Things I Know to be True


On days when it feels like the world is spinning too fast, has lost it’s humanity, I choose to focus on my truths. The things, big and little, that I know in my soul to be absolute truth.

Time goes by way too fast. And there’s not a damn thing you (or I) can do to slow it back down. Be present and enjoy the moment you’re in.

Those adorable boys in that picture up top? I remember the days they were born like it happened yesterday. Now, one is in kindergarten and the other turns three this month. It’s hard on my heart to think of how quickly the time has flown over the last years.

You know what helps? Appreciating the moment we’re in. Owen’s brain and heart amaze me every single day. He comes home from school full of new knowledge. He’s learning how to read and loving it. He cares for everyone and everything so much. Emmett has the best sour patch kid personality. Rough and tumble one minute, snuggling the next. His smile and dimples melt my heart.

I can sit and lament the time gone by. I choose to focus on the moment.

My children are my greatest teachers.

Any mom (or dad) will tell you that raising children is a challenge you can’t possible prepare yourself for. There are seasons of ease and seasons of constant battle. You’re raising tiny humans, with their own personalities and opinions. At times my boys are so like my husband and I (in both good and bad ways), it’s entertaining. Other times, they are so different it’s hard to believe they came from us.

They challenge me in individual and unique ways. They push me to be the best version of myself. To set the best example. They provide a daily reminder of why I’m working towards my big goals.

Give yourself grace – especially when you don’t think you deserve it.

We are taught from a young age to give others grace. It’s something we struggle with and learn over time as we age. I find it much more difficult to give myself grace. I’m harder on myself than anyone else could possibly be. I’ve learned that hard way that living that way is an uphill battle.

The least we can do is give ourselves the same grace we give others.

Nature is healing.

Go outside. Surround yourself with trees. Listen to the grass and limbs dancing in the breeze. Breathe in fresh air. Just sit.

Whenever I’m overwhelmed by this thing called life, I go sit outside. Even five minutes does wonders for my mood and soul.

Coffee is a gift from the heavens.

I mean, does this one really need more explanation? I’m a mom to two rugrats who occasionally (cough*often*cough) decide to not sleep through the night or want to party before the sun comes up. I also enjoy staying up later than I should, hanging out with my husband, watching TV, reading, writing (man, this list could go on and on).

How do I do it? Coffee. Hot, steamy, unadulterated coffee.

Laugh. Often and loudly.

When was the last time you laughed until you couldn’t breathe? If it wasn’t in the last week, make it your mission to do so immediately. Listen to a comedian. Find a video of people telling dad jokes. Find a list of jokes and read them to someone.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

There’s so much bad in this world. So much that doesn’t make sense. That hurts. Unfortunately, we don’t have a magic wand to fix all the ills in the world. But, we do have ourselves. We have one another. It is up to each of us to set the example of how we want the world to be.

Be kind to one another. Be respectful. Seek out others with different opinions and backgrounds than you. Learn from one another. We only have one world and we’re all sharing it.

Tell your loved ones you love them multiple times a day. Hug them unabashedly.

It seems like every time I watch the news or refresh my timeline, there’s a new, horrific tragedy. The world is scary right now. I tell my husband and boys how much I love them throughout the day. I hug them as much as I can.

I love this family of mine all the way to Pluto and back. And I let them know, often and fiercely.

Books are magic.

Books are more than just words on pages. They are magic portals to different places and worlds, full of wonderful, diverse beings. I grew up in Nebraska, but through the magic of books, I’ve gone to school at Hogwarts, lived with the March family, gone back in time through standing stones in Scotland, and so many much more. I could fill pages recounting the adventures I’ve been on. All while curled up with a delicious, magical book.

The books I read growing up played a role in the person I am today. They exposed me to personalities, opinions, and world views far outside the scope of the people I encountered every day.

You cannot pour from an empty cup. 

Some of these truths are learned the hard way. Life is busy. I juggle multiple balls on any given day. Employee, mom, wife, sister, friend, writer…it can be (and is) so easy to forget to include individual in that list. If we don’t make a conscious effort to put yourself first, you will always fall to the bottom of the list.

All those other “things” you identify as? They will be worse for the wear if you don’t focus on making sure you are taken care of first.


Saying Yes to My Voice


As an adult, I’ve always been keenly aware that I often hold myself back from speaking up in certain situations. I recognize it. I acknowledge it.

I move past it in fits and starts, only to find myself back at square one after a while.

Driving home from work on Monday, I had a light bulb moment. Nope, hang on a second. A light bulb exploding moment. It was mind-blowing, both in it’s truth and in it’s pure simpleness.

I’ve been listening to the audio-book of Brene Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability.”

(You should probably just go buy it now – it’s crazy good).

She was relating stories of shame and how they can impact our lives and how we show up. One story was about a teacher shaming a student in middle school. It was difficult to listen to. It made my mamma bear come out and I got angry. And then I became immensely sad for the young girl in the story.

Then the epiphany struck.

I felt the anger and immense sadness, not as a parent (well, not completely as a parent), but because I was once that young girl.

Listen, I’m a life-long, proud book nerd. I fly that flag with no shame or embarrassment. However, her story triggered a memory from the recesses of my mind.

A teacher in a middle school English class asked if anyone had book suggestions for the rest of the class. Being the proud book nerd and (at the time) outgoing student, I raised my hand and recommended Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I’d just finished it and was smitten with Oliver and the Artful Dodger.

This teacher looked at me with what can only be described as disgust as she berated me for suggesting a book above not only the classes reading level, but my reading level.

Never-mind the fact that I’d just received a perfect grade on my book report written about the same exact book, I felt small. I felt dumb. I was ashamed for opening my mouth and recommending the book.

I never realized (at least consciously) until Monday, but that was the turning point for me. That shaming experience turned me from the student who always raised my hand first to one who had to force myself to raise my hand or speak up.

As an adult, it’s much easier for me to force myself to do so, but there is still that moment of hesitation. That moment of self-doubt. That remaining shame over speaking up.

But here’s the thing about shame. Once you expose it to the light, it is incredibly hard for it to remain in control of your mind and actions.

So I’m showing it the light – both figuratively (by writing about it) and literally (by writing out the experience and burning the paper).

I’m done living in that place of shame, stemming from 15+ years ago.

I’m done with my fear of speaking up.

I’m done with my fear of being seen.

It’s time to say yes to my voice.

And so it is.