No Rest From the Wicked

Yeah, yeah, I know that it is “No rest FOR the wicked,” but I want to talk about when there is “no rest FROM the wicked.” Nightmares, bad dreams, anxiety dreams, the ones that you wake up from feeling as if you never even slept. When you wake anxious, angry, sad, or just plain exhausted. … No Rest From the…
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The Widow Expectation

Is there a widow expectation? Is there an average widow? Is there a widow mold? I don’t know honestly. Many times over the last three years I have expressed that I don’t fit the “widow mold.” Other widows have responded saying there isn’t one. But in my experience, through my lens, I have felt a … The Widow Expectation Read…
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But really, who am I?

Identity is a tricky to define. Some may find their identity in their career. Or their family. Or the other half of a relationship. But when you strip that all away. When you ask yourself, “Who am I?” how do you answer? And here are the rules, you can’t say your job, your family status, … But really, who am…
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Who Defines Normal?

One of my biggest trigger words is “normal.” Because I have never felt normal. I’ve never fit in. I’ve always broke the mold. Growing up I went to a private Catholic school. We weren’t the typical family. It was a struggle to afford the tuition. My mom ran an in home daycare and many of … Who Defines Normal? Read…
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Signs of Mom

My mom was an artist. A very talented artist. She could draw landscapes and portraits with pastels that were absolutely breathtaking. I remember growing up with her artwork around us. She would have an easel displaying her most recent project. Art boxes would be laying open, with an endless spectrum of colored pastels. She would … Signs of Mom Read…
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Adoption. Is. Hard.

Adoption. Is. Hard. If you’ve walked this journey, you know the struggle. And my struggles may be different than yours. But all the same, there are knock you down, speechless, gut wrenching struggles along the way. I distinctly remember a receptionist at the doctor’s office casually asking me two months into our foster journey if … Adoption. Is. Hard. Read…
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The risk and reward of detachment

I detach because it feels safer… If I don’t put myself out there, you can’t hurt me. If I don’t show you what I live, breathe, and believe in, you can’t reject me. If I don’t take risks and reach for the sky, I won’t fall short. But then, I am still left feeling alone, … The risk and reward…
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Say I’m Sorry

I’m sorry. When is the last time you heard that? When is the last time you said it?  I over apologize. I say sorry when I know full and well I couldn’t possibly be responsible for whatever it is I’m apologizing for. I say it when I’m anxious. I say it when I’m not sure … Say I’m Sorry Read…
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My mom is gone

A year ago my mom died suddenly. And the truth is, I have buried that grief deep. I don’t really have the words. Covid hit our country in March 2020. The last time I saw my mom was face to face on March 15th. After that, we all retreated into our Covid bubbles of quarantine … My mom is gone…
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Crying Ain’t for Sissies

Ever noticed when you or someone else starts to cry, people want to rush in and calm you down? Cheer you up. Fix your hurt. And then there are those rare few who know crying ain’t for sissies and they embrace you, sit next to you, grab your hand, and let you let it all … Crying Ain’t for Sissies…
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Tug of War: Fitness vs. Depression

Fitness and nutrition has always been a huge passion of mine. Beyond the physical benefits, I am well aware of the mental health support both provide. I grew up horseback riding, so I was not a “traditional” athlete. I didn’t play high school sports or do weight training at school because what I did after … Tug of War: Fitness…
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I’m Not the Best Friend Right Now

I’m not the best friend right now. I know that. And I’m sorry. The last 3 years have been, well, there are no words. It is like the day Jake died, I died too. And the person I am now and am becoming, isn’t her, the one that existed before. I’m evolving. I’m learning. I’m … I’m Not the Best…
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I’m Not that Mom

Cute emails filled with adorable stories and pictures of our family filled activities inspired by a lesson at school. Scholastic book orders turned in on time…or at all. Crafty snacks and sandwiches. Or even meals planned ahead. Sneaking in to my boys’ bedrooms to watch them sleep. Not one sippy cup or refillable bottle out … I’m Not that Mom…
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Kids Keep You Grounded in Truth

We have all been there. Our minds can be a battlefield. A maze. Full of twists and turns and spirals that lead us to untruths and shame. And I will be the first to tell you, I get stuck in this labyrinth more than I would like to admit. My kids, and all kids, for … Kids Keep You Grounded…
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Anxiety Armor

I honestly don’t ever remember living without anxiety. I had night terrors as a child. My mom called me an “awfulizer” growing up because even then my catastrophic thinking was ingrained in me. Two years ago I started with a new therapist because I needed more help in handling the trauma of losing Jake violently. … Anxiety Armor Read More…
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Where Did You Go?

There is something about friendship that baffles me and has been festering inside me for some time now. Why don’t we fight for our friendships the way we do for our marriages, our significant others, our family? In a marriage or romantic relationship, we argue, we disagree, we show our worst side of ourselves at … Where Did You Go?…
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Mama, Take the Win

If you are a parent, you know first hand that parenting during a global pandemic has been tough. Maybe you are a single parent, a solo parent, co parent, traditional parent with a spouse, parent in a blended family or a special needs parent…or any combination of these. I’m exhausted, aren’t you? Schools closing, daycares … Mama, Take the Win…
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The Magic of Time

Isn’t it funny how a similar situation years from then can be so different? That is the magic of time. How things change. And your perspective can too. Tonight, we returned from Tractor Supply, racing against time before the sun went down as we had promised the boys they could play in the snow when … The Magic of Time…
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Caffeine and Sarcasm

I had a wonderful opportunity to be a guest on the podcast, Caffeine and Sarcasm, hosted by Jake’s and my friend Logan Campbell, to discuss my experience with losing Jake in a line of duty death. Thank you Logan for the opportunity to share my story. It was an honor. Please click the link below … Caffeine and Sarcasm Read…
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lake, sunset, rocks

Final Victim Statement for the Final Hearing

When a stone is thrown into a pond, it creates ripples that move outward and affect each part of the pond and the creatures that live within it. Each of our actions, small or big, have a ripple effect that touch, alter, and influence our lives and the lives of those around us. For most … Final Victim Statement for…
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foggy, misty, spooky

Victim Statement #2

Your actions created a ripple effect that forever changed the lives of many. Most importantly, mine and the lives of 2 young boys. You gave a gun to a man who you also gave drugs to. You hosted a deal that directly resulted in a police chase, gave a tool to someone not of sound … Victim Statement #2 Read…
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Not Only One Life Was Lost

I’m not sure where to start. 3 years. It feels so far away. So much has changed from the big to the small things. The boys are bigger. They are learning so much in school and succeeding beyond what we imagined for them there. Their struggles and behaviors are harder. I know we knew and … Not Only One Life…
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Names Etched in Stone

A letter to Jake. Written 11 months post loss. A few days ago, I went to visit you. It was freezing outside, a harsh breeze, one sick kiddo at home, and I had to see you. It was the day after Valentine’s Day, the cemetery had called. Your monument was done and had been installed … Names Etched in Stone…
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Fairytales and Unicorns Don’t Exist

Written 1 year, 8 months, 13 days post lost. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve hidden from my grief for months now. But here is the thing about grief: it always finds you. Many told me year two would be harder. The fog would lift. The shock would fade. And I’d be left to stand … Fairytales and Unicorns Don’t…
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Dear Mama

Dear Mama, I see you. I see you are tired, exhausted, and worn down. I see the burden you carry on your shoulders. I see the weight of those precious children’s futures you carry. I see your heart on your sleeve. I see the minutes, hours, days, months, and years you pour your soul into … Dear Mama Read More…
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When You Can’t Thrive, Survive

Exactly a week ago, I wrote about thriving. I find that ironic as that day I felt surrounded by a sea of calm. Today I feel like a rabid UFC fighter in an apocalyptical situation stripped of my armor and seething to find a peaceful place to lick my wounds. What changed? What forces these … When You Can’t Thrive,…
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Choose to Thrive, Not just Survive

At some point today after removing my PJ uniform, taking a shower for the first time in two or three days, and putting on real clothes, and by real clothes I mean respectable workout pants and a Calvin Klein long sleeve, I styled my naturally wavy hair that I recently dyed to match my natural … Choose to Thrive, Not…
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Bound by the Dance

Words cannot even begin to express the magnitude of weary that I feel right now. And I feel it to my very core. I am not even sure how to describe a feeling that goes bone deep and you can feel in the inner workings of your heart and brain. It has been all consuming … Bound by the Dance…
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Take Out Your Excuses with the Trash

Tired doesn’t even crack the surface. Exhausted, not even close. It’s days like these that I sit in bed wondering what am I doing? Really, what? I walked with anxiety and depression for years. I just did a really good job fooling myself that I was doing FINE (but Fine is really an acronym for: … Take Out Your Excuses…
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phoenix, ink, tattoo

The End of a Chapter

Today was the end of a very long chapter. Four separate cases for Jake’s death to date. One federal, 3 state level. And today, was the final hearing. Going into today I knew the outcome. Today was the sentencing hearing for the driver of the car. The driver that led the chase, let out the … The End of a…
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Loss of Faith & Answered Prayers

I need to be real for a minute. My faith has been shaken and has been for some time now.  I was in a really good place before all this. I attended church weekly. I served regularly. I was a part of the foster and adoption ministry. I took my boys to church with me. … Loss of Faith &…
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Why I Write

Why I Write video introduction I have given a lot of thought to my writing recently. As life continues through hardship and challenges, much of which are completely out of my control, I have found solace  in guided meditations and journaling. Sometimes it is as basic as vomiting my thoughts on paper to get it … Why I Write Read…
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