Go Deep


My 6-year-old: “Mom, want to play dinosaur battle with me?

Me: “Sure.”

And so we had a dinosaur battle this morning on our kitchen table before school.

Why am I sharing this?

Because there is a lot happening in my world, as I know it is in your world right now. This week I found out a loved one lost their father, I spoke with a dear friend whose loved one came in minutes of dying of an overdose, another friend is new to sobriety, another friend’s mom is battling cancer, and another shared of her recent miscarriage, a couple of friends are in the process of moving, we have family and friends who are being impacted by the hurricane, and of course the anniversary of 9/11…to name a few things on my heart.

Yes, this is a lot…

Yet I sit and play dinosaurs.

What I have recognized on this side of cancer is every day there are struggles, there is suffering, there is pain, and there is hurt. And truthfully, I am drawn to go close to the pain because I believe that is where we can be transformed into the best version of ourselves and live with greater purpose.

Yet I am unable to carry these on my shoulders as they are not broad, or strong, enough to carry this load.

I need to lay these down somewhere. But where?

Recently when I was feeling overwhelmed by life’s struggles, I asked God, “how was I so peaceful throughout cancer yet am not in that place today?”

The visual that came to me was of me sitting with God in my prayer chair in Boston.

With that visual I knew I needed to get below the surface of the waves of these struggles and go deeper with God.

I envisioned myself being on the top of choppy waters in an ocean trying to stay afloat. But then I purposefully went under the waves. There was a quiet, a calm, a surrender under the waves. This is where I lived last year. Not in the waves but in the calm, where God is.

I share this with you if you too have a lot coming your way. And please don’t ladder the struggles. I know I named some heavy ones above but I too am a stay at home Mom who is navigating life with my children, schedules, activities, work, etc.

So please, whatever is heavy on our heart, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

No really.

Pause from what you are doing.

Take a deep breath...or two.

And remove yourself from the surface and the choppy waves of these struggles. Go deeper, grounding yourself where things are calm and quiet.

And pray (aka talk with God).

May we give God all that is on our hearts so we don’t have to carry the weight of load. May we ask for wisdom and strength so we may continue to show up and meet this day and walk beside others along their journey. Also, by laying these struggles down and giving them to God, may we trust God has these struggles in His hands so we may not feel weighted in this day and still experience joy, like having a dinosaur battle after breakfast with a loved one💕🙏💕

With love and hope,


Building Blocks of Faith

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I received this gift from a dear friend today for my new cloffice😉💝

I am sharing because the words are so potent I thought someone else may too need to hear them today.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

And no matter the challenge in front of us, may we choose not to let it trip us up. Instead may we use this challenge to grow our faith and trust that our struggles have a deeper purpose than what we see on the surface.

With love and hope,

May We Never Forget

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We promised to never forget so today I want to honor two people whose names need to never be forgotten.

The first name is Harold Coyle. He is my uncle and an NYFD fireman from Ladder 18 who ran towards danger that day. We are thankful he made it out seconds before the second tower fell. He helped many to safety that day yet he lost many friends. Although he survived, he walks beside us in life today with this day forever etched in his soul. He continues to move towards the pain in life, coming beside those in need; including me last year. He is a quiet hero whose name and story we must always remember.

The second name is Amy Toyen. She is a daughter, sister and best friend to Brandy. She is from my hometown and tragically lost her life that morning while attending a meeting in one of the towers. May we always remember her name and her story. May we also remember that her parents, sister and friends walk around everyday with this tragic loss on their hearts. This statue is outside the library is my hometown, honoring her memory. Although many walk by it daily, I pray they come to know Amy’s story so we may never forget her and what happened that day.

Two heroes. One still with us and one who has passed. Remember their names and tell their stories. Leave below the names and stories of those you want remembered from this day in our history.

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May we never forget them for each of their stories brings us back to that day and gives us perspective for today. Although our hearts were heavy, there was a unity we experienced in our homes, communities and nation that made all the walls fall away. We saw beyond the surface and into each other’s hearts that day. We hurt together yet we were united by our hurt.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we never forget this day, the names and stories of the people we lost, and the one’s who ran towards the danger. May we never forget the survivors and all the families and friends that walk among us every day with this day forever etched in their soul. May we never forget the unity we experienced that day. 

May we never forget🙏

With love and hope,

Thank You Antoinette...


This weekend one of our ACC warriors passed away. I only knew her online but my heart aches hearing of her loss. She was a beautiful soul who radiated love through her words and actions.

Today, in honor of her I want to take three lessons she taught me in life and share them with you.

1. Experience life to the fullest.

She was in hospice and chose to get up and have a trip of a lifetime rather than just lay waiting for her time to come.

2. Scatter seeds of love and joy.

As she met death eye to eye, she was still able to scatter love and joy to those around her...she even had a celebration of life where she gathered with her loved ones before her passing.

3. Use your unique gifts to leave the world more beautiful.

She is an artist. And her unique gift and creations make the world more beautiful and will remain with us now that she has passed.

I am thankful for Antoinette for what she taught me and I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we absorb these life lessons she leaves behind and live them out ourselves today. We may or may not be on the edge of life but why not live like we are everyday?

With love and hope,

Another step forward...

Another step forward😊🙏💝

Here we go...📝💻📚💕

Use What We Have Been Given


Yes, this is me in a closet. It may look like I am crying or praying but truth is I was laughing hysterically when Stephen took this picture of me in my new office last night. Yep, this is my new (unfinished) workspace😊

I came home last night from a meeting to this; a shelf in my closet. This may not mean much but to me this is a lot. Some may be ashamed of such a space, but not me! I am celebrating the start of something new. A space where I can put my work stuff in our home without it being scattered everywhere. A designated spot that says, I am really doing this writing and speaking thing and it’s not just a hobby but my work.

I have written three books, one from laying across my bed at my children’s nap times, the second at my kitchen table, and my third from a chair in our dining room. When I see this I think, what will I do from this space?! 

I know this may seem silly but to have a space that is my own in our home to dedicate to writing and sharing with more and more people is such a gift.

I share this with you in case you too work from home and don’t have a space to call your own. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

And may we remember that it isn’t about our external environment. It isn’t about what we have. The heart of it is really about who we are and what we choose to do with what we have been given.

With love and hope,

Fast Forward and Rewind


When I first laid on my bed back in 2011 and started writing as I processed my Nana’s passing, I didn’t know I was writing a book.

Yet as I wrote and processed my emotions, I distinctly remember writing that as I watched my Nana at the end of her life, I realized that I needed to fast forward to the end of my life and ask myself, ‘how can I come to the end of my life and be at peace and at ease within?’ Then I rewinded back to the present and told myself that what I do today matters. I can either take steps to get closer to that goal of experiencing more peace within, or take steps that are further from it. I chose to take steps towards it and then last year happened, and as I met the edge, I did have a peace within...yet after treatments ended I had trouble planning for the future. 

Today I am ready to plan ahead once again, personally and professionally🙏

To know what I need to do today, I also need to know where I am heading. Therefore, I am looking ahead to where I want to be and am then rewinding to today and basing my choices today with that end goal in mind.

I share this with you in case you too are unsure of your next steps in this new season. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we fast forward and ask ourselves “what is our end goal?” (It may be personally or professionally, or both!) Then may we work backwards from there to see the steps we need to make today, to move one step closer towards our goal.

We may make our plans, but may we always be sure we allow God to direct our steps.

With love and hope,

Find Your Krew

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A few days ago I saw there was a walk/run for ACC in Dunn, NC. I turned to Stephen and said, “mind if we go? “ He graciously said, “let’s do it” so we left the Smokies a day early to come to meet other ACC survivors, fighters, and the family members of Kellie, who lost her battle to ACC in 2014. Her family now carries on her memory through this race, which Kellie started to connect with other ACC warriors and their families.

We had the privilege last night to have dinner with these inspiring warriors. We heard each other’s stories, we laughed and cried together and bridged hearts for life with one another.

I share this with you today to say no matter your struggle, there are others out there who are fighting or have fought a similar battle. 

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

I strongly encourage you to seek out your crew. They may be close by, they may be far, they may be online (where I found my ACC warriors and family), but they are out there.

None of us need to walk through our struggles alone. There are others who have been through it, or who are going through it, who are wanting and willing to walk beside us, and our families.

As I stood there second in line, with one of the most recent cases of ACC, I saw the people behind me who have my back, and I was able to say to the newest diagnosed member of our ACC family that I have her back now too. And my family was able to see that we have an even bigger family than we ever knew💝

What a gift a community like this is. I wholeheartedly believe there is a community out there for you too, that can support you during this time.

I’ll be praying beside you that you too find your crew, like I found mine, Kellies Krew.

With love and hope,

Unplug to Get Connected

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This is the place we called home for the past week. There are so many more lessons I learned on this trip than I’ve shared with you. I caught myself this week when I would get an idea, I would just want to start writing. Yet this trip I am purposefully trying to unplug and be present and connect with those I love, rather than hop on a device to write.

It’s a practice, not a perfect one. Yet as our kids are getting older and they will be wanting social media at some point, I want to show them by example, that you can be with who you are with and connect online another time.

With that said, we are on the road again and I am going to hop off of here and enjoy this time in the car with my crew.

I hope you will join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we grow more conscious of unplugging from our screens so we can connect with those who are beside us. May we be present with who we are with and nourish the relationships with our loved ones, showing them the most important connections you can make are offline.

With love,

P.S. The lessons I’ve learned here I’ll share soon😊

Rafting Life Lessons

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This afternoon went down to the river for a little white water rafting☀️At one point we had a chance to get out and swim. One child was hesitant. I asked “if they got to the end of the rafting trip if they will have wished they got in?” The answer was, “yes.” So rather than trying to talk my child into doing it, I walked the walk and jumped in the cold water myself. Within seconds, they were in too💝

I share this with you for the lessons I learned in this moment, in hopes it may encourage another person today.

First, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

And may we take a moment to absorb the truth in these life lessons...

1. Let’s not get to the end of the ride wishing we had done things. May we do things while you have the opportunity to.

2. As a parent, my words come second to my actions.

(I wish every moment of parenting was as clear for me as today’s was😊🙃😂)

Here’s to living life with a full heart and loving one another where we are at💕🙏💕

With love and hope,

P.S. If anyone is planning to go Rafting in the Smokies, ask for Johnny B.! He was a great rafting guide🥇