Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Blog!

For those of you who have been following me here, I have started a new blog that is really taking off a lot better than this one. I think I've finally found my blogging niche.

There will still be stories of motherhood and running and reading, but this blog centers more around my career as a theater artist, which is really something I can talk about.

Follow it here:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

She Believed

This week I began my campaign to "believe I can." This is my mantra for this year. Because it is going to be one wild and crazy ride.

My three masters classes are already threatening to crush me, Senior Adult Day is shaping up to be way more work than I ever anticipated, and my four other part time jobs are starting to fall by the wayside- but they can't because I need them to live!

And yet, in the midst of all this crazy, I find myself taking more time than ever to savor my family.

Yesterday was the only full day I will get to spend with Noah this week. We ate breakfast together, toast and peanut butter, and Noah settled in to watch some Sesame Street while I frantically cleaned the kitchen and got ready to go in for an evaluation at the clinic. We went to that together, went to the gym together (where I ran/walked 2.08 miles in 35 minutes! Furthest ever!), and then came home to have lunch together.

I was a little disappointed because this day was certainly not shaping up to be the Noah-centric day that I had planned. I miss him a lot now- and sometimes I feel like even when I'm home, I'm really not home. Like all moms, I worry about silly things that I cannot control: will he get good grades if we don't eat a family dinner every night? When I work does he feel abandoned? Is he going to grow up and do drugs if I don't put my computer away right now and stare at him?

So, I picked him up and started heading to his nursery to clean him up after lunch. And then he leans his cheek up next to mine, puts his arms around me, and starts humming. And we dance together.

It's in moments like that that I have to believe that he understands and, yes, one day he will appreciate, the way I work to keep my grades up, put money in the bank, and keep our house as clean as possible (well, livable, at least). I may not be able to sit all day with him and pass a block back and forth, but I can take five minutes and dance to the tune that he's humming in my ear.


This year, I believe I can...

  • finish the next two semesters with A's
  • pay off three loans
  • Run a 5k
  • Quit two of my part-time jobs
  • Be a good mom
She Believed She Could, So She Did


Click on the link on the side to follow my journey on Instagram.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This is my last week of non-craziness.

Next week I begin the semester at Fontbonne. I'll be in class Monday-Friday. I'll be staying the night in St. Louis on Mondays, and the rest of the week will be commute-class-commute-work-teach lessons. I won't get to see Noah until 5 PM at the earliest every day. Sometimes later.

I know this is what so many moms do every day. But I haven't had to do it yet, so have some pity on me.

Because of the busy, I'm anticipating summer, like, a whole lot. I want to hang out with my family for an entire day in our pajamas. I want to take a weekend trip. I want to take Noah to the park and swing with him and take him down the slide. I want to take him for ice cream. Go to the pool. Visit friends.

This summer is the summer of the super mom. I've decided it, so it shall be.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Attitude

Noah and I have been sick the past couple days. Noah has been the projectile vomiting kind of sick. I refuse to eat, because I hate to vomit. So we've just been hanging out together, which is, you know, pretty perfect.

I was thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2013 and whether or not I wanted to make a 13 goals list. I decided I really didn't. Partially, yes, because I barely accomplished any of my goals for 2012. But also because what I want to accomplish in 2013 is so much more complicated than 13 goals.

I follow an amazing blogger, Kelle Hampton. She is a stay at home mom/writer/blogger/photographer. I want to be like her when I grow up. Even though I'm technically already grown up.

What I realize every single time I look at her blog is that I do NOT slow down and smell the proverbial flowers with my child. I run around like a crazy person trying to keep my house clean, work one of my four different jobs, and get my masters degree. I don't feel like I take the time to look around myself, which explains the lack of posts recently. I would sit down to write and then think, "Gee, what do I even have to write about?" and the answer would be nothing.

There are so many things I want to instill in my children. I want them to love to read. I want them to be healthy eaters and make wise choices. I want them to appreciate music and art and sports, but more importantly, to appreciate the people who do these things. I want them to love Jesus because they see me loving Jesus and see how he completes every part of my life.

And, on less important notes, I would love to be the pinterest mom. Not because I'm good at it, but because the memories made while making these crafts or starting these traditions would be so special. I don't want to be too busy to sit down with my children and finger paint or mess with glitter.

So my resolution starts today. Of course, I do have to make lists no matter what, but most of the ideas I have are much less tangible than usual.

I'm going to start making memories with Noah
Whether that means just a normal bed time routine (I know, I know... I'm a terrible mother) or sitting down to make crafts. I have to be more deliberate with him.

I'm going to become more positive
Jordan can barely stand to watch t.v. with me anymore- I've become a real nitpick. I'm hoping that he can find a gentle way to keep me accountable and that I can start seeing the silver lining a little more often and accept others' faults more readily.

I'm going to get un-addicted to technology
I'm finding that I'm on Facebook, email, blogs, and television more and more and I text non-stop. That has to be done. I'm going to start with Tech-Free Thursdays and see how that works out for me. Then I'm going to start trimming down on other days. It's eating a hole in my life that I'm never going to get back.

So, those are my resolutions. There are a million other things I would like to accomplish in the New Year, but I'm not going to hold myself to them. Because the more goals I make, the more I think about them instead of my child. And that will end this year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Hey, all!
I'm so sorry that I haven't updated in over a month! My life has gotten so crazy with the "mobilization" of my son.

He crawls, he pulls up, he climbs stairs. Yes... stairs.

In fact, I wanted to write an incredible, thought-provoking post, but he wants, right this moment, to pull up on my legs. And I can't say no to this little sucker!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


2 million children are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade.
Our post today comes from Heather Huffman. I met her through the 31 day challenge and she kindly offered to write a guest post for me. She has such a heart for the people being exploited through human trafficking and I have no doubt that once you read what she has to say, you will agree. On top of all that, she is absolutely a fantastic writer. 
 Two million children are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade. That’s a stomach-turning statistic if there ever was one. But when I began to learn about the faces and atrocities behind the numbers, it became a number I couldn’t turn away from.

I was in my thirties, wondering how the heck the path of my life had ended up where it had, when I decided to pick up my pen and write again. After years of silence, I’d committed to honing my craft and finally realizing my dream to publish a novel.

I finished my first novel, Tumbleweed, over the course of the next year, but when I hit a wall with editing it, I set it aside and started work on what would become the book that changed my life: Throwaway. It was inspired by a dream I had about a prostitute and a police officer. The dream was just one conversation between these two star-crossed lovers, but I became obsessed with them. I thought about them constantly and how they got to where they were.

When I look back over that period in my life, it’s almost eerie how everything came together. Research I did for the novel Throwaway opened my eyes to an entire world I’d never known existed – modern day slavery. Once I knew it existed, I knew I somehow had to become involved in the fight. Something in the back of my mind kept repeating that my books should be a voice for the voiceless, but I had no idea how to accomplish that.

It just so happened that while I was trying to figure out what to do, I was invited to a symposium on human trafficking. It was a daylong event that armed me with facts and clarified how I could best use my talents to make a dent in this enormous problem. I decided that day to give away indie versions of my books to raise awareness.

Many of those around me thought I was nuts. But those books were downloaded more than 50,000 times over the next months, and I began to hear from readers around the world. One even asked if she could translate my work into Russian. From that one crazy act sprang a much larger movement. As people—former foster children, rescued slaves, survivors of abuse—reached out to me with their stories, I knew I’d made the right decision.

It was also through my readers that I first learned of the groups Project Liberty and The Covering House, and have since committed to helping them in the fight against human trafficking. Project Liberty is a group out of Lansing, Michigan that’s committed to rescuing children from trafficking. They’ve also been wonderful about educating me on the reality of this crime. The Covering House is a group out of Missouri that offers shelter and restoration to victims under the age of 18 after they’ve been rescued.

A funny thing happened because of the momentum the books had built up back in those indie days – I was contacted by a publisher out of Seattle called Booktrope. They were pioneering a new publishing model that could survive and thrive in the changing book market. Several talks and emails later, I’d signed a contract with them to republish the first four books, as well as my fifth book, which had yet to be released.

Not only are the first four now proudly sporting the Booktrope imprint, my seventh book, Devil in Disguise, was released this summer. In terms of shedding a light on human trafficking, this is the book the others were leading up to. In it, the main character’s younger sister is taken by human traffickers. Through the course of the novel, I’m able to show readers some of what I’ve learned over the past few years. The trafficking element is woven into the story, and it’s intentionally not heavy-handed. It’s a book with as much laughter as there are tears.

Though my publisher now charges for the books, my reach has grown exponentially. I recently learned that my books have been downloaded approximately 500,000 times. I can’t even wrap my brain around that number. In addition to a having a greater reach, I’ve also dedicated to give a portion of my book royalties to the organizations I work with.

My publisher also helped me line up Leave your Mark Graffiti Parties in Missouri and Georgia, with more to come in 2013. More than a book signing, graffiti parties also serve to raise awareness for human trafficking and help inform others how they can get involved. Often, these events are held in cooperation with one of the non-profits I partner with as fundraising opportunities. I now also speak in schools, churches and women’s groups, raising awareness for the fight against trafficking and the groups I work with.

Looking back, it’s surreal how far I’ve come on this journey. I know there’s a lot of work left to do, but it’s a start. If we all start somewhere, then we can change that number. Two million children can be children, not a statistic.

Keep up with author Heather Huffman on Heather Huffman’s Facebook Author Page.  Visit her book website or contact her on Twitter @Heathers_Mark.
I have an e-copy of Heather's newest book, "Devil in Disguise" to give away!

All you have to do is link to this blog on your facebook or twitter accounts and then leave a comment here letting me know that you have done so! I will announce the winner on Friday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Goals and Orphans

There are 121 million children out of education worldwide.

Lest my original readers think I have forgotten about my 12 Goals for 2012, I have not. Will I accomplish them all? Most certainly not. But they have definitely grown me as a person, nonetheless.

I think that everyone should set goals for themselves that are hard/nearly impossible to attain. I truly believe that's how we achieve really great things. The trick is to not let it rule your life or stress you out. I struggle with that a lot. Things that should have been fun and educational, like reading 100 books in one year, become some kind of deadline to meet or else people will be disappointed in me.

That's a ridiculous thought. As if anyone really really cares whether or not I meet these goals. I'm sure that people are cheering me on, but if I don't meet them, I'm not going to devastate anyone's world.

Set your goals high for yourself. No one else. The world does not hinge on your accomplishments.
147 Million Children

"We are two moms who love orphans! We met eight years ago as we were both going through our first adoptions (one domestic and one international) … Thirteen kids and seven adoptions later, we are bound together through faith and mission. We love “doing life together” and accepting the call to speak up for orphans everywhere. We want to help as many people as possible to see the 147 million orphans as scripture calls them, “…those who have no voice.”   We want you to see YOUR PART in helping change the life of an orphan. Could it be adoption, sponsoring a child, volunteering for orphan care ministry, rocking babies at an orphanage, financially supporting someone adopting, or buying these products?"
I love these moms. I love their mission. I love their hearts. And I love everything about their ministry.
They offer so many ways to get involved, and they even offer fundraising opportunities for those who would love to adopt, but just can't financially. 
By the way, if anyone wants to give me a Christmas present, click here. Thank you in advance.