On the Lam


PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Ted Strutz

The bloody bandages reluctantly tug and tear, as Dr. Goldstein peels them from my skin.
Liberated from the mummy wrap, my pores drink in the musty office air.
He holds up a tarnished mirror, revealing a face whose only resemblance to mine are the wary green eyes.
“They won’t recognize you.” Beaming, he admires his handiwork before glancing out the window. “You’re going to miss the boat!”

I hustle down the stairs and to the dock.

Peering over my shoulder, I board the ferry.

Sedated by the blaring horn and salty breeze, I silently vanish from my family, the mafia.



Thank you so very much for giving my Friday Fictioneers story a read. Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (“The Boss”) inspires her clan of highly imaginative fictioneers to sharpen their skills with 100 word flash fiction stories. You’re more than welcome to join the fun- our family is always looking for fresh meat. Please click on the link to see the handiwork of my fellow mobsters!

Are YOU up for a challenge?


This morning, I got up extra early to squeeze in a run before work. I was lucky enough to have fifteen extra minutes after my run, so I sat on the front porch and did something I haven’t in a long time. I admired the beauty of the freshly planted lilies around me and enjoyed the melody of my neighborhood. At 5:15 am, the only melody was that of chirping birds.

Meanwhile, I started thinking of how ridiculously self-conscious I am. I have literally never met (or heard of) anyone who lives so carefully as I do. Someone who tries not to fit in, but to be completely invisible. I didn’t inherit this trait (if that’s what it is), and I certainly didn’t catch it from my friends or even my husband. However, I have a strong conviction that it stems largely from being bullied in junior high, as I remember being a much more fearless Adelie before that.

Isn’t that stupid, though? That the words and actions of my classmates, from over ten years ago, still dictate how I live and how I express myself?

Aside from my writing here and my relationship with my husband, I live my life as an enormous apology. I tread softly as to not hurt others or make them upset. Also, by keeping to myself, I’m safe from ridicule for how absurd my dreams are. Living a safe life may not be fun or gratifying, but at least I’m the one inflicting pain on myself.

Yes, even I realize how faulty that logic is.

So, I told myself that today was going to be different. In case you’re a new follower or you haven’t noticed, I switched my blog’s tagline about a week ago. I did so in the hopes to inspire myself and to hopefully inspire you as well. Recently, I’ve made a habit of asking myself every morning, “How am I going to make today a masterpiece?”Today, I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m not going to walk around with my eyes down and silently mutter “sorry” to every car that tailgates me in my Prius. I’m not going to apologize, either with words or actions, if I haven’t truly done anything wrong.

So how did I do with this challenge?

Well, this morning, my close friend, and coworker, asked what I’ve been up to. I told her about my writing.

I never tell people about my writing.

Surprisingly, she told me how much she admired that I could write, as she couldn’t imagine having the drive to write more than a short email, let alone a book. So, by opening up this (very significant) part of myself, I deepened a friendship and received some helpful feedback.

Thus, my challenge to you, my dear friend, is to do something today, no matter how big or small, to express an essential part of yourself that you often keep hidden. I would especially love hearing about your experiences, if you feel comfortable doing so. No worries if you don’t come across this post five days or five years after I’ve written it. It’s never too late to challenge yourself!

If you happen to be one of the people who leave no aspect of yourself unseen, then I truly admire your courage, and I hope you might share your wisdom!

*It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge.

To living fearlessly and passionately,



My Failed Attempt at a Brief Award Post

Alright, so I feel like a very bad blogger. I was nominated by the wonderful Scent of Rina for the Liebster Award in Mid April, then by WhatSassSays a few days later, by Kevil a few days after that, and then by Splendid Empress in Mid May. First of all, I’m tremendously grateful that these lovely bloggers thought to nominate me. Though, with the chaos of my life recently, I’ve struggled to find the time to adequately express my gratitude.

Scent of Rina, I’ve been a follower nearly from the time I first started my blog. Your poetry is very reflective and has great depth, beyond words. There’s nothing but truth to your writing, which makes it irresistible and very intense! I sincerely admire your courage and talent.

WhatSassSays, your blog is where I travel when I’m on the quest to reconnect with my feminine side. You have this tremendous energy and charisma that flows from your writing, and you have wonderful aspirations. I see several similarities between us both, and I always look forward to seeing what goals you achieve next. I regret taking my college years too seriously, so it’s nice to live vicariously through your adventures!

Andrea and Kevil (Michelle) at Pretend to be Nice, I think it’s AWESOME that you two have collaborated to create such a fascinating blog. Your writing is full of wisdom, whimsy, and wit. Although I’m a very new follower of yours, I’ve already found so much joy in your pieces.

Splendid Empress,Though I’m a very new follower of yours, I’ve already found much entertainment in your writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Your voice is authentic and entrancing, and I’m in awe at how easily you can transport me into different worlds!

So, here are the rules of the Liebster Award. The recipient must:

-provide a link back to the blogger(s) who nominated them

-share 11 facts about yourself

-answer 11 questions from the blogger(s) who nominated you

-nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions of your own

Whew, so along with my life pulling me in twenty different directions at once, you can see why I was slightly overwhelmed to tackle this thing. Being that I’ve been nominated by four blogs, I won’t bore you with 44 facts about myself and 44 questions. First of all, I know you have better things to do with your time than read my life story. Secondly, I’m not that interesting of a person, and if by some chance I happened to be that riveting, I would save all of that captivating info for an autobiography. So, I shall share eleven facts about myself, but as for the 11 questions, I’m going to pick and choose from all of the questions my fellow bloggers sent me. Is that cheating? I hope not!

So, on to the 11 facts about myself…If any of you have read my Acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award, you’ll find that my deepest, darkest secrets can be rather dark indeed. My intention is to keep this list light and less intense. However, since I took so long to write this post, I want to give you some high quality stuff here. So, let’s see where this goes!


  1. I have a tattoo. I was (and still kind of am) a “good girl.” Let me clarify, I was a band geek, a book nerd, and am a rather quiet introvert. So, I never thought I’d be the “type” to get a tattoo. However, for my 1st wedding anniversary, I decided to show my eternal love for my husband by getting a tattoo with our wedding flower, the stargazer lily on it. Lilies are very symbolic, and their meanings range from devotion and wealth to romance and purity. Personally, I chose this tattoo to express my devotion to my husband and our companionship. I did a tattoo taboo and had his name tattooed on me as well, though we found a way to make it blend in rather artfully. My intention is to have our future children’s names tattooed along side as additional flowers or leaves. That being said, I need to forget how terribly that needle hurt before I can have their names carved into me. Then again, after childbirth, it’ll probably be a walk in the park. 🙂

  2.  I scare quite easily. My husband and coworkers find it amazingly entertaining to pop out at me and stuff. The worst part, I don’t let out a cute little girl scream. No, when I’m scared, I mean business. I yell expletives in a voice lower than the average range of the female voice and I move in a way that is best described as interpretive karate. It’s not a pretty sight, and it has proven quite dangerous for any bystanders within the range of my flailing arms.

  3. I have a terrible habit of picking my nails. I’ve had this ever since I can remember. It’s not just anxiety symptom either. I do it whenever I’m watching anything on screen. I’ve tried several things to kick this habit but no luck yet.

  4. I was assaulted by Ramen Noodles. When I was thirteen, I made a pot of them, and instead of pouring them into a bowl and draining the boiling liquid, I just decided to eat it right out of the pot… in a rocking chair…wearing *only*skimpy underwear. In my defense, it was a scorching day and my house didn’t have air conditioning. So I wore underwear or swimsuits basically 24/7. Anyway, you see where this is going….The pot completely tipped over into my bare lap. I can’t explain the pain (much worse than the tattoo) and then the horrifying sight of watching my skin bubble and fall off,<-unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration. To make matters worse, at the hospital, my nurses and doctors were all male. So, being a thirteen year old girl with a crotch covered in second degree burns and men looking at the area and talking about it was a humiliating cherry on top of the experience.

  5. I was in a child modeling agency for a VERY brief time in my life. I recorded a commercial for Boo Berry cereal, but the thing never aired. Modeling wasn’t the life for me. I remember them instructing us how to open and close doors (I kid you not, there was a step-by-step process) and how to sit and stand and such. Good things to know, I suppose, but it was all too artificial to me. The final straw was when they told me, “Your finger nails aren’t tools.” ← I don’t have a degree in biology(changed 2 years into it), but I’m pretty sure that’s the entire purpose of homosapiens having nails….Yeah, not the life for me.

  6. On a related note, I’m too short to be a model. Tuns out I stopped growing (height-wise) when I hit high school. Since then, I’ve been an intimidating 5’2.” Sure, I still have to climb on counters to get things from the top cupboards, but I have no complaints. Except, that people tend to think I’m still in high school. Thus, I’ve been treated as naïve and ignorant…Kind of like a kid in the workplace.

  7. In my second semester of college, my favorite professor died *literally* right in front of me. His name was Dr. Matthew Hilton-Watson and was an amazingly inspiring man and only 41 years old. They never determined what the cause was. Here’s where the story gets even creepier. That day, we were finishing a lecture on Emile Zola’s L’œuvre (The Masterpiece). At the end of that novel, basically, every character dies. So when Dr. Matt began the lecture, he said something to the tune of “Ok, today everyone’s going into the ground.” Later on, he was talking about how you never know when “yourtime,” will come. He explained how nothing is guaranteed, and even if you’re the healthiest person, you could get hit by a bus and be gone the next second. In the middle of the lecture, Dr. Matt stoped speaking before falling to the floor and convulsing. Being the nerd I am, I always sat front row, dead center. So….it happened directly in front of me. It was a highly traumatic and devasting experience, as all of us tried to figure out what the hell to do. Some tried to steady him while others called the ambulance and campus safety. I was stunned, and even though I called for an ambulance, I still to this day wish and wonder if I could’ve done something else. From that, I was diagnosed with PTSD, but I’ve since worked through it. Nonetheless, it’s a memory that never fades.

  8.           I broke my left humerus (by flying off the side of a curly slide) the day before my eleventh birthday. It was a clean break, so I only needed an immobilizer, as opposed to a cast. To this day, whenever I’m standing or walking, I uncosciously carry my hand still like it was in the immobilizer. In other words, I look like half of a T-rex, whenever I’m doing somethng that doesn’t require the use of my left hand.                            

  9. I’m incredibly awkward with children, or at least I feel that way. For instance, when I was sitting at the Secretary of State today (DMV), there was this adorable girl (I’m guessing she was two or three). She kept walking over to me, pointing and smiling. I wanted so bad to hug her and have a nice discussion, but I didn’t know what the heck to say. I started telling her about Liebster Award and trying to get her input on my 11 facts, but she laughed and walked away. Warning to parents: Don’t let your kids talk to me. This awkwardness might be contagious.

  10. I’m a vegetarian (and mostly vegan). Whenever people ask me why, I simply tell them that my choices come from my passion for animal welfare. I leave it at that, unless any more is asked. Maybe it’s weird that I’m so passionate about this, but I never preach it to people and look down on them because they choose to do something different. Yes, it would be amazing if everyone decided to use other food sources that are kinder to our planet and the creatures on it; however, it’s not my place to press or guilt someone into viewing the world I do. I’ve had several people try and provoke me as to why my choice is wrong, but I simply smile and let them speak their piece. I believe that if more people stood up for these unpopular beliefs, the world would be a better place. However, I don’t feel the right to condemn others for their choices. I’d much rather inspire others to make more compassionate choices by setting a positive example and providing support.

  11. My favorite sound in the world is that of the Sandhill Crane. When I lived in a more rural part of Michigan, I would always hear them flying overhead. Somehow, their call just makes me feel so peaceful. I wish I heard it more where I live now!

Whew, are you still with me? Good! So now I’m supposed to answer 11 questions from my nominators. I’ll do my best to keep these short, at the risk of appearing blunt!

  1. 1. What are the subjects you could never write about? Though I strive to write among a wide variety of genres, Iwould never want to write (in depth) about history. I never enjoyed the subject in school, and I might sound ignorant, but I’m extremely skeptical about what I read in history books. The thing is, some people can’t keep stories straight from the day before. Everyone remembers events differently, and who’s to say that someone didn’t alter the “facts” due to personal or political reasons. I know, I’m a downer. 😦

    2. If you could go to dinner with a famous person, who would it be? Well, could I just host a huge luncheon and invite a heap of famous people? There are so many people (famous and non) whose brains I’d love to pick and company I’d love to enjoy. However, Elen Degeneres would be one of my first because I admire her humility, humor, and generosity. I can’t imagine a dinner with her being anything short of entertaining and inspiring.

    3. What is one quirk that very few people know about you? I’m a chronically suggestible yawner. When someone (even animals) yawns in real life, on screen, or even if I read about or think about yawning, I honestly cannot not yawn. It’s terrible, embarassing, and dangerous when people find out because they find it amusing. I kid you not, I’ve yawned so much simultaneously that I’ve thrown up, on several ocassions. Maybe I should get this checked out? If you’re wondering, I was yawning throught this entire paragraph, and I will again when I have to edit it. Now, on to a different topic! Oh, there I go again…

    4.What is your favorite time of year? Easy, Fall. Apple cider, crunching leaves, and pumpkin everything- What’s not to love? Darn it, I’m yawning again!

    5.Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in spirits moreso than the common concept of ghosts. I swear on my life I looked out a window one night and saw a ghost- He was a middle-aged man in a track uniform with a racing bib, and he was getting ready to longjump into my window. It was terrifying. Though, I’ll chalk that up to being young, imaginitive child and say that I do believe our spirits or energies can reside on this planet. I’m not sure if they ever show up in the form of Casper though.

    6. What was your favorite Television show as a child? Sailor Moon. You can read more about my childhood obsession here.

    7. What would your dream job be? It would be an eclectic lifestyle. I’d love to be able to express myself creatively through writing and performance, but I also want to pursue global philanthropic efforst as well. Not to mention, I have a strong entrepreneural drive. I’m still figuring out how to balance all of those desires into a sustainable “career!”

    8.What advice would you give to the younger you? I would tell my younger self to stop worrying about what everyone thinks, to pursue my deepest passions instead of trying to please others. Also, I would insist that I need to love myself instead of searching for other people to love me.

    9. The world would be a better place if_________________? We gave up the need to be “right,” and we respected everyone’s differences. Also, if we could put ourselves in eachothers’ shoes (and paws) and realized that everyone deserves health and happiness.

    10.Do you believe in second chances? Absolutely. I believe it’s never too late. If it weren’t for second chances, I wouldn’t be married to such an incredible man. Life is about learning. Sometimes we don’t always get it “right” on the first shot.

    11.What is your day to day inspiration? The promise of what could be. I imagine how, if I put forth enough effort and dedication, I can give back to all of those who’ve helped me and make a positive difference in our world. I know that if I just float along life where I am, I’ll be sacrificing the chance to express my gratitude. One of the most powerful quotes I’ve found is, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”- Dr. Wayne Dyer.

My Questions:

1. What is one thing you have been meaning to do but haven’t seemed to find the time yet?

2. Are you more motivated by fear or hope?

3. If you could invent an ice cream flavor, what would it be?

4. What is the one word you would love people to use when they describe you?

5. Who do you most look up to and why?

6. If you could master one dance style, what would it be?

7. If you were a super hero, what would your name be?

8. What is one thing you’ll regret never doing?

9. What’s one word you always second-guess yourself when spelling it out?

10. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about you?

11. Fill in the blank: In a perfect world, ____________ would be everywhere.

Alright, so now I’m supposed to nominate 11 bloggers for the Liebster. Because this award seems to have gone mainstream, and I’ve taken a ridiculous amount of time to publish this post, I can’t guarantee that these bloggers havent already been nominated. Regardless, here are just eleven of the wonderfully talented blogers I follow, in no particular order:

****And, if you didn’t happen to pop up on this list, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t LOVE to learn more about you and read your answers to my questions. Thus, I might be breaking the rules here, but it’s my darn blog so….I nominate EVERYONE for the Liebster award.

X ALL THE THINGS - Nominate all the bloggers!

*(My first meme ever generated)

Properly Ridiculous



The Wadering Poet

From Paradise to Eden

Hostess At Heart

Ripples of Truth

U Be Cute

A Cup of Noodle Soup

Words from Wellie

Diary of an Optimist

Whew. Did you make it? If so, I send my deepest gratitude for finishing this marathon of a post with me. And I would absolutely love to read a gargantuan post of yours filled with such juicy details!


Please Forgive Me, Part Two

I learned last night that my mother has fallen down the stairs and broke her spine in three places. She is still undergoing tests to check for brain damage. I’m returning home to do the best I can to take care of her. Thus, if I do find the time to return here, I may not respond to any comments. Please don’t take this as indifference to your support. I’m dealing with this the way I deal with all other things, by sealing myself off from any emotion. As a result, I wouldn’t be able to accurately express my gratitude for the kind and encouraging words you leave me, and I believe you deserve more than a half-hearted response from me.  I’ll return when I’m “me” again.” I am sincerely grateful for your support.

My Writing Process Blog Tour


Very seldom am I so absolutely happy that I have a permanent smile. Well friends, a week ago, my lovely blogging friend, Alienora, invited me to participate in a My Writing Process blog tour.

Kind of makes me feel like a rock star, going on tour and all. Would that make you my groupies? 😛

Anyway, before proceeding I want to express my gratitude to miss wonderful Alienora. Her writing is courageous, authentic, bold, and artful. She’s been tremendously supportive of me from the very beginning of my blogging journey and given me the inspiration to acknowledge my truth and share it on my blog. If you haven’t read anything from her yet, please do. You’ll find that there’s nothing quite like the writing of Alienora!

So, if you’ve ever been lying awake at night, your mind racing and perplexed as you wonder what writing process gives way to the sheer delight of Artfully Aspiring, look no further. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to other reasons, this may cure your insomnia as well. Though, be sure to awaken at the end where I nominate two other blogging rock stars!

*Note: My apologies for the loopy formatting going on here. No matter how many different ways I attempt to fix the indents and such, the darn alignment rebels. So now you see an extra aspect of my writing process: my love-hate relationship with technology. Not feeling the love right about now.

a.) What are you working on?

I’m currently editing and revising my first novel of a three-part science fiction romance series. I’ve found that this particular part of the writing process is significantly less fun than writing the first draft. It’s also hard to focus on polishing the first book when my mind is constantly swirling with ideas for my subsequent books. Luckily, I’ve been writing some new material on my blog to keep my creativity flowing.

b.) How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I would be lying if I said that I never worry if my writing will be too similar to another author’s and lack originality. I’m much better at noticing, and perhaps fabricating, my weaknesses than I am at recognizing my strengths. Luckily, I have such wonderful readers here that lift me up and give me the fuel to keep going. I suppose what makes my work different is that it’s more contemplative than many of the pieces in the genre. It might not be as action-packed, but I like to give greater depth to my characters. I also believe that my education in psychology and my experience with mental illness seeps into my work, adding a whole new dimension to things, whether it’s intentional or not.

c.) Why do you write what you do?

I seek not only to entertain my readers but to give them something more. I want my stories to stick with them, inspire them, and help make the world a more compassionate and peaceful place. While my target audience isn’t specifically young adult, I hope to contribute to the survival of literature. When I look at the youth, I worry that technology and other modes of entertainment are taking too much precedence.

d.) How does your writing process work?

Well, it lacks routine and discipline, which I know would greatly improve my productivity. Rather, my writing happens in unexpected spurts. Usually the inspiration strikes me when I’m driving home from work, though there have been times actually at work when I’ve written nearly half a chapter on post-it notes (which I don’t recommend because it can be quite a challenge to keep those organized). I go through cycles in which I fail to connect with my creativity because I’m too focused on my daily tasks. Though, I’ve found that getting out in nature and taking some quiet time can do wonders for getting back in the groove.

E.) Say who is on next week (up to three people you would tag), and provide a bio and link to their website). Their posts would go up May 21st.

I’m so excited to introduce my lovely friend Jen, from Properly Ridiculous. She’s a compassionate, authentic, and modest woman. Her writing is witty and hilarious, but also courageous in the fact that she addresses issues and shares her perceptions when most of us might not dare!

I’ve started, erased & repeated this bio more times than I care to share; with that being said, I’m going to just dive in and hope for the best. Properly Ridiculous was born back in February & I consider it to still be a work in progress- but I’ve accepted the idea that I may always feel that way. I have so many ideas that I’m eager to share. I write about what inspires me in the moment. Sometimes the goal matched with the sudden inspiration is laughter, while the next time I sit down to type the goal may be the opposite. A lot of my writings are opinion based thoughts and life experiences, however I’ve recently began challenging myself & have began exploring poetry and fiction. I reside in Wisconsin and share my house with my Husband & 7 year old son. Life is good.

The second blogger I’m excited to nominate is Andy from The Wandering Poet. While this is a Writing Process Blog Tour, I decided to mix thing up a little. Why should just writers get all the attention? Anyway, Andy is a multifaceted creative genius whose posts always bring light to my day. His blog is always filled with gorgeous photography and ceaseless positivity.

I have a passion for photography. Though, because I can’t afford a professional grade camera, I often use my cell phone or a point and shoot to capture nature, especially flowers in the spring and summer. There’s so much beauty out there and I don’t want to miss any of it.

And last, but certainly not least, is my lovely blogging friend, Chatti Natti. I’m always astounded by her profound talent and versatility with her poems. She has a unique view of the world, and shares the beauty she sees in everything. Natti is a beacon of positivity in the blogging world, and I strongly suggest you give her fabulous poetry a read.

Originally from Antigua in the Caribbean, Chatti Natti is an avid reader and has been writing since she was around seven or eight years old.She was introduced to the world of literature and poetry at a young age and loves getting lost in a good story or seduced by the lyrics of a poem.A journalist by training, words are a natural part of her life. She recently decided to share her love of writing with a wider audience through her blog. It is her desire to publish a series of children’s books, a novel and two books of poetry in the near future. Chatti Natti currently resides in Belfast, Northern Ireland with her husband where she continues to work towards her literary pursuits.

Thank you so much for reading about my writing process. I hope it was, at least, somewhat entertaining. Also, be sure to check out Jen, Andy, and Natti’s most magnificent blogs!!!

With gratitude (and slight frustration with my computer, or whoever is causing these format shenanigans),











Please Forgive Me


^ That’s me, right about now!

We all have those weeks when everything seems to pile up…Well, this is my week. I’m throwing my sister-in-law’s baby shower this weekend and my sister’s wedding shower the next.  Throw in some major expansion at my workplace, me being sick for the last five days, my father’s birthday, and a new stray doggie we found Saturday (whose owners we’re desperately trying to locate), and you’ve got me stuck in a whirlwind of trying to figure out what the heck is going on here! I’m also supposed to complete a blog tour post today, a Liebster Post that’s long overdue, and a special challenge sent to me by some fellow Fictioneers. And don’t even get me started on the household chores that are mounting at an incredible rate. So, my whole point of writing up this quick post is to tell you that I’m sincerely sorry for being so tardy in responding to your lovely comments, follows, and the sort. As it is, it looks like I might not be able to get a single post out for a while. I just want you all to know that I love you and truly appreciate your kindness and support. I shall return once things have quieted down a little. I’m so sorry for the neglect!



My dog hates taking pictures with me

I’m not one for taking selfies, but my Beagle, Zoe, was being so adorable tonight, that I wanted to get some pics with the little beauty queen. They didn’t quite turn out, but I thought you might find them amusing.

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She’s fine taking pictures by herself, but the moment I get in the frame with her, she suddenly has something more important to do.

She couldn’t even fake enjoyment.

God, maybe I shouldn’t have kids!

How I Met Your Father

The topic of this week’s Writing Challenge is “Great Expectations.” My intent is to discuss an experience where the end result was nothing I had expected. Initially, my thoughts switched to something all too common in the world of Pinterest:

But like I said, it’s a very common occurrence. Just Google “Pinterest fails,” and you’ll instantly feel better about your less-than-stellar culinary skills. Thus, I dug deeper to find a story in which the reality was quite different than the expectation. This just happens to be the very instance in which I met my high school sweetheart and hubby of almost three years. First, let me clarify something concerning the title. We do not have babies yet, unless we’re referring to our Beagle, Siberian Husky, and Mini Rex bunny. The title was inspired by How I Met Your Mother, because I find/found that series quite amusing. Who knows, maybe one day when the question is asked by our little ones, I’ll just whip out this blog. Until then, I hope it can bring you some sort of entertainment.

If you would’ve asked me nine years ago where I might meet my future husband, my guesses would have been college, Barnes and Noble, or possibly in a park while walking my dog. Now, if you insisted I would meet my dream man in Wal-Mart, I would have laughed and then wondered why I deserved such an insult.

On November 1st, 2006, those expectations were shattered.

I was sixteen and my mother dragged me to Wal-Mart on a Wednesday night. My mother honed in on the shoe section, the smiley Rollback sign drew her in like a moth to a fluorescent light. While she swooned over boots priced only $9.98, I glanced around the store, hoping no one saw me tethered to her. Looking back on this, I wonder why the heck I rode with her…?

Ah, I know! I was taking guitar lessons at the time, several cities over. Because of the distance, she insisted on driving me there every Wednesday. Oh, the days when I played the electric guitar, a red Fender Strat to be exact…..Glad we got that cleared up! Now, back to the story!

I noticed a man walk by. A tall, dark, and handsome man sporting a blue Wal-Mart smock. Let me tell you, never have I seen anyone so dreamy in a Wal-Mart smock. I’m glad he’s kept it all these years.It makes for some kinky role-playing every now and then. 😉 Must edit myself lest future kids read this.

Anyway, my eyes met his (underneath his long skater hair), and I could say the rest is history. But you want more, right? Alright… If you insist….

The thing is, I wasn’t the kind of girl who just goes to stores and hits on unsuspecting employees. No, few teenagers were as shy and socially awkward as I. But when I saw this man, something told me that I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. Somehow I knew that if I never at least said “hi” to him,, I would regret it for a very long time.

So that’s what I did…after leaving my mother’s side to roam around the store for an hour. Seriously, it took me that long to find the courage to walk up to the guy. Being the chronic over-thinker I am, I rehearsed several scenarios in which I might strike up conversation.

What was the winning approach, you ask? Well, the plan was to grab one of those nifty little air fresheners for the car, bring it to him, and ask if he liked how it smelled.

I truly wish I was joking, but that was the best I came up with.

I meandered over to the shoe section, and like a lioness hunting a gazelle, I hid at the end of an aisle and waited for my prey to walk by. With clammy hands and shaky knees, I glanced around and through the aisles. Unexpectedly, he turned the corner from behind me. As he walked past, dutifully balancing a few boxes of shoes in his hands, I bolted into a hybrid of sprinting and stumbling to catch up to him.

Excuse me!” I called out. He smoothly turned around, unaware that I’d been stalking him all along. And, not at all according to plan, the next thing that came out of my mouth was,“How are you doing today?”

So, the whole air freshener plot was bust at that point, and we proceeded to have a conversation that didn’t seem nearly as awkward as it probably was. Before we parted ways, I ended up with his number.


His shift ended at 10 that night, and even though I was camped out by the phone since 9:30, I didn’t call him until 10:03. You know, I didn’t want to seem desperate! It only took a few minutes of our three-hour-long conversation to confirm that he was, in fact, the one for me. Two days later, he was at my school’s football game to watch my marching band perform, and then he accompanied all of us band geeks back to Pizza Hut afterward.

The moral of the story here is to always be open to unexpected miracles. They say love can find us in the strangest places, and I’m now a firm believer in that. I certainly never expected that the shoe associate at Wal-Mart would be the one person in my life who never, ever gave up on me and who brought more joy to my life than I could ever imagine.

*Fun fact (or maybe not, you decide)! We met on 11/01/06.~~~We married on 06/01/11.

See the pattern? Well we didn’t! In fact, we didn’t even realize this until nearly a year after we were married!

Thanks for reading!

With Love,







I could write a lengthy post about how important it is to take care of our planet, not just one day a year but every day. However, I’m certain you’ve already heard similar messages about fifty times today. Thus, I’m simply doing my part to spread awareness because protecting our planet is one of the causes closest to my heart. Though, please don’t misinterpret this post as self-righteous, as I definitely have room for improvement, myself. The thing is, there are simple switches we can all make every day to help this cause. Fortunately, there are numerous resources for those looking to make those simple changes, and here’s one to help get you started!






Finding Your Flow

It’s day two of “Finding Your Flow”- an awesome meditation series, hosted by Oprah Deepak Chopra! It’s still not too late to join in on this wonderfully transformative (and free) experience!

Artfully Aspiring

My goodness, it’s been one heck of a week for me, so I’m behind in many posts I’ve planned. Regardless, I received an email this morning, and I just had to share the wonderful news with you.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are presenting another free meditation event called, “Finding Your Flow.”

You might ask why I’m so excited about this. One year ago, I stumbled upon their first free meditation event called “Perfect Health.” It was honestly, life changing… Like three weeks of daily epiphanies!

And it’s free! I LOVE free!!!

Since then, they presented two more meditation programs: “Miraculous Relationships” and “Desire and Destiny.” So the deal is, it’s a three week event, in which they send you an inspirational article and a guided meditation every day. Each day has a new concept or theme. In addition, they have a journal with meditative prompts that help you connect even…

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