What’s right and what’s wrong?!

Lucy was playing with a friend at an outdoor event and the friend added another friend to their group. Lucy, who can be shy, tried her best to play and have fun. However, the other friend took her ball out of Lucy’s hand in a demanding manner (as kids do) and Lucy told me her feelings were hurt.

Both girls came up to Lucy and asked her what’s wrong. They both showed compassion and empathy without understanding why Lucy was sad. Lucy froze. I attempted to create a safe space for Lucy to speak up and say what upset her. However, Lucy asked me to tell them. I responded by saying, “No Lucy, you have to say what’s wrong so they hear you and understand. I think both girls want to be your friend.” Lucy decided not to tell them and we left.

We talked in the car with the encouragement of her big brother. Lucy said she wished she said something. Since this experience, I am questioning if I should have spoken up.

My thought with not speaking up for her was to instill the courage to speak up for herself and learn advocacy. I have spoken for her in the past, but I want her to be able to stand up for herself whether I’m there or not.

Every parenting book and article will tell you something different. This is why I have to remember there is no end all scenario in parenting and we are all doing the best we can. What are your thoughts with your own parenting style related to Lucy’s experience?


I’m a Barbie Girl

After weeks of wanting to see it, I was able to watch the Barbie movie with my 2 wonderful aunts and daughter. I am beyond grateful to see a movie that captured the human condition so wonderfully.

What I saw: A beautiful movie that touched on every aspect of my childhood. A gentle confrontation of how society has built norms and ways to build all parties up versus breaking them down. True relationships that show how to build healthy versus dependent relationships that are ever present in our society.

Ken was hurt by not feeling heard, respected or validated. Children, minorities, cultures, and people often find ways to gain attention that aren’t always healthy. Barbies message to Ken, and herself, was to find who they truly are and this will lead to contentment.

Barbie was a strong female lead that showed strength, resilience, sadness, vulnerability, compassion, and confidence. To find a lead, that I have no reservations about my daughter seeing, was beautiful!

America Ferraris speech resonated so much with me as I’m sure many woman can relate.

I am adding her speech that was printed on Elle’s website. “It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.

It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.”

Let’s change this narrative and support one another without judgment but with pure love and positivity.


Instilling Compassion

My son leaned over yesterday and said, “Mom, you aren’t sick like you used to be.” It took me a second to remember what he was talking about. Once I remembered, a feeling of gratitude and sadness overwhelmed me.

The first 6 years of my sons life and first 3 of my daughters, I remember days where I had to explain to them I can’t play because “mommy hurts.” My kids knew the heating pad was the only thing that helped after a long day of playing or work.

What was I battling for much of my life? Endometriosis. A medical condition where surgery is the only way to find more lasting relief, at least for me.

I was grateful Liam provided me the opportunity to show him how the medical field, and one doctor in particular provided the answer and relief to my pain. Dr. Cara King is the only practicing doctor in Ohio that is trained in how to extract Endometriosis in a way the diminishes the likelihood of it growing back.

I had surgery February 2022 and continue to be symptom free. Although struggling for 20+ years with this diagnosis, I know it has shaped me into a more compassionate, strong, and motivated person.

My son further shows me how compassionate and loving he is by his deep and insightful thoughts. Although I wish he didn’t have to understand why mommy couldn’t do certain things, my hope is it turns him into a man that can truly understand and provide compassion and empathy for others. So far I’m seeing it💕


Father’s Day Sentiments

What does being a father mean? “Fun,” was what my son said immediately. “I love Daddy because he helps other people have fun at work,” responded my daughter. Love, compassion, silliness, structure, positive boundaries, and fun are what describes the father in our home.

Silas shows our children everyday what being a father means and the unconditional love that our kids know innately. We are further surrounded by two amazing grandfather’s that teach them daily things we never would have thought of.

We are so grateful for all the amazing men that continue to show up as fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and cousins. Not everyone has these steady male role models. We are fortunate. Today is their day. Thank you for shaping the next generation of men that are allowed to show emotions, love, and compassion. We love and see you.

To all those that are fathers not in the traditional way, thank you. To those fathers that adopted and foster your children your strength is amazing. “To her the name of father was another name for love.” -Fanny Fern


Love is Love is Love and thoughts to Ponder

Visiting family in Michigan for Memorial Day weekend has been exciting and amazing! I was challenged with finding a lunch spot on our way to Ann Arbor. Dare I say I found the perfect place?

I can’t say enough wonderful things about Bobcat Bonnie’s! I did not realize from the website that this was an LGBTQ+ restaurant, as I was on the lookout strategically for good food and drinks to kick off this long weekend. Bonnie’s did not disappoint and went above and beyond for our family!

The food was absolutely fantastic! Glitter covered each of our plates from Lucky Unicorn and Cap’n Crunch pancakes to wings that could glitter and sparkle in the dark! The presentation was priceless, but the taste delectable! On top of this, my husband was astonished at the amazing Bloody Mary bar! He’s always been skeptical but saw theirs and stated that’s how you do a Bloody Mary bar!

Why am I going on and on about this restaurant when my site is not created for food reviews? Because from start to finish we felt accepted, loved, and compassion. The shirt you see pictured Liam asked the waiter, “is it true you only got a one star review?” The waiter was so sweet and tried to explain how they were making humor out of an awful Yelp review. I explained to Liam, “This restaurant took something that was pretty mean and negative and turned it into a positive.” Liam smiled from ear to ear.

The waiter also went above and beyond for our family! At the end of our meal, they gave us a list of all the wonderful places to visit on our vacation. The love and compassion felt in this establishment was fulfilling.

I continue to ponder, what if the world showed the love, compassion, and acceptance that this establishment offers. What if we all try to learn from each other before we make judgments or assumptions about things we don’t know or can’t understand. If we tried these simple things maybe this world wouldn’t have the despair that occurs every time we turn on the news. Just a thought.


Love in all it’s Forms

16 years ago today the person that first loved me passed away. Every year I’m amazed at how the years go on and the number increasing with each passing day. I’ve learned to find ways to honor and carry her with me.

My mom taught me so much. Never take life too seriously, connections with others are priority, and love with your whole heart. My children live on through her, and although I don’t remember every aspect of how she parented or know what she would say now, I know the feeling of his I parent comes from the love her and my dad bestowed upon me.

Every time I make a silly joke and my kids roll their eyes or say “that’s not funny.” I’m reminded of my reaction to you growing up with “Is your nose running? You better catch it.” My career path and passion for helping others reminds me of the path you were working towards. Writing and telling stories in written word stems from the lessons you taught me growing up.

Thank you for the lessons in love and understanding. Love you mom.

I hope those of you that have lost a parent know that you forever carry them. You may not always remember them or the lessons they instilled, but if you listen and take a pause finding their love may carry you through as it has me.


Working to Inspire Hope

Hello Dolly.

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…🤞


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!