Thursday, March 2, 2017


This new year with my new role in life I have found myself focused more on setting goals and defining my dreams. Too much surprise (maybe not that much surprise) I have found myself in the proverbial trap of self-doubt. It is easy for me to write down my dreams and really define them. I can even set up a plan on how to start down the road to dream fulfillment. But every time I make progress and feel energized I am filled with all the reasons why this just won’t work out for me. There is past failure, mediocre talent, limited funds, saturated markets, and on and on and on. I have had all the good talks with myself about taking a chance and getting out of the comfort zone. As good as may (or may not) be as a therapist I can’t motivate myself with just words. (If I could there would be a lot of things different going on in my life right now---but I digress) I do think that at this point in my life I have things that will help me live out my dreams. I have family and friends that are loving and supportive of me in whatever adventure I want to go on. I have a faith that has seen me through some very hard times and has made me stronger and braver than I have ever been. I have a husband that tells me every day that I am amazing, beautiful, and sweet. With all the good I have I have the courage that I haven’t had before. Perhaps my dreams were made for such a time as this.  We shall see. Stay tuned……..

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mookie Bailey....a good man

When you grow up in a small town everyone knows everyone else. You pass the same people in the hallways at school from kindergarten to graduation. Your friends become your family. You don't just have one set of have your friends parents too. I am so very lucky to have grown up like this, and on a night like tonight I am experiencing the grief and loss of one of those special small town family members.

First let me give you a little history. April has been my friend for longer than I can remember. I have so many memories of her and her family growing up. I have never called her grandmother by her name...I always call her Memaw. And I am sure that I knew the weekends her dad would be in from work. There are songs that come on the radio that make me think of her dad. To me he was that dad that I associated with fun and big laughs. April and I always use to pretend we were sisters (even though we didn't know how that would happen because I wasn't marrying Allen aka her little brother). I know God smiled in those moments because one day she did become my sister. When God gave me a step brother he gave me April too as my sister in law.  (And 2 of the cutest nephews in the world) When April came into our family she brought her family with her. I love her parents and siblings and nieces and nephews. They are my extended family. Just stopping to think about it there are several ways our family is intertwined. 

This week we lost a very important member of our small time family. April's dad went to be with Jesus Monday night. He fought the good fight against cancer and the battle is over. When I heard the news I couldn't fight back the tears. I cried for April and her siblings, her Memaw losing another son, Alison who lost her husband , and the grandkids that lost their Popa. 

Tonight when I arrived at the funeral home for visitation I was blown away at the people that were there. There was a line to even get in the building. It was a true testimony of the man he was. Mookie was kind and funny, dedicated to his family, and hard working. The things I have known about Mookie from a young age has always intrigued me. I knew early on that he was a special man. And he continued being that man until the day he died. Tonight standing in line I realized that I am not the only one that saw the good in this man. He has definitely left a wonderful legacy behind. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

What Kind of Person Are You

This morning driving to work I listened to an interesting topic on a popular morning show. They were questioning how do you tell if someone is a good person?

Of course, they had all the standard answers: are they kind, how do they spend their free time, ECT; but there was one suggestion that stood out to me. One host said, “You can judge a person by the company they keep.” 


Stop and think about it for a minute. 


Our friends and family are a reflection of who we are. 


As I stopped to process this I thought about the people I spend my time with. I have a whole slew of friends, a loving family, and an amazing boyfriend. Each and every one of these people brings so much joy to my life. I am truly blessed to be living life with them. They are amazing. 


I won’t jump to the conclusion and say that I’m amazing. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself. But I will challenge you to take a look at the people you surround yourself with – are they projecting a good image of you? Is that projection who you are or who you desire to be? Take a good look at yourself. Are you the kind of friend that projects the good in others? Are you one of those first rate friends? When people see you, do they see you as a good person?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Queen B Boutique

I am excited to announce that I am now part owner of Queen B Boutique, an online fashion experience for the full figure fashionista.  After years of dreaming it is finally happening, and to make things better my business partner is my all time partner in crime….my sister. We are so excited to share our love for fashion with you. 

We both have had a love for fashion throughout our lives. Sometimes we wanted to be trendy and sometimes we wanted to stand out. Well there was really only one of us that ever wanted to stand out….picture Jnco pants and a seat belt buckle worn as a belt. I have always had expensive taste. Valerie has always been frugal. My taste left me with a closet with only a few cute things while hers was over flowing with style. Over the years I have learned from her how to be fashionable on a budget.

One thing that I have struggled with throughout my life is that I have a figure that is not considered “average.” Having these extra curves has always made it hard for me to find clothes that are not only cute but also flattering. It has been a long and frustrating struggle. As my figure has changed with getting older the struggle has gotten worse. There aren’t many options for us full figured girls. So after years of searching (and probably a little whining on my part) Queen B was born. It has been such a blessing already and we are so excited to share our love with you. So tell your friends to stop by and check us out!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hope Perspective

I was having a conversation with a new friend yesterday and I had the chance to talk about my addiction. As I tell everyone, addicts are not my favorite population to work with as a counselor. My friend asked me a simple question, “Why?” I didn’t have a good answer at the time so naturally I have been turning it over it in my head, and I think I may have come up with an answer, other than the fact that addicts are really hard to work with!  I don’t like to approach addiction from a counseling perspective because I don’t understand it from that perspective. I understand from the perspective of the addict. I understand that while in the midst of the hurt and pain and destruction counseling doesn’t always work. It is hard to connect to a counselor and it’s hard to be honest with a counselor. You aren’t honest with yourself much less others.  I didn’t break through the chains of addiction with counseling. I did it with the help of people that loved me and refused to give up on me, with people that loved me through their boundaries, and with realizing that I couldn’t do it at all without God. Those things were the key to me breaking free. I wish I could bottle up and give away what I have been so freely given, but I can’t. I can give away what I have learned. I can share it all, from pain to freedom.  I have so many other experiences that have helped make me a good counselor. My addiction has helped me be an example and bring hope.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015's Big News

For weeks I have been trying to think of a cute and catchy way to tell the world of my big 2015 news, but I’ve got nothing. So here goes............................. I am coming home!!!!!!!!
That’s right I am coming back north, and I am excited!!!! Don’t get me wrong I really like living in Baton Rouge, but through a series of unforeseen events I have the opportunity to come home. I have learned a lot over the past few months. The most important thing I have learn is how many awesome people I have in my life. Of course I could get new people, but I don’t want new people. I want my people. So I am coming home. 

Port City holds so much more for me than just my people (although my people are good enough). Port City is the key to so many big things. Some of them are not much more than just a dream. The big thing that I am most excited about is a little adventure that I am embarking on with my life long best friend (aka my sister). We are going into business. There is a trendy online boutique coming to an Internet near you!!!!!! We cannot wait!!!! This is all happening really soon. Before you know it I will be home and a business partner! I cannot wait to see all of my Port City friends. I'll be home soon. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


2014…… Wow what a year.
It was a year of great changes and unexpected out comes.

I moved……twice. The last time was to a new town over 200 miles from home.
I was a mom and expecting grandmother for 3 weeks. I had 2 health scares. I had a roommate, loved having a roommate, and moved away from my roommate.
I officially became an LPC. I loved being an aunt and enjoyed watching Tayton go from a cuddly baby to an adventurous toddler. I had a major career change, left an amazing job for another great job, moved for this job only to find out 2 months in the job would not last past 2015.....hopefully late 2015 but maybe early.

I laughed, I cried, I fought hard, I gave up, and fought hard again. I loved, I hoped, I dreamed, I took risk, I made mistakes, I apologized, and I grew.
I made plans. I had goals and expectations and those goals and expectations changed every single time.

 The train of my life jumped the tracks and forged a path all on its own. It was a good year with trying times. I drew close to God and pushed Him away. I was angry but grateful, satisfied but longed for more, obedient and rebellious. 2104 was important….will always be important. I changed, grew, and adapted because I had to. I kept going, I didn’t give up (for long), and I finished big.

2014 thank you for the ride.
2015 let’s see how you roll. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Today, my morning commute to work turned into a worship jam session. I turned on the worship playlist I listen to the most hit shuffle and turned up the volume. One of the songs that gets played a lot came on at the very beginning of my journey. The song is “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. One of the lines in the song is “I will worship while I’m waiting. I will serve you while I’m waiting.” As I sang along with John I realized that I seem to be in the waiting stage a lot. I basically live in the waiting stage. I am always waiting for the next goal, the next season, the next chapter….. the next big thing. I spend so much time waiting that I forget to live in the moment that is happening now. I miss out of the blessings and gifts of this chapter because I am so ready to turn the page to the next chapter. When I get to the end of my life I don’t want to look back and see that I spent all my time waiting. Don’t get me wrong; waiting is good, but we can’t forget to enjoy the now. Life is happening now!!! Have you struggled with this? What helps you to live in the here and now? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PSA: Robin Williams & the Millions

The news of hearing of the death of Robin Williams was so sad. He was talented and I loved so many of his movies. Hearing the reports of his suicide were heart crushing. Death is never good news but learning of suicide seems 100xs worse. The death always feels personal-- knowing someone else lost the battle.

Mental illness is a battle just like cancer. There are many forms, no one choices it, there is no discrimination on who gets it, no treatment is right for everyone, some people are cured, some people are lost, and millions suffer. I don’t just know these things from book knowledge. I know them because I have fought the battle. I have been in a place like Robin Williams was. I believed that death was the only answer and I took steps in search of relief. Obviously my story does not have a fatal ending (Thank you LORD!!!) but so many do. And for them and their families my heart breaks.

Unfortunately there is a stigma that comes along with mental illness that inflicts more shame and diminishes the opportunities for someone to reach out and get help. There should be no added shame. Ostracizing people that suffer brings more death than life. It causes more pain and no healing. Sick people need treatment. People that are suffering need someone to reach out to. I have hope that mental illness won’t always been something to be ashamed of. If you know someone that suffers, be there for them. If you suffer, have courage reach out. Let’s make it harder for the world to lose another amazing person. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Love Without End Amen

I named my first baby doll Baby Tony. For those of you who don’t know, Tony is my dad’s name. I recently asked my mom why I named my very pink, soft, and strawberry smelling baby after my daddy. Her answer was simple, “you were crazy about your daddy.” Thirty years later and I am still pretty crazy about him.

One thing I always thought was cool about my dad was he was in a band when I was young, and I thought he was as good as George Strait. George Strait was the first concert I went to at age 6 and the first tapes my daddy let me listen to. The love I had for George I learned and shared with my dad. I remember one time I was at an event he was playing at. I couldn't have been over 8. I remember dancing and loving hearing him sing. He sang a George song called “Love Without End Amen”. (Here is a link if you haven’t heard the song )  I remember dancing and singing and when he got to the 2nd verse he changed up the words. He personalized them saying, “when I became a father in the spring of 82” (when I was born) and he changed the word boy to girl. (He may have even said that I was stubborn like my mama—but that is a big joke because we all know which parent I take that after J ) The point is my daddy was singing about me, and from that day on in my mind that was our song. Every time I heard it I thought of him (I still think of him when I hear it). I saw the words of the song coming to life in my head. This is how I pictured the song:
Verse 1:  Papaw telling little Tony about love
Verse 2:  Daddy telling me about love
Verse 3: Papaw in heaven telling Daddy that he got in to heaven so my daddy would get in to, because he learned how to love from Papaw and Papaw got in.

I thought of the song that way for years, but when it came on the radio the other day heard something different. On the 3rd verse I no longer heard an earthly father singing about love but the heavenly father speaking of his perfect love. Our heavenly father does everything for us out of love. The bible even says God is love. Romans 5:8 tells that God proves his love for us because he sent a sinless Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins. 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, tells us that love always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres. I don’t know if George knew what he was doing portraying the love of the Father, but he did it well. God doesn't just love us sometimes. He doesn't just love us when we are being good. He doesn't just love us when it is convenient for him. He loves us always. I think that God made the role of the father be the one that is meant to teach us love. Most of us view God based on the way that we view our dad’s—good and bad. God wants us to believe in him and that he will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be our daddy today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now. I am so thankful that the love that God gives us is a love without end amen!