Show Gratitude at All Times

      Happy Autumn! It is hard to believe that the leaves are changing colors, the nights are growing cooler, and October is almost over.       I have been focusing on all the things I love about this season and all that I am grateful for. Gratitude is a virtue. It's something I strive to integrate into my life each and every day, though I often fail. Beyond the pursuit of moral excellence, gratitude is a value that can produce substantial pay off. When I am grateful, I can escape the comparison trap. Instead, my heart becomes full as I recognize my many blessings.     For me, gratitude does not always come naturally, and so giving thanks has to be a very intentional practice on my heart. I'm thankful for my faith, family and friends, the job I have as the Director of Religious Education, and being able to go back to school at Valley City State University to get yet another degree. I'm blessed to have had a wonderful experience at VCSU and I can't wait to continue that.

Monarch Butterfly Education

      What a fun day! This morning Linda Prior, butterfly educator, and I gave a presentation to the Washington Elementary Summer Program in Moline, IL on the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, how to care for them, and I read my book Flight of the Butterfly  to them. Here you will see the news coverage that we received.      Students had an opportunity to make the life cycle of a monarch caterpillar, as well as make a butterfly flower stick, and release two monarch butterflies. 

Proceeds to Women's Choice Center

    Supporting organizations that help children in all stages of life has become a mission I'm very passionate about. Therefore, 100% of proceeds from the sales of all my children's books go to different organizations that support life as well as provide necessary services to live a healthy and happy life.       Today I had the pleasure of presenting Kathy Meier of the Women's Choice Center in Bettendorf, IA with a copy of Flight of the Butterfly  and a check from the book sales.

Meet and Greet

      I've been asked to join a butterfly educator, Linda Prior, to do a presentation for the Washington Elementary Summer School Program and so we decided to do a meet and greet program. Come out and learn more about how to help and care for endangered monarchs. f

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

     The older I get the more I'm becoming comfortable with speaking out about my truth and doing work to help our most vulnerable people...children. I do not want any child to go through the kind of abuse I experienced as a child but if they do, I want them to have a place they can go to get help and justice.     Helping children has become a huge priority to me, which is why I donate 100% of the proceeds from my books to organizations that help children be safe from all kinds of abuse, especially sexual abuse.      Today, I was blessed to go on my second television interview to talk about Erin's Law , my books, and my story. Today was my interview on Living Local and two weeks ago I was on Paula Sands Live. Click on the videos below to see the interviews. April 11, 2023: Paula Sands Live April 25, 2023:  Living Local

A New Book Coming April 2023

Dear Readers -  I know it's been awhile since I've written but please allow me this space to share with you what has been going on.  2022 was a bit of a roller coaster of a year. The school year ended with its many challenges and I resigned my position as a teacher and found my home working for my parish as the Director of Religious Education and school, teaching music two days a week. The year also brought the death of my mother, which also provided me an opportunity to continue my journey of healing through forgiveness and being at my mother's bedside in her final hours here on earth.  The beginning of 2023 was not as smooth as the end of 2022. It found me dealing with some health issues, postponing my three week trip to Italy. I spent four days in the hospital. However, these health issues gave me a new perspective on what it truly means to have faith and trust in God.  At the end of February I visited a priest friend of mine. As I was listening to his homily during Mass

50 years: An Anomaly

Do you know the percentage of people who make it to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary? If you are like me, you understand with all that our world is going through, the number may be low but I was shocked when I learned this week just how low that number is. Seven percent. SEVEN PERCENT! That is absolutely crazy to me.  Yesterday I had the honor nad privilege of taking photos for a couple who celebrated 50 years of marriage. I have known this couple for more than 20 years. In those 20 years, I've witnessed the ebb and flow of life take place within their family.  Life has not always been easy for them but one thing that kept them part of the anomaly of our world has been their faith, which is why I found myself thinking what a beautiful testament to have most of their family present for the private Mass and celebration.  As I drove home, after the celebration, I thought about that seven percent. I thought about all the people in my life. I've known many couples who have g