It's the beginning of August and you realize you've been vacationing through other people's Facebook posts, but not a single vacation was one you actually took. Oops. But, luckily, there are still a few days left for some summer fun. I'm not saying vacations are a must, I'm actually against the planned, yearly trips, but I do think summer is the time where you check off some things on your bucket list. Because our kids are so young and we wanted to keep the spending to a minimum, we decided to do a little staycation. What is a staycation you might ask? Well, my definition is--a little vacation...

Part 1: The Brothers @buckeyevodka📷 Buckeye Vodka is an intentional well-thought-out product that was designed, developed, and founded by 4 brothers (well almost)---Brothers Jim & Chris Finke, Brother-in-law Tom Rambasek, and good friend and CFO Marty Clarke founded Crystal Spirits, LLC and developed the Buckeye Vodka brand. 🍁 I'm sure it's not hard to put together that they're Ohioans--I mean come on, they named their vodka "Buckeye".. for a reason. The Finke’s are fourth generation Ohioans from Dayton. Tom was raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, and all four were educated at different Ohio universities. 🍁 The distillery is located in Dayton where each bottle of vodka is hand-crafted by...

  [caption id="attachment_9448" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo Credit: Perfect Peace Photogrpahy[/caption] Monday, March 16th, 2015. I was a day shy of 19 weeks pregnant. I had finally started to accept that I was going to be a single mother. I was 28 years old and I had a decent job, after all. But I admit that in my heart of hearts, I still didn't love the idea of walking into that ultrasound alone. This was going to be the big one; the one where the doctor tells you that you're having a perfect little baby boy and sets you on track to revel in the bliss of impending motherhood...

"It was Friday the 13th of 2002, and the first anniversary of 9/11 was coming up, and I just kept having this dreaded feeling that Friday the 13th was going to be a really bad day. I had no idea why, so I went on with my day.  Lindsay came home from school and decided she was going to go work out with her best friend.   About an hour later after she left, the phone rang, and it was her best friend Morgan. She said, “Kathy, Lindsay fainted. You need to get over here right away.” She fainted at the gym on the treadmill.  So, at...

Meet Don & Claire [caption id="attachment_9326" align="aligncenter" width="537"] In Loving Memory of Claire Glass[/caption] "Claire was an amazing young lady, and I think it’s easy for a father to say that, but she truly was.  She was blessed with giftedness. She was extremely academically gifted. It was a challenge because when we realized she needed more, nobody believed us.  It wasn’t until the 2nd grade when we saw a psychiatrist, and they did an analysis of her and they basically said, she’s brilliant. When she was in 8th grade she scored a 30 on the ACT, and got a perfect score on the PSAT. You look at...

E Elyjah, L Live or die-- he had a choice to make, whether to let his situation will determine his purpose or not. 31 days in children's hospital led him to a mature mental state unheard of for his age. Y You may be thinking he's gone. However, J Jumping to conclusions usually doesn't produce a positive outcome. The A Aftermath of a brain abscess turned him into a beast on the inside and a cub on the outside, and became a part of who he was, and what he felt the need to preach through his own experiences. Most wouldn't understand nor agree with an idea that the H Holy Spirit was now inside him. N (k)nowledge...

Part I: Memories A memory happens, and -blink- it's gone. It becomes just that, a memory. We all say we will remember and treasure those small moments, but let's be honest, how many small moments do you truly remember? How many times do you tell yourself you wish you would have written something down or documented it somehow? I'm guilty, and wish I could turn back time to record so many of those precious milestones. Courtney knew there were people just like me and she wanted to help them document their lives with photography and writing-not only for them, but for the people who will follow. "Memories and...

  The part of my story I am sharing with you is about my experience with being the daughter of a mom who suffered with extreme mental illness and addictions. I remember thinking I could fix her.  And, I thought if I got her Cascade dishwasher soap that promised the dishes would be sparkling clean, she would smile as big as the ladies on the commercials. But, we didn't even have a dishwasher.  I was six years old and just knew I wanted her to be happy. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Heather as a baby with her mother[/caption] When I was in college and had some of my own money,...

I can remember it like it was yesterday. The day that my mother told me that my sweet, big brother Anthony was killed in Iraq. I had just returned home early from a Cedar Point trip with my friends. We were going to stay one more night, but my friends mother kept saying "We really need to get home, We really need to get back."  In hind sight I remember my mom sounding sad on the phone the night before, but she said she was just tired. We pulled up to my house and my mother met us outside. She gave my friends mom a really...

Is it just me or do others put off important things that don't result in quick gratification?  I put off writing this story because writing does't come easy for me; I have difficulty sitting quietly and reflecting. But, I made the commitment to write this story.  I just kept putting it off each day. That's how I handled my weight too.  I kept putting it off.  Honestly I didn't eat that much--I could go until 2 and without eating anything.  I would tell myself their must be something medically wrong, or I'll eat better tomorrow. I remember one time Last April when my 10 year old granddaughter, Chloe, told her...