If Love Could Have Saved You…

May 25, 2013
I stole this from my sister 

Brandon and I were 13 months apart, there wasn’t a moment in a my life that I don’t remember having
him around.  The pain of losing him was nearly unbearable.  I often sit and watch the clock on May 25th, thinking about what our lives were like that day before he died.  We never saw it coming, and I’m sure he didn’t either.

Brittney, Lauren, Renae, and I were sitting at Tapas in downtown Lexington the very last time I heard his voice.  He called and I answered, but only briefly.  I was enjoying dinner and drinks with my girlfriends before heading into a night of work at UK.  I wish I would have talked longer.  I will be forever grateful for the last few seconds of conversation and a final I love you.

Our lives have changed dramatically since he left us.  We have three new babies in the family.  My sister is engaged, and I am getting divorced.  His daughters have grown up so much, and he would be so proud of the little women they are becoming.  The last few weeks I have needed you more than ever and I guess you are listening to my prayers.

There will never be words to describe how much you are missed.  Your laughter and antics, you always knew how to make anyone laugh.  I hope you know how much are loved and cherished.  I know that you would like nothing more than to teach your two nephews to fish, hunt, and play football.  It is a somber day for our family.  I take solace in knowing that heaven is a little goofier place because you are there.

Today instead of remembering the day you were stolen from us, I will remember the days that we shared.  Our first trip to Disney World, breaking my leg racing you on a bicycle, and the time you nearly knocked me out playing “balance beam” on the edge of our parents water bed.  The absolutely ridiculous stuff like trying to light your farts are some of the most amusing moments of my life.  

I love you Brandon Michael Peace.  
You might have left this earth but you will never be forgotten.
December 15 1981- May 25, 2009  

Happy Sorrowful Saturday,

A Focus on Friendship

Photo Credit: Galleria of Art

Here lately I have had mixed emotions about how I feel.  I really am relieved.  I realized that being lied to that much is emotional and mental abuse.  He destroyed every ounce of trust I had for anyone.  It is stressful to constantly feel like your being lied to, and in my case I was.  The last few years have just been full of lies.  The stress was overwhelming at times and it was often compounded by being a single mom.  I want my marriage to be over but it is just hard to watch 13 years of a relationship come to a close.  It is like mourning the loss of a loved one.  I struggle with the need for human interaction and the  strong desire to isolate myself.  It took every ounce of courage and strength I had to go to my clubs Federation Day last week. I am glad I went, I love my girls and they are incredible support.

There is an old saying that, “a true friend walks in when the world walks out.”  I realized how many true friends I have.  We might not always talk, but they always show up when I need them.  Last night my Navy friend from 16 years ago, made plans to come us from Arizona in July.  We haven’t seen each other in 14 years.  There are some bonds that are never truly broken.

Today another dear friend and I went to lunch, and then got our kiddos together to play.  We laughed about how much our lives have changed.  It is nice to see a smiling face and have a few laughs over a beer.  Last week, I mended a another friendship that I thought was irrevocably broken.  I had cherished her like a sister, and I was always heartbroken losing that friendship.  It was a spot of blue sky on a very cloudy day.

Well this Belle has to run.  Gabe and I are going to watch my nephew play ball, along with seeing a few old friends.  Gabe also go a invite to a pool party.  I am looking forward to seeing how the future unfolds for the both of us.

Happy Friendship Friday,

True Love Really Does Exist: Taylor Morris & Danielle Kelly

May 23, 2013
Photo Credit: Tim Dodd & Sevenly

Society needs to know that true love really does exist, or maybe I am a hopeless romantic.  Two people can fall in love and survive anything if they have the will power to stick it out.  You can see the love and commitment that this couple have for each other and it is enough to make you envious.  Taylor Morris had four limbs amputated following an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.  Taylor was a Navy EOD technician. He never gave up the fight and neither did his girlfriend Danielle Kelly.  Their love story is told in 22 photos by photographer Tim Dodd.  This week Taylor is helping to support the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.) through the Sevenly clothing line campaign.  I am honored to be a part of this campaign to earn money for T.A.P.S., and introduce to you a love story better than The Notebook. 

Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly’s love story told by Tim Dodd in 22 pictures.  (just a warning, you might need tissues)                         

Please show your support for Taylor and our military members by checking out Sevenly this week.  Every purchase will help raise a donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.  T.A.P.S. provides support to family and friends of military personnel who perished in the line of duty.  

Happy Triumphant Thursday,

Sevenly and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: Where Fashion Becomes Charity

May 22, 2013
Have you ever witnessed the pain of someone else and counted your blessings?  When I was running the Disney Princess half marathon this spring, I caught a glimpse of a red t-shirt with the photo of a soldier on the back.  I was curious, so I sped up to get closer.  A military widow was running for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors also known as T.A.P.S.  I nearly started sobbing on the spot.  I come from a very large military family and we have been fortunate enough to have our service members return home, countless others aren’t so lucky.  The T.A.P.S. program provides a multitude of services to the family members, friends, and battle buddies of service members who died for our country.  The pain and suffering they endure can be relentless.  T.A.P.S. developed summer camps for children, grief counseling, emergency funds, and other forms of very necessary assistance. 

Photo Credit: Sevenly

The trendy clothing line Sevenly has partnered with T.A.P.S. this week to help raise money for this incredible organization.  

                                              About Sevenly:

Sevenly is a social good fashion brand that partners with a new charity each week, promoting and selling limited edition graphic tees and other lifestyle products. Seven dollars from each sale goes towards the charity of the week, helping raise funds and awareness.  Sevenly’s foundation is that People Matter, and since their launch in June 2011, Sevenly has continued to lead a generation towards generosity, raising over 2.1 million dollars to date.

Photo Credit: Sevenly

Photo Credit: Sevenly 

The trendy clothing line is comfortable, stylish, and affordable.  Why not shop for an great charity and help military families recover from a devastating loss?  You can help raise awareness for T.A.P.S. and the Sevenly fundraising campaign by sharing this blog post on your social media sites.  It would be a great way to kick off your Memorial Day weekend plans!  

Happy Wonderful Wednesday,


HLN’s Raising America: The Bluegrass Belle Is Going to Television

May 18, 2013
Photo Credit: Edelman’s for Starbucks

This has been a crazy week around our house, and that isn’t always a bad thing.  A few weeks ago at Mom2.0Summit I did Shark Tank with HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips.  I was a nervous wreck and nearly talked myself out of it several times.  I think I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of something great.

I have spent the last 3.5 years raising my son, and having my husband make me feel like I was an unequal partner in our relationship.  He had worked his desk job in Bogota, Colombia while I stayed behind to care for our son.  I’m not sure how many times I heard, “All you do is watch Gabe and go to the gym.”  My husband on the other hand worked 9 to 5 most days, and had his evenings and weekends free to prowl around Bogota at his leisure.  I on the other hand worked from the time I got up til our son went to bed.  I worked on educating Gabe, teaching him manners, being a mother and a father, going to basketball practice, soccer practice, and everything in between.  I also managed our finances, did classwork, and rarely had any time to myself.  I needed the Shark Tank as validation that I was more than just someone’s mother.  I was a woman, a contribution to society, and I had a voice that should be heard.

When I saw the first three panelist raise those green lights, I knew I was safe.  Rena Popp had her apprehensions about my ability to handle the pressure of being on air, which might have been valid on that day.  I have since figured out I can handle anything thrown at me.  A friend referred to me as a “Steel Magnolia” and it made me beam with pride.  Southern women are known to overcome adversity.

The late Rose G. Cole 

When I saw the episode air today announcing who was chosen, I was almost overwhelmed.  My faith and courage had paid off.  I don’t doubt that my great grandmother Rose G. Cole was in heaven shouting, “that’s my girl.”  I’m not sure anyone knew how to overcome adversity quite like she did.  My Granny Peace would be equally as proud.  She and my grandmothers, Adean Cole and Norma Peace are my true “Steel Magnolias.”  I guess when you grow up in a very rural part of southeastern Kentucky which can be a harsh environment, you learn to never give up.

I hope I can represent my hometown well and I look forward to brainstorming with the producers about my contribution to the show.  I’m not sure when I will be on air, but I imagine it won’t be long.  I need to get with my assigned producer to prep.  Thanks to the producers and Kyra Phillips for listening to the antics of this southern woman and mother.  A special thank you to all the Mom2Summit attendees that approached me after the pitch.  I have a few other projects in the works and I look forward to building relationships in the blogging/branding community.  I have to give a shout out to Brittney Wells who really started all this by encouraging me to apply for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs partnership with United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign.  I am inspired daily by the people that surround my life. I couldn’t do any of this without my silly and curious son, who has taught me I don’t have to be so serious.  Lastly, thank you God for giving me the courage to stand up and speak when I had so many other things going on.  Now I am starting to sound like Miss America, so the thank you’s must stop but I appreciate everyone in my life.

On a side note, when they pulled my photo someone assumed the blonde haired, blue eyed girl on my facebook photography business fan page was me.  It is actually my beautiful cousin Brianna.  I really don’t mind, people can think that is me 😉


Woohoo!  This is an amazing day in my life.  I am going to be on HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips speaking about the problems facing military families and children.  I am going to post the official list with links to the others on Monday when it is published. Congrats to all my fellow Shark Tank Mom2Summit green lighters, I am honored to be among your ranks!

Happy Fantastic Friday,

Shark Tank: Hope You Don’t Get Eaten Alive

May 17, 2013
Photo Credit: Raising America

Today is a big day for alot of Mom2.0Summit attendees.  Many of us did Shark Tank for HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips.  The results of the Shark Tank will be announced on air at noon EST today on HLN.  I’m cheering for a few friends including myself.  It was nothing short of an amazing experience and I commend anyone else who had the guts to step up to the plate.  It is one thing to apply for a job or approach someone about  a position.  Everyone in the Shark Tank stood up in a very crowded room with a panel of somewhat intimidating judges, and pitched their story.  You had 2 minutes to state your case and then the judges gave you a red, yellow, or green light.  If you got 3 green lights you were safe, and if you got yellow lights then you had 20 more seconds to state your case. If three or more were red, it was game over.  Luckily for me, my first three lights were green.  My sole red light was from Rena Popp, and I got to chat with her more about that later.  I hope everyone will tune in today and watch the show.  There were so many fantastic auditions.

Happy Fantastic Friday,

Happiest Girls are the Prettiest Girls

May 15, 2013
My dear friend Jen and I in Cali

I looked in the mirror today and I realized, the happiest girls are definitely the prettiest girls. I see a direction and purpose for my life. I am honestly relieved that my facade of a marriage will be over soon enough. It is nice to no longer pretend that everything is okay. The truth will set you free, but it will definitely annoy you first. One person can only lie to you so much before all faith is lost. I look at my son and I realize, we have a bond that will never be broken.
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For a lot of people I know, their workplace plays a huge part in their happiness. No one wants to work somewhere that drains their positivity and does not make them happy after all. Of course, there is no magical solution to the age old question of ‘how to keep your employee happy for real‘, but it cannot be denied that employees are more likely to stick around when they feel respected and valued by their employer.

Anyway, this cowgirl is ready to saddle up and ride off into the sunset. Today’s sunset was picnic in the park, we walked over to the park, played on the playground, and had snacks for a few hours. It was loads of fun, until Escobar managed to wiggle loose from his harness. I’m not sure how a short fat dog moves so fast. A ten minute chase and he was recovered. I have a love hate relationship with that dog. He better be grateful Gabe loves him so much.. lol

Being happy is not always easy though. With mental health being such an important topic in the media at the moment, finding ways to practice self care has to become a priority for each and every one of us. I was actually talking to a friend of mine about this the other day. She has struggled with anxiety and depression for most of her life but she has discovered that using natural remedies like CBD oil has made a big difference to her frame of mind. CBD oil has a wide range of health boosting benefits but it has been shown to be particulalry useful for people that live with mental health issues like anxiety and depression as it is believed to be a mood booster. Accordingly, if you would like to learn more about CBD oil, you can take a look at this guide to the best CBD oil UK customers can buy on the High Times website.

On a funny note, how does one sign up for a class and totally forget about it? No joke. I think I signed up for Human Health and Global Environmental Impact in February through Harvard Extension program. I wanted to make sure I got in before it filled. I get an email today saying, “Welcome to the first day of class!” What??!!! Yeah, like I needed this right now. I am going to suck it up and move forward. I have never taken one class at a time, only full semester loads. I think this course will help to improve my perspective on global health and strengthen my advocacy skills. It might even improve my chances of getting the dream job that I applied for.
Photo Credit: Nanny Stella
On a very strange note, I checked my inbox earlier to find an email from Nanny Stella. You might remember her as one of the nanny’s from The Nanny 911 Show. I thought to myself, I know Gabe occasionally throws tantrums but he really isn’t that bad. While I was in Laguna Beach for the Mom2.0Summit I filmed a segment with the New Era Mom Show about discipline. The segment is ironically titled, “When you disagree with your husband about discipline.” Nanny Stella is one of the co-founders of the New Era Mom Show.
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They were using part of my interview in the segment and it is set to air on Thursday.
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I’m slightly nervous, anxious, and apprehensive about it airing. I will also be participating in a twitter chat on May 23. So who is gonna tune in?
Happy Triumphant Tuesday,