Mom’s Signature Scent

Do you know anyone with a signature scent?

My mom had one. For as long as I can remember, the warm, spicy scent of YSL’s Opium perfume was Mom’s calling card. She always wore it. 

Even now when I’m anywhere and someone walks by with it on, I’m instantly reminded of Mom. 
I can immediately feel her soft hands holding mine…
Or see of a vision of her dressed up ready for a dinner party with Dad…
Or I think of her dabbing happy tears on my wedding day. 

Mom wore that perfume exclusively for as long as I can remember. I wonder if she realized what a gift the scent would be even after she was gone? 

This Thanksgiving will mark 4 years without Mom. I still think of her daily. I miss her no-nonsense advice, and can’t help but wonder what she’d think about this pandemic. I’m so grateful for the wonderful childhood my parents gave me, and the small things that keep Mom’s memory alive, like her perfume.

Her bottle now sits on my nightstand. Most days it remains untouched. But on hard days, or milestone days like today (which would have been her 75th birthday), I open it up and take a deep breath. 
It’s Mom’s signature scent. Comfort in a bottle.
The smell of hugs, and love, and home. 


Pregnant Pause…

photo 3Sorry about my lack of posts for the past couple of years. Let’s just call it.. a ‘Pregnant Pause’ shall we? A very extended pregnant pause…

You see, I took a break  from blogging to focus on my company, my family, and my health when we got pregnant with our son, and I’ve just been swamped since my #LittleMan was born. I’ve been busy juggling my business, sleepless nights, and learning the ropes of being a new mom. My ‘Type A’ personality wants to know the textbook solution to every situation- what a joke. There’s nothing like motherhood to slap you in the face with the reality that parenting, at times, is as clear as mud. Needless to say, when my domain mapping renewal reminder popped up tonight,  I realized its been a VERY LONG time since I updated the good old sunshine stand. Sorry about that. I’ve been distracted singing to ‘my only sunshine.’

To catch you up, life has never been sweeter– and that’s because life is no longer about me. These days it’s all about my #LittleMan. He’s just about 1 and a half now, and he is a walking, talking toddler tornado– a energetic spinning ball of joy, snuggles and mischief. He is the answer to my many, many, many prayers, and makes my heart so full it feels like it is going to explode. There is no place I would rather be these days than with him and my husband at home. Indeed, home IS where my heart is.

Getting to this point has been a several year journey down a long rocky road. You see, I always dreamed I’d be a mother, but I never imagined it would take me as long as it did to become one. Pregnancy just didn’t happen as easily for me as it does for some women, and there were times I would wonder if it would ever happen at all. Thanks to some wonderful doctors and the grace of God, our prayers were finally answered and our beautiful son was born in 2014.

If I’ve learned anything during this ‘pregnant pause’ the past few years it is this– trust in God’s timing. HIS is always the best timing. We often have our own timeline, our own idea of how things ‘should be’. Try to let go of those ideologies, and trust that God has a much better plan. It might take a LOT longer than your plan, and might take you through several unexpected twists and turns, but trust that it will lead you exactly where you are supposed to be.

For me, motherhood exceeds my wildest dreams. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but by far the most important and joyful thing I will ever do. Good things come to those who wait, and I’m grateful now God made me wait was long as He did for our #LittleMan. Because of that, I’m in a place, and at a point in my life where I can savor every moment soaking up my ‘little sunshine.’


Patience is a virtue friends… thank you for being so patient with me. It’s good to be back.

Shine on!






A Lesson in Self Affirmation: The Perfect Way to Start Each and Every Day…

I’ve always been a morning person. There’s nothing like watching the sunrise and the start of a new day. Each morning brings with it an opportunity for a fresh start, and it’s up to us whether we take advantage of that chance.

I came across this video on YouTube the other day, and just found it too precious not to share. What if instead of grumbling about the morning and the day of the week, we recited the lines that this little girl does in the mirror to ourselves? There’s no better look than self-affirmation and confidence. Wear it with pride and believe in yourself… for that’s the best way to get others to believe in you.

Enjoy the following :49 second video… and Shine on!

Celebrating Thanksgiving by Thanks-living

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, perhaps like me, you’ve been digging around your kitchen searching for your special stash of recipes passed down through the generations. After all, no one makes the (fill-in-the-blank-with-your-favorite-Thanksgiving-Food) like Mom & Grandma & Great-Grandma did. I’m guessing (and hoping a little) that like me, you also have one of those messy kitchen drawers that features all sorts of odds and ends in it. Just like the fridge, the coffee maker and microwave oven, to me a home would not be a home, without a mixed up messy kitchen drawer. 

Much to my husband’s chagrin, (he’s neat–I’m messy!) mine has a multicolored mishmash of coupons, crayons, and birthday candles. It is also a landing spot for special things that come my way throughout the year. It’s kind of a confused filing cabinet brimming with stuff that I need and want to hang on to, but can’t think of anywhere else to put. Despite the clutter, I know I will always find whatever I’m looking for in that magically mixed-up drawer.

I mention (and confess to) my messy drawer today because in it, I came upon two surprises that came to me earlier this year: unexpected mail. They were both the loveliest, handwritten notes. After reading them, I saved them, and I spotted them neatly stacked in the kitchen chaos this morning like diamonds nestled among my rumpled rough.

These are not the kind of ‘thanks for a present’ notes (although I am a big fan of writing those myself) rather, these were simply written— just because… The two random notes were from family members who sat down to connect. There was nothing major happening at the time, no illnesses or life changing event. They just wrote to reach out. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a lot of these kinds of notes these days.

The first came from one of my husband’s second cousins, Amy, who I really don’t know that well, but look forward to getting to know better. She sent me the most beautiful card, and inside wrote the kindest, most heartfelt things after observing me with my nieces and nephews at a big family get-together. She brought tears to my eyes. It’s funny how people can spot what’s in your heart even across a crowded room. 

It would just so happen, that a few weeks later, I received another letter in the mail. This one, from my college aged niece, Makenzi. Her beautiful note exuded gratitude. While I won’t share the entire note with you, she did say, “You pick out the good from the bad, and I’ve heard the art of Thanksgiving from your lips.” Yes! She mentioned Thanksgiving, and I received this note back in July. She’s quite the young lady and she makes us all so proud.

I don’t mention these notes to sing my own praises. Rather it’s the opposite. I mention them because the authors touched me to the core. It’s not just what these special ladies wrote, but that they cared enough to write in the first place. They found time in between classes and children and their packed schedules to sit down and take a few minutes to do something special and unexpected for me. Sending a text message or an e-mail would have been easier, faster and cheaper. Instead they chose the old fashion way, the mail. I’m sure too neither of these women probably realized what an impact these simple notes would have on me. That’s the beauty of living a life of gratitude in action— it’s when you give of yourself, that you truly give.

In between basting the turkey, our second helping of stuffing and cat naps in front of the football game this coming Thursday, we will give thanks for our family, our friends, our freedom, our food, our faith.

Undisputedly, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reach out and let others know how much they mean to you. However, while the Thanksgiving holiday is one day a year, what if we worked to express the sentiment of Thanksgiving all year-long?

As I return my sweet letters for safe keeping to my messy kitchen drawer, I pull out my pen and paper and start to write. After all, the art of Thanksgiving is really about Thanks-living.

Shine on!

Whether Shivering or Sweating… Learn to Savor Every Moment

Ask my mother and she’ll tell you I only wore dresses, until I reached the 5th grade.

What can I say? I’m a dress girl. I still am… and I especially love sundresses. If I could find a way to wear one all year-long, I would, but alas, I’ve found it’s tough to make one work in a snow storm.

Julie Chin San FranciscoMy love of sundresses compelled me to pack many (despite knowing better) on our recent trip to San Francisco. My plan: to layer the sundresses with tights, sweaters, coats, etc. If you’ve ever been to the “city by the bay,” then you probably know that despite the fact that it is in “sunny California,” San Francisco tends to be foggy and cool. The science behind it is amazing. During our recent mid-June visit the surrounding cities were all in the 90s and 100s, and we were in the 50s and 60s. I admit, (even as a Meteorologist), that 50s and 60s isn’t  sundress weather.

So, as you’d expect, I found myself underdressed Continue reading

Tulsa Drillers Opening Night: Swing for the Stars

There’s something special about baseball season. Julie Chin at ONEOK Field

It’s the season that serves up “peanuts and Cracker Jacks.”

There’s the snap, crackle and pop of Friday night fireworks on hot summer nights when the stadium seats stick to your legs.

There’s the camaraderie of the crowd.

And of course there’s the thrill of Continue reading

The Random Act of Kindness that Helped My Run

My first attempt at blogging began around this time last year when I signed up and started training for the Tulsa Run. The Tulsa Run is the oldest and largest run in Oklahoma. Cheering on the crowd before the 2011 Tulsa RunAfter 35+ years Continue reading

An Oklahoma Day Trip: Discovering Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Ahhhh…Vacation. Who doesn’t love a break from the ordinary?

As spring break winds down, many of our friends are coming back from amazing trips all over the country and the world. Our travels weren’t nearly as fancy, but we did find time to get out of the house and explore…

Today, with  a tankful of gas, we’re heading about 45 miles north of Tulsa to Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. My husband is at the wheel and I’m his trusty co-pilot.

Julie Chin in Car at Woolaroc

Continue reading