some things just can’t be categorized.

She was born to create.

There were no obstacles that deter her from being who she was meant to be.

She is here to make a difference.

She is here to bring peace.

In times of uncertainty, she relied on her passion to see her through.

In those times, she created waves of love.

Waves of change. Waves of hope.

She was a powerhouse of strength to those who can’t stand alone;
The Spirit of peace to those living in turmoil;
She was the creator of happiness for others to enjoy.

She was a dreamer – she recognized hope in the darkness.

She was created for more.

  • artwork by unknown artist.

Allow me to (re)introduce myself.

I’m Jessi. I carry many titles, all with significant meaning to my life.  I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, writer, coach and entrepreneur.  With each title comes a chapter of my story that makes me the unique individual that I am.

My story began quite simple.  I’m from a Christian family, two parents (still married), the youngest of two children, and, as luck would have it, the only girl in my immediate family.  So, you can imagine that my days were spent playing dolls alone or in the company of my brother and male cousins that I most likely forced to interact in whatever activity I was engaged in at the time. (and by forced I mean that literally.  I was a bit bossy).

I was a typical child, I like to think.  One that would rather play alone instead of doing something I found mundane or nonsensical.  In that, I may not have been typical.  Or at least not accommodating to those around me.  Yet my outlook has been the same for as long as I can remember.. “I just want to have fun”!

Through many trials, falls, bumps in my road, I do believe that I came out on top.  I made my mistakes, quite a few, but I regret nothing because I have found value in every lesson life has taught me.  I never felt my worth would come perfectionism, yet that my authenticity carried my truth. I was unique in my own right. I never vied to be like anyone else; I was content being me.

Fast forward many years, and today I am more comfortable in my skin than ever before.  To be fair, the comfort that I feel at this stage in my life hadn’t always been there.  I was plagued with discontent for a time.  I felt a sense of needing more in every stage.  I allowed myself to fall into a pit of despair, removing the vital aspects of myself that led to self sabotage.  After a period of being at my lowest self, I woke to a new version of myself that was screaming to be heard.  I made peace with who I was, what I wanted, what I needed, and realized through it all that none of it was possible until I learned to love myself, weakness and strengths alike, before I could press on with my future.  Something I never knew was as pertinent as self love, I had never fully engaged in this before.

As each chapter of our stories bring a highlight, this was mine.  I found myself.  I learned to stop saying ‘yes” to everyone except myself, and to start taking care of my needs.  I learned that as an emotionally driven personality, I needed to learn to control my emotions in order to gain control of myself to reshape my world.  I never felt truly comfortable relying on another person to take full care of me, yet I had done so for so long, only to be disappointed when let down because I expected more than others could give; especially when you don’t know yourself fully and what fuel needs to be added to make you light up.

The expectations I put on others was outlandish in comparison to the standards I held for myself.  Because I didn’t understand the concept of true self-love, I couldn’t fully embrace it.  Once I became aware, I fully submerged myself in learning everything I could to break my barriers and completely accept who I was about to become.  I needed to release my ego to begin living life out of love, instead of pride.

The journey wasn’t easy, but, as the saying goes, nothing worth having is.  When reteaching yourself how to react differently than your old tendencies, life becomes interesting.  Its as if you have an entirely new perspective on life with fresh eyes!  Imagine, if you will, being new to a country, unable to speak the native language and the feeling of amazement in everything you encounter.  That’s what it felt like to rewire my brain to see the positive in absolutely everything.  The process was interesting and daunting all the same.  Yet after a few weeks, I realized that my life was seemingly taking better avenues than ever before.  With a new perspective, I was able to let go of the hindering old habits, making way for better responses and a perspective of love.

To say I gained a new outlook would be an understatement.  I gained more than an outlook, I gained a new life.  The old me was mad.  All. The. Time.  I carried a chip on my shoulder that was relentless and unwavering.  I held others at an unworldly standard, one that I didn’t even hold for myself.  I expected more from others than I was ever willing to give.  I had a lot of growing to do.. and that’s exactly what I did.

Now, whether you find significance in zodiac signs and their characteristics or not, I am a Scorpio.  (enough said! haha)  In all actuality, I am very much like what the characterized Scorpio is..  passionate, a thinker, intense, a rough exterior, brutally honest, protective, and incredibly loyal (unless i have a reason not to be).  Although I don’t forgive easily, I can be your absolute best ally if need be.  What I came to understand about myself is that being categorized is unnecessary.  Do I find humor in the fact that the characteristics are accurate, yes, of course!  But, I also understand that there is little need for me to be callus (unnecessarily) in a world where there is a dire need to spread love.  When I changed the way I reacted, changed the way I treated others (out of my own lack of self love), I taught myself and those around me that the importance of kindness outweighs criticism.

Sure, there is a harsh reality for some when doing this kind of work.  I didn’t come from a puzzled past that needs blasted from the rooftops seeking pity.  My past is exactly where it needs to be.. behind me.  It will never define me because I grew from the lessons learned from each choice I made.  I live for today, encapsulated in the moment!

I also believe this is what makes me a great coach and keeps me seeking for better than I was yesterday.  Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and neither will the change that I was created to make in the world.

Luckily, I know the value of patience and perseverance and will continue to share my voice for those needing to hear it.

xoxo

A few years ago, I made an immediate decision that I was unprepared for, and quite frankly, unsure of. I spoke of something I had no knowledge of, but was sure of deep within my heart.

On the day our daughter was born we were told, in an abrupt manner, that she has Down Syndrome. We were shocked and had no idea how to process the information, let alone how this would affect our family.

As the days passed, I cried. Not tears of sadness, but tears of confusion. My love for this child was born of my soul, so pure and unwavering that nothing could change it. My precious gift from God was going to be uniquely beautiful; diagnosis or not.

When I spoke to my mom a day or so later, she asked me why I was crying. Without thinking of how to answer, I immediately said “because I don’t want the world to treat her differently”. I knew that no matter what I would ensure that she was treated for who she is.. just a girl. That a diagnosis would never define her.

My heart was full. Our family was complete. I may not have known at the time what our world would look like, yet I knew that God had his hands on us and we would live as normally as possible. This has been a decision that I’ve never questioned.

As the years have passed our family has stood by her; learning together, enjoying our differences, and celebrating our similarities.

There has been bumps in our road, many that I’ve written about, but not one that has ever led me to feel burdened or saddened by our life. On the contrary, we are insanely blessed!

A family dynamic is a glorious combination of personalities and unique perspectives.

As Ingrid grew, we were faced with an aspect of life that we weren’t used to. Advocating. As something I had little experience with, I knew I had to follow my instincts.

Being that I had made a very deliberate decision to not have Down Syndrome be what defines Ingrid, I had mixed feelings regarding advocating.

Of course, my daughter, my precious little girl would know that she was created by God to be special, but not in a way that is conventional.

She, just like each one of us, has a story that is all our own. No two people are the same and our differences should be celebrated, not shunned.

Alongside much controversy, I made the decision to decline all advocating. This will never be who she is. She is Ingrid. I am raising my children to see the value in human life, not because one person is this or that. Each child needs to feel honored, loved, and supported for who they are, not what a piece of paper says about them.

I fight for my kids. I speak up when necessary. And I make it known that I will always be there for them no matter what the situation is. As with any parent, my kids are my life. I will always and forever be their person.

On that note, I refuse to accentuate a negative image upon my child. I refuse to paint a picture of a difficult life for her; her life is her creation – however big and beautiful she chooses to create it! I will not glorify a life of struggles and hardship, when she is capable of amazing things. I will not create dramatic scenes of displacement to regard her as incapable. And I will never allow anyone else to imply that she cannot do anything she chooses.

Recently, I read a quote by Mother Theresa and it reminded me of exactly why we feel this way..

I want to create a world of love and peace for our children to grow and learn from. By advocating, I would be calling upon more judgement, darkness, separation, and sadness. A path I cannot be part of.

Sure, life has changed. It’s gotten better!

Our family is constructed of love, hope, peace, abundance, and adventure.

We choose to live life in light. To celebrate our differences, to be proud of who we are, and to love one another for our own special qualities.

We have taught our kids what Down Syndrome is. We have also taught them to treat others how they want to be treated.

They have not, nor will ever be taught to value (or otherwise) anyone based on differences, race, color, or anything that is not of a pure heart.

Each human being, no matter how big or small is a valuable part of our world, and deserves to be loved for who they are.

Enrich our lives with love, peace, unity and compassion.

Have you ever been so consumed by a thought that you can feel its power?

When that power grabs ahold of you, and refuses to let go, you are being called to do something with it.

Sometimes a forward action will alleviate the consuming thought, while other times it’s a push to keep moving in an onward direction.

For me, this ultra-consuming thought has been to help others. Whether by writing, speaking, or educating others, I am drawn to do something other than push this intense feeling aside.

My mind is constantly in motion to challenge the fear that wants to remain comfortable and the drive to move past that comfort to make a massive, positive impact in the world. I find myself planning my next move while cleaning, sleeping, showering, just about any daily action.. it never rests.

Some may think this isn’t a healthy mindset, yet I see it differently. By continually making conscious effort to make a better tomorrow, for myself and others, I refuse to live in the mundane. I do what’s necessary to progress in my future. The planning, the strategy, the continued education and learning new ways will never rest because I’m on a mission.

My mission is to exude love, compassion and happiness into the lives of those I encounter. If I touch one person’s life at a time, I’m doing what I’m destined to do.

I made the decision to work solely with Moms. I chose this because it’s an avenue that I can relate to most. It’s something that I hold dear to my heart, as well as have struggled with in the past. When realizing that I can help others, my journey became much more fulfilling than I could have expected.

The plans never cease to amaze me. They keep me thinking, they come to me at the most inopportune times, yet I cant complain when I can see the bigger picture. I have plans, goals, and a future that I’m working towards that is out of this world.

When you feel your calling, listen. It may come in a nagging fashion, or something more subtle than mine, but don’t ignore it.. you’re being called to embark on your magnified greatness!

As a mom and entrepreneur its very easy to get caught up in the happenings of life, family and business.  We tend to forget the importance of rest.  For some of us, an afternoon will suffice, yet for others a week or more feels more necessary.  The key is to allow yourself the opportunity to do what needs to be done.

Other than ensuring the welfare of your offspring, sometimes shutting off the outside world to clear your mind is all you need to get back to the real you.  I speak of this from experience.  Last year was the very first time in my kids’ lives (at the time, ages 7 & 5) that I spent the night away from them both.  Although it was relaxing, I missed them dearly.  I know most of you can relate to this feeling.

When I became a mom, I made an informed decision to take on attachment parenting.  I loved the idea behind it; creating a bond with my babies that no one can replace, a feeling of security that only a mom can provide, growing a sense of confidence through our bond that would only encourage more outgoing personalities as they age.

As each mom and each pregnancy is different, I made decisions that I felt aligned with how I saw our future roll out.  That’s not to say that the parenting style I chose is the best, most effective parenting out there.  There isn’t one better than the next.  I’m not the same as you, and no one can tell you that you’re doing it wrong.  If you consciously raise your kiddos to be caring, compassionate, well-rounded humans with a sense of responsibility and love for the world around them, you’ve won!  

Back to the point.. even though I choose to be the kind of mom that I am, doesn’t mean that I don’t get overwhelmed at times.  Oh, it happens!  And when it does, I know that I have a support system among me that I can count on.  This is just as essential as taking the time you need.  Find those people who feel you.  The ones who want to see you succeed as much as you do.  The people who you can call upon at any moment.  Those are your people. The key is to be the exact friend in return that you are asking them to be.

Self care can sometimes be more than an hour doing your thing.  Sometimes its a weekend away with your dearest friends, relaxing on the beach with a cocktail in hand.. or sitting by the fireplace.  Or maybe your ideal moment of rest is taking a bath (alone! with no one asking to join you) in a sea of salt and rose.  Or sitting in a quiet room with a blanket and a book.  Regardless of your ideal image, do what needs to be done.

A few days ago on my Facebook page, I spoke of finding your “million dollar feeling”.  Do you have one?  Do you have that one or two things that you can do, no matter the situation, to make you feel on top of your game?  I know I do!  I may be a work-at-home mom, but I can not do it in my pajamas.  CAN NOT!!  If I want to create an impact on the world, I must get myself moving.  By that I do just as I would if I worked outside of the house.. I get dressed, makeup, hair, the whole package.  This is my version of making progress in my daily routine.  (and, oh, I have a routine!)

Here is something, maybe the most important thing you’ll hear from me today, that I want you read and read again.. until you really feel what I’m saying:

Your worth does not depend on the productivity of your day.

I promise your world will not crumble because you took time for yourself.  Your children will not hold this against you.  Your partner, the person who wants to see a beautiful smile on your face, will not hold this against you.  The people in your support system, the other ones who care for your wellbeing, will not hold it against you.  Do you want to know why?  Because they love you.  They care more about you caring for yourself than for you to wear yourself too thin.  They are your people.  They want to help you succeed in life.  They want to be the backbone to the life you are creating.

Don’t sell yourself short.  The only result you create from that is one filled with resentment and exhaustion.  Nobody wants that.  Be who you envision yourself to be.  And don’t take NO for an answer.

You’re a parent.  A Rockstar in your little humans lives.  The one they will always call upon when they have bad dreams or need a hug.

Take a break when you feel its necessary so that you can make an even bigger impact with your dreams.

 

xoxo

 

I won’t lie.. today has been tough. Last night was a challenge. For that matter, I’ve needed a manual just to understand the past two weeks.

Being the parent of a special needs child is amazing. Also, it’s hard. Some days are unexplainable, while others are so typical it’s scary. Since returning from Europe, we’ve noticed a new detail to Ingrid’s already “sparkling” personality. She’s been mean. And, I’m not talking about a minor temper tantrum or so. I’m talking mean. In ways that are uncharacteristic for her. Ingrid tends to pick up on behaviors of other kids, just as any other child does, but trying to get her to understand that not all things are acceptable or okay is an entirely different story. We’ve gone through phases of swear words, throwing things, saying inappropriate words at the worst time possible .. ya know all of the normal things parents go through with kids, yet recently this “new” stuff has me stumped.

When she raises her fist to my face as if she wants to punch me, while I’m talking to her about her unkind behavior, that’s not Ingrid. When she scratches her brother and hits him for no apparent reason, that’s not her either. All of these things, and more, have us scratching our heads as to what’s happened and why.

I’ve said this countless times, and I’ll say it again.. each day, each new phase is a guessing game for me. There is no book to truly decipher the moods and/or actions of our daughter. Sometimes I wish there was. Each time we’re faced with something new, I try very hard to remember the key elements to my child.. she is just a kid. There doesn’t have to be a fancy explanation or added diagnosis to understand that crucial part of who she is. She is a kid.

She is a kid who needs a little more understanding, a little more patience, and a lot more hugs. An endless amount of encouragement and deep breaths. And with that, we can only take one day at a time, knowing that tomorrow is new day.

Her glimmering eyes, sweet smile, a girl filled with bounds of potential.. I pray that her strong-willed personality and independence drives her to crush past stereotypes. She can and will achieve greatness, I have no doubt.

For today, I stumble. At a loss for words, I try to gather my composure and press on in the best fashion I know how. After all, she is my light, my sunshine and my rising star.

About a week ago, my son was vying for attention with their dad and became frustrated with Ingrid. Said he feels that we love her more. This broke my heart. We went on to explain that they are loved equally, yet they were created quite differently. As he is outgoing, tenderhearted, a math and science loving boy, Ingrid is introverted to an extreme, not as independent as him, needs a bit more help with things he assumes are easy.. yet the conversation was hard. Although he understands that she has Down Syndrome, which makes her beautifully unique, and exactly how she is supposed to be, I never want one child to feel more loved than the other.

There are times in our lives when breathing feels complicated and I feel isolated as if no one can imagine what this life is like. Then I remember why I’m here and that I am not alone..

My purpose is my family. The driving force behind why I am the way I am, why I demand a certain standard, why I won’t bend to others expectations.. because of my kids. What fits you may not fit us. What’s “normal” may not be for us. What’s “normal” for us is taboo to others. And that’s OKAY! We learned a long time ago that each path is meant for those walking the steps. Mine is quite different, and albeit sometimes hard, its perfect for me.

As I see her little face staring into mine, I know that what’s happening isn’t always the way I know it to be. Her perception isn’t always the same as mine. That what I know to be rude or insensitive may not be what she thinks it is. Again, I step back. I absorb the reality behind our happenings and breathe. She is learning the rules of life, as we are learning Ingrid. Each day a new chapter. A life that’s no better or worse than any other, just different.

** If my story resonates with you, remember that you are not alone. You can do this and it will be okay! Just breathe.

xoxo

I title this post DS, yet I think it’s relatable to any parent.

We have our kids. Beautiful, silly, quirky, unique, brilliant little humans that suck joy from us as much as they produce it. I say that lightly, but you all know what I mean.. the good days and the bad. Sometimes it’s all we have to remember the good days when the bad ones seem to foreshadow our present. I say this from a perspective of a special needs mom. Ugh, this kid. I adore every ounce of her being, yet sometimes it takes all I have to focus on life when they’re in need. Ya know, daily needs are one thing, then thrown on top of that the needs that are unexpected, and sometimes completely confusing.

Ingrid. When she’s in need of something, almost anything (!), most of the time she doesn’t tell us. Her demeanor changes. Her mood shifts. Her happiness goes dark. Then all of my existence turns from Mom to Investigator.. because I’m totally guessing as to what’s happening and why. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten used to this, but I haven’t. I never know.  As much as I’m “supposed” to, I don’t. I’ve accepted that.

This week has been somewhat unique. She seemed well, yet wasn’t. I guessed and attempted to fix whatever could be bothering her.. all to bring us to an emergency visit to the doctor. She’s okay, but she’s had a tough few days.  Without going into the gory details, let me say this..  before becoming a mom I never knew what exhaustion was.  Haha!

Recently, I read an article by a mom of a child with a disability, Jullian Benfield (www.jillianbenfield.com). 

This mom described life perfectly.  Its not better nor worse, its just more.  

This one statement is so painfully accurate.  

Most people don’t understand why I’m not interested in certain activities that are common for a parent.  But for me, some of those activities are so darn difficult that the fun one child has is terrifying for the other (or a multitude of other reasons).  Or myself!  As their mom, I have to be 100% there for both kids at all times.  Some don’t realize that what works for them just simply doesn’t work for us.  

Each family has their own thing; their own way of doing life, and that’s perfectly okay.  But if you’re not living their life, refrain from judgement because I’m certain you have no idea what that mom (or dad) has gone through already today.  

I say this all the time.. I adore my kids.  They are my reason for everything I do.  They are the reason I sacrifice, just as all parents do.  They are the reason I smile (and also the reason I may be a little off my rocker!)  Yet no matter what type of job I held in the past or the many business I currently operate, parenting is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had!  

I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again.  Watching your child punch herself in the face, scratch her legs or pull her own hair out of frustration and confusion is the worst feeling in the world.  All she wants to do is understand why she feels a certain way or why this or that is happening, yet she doesn’t, and no matter how I try to explain it, she’s just sad.  There have been days recently that we’ve encountered a new type of behavior from Ingrid.  After being potty trained for a few years, she has decided that doing so is scary.  So, she refuses to go at all.  Needless to say, this didn’t have a happy ending.  And…  here’s where the emergency doctor’s visit comes into play.  Not only did I miss all of the signs of the correct thing being wrong, I am still trying to figure out how to properly handle the situation on the other side of a diagnosis/resolution.  

Its easy to say I have my hands full, yet we all do.  If you’re a parent, you feel me.  This is hard.  Being their mom is rewarding and exciting and the happiest thing I’ve ever done, but its hard.  And being Ingrid’s mom is just more.  

Parenting isn’t something that I’ve ever regretted or wish would’ve happened differently.  No..  I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.  I talk about it a lot because it’s a massive part of my life.  If it weren’t, someone somewhere should be concerned.  (ha!)

But, you see, our lives are relatable.  Our stories are different – some are just.. more.  

And, here I am.. a mom who talks to you about the challenges of being a mom, all while coaching moms to be the best humans they can be.  Because we all get it.  

You are not alone.  You are not walking this path without someone else feeling the same way you feel.  Not everyone will “get it” and that’s okay.  Be the best mom you know how to be, but be you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“So now, all alone or not, you gotta walk ahead.  Thing to remember is if we’re all alone, then we’re all together in that too.” – Patricia (Kathy Bates), P. S. I Love You.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

xoxo

Recently, I’ve taken steps back from people and situations that no longer have positive meaning in my life. There’s a part of me that wants to back step to “fixing” these situations/relationships, yet deep down I know their purpose is no longer fitting in my life.

I feel this happens to many of us, on many levels. We become aware of things no longer serving us and we release them. Only to feel abandoned by or that we did abandon it, and run back to speak our truth. Many times, for me at least, I’ve felt that I needed to make my voice heard or felt that I had hurt someone’s feelings by disappearing (when I felt it necessary).. only to be back where I started. This is the utmost suffocating scenario ever.

We remove ourselves for a reason. Typically, a reason that we’ve thought deeply about and made rational awareness of the lack of just in our lives. That said, why do we return to something that isn’t healthy to who we are becoming?

Each day I’m striving to be better than yesterday’s version of myself, yet I seem to allow the wondering thoughts of this or that to invade my mind, leading me to believe I should follow up with the situation/relationship for some reason or another.

I’m speaking vaguely because the feeling is natural, yet the circumstances are different for each of us, in each stage of our lives.

Our minds are more powerful than we realize. We put emphasis on our day in a single thought, positive or negative. One single thought can literally make or break an entire 24 hour span of our life. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to spend those precious hours reveling in how amazing and blessed my life is, rather than how another person hurt my feelings or did me wrong. That’s a reflection of them, not me. My focus will be placed on building a successful life in many aspects, loving my people, and creating memories.

Nobody has time for negativity.. so push that mess out the door and grab onto the promising future you’re building each day!

If you woke up this morning, you have something to be grateful for! If you have food on your plate, you have something to be grateful for! If you feel love in yourself and your life, you have something to be grateful for!

And.. how do we continually raise our vibration for the Universe to feed our lives in return? Give back. However you can, how much you can. Just help others. Share a smile. Open a door. Buy someone’s morning coffee. Spread compliments like wildfire. Whatever you do, give love to receive love.. and don’t make space in your mind for the ugly situations to creep back in. You left them in yesterday for a reason and they need to stay there. Today is your present! Be here!!

xoxo

I was driving down the freeway in Dallas, TX, listening to a morning talk show to add a bit of humor to my morning commute.  The DJs got silent.  The laughter stopped.  When the woman DJ finally spoke to say that a plane had hit the first World Trade Tower.  People everywhere gasped, cried.

I stared out the windows of our office, everyone around me was torn between ‘was this really happening’ or ‘is this some sick joke?’

I remember trying to contact my parents who lived in Pennsylvania.  Reports of a hijacked plane heading towards their city were all over the radio.  That’s all we had.  No confirmation, no sure information.  All we could do was wait.  Phone lines were down.  I tried relentlessly to contact my family.. we were all over the country.  Separated.

My brother living in Florida at the time, serving in the US military.  My uncle, cousins, numerous friends.. everywhere..  all serving to protect this country.

I remember watching the television for days as survivors were found.  As bodies were recovered.  As families scrambled, hoping to locate their loved ones.  All we could do was watch.. heartbroken for our country, for the innocent, for the ones left behind..

I’ll never forget the videos and photos.  Horrifying.  Heart wrenching.  We cried for people we had never met.

As our country cried, we sat in terror.  We held our neighbors.  We become one nation under God, the way it was meant to be.

Tragedy struck on our soil.  Lives were taken.

Unity became our anthem.  We will not be broken.

I pray for you.  I pray that you find peace.

 

xoxo

A few weeks ago Ingrid started back to school. We knew this year was going to be full of challenges, ones she’s never faced before. And to be quite honest, I was petrified at how things would work.

Luckily, she was in a school she’s familiar with, with staff she’s comfortable spending time with, and many friends she recognized. That was the least of our worries. Yet, she was about to face a handful of new dynamics that were foreign to her and time was about to tell us the tale we prayed would be a pleasant one.

As I’d like to report that returning to school after summer break was a welcomed venture, it wasn’t. For the first time she was attending school without her big brother. For the first time she was attending school ALL day. To make things more unique, our home situation had temporarily changed.

As her mom, I knew this was going to be scary.. for her and me. But I had faith that everything would work out and I would do my best to reassure her that it’s okay. Each day we face a new attitude.. some days she’s happy and loves school while others she’s miserable and making herself ill.

If you know our story, you know that my kids are my world and any time we’re faced with anything new, I know she’s not going to handle it well. It’s safe to say she is not fond of change. Yet, here we are.. embarking on a life-changing experience and there’s no turning back.

For some time, I’ve played the scenario in my mind.. and, frankly, we have been blessed with amazing staff and teachers that help ease her tension each day. We’ve been bouncing ideas and suggestions about in an attempt to make her more comfortable and happy, yet each day comes with new surprises. Today she’s sad, tomorrow she’ll be glad. Who knows!

But it’s numbing. It’s boggling. It’s exhausting. This child has had me in a state of guessing for years. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, she throws a curve ball and I’m so far from right it’s crazy. Some days it’s a laughing matter and some it’s a cry-in-the-corner kind of day. I just never know. Sadly, I think her teachers are experiencing a similar feeling.

Becoming of school age, it’s a requirement to obtain some sort of education. I applaud anyone who has the patience to do so because I do not. Although I’ve seriously considered homeschooling, at this moment it’s not an option for us.

Point being, she’s struggling. Hard. I want her to enjoy the experience of school, both socially and academically. I hope she realizes that it doesn’t need to be scary, yet can be joyous and memorable.

Then there’s the aspect that all parents fear. Are our children being treated fairly while they’re away. I have no doubt that those who have or currently do work with Ingrid go above and beyond to help her, but as any parent, I hope it never comes our way. (Or anyone else’s for that matter!). No matter the situation, deep in the back of my mind sits a saddened thought of someone not being able to handle her. She’s feisty. She can push all of your buttons with little effort, yet she can also be the funniest and sweetest little being ever to look into your eyes. I hold onto that. I hold onto the fact that God has placed her where she needs to be, with the people whom she needs to be with.

I sit here tonight typing this post while Ingrid sleeps beside me. Snoring away, she has no idea that I worry about her every second of the day. Or that the big brother she looks up to, watches out for her more than she knows. Or that her friends, who sometimes can’t understand her speech still adore her sweet demeanor. She doesn’t know how amazing she is. (Okay, that’s not entirely true.. she’ll always say she’s cute if she’s asked! Ha!)

We hold our kiddos tight for good reason. Because their existence is more precious to us than anything else on this Earth.

xoxo

I stare at your sleeping face, thanking God for the little blessings in my life.

I feel your tiny hands resting on my cheek as you gaze at me.

On the nights when the nightmares become too scary, I hold you tight and remind you that you’re safe.

I cherish the days watching you run around the house or giggling at the silliest things.

When I walk into the office and close the door behind me, catching a glimpse of your sweet eyes peering through the glass, as if you don’t understand why I closed you out.. its to give you the best life I can possibly give.

There are moments when I sit quietly, while you’re wondering if something is wrong..  not at all, my darling.  Mommy is just planning our future adventures and making adjustments to ensure that we enjoy our life together.

Sometimes Mommy is tired.  There are so many things I want you to understand, yet I know that now is not the time.  Enjoy your precious life..  be little, for it flashes away far too quickly.

When you walk out the door without me, know that my heart counts the minutes until your return.  There is nothing more comforting than knowing you’re home with me, safe and sound.

One of the biggest challenges in my life is allowing the world to touch your tender soul.  I want to keep you safe, pure and untangled from the scariness that can linger.  I want to keep my arms around you more than you’ll ever know.

Although I know I was meant for you, I know that you are not mine forever; you are you, one and only, you.  You are your future, my present, and you embody a hope that this world can learn from.

You have taught me more in your few years of existence than I could’ve ever learned elsewhere.

I love you, my dear. God made me your mom for a reason and all I can say is Thank You!

xoxo

 

When the oceans come crashing through your dreams, remember that I am watching over you.

When the doors you seek are locked from the other side, remember that I am watching over you.

When you’re courage fades into dust and breathing seems too hard, remember that I am watching over you.

When your light seems to dim beyond recognition, remember that I am watching over you.

When the road feels dark and bleak, remember that I am watching over you.

When you lose all faith that you’ll live to feel your dreams materialize, remember that I am watching over you.

When you wake in the morning to see another sunrise peeking through your window, remember that I always watch over you.

This is a story unique in its own right..

Meditating has become a release for me.  It has changed me; changed my mindset- the way I think, the way I perceive life around me, the way I respond.  A complete transformation is happening, I can feel it, and it is amazing!

There were roads traveled that I didn’t understand, and times when I felt completely lost, unable to properly love myself.  What I learned through meditation is that self love is the first love needing to be established so that I am fueled to spread love to a world needing it so.

I’m in-love with the learning.. something new each day.  Loving my new self.  Loving my new thoughts.  Loving my new ideas.  I feel lighter, more at ease with life’s curveballs.  I feel as though if I can fall and rise again, a better version than I’ve ever been, I can be beneficial to the world around me.

So, the story goes like this:  Meditating is transforming.  Deep in a meditative state, I felt as though I was looking at myself from the outside.  I could see a green essence radiating from my chest (the heart chakra).  I could feel happiness coursing through my veins, something I haven’t purely felt in some time.  I was smiling.. a true, genuine smile.

I stayed in this state for as long as I could simply because I was in awe of how unreal it felt.  I knew right away this was something I’d never forget.

As unique as this experience was, it was not something that happens overnight.  It took practice.. a lot of practice to learn to clear my thoughts to concentrate on just being.

The end result will never come..  I truly believe that this is learning and will be forever changing.  An experience that I’ll cherish until the end of time.

Unfolding before my own eyes, reaching a deeper version of myself, uncovering all of the fears that I’ve lived behind for far too long.. that was me.  And this is me now!

I’m excited for the future.  Unafraid of the hard work it takes to peel back the layers for growth, to discover a new me with every path.

Let the fun begin!

xoxo

When you begin to feel the transformations taking place in your life, you start to realize that what you thought is now your reality!  Like you, (and like I’ve said many times before) I knew I was destined for great things, I just didn’t know exactly what it was.  So, as you know, I did a lot of soul searching.  Until finally.. my light bulb began to shine so bright I couldn’t ignore it if I tried.

You hear it everywhere.. find your why.  Why do you want to achieve your dreams?  Why do you feel the burning desire to create greatness on such an intense level?  What is driving you to become who you know you are meant to be?

My answer has basically always been the same.  My kids.  They are the reason I was determined to find my destiny.  They are the reason I work so hard.  They are the reason that I searched every avenue until I found the one that was meant for me.  They are the reason that I am so driven to create the life of our dreams.

Recently, I saw a Facebook post from Rachel Hollis (swoon!  I just adore her!).  She talked about her children watching her as she set forth to create the life she is living.  How her children saw the hard work, the dedication, the desire for more, the dreams that carried her through.  THAT, my friends, is exactly why I didn’t give up!  Because my kids are always watching!  Trust me, there have been days when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch, eating ice cream from the carton, watching Netflix (and I have had those days!), yet I knew that the only person who can make my dreams a reality.. is ME!  Nobody is going to hold my hand.  Nobody can make me work for it.  Nobody will make it happen unless I do!

When I realized that business/life coaching was my calling, I ran with it.  I began to take in all of the advice I could, learn from those already working in the field, creating their dream life, living for the moment.  I took steps to make it happen.. not fully understanding what I was in for, but it was a challenge that I knew was necessary.  But I didn’t stop there.  My mind is always reeling with new possibilities, new business ventures that align with my beliefs/morals/ideas/desires/life.  You know how I recently spoke of manifesting desires?  This is where that came into play.

I have been on a healthy path for quite many years now.  In the way our family eats, the products that I use around my house, personal care items, basically everything that would involve ingesting, inhaling, or touching our bodies in any way.  When the opportunity to jump into a franchise with a company that aligned with my core beliefs, it didn’t take long to know that the fit was perfect for my family.

Last week, I made the leap!  I own a bit of a company that flows beautifully with my life, what I teach others, and how I plan to leave the world for our future generations.  I feel so confident about my decision that I had no reservations at all.. from the initial meeting.  That alone told me I was on the right track.

I introduce to you..  my little piece of botanically made heaven..  JessiRisley.arbonne.com.

Yes, I am a business owner on many levels, yet this one is aligned with my passion to live a clean, healthy life INSIDE AND OUT!!

I tell you this for several reasons..  not to “sell” you anything.  I don’t have to do that.. the products sell themselves; if you’re willing to have faith in my word and proof that the longevity of the company speaks volumes, and when you do, you’re going to feel absolutely amazing!  Its not a sales pitch.  I want to leave the world in a better place than it was when I arrived.  I want to live the healthiest (mind, body & soul) life I can possibly live so that I can enjoy every second of my existence.  I want to teach my kids, friends and family that making good health choices isn’t just one thing or another.. its a whole package.  Because I believe in it!!  And I know that in order to live my best life, I need to be in good health.

Do you remember my recent post about asking the Universe (God) for a sign?  That for once, I had no hesitation, no fear, and I wasted no time taking a leap of faith to make my dreams come true?!  This is what I was talking about.  I did what I felt was right.  My kids already know that Mom doesn’t allow certain foods in the house, in our bodies, etc.  This is no different.. its more of an addition to what they already know.  And, frankly, I feel amazing!!

Taking interest in your health (because we’re only given one body and life!) doesn’t stop with what you eat.  Its necessary to exercise your mind, take care of your mental health, as well as your emotional health.  Building a base for all of these things to work harmoniously you begin to realize that what you put into your body isn’t just about what you eat.  Its what you listen to, what you watch, and what you eat or drink.

I’m living my dream.  I’m making the most of each and every day (even though sometimes its harder than others! Haha).  And I’m making better choices so that I can spend more time with the ones I love, doing the things we enjoy!

Join my journey! Follow me to see where this goes and let me help you achieve your goals too!!

 

xoxo

 

A long time ago I realized that I was meant for more.  I knew that my life had a path that I hadn’t uncovered yet.  I had to begin a journey to figure out the chaos in my mind.

I was confused and had no idea where to start.  I knew I wanted to do something life-changing, but what?  You already know that writing courses through my veins, yet making it into more than a hobby was plaguing my brain.

I began investigating what meditation could do for me.  I mean, I knew the aspect of helping to relieve stress and release the emotions that were holding me down, yet I hadn’t realized the power behind it.  I wanted to learn more.  I wanted to learn about the power of mindset and manifestation… and how it all ties together.

I began to realize that by telling myself that I’m worthy, I’m powerful, and I can do absolutely anything, I started believing in myself in ways I never had before.  I had a habit, which like most of us, was a lot of “I can’t do that”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I could never reach that level of success” mindset.. until the lightbulb went off!  By acknowledging that the words I spoke to myself were leading to life I was choosing to live.  Even when I was saying that I wasn’t happy.  Who knew?!  Apparently, everyone but me!  Haha!!  (guess I didn’t get that memo!)

So, here’s what I started doing:  I started telling myself how worthy I am.  How anything I work for and want are mine already!  That if the Universe (God) sees it fit, let it be.

And here’s what I stopped doing:  overthinking.  Point blank.  I began to feel less overwhelmed, less stressed, less confused.  All because I made the conscious effort to change the way I think, I changed the way I live.

Now, I know you may be thinking I’m crazy or whatever, and that’s completely fine.  What I’ll say to that is don’t knock it until you try it!!  My life is moving in a upward spiral of positivity, love, self respect, success and so much more!

When I was seeking a new avenue, something that I could be passionate about and not lose momentum in my life, I asked for a sign.  Something that would be obvious and relevant.  I asked for financial independence, something I’ve never personally had.  What I found is exactly what I asked for!  I was, basically, approached with an opportunity that I didn’t expect, but am overjoyed that it arrived.  After I was offered the amazing opportunity, again, I asked for clarity, guidance and a sign.  If this was meant to be, let it be natural and smooth.  What happened next was a first for me.  Nothing.  No doubt.  No hesitation.  No second thoughts.  No financial concerns.  NOTHING!  Seriously, it was a first.  Generally speaking, the “old” me would’ve lost sleep contemplating the cons of the offer, overthought it to the point of talking myself out of what could be the best opportunity of my life, and ultimately saying No because it was my safe place.  I had none of that.  That told me that the ease I was feeling was my sign.  That no matter what, I would find my success alongside this opportunity.. and that it wasn’t just for my benefit, but for my family, friends, strangers, and so many others.

I am embarking on a me that is about to change the world.. one person at a time!   I couldn’t be happier!

When manifesting your desires and asking for guidance, the thing(s) to remember is having faith that you’re about to receive what’s best for you and to have patience.  Immediate results are not part of the equation here.  Practicing patience is so important when seeking life-changing happenings to take place.

Each of our journeys are different, just as our destinations will not be the same.  But in the right mindset, they can be utterly beautiful and intensely transforming.

xoxo