the things we think, and do not say

This Jerry McGuire scene is one of my absolute favorites, and pops in my head weekly when the same conversation with everyone in my personal and professional life, seems to play on repeat mode:

“Do other people think about this stuff?”

(Forget the sports specific theme here, and roll with this for me.) And scene:

Many of us live in pain, locked in and loaded with fear of being judged at every turn, we suppress huge parts of who we are or what we want because we think we’re going to disappoint someone else. We’re convinced the wheels will fly straight off the bus of life going 100 miles per hour if we speak up about what we really think is right. We’re adults. We’re supposed to stay in our lane, act like it, and not ruffle any feathers.

What a bunch of crap that is! I’m thinking we should all be a little more like Jerry.

“I had lost the ability to bullshit.”

“It was the me that I’d always wanted to be.” 

“I was 35. I had started my life. 

We should bullshit a lot less, be who we want to be, and start life now if we haven’t already, at 35, 45, or 85 because we can and It’s never too late. We should shout from the rooftops about what we’re passionate about, stand up for what we believe in and speak up about what matters. When a “who’s with me!” fails (because it sometimes will) and when it seems like everyone around us thinks we’ve lost our minds (which they sometimes will), we will at least sleep good at night knowing we left it all out there on the dance floor.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a beer bellied old man at the end of his life on any porch I’ve ever sat on, who’s told me he wished he’d never spoken up.

Today is the day. Show yourself “the money,” baby!

#ThinkItSayItDoIt #LessFearMoreActionHappyLife #ThanksJerry


things that fill my heart

Today is March 9, 2016 and that means it is exactly 4 months until the 5th Annual BLR Play It Forward Event in Vermont.


In 2011 when we (a couple of my amazing alumni soccer soul sisters from back in the day) came up with the idea for an alumni soccer game which then turned into a full-scale community event and scholarship fund, I spent months in my Old Town Chicago apartment, floor 23 overlooking The Second City entrance, in my pajamas trying to figure out how to make it all happen. I remember some days I’d go to the gym for an 8 or 9am class, come back home all sweaty and yucky, wrap myself in a towel intending on getting in the shower, and start working only to find it to be 8 or 9pm and myself sitting there, 12 hours later stinky, starving, and still working. It’s kind of amazing how time flies when you’re in your zone working on something you’re so incredibly passionate about. I’d eventually shower, and often times take the elevator downstairs to Chipolte (which was in the same building as The Second City across the street), get a veggie burrito, sometimes a beer and by 10pm be eating my one meal of the day on my couch in quiet. Rinse and repeat this is how those few spring months of 2012 went before our first big event happened on August 18, 2012.

Check this out! I just found a photo of my little desk area in that great high rise apartment I had:

BLR work space

Small work space that cranked out some dreams. I can’t even remember what I used for a chair! Not fancy. It didn’t matter. Boy those are good memories. This scene is where Play It Forward was born. To this day, my best work and what I am most proud of.

I’ve got buckets of photos from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 – but I will share just one from each year for space sake for today.

2012, balloon release in honor of our friends to kick off the inaugural event:

BLR Play It Forward 2012

All hands in before game, 2013:

BLR Play It Forward 2013

The Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship award, 2014:

Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship

Me and “Mr. B” last summer, 2015 – one of our most loyal fans and supporters, cheering us on each year in his same white t-shirt:

Mr. B and I

(That sweet guy was my 6th grade teacher!)

There’s no way I could share here, all the photos and words I have that would illustrate properly the amazing impact we make. This day is so special you have to be there to believe it. (I hope whoever you are reading this, you will join us this summer in some kind of capacity!)

On July 9, 2016 we will once again come together to reconnect, reminisce, play soccer, cry together, laugh together, and give back. I already know it will as usual, be my favorite day of the year. A bittersweet day in this “brutiful” life, where nothing else matters other than coming together to remember, celebrate, and live.

What do you do, to make sure you never forget where you came from?

#RememberCelebrateLive #PlayForwardGiveBack #StrongMojo


a february friendsgiving

It’s funny how for no rhyme or reason this crazy life sends us in 1,000 different mood directions on any given day. It’s like this never ending game on figuring out which end is up.

I like a good challenge.

Today was good. Productive with client work, a run, and busy cranking that to-do list, yet I wondered why I woke up this morning feeling like crap and a little blah all day long. Reason? Nothing? Anything specific going on? Not really. I don’t know how all this works, either, people- I just try my best to bound out of bed and make things happen- even when I wake up feeling like someone stole my puppy.

My favorite part of the day today to turn my frown upside down was my 2-hour Skype Happy Hour wine time with an old friend from back home. Have you tried this? It is so fun, and something you might never think of doing. (I have my friends Dana & Erik in Chicago to thank for the idea.) So tonight, sipping wine, talking into the screen on my laptop with an old friend who’s known me since 1st grade, both of us in pajamas even though it was only 6pm felt so nice. There’s something to be said for someone you have to explain nothing to. This friend and I are so different we may as well be oil and water, but we know and love each other like sisters and would pretty much take that bullet if needed. This is a person that I feel lucky to have. I know no matter where I go and what I do, this is someone who will always be there, period.

I hope you all reading this are lucky enough to have someone like this is your life. It sure makes me feel thankful. If you don’t have a person like this, they are available and out there, you just have to be willing to barf your feelings, problems, nutty thoughts, excitements, hopes, dreams, heartbreaks, and more to them. They will do the same, and in return you will find a friendship/family in letting your freak flag fly. It often takes a long time to get to the full-acceptance place with a friend like this, but when you do it will be very much worth the hard work and wait. Sipping wine in PJ’s, Thursday night after work talking about life- the real gritty stuff that most people hate talking about, while laughing your ass off with a good pal, in the judgement-free zone is fantastic.

Lucky, lucky me.

So after my friend Skype-fest, I was sitting here working away on my laptop, clearing out my inbox and returning an email to yet another old friend. I wrote to him how much I think about and miss my friends Katie and Sam who both died last year. Everyday seems more surreal that they are gone. On my run today I saw a Jetta, and as usual I expected it to be Sam (because that’s the car he drove.) As I shared with this friend about how much I missed the two, I listened again to a voicemail Katie left me on August 20, 2012. I love that I saved this message. I saved it because it was the sweetest and kindest message about a dream I made happen and only a friend like Katie would’ve known how much it meant to me. Something I was super proud of and most people would tell me good job! – but Katie, really just knew. She was a less words is more kind of gal. Not a phone talker or babbler like me at all, but on this particular day she happened to babble on for 1 minute and 10 seconds on my voicemail. I’m sure glad she did.

Her message on my phone from nearly 4 years ago, is one of my most cherished things.

So tonight I listened to it again, and cried. Again.

I don’t think I cry when I listen to that particular message because I miss Katie. I think I cry because Katie was the absolute epitome of a person who truly cared about and loved me, and I won’t see her in this world again. She was that friend who knew the good, the bad, the ugly. She was the friend who you’d never have to explain anything to, she just got it and was always there even if we didn’t talk all the time. I always knew that, and it was so special. She accepted me just as is. When you have a funky day and can’t explain it. When life feels hard, when you think that no one cares – about anything in the world, it is always nice to know there are some people who do care. They will Skype Happy Hour wine time with you for hours, or they’ll remind you on a voicemail, just how much they always noticed you trying your best to follow your dreams.

Whether I can talk to Katie in person or on Skype, or It’s another amazing girl friend who I can still see on the other end of a screen, at the end of a day like today I feel loved. Thank goodness for solid old friends! When technology so often fails at helping us feel truly connected to the people we love, tonight it proved otherwise for me. Far, far away can somehow feel so close, just when you need it.

How do you stay connected with your good friends?

#Friendship #LessStuffMoreLoveHappyLife #RememberCelebrateLive



My name is Diane and I too often break promises to myself.

Insert the way people introduce themselves at the start of and Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (I think, anyway- based on movies and TV shows.)

I’m not announcing my problem with boozing here, just standing up in front of you all to admit my problem out loud, and start to hold myself accountable for a most unhealthy habit.

If you ask me what I love love love to do first thing in the morning that makes me feel high as a kite, joyful, hopeful, healthy, balanced, thankful, badass, and overall as happy as a 7 year old swimming in a mountain of gummy worms- it never changes; writing and/or exercising. I know this, many people around me know this, I talk about this, yet I epically fail at doing either of these things during much of my Monday – Friday lately. Especially the writing part, which is super sucky-poo because I’ve got great stories, a lot to say, and anytime I finish, I feel like I’ve exorcised all the worlds demons or just returned from some kind of life altering detox cleanse.

So here I am, Friday February 19th, 2016 proclaiming my addiction (the healthy kind; moving my body and sharing my words) in a huge attempt to hold myself accountable just like I hold my clients accountable for what they need to do…to just do more of what drives my days straight down that Blue Lollipop Road I know is out there.

What’s got me all off track and breaking promises to myself? Lot’s of little things that I could use as excuses of course, but really It’s simple; not taking the time I know I need and want, to be the best version of Diggidydi. (That’s me, high school nickname. Shout out to the MAU boys for coming up with that one back in 1995:)

As I talked to a single Mommy friend this morning who is just burned, like extra crispy bacon exhausted burned, I advised on my high horse; Take more time for you! You deserve better and more! Draw the line! You are going to run yourself into the ground if you don’t recharge! – I have to laugh. Aren’t we all so good at giving advice to ourselves by giving it to someone else?

If you’re reading this now and you don’t see a post again from me within the next 3 to 5 days, I hope you will write to me and call me out. If you’re reading this right now and running around multitasking like a freak show (I can relate), just stop it. If you’re reading this right now and don’t even have the faintest idea what fuels you to start your day with that I’m going to kick ass and take names, today! feeling, take some time to start figuring that out. (It is Friday after all, everyone takes an extra long lunch on Fridays. Your boss won’t notice. He’s probably golfing anyway.)

Let’s all get less addicted to email and other work day time wasters, and more addicted to becoming an expert at exactly what were passionate about, so we can share that awesomeness with the people around us.

What’s your healthy addiction that’s been collecting dust lately?

#GetAfterIt #DontForgetYourself #TodayIsTheDay


what do you choose?

This came into my inbox from one of the best real estate agents I know, with a “Made me think of you!” attached:

Feel the joy


Oh the choices we have each day if we are lucky enough to wake up and be healthy!

Today I challenge you to remember what brings you crazy amounts of joy, and to go chase it all the way.

#TodayIsTheDay #FindYourFreedom #Live



100 proof, and proud of it

Never dilute

Had to share this that I saw tonight. Story of my life! I’m a girl who’s always heard she’s “too much to handle.”

Well that’s just silly.

To all my fellow freaks, and geeks, who may have the label of “too much” energy out there…rock on my sisters and brothers! Better to be a little too much, than a little too little.

Always keep in mind who appreciates you exactly how you are.

There’s no stop in you. Only go.

#BlueSkiesAhead #GetAfterIt #OneLifeDoItRight


a little crazy never hurt anyone

Rainy chilly Saturday night, not feeling so hot with a little bit of a cold. All snuggled in I am, and in a effort to be not only productive, but reflective, even with the sniffles, I’m flipping pages going through a couple old notebooks. (My regular give it a once-over after I’ve used up all the pages to see if I missed any “to-do’s” or important things, then toss.) This is what I see just a few page flips in:


(“Tons” of money kind of cracks me up. Was I having a 6 year old moment there?)

I can’t say I’m surprised I wrote the above on a certain friends birthday in February last year…what would have been her 37th birthday. She’s always on my mind, but on a few specific few days each year like her birthday, I make sure to doubly check myself to make sure I’m practicing what I preach and making my best attempt to live my goals.

Like you I’m sure, I fail miserably at being on point with all things all the time, I say yes to things I shouldn’t- that suck time and energy and don’t give back personally, professionally, or financially nearly enough, I forget to have gratitude as much as I should, and every once in a while I even have baditude! (Bad + attitude.) The worst? That damn gerbil wheel I despise so much is found under my own two feet too, every year or so. (Until I fling myself off, screaming and tearing…just jumping and gasping for that non-gerbil wheel air I love and need to survive and thrive.)

Thankfully when we find ourselves slipping into bad habits, and spin, spin, spinning like those little rodents- we have THE CHOICE to jump back into whatever awesome reality we know is out there, just as fast as we realize we’re spinning.

To my sweet, funny friend who inspired me to write this “Keep in mind” trio, thank you for reminding me that we all deserve to be crazy happy.

Indeed we do.

#TodayIsTheDay #KickYourOwnAss #StayTheCourse

What makes you crazy happy?

PS ~ You know what would make me crazy happy? If you scrolled down to the bottom of this page and signed up to get my blog posts via email, that’s what. Whoop!


a long winter’s nap?

Nah…I’m here!

I know It’s been a few weeks, so sorry to leave my blog followers hanging. You know I love to write and share here. I promise to post more regularly. 2015 felt like a whirlwind of what month is it? Then, boom! Here we are kicking off 2016.

Even though work has been very busy, we did manage to escape for a couple days, continuing to follow our “less stuff, more experiences” lifestyle, and opted to buy and spend 2 nights at a friends beach house in lieu of physical gifts for Christmas this year. Whaddya know, it ended up being near 80 degrees in North Carolina for a few days! Yeah!

Bike rides, beach time, and sand in toes was a very happy holiday time:

Beach time

Love at the beach

Beach time

Nerd pose! I was wearing one of my Play It Forward shirts, so wanted to try and make you laugh:)

Here’s to having more freedom in 2016! Dip your foot in the chilly beach water, then jump in, baby! This is our one life and the blue lollipops are all out there for the taking.

#LessStuffMoreExperiencesHappyLife #BeachChristmas #FindYourMojo