Archive for January, 2010

#9 ~ Life is like a bowl of bananas…

Who would have thought that my inspiration for today could come from my daughter’s bowl of mashed up bananas? I think of the wildest things from the most mundane moments in life. Let me explain…

I’ve been thinking a lot about how many of us have these desires to accomplish larger-than-life goals and how most will just leave it in the backs of their minds. Some will just blatantly throw their dreams out the window.

What is the reason we toss our bucket lists aside? The feeling of being inadequate has crossed my mind from time to time. I’m nobody special. I’m your average Joe, er, I mean, Jane. (No offense to any ladies named Jane.)

I want to do some big things. I want to write a book…a book people would actually want to read. I’d love to give a motivational speech and touch at least one person in a profound way. At one point in my life, I wanted to have my own talk show, but now, I’d rather just be on a talk show at least once. Nothing Jerry Springer-ish though. Those are just a few items on my bucket list that I refuse to set aside.

I haven’t been trained on how to reach my goals. All I have is a burning desire to somehow gather what I have learned throughout life and make something out of it.

So how does the bowl of mashed up bananas play into all of this?

Well, my two year old had just finished her favorite snack of bananas with milk and honey. She whined and fussed  when she realized it was all gone. She wanted more out of that bowl. All she could do was focus on the fact that it was gone. But really, it wasn’t. I told her to calm down and asked her to watch as I scraped the sides of the bowl. I gathered another big spoonful of mush.

She looked up at me and said, “You did it, Mommy!”

That last bite satisfied her. She didn’t beg for more, but instead, got down from her seat and looked around the room for something fun to do now that she was full.

I stopped right there and thought about how that’s life. We can either look at ourselves as scattered leftovers from a bunch of life events that don’t add up to much or we can gather the remnants and see how full our spoon really is….and be satisfied, then move on. Don’t sit there just crying about wanting more. Realize that you didn’t go through all these crazy life events for nothing. Every bite of life has left you just the right amount of residual to fill your spoon.

I’ve had moments this past week where I thought the ‘project’ was too huge for me. I’ve felt empty because of its hugeness. (By the way, it’s not one of the items mentioned above.) The ‘project’ is on a national scale. Now, I know I’m physically tall, but I have never thought myself as nationally-sized-big. Maybe state-sized Rhode Island or Connecticut, but not national.

Today, I’m gathering my banana mush on my spoon.

I have another conference call with Mr. Pres and VP tomorrow. I’ll be reporting about the research I completed last week. I’ll leave out the ‘mashed up bananas’ story. I’m moving on…

“If we did all the things that we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

photo by chamanit

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (37)

#8 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Jessie Baldwin

So, if you read my entry on Friday you may have either thought, “Wow, this chick is goofy,” or “She won’t really start interviewing people,” or “I’m glad I wasn’t sitting next to her last time I was at Starbucks,” or all of the above. heh heh

I’m going to follow through with my promise and interview someone each week to discuss his/her bucket list.  I have a few people already lined up and I’m sure I’ll pull a John Quinones and interview unsuspecting coffee bar patrons.  If you or someone you know has accomplished something on their bucket list and would  like to be interviewed, contact me by email at – This could get real fun! 😉

Before I start this week’s interview, I want to share a few lines from the devotion I read this morning about taking risks. I found it highly appropriate for today’s blog entry…

From the book Joy Breaks

Risky Living by Patsy Clairmont

That’s the problem with risks: some are worth taking, some aren’t. Some of the risks I’ve taken that turned out poorly have been the greatest teachers for making good future choices. And some sure-shot risks have been long-term detrimental. Hmm, this is complex. Bad could be good, good could be miserable, bad could be disabling, and good could turn out great. I guess that’s why it’s called a risk.

I’m really not one to dive headlong into life, but I don’t want to miss the wave and be left high and dry on the shore.”


Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  “kicks the bucket.”


Melody: Tell us a little about yourself.

Jessie: My name is Jessie Baldwin, I am 34 years old, and I am a family photographer.  I have been married for 14 years to Rick and we have two children, Violet (9), and Riley (7).  I’ve lived in Las Vegas most of my life and graduated from Bonanza High School. My favorite teacher there was Ms. Lukens.  I have a degree in Elementary Education from UNLV and used to be a 4th grade teacher. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series and I have read each of the books at least 5 times.  I can quote “The Princess Bride” practically verbatim, beginning to end. When I was 14, I was a news anchor for Channel 8 as part of their short-lived youth “8-Team”. I was once kissed on the cheek by Mark McGrath.  I met my husband at church camp. My first car was a 1972 VW Super Beetle. It was Orange and I called it “The Great Pumpkin.” I love math. I have always wanted to be on The Amazing Race.  My business name “Speckled Bird Art” was inspired by one of my favorite bands, The Choir. I had a homebirth with my son and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I love making lists, and I especially love crossing things off my lists.

Melody: Wow, that’s all amazing, but what really gets me….you love math? Fascinating!! What’s one huge thing you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Jessie: Just recently my sister and I ran a full marathon in Walt Disney World with Team in Training.

Melody: I’m exhausted just thinking of it. When did this become a goal of yours?

Jessie: We decided to do it last August. A friend of our family had his son diagnosed with Leukemia and I really wanted to do something to help out in some small way. Through raising the money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and training to do something I would have never thought in my life was possible, I felt that I was making a difference.

Melody: What an absolutely worthy cause! Obviously, helping others was motivation enough, but why else do you think reaching this goal was so important to you?

Jessie: I am not a runner by any means, so running something as huge as a marathon was an insane thought. Why no start out like a normalperson with, say a 5K or a 10K? If you know me, however, you know that although I may look ordinary, I am not your average person. I am always dreaming up these wild and crazy ideas! So I couldn’t do just a short race… It had to be something completely foreign, completely unattainable in my mind. If I thought the goal was in any way reachable, then it wasn’t a challenge for me. I had to take myself COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone so I could watch myself achieve something I had always thought impossible. Also, the medals you get for finishing the full marathon at Walt Disney World were pretty fantastic. For the half, you get a Donald Duck medal and for the full you get Mickey Mouse. I’m not gonna lie – I am on Team Mickey. If I was going to run that far, I wanted to wear a golden Mickey head around my neck!

Melody: Did you think you wouldn’t be able to reach this goal and did you ever want to give up?

Jessie: Little things would come up during training that made me worry about finishing the race… minor injuries would slow us down, and of course the thought of running for so long and for such a distance was very scary for me. Seriously, the last time I ran before this training was when I was in 8th grade and I had to run the mile in P.E.! ONE MILE. And it was PAINFUL. Each week as we trained, the longer distances would make me very nervous. And each week I would casually suggest to my sister maybe giving up, or only running the half, or just taking it easy. But each week we pressed on. During the race I was never worried about finishing. I knew once I crossed the start line there was no other option.

Melody: I completely understand. I took P.E. in Summer school two years in a row in high school so that I WOULDN’T have to take it all year long! Without a doubt, this was something totally outside of your comfort zone. What kept you going?

Jessie: I knew that no matter how much the training hurt or how tired I was, it was nothing compared to having to endure chemotherapy, radiation, and weekly spinal taps at eleven years old. Even doing our marathon, which took me nearly 7 hours, was but a drop in the bucket to what people with severe illnesses like cancer deal with on a daily basis. Also, having the support of my sister was HUGE. Knowing she was there, she was keeping me accountable and keeping me company, made it an amazing bonding experience for both of us. When one of us was down, the other would lift us up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 sums it up pretty well:

9  Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10  If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12  Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Having a partner I can count on is key to a successful outcome for me.  🙂

Melody: So true! What is one thing on your bucket list you still have yet to accomplish?

Jessie: I have a lot of things on my list that have not been achieved just yet – I want to see the Aurora Borealis in person someday, I want to publish a book, and I want to fill my passport with stamps from the places I have been. I am excited that this last goal is one that I am working toward. Last year I got a chance to photograph a family’s international adoption in India and next month I will be traveling to Ethiopia and Uganda to photograph another adoption.

Melody: That’s incredible, Jessie!! I can’t wait to hear more about that as it unfolds! Leave us with one last thing… What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Jessie: It comes from Marianne Williamson and it was made famous most recently for its use in the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Now, if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is! Let Jessie’s  story be inspiring to you….what’s on your bucket list?

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (32)

#7 ~ 2 hours @ Starbucks, Earphone Man and Inspiration Overflow…

A couple days ago, super awesome rock star-ish Blair (who works here and blogs over here) posted something to the effect of “love your blog…it’s book marked for real…let’s meet up for coffee on my Facebook wall – which not only surprised me, but also caused me to be as animated as a hyped up Yo Gaba Gaba character. Stay-at-home moms will understand this…I get really excited to get out of the house and be a part of a chat session with humans who are potty trained. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore my two year old, but Mama’s got to get out and converse with adults from time to time. As an added bonus, Jessica piped in on our Facebook wall conversation and invited herself joined us. (Jessica is a photographer rock star, just in case you didn’t already know.)

I love that Blair picked Starbucks as our meeting point even though she doesn’t drink coffee…or tea. Funny how coffee joints have become today’s meeting arena. Two and a half hours later, I’m amped up on caffeine, I smell of coffee gloriousness and I’m totally inspired.

We talked, we laughed (way too loud) and we caused the nice gentleman seated next to us to put earphones on while working on his laptop. Side note: have you ever done that…put earphones on just to make it look like you weren’t listening to someone’s conversation? We tested him to see if he was faking it, but after Blair shouted, “I’m peeing myself right now” about four times, he didn’t budge a smirk. We were pretty certain he had the music turned up. (By the way, I did give him the blog address…let’s see if he shows up.)

My 6 Feet Over blog was one of many topics of conversation we had. I’ve received several emails from readers who have shared that they are inspired to either create or tackle their bucket list now. You being inspired, inspires me to share YOUR stories on a regular basis…

If you’re interested in telling me about your dreams and/or goals that you’ve accomplished, email me at Are you inspired to make a bucket list? I’m going to tempt you to share…trust me, putting it out there will make you motivated to take action.

Who knows, I may even randomly interview earphone wearing strangers at my neighborhood Starbucks. Hmmmmm If you know me well, you know I might will do it…

photo by ispy5588

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (21)

#6 ~ I love spreadsheets almost as much as Elf, rain and vanilla creamer…

This will be short and sweet…

I’ve received two handfuls of messages asking when my next blog entry was coming. Just call me Burger King…you can have it your way! Here ya go…

I’ve been busy researching and making spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets. Spreadsheets make me happy. They bring order to my hyper creative thoughts …and if done properly, they have the ability to make you look smart. heh heh

I’m expecting another phone call from Mr. Pres very soon. I’ve also been in contact with some other important people. I’ll have more info about these VIPs as things transpire.

Time to put the spreadsheets down and make dinner…

Have a good evening!

photo by lustfish

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (11)

#5 ~ Which came first, the blog or the project?

Yesterday, a friend of mine, Roni Marie, asked this question on one of my Facebook posts. Obviously, I got a kick out of it and instantly rolled it into this blog title. To answer the question, the project came first…

I started this blog a whopping 5 days ago and I’m floored that there have been almost 1000 views already! (That’s not counting my own, by the way.) I see there are blogs linking me to theirs and I’ve been added to many feeds. I’ve received emails, texts, phone calls, facebook messages in my inbox and comments on my posts all asking WHAT IS IT and WHEN WILL WE KNOW? Wow, talk about pressure! First, I’d like to humbly thank you for coming by…please, feel free to kick your feet up and help yourself to the fridge.

I still can’t disclose what it is, but I will be able to offer some info as we move forward. I can tell you that I had the idea for the ‘project’ when I searched for it myself. I searched high and low to no avail. Now, it could be out there, but if it is, it is hiding very very well. My two year old should get dibs on playing hide-and-go-seek with it…then maybe I’d be able to get some work done around the house.

A couple years ago I had the opportunity to sit down with some big wigs  who actually wanted to hear my thoughts on a project of their own. We sat, we chatted and I even came up with something that could come in handy for them. I was asked to help them locally. At the time, I just had a baby that had spent 7 weeks in the NICU, wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue the business I already owned, we were on the cusp of a big real estate undertaking and I was just overwhelmed a bit. Hmmm I’m wondering how it went for them…I should ask.

So, I had this big idea (aka the ‘project’) and was apprehensive about sharing details because if it was, in fact, a good idea, I sure as heck didn’t want to just hand it over for someone else to run with. After realizing that it was now or never, I shared my thoughts….and he (Mr. Pres) liked  loved it! It’s been a while and we’ve both been mulling things around and doing research. Now, we’re moving forward.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that there are an astonishing amount of steps to be taken in order to launch a project of such magnitude and really, that’s the reason I wanted to start this blog. When I think that I haven’t moved an inch, I’ll have the blog to look back on and see the progress. When I feel so extremely small, I’ll have support to kick my butt and tell me to get back in the ring. When I hit a road block and get stuck, well, I can click on all the hilarious YouTube  videos that friends post online and at least get a good laugh for a little while.

Right now, we’re in the heavy research stage…already past initial reviewing…it’s nitty gritty time. We’re also gathering the troops (the folks who will be working on this massive undertaking), marketing strategies are being formed and of course, the mad herd of buffalo are still stampeding my digestive tract. Poor little butterflies in my tummy didn’t stand a chance.

So, there’s some info to hold you over until next time. 😉

Oh and here’s some bonus info, a ‘tallness report’ if you will….I hit my head on another tree branch today.  I had mesquite tree bloom things stuck in my hair and didn’t know until hours later. Probably didn’t matter though…everyone else was too short to see the top of my head. 😉 Things like this happen when you’re this tall.

 photo by immrchris

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (23)

#4 ~ Planes, Trains and Automobiles….and trees

I’m thoroughly convinced that some things happen just so I can blog about it…because who misses a flight, narrowly avoids being run over by a train (well, not really, but it sounds fabulously dramatic), gets hit by a tree and then is crowned “the most interesting people I’ve ever met” all within 46 hours? Yours truly.

You’ll have to read the last entry to understand how completely excited I was to get out of town. (Catch yourself up now if you haven’t already done so…it will only take 3 minutes and there’s no homework involved, I promise.) You’d expect some awesome butterflies in the tummy and some excitement jitters, but add to the mix realizing you forgot your wallet at home as you arrive to the airport and you get one mad herd of buffalo stampeding from your esophagus all the way through your large intestines.

Yup, I’m the genius who changed purses 5 minutes before leaving the house which resulted in my wallet sitting on the kitchen counter. Oh and don’t get me started on printing out your boarding pass the night before…that was done, but that’s another story. And in case you’re wondering, I did think of the airport scene from Dumb & Dumber when Jim Carrey yells out, “Move it or lose it, Sister!” while trampling innocent bystanders when I thought I still had hope of making the flight after my wallet was retrieved. Although tempted, I refrained from duplicating it.

Now on to the ‘trains’ portion of the blog entry: Lesson #1 – Do not listen to Melody. Well, wait…listen to Melody, but don’t listen to her if she screams out “JAYWALK!”

The stage: Nice Italian restaurant.
The cast: Five 30-something gorgeous (heh heh) women.
The scene: The stunning ladies must leave dining establishment at a rabbit’s pace, catch train type transit ASAP to make it back to hotel to catch the shuttle (automobile portion of the story) in order to make it to the airport in time for departing flight…

YES, I thought that we could safely jaywalk in order to catch the train that had already arrived across the street. YES, I was wrong. NO, we weren’t hit by moving vehicles. YES, there did happen to be an officer RIGHT IN FRONT OF US as we jaywalked. YES, I plead guilty to being an idiot, not being ‘from here’ and apologized profusely. YES, there was another train heading in the opposite direction (which was already stopped) that honked at us for what seemed to be hours. YES, the train driver shook his head a gazillion times at us. YES, the fine officer let us go after the train safely passed by.  NO, he did not give us the $500 ticket he said he could have issued. YES, after it was all over we laughed about it while I made a mental note not to tell my daughter of the story until after her teenage years.

Now the ‘tree’ … The climate was quite chilly, in fact, cold enough to freeze our eyeballs. We  laughed about previous train incident and praised the Lord for still being alive. While walking quickly, as to not become human popsicles, one of us walked her six foot self into a tree branch. Everyone else passed under gracefully, completely oblivious to the fact that a tree even stood there. These types of things happen when you’re tall. Just sayin’.

We made it back to the hotel and were greeted by our kind young gentleman driver who was waiting for us. After piling in the van, we immediately jibber jabbered enough to cause a complete stranger to not only chuckle consistently, but most likely cast judgment upon our sanity. A couple jokes were shouted from the back as well as an immediate, “I hope you weren’t offended by that,” to the driver, in which he replied, “Not at all…I might use that one, if ya don’t mind!”

As we approached the airport I just had to ask, “So, were we the most interesting crew you’ve driven today?”

He once again chuckled then crowned us with, “You’re the most interesting group of people I’ve ever met!”

Of course, I took this as a complement. (By the way, hello Chris! — It’s not a shocker that I gave him the web address to the blog. Let’s just see if he visits.)

So, I missed the flight and caught the next, but that still resulted in a missed tour of the facility with VP. I did have a productive conference call with him and Mr. Pres.  I now have my homework for the week. I’ll be blogging about what I can. This whole ‘keeping it secret’ thing is way harder for me than it is you, trust me.

This project is SO big and every now and then I feel so small…despite the fact that I’m tall enough to walk into tree branches.

photo by cflart

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (28)

#3 ~ Just ‘plane’ amazing…

Cheesy blog title, I know. It’s how I roll. I had to put ‘plane’ in quotes so that you knew I didn’t misspell it. Don’t get me wrong…I won’t even try to act like my spelling and grammar are correct all the time.

So, I hit you with “when one door closes another one opens” in my last blog entry…brace yourself, I’m going to slap down a “there’s a reason for everything” now. 😉

Wednesday night I had *the* phone call (2 blog posts down) … I’m speaking with Mr. Pres (not of the USA, but a Pres none the less)  brainstorming and such….

He’s texting his VP who then responds that we need to get on a conference call on Friday.

Bummer, I’ll be out of town.

I tell Mr. Pres where I’ll be and he starts to chuckle, places another text to VP and then tell me, “VP will pick you up from the airport, take you on a tour of the facility  and then we’ll jump on a conference call.”

See, VP and Mr. Pres live in different locations, but I didn’t realize that. I wasn’t aware of the other facility either. What are the odds I just happen to be going to a city I’ve never been to before and VP is there? Amazing.

There’s a reason for everything.

Much love, hugs and kisses to my awesome husband and darling daughter. Gotta plane to catch…I’ll be back Saturday night!

photo by clix

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (20)

#2 ~ One huge door closes and a ginormous wall opens…

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “when one door closes another one opens” or maybe a window opens and for some it could be a small crack in a wall. Have you ever wanted to haul off and punch someone when being told this? I know, clutch the pearls, Melody would never ever want to hit someone. Tragic, but true, I’ve had the desire.

The past few years and especially the last two weeks have been mentally, emotionally and physically challenging for both me and my husband. Like the plethora of others around the country and globe, we’ve been drastically hit by this horrid economy. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say we are good little citizens who did everything ‘by the book’ and started investing in real estate from practically day one of our adult lives… Well, needless to say, that chapter has been slammed shut. It’s a whole new world.

So, I’m basking in self pity, overtaken by fear and mourning the loss of a dream (a 14 year journey) and becoming overwhelmed mentally.  It got so bad that just the other day I was at a meeting, looked at the speaker (whom I am friends with) and, for the LIFE of me, could not think of her name. I had to pull up our last text conversation in order to be clued in. How bad is that? I can’t believe I just admitted it. Brain dead, I tell you.

Well, the door closed on that part of our lives and then this ginormous wall opens. Just hours before I got the phone call that my bucket list project was a go, I cracked open a devotional book I keep around the house. It was one of those moments where you just want NEED to open a book and have exactly what you need be the first thing you read. That never happens, right? Well, it happens in the movies…and it happened for me. It was the exact two and half pages I needed, but here’s just a line or two that sums it up….

From the book Joy Breaks

Guidance Out of Nowhere- by Luci Swindoll

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. – Psalm 56:3

“Fear is indiscriminate. It affects all of us regardless of our age or position in life. Whether our fear is absolutely realistic or out of proportion in our minds, our greatest refuse is Jesus Christ…..At times like these we can either quiver in our boots and become paralyzed by that “deer caught in the headlights” phenomenon, we can retreat completely convincing ourselves that the problem doesn’t exist, or we can talk to the One who is able to calm our apprehensions and fears and give us courage to move ahead with a heart of confidence and assurance.”

I was at the point of quivering in my boots and becoming paralyzed along with my brain completely falling out of my head. The second I started reading this devotion I was overwhelmed with calm and peace. Hours later, I received the call that caused the my lack of sleep (from excitement) last night.

I decided to crack the book open again this morning and let my eyes land wherever they may….today’s devotion, just a few lines from 3 pages:

Sign on the Dotted Line – by Patsy Clairmont

“…Now, how about you? Are you willing to take a risk (even if you’re not the best in the field) and learn (not yearn for) a new skill, set a new goal, or help a dream come true? If so, please sign on the dotted line….”


Just wait until my next post…it’s gets even better. I still can’t believe it. 😉

photo by dhuend / photo by shho

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (16)

#1 ~ 6 Feet Over – Alive and Kickin’

Have you ever been so excited that you immediately set up a new blog and start randomly spitting out words to try to express yourself? I’m sure what I’m writing right now will come out like an overly enthused teenaged girl ranting about the latest boy crush…I may be 33, but anyone who knows me is well aware that I still have that annoying 16 year old girl energy. It comes in handy at times, so I won’t apologize.

I was just given (10:17 pm – 2 hours ago to be exact) the BIG GREEN LIGHT on a project that is a topper on my bucket list. Yeah, you’re probably thinking, “Oh that’s just wonderful. Another lofty goal that most likely will go untouched. Poor thing is blogging now and thinks she’ll actually go somewhere with it.” Well, if that was your thought, shame on you and you can gracefully dismiss yourself. 😉 If you’re along for the ride, feel free to leave a comment and make yourself known. I may need your input later….actually, I need your input now…I don’t like the term ‘bucket list’ – I want something that refers to living more than kicking the bucket. Discuss….

The challenging and somewhat fun part about this blog…I won’t be able to say what the BIG NEWS is in detail. ME KEEP A SECRET??? Maybe THAT should be on my bucket list. I’m the one who can’t handle Christmas presents under the tree….I want to rip into everything and share all the good news. I can’t. Hmph….

photo by patapia1

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (24)