Healthy Living for Six-Year-Olds

I am having the most difficult time trying to keep my six-year-old on a diet.

I know this is for his own good and I have tried to explain this to him several times, but he refuses to adhere to the aforementioned (and simple) eating plan that I have laid out for him for this particular weekend. It's absolutely the most frustrating journey to healthy living I've ever been on. This includes the healthy living journeys I start every Monday.

You see, for two days, my son has been up sick all night only to then stay awake all day sneaking food out of my pantry with the stealth and skill that would school Oliver Twist. He’s a food stealing prodigy and he has absolutely no concern whatsoever for his current lack of gastrointestinal fortitude.

Seemed Simple.  Bananas. Rice. Applesauce. Toast. I’ve seen worse diets. I’ve been on worse diets. You know what I would give for someone to insist I eat a pile of toast? With gluten? Without all seven grains sprouting? Bread that looks like Tom Sawyer whitewashed it to the color that God our Lord and Savior MEANT for bread to have. A couple of slices of America’s favorite Wonder Bread and an exercise regime that includes deep diving into a pile of blankets on the sofa with complete clicker control? That is some cardio I can get behind.

If that were a real diet, cheat days begone.

But the reaction around here has made me realize one thing.  Hell hath no fury like a kid foodie on the BRAT Diet.

All weekend he’s looked from me to his plate of yellow and white to me again. He starts to cry and tell me how hungry he is. Tells me he’s not sick anymore. Tells me he’s a good boy. Promises to clean his room. Asks if it’s because he’s too young (because in addition to torturing my children with traumatic diets, I’m also a raging ageist) Makes me feel like pretty much the worst.

Excuse me while I pause Mommy Dearest.

“I’m doing this for your own good,” I lie to him. Easing his gastro fussiness is my main concern I testify because that’s part of the long con I’m playing. Parenthood is nothing more than strategic maneuvers to see the long con play out to our advantage.  It’s not for his own good...he’d EVENTUALLY stop throwing up whether he’s on this diet or not.

I’m doing it for me. The BRAT Diet is my luxury. I’ve done enough laundry to last me a lifetime. I have hit my disinfecting limit. This is why I keep Zofran tucked in strategic locations on my property like a prepper would keep firearms.

I don’t do vomit for long. You can lay on my couch for two months with a cold. I’ll suction your nostrils like I’m in training for the upper respiratory olympics. But vomit? Don’t bring that mess in here. I rebuke you in the name of Urgent Care and Tide Pods. Get thee behind me Rotavirus also E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Norwalk agent, and all the major parasites.

If paint came with an antibacterial finish option, I’d be at Home Depot tomorrow.

God gave me one kid with a dietary conscience who will listen to my advice and heed it, and the other...THAT kid got the propensity for gastro infections. I mean on a healthy day, I have to hide the six pecan swirls in six secret locations so the pack will last longer than it takes me to unpack the groceries. He eats and he eats. He’ll polish off a bag of chips during a fifteen minute Peppa Pig show, and his body responds by staying in the 50% for weight - because apparently, I’m not resentful enough as a person.  

I’ve pulled empty packages of goldfish out of his closet. I’ve surrendered the second 1/2 of whatever I’ve been enjoying because he’s standing so close to my plate that I’m afraid I’ll pass out from only breathing in his carbon dioxide. This kid’s passion is food. I shouldn’t complain. He eats everything. He has a wonderful palate but also, a tremendous case of hollow leg.

So when the puking flu hits the house and we have to do a palate pullback on all the foods we typically eat in the day (which is all of them), I get some objections from this perpetually starving boy. Already today, though I’ve hired armed guards to watch the pantry, I’ve managed to rescue the Halloween Candy from a serious hostage situation (I did have to shoot the hostage, or in this case, eat the Almond Joys - parenting is about the hard choices) and we’ve had to have a fairly ugly Teddy Graham intervention.

So after a long day of being on sick kid patrol, that did include a few decadent snuggles, I decided to salute all the Pedialyte forcing parents who have to surrender 48-72 hours to the BRAT diet.

Cheers from me, a mom perpetually on the wine diet.



Is It Too Much?

Not too long ago I was chaperoning a field trip for my son's class. We went to a museum that had this authentic living exhibit about everyday life in Colonial days.  For those people who aren't history buffs, this is a time before Cheez-its. People didn't have cars. Couples didn't get in fights over the thermostat because you either had a fire or you didn't. Also, dinner was whatever had been killed alongside whatever was in the spooky root cellar with the spiders and possibly snakes. It was a dark, dark period. One plus, kids ate everything because they literally didn't know when they would eat again.

I love history. I'm fascinated by how people lived in different time periods, what they wore, how they cooked. It's all very interesting to me. I wish I had a Bill and Ted's phone booth just to go back and see how people lived...and then jump back in and get home in time for The Walking Dead. Just a glimpse now...I don't want to actually do any hard labor. 

Photo by Nicola Tolin on Unsplash
Knowing how rough people had it though, makes me feel a little useless to be honest. As a kid, Laura Ingalls books were magical - but as an adult, the fact that Ma Ingalls never sat down unless she was darning socks, produces a little Stouffer's Lasagna guilt. I make myself feel less guilty by believing that Ma Ingalls would have made a frozen pizza at least once a week if she had had the option. 

On this field trip, I was pretty mesmerized by the authentic cabins we toured and the different stations where they showed us a blacksmith shop, how to wash clothes with no Tide and how to make Pumpkin Spice Lattes from their garden. 

What really stood out was the description of what kids my son's age (roughly 8 at the time) did to help around the house - excuse me, homestead. Things like staying up all night to keep the fire lit, predator lookout (this involved unsupervised rifle handling), intensive field labor and lastly, let's not forget the 10-mile marches, sometimes in the dark, to retrieve fire from the closest neighbor in the event that the family let theirs die out (also involved unsupervised rifle handling - in the dark). 

And I'm standing there taking all of this in while holding a giant bottle of filtered spring water and a can of SPF 155 sunblock spray in the event that my own 8-year-old began to show signs of dehydration or was unintentionally confronted by the sun while on an overly chaperoned field trip. I have to admit, as a mother, I felt like a failure. What would my foremothers say about the fact that my little family is equipped to do nothing?

Our society just isn't about survival anymore. We don't have a lot of natural predators in these parts.

It's true though. A few years ago, parents were arrested for letting their kids walk to a park, unsupervised, in broad daylight. It's called free-range parenting and it's apparently illegal? Not that long ago, it was called, "you're 3 and 1/2 Phineas, time to go get a job three towns over, here's a lunch pail with a half a sandwich and a still twitching hog tail. You'll find some water along the way."
Photo by Alan Emery on Unsplash

I mean, let's put all the life-risking stuff aside. I was born in the 1970's and I don't remember ANYONE caring about my water intake as a kid. My mother didn't know the signs of dehydration. If she had, she probably would have handed me a Tab. I would hit the door at 8am on a summer day in Georgia, play all day, never take a sip of anything except a half a glass of Five Alive at my friend's house midday out of her Smurf glasses courtesy of McDonald's' Happy Meals. 

Nobody cared if I had had enough water. There was a garden hose, everyone assumed the kids would drink something BEFORE they passed out. And if you didn't - well - that's what you get. I had large water bottle for tennis matches, but other than that, I was the Phineas of the 1980's...except without a rifle...or imminent life danger. 

And yet, I feel like, we are supposed to be SO cautious of everything these days with our own children: 


Dear Colonial Parents,

Coyotes have surrounded the school, please send your kids to class with their loaded rifles to help protect our building. 


Dear 2018 Parents

Tomorrow, Mrs. Smith's class will be heading to lunch via Hallway B instead of the usual Hallway A. This will route us past a fairly large window. We'd like you to make sure your child is prepared for all possibilities by making sure he/she has:

1. Light-colored breathable clothing as the window lets in a lot of light and heat
2. Layers in case it's chilly
3. A light jacket in case it's windy
4. A heavy jacket in case there's an ice storm
5. An umbrella and rain boots in case the window is leaking
6. A comfort item for emotional support during the change in route
7. A snack for hallway congestion which would keep us there longer than expected
8. Two forms of ID
9. Sunblock to avoid skin cancer.
10. A bottle of filtered spring water so no one DEHYDRATES
11. Will be sending a sign-up list for volunteers to chaperone the hallway change. 

Now hear me well - I am NOT making fun of teachers. Most teachers are parents and EVERY parent I know wants to turn to their own kid at least once a week and say FIGURE OUT HOW TO DEAL WITH IT YOURSELF. So I KNOW that when someone else's child is whining about how they can't figure out how to tie their shoe, they are NOT coddling them.

But two years ago a well-meaning nurse scared my son into a summer of water terror with her drowning statistics. 

This is just the life we live in. I think it's ridiculous but I'm STILL worried about my son's electrolytes and his back-to-school ability to communicate with the three-dimensional people after a summer of video games. I still don't like for him to walk to our mailbox in the middle of the day. I tell him to not talk to ANYONE he knows or doesn't know that's in a car or a van, talking about puppies, offering candy, AND YET I also tell him to look new people in the eye and give a firm handshake. I want him to eat more carrots. I'm sometimes afraid he'll get scurvy, even though I've never actually Googled how you get scurvy. You know...all the normal mom stuff.

But it STILL seems ridiculous sometimes.

I just think there has to be a middle ground. A place where we continue to encourage kids to be brave and independent but fewer black bears and dysentery. 


Kiefer, Sorry We Keep Missing Each Other. Call Me.

Is this a midlife crisis? It feels like a midlife crisis.

I keep realizing over and over again that I'm four decades into this life and there are so many things I have not accomplished.

I thought I was working to get somewhere, but I think I passed it. And therefore totally missed it (whatever it was).

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
It was probably because I was talking. I miss a lot of things due to talking. Or maybe I mistook it for another stat update from my Fortnite obsessed 10 year old and did that thing where I zone out and say "that's great" as he recaps his skin collection and dance move arsenal. Ahhh Summer.

What started out as two months of hopeful structure, learning opportunities and chore lists has quickly melted down into 1 AM bedtimes and I-don't-care-what-you-do-just-do-it-quietly orders. Year round school, you say? *checking the "maybe" box*

So it turns out, I've had some time to contemplate, you know on those nights I'm sitting in the upstairs hallway policing room escapes and going over all the numbers for the week with my math-y five-year-old, and I've decided that I'm a complete and utter failure, which is a day ruin-er. Let's analyze all the things I planned for my life that I have thus far failed to do.

  • I am not an oceanographer. 
  • I cannot hula hoop.
  • I am not a veterinarian with my best childhood friend, Katie and we don't live in a mansion with dozens of wild animals that run free. 
  • Likewise, we didn't become best friend actresses with our own t.v. show. 
  • I didn't become a Black Eyed Pea, which means...
  • I haven't won an MTV Music Award
  • I didn't meet a vampire on a pier in Santa Carla that looked a lot like Kiefer Sutherland
  • I didn't meet a cowboy who rode in a gang with Billy the Kid and who also looked a lot like Kiefer Sutherland. 
  • I did not win the dance-off to become the new DTV regular much to my strict military father's disapproval. 
  • I never accidentally randomly encountered a New Kid on the Block where I impressed him with my singing, acting, beauty, CPR skills, car maintenance knowledge or by saving him from a rattlesnake.
  • I was never featured on the cover of seventeen magazine on a surfboard with the caption "Surfing the World Wide Webb" with a feature story on the inside where they ask me questions and I give them disinterested bada$$ answers because I'm too famous to care. - (yes, I gave my fake media trajectory some real thought.)
  • Kiefer Sutherland, due to the unfortunate missteps listed above, has not fallen in love with me, which is really his loss and it's too late for him because I am QUITE married (I mean like, we JUST bought our second set of furniture together's serious). 

Hold on. I've had to pour some wine to cope with my downward spiral.

I spent a LOT of the last few years feeling like I missed some boat that everyone else got on *waves from the shore while muttering resentful comments* Wasn't I supposed to have accomplished...something?  I mean, like a GRAND goal of some sort that everyone could see and that would some how justify my entire existence? Was I standing at the $1 bins at Target with my $6 coffee when opportunity knocked on my door?

I've recently realized though that one of the gifts you get when you lose someone close is perspective. I didn't ask for it and would give it back in a nano-second, but since I didn't get the choice, I look at it as one of God's jewels for the brokenhearted and hurting. Perspective. Sometimes you need something or someone to flip the lens of your perspective so you can really get a better look at all you seem to be dissatisfied with.

And my perspective shifted to see all the things I've done in my life that no one would ever really
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash
notice. The things that I've always wanted and I've gotten. There was no mountaintop experience for the things I value most. And thank goodness - because though amazing to behold, a mountaintop moment is fleeting and once-in-a-lifetime-ish. It's all those little moments in my day and week when I was experiencing deep, exhaling joy and satisfaction. I think it's just a general appreciation of the journey...yes even though Kiefer and I have chosen different paths.

Here is what I've come to value about my life recently.

  • When my boys are laughing and playing together - I mean, like really laughing - not fighting, not arguing, not manipulating - but really and truly enjoying the brother relationship. I feel such deep joy watching my kids that it makes me want to burst. 
  • When I start to miss being younger but then I remember how full of angst and doubt and fear I really was and I realize that from this point on, I get to enjoy life confidently and with the deep contentment that only those with war wounds (and a few wrinkles) get to experience. 
  • That first cup of coffee in the morning - it's the BEST. 
  • When your spouse catches you off guard with a joke and you find yourself laughing as hard as you did when you were first dating. 
  • Quality time with my sister and mother. Mom has always said, "You get one turn on this earth." She and my dad squeezed every drop of experience out of their years together and true to form, she's continuing to pursue life even when it's emotionally hard. 
  • Girlfriends - I think in your 30's you are in this underground bunker of child rearing and it's rare to have the trifecta of time, energy and money to spend on quality friendships, but when your kids get a little older, you begin to see the possibilities again and I LOVE the support and laughter and reality checks I get when I spend an evening with girlfriends.

All in all, I think the most exciting thing about life is always the possibility ahead.

So maybe we'll look different,
a little older,
a little worn.
Maybe we'll feel a little stiffer,
resent the 20 year old on the elliptical next to us at the gym,
go up a size or three,
start eating for fiber, instead of taste,
pick a smaller beverage on a road trip because when did I start having to pee so much?

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash
But all that means is we have no more excuses to see life for what it really is...these amazing, heart-
singing moments that sometimes catch us off guard and give us incredible emotional experiences that are the direct result from our desire to create a life of connection rather than just accomplishment. It isn't groundbreaking but we all fail to see the beauty in front of us sometimes because we have heaped a disproportionate amount of expectations about what life should look like instead of enjoying what it actually does look like.


Make it a Mystery!

Since firing back up the murder mystery party business, I have had several inquiries into it. I thought I'd just do a quick post and let you know what they are and you can see if it's a good fit for your event.

A little history as to why I travel around with a portable crime scene in my car
In high school, I was very involved in the drama club and I was also just very involved in any kind of drama in general. I love performing and I really miss walking into an empty theater, making my way back to the dressing room and putting my train case full of makeup in front of a large mirror.  I miss the nerves. I miss the energy of the audience. I am totally getting off track, but I wanted to throw a warm fuzzy reunion in this paragraph for all of my former and current theater nerds out there. The theater is magic. Being a part of it is special and it has given so many of us some sense of satisfaction in the uncertain and stressful formative years of high school.

The theater is where I fell in love with creating experiences for people. This is what I love about hosting murder mystery parties. Creating experiences.

Before I belt out a show tune, let me move on. When I was 19, my church singles group wanted to host a murder mystery party for like 30 or 40 people. The boxed games that you could buy were made for 8 people. The internet and all it's wonderment was not really around as it is now so everyone was trying to figure out how to pull it off. I volunteered myself as tribute. I believe my exact words were, "I can write one of those."

And everyone believed me.

And actually I had no idea how to write "one of those."

I wrote that first murder mystery party, a 1940's themed Hollywood party called "What Happened to Roxy Lamour?" I, of course, procrastinated and cried through about 10 hours straight of sitting at the computer at my job on a Saturday while my family kept calling me asking if I was going to come home in time for the party.

Somehow I pulled it off. But it was NOT pretty.

Over the years I tested different themes and party sizes. Some performances were hits and some just weren't. It's how it goes. Experiencing both success and failure, while a rollercoaster, was really the only way to learn.  I did all kinds of events from church functions to corporate retreats, private parties to team building events. I've had a lot of amazing people who believed in me and supported me and didn't question the roll of crime scene tape or the rolled up chalk body outline when getting in my car.

Those are good friends to have.

And then I had kids. And kids are a commitment (they like eat EVERY day) and I put it away entirely to start writing a blog - because I didn't have to get a babysitter to write a blog.

Over the last three years, much to my surprise, I have begun to host them once again. My current niche is the civic groups and women's organizations who need monthly programming at their luncheons. I have had an amazing time working with these organizations to bring them a fun event.

I have recently been requested for "take-a-long" versions of my game and those are also available.

So to FINALLY get to the point.

I customize murder mystery parties for any event. I work with most sizes, themes and venues. If you are interested, then let's talk. No strings.

My prices for events where I attend as the facilitator start at $250.  I can work with you at times because I love what I do, but babysitters are expensive and I don't own my own Starbucks yet. To buy a take home version that needs no alterations - as is, it is $50. To customize a take home game, I charge between $100-$200 depending on the group size and request.

How does it work?
A certain number of guests at your event will become suspects in a crime. They will get their character info, event theme and costume suggestions in advance. Everything else will be given to them the night of the event. No line preparation is required. You just show up and perform. They are really fun and people tend to really enjoy themselves. I have a lot of repeat customers.

If you are interested, please email me at and I will send over an introductory client letter that lays it all out. We can set-up an initial call to discuss your event where we can talk details at no obligation.

So that's it. Let me know if you have any specific questions!


Liquids and Solids

My grandfather used to say that there were two kinds of people in the world. Liquids and Solids.

Solids are who they are. They are defined and strong. They are the type of people that you make room for because they know who they are and they aren't afraid to show it. These people are decisive. They KNOW where they want to go for dinner.

Liquids...well liquids take the shape of their containers. Liquids are people who let their circumstances and relationships define who they are a little more than they should. I don't know why THEY do this.  Perhaps liquids are a little too afraid of hurting other people's feelings and so they tell people what they want to hear a lot. I mean. I'm guessing this is what they do. I don't know. Me being all solid and such.

I like these descriptors. It has always bothered me that I'm not a true solid. I'm a solid in certain areas, but a liquid in a whole lot of others.

Stealing (Solid) - Absolutely not.
Cheating (Solid) - Heck No.
Cilantro (Solid) - Get thee behind me Satan.
Lying About Not Wanting to Go Out (Liquid) - "Gosh Jackie, I would love to go - but I have this old war injury that prevents me from eating tapas *mutes phone to open Cheez-Its* "

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
As I get older, I feel like I get more solid in some areas, but there are a lot of areas in my life that I think I'm just flat out waiting for other people to come tell me who I am.

But I'm 41 so...I feel like those people aren't coming.

But then I got to thinking. When my grandfather spoke of liquids and solids, he was talking about people who are strong versus people who are weak. But he was from a generation without much gray area. There wasn't time for gray area. There were wars to fight and shirts to starch.

But in my pontificate-life-whilst-playing-candy-crush, walmart-grocery-now-delivers-to-my-freaking-house generation, liquids and solids don't describe a full person, in my opinion they describe aspects of people. Thank God for gray area.

We all have deal breakers. Things we can't fathom changing our stance on.

For example, Target is pretty solid on a $.05 discount deeming something a clearance item, yet pretty liquid on the amount of open checkout lines to customer ratio. *side eyeing Target with my $5 coffee*

I was just thinking the other day while I was organizing all of my secret dieting Pinterest Boards (I felt like it was a bit disrespectful to have 'Pontificating Paleo' next to 'Goin' Vegan' so I put 'Weight Watchers' - Smartpoints not freestyle - in between to keep it respectful) that there are so many things I still don't have together.

Now I'm not at all proposing that we are all solids all the time, because someone else should get to pick the movie from time to time. But wait...what movie were you thinking?

I guess my point is that this indecisive side of me for so long has been troubling. Like, why don't I have a solid stance on everything? Why don't I know who I definitively am at this point? Why do I not have a solid system for everything in my life?

And it dawns on me...isn't a little liquid just room for growth?

When I was a little girl, I wanted my grandfather to see me as a solid. And I think that I am in the way he was viewing it, but as I get older, I see the beauty in some liquid in all of our lives.

Sometimes being solid means being closed off. For example, there is no speech, facebook post or 20/20 episode that will convince me that I should eat cilantro. I don't like it. Period. End of discussion.

But who am I to close myself off to issues and discussions that are personal to other people? When do my feelings on something outrank another person's.

Photo by Samara Doole on Unsplash
People are pretty much made up of DNA and life experiences.

And both of those things are very real.

It makes me realize that age isn't making me more solid, it's making me more liquid because life can be hard. And the longer you are in the game, the more your heart softens. The more experiences you used to judge then happen to you and you realize you had no idea what you were talking about before.

Enter motherhood.
Enter a child diagnosed with something.
Enter profound personal loss and grief.

I'm not advocating that we become a wishy washy group of non-decision makers (sorry Congress, you do you, Boo), but we can all stand to forego a little judgement.

Sometimes it's hard to see the bright side of getting older. Seems like a silly process at times because our current culture celebrates youth...but then I remember my dad telling me that the thing he valued the most as an older man was kindness.

And I think of all the ridiculous things that I value. And how they really don't mean much.

Fluidity and kindness. The ability to mold and grow as a person coupled with caring about my fellow man.

With all due respect to my grandfather, I think I won't resist those gushy parts of who I am anymore.


Hi *waves weakly*

So. Grief is kind of a monster and I resent it.

I get it. It's necessary. It's part of healing.

But I can't help but feel like my dad was taken and grief was what got substituted. And I don't want grief. I want my dad. My kids want my dad. Everyone wants my dad.

A few nights ago, Wesley started crying because he was sad about his grandpa. It was gut wrenchingly sad but also touching to see my five year old on the autism spectrum connect the absence of my dad with his own grief. It was cool. Crazy sad, but cool. We all had a good cry. Crying is a step forward. A painful one, but a step none the less.
Afterward, I told the boys to go get in my bed so we could watch Ferdinand the Bull even though it was a school night and I wanted to watch The Fall on Netflix. What can I say, I'm a giver. Besides, they would have asked way too many plot questions if we had watched The Fall.

So we popped popcorn, put on our happy faces and started watching Ferdinand. And like fifteen minutes into the movie they took Ferdinand away from his owner, a little girl who got sad. I get it, rising action and such, but Wesley started crying again, saying he didn't want Ferdinand to go because it made his friend very very sad...and he dropped his popcorn and ran out of the room.

Sam looked at me and said, "Great movie choice, mom. Way to cheer us up." He's just bitter because we didn't watch Die Hard.

And we laughed about it.  And I realized something. Grief is consuming sometimes, but it's not going to win. We will get through this intensely sad and life jarring time and we will figure out where to go from here.

My husband asked me how I was doing this week. I told him that the constant sadness is gone. The sadness now hits in odd moments at weird times, but it feels more powerful than when you are in that state of constant sadness. It's almost like your subconscious wants to put any random happiness you have in its place.  Like you almost forget how the landscape of your life has changed so drastically in a very short amount of time and then you are folding a shirt your dad bought your son that he's outgrown and it sucker punches you in the stomach. And the sadness that hits now is suffocating.

So I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing about how I'm processing my feelings about my dad, but I feel weird moving onto other subjects and digging out my humor without a gut check.

In January, I was talking to dad about my writing projects. I do a lot of ghostwriting. Ghostwriting is basically throwing yourself into another person's subject matter, reading enough of their current work to understand their voice and then writing things for them. I really enjoy it but it's easy to hide behind it. It's easy to trick yourself into thinking you are fully enjoying your hobby just because you are doing it...but you have to be really careful to find your terms and spend a little time doing things you simply enjoy.

One of the last things dad said to me that was 'fatherly' was in this conversation in January. He said,  "Do me a favor. Don't spend all your time writing other people's words. Write some more of your own."

I think about that a lot. It might seem silly. But I think that if you have a passion for something, which I think a lot of us do, it's not silly. It's the thing that keeps you company throughout your entire life. Insert your own thing. It doesn't have to be writing. It can be painting, teaching, healing, No judgement. This is a safe space.

At least twice a month I am convinced that my passion is Cheez-Its.

Though this year has not started in the manner I expected nor want it to. I can't help but have that Morgan Freeman line from Shawshank Redemption go through my head these days, "get busy living, or get busy dying."

I think whenever life takes an unexpected turn where mortality is involved, we realize that there is no better time to get going. If you've been meaning to do something and I can help encourage you to finally do it, I'd love the chance.

So that's a small gut check from me. The May issue of NW Georgia Magazine will have a tribute to dad. The magazine was awesome about reaching out and offering me this beautiful space to honor my dad. I hope when it comes out, that you will read it.  I was supposed to go Yurt camping...thank you baby Jesus in a manger I can put off camping for a few more months (is that technically camping)? Can you DoorDash to a Yurt?

My entire family has been moved by how much our beloved community has loved us. Our biggest wish is to be able to reciprocate or pay it forward some day.