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Mental Health

Have you ever had someone say, “have you prayed about it,” and in that moment you want to reach across the table and punch them right in the face? It’s not that you don’t believe in the power of prayer or even if you don’t, it’s not that you want to bash on that person’s beliefs. It’s that we live in this world where people think mental health is something that can be fixed or cured by changing our views. They say “have you thiught about the things you have to be thankful for?” Or “maybe you’re just living in the past and you should start focusing on the now.” I don’t think people intentionally say these things to hurt us, even if it feels like that. For me, my depression isn’t something that can be “cured” with a simple change of view. My depression is a lack of serotonin in my brain. It’s my body’s inability to produce the happy gene on its own. Somedays I feel more than overjoyed and ecstatic about life. Other days I cry nonstop and can’t function. I take meds, I exercise, I pray, I eat healthy, I journal, see counselors, and talk about my past to try and overcome the skeletons. It doesn’t seem like I get better and that’s okay. I’ve found ways to cope and deal with the suicidal thoughts. Mental health doesn’t have to have a stigma and it’s okay to not know what to say to someone who suffers from a mental health disorder. Ask them how you can help instead of assuming things about them or the disorder. Pray for them if that’s what you believe in or wish them good karma… but please don’t make them feel worse about their mental health or their inability to “get over it.”

Christmas Magic

As most of you know, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Christmas is magical–literally another world full of unicorns and cupcakes (but seriously). Christmas is my favorite time of the year. 

What most of you do not know is why I love Christmas and there are two BIG reasons I do.

On December 4, 2007, my mom took her last breath of air. Christmas being only 21 days later, you would think Christmas would be a sad time for me, especially since it was the first Holiday without her. However, that Christmas morning my siblings and I woke up to stockings, gifts, and a FULL living room of presents my mom had picked out before she died. My mom spent the last six months of her life in excruciating pain; chemo and radiation, hospital stays, IV’s, a port attached to her as a constant reminder she was dying, and a life-sucking disease taking over her body. However, she spent those months making sure her children were being kids, not letting us visit her when we should be out with friends, and acting as normal as she could–laughing, playing, singing, dancing. She still believed in the magic.

Mom spent her final days making sure each of her children opened the perfect presents with the best stocking stuffers because that is who my mom was. My mom believed in the magic of Christmas, the feel-good of finding the prime gift for a loved one, the baking, Christmas carols, and of course Christmas movies. We would make Oreo-reindeer, watch The Grinch, decorate the tree, go look at Christmas lights and we always had the BEST gifts. She knew how to turn a little money into a gift that she put thought into–she never gave us gifts that were “fillers.” Mom believed in the reason for the season; I remember going to midnight Mass. My mom made Christmas about family and doing things together, the gifts were phenomenal, but it’s the feeling that made it so perfect.

I love Christmas because it reminds me of her.

December 25 is not just another American holiday for gifts and spending money, but it is the day our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ was born. People of all nations come together on this day and celebrate and commemorate the birth of Jesus. I know lots of people do not celebrate the real reason behind the day, but I believe every year on this day more people draw closer to God. I believe we see more giving, forgiving hearts, donations, acts of service and kindness, and more love because even if not everyone believes, God is working in and on those hearts to better people. Christmas is about God and even though we have really put pressure on spending during the holidays, we have also put emphasis on giving, love, hope, and grace. These things are all qualities of Jesus and the magic of Christmas exudes them from his people.

I love Christmas because I believe in Jesus and his unwavering love. 

Duluth 

Being on the road has been such a fun adventure! Week 2 full time is underway and I’ve already learned so much. Duluth has been beautiful and cold. The snow is the perfect snow for snowmen making and the large stacks of it are hiding places for my snowpup. Albus is having a blast and keeps digging in the snow and running like a mad man. Sam and I took him to the Target lot so he could let loose in fresh snow piles without any traffic concerns (it was 9pm). 


Duluth has a port for large ships to dock and on Sunday we went on a walk with Albus and got to see a ship come in. Tons of people were there to witness the arrival; we believe they were loved ones of some of the crew members.


 I love eating local food and we’ve tried a few different places. The Duluth Grill is next to our motel and we ate there twice. The first time I got an omelet with everything and a cinnamon roll. The omelet was delicious and the cinnamon roll was tasty as well. However, JJ’s in COMO has the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever tasted. (Go there and try it). The second time I got the chicken fried pancake. The pancake was cooked with corn and bacon on the inside topped with fried chicken and maple bacon syrup. The pancake was salty & sweet and reminded me of cornbread. The chicken wasn’t good, but I’d still go back to try other things. We also ate at Grizzly’s Wood-Fire Grill. I had the wood-fire chicken sandwich with avocado. I love chicken and I love avocado & you can never go wrong with the two paired together. 


So far this trip I’ve learned:

  • 1) Albus loves snow as much, if not more than I do 
  • 2) Being married has been my greatest and most favorite adventure thus far 
  • 3) Sam doesn’t know how to play candy crush 
  • 4) Sam gets homesick & being on the road without visitors is hard
  • 5) My husband actually loves Albus like I do 😘
  • 6) Home workouts are cue for my dog to attack me  
  • 7) Greys Anatomy reruns never get old 
  • 8) Living with my best friend makes my phone battery last longer 
  • 9) I need NEED to decorate for Christmas asap (camper shopping must happen soon)
  • 10) Sam is the hardest-working and most selfless person I know 

Innocent 

You told me it was alright

You whispered in my ear 

As you moved down

“Tell me what you want”

Shame bubbles in my chest 

Confusion filled my mind 

A hole ripped in my heart

The shaking began

You whispered in my ear 

Another lie of theft 

Forever damaged, forever guilt

You finished, leaving behind a child 

You whispered in my ear 

With no disgust 

You stole my innocence 

Losing childhood 

Breaking all trust