Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tribute #25: Laura Russell Mikrut

The sign approaching Holt, Michigan reads, A Friendly Place to Live. Growing up in this small town made me long to live somewhere more glamorous, like in cities of lights or ones that never sleep. Yet, once I ventured beyond Holt I gained a whole new appreciation for the Friendly Place and the people, like Laura Russell Mikrut, it brought up.  

What makes Laura such an interesting person is that behind her sweet demeanor lives a biting sense of humor. I think that's the best combo to have in a friend. Someone who can be caring and help you through the hard times, and then make you laugh at the craziness of life. Laura seems to have mastered the art of both.

Laura, thanks for brightening my day with your posts. Your hilarious observations often bring a smile to my face. It looks like you're doing marvelous and loving life. You should know that six out of six Quasarano kids highly endorse your awesomeness.

Today's Musical Selection > 

Brains + Beauty

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tribute #24: Leyna Kasparek

With both of us attending MSU and The Creative Circus, one would think that Leyna and I would have bumped into each other more often, but we've probably only had the opportunity to hang out a handful of times. However, in those few times I feel I got a true sense of Leyna's character. 

Some people have a natural brightness and Leyna is one of them. She greets everyone with a smile and is a true optimist. I get the impression that Leyna is a rock to many and that no matter how high her friends fly, she's there to encourage them to soar higher and catch them if they need her.

Leyna, thanks for being a great example of the power of optimism. It's not always easy to look on the bright side of things, but it seems to come naturally to you. I hope that you're doing great and I find it very fitting that you ended up in the Sunshine State. 

Today's Musical Selection > 

Leyna's Light Shines Bright

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Running Toward Ourselves

One spring day we found ourselves under the budding trees of Hawk Island. Wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, black track pants and my old running shoes she began. As I glanced down at my watch and marked the seconds I knew this was the start of something bigger than both of us. This was the start of my mom’s commitment to running and more importantly herself.

That was one year ago today and I couldn’t be more proud of just how far she’s come. My mom's competed in two 5k races and weathered the summer heat, windy fall, and bitter winter. I know she will credit me for helping her get started, but I can't take credit for anything past marking that first minute. It is her strength alone that has carried her to today.

My mom quickly became aware of the love/hate relationship that runners feel toward their sport and a few months ago she asked me if it ever gets easy. Without even giving the question much thought I replied with a simple, “No.” Though the answer came easily, the question remained on my mind. If it never gets easy why do I continue to literally pound the pavement? 

I run because with each step I take, though never easy, it does get easier. I know I will never perfect the art of running, but that doesn't discourage my attempt to. In this and so many ways running has provided me with a model for life. It has taught me that the best way to move forward is to have one foot on the ground while the other kicks toward the heavens. It has taught me that impossibilities are simply unmet goals and that sometimes pain truly is a prerequisite to joy.

Oh, and as I continue on the journey of discovering who I am, running helps me get there just a bit faster. 

Mary Katherine - Runner of the Year

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tribute #23: Michael Potts

My sister Nancy and I are only three years apart, but when we were in high school it seemed like a lot more. I remember Nancy's friends coming over after play rehearsals and being in awe of just how cool they were. Though some of their faces and names have slipped my mind, I'll always remember the funniest of the bunch. Then again, it's hard to forget a person like Mike Potts.

When Mike was over at our house, he'd let my little brothers try to tackle him, endured my dad's corny jokes and made us all laugh. He's the type of guy that everyone wants to be around as he makes situations more fun with his unique personality and outlook. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen Mike in over a decade, but the lasting impression he made on me is a testament of his character.

Mike, thanks for making Nancy's little sister feel like she could hang with the cool kids. You truly are one of the funniest people I've met and I know that no matter what life throws at you, it's no match for your grit.  

 Today's Musical Selection >

Winning Everyone Over

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tribute #22: Laura Quasarano

Some leading ladies win Oscars for over-the-top, scene stealing performances, while others win for subtle performances that brilliantly shine. Both roles require passion, but I have always had heart for those who embody the latter. One such leading lady in my family is my Aunt Laura Quasarano.

Aunt Laura came into our family when my cousin Leonard was very young and I believe she was the answer to my Uncle Phil’s prayers in more ways than one. She took on motherhood with grace and over the years she has been a caregiver to not only her three children, but our entire extended family.

I respect Aunt Laura for many reasons, but one act in particular beautifully displays her character. She opened her home to my Grandpa during the last painful years of his life, and with her calming presence created a loving and safe place for him. Though she had to make adjustments to her daily life, she never complained, nor expected any praise. She did it out of love and love alone.

Aunt Laura, thanks for showing me that being a strong person isn’t about having the loudest voice. You’ve taught me that all it requires is a sense of self and the ability to serve others. Know that the role you play every day is truly a tour-de-force performance in the motion picture that is your life.
 A Very Fitting Pic

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tribute #21: Kevin Cruickshank

My first ad gig out of school was at Hill Holliday. I loved being part of the digital team, but due to us working in a "cave" we were somewhat sequestered from the rest of the agency. The majority of the other creatives worked on offline accounts and in spite of our lack of interaction at HH I was lucky enough to get to know Kevin Cruickshank. 

With a last name that sounds like a highly technical bike component, perhaps it was written in the stars that Kevin would become an avid cyclist. As I got to know Kevin I saw the strength and dedication he shows on a bike flow into other aspects of his life as well. When faced with extremely difficult situations he tackles them the same way he would a difficult climb - head down, focused, giving nothing less than his all. I believe Kevin's spirit and quiet defiance will carry him up and over life's toughest climbs. 

Kevin, thanks for being an amazing example of how to weather life's toughest storms. You are an inspiration on and off the bike. Wishing you many miles of great rides ahead. Write on. Ride on.

Today's Musical Selection >

Kick Ass Kevin