I’d done it many times before, just not recently. But on Thursday night, I really screwed up.


My computer has Microsoft Office Suite including Outlook, which has been the means by which I access my email for years.  Because I was going to be out of the office in the near future, I thought it would be a good time to look up how to access my email directly from our server.


Did I remember the password?  Nope.


Found it!


My server has always fed my email straight into Outlook.  If there was mail in the server site, it was about to be dumped into Outlook.


I noticed that there seemed to be quite a few emails on the server site that night.  But recently, as I have checked my email on Outlook, I have had ridiculous amounts of email.  Many of my attempts to unsubscribe had seemed to fail.  I was getting 200+ emails/day.  So I didn’t think much about it as I quickly scanned the first emails, checked “select all” and emptied the folder.  I hate having a number sitting by my trash box.  I have regularly emptied my email trash in Outlook – actually every day, at least once if not more.  I hate having too much “stuff” sitting around my house that I don’t need.  The items in my trash folder were no different.  So, next, I emptied the trash on my server.  Then I exited, went to my Outlook, and I was stunned.  All of my inbox was GONE!  EVERYTHING!  Vendor price lists, warranties, and other important emails.  I mean, they HAD to be important, right?  After all, I had never rid of them.  I very well might need to access this information some day!


I gulped, I felt flush, I panicked!  These 2 accounts had never been linked before.  How did this happen?!


I contacted a friend and told her about what I had done.  How could I have been this stupid?!


Her response?  “If you were a criminal, they would be able to recover your email.  It’s on a server out there somewhere.”


She’s right!!!


The next morning I contacted our local utility company, our email server.  They told me to contact Microsoft.  Seriously?  I’ll never get a person to explain what I did….  After many attempts and many big breaths, I reached a person.  He explained how he would see what he could do by uninstalling my software and re-installing it.  “This will take up to 15 minutes, you can put me on speaker phone while I work on your computer.”  As soon as I heard the words “speaker phone,” I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  But, I did as he said.  And after about 5 minutes, I heard a “click, buzzzzzz” on my phone.  We had been disconnected!  And my Office Suite including Outlook was completely gone!


I was in complete panic as I attempted to get another person at Microsoft and explain not only what I had done, but what their other employee had done.  I could barely make sense.  After some time, he restored my Outlook and my other programs.  He explained that because I had initially made my deletions from my server, they would have to be the ones to recover any emails.


Yep, that makes sense…


I placed another call to our utility company and made contact with customer service.    If I had know specifically what I had deleted, they could search for it.  “I deleted everything at 9:30 p.m.  Does that help?”  No.  As horrible as it was to lose my inbox, it would have been worse if they had been able to recover all of my email.  I took a big breath, had an adult beverage with my dinner that night, and accepted the fact that these emails were gone for good.


Even as I write this, I feel my body tensing up all over again.


I had a couple of “saves.”  I tend to print and file a lot of important information.  I also tend to respond to many emails.  My sent box was still in tact.


One girl told me yesterday, she was a little jealous of my deleted emails.  She currently had thousands in her inbox.  I’m glad I don’t have that, but I somehow wish I could have looked over those emails one last time before I deleted them.


Now, I am left with just trust,  trusting the universe to provide for me any  information that I might need.


I think it’s going to be okay….







I posted this quote on my page roughly a week ago.  I have spent some time thinking about my past and my “mistakes,” if you will.  But are these things really mistakes or were they destined in the grand scheme of the universe to teach me a lesson?…


“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.”


What if you spent not only a lot of time, but a whole lot of money?


Well, that’s exactly how I felt about the major I chose in college.  I like music & I sang quite well (I’m SO out of vocal shape right now!).  Back then at the wise old age of 18, I thought naturally, I should become a music teacher.  Music is a REALLY hard major, by the way, with so many classes that gave so little college credit and demanded a great deal of time.  Example:  Ear Training was twice a week for 1 credit.  We had to listen to intervals on the piano and identify them – up a third, down a fifth, etc.  Our tests involved listening to a tune played on the piano and we had to write it on a staff.


When did I know, in my heart, this wasn’t the right career for me?  Halfway through my senior year of college.  That’s a really, REALLY bad time to come to that conclusion.  I taught for one year when Al began medical school.  The job and the experience both were not good for me.   It was at that point I acknowledged my “mistake” and walked away.


But was this a mistake?  Were there some other reasons that I chose this path?  I look back on that time in life and remember the significant moments I experienced because of this major.  I made some wonderful friends!  I was a part of one of the most amazing choirs, Nordic Choir, for three years.  Our conductor, Weston Noble, was also one of my professors.  Being in his presence was a wonderful experience!  Because of this major, I was required to have a vocal recital.  On the day of my junior recital, my husband, Al, asked me out for the first time and he attended my recital that evening.  Did he begin to fall in love with me that night?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I’ll have to ask him.  But it certainly didn’t hurt anything.  🙂


In retrospect, I believe I struggled in this profession because I simply wasn’t meant to be teaching music.  I was meant to contribute to another area of the arts.  I was meant to be a photographer.  On a bad day, I still kick myself that I didn’t choose business or marketing or another major.  But I know I am where I am meant to be.


Another of my mistakes?  Breaking up with my husband.


After we had dated a few months our junior year, it was summertime.  And the longer I was away from Al, the more I wondered if we should be dating.  Was he more serious than me?  I got scared.  When he came to visit me, where I was working at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, I broke up with him.  He drove all the way back to Wisconsin with a broken heart.  Within a few months, after we were back at Luther College, I began to think I’d made a mistake.  I did not cling to my decision to split up.  I took him by surprise when I went to see him at his house one night and talk.  By February, we were engaged.  I believe that this break was necessary for me, though.  Because after some time to think, I knew that I would never want to leave this man again.


When it comes relationships, any relationship, I believe time is of the essence when realizing a mistake or a misunderstanding.  The sooner we make things “right,” the better.  What if he had met someone else?  I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without my husband or our children.  This kind of goes along with what I have said to my kids from a young age, ALWAYS trust your instincts.  They are God’s voice inside of you and will always guide you in the right direction.


I won’t say that my career with Longaberger many years ago was a mistake.  It ended up being a huge learning experience.   I loved the products!  I so enjoyed meeting new people at home shows.  I learned a variety of responsibilities when I was a branch advisor.  I left this job when Longaberger baskets and pottery were at their height of popularity.    I spent 8 years building and creating a career with this company.  But when I realized that the stress was too great, I walked away even after investing a lot of time and money.


I don’t believe that any of my photography has been a mistake.  Every life that I captured has immense value!  I have decided not to continue to put my energy into newborn photography.  Of course, I’m holding on to a few things for our future grandchildren way, WAY down the road.  🙂


Keep your eyes open for some new kinds of portraiture from this studio.  You’ve had a little sneak peek with pet portraits.  These will join my senior and family portrait business.


With the exception of the weighted blanket I purchased (I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breath, and it cost $80 shipping to return), I don’t believe that there are mistakes.  There is only life lessons to guide in the direction of your purpose.



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