The other day I did a thing… Visiting Dollywood and thought I would leave my book for Dolly or whomever may find it! May end up in lost and found or…🤞
Hi! I am a Counselor, Art Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor by day. Mother mornings and nights. Advocate, writer, and compassionate thinker when possible.
Victim to Survivor
I’ve thought a lot lately about why people are so resistant to change, but without change growth cannot occur. People argue that being politically correct confuses the masses. However, I believe if we understand why the change to certain words occur maybe it won’t be met with so much resistance.
I have been lucky enough to participate in the Domestic Violence Task Force through my agency. I get the chance to learn from those that see the ugly of the world on consistent basis. I was able to sit with two amazing individuals that fight for justice and peace on a daily basis.
I have worked to use the term Survivor over victim and it was a hard transition, because the word victim is so engrained in our society. The month of April is known as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Crime Victim Awareness Week.
After talking with the two women above, I have learned just how powerful the word survivor is. Survivor shows strength, empowerment, and resiliency. This term identifies the person affected as a whole human being not defined by the act of another. It changes the narrative to a positive rather than a negative.
The word victim gives power to the perpetrator. The negative connotation discusses the harm that occurred and takes away more from the survivor. Victim is also a term that can be very triggering for the individual that you identify as this.
Why discuss this? I am continuously on the road to growth and understanding. Without difficult conversations and listening to those affected we can’t move forward, and our growth is stunted.
I am amazed by the survivors that I have had the privilege to work with and help. I am amazed by those that fight for the rights of others. I hope that you continue to grow with me and teach me by leaving a comment, talking to me directly, or writing individually. I am here to listen and learn.
Letter to Parents
So excited for all the new babies I’ve had the privilege to know in 2023. It brought me back to a year ago, when I decided to not have anymore kids and finalize my decision through a hysterectomy.
Many emotions have hit me through my reproductive process. Sadness, fear, excitement, happiness, unending love. With these emotions, I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to birth our two amazing children, as I know the struggles that many women face with infertility.
I am lucky. Many families are not. As I grow I see love in so many forms.
To those having biological children you are amazing.
To those adopting and fostering, you are still a parent and the way you have your children doesn’t make your role any less special. You are exquisite.
To the aunts, uncles, and solid individuals raising children that are not your son and daughters you are seen and appreciated.
To the parents that have lost children, you will always be a parent. You are stronger than you know. My hope is that you will be reunited with your loved ones in the future, and can find happy moments until you meet again.
The root of family is love.
A Reminder to Love
Valentines Day comes with so many differing opinions, views and stages. What I notice is that a person’s perception of this day changes year to year. My learning of Valentines Day this year is as follows:
We shouldn’t need a dedicated day to love someone, this is true. However, if we instill this day as a reminder that we should continuously love one another, it’s a good thing to combat any bumps that may have arose throughout the year.
Silas and I spent the day together Sunday and it was a chance for us to reconnect and have an excuse to leave the kids with my amazing aunt. Our relationship is flourishing right now because of the reminder to spend time together.
My kids are very excited about their special school days. Both of my kids wrote Valentines to each of their classmates and teachers. The smiles they got talking about their friends and dedicating their time to appreciate their people was contagious. Writing their names gave them space to think outside of themselves.
Last but not least, this year taught me to love myself. It was a year of change, breakdowns, but also a year of awakening. I woke up this morning finishing reading my third book of the new year. I have walked more this year which has helped shape my mood for the better. I continue to nourish my body in the way it should be nourished.
I hope whoever reads this finds what brings you joy and love for yourself. I hope you connect with your kids, friends, possible significant other, family and others in a way that is meaningful and heartfelt. Cheers to you!
So many people try to make sense of why people do what they do. No two people are alike. I remember someone telling me that when your child is born remember that they are a stranger that is figuring out their way of life. It is not for you to decide for them, but you are there as a guide to help mold and support that child through this thing we call life.
This resonated so deeply with me, but often I find myself wondering why my kids did the things they did or said the things they said. I continually remind myself that they are still their own being, not mine to control so the world doesn’t hurt them. This is such a hard lesson to learn and live by.
The big thing I want to guide my kids toward is how to build healthy relationships with others through compassion and kindness. I want to show them what assertiveness means and how to stand up for themselves in the right way, not in aggressive or passive ways. I want them to believe in themselves so their dreams can become reality. Love themselves so that they have the capability to allow others to love them.
With this though, I understand they can choose what they take with them on their own journeys. As a counselor, I understand so much of how people are and what they do are the results of their environments. However, I have learned through my own family, before I ever became a counselor just how much a biological component can have an effect on a person.
My parents raised me to be strong, independent, compassionate, dream big, don’t be afraid to love with my whole heart, and how to live a full life no matter how old you are. I am grateful for who they are and what they instilled in me. I am grateful their lessons are living on in me and my children appear to be soaking up much of it.
As we grow from children to adolescents to adults we become responsible for the decisions and choices we make. Let go of those things your children do that aren’t the best. They become the ones responsible for the outcome of their lives.
This post is a reminder that as parents we do the best we can. No one is perfect and no one is the same. The good ones share a commonality that we all want love, hope, and strength for our children. When we lead with our heart we are never wrong.
Ending on a Positive
My ending to 2022 has been filled with joy, contentment, and love. Thanksgiving and Christmas felt even richer than precovid. I was able to celebrate with our family in a precovid way, but with a gratitude and appreciation that felt very different.
Thanksgiving was a chance for me to develop and continue our traditions of letting others entertain, while just being present to enjoy each family member we got to see. My soul began to feel the holiday season that was upon us.
Christmas I felt more relaxed setting up our house, not worrying about every detail being perfect, but instead excited to spend it with family in our traditional way. Silas and I worked flawlessly together and I could feel both of us yearning to develop a foundation of family and love for our kiddos!
Last night I was able to spend time with friends that haven’t been to my house in approximately 2 years! I felt a feeling of gratitude and realized no matter the time that passes we will always have a connection and love that won’t dissipate. I am humbled by this.
2022 had its struggles, but I continue to realize the struggles are allowing myself to see the light I may not have seen before. There were things in 2022 that made me sit in the uncomfortable. My body forced me to engage in self care no matter how uncertain I was about it.
My goals for 2022 is to provide intentional self care. Show my children how to do this for themselves. Find light in any darkness that may emerge. Continue to foster real, loving relationships with my kids, husband, family and friends that nurture my soul. 💕
Addy’s Journey to her Forever Home
Know a child or family that has been touched by the foster care system. Think about gifting Addy’s Journey to those that can benefit this holiday season. We hope this season brings families new and old together. Sending love and positive thoughts to all.
A Thanksgiving Sentiment
Thinking of the things I’m grateful for floods me with gratitude and grounded love. Growing up I was fortunate to have the parents I had and the opportunities that were bestowed upon me due to my family’s history and my parent’s perseverance.
My parents instilled in me motivation to spread love. They did this by teaching me ways to listen rather than judge. Every year I feel closer to being at a place that they would be/are proud of.
My father came from very little in terms of material things. His brothers and him learned to go after the American Dream despite tragedy. Not everyone is this fortunate due to family systems and cycles that have difficulty understanding how to flourish.
My mother came from a very big, very loving, and hardworking family. Her family was able to bring back the love that had been missing in my dads life for some time.
Love is the foundation of healing and happiness. As I sit here I think of the world I am bringing my kids up in. I work everyday to teach them the importance of love, compassion, and understanding. Teaching the world this could heal so many difficulties.
What my hope is as we enter this holiday season? Listen intently. Love unconditionally. Teach humility and honesty. Do your best not to judge and be kind. Maybe one day our world can find peace.
2022 has made me feel stuck in so many ways. Never did I realize the growth that I would find that would nourish my soul.
I completed a passion project with a friend and it came to life at the end of 2021. I saw highs and lows of this project early in 2022. This week marks over 120 copies of Addy’s Journey to her Forever Home sold! Reviews we have gotten from people has been incredible.
I got a Hysterectomy and was at least 20 lbs heavier than I’ve ever been before. The pain and the exhaustion were unbearable. The surgery went well but right when I started feeling better, I broke my foot.
I continued to gain weight and eat my feelings. I was in a boot for 13 months until I got a second opinion. I wallowed a little more.
August I began a new journey. A journey of healthy living. I began becoming mindful about what was fueling my body. Weight Watchers was a step in this direction, along with my own therapy, and the support of my friends and family.
I thank everyone that has helped during this difficult year. I’m grateful that I finally am able to see benefits to this year. I am more confident and sure of myself. I am more patient than I’ve been in a long time. I am providing self care like I never have before. I will work to ensure this growth continues.
Connecting and Love
It was one of those weeks that was chaotic, hard, and unfair. However, these experiences have allowed me to deeply connect more with my children and nurture the love in our family. Sometimes the world has a way of making us slow down so we don’t miss what is truly important.
Plans for today while kiddos work on getting better: Watch cartoons. Create Art. Read Books. Yoga (if up for it). Chalk (outside on this beautiful Sunday). Scrumptious food. Love. Halloween spooky movie.
Thought for today: hold your kids tight and listen to them intently. Love unconditionally. Parenting is a balancing act, but if you do it with love and compassion for yourself and them they will succeed.