Have you ever been told to Suck It Up Buttercup? Or to get over it because someone else has it much worse than you?

How’d that make you feel, as an adult going through something that may have created great despair or pain?

I think phrases such as that are fine to tell our children when they are acting like spoiled brats upon not getting their way. As a matter of fact, I should probably say something like that more!

Appropriate for everyone, though? I’m not so sure.

Two months ago my son committed suicide. I’m having to learn to live without the one who gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. I’m learning to live without one of my life’s greatest inspirations and teachers.

This passage is for me, to remind myself of my own strength, will, and determination.

Yes, I’m putting myself out there to be judged and criticized, but somewhere I know that there is someone out there, dealing with what they seem they cannot endure, and I pray this reaches them. 

“There’s someone else who has it worse than you.” Yes, that’s true, but please use that phrase with caution unless you really know that to be true. 

A short synopsis of what life has thrown at me…

Anxiety and misdiagnosed dietary/health issues starting very young. Depression and eating disorders by grade 8. Sexually violated and suicidal by 12th. Survived, after feeling unwelcome and unloved by even God during my near death encounter with the Keeper of the Golden Gates. “Not yet. Someday. You still have work to do down there.” Don’t believe in near death experiences? You should.

Unexpected pregnancy by age 19. Keep or abort this baby? Rocky Relationship, but I love him and I already love this little creation with my whole heart. Keep. I might get disowned. But definitely keep. All I’ve ever known for sure is that I want to be a mommy. Easy pregnancy, relationship turned violent. Addiction returned. Had to walk away. Tried unsuccessfully to get back together but then the toughest of love lessons came our way. I had met another who promised the world so please don’t call anymore. Probably not what I really wanted. Probably wanted him to put up a fight, but he listened. If that was my plan it backfired.

Single mom married to someone who hid his true colors well. Marriage was emotionally/financially/spiritually abusive starting day 1. Within a year, became seriously ill in eating disorders and checked into recovery facilities out of state at 84 pounds, after accidentally overdosing on prescribed medications just to try to get some rest and migraine relief. Left my now 4 year old behind. Heart broken.

Worked my butt off to stay healthy and to try to salvage anything left of my so-called marriage. Unsuccessful, but too afraid to leave. Too many threats, another pregnancy with a daughter this time. Yay!! I had been told no more kids, too much damage to my reproductive system.

Where are we going to live, though, now that she’s a toddler?! Don’t have a clue where all the money has gone, but house payment hasn’t been paid. Foreclosure. How did I find out? My aunt saw it in newspaper, and my mom asked me about it. Seriously? This is happening and I’m the LAST to know? What kind of person am I living with?? Found housing, and took over bills to try to dig us out and figure out finances. Hmmm…lots of things don’t make sense and don’t add up. But don’t question it. I’ll regret it if I even consider it. 

The news that Christopher’s father had died turned my inner world upside down. So much I could have done differently. I let it end without even saying I love you. I had lost him, really lost him forever. Could I have helped save him?

Not sure if it was too much stress or all the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds I was on, but I miscarried twins. A boy and a girl. Guess who didn’t care? No support from my husband, so I’ll just keep this one to myself. Most likely no one else will care either. Heavy burden to carry alone. So much sadness and grief and no one knew for years.

New house. New beginnings? Nope. More of the same. Baby boy on his way now. Cannot wait! My kids are truly my world. My whole reason for living.

Wait. Lies. Lies. More lies. Just admit the truth. I can forgive it all. Nope. Denial and more narcissistic behaviors make me think I’m totally nuts. I can’t do this anymore. It’s killing me. I’m living life as a prisoner in my own home. Please go out of town soon, or work overtime. The kids and I need to come out of our rooms and feel welcome in our own house. My kids cannot grow up thinking this normal or ok.

Get out of my house. Divorce. But it’ll be rough. The only promise he ever kept was to make my life miserable and difficult if I ever left him. Two years for the divorce to be finalized, all the while having to watch my back for his vehicle or a co-workers, or vehicle from another agency hiding around the corner watching me and the kids through binoculars. Just within enough distance to let me know their presence to intimidate me, but far enough away that I can’t call in for restraining orders. Well played, but please understand that people at my workplace are noticing, too.

Anxiety. Here, Baby Boy. This helps me. Some Yoga and Pranayama (Breathwork). And carry this special rock with you in your pocket. It has Mommy’s Kiss and anytime you miss me or feel anxious, get it out, rub it or kiss it, and remember that I’m not far away. I promise I wouldn’t leave you here if I didn’t trust your teachers. Thanks, Mrs. Principal for lovingly restraining my boy while I run off to get to work through my tears. Not only did Father choose to leave, but Mommy left her 16 year old position as stay home mom to go to work. I promise I’m not abandoning you, Sweetie. I’m doing the FOR you. We’ll repeat this process all year and have more of this experience for another 2 or three years. Whew! Eventually it does get better.

Ok…hang on tight. Here’s a ride. Thank God I know the signs of depression. Helping a daughter who had discovered self-harm and had her own suicidal thoughts wasn’t fun. How many nights did I cry through this?! Such a difficult thing to go through alone. Poor Peyton. How neglected you must feel while I try to help Sissy. What?! She’s pregnant? OK. Another baby is always welcome, plus he saved her life. Thank you, Angel Child.

Dating? Are you kidding me? How many guys do you think want to date a woman who is in Mommy Mode 24/7. Oh wait…I AM only on standby for four hours a week but I really need that time to nourish myself. Please leave me alone since I’ve finally learned that he isn’t really just going to take off with the kids and not return them! I’ve learned that it is ok to take care of me! Anyway, if you aren’t going to be good for and to me, and be willing to accept me AND my kids for who we are, then we don’t need you. Go ahead. Walk away and use whatever story you need to tell yourself to make you feel less guilty. We’ll be ok. We are perfectly imperfect and we are a chaotic mess. But we are each other’s everything.

Too much stress and overwhelm has created chronic illnesses that make it difficult to function in my everyday life. Guilt arises at all I’m not accomplishing and time I can’t spend in wholeness with my kids. Yoga and meditation help greatly but I need more support. That’s hard to admit…SIGH…

I watch from a distance as my (step)daughter goes through stuff that I’m not in a position to be able to offer help or even much emotional support, and her babies and my (step)son’s are all growing way too fast. I hate that I’m missing it. But I have never been allowed to develop relationships with the rest of the family, so this really shouldn’t bother me so much. Yet, it does. Always has.

Now Christopher.

What did I miss? I think nothing, but there must have been something? He was the one who spent the most time in counseling. His faith in God is the strongest fo anyone I know. He has so much to look forward. Graduating with highest honors, faithfully attending mass and chapel, loyal to his friends and family. What did I miss? There were no obvious signs. He worked hard, he was proud of himself for his efforts. Perhaps it was uncertainty of what’s next after College Graduation. Perhaps he was afraid of not getting into grad school. Perhaps he was afraid of being alone, starting his new chapter in life. Perhaps it was lack of sleep as he tried to excel in his classes, but he didn’t speak about his “maladies” openly to us. Or to anyone, it seems. I have, however, seen notes of encouragement left in his school mailbox. I cannot express how thankful I am for those short, sweet notes.

Because I had allowed myself to become stressed to the point of illness, I did my best to remind him to slow down. Rest. Play. Enjoy Life. He was much like me, in many ways. I could never ever deny him, nor would I want to!

He did Enjoy Life. He travelled. He spent quality time with friends. He knew what he wanted to do, and he did it, with no apologies or regrets, except that he did care whether or not his family supported his decisions. Of course, we usually did! He enjoyed life. Or so it seemed.

Robin Williams. I see now that my child had a soul in resonance with the great comedian.

Someone recently expressed concern over my being alone at my Yoga Studio at night. I assured him I take safety precautions when I’m alone, but that I’ve already experienced so much, that not much else could phase me. Sure, I could be killed, but I’m all good. Death happens, and it’s going to come to me anyway. The worst thing that could happen to me at this point is that something would take away one of my kids.

Damn. I was right about that. So please excuse me while I grieve.

Nothing. And I mean NOTHING is worse than losing a child.

So I write this reminder to myself. Not for sympathy, but to remind myself that I’m strong, determined, and now capable of showing compassion and unconditional love to others. I now know how to share and help others who have struggles, too. I take joy in sharing with and serving others and helping them find their Light again.

I write this as a reminder that I’ve changed tremendously for the better. I’m happy to say I’m not the same person I use to be.

I’ve been through Hell and Back. And I’ve survived. In large part to my parents who always have my back, and in large part because of my Faith in One Higher Than I, for all those times I didn’t feel adequate, capable or able. And of course, Yoga. It makes everything better. 

NOTHING is worse than losing a child. But I’m doing pretty damn good, considering.

And so are you, The Bright Shining Star who is reading this. Go, Do You. Nobody else can do it so well!

Struggling so much you’re not sure you can hold on much longer? Trying to help someone you love?

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today! 1-800-273-8255



Fear, Forgiveness, Going Forth

Dear Lovely Soul,

I’m in a transitional period.

Changes are taking place on my yoga mat, in my inner being, in my physical body, and in my life. This happens from time to time, and every time I feel apprehensive.

This can be a lonely place. I notice the trend of people walking out of my life. I feel like nobody really understands what is happening, and if they do, they don’t seem to care. The truth is, they aren’t able to comprehend it. All they realize is that they don’t fit into my life anymore.

It has taken time for me to understand this and accept it. In the past, it broke my heart to watch those I care about become less and less involved in my life. Not so much anymore. Now, I see it as a blessing of sorts. By another’s choice to leave, they are usually taking away some type of inner struggle for me, thus creating space for another person or opportunity that will fulfill a current need or desire.

That does not mean it’s easy to watch people go away. It does not mean I don’t miss them. It does not mean I feel no sadness. It does not mean they are gone out of my life forever and that there will never be any contact again. It does not mean that I’m not intrigued when they wander back in a flattering manner. What it means is that eventually I’ll remember they no longer have a lesson to teach me or a significant role to fulfill. I trust that all who have ever entered my life will always know that I love and appreciate their presence, and I will hold them close in my heart.

I am thankful for quality time spent this weekend with my children and their friends. I am thankful for time spent with an old friend whose love never fails, and with a new one who entered my life as unexpectedly as others have walked out. For now, these are my precious people, and I pray not to take them for granted.

This week, I have been practicing Holistic Dr. Kate Flynn’s fear release and one of her meditations to help dissolve any and all physical and energetic attachments to codependency behaviors.

Many fears have come up this week, after a while of not noticing very many. While perhaps not my favorite thing to deal with, I do know that FEAR is real, creates much of my anxiety, and keeps me stuck in unhealthy patterns. Here are some fears I am facing head on: failure, success, relationships, inadequacy, finances, vulnerability, speaking my truth, discovering who I REALLY am, judgment, criticism, rejection, weakness, my own strength and power, not being able to manage everything on my own, transitions, The Unknown, Love.

Over the past few weeks, I have failed to practice ahimsa toward myself. I failed to eat in  nourishing manner, and I failed to practice Brahmacharya or using my energy wisely.

Enter the Daily Yoga Connection over at Dr. Melissa West’s membership community, where I am a proud member of the leadership team. Our focus has been Forgiveness, and at first I thought it would be awesome because I needed some self-forgiveness! I also assumed old issues would arise and my awareness would see those people I unknowingly had been holding deep seated grudges against.  

I was reminded that Forgiveness allows me to move on. Forgiveness is really all about me, as it honors my difficult emotions regarding any unresolved wounds. Forgiveness helps to purify my heart. Forgiveness sets me free.

My forgiveness yoga practice included some heart softening. Just thinking about softening my heart makes me feel weak and vulnerable! Fear arose and offered resistance, but when I was reminded to look at myself truthfully, I was able to continue. Physically, I felt the exhaustion of my adrenal glands. Energetically, Shakti moved me to a full surrendering to the Divine.

Codependency quickly surfaced. AH. I see now my object of forgiveness!

I heard my inner voice clearly say, “I trust that it is now safe to let it all go.”

A beautiful kriya continued to cut away those codependency energetic cords Dr. Kate first brought to my awareness. I was being given the opportunity to let go with more clarity specific aspects of codependent behavioral trademarks. Control, manipulation, judgment, criticism, guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, low self-worth, the need for other people’s approval…I watched them all dissolve. Did you notice some of those were also mentioned on my fear list?

In a forgiveness toward self meditation, I was again reminded to fully trust God, and to trust in my own truth, power and strength, to trust in my own Inner Divinity.

In a yoga practice designed to connect with Veera Lakshmi for Courage, Strength and Power, I found that I was way more wobbly in Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III) than usual, and ordinarily this would frustrate me. Instead, I realized that my practice is indeed reflective of my spirit. This pose is representative of taking action, and while I understand that I will move forward with great willingness, I am not yet certain how to proceed from here.

I will be patient, and allow things to unfold naturally instead of overwhelming myself and stressing over The Unknown.

“I am Beauty. I am Light. I am Love. I am Divine. I am Free.”

My friend, I leave you with that until next time.




I teach from my own experiences! If you are looking for a bit of an unconventional yoga teacher, I’m the one!

Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Twenty-One

Only a few Dressember Days to go!!

It’s been a good day overall. I am feeling tired, though, and a wee bit sad, but I haven’t had time to let myself go there yet. Days like this are the days I most need to remember all I have to be grateful for.

It also helps to have reminders that I have a Higher Purpose than I realize. Maybe, just maybe that is part of my mission here. Along with my @Dressember Sunflowers and Snow Teammates, I am finishing out a month of wearing dresses to help raise awareness for slavery. Think it doesn’t exist? Think again, and know that it is happening in our area!!

According to a 2011 report released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, out of the runaways actually reported each year in Tennessee, about 1000 are trafficked. Virtually all trafficked youth have been abused and /or traumatized prior to their trafficking.

This 2011 study determined that minors who are trafficking victims are sold 10 to 15 times a day, six days a week.

THAT MEANS THAT EACH VICTIM IS “USED” 9,360 to 14,040 TIMES A YEAR!! I cannot  imagine the level of  trauma that would produce in a child?

End Slavery Tennessee, best sums up that 2011 study…

85 Tennessee counties: Reported at least one case of human trafficking

4 counties:  Reported 100+ cases (a  case usually involves multiple victims)

94: Number of children trafficked in Tennessee every MONTH.

**Sixty-eight counties in the state reported at least one case of minor human sex trafficking. The following four counties reported more than 100 cases a) Shelby, b) Davidson, c) Coffee, and d) Knox.

Have I mentioned that Knoxville ranks 4th…did you hear me? FOURTH!! in the heaviest sex trafficking market? I am not ok with that!!

Thank you @A21 and and @IJM for this eye-opening opportunity for me to learn more about modern day slavery!!

It’s not too late! If you haven’t yet, would like to be part of this team effort, Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and Snow.

Donate here to help raise funds that go toward rescuing human trafficking victims and  their aftercare.

Or simply keep on with your “Likes” and Shares!




Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Twenty

Today’s Dressember Day…

A day of yoga devoted to ME!

With kids, work, Christmas, Dressember, planning yoga classes, etc, etc, I was desperately in need! I am exhausted. I know you all know what I mean!!

Not only am I tired physically, I’m tired on emotional and spiritual levels as well. It has not been easy to remain  committed to human trafficking awareness. To walk away, would have saved time, energy, and heartbreak. To post a picture of myself every day has put me in a place of discomfort. I have had to overcome some major fear and trust that something bigger than me is truly at work.

From my morning morning coffee to sweet goodbye kisses from my babies to Yoga with Melissa West’s December At-Home Retreat to our community’s meditation meetup this evening…this day has been just what I needed.

My practices today have focused on restoring balance in the bladder and kidney meridians, grounding and balancing through the lower chakras, recognizing fears, and restoring energy and health. How sweet it is to connect with the Divine, when I come to my mat with no expectations and not attachment to the outcome of my practice.

Posting today’s pictures just might be the toughest yet, but I feel led to let them come from True Source. So, with my hair pulled back, in the shortest dress I own (which also isn’t very comfortable), and in my living room with all it’s imperfections I spent the day in prayer, meditation, and asana. The pictures aren’t pretty, but they are real.

Just like slavery. It is still very alive.

Currently in the State of Tennessee we have 3 missing children reported at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

  1. Gregory Knowles from Nashville, 17 years old. Missing Since Nov 24, 2016
  2. Enfinity Brook from Cordova, 17 years old. Missing since Nov 26, 2016
  3. Alysa Bishop from Franklin, 17 years old. Missing since Nov 29, 2016

These kids were not with their families on Christmas. Obviously, they are greatly missed! I am certain Merry Times were non-existent at their houses! All three of these kids are still minors. That makes them prime targets for human traffickers, who prey on youngsters’ vulnerabilities to lure them into traps where they will then be used to raise big money. Crimes involving Sex Sells and Labor of Goods are just a tad bit behind drug crimes all over the world. If the ones that are enslaved do not cooperate, the are not only abused, they are tortured until they either do or die.

My daughter is the same age as all three kids mentioned above. That’s why I’m taking a stand to help end slavery. Will you help?

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and Snow! Also, feel free to Donate to help raise funds that go toward rescuing human trafficking victims and their aftercare. A21 and IJM are doing a wonderful job!! Or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!


Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Nineteen

A Dressember Christmas Day THANK YOU!!

I’m fortunate enough to have most of my immediate family close by, and we are a close-knit bunch. I try not to take it for granted, but I know I’m guilty. Over the past two days, while spending time with my family, I have been carrying all those who are hurting or broken in my heart. No matter what the reason, there is a special place for them all there.

Every year around the holiday season, my heart hurts for all people who spend what should be a joyous time of year lonely, sad or depressed. There are so many reasons it happens, from a loved one’s death, to estranged relationships, to military sacrifices. There are addictions and arguments and resentments. There are illnesses and distances and financial obstacles. There are elderly folks whose families are too busy to visit them. Sometimes, it’s merely work that keeps people away from loved ones.

Right now I especially can’t imagine how families feel who have lost a child, or any family member to the evils of human trafficking.

THANK YOU to everyone who has helped our team Sunflowers and Snow raise awareness of how real, and how close to home human trafficking is! You have helped us raise over $2,000!!

All funds go toward the efforts of IJM and A21 to rescue human trafficking victims and to make sure they are provided the best possible resources to deal with their trauma afterward.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Thank you for your donations. Your support. Your encouragement. Your “Likes”, Shares, and Comments!!

It’s not too late! If you haven’t yet, but would like to be part of this team effort, Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join team Sunflowers and SnowDonate to help raise funds that go toward rescuing human trafficking victims and  their aftercare. Or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!


Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Eighteen


Merry Christmas Eve Dressember Style!

I’m trying to be Merry, but It’s been a rough day.

Tears and migraine and now more tears.

Sometimes, I guess, they just have to flow.

Parenthood isn’t an easy thing. Tough decisions go along with the title.

It’s tough being the only parent to make and enforce those decisions.

I try to hold it all together. Really, I do.

There is just so much to do.

All the time.

I love my kids more than ANYTHING.

Sometimes, though, I want to run away!!

I cannot imagine what a child must feel that makes him/her want to run away from home.

What are they experiencing that makes them need to get away so badly?

I’ve had a tough day here today, but I pray with everything inside me that no matter how mad I get, my kids never doubt that they are my world.

Dressember Daily Fact:

In 2014, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.

“NCMEC knows that child sex trafficking most often begins with a missing child, particularly the nation’s most vulnerable children. In 2014, one in six endangered runaways reported to NCMEC was likely a child sex trafficking victim. So far in 2015, more than 1,800 missing child cases that involve suspected or confirmed child sex trafficking have been reported to NCMEC.”

Want to help raise awareness?

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and Snow!

Feel free to Donate to help raise funds that go toward rescuing human trafficking victims and  their aftercare!

Or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!


Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Fifteen

Today’s Dressember Experience.

Well. I had a plan. I knew what I wanted to say tonight.

But I sit here, now, not knowing…

So whatever is coming, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

No gripes. No complaints.

Some confusion. Some fear.

Some happiness. Some excitement.

A more open heart than I’m use to.

New friends. New connections with old friends.

A newfound willingness to reach out.

Thankful heart. Grateful mind.

Strong determination.



A hurting heart.

Tragedy struck today.

In my own way I hope I made a slight difference to somebody, somehow.

I tried, the only way I knew how. Not according to my plan.

But when is it ever, really?

Human Trafficking.

Juveniles being bought, sold, and traded for financial gains. I am most certain that is not part of any child’s plan.

Help me Help them?

Here is more about Davidson County, with the largest human trafficking stats in TN, according to TBI NEWSROOM  – 

NASHVILLE  – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for three individuals in connection to an ongoing juvenile human trafficking investigation. Eight counts each of Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts and two counts each of Money Laundering, and another indictment with one count of Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts. Today, authorities notified all three individuals of their new charges at two local jails, where they remain incarcerated on unrelated charges. All will subsequently be booked at the Montgomery County Jail at a later date.

NASHVILLE – Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit, assisted by Drug Investigation Division Agents and the Clarksville Police Department, have arrested and charged a Clarksville man accused of trafficking a juvenile for the purpose of sex.

NASHVILLE   – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained ADDITIONAL indictments for two individuals ALREADY facing charges in connection to an ongoing TBI juvenile human sex trafficking investigation.

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and SnowDonateOr simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!




Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Fourteen

Keep scrolling if you can’t handle it. I’m gettin’ real here.

Can you imagine your daughter or son, or your next door neighbor’s child being the victim of sexual abuse?

What if it happened over and over and over and over again?

What if it happened over and over and over again and you did nothing about it?

What if nobody ever did anything about it?!

I’m wearing a dress the rest of the month to help raise awareness of human trafficking. Kids are sex slaves. Are you aware?

It is Dressember!

With my heart breaking, I’ll share straight from the TBI Newsroom  —

Davidson County has the largest numbers of human trafficking in Tennessee. Here, a couple of reports involving children.

NASHVILLE  – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has obtained indictments for two Georgia men, accused of statutory rape in an ongoing TBI human trafficking investigation.

NASHVILLE   – The Rutherford County Grand Jury returned indictments, charging with one count of Trafficking for Sexual Servitude, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Trafficking for Sexual Servitude, one count of Rape, and one count of Aggravated Statutory Rape. TBI’s casework into this specific operation has led to charges for an additional six individuals.

Care to help raise my team raise awareness of Human Trafficking?

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and SnowDonateOr simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!




Dressember 2016: Welcome To My Day Thirteen

MONDAY!! Whoa?! Who said that?! Surely it wasn’t me?! I don’t like Mondays!!

Today has been ok though. Hugs and kisses from my Grandson who is spending some time with his daddy. Unfortunately, we had to meet at the doctor because he isn’t feeling well, so prayers and healing energy very much appreciated!!

Work was pretty smooth sailing today, with most people I interacted with in happy moods. I got an unexpected text that made me smile. I had a realization that I am starting to reach out to people, not out of desperation or obligation, but because I want to! Anybody who knows me well, knows I am terribly afraid of inconveniencing people, so I am pleased to know that I don’t always! 🙂

I hate going grocery shopping. Absolutely dread it. Any kind of shopping, really, but bare cupboards and hungry kids aren’t a good match. So off I go. Right after work. I pulled into the busy, crowded parking lot and thought not so nice thoughts. I forced my anxiety away so I could go inside, and found myself chit chatting with a stranger and her little girl in the produce. On my way to the health food section, I was stopped by a lovely momma friend for a quick “gripe” about how fast all the kids are growing. I found almost everything on my list in one store. The rest could be substituted or could wait. I was headed to check out so I could go pick up my son from his friend’s where he’d already been for 24 hours, when I was approached by a grandad/dad of whom I have great admiration. I loved catching up with him about our girls.

Speaking of kids…My heart is hurting…terribly…these numbers keep growing…

Take a look at these Dressember Facts from End Slavery Tennessee : 


  • Commercial sex trafficking of minors: Fastest growing sex crime
  • 50% of victims of 27 million: Slaves in the world are children
  • 2 children are trafficked every minute

In the U.S:

  • 8,000 to 20,000: People trafficked across US borders annually
  • 12-14 years: Average age of entry into sex trafficking for girls; for boys, 11-13
  • 33%: Percent of all runaways who will be sexually exploited within 48 hours
  • 90%: Percent of runaways who ultimately end up in the commercial sex trade

In Tennessee:

  • 94: Number of children trafficked in Tennessee every MONTH.

My apologies. I cannot bring myself to look at the numbers closer to home yet.

Care to help me and my team as we wear dresses for the rest of the month for Dressember? We are raising awareness of modern-day slavery, rescuing victims from all over the world, and helping to provide after care.

We are Sunflowers and Snow. Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you our team: Sunflowers and Snow!

Would you consider making a donation?

Simply taking the time to read this is a huge help in helping raise awareness of human trafficking!





Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Twelve

Ok…so this is kinda mean…When someone comes to your door and he isn’t accustomed to you being “dressed” and it has happened two weeks in a row and you can tell he is wondering but won’t ask…and you let him wonder…

THAT and earrings today were my highlights! I haven’t worn earrings in so long I was sure I would need to re-pierce!

Then there was watching My Little Man try out for basketball. Man, that kid had some moves out there! I’m proud of him, for putting forth some good effort, regardless of the outcome! I make him nervous when watch too much, so I worked on a Yoga-To-Teach-List while there. If you have any ideas that you would like to see in a local yoga class or taught in a private/semi-private setting, let me know! I’m taking suggestions!

Even my dreaded stop at the store to buy a birthday gift for an awesome boy wasn’t so bad. I was especially delighted when said person from above had to meet up with me again and gave me money to put toward the gift. Um. Huh? What just happened? Thank you!

Off to Dinner Date with My Girl and My Little Man, where I awkwardly stood to have my picture taken, took advice from my littles to throw up gang signs, and realized the only signs I know signal “I love you!” Yes, though, LOVE is the message I would prefer to share!

Day ended by dropping My Little Man at a sleepover, and hanging with My Girl vegging in front of the television where I looked up some human trafficking facts for the Knoxville area.

Remember this from WATE.COM back in the summer?!

“32 arrested in human trafficking sting operation, 2 pastors charged with trafficking

A children’s pastor at Grace Baptist Church and a volunteer creative pastor at Lifehouse Church in Oak Ridge were charged with trafficking

WATE 6 On Your Side Staff Published: May 20, 2016, 9:11 am  Updated: May 23, 2016, 4:31 am” Read more here.


Human trafficking is happening in our own backyard. It is much, much easier to look the other way when I think of it happening globally. Yet, I’m bringing it home. THIS is where I live! THIS is where my kids live.

Care to help me and my team as we wear dresses for the rest of the month for Dressember? We are raising awareness of modern-day slavery, rescuing victims from all over the world, and helping to provide after care.

We are Sunflowers and Snow. Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join us: Sunflowers and SnowDonate, or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!

Namaste, Nikki