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Some places are magical because they are stunningly beautiful.

Some places are magical because they are open-air museums, a snapshot into history.

Some places scream culture, arts, and nightlife.

Some places have the best food, live music, or endless theatre.

And then there is Bali.

I've been very blessed to travel to a lot of places in my life, and while Bali isn't the most visually beautiful, it is, perhaps the most energetically powerful.

The island of Bali has a spirit all its own, and it is palpable. The island isn't big, per se, but it isn't small either. At 95 miles wide and 69 miles long, the island is packed full of amazing temples, colorful traditions, and beautiful people. There is a stillness to the air, a sense of peace, and tranq...

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You didn't help create them.
You didn't hold my hand over the nine months as they formed.
You didn't help pick their cribs, their names, or their first outfit.
You weren't there at their birth.
You didn't drive them home from the hospital.
You didn't rock them to sleep over their first year of life.

You weren't there when we, all three of us, said goodbye to the man who had done all of these things with so much love and happiness. He didn't want to go, but he didn't have a choice. He was gone the instant his plane hit the ground.

They were babies, and I was devastated.
I didn't show it.
I showed strength, and to everyone watching, I was "an inspiration" but let's call it what it was.... extreme, horrific, life-altering shock.

SurvivalDoing what on...

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Dear school administrator,

I think it's time we drop Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom.

Allow me to explain why so many of us feel this way.

I'm writing this letter to you on behalf of every single SOLO parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or godparent in this world. Some innocent traditions cut and cause undue stress, anxiety, and emptiness. Loss happens, we realize you can't change the family dynamics for every child in your care, but with a few simple word changes, you may be able to minimize the additional heartache for an innocent young heart.

Isn't that what we should be doing? Shouldn't we be raising children to feel seen, loved, understood, and maybe even included when at all possible?

Listen, we understand the sentiment, really we do...

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Below are the words of wisdom I shared with my 6th-grade daughter and my 4th-grade son going into another new School Year.

10 Things I told my daughter as she went to middle school.

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I’ll save you all the work of scrolling down through this text to find the answer to the teaser that is in the title of this blog. The best thing about being Widowed is:

OTHER PEOPLE’S JUDGEMENT

Whaaaaaaat?! Yes. Other people judging you is the number one best part of widowhood (having permission to drink martinis on a Tuesday afternoon is a close second).

For a brief period,; I attempted to be a Socially Appropriate Griever. I went without makeup, I hid the fact that I was dating, and I invested the life insurance money. I posted pictures of him on Facebook and made sure everyone knew that I slept in his jacket every night. This persona was stifling, but I didn’t feel I had a choice. I needed everyone around me to know th...

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After I married Keith, we moved to Montana from Arizona, and we built a sweet little house out on some land. We wanted a place the kids could stretch their legs, play and explore. The house was a ton of hard work, especially for my husband Keith, who did a lot of it himself. He installed these beautiful, Acacia wood floors; because they were multicolored, with hues of cherry and walnut, we felt the color might hide some of the imperfections that come with having a blended family of four kids and two, large dogs. The other day, as I was cleaning the floors, I noticed that in the short time we have lived in our home, our stunning wood floor had already become scratched and pitted, showing many more imperfections than I anticipated. My firs...

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It is that time of the year again. The time when we send our children off to school to learn, to grow, to socialize, to develop mentally, physically, and emotionally. School is not a replacement for the personal growth happening at home, but we would be short-sided if we didn't believe that eight hours of their day didn't shape who they are or who they will become.

Because of the importance we all place in school for our children, it pains me to say what I'm about to say...

This year, more than any other year before, I'm scared, no I'm petrified to send my children off to school.

I think I speak for a large percentage of American parents when I say, sending our children off to school has become a terrifying proposition.

Why????

Well, accordin...

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The WORLD LOVES Mango!!

Did you know that MORE fresh mangos are eaten every single day around the world than any other fruit??? As an American that blows my mind. Our country sees to be obsessed with bananas and apples but are we missing out on the mango love???

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It seems like yesterday that the doctor placed you in my arms and I fell in love.

You were, and still are incredible.

So tiny

So innocent

So perfect within your newness

I didn't know that less than three years from that moment, I would have to look in your sweet and beautiful blue eyes and tell you that your Daddy would never be coming home again. That moment is forever engraved in my mind and while I can't change the past, I can continue to support you, love you, and teach you as you grow through this life without him.

So, as you close out grade school and head into junior high, here are a few things I'd like you to know.

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You are the sum of the people you spend your time with

Pick your friends wisely, and never settle for negativity, drama or a poor attitude. Your community and your tribe will push you to reach for more and become better, or they will drag you down to the lowest common denominator. Rise up baby, and surround yourself with people who want to rise also.

Do work

You can go anywhere in this life if you work hard and never give up. Don't expect anyone to hand you anything. Work hard, be humble, kind and live with intention. You can't beat the person who never gives up.

Be patient

Most good things in life take a lot of time. Don't expect overnight success with anything from your fitness, relationships, grades or future business endeavors. Expect to do the work consistently and then be patient for things to click. Working hard and patience are the true key to a life of unstoppable success and happiness.

Love yourself first

Regardless of the topic, you come first. Don't put off your fitness, your health, your nutrition, your sanity, or your happiness for another day or another person. If you don't take the time to love yourself, then don't expect someone else to do it. You have to take personal responsibility to make this life what you want it to be and that all starts and ends with self-love.

He's not worth it

That boy who will break your heart. He is not worth it. If someone someday doesn't see the incredible awesomeness that is you, walk away, take a few moments to mend your heart but keep your head high, and realize you don't ever want someone who does not want you in return. You are worth so much more.

Be involved

Do every sport, run for student government, join clubs, take chances, be loud, make your voice heard and remembered the most significant way to learn is to FAIL (first attempt in learning). While you are busy being involved, don't forget to sit back, watch and listen. You will not only learn from those moments you failed, but you will also learn from the things others do and say. Observation is your friend and the quieter you become, the more you will see the world, and others for all that they truly are.

Exercise every single day of your life for a better life

I've got a very important secret to tell you and this one I truly want you to hear. Fitness and exercise are game changers for all that you are. Everything in life will improve if you take the time to sweat and empower yourself. It's not about the size of your body; it's about the size of your life. Don't do it as punishment for food, do it as a reward for being healthy enough to move.

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It's the end of another year and time for those time-honored New Year resolutions.

We do it every year.

We promise to drop weight, get healthy, fix our lives in one way or another and we swear to begin in one fell swoop in just one day. What I've learned in my forty-five years of experience is that often changes are that dramatic and what works better is a baby-step approach to forging forward with better goals that can last.

Maybe it's not what you need to add to your life this year but rather what you need to let go of that will make your life improve.

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