Archives for May 2017


What Makes You Uniquely You?

What makes you uniquely you?

Do you ever wonder what’s in your DNA from your ancestors? Not just where do you get your blue eyes or red hair from. But, what about qualities like tenacity, humor, intelligence or talents? What about our mental health issues? Can those things be pasted down through our DNA?  What’s your ancestors stories and how does that show up in your life?

3 crazy Things Real People Have Found in Their Family Trees.

The girl with the tattooed face

Today’s Real Life Wednesday features our ancestors and their voices and lessons from the past. I discovered a real fun and interesting blog at where the past can come to life so to speak. It’s a great place to begin a treasure hunt of your ancestors.

Meet Olivia Oatman the girl with the tattooed face. I marveled at her story and wonder about her posterity. Do they have her resilience? Olive Oatman and her younger sister, Mary Ann, were kidnapped by Indians in 1851 where they were both tattooed with distinctive blue markings on their chins. Her story will put your problems into perspective.

Meet Georgiana Leavitt Karren

ancestor - grandma Meet Georgiana Leavitt Karren my Great Grandma. This photo faces me at my desk where I study. I get the sense that she’s watching out for me. I often wonder what of her DNA is in me? I’ve been told she was a women of great faith. She raised 13 children on a farm while most of those years great grandpa was either a missionary or the bishop. Keep in mind this was during wartime and the great depression. Her life wasn’t easy. My dad would tell me stories about her delicious cooking, love of life and kind giving heart. I’ve imagined at times when feeling low, her embrace and then a “get up” and do something about it whispered in my ear. There’s also something inside of me that wants to live her legacy and doesn’t want to let her down.

group of ancestors

How does that old saying go?

“Our families are like a fruitcake,

it would not be complete without a few nuts.”

That unfortunately is true as well which it only goes to figure a few of their quirks and crazy qualities will show up in us as well. Do you know your story? Is it time to do some digging into your roots? Possibly find healing and strength from your ancestors?

Who knows maybe there’s a pirate in your DNA!




Memorial Day- Rememberance

R E M E M B R A N C E 

U.S. Army Private Zach Lawson, 22, of Portland, Oregon, places American flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day, in Arlington, Va. on Thursday, May 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Today is Memorial Day

Take a moment to Remember Sacrifices made for you.
Sacrifices for your Freedoms, for your Peace and for your Happiness.
A changed heart never takes such things for granted
Reflect and Remember the sacrifices made by brave men and women for this country. What a brave things for those of such a young age enlist to do. This year is the first time I’ve had a loved one in the service and it has made this day more meaningful, also my heart more grateful for our children’s courage, also has strengthened my faith in God by trusting my son into His hands.


I pray that I will Always Remember the Savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself as the Ultimate Sacrifice for us All!

“He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.”


I think that must be why when we sacrifice our time, talents, money or even our lives for others- it is made Holy.

“Nothing you give is lost to you or anyone, but cherished and preserved in Heaven.”



Meet Brittany My journey continues to be laid out before me and the path travels inward. To date my biggest struggle has been self-acceptance and embracing my own story. This sounds a lot like an issue that we can all relate to, am I right? I can remember being the youngest of 3 siblings and watching how amazing my siblings were, thinking there is no way I will ever be as good at sports as I either of them. Later, as the middle child of 5, I remember thinking I finally had a purpose; children to care for and play with. Self-acceptance is something I struggle with to this day. I used to constantly compare myself to other women, and in pure awe wonder how they could be so beautiful and amazing.

My breakthrough moment of pure joy was prior to my divorce when I realized that I deserve love and I deserve to be happy. I am entitled to speak my mind and stand up for myself. Boundaries are healthy and allow me to breathe. My mindset shifted from “Why can’t I?” or “Why not me?” to “I am beautiful.” Repeating statements of self-affirmations to myself throughout the day as instructed to me by my dear friend Sylvia was such a helpful step. It was work, and I mean real work to say out loud “I love myself.”


Fast forward to my current world where I thought I was doing better, even healthy if you will. I had set boundaries for people in my life including myself. I practiced how I spoke to myself and felt comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life.

But in reality, am struggling to balance the light and the dark. Today I am trying to nurture the aching void inside my chest after the horrible heartache of my little sister’s death. Some days pass and I never leave my apartment. I sit and negotiate with myself hoping that I will build up the strength to leave that day and face the world. The days I win and journey to the grocery store outnumber the ones I stay home but it is a daily conversation.

I dread being the center of attention, and in my job this is an everyday reality. So, I read, I cry, and yet some days I smile and feel completely normal. I want to hold my baby sister’s hand as we sit in the sun and talk about her semester at college. I want to dream about how we will fix the world together. We never did understand how some people could be so cruel or thoughtless.

We had plans. I hoped we were going to travel together because she was so brave. She was everything I couldn’t have been. I put the best pieces of myself in her heart and she was so amazing. This is not just and ode to my sister but a realization of how much love we are capable of.

Since her passing, I have gained weight, I have lost weight, and put it all back on. I have so many inner struggles but I will always know how blessed I am. My struggle is not the end of a story but the beginning of another adventure where I’m the author. I love and respect myself enough to ask for help because as much as we want to be independent humans, our life is meant to be shared.

What Will We Learn From This?

Human connection is paramount. Your journey inward is about healing the pieces of yourself that turn cold when you are placed in an uncomfortable situation. Building the courage to do what is right because you may never get another chance. I will always be imperfect but I acknowledge my areas of weakness. Hopefully this will help me not to harm anyone else along the way.

I pray you don’t know my struggle. Rather, I hope that you can have real conversations with one another so that we might learn how to do better. Your life is your journey, let it reflect who you are.

The light in me acknowledges the light in you,




The Great Sacrifices and Journey of a Hero

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”   -Joseph Campbell

Did you know I’m a Navy Mom? This weekend my son graduated from Naval basic training. My heart swelled with pride and admiration for him and all those recruits as they marched into the hall. It was such a tender moment to embrace him all dressed up in his white sailor uniform. There was a definite polish to him that wasn’t there before. He is a hero in my book.

To be honest, his joining the Navy is something I dreaded and fought against for a long time. There’s still some aspects of it that I just can’t allow myself to dwell on or my mommy heart aches. I’m discovering that which I feared, might be what makes Shane the man of great faith he was created to be.

What he’s doing certainly isn’t easy and I admire his passion and drive for this mission and goal. I don’t have the courage for such things- I’m a sissy when it comes to enduring pain, people yelling at me, and I can’t do a single chin up. I have seen the sacrifice and hard work he is willing to pay.

I am learning through this experience that the greater our willingness and ability to sacrifice, the greater the blessings and positive growth we receive. That principle isn’t just for sailors, it applies to all of us in life; for real change, positive growth, and to realize our hopes for the future.

So, what are you fearing to sacrifice? What may be holding you back from becoming the hero you were born to be? Is there a possibility that what you are avoiding in your journey just may be what will take you where real health, recovery, and joy begin?


We don’t choose heroes from those who have never been through something hard. We admire and try to emulate those who have faced and overcome extreme adversity and then have emerged with their integrity intact. Consider the life of the Savior- He who faced and overcame every affliction, He is the ultimate hero for us to emulate. His infinite and eternal sacrifice was for each of us, He knows us personally and loves us. He is my hero.


Additional lesson learned from the weekend…

Enjoy the moments, slow down to talk and reconnect, listen, laugh, hold each other close, pray together and have hope for more tomorrows to enjoy.

Return with Honor,




Real Life Featuring Katee Payne

Meet Katee

My name is Katee Payne and I am a recovering anxiety driven woman.  I didn’t realize this was a problem until I started dental hygiene school and was brought into a room with my professors for an intervention. They were concerned with my test scores and were suggesting that I drop out and reapply when I was better mentally prepared. But you see, getting accepted in the first place was a huge struggle for me.


It had taken me 3 years to be accepted. I learned I had a fear of working on cadavers for a few of my required courses, so I moved to Farmington, New Mexico, to attend San Juan College. I made the switch for two semesters because they used plastic cadavers. Did I mention for one of those semesters I lived with my cousins in-laws, who I hardly knew? Their basement flooded the week before I got there, requiring me to sleep on a mattress in their kitchen. It was a TON of sacrifice, extremely out of my comfort zone, and just really hard. I wasn’t about to give up now. 

Overcoming Obstacles

My teachers proceeded to tell me it was very apparent I had testing anxiety, as my verbal tests were extremely higher than my written tests. And they were right. When I would sit down to test my mind would go completely blank. My heart would race like I was running from a bear and I would occasionally get so sick to my stomach I would throw up before tests. It was a big problem. Their suggestion was to visit the on campus doctor and get an anxiety prescription. But as it turns out, the side effects of the meds were more terrible than the anxiety itself!

The medication didn’t feel like a good option for me and I didn’t think I was at a point where it was necessary. I wanted to find another solution. This was where I was introduced to Essential Oils.

Frankincense to be exact. I was told to smell it as well as to put it on the bottom of my feet and base of my skull. I thought this was crazy but decided to give it a try.  My first experience with it, before a test, I found it slowed my racing heart. It cleared my mind. It helped me remain calm so I could recall the information I had spent so much time studying. It still seemed crazy to me but I kept with it. I never had to use the prescription; frankincense pulled me through. And this girl who was asked to drop out and reapply when she was better mentally prepared, graduated with 100% on her clinical exam. 

Understanding Yourself

I have to point out, however, how much personality plays into my anxiety. If you’ve never taken a personality test, I highly recommend you do. It helps you become aware of your strengths and it helps you understand yourself more fully. I used the Strengths Finder program and found my top strengths to be learner, strategic, futuristic, relator and achiever.


These top strengths are all geared towards goal making and achieving the goals that I set. That is a lot of pressure! But it’s hard wired into my system, so naturally, it brings me joy and fulfillment and I thrive on learning new things and incorporating them into my life. They fuel me with a desire to be my best, and to stay focused on my goals. But there must be a balance. Our strengths can also be our weaknesses if we allow them to go too far. And for me, the fear of not getting it all done or not giving it my very best would at times take over and overwhelm me. 

As a young girl in junior high and high school, I had an eating disorder. I exercised way too excessively and I stopped eating, almost all together. My desire to achieve, my unrealistic goals, and my immaturity all played into this terribly damaging life choice. I got overwhelmed with the self-imposed pressure I put on myself in every area of my life and was out of control. But I felt, because I had great discipline, I could control what I put in my mouth, or in this case, what I didn’t put in my mouth. All this in an effort to gain a sense of control and that feeling of accomplishment and achievement. 

My Top Six Tools

I tell you this because it is all a part of my journey and a part of my life long lesson of becoming. Becoming all that I am capable of becoming and fulfilling the purpose I was sent on this earth to perform. I have found a few tools that have helped me.

#1. Essential Oils 

They’ve been my alternative to medication. I’ve been able to manage my emotions and mood through their use and for the most part, have had great success. But they aren’t a cure all, the real change that must take place is in the mind. 

#2. Mindfulness and Meditation

I’ve found it important to take time at the beginning of each day to set my intention. To do this I clear my mind, breathe, and prepare for the day ahead by repeating positive affirmations.  We must train our minds to think positively.  It begins with a thought, the thought brings up an emotion, and the emotion then drives our actions.  Giving our mind uplifting and empowering thoughts will elicit positive emotions, which  will then propel our actions toward doing good and treating ourselves with more patience and kindness. 

#3. Priorities

I try to have my priorities in clear view and arrange my activities around my priorities.  When my top priorities are being met and nourished, I fill more fulfilled and satisfied with my efforts.  It’s when I feel like my top priorities are actually being neglected and I’m letting things of less importance take my time and energy, that I feel the anxiety creeping in.  I use a weekly priority planner and it has helped me.

#4. Gratitude Journal

 When we can fill our minds with the positive blessings we enjoy, we have less room for the negative to creep in and cause havoc. Finding things to be grateful for puts us in a better frame of mind. It helps us to see the fruit in life, in ourselves, and those we love, rather than all the weeds and thorns. When I am needing the extra focus on things that bring me joy, I keep a gratitude journal next to my bed and write down 10 things each day that I am thankful for.  

#5. Joy List

I make a list of things that bring me joy and choose a few things off the list each week or sometimes each day to fill my own bucket.  When I feel my needs are being met, this also helps keep the anxiety away. It can be as easy as morning yoga, a bath, a nap, time to read a good book or lunch date with my mom, date night with my husband, or a pedicure!

#6. Letting Go and Allowing God 

This is hard. This is a constant, never ending choice I have to make. I can choose fear or I can choose God. Increasing my relationship with Him has helped me to trust in His will. This brings me peace and perspective. This goes back to my priority planning.  I choose to make my relationship with my Father in Heaven a priority  because He brings Peace that nothing on earth can.

It’s All About Choice


What I have learned and continue to find is it’s all about choice. I can choose to live in fear, live in self imposed stress, worry and overwhelm, or I can take simple steps each day to overcome these feelings and make the choice to live in a state of faith, gratitude, and joy. Which sounds more fun? I’m seeing how fast time flies as I watch my babies grow. Time is passing quickly and we can never get this time back. This is my life. I get to create it however I want it to be. Fear, anxiety, worry, and unnecessary stress steal my time and my joy. Eventually, stealing my life. I will continue to strive each day and each situation to choose faith, God and joy. It’s not easy and I imagine it’s a life long lesson for me but I’m trying and I’m learning. I’m finding greater peace and greater joy. It’s a process but one that’s definitely worth giving my very best.

Cheering you on!



For more free resources from Katee, subscribe with your email and we’ll send you her affirmations, a joy list sheet, and more!

Creator of, a support site for women striving to provide, protect, nurture and enrich all they hold dear.  Find me on instagram @lionesscalling.

Doterra Diamond Leader. To receive oil education, to view online classes and recieve tips and tricks, find me at as well as Instagram: @teampayne.learn.grow.share
A Founder of Elysian Events.  Uplifting events for Women, Teens and Children find us at or on Facebook at Elysian Events
Contact me and let me know you found me at My Fear Antidote and receive a free 20 min. wellness consult to learn more about oils, get my suggestions, and a free emotional oil sample pack!

We Are ENOUGH. . . Aren’t We?


The scale says I am overweight. My pant size says I am too big. The medical field calls me obese. By societies standards I am not skinny enough. BUT I CALL BULL CRAP! I say I am healthy. My brain tells me I am active and in shape and my reflection in the mirror says I am beautiful and I AM ENOUGH! I determine my worth, not you!

Your probably wondering WHOA! Where did that come from? Well, I had an ah-ha moment over a month ago that I have been reflecting on and I want to share it with you.

girl smiling. she is enough


Over the past few months I have had many conversations with people about “life” and the challenges I have faced over the last 2 years. I have had some of these people give me advice on what to do with my life. Some have told me that all I needed to do was a juice cleanse and then all my anxiety and problems would go away. (Shoot girl, I would live off of juice if it made all my problems go away). Others have said things like, “Sarah, you have been dealing with one thing after another for 2 years now, it’s time to be done with it”. Or how about this one,  “Sarah, you have weight to lose”, or my favorite line, “Sarah, you haven’t been comfortable in your own skin for years now. So it’s now time to lose weight and move forward”. {insert jaw drop here}

One conversation I had recently stung more than most and after it was over I cried! I cried because of how she made me feel.  I cried because I have been working so hard to be OK with my weight and the things I have gone through the last 2 years. But mostly, I cried because I wished I was different. I was left with a feeling of worthlessness, that I had somehow let her down by having unwanted weight and unwanted problems. I found myself listing all the things I wanted to change about myself, and my life. I was in a spiral of all things I AM NOT.

I am not healthy

I am not strong

I am not in shape

I am not skinny

I am not enough

This list went on and on …

Girl that is enough


My pity party went on for a few hours until I asked myself these questions: Where does my worth come from? Who is she to determine how I feel about myself? Who is she to determine my worth?

I learned a valuable lesson that day, one that I have been reflecting on daily since.  I learned my worth isn’t decided by others. My worth was decided long ago by a loving Heavenly Father. He knows of my struggles, flaws, and imperfections and yet here I am still loved by Him who created me. I also learned that outside voices or influences can’t determine if I am enough, only I can determine that!

I am healthy 

I am strong

I am in shape 


Do I have unwanted weight to lose? SURE! Do I still have anxiety? You betcha! Do my family and I still face problems? Of course! Do I let these things determine how awesome I am? No Way!


So what about you? Do you know your worth? Do you let what others think of you determine if your enough? Do you let others hurtful words shake your knowledge of who you truly are?

What people think of you is their right and their own business but it cannot, I repeat, it CANNOT influence your worth!

Christie Gardiner, the author of You Are The Mother Your Children Need says it best:

. . . Enough people have, are and will tear you down. Don’t let yourself be one of them.

If I could shout “YOU ARE ENOUGH!!” from the rooftops I would. and I would do it daily! We as woman need to start believing that no matter what others say about us, what crappy advice people give us or what society tells us… WE ARE ENOUGH!

girl reflecting she is enough

So, if you are doing what I did and throwing yourself a pity party, I challenge you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and GO SHOW THEM THAT ONLY YOU DETERMINE THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH!

. . . and then let’s make sure we are thinking the best of everyone around us. Please remember, you don’t know what motivates a person, hurts a person or sets a person’s soul on fire. So until we have special vision goggles that can see into a persons heart, let’s assume the best of each other and try to love each other a little better! And above all, let’s remember WE are enough!
















Legacy of Love

This weekend workshop is to REMEMBER the  LEGACY of LOVE that has been passed on to you through the generations.

weekend workshop - legacy of love

What are your Legacies?

When you think of the legacies passed down from generation to generation what comes to mind?

Let’s make a list: homemade rolls, songs and games traveling in the car, camping, beautiful hand crocheted blankets, family prayer, books, birthday cards with crisp bills, garden tomatoes, or maybe  Christmas eve dinner.

What about the lessons we’ve learned and the values that come from those legacies?

Making others feel welcome, humor, the value of an education, hard work, comforting the sick, gathering to laugh and eat yummy food, an adventurous spirit, and what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ.

The question for this workshop is:

What legacy of love do you want to be remembered by and to pass on to the next generations?

4 girls legacy

Let’s have fun with this workshop! See the beautiful and loving legacies left to you and please look beyond any troubled or broken ones. There is always some silver lining and love in every family line. Here’s a few ‘LEGACY OF LOVE’ options so you can make this challenge your own…

Time Traveling

Use your journal to write a letter of gratitude to your past generations and let them know what you’re doing to remember them. Or write to your future generations about this legacy that brings such joy and love into your life and how you hope they will continue to shape and create it as their own. Rich memories, names, places, and traditions, if not recorded, will be lost in time.


Living the Legacy

What tradition or legacy came to mind when I asked you to list those that brought you joy? This Mother’s Day weekend is the perfect time to honor these memories and bring them to life! I’m going to plant my garden; one of the first jobs I remember having as a child was watering the garden. I’m also going to make my grandma’s yummy carrot cake and gather around the kitchen table and share some memories and laughter with loved ones. If you’re feeling really ambitious, take a generational picture with your mom, someday it will be priceless- I promise.

4 generation legacy picture

This photo of four generations beautifully captures a legacy of love.  This is my friend Carol Morgan and her daughter Ellison Green and her daughter Morgan Anne Parkinson and her daughter Ellison.  Carol has a gift for passing on traditions and remembrances of her ancestors to her family. She started a family ski trip to Targhee in 1966, the year the resort opened. Her family was young and just beginning and this legacy is still going strong. This year at the age of 91 she skied all 3 days and was the last one off the hill. Not very many people can say they skied with their great grandma.

Do Some Digging

What are your roots? Where did your love for adventure come from? Or where did the family bread recipe begin? My first digging into my family roots experience was a genealogy library in Nauvoo, Illinois. Wow was I ever surprised to discover a rich ancestry of faith, strong willed pioneers and missionaries.

Begin searching into some great ancestry sites like Family Search on, or drop into your local Family History Center. There’s a really fun one on Park City Main Street called The Park City Family Tree Center. No need to fear if it’s all new to you because there will be lots of sweet computer gurus there to help you. I discovered my 4th Great Grandma Betty became the “doctor woman” of the community, riding horseback all hours to help the sick with her homemade remedies and herbs.

family roots legacy

Our hope in doing this workshop is that you will remember the legacy of love in your life and with gratitude, pass it along! Also, realize that for the positive or negative you will leave a legacy. If you want it to live on and be remembered you have to do something about that, it’s a choice. I’m choosing to pass on a rich LEGACY of LOVE.. (and hopefully the sense of adventure). It’s never too late to begin.

.dandelion legacy


Happy Mother’s Day!

Celebrate the women who gave  you life!






Real Life Featuring Megan Sumpter

Another Eating Disorder Story?

My eating disorder story began eight years ago. From here on, I will refer to it as ED. It is a long story, and it is a complicated story. I could write books and more books about my experiences the past eight years with ED. On this post, I could write paragraph after paragraph about my restricting, my excessive exercise, the evolution to bingeing and purging, my counselors, my set backs, my accomplishments, how my friends influenced me, how I had to come home early from a mission because of ED, the tearful nights, the shame, the lies, the secrecy, the hope, the strength, and the real recovery process. Yes indeed, I could share it all.

But I won’t.

I was asked to write my real life story… and for too long, ED has been my story. For too long, ED has been my identity. As I sat pondering how to share my story, I realized that the best thing I could share is this…

I am not my eating disorder.

It is as simple as that. And you know what else?… You are not your eating disorder, or your anxiety, your OCD, your depression, or your problems.

I allowed myself to believe that ED was such a huge part of who I was. There were even times where I didn’t know who I would be without it; no, I was literally terrified of who I would be without it.

I allowed ED to take so much from me. It buried and hid away so much of who I REALLY am.

When I finally dug deep in recovery, I started to see glimpses of what REAL life really is. To me, this was thrilling! I pushed harder in recovery because I wanted the life I had been missing out on. Soon I began to notice traits about myself that I had forgotten. Then I began to remember things I once enjoyed; things that I had pushed under the rug years ago.

So then, eating disorder aside, what is my real story?

The Real Me

My name is Megan. I am 24 years old. I love singing, especially in front of large crowds, or alone in my car at the top of my lungs. My husband got me into rock climbing 2 years ago, and now we are obsessed, we would go every day if we could! One of my favorite things in the world is laughing till I cry; it makes me feel so free and so human. I still sleep with a stuffed bear, and I am proud of it. Thunderstorms make me feel so excited. I love dogs… but only the kind that don’t shed… because I think dog hair is gross. Honestly more than anything in the world, I really really want to be a mom. I am obsessed with my nephew Nash… he is probably my second favorite human being on the earth (second only to my husband). Oh, and I am terrified of ants… I have no Idea why.

…and again, I could go on and on about what REALLY makes me, me. And I love those things so much more than the long sad story I could have started.

The point is this… things happen to us, they change us, they make us grow, they hurt, or they uplift, but they are not us. You have a beautiful soul; created specifically how it is for a reason. Whatever quirks you have, your unique traits, your funny likes or dislikes, and the way you treat others… that’s the real you!

My story doesn’t have to be the dark sad details of my eating disorder. Your story doesn’t have to be a dark or sad story either.

Love the Child in You

My counselor asked me to find a picture of myself as a little girl; eating disorder free. She said to look at the picture and remember that person. You would never speak to a child the way you speak to yourself now would you? And you would never ask a child to bury everything about themselves in order to fit into a certain pair of pants. You are that child. Underneath all the hard things you have gone through, he or she is there.

It is perfectly ok to go through hard things, and to change. I believe that is the purpose of this life. Yes, my eight years of struggle forever changed me. But I am not that struggle, I am not my eating disorder. I am so much more, and so are you.

I pray that you remember who you are. You may have to go back a long time in your memory, but I promise that person is still there.

Wishing you a beautiful day.




A Secret to Happiness

Recently I’ve discovered a beautifully simple secret that has unlocked so many doors in my life. Although it’s simple, it isn’t necessarily easy (at first!). Like so many things, practice makes perfect. And perfecting this little trick has literally made my life a thousand times more carefree. Sounds good, no?

Learning to Laugh

You ready? Learning to laugh. Yep! That’s it.

There are so many things I could say about this but instead, i’m just going to share a recent story that embodies the importance of this principle.

The Principle of Laughter

Recently, my little family loaded up to go run some Saturday errands. When we arrived to our first stop, my husband pulled the babe out of her carseat and cringed when his hand felt that wonderfully warm mush that haunts parents and clean clothes alike. We had officially entered blowout mode and all hands were on deck.

Mother Daughter

I was on baby duty, trying to minimize the impact of the explosion. My husband was on carseat duty, wiping down and cleaning up the casualties left in the wake of my daughter’s poop bomb.

Any parent’s out there understand the hilariously stressful coordination it takes to clean up from the aftermath of a blowout, especially when on the road. When I asked my husband to grab the extra clothes from the diaper bag, it didn’t take long to realize there were absolutely no clothes in there. Zero. Zip. Nada.

So, our adorably naked baby joined us on the remainder of our errands.

Happy baby

Some times I think back to the type of tendencies I had prior to learning the principle of laughter. That situation would have melted me. I would have worried and stressed the entire time about what everyone would have thought. I would have worried that everyone would be judging me as a parent. I would have demeaned myself and my abilities as a mother because well, I’m human, and forgot a change of clothes.

Happy Baby Costume

Lemons to Lemonade

But three cheers for laughter because we were able to take a pretty crappy (see what I did there?) situation and make it full of smiles and laughter. Real lemons to lemonade type magic. And you know what? People did judge me. (I know because some lady in Costco didn’t know how to whisper and made her disapproval very clear).

But other people smiled and some even said “Blowout? We’ve been there!” I heard stories from other parents of their hilarious parenting mishaps.

Smiling Boy

It all shakes down to this. Some people will judge you for being human and making mistakes. Some will embrace you and share their experiences to let you know you aren’t alone. But there is only one person that can make you feel bad for the every day slip ups that happen to all of us. And that one person is you. The choice is absolutely yours.

Happy Girl

My hope is that you choose to be free. Choose to laugh. Choose to embrace that you are a human juggling life and every now and then you will drop the ball. Pick it up, shake it off, and you just keep on going with a smile on your face. Life is far too short to be taken too seriously.

Wishing you moments filled with laughter,





Bigger Pants, Bigger Life – Weekend Workshop

weekend workshop - full recovery

For a really long time, I believed that I could achieve recovery by just wanting it bad enough. I would casually attend my therapy sessions, and do some of the at home work they assigned. Our sessions were productive, but I was not making much progress toward full recovery.

I am not sure what finally clicked, but I realized that in order to fully recover, hard work was needed. I started taking her challenges and at home work more seriously. As a result of my new effort, I saw increased progress. I began hitting milestones in recovery that I never imagined I would hit.

Burning the Pants.

One of my favorite challenges I have ever done was the burning of the pants. For so long I held on to a pair of pants as a sign that I was still skinny enough. My therapist was always telling me to get rid of such items in my life. I thought it was so silly. One day I was trying to squeeze into the pants and found myself feeling angry at myself for not fitting into them better. Then it hit me, I thought, “What the heck am I doing? This is so stupid. I have to get rid of these pants!” So, I decided to burn them.

Here is my experience…. make sure you watch both videos.


This was, hands down, one of the most liberating experiences of my life. After the camera turned off, I cried for a good 15 minutes. I never thought I would burn those pants…. but it was more than just burning a pair of old jeans…I never thought burning those pants would help me release my tight grip on the overzealous desire to be thin. Burning the pants sparked my drive and energy to recover.

Do Your Hard Work.

Perhaps you are holding back in your recovery as well. What is stopping you from a full recovery? What hard work do you need to do? Is there something you need to let go of?

I challenge you this weekend, to take a step that you have been putting off. You know what it is. There is something that you know would propel your recovery, it is probably very hard, but you need to do it.

Perhaps, like me, you need to get rid of your “skinny” clothes. Maybe your big step is telling your spouse or a loved one that you have a problem and that you need help. Perhaps your big step is setting up an appointment to see a counselor, or setting time aside for yourself to exercise, read, or write. Maybe your big step is getting rid of a toxic relationship, or setting a boundary with a coworker.

I don’t know what you are personally going through, so I can’t decide what this step is, but you can. Deep down you know the hard work that is required to make progress toward a full recovery.

I believe in you. The first step is the hardest, but it also gives you the most strength and belief in yourself.

Roasting marshmallows over the burning pants


With all the love and hope in the world, I wish you courage and a belief in yourself this weekend as you begin your full recovery.