Rediscovering History and What it Means

I never knew him, at least not in person. Only in name and through stories. In pictures and memories.

But he was a “Master” and lived his life with discipline. He is a part of my history and rediscovering his story brings light to much of my world.


His name was Otto. He was a Chief Master at Arms of the US Navy receiving numerous medals and service awards during his long career in the military.

The master-at-arms is a ship’s senior rating, normally carrying the rank of Chief Petty Officer or Warrant Officer, the MAA is in charge of discipline and is addressed as “Master” if holding the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

He devoted his life to fighting for freedom and peace, rose to the highest rank and overcame incredible odds. I’m proud to be his great-granddaughter and part of his distinguished legacy.

Navigating Life’s Ups and Downs


Given the choice, we’d probably all wish for constant ups with no downs in life.

But as I look at this image, I’m reminded of the birth of my first child. I was in labor for 3 days. Yep, you read that right. From Friday to Sunday I was in labor with this 8 1/2 pound little girl. At first there were ups and downs to the contractions, to the pains, and then as her time to enter the world drew near, it changed.

Everything was up… constant contraction, constant pain, no time to breathe, and then as if dealt another bad hand I learned that all up and no down meant there was no progress. Literally.

You’d think that constant contraction would mean baby would come quicker, joy would come sooner, but it was the opposite. All up and no down. All contraction, no rest, meant no progress and danger.

So it goes with life. We need the middle ground to rest, when things are peaceful and calm. We need the highs when all is excitement and joy and adventure and journey. And we need the lows, without which we would be tempted to forget the gift we’ve been given, we would be apt to not realize how wonderful those high and mid-levels really are.

That’s my lesson for today. That’s my reminder from this image.

What does it say to you?

Julia Cameron

The truth is that the more original the work you’re exploring, the more vicious the attacks will be.  But those vicious attacks are actually telling you that you’re heading in the right direction.

Stunning Black and White Photography Project

This is one way to use photography to change everything: your life, your perspective, your art.

It’ll wreck you and remake you.

It’ll leave you breathless and reaching for something real.

Substance. Relationship. Connection.

Hold on. Let go. Tell your story.


You Only Live Once


Truth told from the heart and mind of a free-spirited young girl. Oh, to realize the truth in every waking moment, every exhaled breath.

I Laugh Because You’re All The Same

Not my words… the words of a bold and brave teen girl you may remember from the Teen Identity archives… Taylor. She was the star of “2 Minutes with Taylor” and continues to live life with gumption.

She’s got bravery in her bones and courage in her cortex.

We’re all different. Embracing it makes you better and brighter, and definitely less bitter.

What sets you apart? teen-girl-freedom

What Moms Really Need


Happy Mothers Day!

Please take time to breathe today… time just for you.

Time to celebrate your commitment to the best for your children.

Time to remember the way you give of yourself to raise up others.

Time to let go of the past and start fresh again…

with compassion, kindness and generosity of spirit for yourself.

Creating an Instant Hit

You know you have a hit when 3 million people engage with your content in less than a week.

The words viral, explosive growth, and success are probably ringing in your ears.

That’s how it worked for this video…which given the numbers you’ve probably seen. this-is-water-speech

This is for the few who might have missed it elsewhere.

It’s worth watching.

Here’s the scoop on it:

In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College (one of the colleges I visited on my senior year college tour!). His speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death.

The Glossary made the video built around an abridged version of the original speech, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience.

You can listen to the full speech at Brain Pickings.

Norman Cousins

The tragedy of life is not death… but what we let die inside of us while we live.

One of the Most Important Videos I’ve Seen

Wish I had seen this a couple years ago when I was entrenched in the Teen Identity fight against over-sexualization of teen girls in high school portraits (senior portraits, pageant portraits and otherwise).

The message is not simple, as we would like it to be. The answers are complex and require courage and persistence. But his words bring hope, a new perspective, and a clear call to men … the ones we know and love, the ones who know and love us … to take a stand, speak up and fight back.

Watch it. Share it. Live it.