Somehow the Light Gets in #GriefReflections #Gratitude #AugustBirthdayBabes

August is a month filled with the birth of so many amazing people in my life both past and present. Today we celebrate one of my favoritest people, my mama and next week is Chris’s birthday. I’ve been a little mopey this week. Getting back into the groove of teaching and all of my peeps busy with other commitments, I’ve spent more time than usual at home.

Even so, I’ve accomplished some super cool things this week and made some plans that even when I tell people about them I think how is this my life?! In a positive way. 😉 With all this alone time I start to reflect on all the amazing people who were born in August, who’ve changed my life, AND all the ways my heart has (and continues to) change. Taking a few moments to think on the people in your life who make it better will fill your heart with gratitude, or at least it always does mine.

The last two years I begrudgingly waited and endured the final week of August and the dawn of September. Why? Because of birthdays. Those reminders on the calendar that come September I’m getting older and come August 31st Chris isn’t. I used to think I would never get over this, the pain in my heart would never let up, and I’d always despise this time of year when it once brought me such joy. I truly believed, down in my soul that I would never embrace another birthday with pure joy rather than obligation. I was wrong. I’m so SO happy I was wrong.

The bittersweet remains when I think of Chris’s birthday but there’s a difference between that feeling and the feeling of intense dread and sorrow. I’m so grateful those feelings have fled my heart. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m sharing this because if you feel this way (full of dread and sorrow) know it won’t last forever. Put your hope in knowing one day your heart will change. When it has had ample time to mend, things WILL change.

There are so many things happening in my life—opportunities and wonderful people that remind me of how far I’ve come and where I’m going. I’m so thankful God has put all these puzzle pieces together. I’ve managed to do things I’d never thought I could and prove that nagging negative voice in my head wrong. You can do the same. You have the same “powers” that I do.

Life is truly one grand adventure filled with all sorts of hurts and healing, setbacks and successes. The more you learn to find the happy in the everyday the more fulfilling your life will be. I’m grateful for a mom, who’s always taught me to put on my shades and find the sun through the clouds. And who reminds me to always be a brave little soldier and never give up.

I’m passing those lessons on to you. My life has become a testimony that it’s possible to beat the sorrows of life and those lessons are legit real deal life occurrences. Crap is always going to be slung your way. The real winners find the best ways to dodge it or clean it off when it hits them. No matter how dark things may be remember somehow, someway, the light always gets in. Open your eyes and see it.

May your last few days of August be filled with love, hugs, and sunshine! To all my August birthday babes, it’s been a great month and I’m so glad you were born, even if the coolest people are born in September! 😉 <3

#NeverGiveUpOnYourAlwaysAndForever #GriefReflections #LoveHugsAndSunshine #AugustBirthdayBabes


Once Upon a Time in Frankenmuth #NeverGiveUp #GriefReflections #RealLifeFairyTales

Once upon a time in Frankenmuth one hot August weekend, I went to a ball, danced with princesses, met beautiful people from all different lands, indulged in delightful treats, sailed aboard a grand ship, and visited the Enchanted Forest. No, seriously I did all those things, in real life, last weekend in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I have pictures to prove it. See!

image2image4For my reader and author friends, it’s an event you MUST add to your 2017 calendar. Stacey Rourke and her court did a fabulous job with putting together an organized, family friendly, and incredibly awesome event! (Here’s the link. Check it out! )

As I sit back in my castle…ahem I mean my home this Monday morning reflecting on the beautiful weekend and all the changes in my life I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Fairy tales are fabulous. I grew up with them—Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. I adore all they represent—trials, triumph, and most importantly true love. But real life fairy tales, they are my favorite.

It was just a couple years ago I was barely getting by–struggling to wake up, fighting to keep moving forward, and wishing to disappear. Grief is a major jerkwad and finding a way to grieve and heal, well that’s like slaying the greatest dragon in the land.

I thought a lot about Chris this weekend—between finishing up my grief book, promoting it, and being in such a breath-taking place I couldn’t help but think about him, our life, and all the ways mine has changed these past few years—the new people and the crazy adventures.

I really believe I have a fairy Godmother (or Godfather) working behind the scenes waving a wand for me. How else could I have transformed from who I was to who I am now? Inside and out. How else did I get to go to a ball? Have these opportunities to travel? I’m so grateful for the Big Guy in the Sky and all He’s done for me. I like to think Chris is standing next to him with his “to do list” nudging him along. He was always good for that. 🙂

We were sitting at the ball (something I never thought I’d do) and I told my Mom, “I can’t believe this is my face.” Meaning I cannot believe how different I am from a couple years ago—from the girl who didn’t want to live to the woman full of sparkle. I’ve changed as dramatically inside as I have on the outside. My heart overflows with gratitude and love instead of pain. Thank God for that!image3-1All weekend I couldn’t stop saying how gorgeous this place was and how happy I was to be there. I wished all of “my people” were there with us, enjoying all the beauty and magic around us.  I was overflowing with gratitude for being alive and sharing such a magical place with someone who’d seen me through the trenches! I’m talking about my beautiful Mom by the way. 😉 She found Prince Charming, her glass slipper, and was the belle of the ball. #Winning

image1Then I realized this is one of my jobs—to go to balls, meet amazing authors and readers, oh yeah and sell my stories. How in the world did an accountant end up here wrapped in the world of words? I know the answer—the grace of God but even so it overwhelms me.

Sometimes we forget in the midst of our own fairy tales that we must see darkness in order to see beauty. Evil will come for us time and time again but it’s up to us to look around and see the good around us. It’s there. It’s the people standing next to us with their swords ready to slay the dragon breathing fire down our necks. It’s the little moments of serenity by the water filled with conversations, laughter, and camaraderie. And it’s the prince or princess crossing our path that makes us stronger, smarter, and better. Our real life fairy tales are massive novels filled with chapters of defeat and triumph, waiting and planning, and at times periods of nonstop swashbuckling action. Sometimes we get too stuck on the happy ending that we don’t enjoy the pages before hand. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end–be sure to enjoy the whole book of yours not just one section! 😉

Never give up on your always and forever—no matter what it may be a baby, a spouse, a friend, a career, or some other dream. Whatever it is your heart desires don’t give up. Keep slaying dragons and gathering the troops. Life is filled with fairy tale moments, don’t miss yours!

Never ever give up on your always and forever. I promise you, when it all comes together you’ll be grateful you kept fighting. <3

#RealLifeFairyTalesHappen #NeverGiveUp #OUAB