School’s Out For Summer. Almost…

We don’t live in Hawaii where this particular picture was taken, but this is my fantasy of a perfect summer day…

Hi everyone!

I miss being here! It’s been too long. I’ve been super busy preparing to teach my first ever Social Media workshop at the University of Washington. It’s a big deal for me because I’m going out of my comfort zone—way out! I’ve been creating: writing, editing, and social media posts at (while still working a little at RGN). I’m using the blog in lieu of textbooks, and I have lots of entertaining and informed authors, artists, business owners, life coaches, etc., who are contributing great stuff there.

Today I posted a piece by Jenna McCarthy, who wrote, If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon. You have to check out her book. She is so funny (in a slightly naughty irreverent way.) Anyway, I like the idea of using a blog instead of textbooks for the class because, let’s face it, social media is changing faster than books can be written. It’s been really fun getting ready to teach this class! I’ve also created some STRESS for myself by probably going way overboard in preparing for the class, but I’d like to give the students’ their moneys worth (and not sound like an idiot).

Really, I just wanted to write a quick note here to let you all know that I’ll be back in action writing here soon. I have lots of topics to cover both good and questionable :) (tweens, women weirdness, life priorities, rural vs urban living, acceptance of what is, body dysmorphia, being grateful, Fifty Shades of Grey (have you read them? What do you think?), looking down the long road of life, and my thoughts on the power of turning forty—that’s just to name a few). I’ll get back to writing just as soon as my workshop is over, which is next weekend. Wish me luck!

On another note, our kids last day of school was yesterday. The end of a school year is always bitter sweet for me. On the one hand, I LOVE having the kiddos home with me to bond, but on the other hand that means they are another year older. Time is going by WAY too fast. Where did the time go? It makes me a little sad and nostalgic. I’ve been overly emotional over the fact that they are getting older. (Let’s get real too—I absolutely without a doubt love staying home with the kids all summer, but it’s a wee bit harder for me to get any writing/work done.) Oh, the contradictions…Such is life.

I look forward to being back real soon.

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

P.S. If you have any specific topics you want us to cover here, please shoot me an email at

Happy Friday!

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A friend sent me this picture.  I love it because it’s so true.

Real friends are a rare gift to be cherished.

You know who I’m talking about… More

PMS, Post Pregnancy Hormone Hell, Weight Gain & Disease ~ My Struggle To Be Healthy Again.

Our girls and I before my health completely spiraled out of control…

In high school, some teammates and I were chosen to go to a college Track & Field Camp to learn about different types of training methods. I was excited to be there! Just as I was signing in for this great weeklong program, I could feel severe cramps coming on quickly. I never knew when I would get my period because I had an irregular cycle that would sometimes skip a month or two. Within 15 minutes of arriving on campus, I was literally on the floor in a ball in so much pain that I was incapacitated. Advil didn’t touch the pain and my week was ruined. I had been to doctors before and after that incident, and there was nothing they could do for me except to put me on birth control pills, which didn’t make enough of a difference. This is how my cycle would be every month or so for years. Sometimes I’d get lucky, and the pain and other PMS symptoms were not as severe. Many years later, I became pregnant with my second daughter, Olivia, and everything changed.

After having Olivia, I never went back to “normal”. I had lost my pregnancy weight and should have felt great, but I didn’t feel quite right. Over the next year, my monthly cycle became more intense, my hormones were slowly spiraling out of control, and I began having weekly stomachaches.

The symptoms slowly crept up on me, and I thought I’d naturally get over the new issues in time.

After Olivia’s first birthday, things got worse. My periods started lasting longer and occurred more frequently. I started gaining weight, which was really abnormal for me because I had always been naturally thin and never had struggled with weight before. I was retaining water, felt bloated, and I was having severe stomachaches more frequently.

So began the parade of doctors..

At this time, my stomachaches were causing me the most grief. They were occurring daily now and affecting my quality of life. I saw my primary doctor. She ordered several blood tests, checked my thyroid, and a few other potential problem areas. All of my test results looked good. She referred me to a gastroenterologist.

The gastroentereologist asked if I had an eating disorder. I told him that I did not. He said, “Let me see your teeth.” Hmm—he looked at me like he didn’t believe me, and I opened my mouth. I passed the test; my teeth were fine. I suddenly did not like him at all. An endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed nothing. My intestines looked perfectly normal.  

He said I must have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I knew he was wrong, but tried the medicine and dietary changes anyway. It didn’t help. In fact, the dietary changes made me even more irritated. I mean who wants to give up coffee, cookies, bread, wine, sugar, and chocolate at a time like this!?! Not me!

I felt like the doctors were not taking me seriously and perhaps thought I was making it all up.

A few months later, things really went downhill. The pain was non-stop, my periods were lasting for two weeks, and my hormones were raging. My face was breaking out, I was having mood swings, severe headaches, other strange things started happening, and then—I started having night sweats. I mean the kind of night sweats when you have to change your clothes and sheets two to three times a night. I was still gaining weight. Then the night sweats started happening during the day too. I started having the shakes. I was miserable.

More doctor visits… More


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