I’m burning the midnight oil tonight with my better half sleeping next to me and my wonderpup snoring at my feet. Both of the girls are settled for the night as well.

Today was our sixth anniversary and we had a fabulous day together, watching movies and talking and just hanging out. (And how well does my husband know me? One of my gifts was a yoga dog. Yassss.)

I’ve been doing some thinking back and looking through my iTunes, as I tend to think in songs. Actually, the first weekend I met my husband, he made a Pat Green CD for me and then he gave me some amazing mix CDs when we went on our first date. Our music is super important to us.

(By the way, if you want to read a wonderful book about music and mixes and memories, check out Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mix Tape. You’ll be so glad you did.)

As I was reminiscing, I hunted down a blog post I wrote on my old site when Prince died to find this list of my 16 All Time Favorite Songs (it was meant to be ten but I could only narrow it down to 16):

My Ten 16 All Time Favorite Songs (in no actual order)

1. Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin

2. When A Heart Breaks – Ben Rector

3. These Days – Foo Fighters

4. Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones (but The Sundays version is my current favorite)

5. Oklahoma Sky – Miranda Lambert

6. Purple Rain – Prince

7. Desperately Wanting – Better Than Ezra

8. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (but the Rufus Wainwright version is much loved too)

9. Mad World – Gary Jules

10. The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie/Nirvana. I love, love, love Nirvana’s Unplugged version of this song but there will never be another Bowie either.

11. Milwaukee – Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

12. Murder In The City – The Avett Brothers

13. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

14. Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) – Don McLean

15. Waiting for My Real Life To Begin – Colin Hay

16. Give Me Novocaine – Green Day

Now I would add a 17th: Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.

Also, here’s the full post if anyone is curious:


One of the songs on this list, Miranda Lambert’s Oklahoma Sky, was also on our Wedding Mix CD that we gave to our guests as favors. I put it on there because it was exactly what I wanted to say to Courtney on our wedding day and it’s still perfect for what I want to say today (and that’s why it’s always and forever my favorite).

I am so incredibly blessed to have married my best friend and to be together through the best and the worst. We have faced some unbelievable challenges with my health and issues with kids and just life and my husband has been my rock. No one else knows me so well or knows how to make me laugh so hard. I am so thankful to get to do life together.

I’m counting my blessings for the past six years and looking forward to many more.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.


happy 4th!

Lest I forget, as I’m drinking a LaCroix and trying to keep my fur babies from freaking the freak out with all the fireworks around, I must share one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists on this day:

Happy 4th, y’all!

dreaming big and being grateful

I had already scribbled down some notes to write a post about dreams when I sat down to watch last Sunday’s sermon from my church (I haven’t been in awhile because my RA has been running amuck, amuck, amuck and I hope my bestie and I will remedy that this upcoming Sunday).

Now I know for sure I’m on the right track because the sermon – which I will link at the end of this post – was on dreaming big dreams – AND, as I just wrote a few posts ago about bucket lists, my pastor, PC, expanded on those as well. Some things are just a total God thing.

The reason dreams being realized is on my heart is that I am feeling so blessed to begin seeing one of my biggest come true in that a second piece I had submitted for publication – before I knew that the first was accepted – is also going to be published. It is also about autoimmune disease as I wanted to be sure I shared that message publicly. Now that I have, I am finishing up some work on other topics close to my heart to send in and I can’t wait to share them as well.

This has also made me feel more confident going forward with my book and I really believe in what I am working on. I am so so thankful to be writing now.

I’ve shared this before and I love it – and, as such, if I can call myself a writer before 40, I’m satisfied. 😉

And, as for the bucket lists, PC reinforced to write them down with pen and paper – it makes a difference – and mark off as you go. And add on as well. And put big impossible things on there too. And have faith.

So I’ll be handwriting all of my list today. And continuing to work on my new things. And celebrating my second sober Independence Day. And taking our girls to see the big fireworks show downtown for the first time. And giving thanks for it all.

Happy Fourth of July, y’all!

Be well, be safe, make your lists, and dream big!

Grace and Blessings.



changing our perspective on addiction

When I stopped drinking, there were challenges for sure, my anxiety being the biggest, but more rewards by far.


My head was clearer, my body more healthy (as much as possible for me), my spirit more free.

Still, I realize that I have a tremendous support system that made it so much better for me – and that there were other points in my life where I not only could not have stopped so easily  but I also drank much more and much heavier alcohol during those times.

I say this because I just watched this wonderful TED talk:

At the end, Johann states, “the opposite of addiction is connection” and I am realizing how true that is.

Now, when I feel overwhelmed with my health issues and anxiety disorder, I have my husband and daughter at home. I have my emotional support dog, Henry the Wonderpup. I have my amazing family, who live about two hours away but would be in the car in a flash if need be. I have wonderful friends who message often. I have my bestie, Al, who lives a couple of miles away and who’s door is always open. I have my bestie, Ginny, who lives a few hours away but is always on call. I am never alone, even on my yuckiest days.

However, many who are battling addiction, whether it is to alcohol or opioids or  amphetamines or another substance, feel that they are on their own. This is made worse by the fact that is often SO frustrating to deal with a person when they are in the grips of addiction that we naturally push them away. It is an incredibly difficult situation for all who are involved. That is why support is needed both for addicts and for their loved ones.

As it seems that I can’t go more than a few days without hearing of a death directly or indirectly linked to substance abuse and I hear of so much suffering related to addiction and I am so incredibly grateful to have been set free myself, I will continue to preach the “help is available for everyone” gospel as long as these fingers can type.

If you are struggling, you are NOT alone. Even if you don’t have a support system at this time in your family and friends, support is available to you:





For family members and friends: al-anon.org

There are many other support groups available online as well. Just do a search.

As always, if you are in crisis, present to the nearest emergency room. They WILL help you regardless of your insurance situation.

No matter how you feel, you are never alone.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.



Why I Am Done With Young Living

First, let me say that I adore essential oils. I truly believe in them – along side, not in place of, modern medicine. I use them for many things in my daily life: lavender to help my anxiety, lemongrass to combat the swelling from several of my RA meds, grapefruit in my water.

Not only do I love them, my youngest daughter has her own fabulous business making the most amazing rollerballs with EO’s. We really dig them.

And, when I began staying at home last year, I started using Young Living products.

Young Living is a Multi Level Marketing company founded by Gary Young, who recently passed away (that will be relevant in a bit). In addition to essential oils, YL also sells vitamins, an antioxidant juice it really pushes that I want to discuss, a line of infant care products, pet care products, and several other things.

The primary sales approach of YL, at least initially, is the starter kit. For $160, a person gets 11 essential oils, a diffuser, and some samples. They can also then buy other products at the wholesale price and are encouraged to sign up for the essential rewards program – which greatly benefits the person who signed them up. Finally, they can then begin building their own business.

Initially, I decided to start a Young Living business because it is the largest EO company in the world and I do believe in EO’s and natural health.

However, some things started bothering me pretty quickly:

  1. I was added to a few Facebook groups of people in my “upline” and started getting notifications literally 8-10 times a day from them pushing certain things. It was a constant “sell, sell, sell” feel and I am not a salesperson.
  2. Young Living’s NingXia Red – Oh. My. Word. YL sells these bottles of fruit juice – and I don’t care how many goji berries or antioxidants it has, it’s fruit juice – for two 750ml bottles for $96 retail or $73 wholesale. That’s ridiculous enough – but what REALLY bothers me is that it is marketed to make moms feel like total crap if they can’t afford this for their families. I mean, like their whole family is just going to up and die without this stuff. It really sucks.
  3. The same goes for YL’s infant care products. $11 per pack of baby wipes. And moms are made to feel like bad moms for using those store-bought “chemical-y” baby wipes on their babies. I don’t know about y’all, but, if I had a baby now, $11 baby wipes would not be in my budget and I refuse to make other moms think they need to worry about ridiculous things like that.
  4. The “seed to seal” YL-is-the-only-pure-oil-company garbage. Ummm, NO. I am going to tell other people the truth and try to help them whenever I can. I am a mom on a budget and I buy what works best for my family. While you should never buy the $4 Walmart “oils”, the Now Oils at Whole Foods and Sprouts are great and I buy them all the time. So, of course, I absolutely tell other people that.  And when friends have wanted a few YL oils, I’ve just let them use my discount – because the markup is outrageous.

All that said, when Gary Young, the founder, suddenly passed away, I was really surprised and was looking online for more information when I came across an article detailing his rather shocking life story, including a criminal past for practicing medicine without a license and lying about his education:

Gary Young Article 

Then I did some more research and discovered that Young Living is not a member of the Better Business Bureau.

And I knew for sure I was leaving.

I went into my profile and cleared out my “essential rewards” order – meaning they would ship me nothing this month. When I did, I got a pop up “warning” me that I would lose my reward points and not be eligible to be paid commission – which I don’t get anyway. I clicked okay and went on about my business.

And, on the day that would have normally been my order day, what did Young Living do? They pulled last months order – which was higher than normal because it included some items for a friend – and reordered those things. They then ran it through Paypal – which I have since stopped using – for payment as well.

I was totally shocked when I got the email “confirming my order.”

I am disputing it with Paypal but who knows?

I have now called to formally end my relationship with Young Living and let them know that it is abundantly clear to me WHY they are not a member of the Better Business Bureau.

I’ll be sending some emails to their execs as well – even though I know they don’t care. It’ll make me feel better.

This is just another example of the poor business practices of Young Living.

While they do have a few products and blends that I will miss, there is nothing that could make the pushy sales tactics and grossly overpriced products worthwhile.

If you want to use EO’s, I have a ton of resources. Email me. I’ll be glad to look anything up and point you in the right direction if I can – and you don’t even have to buy anything from me or sell your firstborn to afford a bottle of fruit juice. 😉


The past few weeks have been a time of major transition in my world.

I’ve gone from being an integrative nutrition student to the beginnings of a holistic health practice (my joy!).

Our youngest daughter has wrapped up all of her schoolwork for this school year and I am officially out of the middle school business forever (hallelujah!).

And, after a blowup of epic proportions, my son has permanently moved out of our house and to his fathers.

As he and his step mom picked up his things today (two weeks after he left), I realized that this should have happened much earlier. He wanted to move a long time ago and would have been happier and the positive shift in our home is palpable. This is what was supposed to be.

Still, the stress of the blowup and getting him moved and having our home in disarray has not been kind to my body and I will be spending the weekend trying to put out a nasty flare. That was to be expected.

After I hopefully have this contained and my pain under control, the girls and I have some fabulous simple summer plans:

  • We have found some amazing free summer activities around town, like an art class for Laura that she is really excited about.
  • I am leading my first 3 Month Group Coaching Session – and I am super stoked about it. I have several other things in the works at Leilani that I can’t wait to share as well.
  • Sara and I are working on learning a language and starting a super nifty cooking project also.
  • We are all starting a swimming for exercise program.
  • My book. My book. My book.
  • We are going to binge Gilmore Girls because. . . Summer.
  • We are just going to have a happy Summer and enjoy each other.

Happy Friday, y’all! Have a super safe and fun holiday weekend!

Grace and blessings.


graduation and gratitude

I’m hoping this post makes even a little bit of sense because I’m writing as I’m getting ready for our first event this morning with Sara taking her EO rollerballs and me taking all of my coaching stuff and there is so much to do. We are excited and super busy and running.

This week has been that sort of week.

Sara – who started public homeschool earlier this year due to her health issues – had to have all of her school work in by midnight last night. And, as a lil’ stressball when it comes to school (all internal – not coming from me and her dad), she has worked and worried and worked and worried like crazy all week. And, of course, she made all A’s. Despite having been struck with RA in the middle of her 8th grade year. I am so proud of her – and so glad she has a break now too.

And, for me, it has been a week that I have wanted and dreamed of for so many years that I am just overjoyed that it is here.

See, Thursday night was our official End of Year Celebration at school. That’s right. I’m officially an official Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.


As I wrote in my post back when I was SO excited that I was getting to start IIN, I’ve wanted to be a holistic health coach since I realized there was such a thing back in the early 2000’s when I saw Alex Jamieson in Supersize Me.

At the time, the situation I was in was incredibly difficult and I was in nursing school and I was quickly told that would never happen.

And, though I am incredibly thankful for nursing school – I got a full scholarship at a time when I was supporting a family on my own and desperately needed it – and will always be grateful for God’s provision, I always wanted to do something a little different. Something that was more me I think.


So, 15 years later, despite some major health challenges this year, I have graduated IIN. And I am overcome with gratitude.

I can’t believe I am putting together my own coaching programs and planning my own practice and getting ready to coach others on a holistic path. It’s incredible.

And, not only did no one in my life ever say anything negative about it, my precious family has done EVERYTHING to support me and to help make this dream come true. I couldn’t have done it without them. And I am just so so thankful to them and for them.

And I also realize that, as life is happening for me and not to me, I would not be the health coach I can now be were it not for my life experiences and my years of nursing and the years of waiting to get here. So I am grateful for that as well.

And now I have to get back to work, since I am t-minus 5 hours and counting.

I just wanted to take a moment to say, “Thank You.”

grad 22

Be well, everybody. Happy Saturday!

Grace and blessings.