Meet Chomps


Meet Chomps.

He is my fourth child.  And yes, I just said “he” about a stuffed alligator.😏

We got him for our youngest in NC this summer after we moved my parents.  Chomps has become a part of the family and even made our Christmas card this year🤷‍♀️

My youngest made Chomps an office recently which included a name plate, a pen and paper, phone, a clock, and in the left back if you zoom in you’ll see a picture of Matty and Chomps. Oh, and Chomps is dressed for the job, with his collared shirt and watch on💝

Why am I sharing this?

Because my son used his time, energy, skills and resources to make this office for his buddy.  The whole process brought him so much joy.

As we move forward with our resolutions this new year I want to encourage you to invest your time, energy, skills and resources as needed to grow into your best self.  Yet I also want to invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

As much as we hope to achieve personal goals this new year, may we not lose sight that part of our growing into our best self is to be a part of helping others grow into their best self. Making that office brought so much joy and purpose to Matty. May we too find joy and our greater purpose by using our time, energy, skills and resources to help others.

Even though Chomps is a stuffed alligator, Matty’s love and care for him has enhanced our life.  And I hope their story enhances yours💕🙏💕

With love and hope,


“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

A Real Gift


Have you ever had someone come into your life that you know was placed there by God?

This summer while I was at the ACC walk in North Carolina there was a dinner for ACC fighters, survivors and our families. Our seats were assigned and we were placed with someone I had met through our ACC group on fb who has a heart of gold and a great sense of humor.  There was also a couple at the table with us that we didn’t know.

We all introduced ourselves and over the course of the dinner we learned more and more about one another.

In my book, Our Struggles Have Purpose, I talk about Divine Appointments God has orchestrated in my cancer journey.  Well, he’s still at work.

Shalil and her husband Frank’s story couldn’t be more parallel to ours.  Shalil and I both had tumors in our palates and we were able to bond over things no one else understands such how our voices don’t project as well with an obturator, how drinking from a straw doesn’t always work to our husbands now checking their own palates on a regular basis for lumps or bumps.   

You may be thinking that all of us with ACC have our tumors in our palates.  But the truth is, in that room of 20+ of us, I believe we were the only ones with it in our palates.  ACC is unpredictable and others have had their tumors in their scalp, eyes, ears, sinuses, tongue, jaw, breast, lung, and more.  So the fact Shalil and I were randomly placed together was more unique than one may initially expect. 

Plus, it wasn’t just the two of us that had a lot in common, our husbands had a ridiculous amount in common as well.  Both are Navy veterans, they had the same jobs on nuclear submarines, both had wives with ACC and both have been pillars of support to us during our walks with cancer to name a few.

This week Shalil and Frank were up in Connecticut visiting their son, Matthew😊, who is too a sailor and stationed in Groton where Stephen was based.

We were able to connect again in person and the four of us spoke for hours about things most others don’t understand like the zingers of nerve pain we both get, having trouble puckering our lips depending on how the obturator fits that day to what life is like after treatments end and living life the best we can both not having had clear margins and the uncertainty of a reoccurrence of ACC.

I share this with you today because there are people who understand us and our story at a richness and depth others don’t.

I wholeheartedly believe God places people next to us in life for a reason.  Yes, we were placed at the same table at an ACC event but maybe someone is placed beside you in line today at the grocery store, post office or the person is your co-worker you sit beside every day.

I invite you to join me today to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to the divine appointments God has waiting for us today.  May we engage in conversations with new people placed along our paths. Who knows, we may make friends for life who understand us like no one else does.  

With love and hope,


Gratitude not Regret

2018 winter walk.jpg

Today our crew took a refreshing walk. I will not pretend all were on board for this to take place. It’s never easy to get going but in the end, we are all smiles and grateful we did it. (Plus our relationships are stronger for it.)

I share this with you today as we begin to think about our new year ahead and the goals we will be setting. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we remember the first step towards any goal is the hardest to take. The reasons not to do things often outnumber the reasons to do them. Yet the truth is taking the easy way out is what inhibits us from meeting our goals. Therefore, it is worth fighting through the resistance to take the first step towards accomplishing the goal at hand.

Whatever goals we set for ourselves, may we remember to amplify our why behind the goal and turn down the excuses so we can look back with gratitude and not regret.

Here’s to our next, and hardest, step forward...

With love and hope,

What is Christmas?


Christmas has meant many things to me throughout my life - a day for loved ones to gather together, a day to give gifts to those we love, a day to receive gifts from loved ones and a day where we lay down all that can be second, and put one another first.

Christmas is a day we express our love to one another through our words and actions.

This was my view of Christmas for most of my life. Yes, there was church involved but that was secondary to what Christmas meant to me.

Yet for the past number of years, Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning…

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus being born.

Now if someone said that to me years ago, I would have politely smiled and moved on. And maybe some of you will stop reading after this line.

I understand.

But for those who keep reading, let me share with you what Christmas is.

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus being born. Why is this significant? Because Jesus came into the world to bring light into the darkness. To show us a way to live that would give our lives purpose and meaning. For me, coming to know, love, and trust in who Jesus is has transformed my life.

How did Jesus transform my life?

He is a wonderful counselor.

I share my honest and raw heart and he listens. I am fully known, flaws and all, but I know he still loves me. To be fully known and still be accepted and loved as I am transformed my heart. Now I hope to live and give this same gift to others that Jesus gives to me.

He is our mighty God.

As I walked through cancer, knowing God was in control gave me a peace beyond understanding. He is in control of the number of my days. Rather than clinging to having more days in life, I have opened my palms up to Him and said, “let your will be done.” And while I am here may I live out the love I get from you, towards others. To trust in God wholeheartedly, and place my life in His mighty hands, has transformed me to live and love more freely.

He is our everlasting Father.

When we think of our father, we may have mixed feelings that arise. Some of us may have had an incredible fathers growing up, others of us may have had a father who were abusive to us, or somewhere in between. Maybe some of you had fathers who were not present in your life. No matter our story with our father, God tells us that he is not only our Father, but our everlasting Father. He is there for us anytime, any day. To know God is always there for me helped me know I am never alone. In my walk through life I often have felt alone, even when surrounded by loved ones. Yet now when those moments happen, I turn to God, my everlasting Father, for wisdom and guidance. Trusting I am not alone, and He is with me always, brings me comfort and peace.

He is the Prince of Peace.

What does society say will bring us peace? Money, titles, things.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14:27

Rather than following society for peace, I started following Jesus. And since following Jesus I have truly started experiencing more peace within. Don’t get me wrong, I am a wife, a mom, a business owner. I don’t float around all day in this serene space. Yet, when I start feeling troubled, or fear begins to grip my heart, rather than running to the store to buy things, which I used to do, I…

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

I sit with Jesus for a while and am reminded that He is a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

I share this with you today to show how Jesus’ life transformed my life. Yet he wasn’t born to just transform my life, he was born to be a light to all, including you.

No matter what Christmas means to you and your family, I hope you have a joyful day with your loved ones and that the light of Jesus’ love shine into your life.

With love,


“For a child is born to us, A son is given to us; And the government Is upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6

Peace I Give You

2018 peace mug.jpg

Yes, there are things to do today but there is no better way to start our day than to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

God is able to give us a calm within even when there is a storm outside. And may we remember even in the busy we can be a vessel of love to those we cross paths with yet we can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. So let’s fill up on love this morning so we can be love today wherever our to do list takes us.

With love and hope,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled....” - John 14:27

Gifts From the Heart

2018 matty present.jpg

Me: “Is there anything you want to get your brother or sister for Christmas?”

Our 6-year old: “I made them gifts.”

As I looked at the gift I thought to myself, it may look different but it’s filled with love. Then I gave him a hug and said, “that was so thoughtful of you.”

I am sharing this in case any of you, like me, needed that reminder. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we remember the best gifts we can give are from the heart and filled with love❤️🎁❤️

With love,

Simple Joys

2018 gingerbreadf house.jpg

Often it’s the simplest things that will make the biggest impact on our hearts, and on others💕🙏💕

With love and hope,

Believe in the Light

believe candle.jpeg

My heart is heavy today for various reasons.

Something that is becoming very clear to me is that the struggles on people’s hearts are there no matter the season of the year. And even though this time of year is known to be the most wonderful time of the year, the truth is this time of year can amplify the struggles on our hearts.

When I was sitting trying to work today, my mind just kept spinning in circles back to those who are struggling right now.

I couldn’t concentrate so I decided to lay the work down and got up to light a candle.


Because I needed to visually remind myself that there is light available even in the midst of the dark times. I needed to press pause on my circling thoughts, take a deep breath and meditate on truth. I needed to remember to seek the light of God’s love so that the heaviness doesn’t stop me from moving forward; although admittedly I was a bit stuck for a while today.

If you too have a heavy heart today for whatever reason, I wanted to invite you to join me to…

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we choose to seek the light of God’s love in the darkness. May we remember that although there are heavy times and dark seasons, God’s love and truth is there for us to hold on to to lift us up out of the mire and put us back on solid ground. May we believe in the light rather than allow the darkness to become our truth.

With love and hope,


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” - John 1:5

Imperfection Is Beautiful

2018 advent calendar.jpg

Years ago I started to make this board for my family to share how what we see around this time of year is significance to the Christmas story.

As I started making it my two oldest were about 3 and 4. They asked to help.

I honestly cringed on the inside. I wanted to make this board and make it beautiful.

I gulped down my discomfort and said yes. They had so much fun glueing and coloring. They were experiencing joy while I admittedly was cringing at times within because it wasn’t what I had hoped for.

You know why?

I was seeking perfection.
They found joy in imperfection, which in their eyes was perfection.

All these years later, we still put this out every year to read through each envelope. And when I look at it, my heart smiles because it IS beautiful. Not because it is the most visually appealing, but because my kids hands were a part of making it.

I share this with you today because maybe you too have moments where perfection robs you of the fun and joy that is available.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we all see the beauty in imperfection. It allows us to let go of the tension that can come with trying to be perfect and allows us to freely experience the joy available to us, and others.

Wishing you a joyful day💕🙏💕

With love and hope,

Give Love Get Love

2018 teatime give love get love.jpg

This time of year I remember how I would often avoid making eye contact with whomever is collecting for a cause when I would leave stores. Having just spent money in the store, sometimes having hot flashes from overspending, it was easier to walk by them than to give.

Through my growing relationship with God I have learned now to give when entering the store. In being able to give to those who have needs first, I have more joy in my heart than when I used to leave the stores with a cart full and avoid giving.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we practice this type of giving this season. May we give first with no expectation of receiving anything in return. May we trust that when we give love, we will get love, which is more valuable than any thing we could purchase.

With love and hope,

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” - Proverbs 11:25