Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Poetry Month: Poem 1

When the villagers heads towards you, 

stomping their way to your door,

their path lit with the glow from the

condemnation of their eyes

and the  hollow glare from their kindles

 and iphones,

I hope you tell them that you believe.

When they pound on your door,
grimacing and jeering,
pitchforks dancing and hate flowing,
demanding to know what you believe in
 and why,
belittling and bemoaning your refusal to

bow down to all things plastic and 


I hope you tell them that you believe.

Whether you clutch the Koran for 
trust in one god or five,

confess your sins into salvation,

or trust snakes to save your soul,

I hope you tell them what you really 


When they taunt your tears,
laugh at your fears,

are disgusted by your passion,
I hope, you will tell them that you still 


That you believe that laughing is 
medicine for your soul,
that kindness trumps dogma any day,

that hand holding is an art,
that books are magical,

that loving is brave,

that fake will not stand the test of time,

that words can burn but also heal,
that crying is okay,

that writing is breathing,
that forgiving is soul freeing,

and that kissing is a skill.

I hope you scare and seduce one by 
grabbing their hand,
and holding it to your breast and 

demanding them to feel your heart beat,

your life,

thump, thump, thumping in cadence to
 your own spirit, to your own beliefs.

I hope they know,

that your beliefs emerged because you
found life is precious and fragile,
because the days are numbered,

the sweetness you enjoy now is only 
because your palate is sensitive 
from choking  on sour for too long,
that your beliefs have changed,

have evolved, can and will change the 

more you taste life, the more you fail, the 

more you look foolish, the more you try. 

And oh my, do I hope they realize,
 even just one,
 that when they light that fire,
even if too late,
when that spark ignites,  
fueled by your own terrifed breath,
when that flame engulfs and terrorizes
 you into an ashy oblivion,    
 that was not the brightest moment of 
that dark night.
The fact that you stood brilliantly, 
unflinching, as your words tied you to 
your own pyre,
was the brightest, most beautiful 
moment of the night.

Maybe then, they will see that beliefs 
cannot be burned,
 they cannot be shamed into
 they cannot be scared and scattered 
into the winds.
And hopefully, they will find the courage
 to be brave enough to believe in 
something rather than trying to destroy 
someone's everything .

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Ton of My Favorite Things!


Please let me introduce myself.

I am that utterly annoying person who falls in love quickly and deeply with anything and anyone that puts joy into my heart.

I have no favorite color it changes with my mood. Unfortunately, I have way too many favorite foods. Sherlock is my fave show. But so is Blacklist and Call The Midwife and Ultimate Survivor Alaska. My favorite days in my life have been lazy days spent doing nothing and the days that I have pushed myself  past recognition with hard work and sweat in uncomfortable territory. I would tell you my favorite animal but it is a toss up between dogs, cats, iguanas, penguins, aardvarks, ferrets and anything else I may spy my eye on.

I do not play it cool.

I do not wait the obligatory 5 days to call a new friend to not seem anxious. I exclaim and squeal when I find something adorable or glitterfied. I have been known to jumble my words or whisper a loud oh my God when my nerves are tingly and excited. I celebrate all the holidays, even the made up ones, because really it is fun and they are all made up in the end. I play new songs that make me cry or smile on the inside loudly and on repeat for days on end. When I read a book and am crushed and elated by the story line I will engage anyone else who has read it and encourage everyone who has not to read it.

Musicals, comedies, dramas and indie films are all somehow my faves. I enjoy quiet moments and loud moments each for their different qualities. I love bright and happy but then again dark and dreary too. I love hugs, cuddling and being alone. I love hiking and napping. I love debating and learning. I love rainy nights and bright sunny days. It has to be tea, cocoa or water. I love the fluidity of cooking and the intricacy of baking.

I love it all and have no shame about stretching and spreading myself everywhere and with everything.

I cannot pick just one favorite person, book, movie, activity, song or anything.

What I don't like I leave alone but what I do like I love, and do so enthusiastically. I love maybe too soon, too much, too hard but I would do it all over again every time. Life is too short to hide appreciation or love for the people and things that make your life worthwhile.

That is my short, sweet and favorite Sunday Confession until of course, the next one I write. Please check out our hostess with the mostess, the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


The blood poured from his pointy nose down his face, cascading down his kissable lips, mingling with that regrettable soul patch. The dark red splashed in stark contrast against his broad, pale chest. He stood at the end of the bed, gathering his shirt from the floor and bringing it to his face simultaneously trying to stop the raging flow while staring at me and attempting to staunch away my fear.

I had just busted my boyfriend right in the nose. Hard.

Horrified was one way to describe how I was feeling but I was also so damn relieved that none of his roommates were home. I did not need them to think of me as a freak, well even more than I was.

He sat down, pinched his nose, and looked at me. Really looked at me. His calculating eyes roamed over my shaking body, my sweaty brow. He watched the rapid rise and fall of my chest. I pulled the cheap blue and white checkered comforter around me, trying to hide me, trying to find me, desperately searching for some semblance of safety in its folds. I felt naked and exposed. My eyes followed his as they scanned my body and eventually were drawn to my bloodied, still balled up fist.

I stayed in his bed for a few moments longer staring at the darkened, soaked pillow case, knowing I should find my pants and get out of there. But I couldn't. I wanted to apologize, I wanted to explain, I wanted to fix his face, but I just sat there.

Hot tears began to well in my eyes and I wondered if I would ever be able to be normal. If I would ever stop having night terrors? If I would ever fully trust a man? If I would be able to trust myself or others? If I would ever truly feel safe? If my boyfriend would simply ever be able to surprise me with a kiss when he joined me for bed?

The questions swirled around demanding answers and expanding taking up all the space in my head. I didn't know the answers I just knew I needed to leave. Quickly, I scanned the carpet and saw my discarded jeans and made a grab for them.

"Don't go Jenn", he quietly pleaded in a nasal voice.

Shrugging and not trusting my voice, I slowly put on my pants.

"I should know better, I shouldn't sneak up on you", he stood and returned with a dampened paper towel and wiped off his face. "See? All better. No need to go."

But there was.

I chewed my lip, biting back worries, words and my past. He knew about my night terrors, he knew about my past experiences, he knew even after all these years I was still skittish. He knew a part of me no matter how much I wanted to trust him, no matter how much I wanted to wrap myself in his arms and feel safe, I would tend to that seed a doubt that was planted long ago. I would unknowingly nourish it with fear and water it with my tears.

"You shouldn't have to worry about getting decked while kissing me on my head while I sleep", my creaking voice got out. "You shouldn't be punished for what my head cannot shake. You shouldn't have to'know better'. You shouldn't have to deal with my yelling out terrified while I'm sleeping or me not trusting you".

We sat in an overwhelming silence.

He surprised me and scared me by whispering, "But I want to".

The tears that had been threatening to fall made their treacherous escape down my cheeks. Their flow went uninterrupted for what felt like an eternity. Hot streams pent up for too many years poured out fear and resentment. They began the erosion of the wall I had put up. The wall built by pain and regret, the wall I had put up brick by brick fooling myself into believing that keeping others at bay would keep my heart safe.

"I cannot promise to keep you safe. I cannot fix your past or change your experiences or memories. I cannot promise to keep everything bad away from you. But I can promise I want to help rebuild your trust. I want to help you heal. I want to help you-when you are ready-face your demons. I can promise to be here when the world is overwhelming and scary and sit and talk with you and help you find the light when only darkness seems abundant..."

He went on for a while, but that is what I remember the most. He did not run scared. He did not get annoyed or scream at me. He was real and honest and has kept to his word for these past fourteen years.

That was not the last time I freaked out. That was not the last time he had to reassure me.

It was however, the beginning of me realizing that broken does not mean bad. Broken just means you will never be the same as you were before. Not that you cannot repair yourself or continue on your journey, just that it will be in a different way and with problems and what you learned in life to guide you.

The Japanese have a beautiful way of fixing broken pottery with lacquers mixed with gold, silver or platinum called kintsugi. Instead of hiding the cracks or devaluing the art and disposing of it, the breaks and cracks are illuminated and repaired by the bright lines. Repairing cracks with these valuable materials is choosing to find treasures in life's scars. It serves not to simply fix the art and make it pretty again, but to show that this piece had a history, maybe a broken and tumultuous history, but it persevered and survived.

Not everyone has the luxury of feeling safe. Sometimes, the years have chipped away the person's ability to trust and let down their guards to let in the good around them. They have patched their cracks with ugly shades of thick pain, regret and fear of being hurt again. The light and love cannot permeate them immediately. Eventually, it can. Light has a beautiful way if shone on something long enough, of fading and destroying it. It may take weeks, months or years but you know what?

That's okay.

It just means you need to have a persistent and willing light to wait and wear down their damn wall and envelop that person in an overpowering love like they never experienced before. They might buck, they might yell, they may scream, they might fight you, but I promise you, they need it. They need someone to reassure them not everyone and everything is full of darkness and danger. It is okay to bring your light no matter how many times they try to extinguish it.

You have to remember they are used to the calming, clutches of the darkness no matter how frightening it is because that is their normal. They have been taught to hide their past. They have been urged to forget the pain they endured. They have been taught there is no safe spot and no one to trust. It may be tiring, it may be torturous but you may have to keep going in the damp cavern many times until they realize your light is not meant to burn them but to help lead them on their own journey.

Sometimes those we love, our broken friends, the ones who have gone through unimaginable hells when we have only been blessed with heaven on earth need time, they need our understanding and compassion. They just need to be shown, that their past is does not need to be hidden. They do not have to forget the lessons they learned. They do not need to forget who they have been or the things they have done.

We need to show them, that their brokenness is not a safety blanket for them to clutch tight to. Their brokenness can be a beacon to themselves and others. They may not only experience good and happy things from this moment forward but we know they are survivors, that they can overcome and dominate. They can create their own safe spot.

We have to show them we embrace a damaged and broken history and still find them worthwhile and meaningful. They have to know we accept them bruised and broken, and we know that their cracks only make them stronger, more beautiful and more valuable, epecially when they allow us to illuminate those cracks by the brightness of love that we want to show them.

Today has been a Sunday Confession hosted by the prompt giving, cat cuddling, douche-bag hating, cheese eating, make up enthusiast, hilarious, the one, the only Hot Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. Check out her blog for other brave souls who tackled the prompt safe today and don't forget to stop by her Facebook page to see confessions.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Comforted by Courage

You can be comfortable or courageous but not both.

That quote pops up every now and then, a reminder than discomfort and pain brings reward and that familiarity will bring us death.  We have heard time and time again that life begins at the end of our comfort zone and I would daresay that is true to an extent.

Life can be downright scary but so damn rewarding when we leave the confines of everything familiar to us. Starting a new journey or attempting to reach a new goal will lead to self-discovery. Yes, you may encounter failure and cruddy life lessons. You may wish you could crawl back into your reassuringly sweet little bubble of comfort. You may want to scream screw it as loudly as possible and turn back. But you don't need to. You've done one of the hardest things already-you started on to a path of a new you.

Of course you will encounter problems. We all do-and thank goodness we do. We grow from them, learn from them, change course, adapt to life until we find what is best for us. We learn more by living and screwing up than all the hours in school could have ever taught us.

But, I digress.

Back to my opening statement, the lie.

You can be comfortable and courageous.

We just do not realize it.

Most times we fear change, we fear new activities, people or events. We shy away trying anything new and hold on to what we are used to and guard ourselves from life using our security blanket of familiarity to protect us.

We can be okay with trying out the new. We do not need to feel awkward or out of place. We need to realize the reason people feel like they belong is because they made themselves comfortable. They choose to relax. They opened themselves up to new opportunities and experiences.

We just need to shake this brainwashing of being in discomfort away. We need to reeducate ourselves. We need to accept change and failure.

It is brave to be comfortable in who we are. It is amazingly outstanding to be comfortable in our skin and with the decisions we make. Granted, it is rare, it is often unheard of, but it is possible and healthy.

We have every right to love who we are-no matter what part of our journey we are on.

Saying hello to a stranger that has caught your eye does not need to be terrifying or daunting. Wearing the sexy dress that accentuates all those curves should not require you to have a complete mental makeover. Standing up for yourself or others should not be earth rattling ground-breaking news.

It can be scary and uncomfortable to try make new choices, to walk a new path, to see a new side of life. It can induce anxiety and fear when things do not go right and we are daunted with the overwhelming unfamiliar territory. But we are strong enough to overcome, to battle the beast fear that sneaks into our souls. Eventually we can,  once we find our stride, be emboldened by our courage to try the unusual, new, exciting and experiment.  And when we find and dance with the courage that brings us to new places of the world and within ourselves, we can find comfort in that, find comfort in self-discovery and self-love. Step by step, each experience, each observation, each time we fail and push fear down so we can try again we are gaining more courage and becoming comfortable while discovering the world around us.

Yes, there will be people who will call you stuck up for liking and loving yourself. There will be people who find you annoying and self-righteous for speaking your mind, for defending your beliefs and faith. People will call you attention seeking for trying new things, being spontaneous and thinking, living and dancing outside that all-constricting, too-small box.

But it does not matter what they think.

It matters what you think and how you feel. If you do something that feels right, that contents and comforts your soul-then you should do it. You should rejoice that you found an activity, a calling, an event, that brings you joy, that brings you contentment in a world where too often times we are struck with fear and lost in the darkness.

Be comfortable trying new things.

Break the flow and do not fear looking foolish, failing, flailing or falling. Yes, sometimes we crash and burn and need to rebuild confidence before trying new things again. But then again, those are often the times we realize we have wings and we can fly and see the most beautiful sights we did not even know existed.

Be comfortable and courageous by going outside your comfort zone. Be courageous to be comfortable with yourself, with your faults and flaws, with your brains and beauty, with this short life. Make that your familiarity. May your comfortableness encourage you and may your courage comfort you in all your decisions.

If nothing else, just remember you can be whatever the hell you want to be no matter what cliched cute quotes may say.

This has been a Sunday Confession about comfort with the one and only Hot Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. Happy Sunday to you, and please do not shy away from checking out her cheesey goodness on her blog or on the Book of Face.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Use Your Words: March 13, 2015

Hello and Happy Friday the 13th!

Welcome to March's Use Your Word writing challenge!

How it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now. (Cue ominous music.)

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.     

My words are: Prompt ~ Hurricane ~ proud ~ stoke ~ conditioning

They were submitted by:  Battered Hope -thanks Carol!

          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    -  

March is Women's History Month. It is time to spend recognizing and acknowledging contributions of women to events in history and  society. It is celebrated in various countries and perfectly corresponds with International Women's Day.

Seemingly, there is always some themed day or month raising awareness or honoring a person or an event. Understandably, some people see this as silly or useless after a while. I get that it can be overwhelming and tedious. Who wants to celebrate cheese day or President's day?

Oh yeah...people like me.

Any day we choose to recognize in honor of someone, a group of people or an event is an opportunity for us to learn, research history, and grow. Choosing to celebrate the little things does not make us silly or dumb. It just means we are comfortable and smart enough to realize that life is short and we may as well celebrate and learn as much as possible in these short numbered days we are here.

Before we choose to honor strong females throughout history, I think we all need to take a moment and be grateful for something we all have in common.

There is something that unites us in a way we cannot deny. It is natural and healthy to give into this urge. Though some people would gladly talk for hours on the subject, I find others are made uncomfortable and even upset when it is merely mentioned. Sometimes it prompts people to blush, become speechless, laugh nervously or abruptly leave a conversation.

The 'f' word.

After years of conditioning, it is hard to convince some that it is okay to embrace that which unites us.

Even though I personally find it fun and invigorating others may find it exhausting and a chore. There are some of us who become defensive and upset, while others become relaxed and at peace. 

It can be soft and gentle or rough and abrasive.

It can be life affirming or soul sucking.

It most definitely is open to interpretation and everyone has their own style and techniques but everyone has their own opinion and knows what works best for them.

It can rock and unsettle you like a hurricane or warm and comfort you from the inside out like a well stoked fire.

But there is no denying it. We are all here because of it. We all have an opinion about it. We all know what filthy, dirty flirty, "F" word to which I am referring to.


Oh my...did you feel that electrical charge in the air or was it just me?

Feminism. The crazy notion that women are people too. Many years I struggled rejecting the term 'feminist' thinking it was reserved for angry-man-hating-bra-less-hairy-hippies. (Have I ever mentioned how I'm the first to admit when I make mistakes?) I thought only women who did not want a family life or who disliked pretty, fashionable women were earmarked for feminism. Not a girl who's first dream job was a nun.

Feminism, funny enough, is not a bad word.

After my vision of a life with the church dissipated, I dreamed of having a family. Kids. Stay-at-home situation. My life did not quite turn out that way. I love cooking, cleaning and doting on others. I thought for sure I was the antithesis to a feminist.

Here's the thing, I was an idiot.

There is no one way to be a feminist. There is no right or wrong way.

Feminism is not bad.

I believe in equal rights for everyone, equal pay and benefits. I believe that genital mutilation is wrong. I believe that everyone should have the same opportunity to go school or find employment. I believe women should have a choice to do what they want with their body. I do not find it appalling or 'a waste' if a woman does not want to have children.  I think we should fight harder against sex slavery. At the same time we need to acknowledge there are sex workers who enjoy what they do and willfully so. It is bothersome a woman is told to yell fire if she is being raped because more people would help. It is beyond annoying that people like Chris Brown are forgiven easily and that many, many people stuck up for him. It is terrifying to realize how many people feel that women can'ask' for abuse. I enjoy strong women and do not find them offensive or bossy. I find it appalling we demean women on how many sexual partners they have had but applaud men when they screw their way to the top. It is repulsive we traditionally jail prostitutes over and over when we should be attacking the supplier (the pimps) or the buyer (the johns).

Feminism is not a bad word.

It is disturbing and disgusting that when a woman or child is molested or raped we know statistically many will not report it because they will be challenged, grilled and blamed for their attack.  I hate that we are okay with excuses for rude or violent behavior with a quick 'Ohh boys will be boys' or worse to mock someone we make sure to inform them 'they're such a girl'.  How dare we blame rude and uncouth behavior on all men and how dare we accept that being called 'a girl' is an insult. It is sad that if we hear of a rape many will first ask what the person was wearing as if cut off shorts are an invitation to be violated in a horrible way. It bothers me that people think that feminism is only for women. It bothers me that we have to put a face to a cause-think of your mother, sister, daughter-instead of just wanting a better world for everyone.

Feminism is not bad.

I also believe that pink, pretty sparkly baubles, laughter, enjoy screwing my husband, making dinner, frilly skirts, shaved pits, and pastels make my world a happy place. And that makes me no less of a feminist than anyone else.

Feminism is not a bad word.

I am proud to be who I am. I am proud to know strong women, to come from strong women, to hopefully be known as a strong woman one day. I am content to say what I want, when I want and have no worries about what others think of my thoughts and ideas.

There is no box for any of us to fit in. There is no time for judgement. There is no time to compare ourselves amongst one another and determine who is superior.

There is just time to make the world a better place.

We can start by refusing to tear each other down, we can continue by uplifting each other up, and we can succeed by loving one another.

Love one another by not judging someone else's appearance. By refusing to stay quiet about inequalities. By learning from our past. By acknowledging there are issues to confront in this world. By rejecting any little box anyone tries to shove certain people into. By starting dialogue. By refusing to dismiss ideas that make you uncomfortable. By taking steps, by trying, by learning, by standing up for those around you-you are putting love in the world.

We can start enriching the lives of others by refusing to tear each other down, we can continue by uplifting each other up daily, and we can succeed by loving one another respectfully and honestly...and of course by remembering that feminism is not a bad word.

Being Women's History Month, I am curious to know who is the strongest woman you know? Who had the biggest influence on you? It can be a family member, fictional character or historical person. I'm curious if you consider yourself a feminist or not. If you follow me here or on Facebook it should be no shock to you that my mom is my choice.  She is the strongest, most feisty, hilarious woman in my book who always encourages others and has no time for bull.

                -        -       -

Links to the other awesome “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

Stacy Sews and Schools

Battered Hope

Eileen’s Perpetually Busy

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Southern Belle Charm

Searching for Sanity

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo


Evil Joy Speaks


Monday, March 9, 2015

Donna Day

My friend shaved her head last year.

Before her gorgeous, dark locks were sheared, I asked her why she was willing to part with her lovely tresses. She simply replied, 'For Donna'.

Then she did the kindest, cruelest thing, she shared Donna's story with me. Just as I will  now share it with you.

Meet Donna.

You will no doubt notice how her sweet smile draws you in. You will be enraptured with the sparkle in her eyes and the mischievous glint in her smile. You cannot help it.

Today is her day.

Today is the day Donna helps raise awareness for pediatric cancer. At only 20 months old, in 2007 Donna was diagnosed with brain cancer. After surgeries, chemo, hope curbed with fear, hospital visits, and so much more than any child should ever have to go through-at age four-Donna lost her battle with cancer.

Just take that in.

At four years old she said goodbye to the world.

No kindergarten graduation, no science projects, no middle school anxiety, no high school prom, no fretting over colleges.

Her family, like thousands other families have to do yearly, said goodbye too soon.

All cancers suck there is no debate in that.

But pediatric cancer? It slowly puts a dreary forecast on your future by taking away from the present.

Instead of children learning how to ride a bike they are learning what a port is. Instead of children learning and exploring their city and neighborhood they are memorizing the halls of the hospital and the names of their favorite nurses. Instead of children fighting with their friends or siblings over toys they are struggling to stay alive.

And that is just not acceptable.

Worldwide, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. And in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined. -St. Baldricks website 

The goal of today, Donna Day, is to raise money for St. Baldricks. St. Baldricks is an organization that is devoted only to pediatric cancer research. The charity started by Donnas mother, Donnas Good Deeds , will be hosting a head shaving event on March 28th, 2015 where all funds raised will go to St. Baldricks.

So, how can you help in this fight against pediatric cancer?

By knowing Donna's story:

By sharing Donna's story.

Caring enough to donate or asking your friends and family to donate.

By knowing every single dollar counts in this fight.

To learn more about St. Baldrick's and their valiant fight against pediatric cancer please go here:

If you would like to make a donation-seriously even a dollar counts-please visit this safe and secure site: and understand you are not only investing in research but hope so that other children who may face this battle have a better chance at survival, and hopefully one day help create a world of where pediatric cancer was a thing of the past.

Remember Donna. Share her story. Share this blog. Give if you can. Don't sweat the little things. And please, please hug your loved ones tight and cherish every moment you have with them .

And always choose hope ❤

Friday, March 6, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: March 6th, 2015

Hello and happy Friday! Today I'd love to welcome you to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

Dun, dun, dun!

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Stacy Sews and Schools

Spatulas on Parade

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Momisodes


Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

The Lieber Family

Southern Belle Charm

Searching for Sanity

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Small Talk Mama

My prompt is: You can have any one blogger write a guest post for your blog. Who would you choose? It can be anyone as long as they do blog.

It was submitted by the awesome Baking In A Tornado~thanks Karen!

                -             -              -

Kelly Debie.

Kelly Debie from Debie Hive is my choice.

Hands down my favorite blogger is who I would love to guest post for my blog. Hell, she could take over my blog and I would contentedly sit back and sigh and read her words.

She can write it all. Seriously. She does not shy away from tackling issues close to her heart and speaking her mind in a eloquent manner.

Postpartum depression. PTSD. Loving, learning and living life while family members battle the bastard cancer. Dying with dignity. Breaking the stigma of mental illness. TTPMOT or Things That Piss Me Off Tuesdays. Women's rights.

These are just some of the subjects she writes about, unabashedly, honestly, in the most raw ways. She can nestle right into our hearts with her beautiful words and memories or become the prickly annoying sensation under our skin demanding our attention to open a possibly an uncomfortable, but much needed conversation about topics that too often are swept under the rug, that are vilified or ignored until they too demand attention because they reached their breaking point and all hell broke loose.

My only complaint about her writing is that I don't get enough of it. But I suppose since she is a mother of five, a wife, busy woman, openly battling postpartum depression, doula, proud nerd for life, creating necessary conversations, a champion for compassion and understanding, pretty much a super hero, and such an amazing writer that when I do get to devour her words I am filled with sustenance, forced with reflection and opened to new perspectives, I will let it slide.

The thing I enjoy most about Kelly is that she is human in her writing. Ah, what exactly does that mean you may ask? Well, she forces us to connect with ourselves, our issues, our insecurities. She does not shy away from the gritty, uncomfortable parts of life.

Yes, she writes about beauty around us and she does it with idyllic imagery. She can capture a moment a memory with a breathtaking photograph. She is one of the few people who can take a quote, a self-explanatory saying and delve into it and get even more layers out of it than anyone could have imagined.

But she also writes about the dark times, the scary times, the times we wish we never had to endure or go through. The times that broke us but also strengthened us. The times and moments that are hard to face, to remember, to reflect on, she openly shares not only to soothe her soul by the cathartic writing but also becomes a light, a beacon for those who are still struggling to come to terms, who are still battling the baffling curve balls life throws at us, those of us who simply need to know others have gone through this too.

She understands this world is made up of layers, that we are made of layers. Funny, sad, complicated, heart breaking, thought provoking, no clue how we survived layers.

So. I adore her and her writing and truly hope this post doesn't creep her out.

I'm going to end this with a favorite snippet from her writing that I believe we all should remember because every day we are still standing spinning on this magical marble is a day we are aging and living this confusing, chaotic beautiful life.

I've learned though, that aging is something best done with gratitude. For every day that I am here, I am grateful. For every moment of frustration, I do my very best to breathe deep and remember that this too, whatever this is right now, shall pass.

Because it always passes.