I see you, mama: A word for mothers navigating a different dream


Sunday, April 23, 2017, I had the honor of keynoting the annual Charles Tillman Foundation’s TendHER Heart Luncheon. This spring 250 mothers of critically and chronically ill children attended a special brunch, which honored them for the sacrifices they make in caring for their ill child. The brunch provided these women with the opportunity to “take a minute” for themselves and enjoy each other’s company and support. 

Here are my words from the luncheon.


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Confessions As I Anticipate Grief: Part 4

This is the fourth post of a four part series: Confessions As I Anticipate Grief. 


“As long as the people don’t fear the truth, there is hope. For once they fear it, the one who tells it doesn’t stand a chance. And today, truth is still beautiful… but so frightening.”

-Alice Walker-


I don’t want to admit this, but I feel alone sometimes. In the sea of people in my home everyday, I feel alone. Not right now, because I am writing this alone, but when I am with people I feel alone. And knowing I can’t do it alone makes me feel like a failure. I know I am not, but I feel like I am. We can’t let feelings trump truth, can we? The truth is, I sound like a four year old when I say, “I can do it all by myself.”

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Blessings from the most unlikely person


You guys know Stephanie, right? No, not me-her. She joined our village a year ago. I’ll never forget her first day. Our palliative/hospice organization notified us they had found us a volunteer. And when Stephanie showed up with a water bottle, a sitting pillow, and a change of shoes, I thought they had sent this poor lady to the wrong house. There was no way this sweet, petite, grandma would keep up with our kinda crazy.

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Why vote?

A year ago, I would have thought seeing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on TV together was an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, not the Presidential campaign. 

This is not a political rant post. For real. I am one of the many Americans that know little to nothing about politics. It overwhelms me.

In fact, Trump and Clinton are about the only things I do know. And neither one win my vote based on character. They’re politicians, for petes sake. “Moral politician” is an oxymoron. 

But I am a firm supporter of freedom, democracy, America, our right to vote, and our armed forces. I do not take the lives and sacrifice of many whom have gone before to give me, a woman, the right to vote, for granted.

And even though my vote may not matter in the grand scheme of things, I will not forego my right, even if it’s only to honor the freedom to vote.

I will never run for office, march in DC, or even fully grasp government or politics, but I need to support those who do.

Luckily, the presidency isn’t a dictatorship. There are other dishonest and slanted politicians representing all the personal agendas working together. I think….

So now what? Assuming I may not be the only confused one in America, what do we do? Where do we go to find unbiased information? 

Do we not vote because we are uninformed? Because we don’t really care or our vote doesn’t matter? Or because the system, the government, is broken? 

No. The answer isn’t to sit dumb and silenced. It isn’t to blindly vote, either.

The answer, the privilege: get edge-a-ma-kate-did. Educated.

But where? 


Ladies, we’ve only had the right to vote since 1920. That’s only 96 years and it took our grandmas, great grandmas, sisters, aunts, and a whole lotta strong conviction in the hearts of women over a century of advocacy and suffering to get you and I the right to vote. 

We may never run for office, march in DC, or even fully grasp government or politics, but we need to show up to the polls, educated to support those who do or we have no right to complain.  

The great news is we still have time. Let’s learn what we believe by educating ourselves and vote. 

past the wishing


Have you ever been surprised?

Maybe it was a birthday party, a wonderful gift, or special honor.

I typically don’t like surprises. I think is a “type A” control issue. They make me vulnerable and nervous.  Well, I like them when they’re over, just not when my friends are giggling and grinning, and I have no idea why.

Anyway, a few years ago, I got a surprise.  My dear friend, Kelly Hubert, nominated me for GIVE LOVE.  It is a special blessing for a woman who is at a low point, who is in the process of overcoming impossible odds, or who has stepped out to do something brave.


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pride or peace?

The kids are on their way to school. Ellie is quietly sitting in her seat in the car drinking a bottle. I actually have boots on with a heel and my hair is straightened. I’m dressed and I look like a grown woman-instead of my signature gray hoodie and sweats.

My coffee is reheated in my favorite cup.  I’m just looking for a cardigan to wear. The teal one. So “Pinterest”, I think. My casserole is warm in a fancy casserole dish carrier. And I think I might even make it on time.

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Who cares?

We all have a desire to be liked. To be in the “in” crowd. To be successful.

I think sometimes that desire is projected onto our children, and maybe for typically developing children’s parents, that pressure that they put on their children to be successful is so the child AND the parent looks good. For example, if our student is getting straight A’s, we also must be smart or disciplined, or if they are good at athletics, we too, are the mom or dad that everyone says hello to at the games.  Maybe it is our child that makes the newspaper, and yes, we are proud of our child, be we don’t mind sharing some of the light….I mean, we did teach them everything they know, right?!

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Pregnancy Progress: Third Trimester

This pregnancy has been physically and emotionally difficult.  I have never been a good pregnant person….and toward the last few months, it has really taken a toll. I know looking back you forget most of it, but I wanted to blog about the yucky-ness so I don’t forget!

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Through the Eyes of Sanfilippo-a grandmother’s perspective

Joan, Justin’s mom, is one of my heroes. She embodies Christ-likeness in so many ways that I admire, and although she has wise words to pass on, what moves me so much is her patience, abundant availability of grace, and her amazing strength. Thank you, Joan, for modeling what it looks like to be a humble servant of Christ in the way you live your life.

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Oct 18: Lunch with Kelly in the city

One of the best things about Sanfilippo are the friendships you make with other Sanfilippo parents. We are blessed beyond measure to have the Huberts in our lives. I treasure every moment I get with Kelly so it was a no brainer for Brooklyn and I to go meet her and Liv in the city at Children’s between Liv’s appointments for lunch. Although it was a short visit, it was so good to see them!

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