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School picture day, 1979. I practiced this smile in the mirror a dozen times. This day was going to be different. All of the things I hated about my face were going to be wiped away by this perfect smile. No more squinty, lopsided eyes. I had discovered that I could hide my bushy eyebrows under my bangs if I lifted them high enough. I finally had all my teeth. Hair combed… Read More

I’ve read about self-love for years. I’ve sought out everything I could read on how to love myself. I’m drawn to people who talk about it, write about it and practice it. I think everyone struggles with self-love from time to time but to those of us who have suffered trauma or abuse, loving ourselves often gets set aside for survival. Add in addictive behavior and the choices we make that revictimize… Read More

I was nominated by Lazy Hippie Mama for the Liebster Award! She’s anything but lazy and hers is one of the first blogs I ever followed. She mixes environmental awareness with common sense and her posts always make me think. Please check her out!

Last summer, we took a family vacation to San Diego. In addition to the practical preparations of packing for a family of four, my husband and I went through our mental preparations, which couldn’t have been more different from each other. My husband is in that quirky species of people called ‘positive thinkers’. His thought process looked like this: We will travel through the desert with no complications. Our vehicle will climb… Read More

Today is my 2 year soberversary. A month ago when I started anticipating this day, I thought the blog post I wrote would be different. I thought I’d rehash the last year and talk about what I’ve learned.

I’ve been hearing the phrase “lean in” a lot lately. Sheryl Sandberg popularized the term in her book of the same name but it’s been used by other people too. It can mean a lot of things from simply getting more involved to not running the opposite direction from what scares you. It can mean not sabotaging yourself by being afraid to experience happiness (what Brené Brown calls “foreboding joy”) or it can… Read More

Today marks the 30th day of my No Nelling Challenge, which I embarked upon to help me stop yelling at my kids. When I first got started, I thought that it would be possible to never yell but if it is possible, I’m not there yet. Luckily, I didn’t start over every time I slipped or else I’d be back on day 5. It makes me wonder about the pressure we put… Read More

I read a blog post written by someone who was very disturbed by a comment she received on one of her posts. She moderates her comments and never posted the one in question but she wanted feedback on if she handled the situation the right way. The commenter told her that he was going through a rough time and that he was considering taking his life. She was understandably freaked out and… Read More

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a Nelling problem as much as a general piss off/bad attitude problem; a chronic curmudgeon-ness that sneaks its way into my days and plants its stinky butt on my couch. I’ve found that when I purposefully speak gently and lovingly, even if I don’t feel that way, it makes such a profound difference to my kids that even if it is a big… Read More

I’m a yeller. There. I said it. I used to think it was because I’m half-Italian but now I think it’s because yelling is my default when I feel like I’m not being heard. I hate not being heard. In fact, when I think of all the times my husband and I have fought in the last nearly 20 years, I blame the escalation of the fights on me feeling like he’s… Read More