads to a whole lot of apples, which means lots of peeling and slicing, which isn’t much fun at all.

Until I found a solution to our apple surplus!

A couple of weeks ago, we stopped at a local orchard for carmel apples and a trip through the corn maze. I stayed behind, because, true confession, corn mazes creep me out.  I think it has something to do with the movie  Children of the Corn which I watched way too many times as a teenager!

So while Lee and the kids navigated their way through the corn maze, I was left to browse around the farm stand.

And there between the bags of apples, checkered napkins and dried herb wreathes, I found this:


It doesn’t look like much, but this little gadget is FUN! 

It peels the apples in one long continuous peel and also slices it into a perfect ring.




The kids love it and have eaten more apples then I’d ever imagine!

I paid $22 for mine at the farm stand, and found it online for even less!

Unfortunately, it appears our apple-picking season has come to a sudden end, as we and our apples are now buried beneath two feet of snow!


Andie with her ‘snow ghost’

Hopefully, you still have apples to pick where ever you are!!

By the way, if you’ve been wondering about my Bubblah order…


…it arrived within one week and was just like the one I had ordered from QVC years before.

Now we have one in our master bedroom and my husband no longer sticks his head under the faucet to drink!